Chapter Four: “Heroes of the Republic.”
By Paul Cousins.
Copyright Disclaimer: All copyrighted places, characters, items, and events, within the story, are held by their current owners. No profit is being made on this work of fiction.
A few weeks later, after Padme's successful mission in Jakku as Thor.
Two Republic Star Destroyers were in hyperspace, heading to their destination in the Outer Rim in the southeastern area of the galaxy.
The lead Star Destroyer was the Resolute. The Star Destroyer following the Resolute was the Negotiator.
It has been been a few weeks after Padme's first mission as Thor on the desert planet of Jakku. The mission had been a complete success. It was one of the few military operations by the Republic against the Separatists where there has been no causalities, save for battle droids.
Padme was quite proud of her accomplishment.
After Padme's first mission, Padme, Anakin, and Obiwan had been part of other successful missions. Though, none of these missions had been as bloodless as her first mission.
Most of these were missions for Padme, as Thor, were only to act as assistance to Anakin and Obiwan's battalions.
Obiwan's battalion was the 212th Attack Battalion. Anakin's battalion was the 501st Battalion.
The Star Destroy Resolute housed the 501st Battalion.
The Star Destroyer Negotiator housed the 212th attack battalion.
Obiwan was in charge of both ships. While Anakin served under Obiwan, with Anakin also having command of the Resolute.
Due to Obiwan spending much of his time on the Resolute. for command and operation purposes, many of the 212th officers, such as Commander Cody, were based on the Resolute Star Destroyer. So, they could be part of the mission briefings on the Resolute without using communication systems.
During the missions Thor had been a part of. Thor used her powers to offer cloud cover and storms for the invading Republic forces. She has gotten to the point she could control the storms so that small craft could enter the storms without being damaged. The storms still offered cover in the form of visibility, electrical interference, and lightning attacks towards ground targets to deter and destroy anti-aircraft weaponry from locking on and firing on the incoming invasion force.
Once the Republic forces had made it to the ground, Thor would assist as needed.
Though, due to most of the locations being in populated areas, or the locations were in some way important enough not to bomb to rumble, Thor had to hold back her weather powers. On such missions Thor used her powers in person against the battle droids.
So far, Thor has been able to keep from being hurt by the battle droids. But, she knew she would likely be hurt eventually. Thor hoped when her luck did run out that she would not be seriously hurt and she would recover while not being captured, crippled, or killed.
The power Padme now wielded as Thor deeply troubled her. In private, Padme had told Anakin and Obiwan that she was glad she was not being asked to stop whole armies, nor level whole areas with her powers.
Obiwan had informed Padme that he had talked to some of the Jedi High Council members about this matter. And the concern of the Jedi Order about being corrupted by the dark side of the force extended to they point the Jedi Council could sympathize with Padme's concerns.
That asking so much from Padme could cause Padme to lose touch with her humanity and start to allow the power she had to corrupt her.
To this end, the Jedi Council felt it was best to prevent Padme from being put into the position that could cause such problems.
Also, Obiwan and Anakin agreed with the Jedi Council on this matter.
Padme was relieved to learn this.
On the political front, Padme has found a balance between being a senator and soldier, with those in the Senator not having a clue about this.
When Padme was not fighting, while Padme was on the Resolute, she could continue her duties as Senator over encrypted holo-communications.
Padme found the time to go to her private quarters to use a holo-monitor to allow her sit in on the Senate debates on Coruscant via holo-comm. When she did so, she wore one of her nice dresses. Padme even voted on a few bills. Also, Padme's droid secretary on Coruscant had forwarded various documents to review, to see if Padme would sign them or not.
Only a handle people from both crews of both the Resolute and the Negotiator knew that Padme was Thor, and Padme wished to keep it this way.
The members of both crews were under strict orders to allow Padme, both her forms, too come and go within the ship as she pleased. And for the crew to not to discuss presence of Padme and Thor being on the Resolute. The members of the crews were not to discuss the matter with each other, nor anyone else, unless one of their commanding officers had a question on the matter.
Concerning Padme's normal form, the crews of both ships were not informed as to Padme identity. The only information the crew had was the she as a high level Republic government official, whom was stationed on the Resolute.
The only information the crews of the Resolute and Negotiator were told of Thor was that she was a powerful individual whom the Republic military had sent to fight the Separatists.
For the crews of the Resolute and the Negotiator, those few that know that Padme was Senator Amidala, the given cover story for them was that Padme in the protection of the Jedi. And given the number of assassination attempts on Senator Padme Amidala's life, she had been placed on the ship to protect her, because a Republic Star Destroyer would be the last place anyone would look for her.
It was Anakin whom came up with the cover story for the crew. Both Padme and Obiwan agreed the cover story was a good idea.
Presently, while in hyperspace, inside the Resolute, the work rotation schedule was presently at morning.
As an added precaution, earlier that morning Padme had changed into Thor. She then left her quarters with the hammer.
Though, given her quarters were part of the ship assigned for diplomatic quarters, no one was around as she came and went. And Anakin had control of the security cameras.
Padme had spent most of the morning as Thor. Though, when she went with Anakin and Obiwan, to the break room assigned for Jedi, and Thor herself. As soon as the door was closed, she changed back to her normal form.
Star Destroyers usually had such private breaks rooms for Jedi and dignitaries.
The private break room on the Resolute was reserved for Jedi. Padme was allowed to be in the room as both herself as in stronger form, Thor.
At the moment, inside the private break room, Padme was in her normal form. She was sipping a small cup of warm coffee, as she sat in a chair at a square table. The hammer was current set on the floor, to Padme's right side, on the top of its head, by her chair.
The break room was sectioned into a kitchen area, a dining area, and a recreation area. The door to the hallway was near the table and kitchen area. And on the far side of the room was a door to a restroom area, with a sink, toilet, shower, and cabinet for towels and toiletries.
The recreation area had four couches. The couches were set around each other in a square, with the couches facing inwardly. The couches surrounded a large circular holo-monitor. The corners where the couches met were spaced to allow people to walk between them.
Along with Padme, Anakin and Obiwan each sat in a chair at the square table. Anakin was not drinking anything, while Obiwan was sipping a cup of warm tea.
Padme was sitting with her facing the holo-monitor. Obiwan was to her right, and Anakin was to her left.
All three has been up for hours. And given the command authority Obiwan and Anakin were given, they were dressed in their uniforms. Or, more aptly what Jedi were allowed to pass as uniforms.
Obiwan was in his white armor, with his brown Jedi robe wore over his armor.
Anakin was in his usual red and black Jedi clothing, with dark armor on his upper chest and shoulders.
Anakin and Obiwan each had their lightsaber attached to their belt.
Padme uniform in her stronger form Thor form with her armor, helmet, and equipment.
When Padme changed back to her normal form, her armor changed back to the clothing she had been wearing.
This allowed Padme to wear her clothing she desired in her normal form.
Presently, Padme was wearing a white short sleeve t-shirt, black pants, and black slippers. While this was very casual clothing for her, given the circumstances Padme felt it was best to dress casually.
Dressing casually would draw less attention to herself. And this would decrease the chance of someone recognizing her as Senator Amidala, given as Senator, Padme was always seen wearing formal dresses.
While Padme, Anakin, and Obiwan sat at the table, R2 and C3-PO were nearby. With C3-PO ready to refill drinks as needed.
Across the room, the holo-monitor was on and showing a news broadcast.
Anakin had turned on the large holo-monitor and he had set the holo-monitor to a news network. While communications were censored for most of the ship and crew. The Jedi, and Padme, due to her being a Senator, were allowed to watch the news and review other information. Along with them being allowed to use communication lines at their discretion. Though, with the exception of when they were about to go into battle, or were currently in battle. Padme's respected these limitations.
The holo-news broadcast had just began a news story about the Obiwan, Anakin, and Padme, as Thor.
Padme, Anakin, and Obiwan were paying attention to the news story.
The holo-monitor showed three dimensional aftermath imagines of locations of various battles that Padme, Anakin, and Obiwan, had fought on. There were also a few holovideos of Thor, Anakin, and Obiwan, in combat with various battle droids.
The footage came from recordings made by cameras on military vehicles and trooper helmets.
Anakin did not mind being reminded of these battles. Obiwan found such news reports to be distasteful. Padme was slightly disturbed by seeing the imagines, due to her being able to recognize some of the damage she had done in those locations when she was Thor.
While the footage played, the off-screen announcer was harping about Thor, Anakin, and Obiwan in the most over the top, faltering ways possible, while still remaining tasteful.
Towards the end of the propaganda news broadcast, the announcer stated, “Due to the aid of Thor, the Storm Bringer. Jedi Anakin Skywalker, the Hero without Fear. And Master Obiwan Kenobi, the Wise. This Thundering Force. The Separatists do not stand a chance against the might of the army of the Republic.”
Anakin used the force to pushed a button on the control panel of the holo-monitor across the room to turn off the broadcast. Anakin turned to his friends. He said, “So that is what they are saying about us.”
Obiwan and Padme turned to look at Anakin. Both of them set their cups on the table.
Padme stated, “I am use to dealing with propaganda. But, they are kind of laying it on a little thick with that broadcast.”
Obiwan said, “I agree. I am surprised that I was even mentioned.”
Padme commented, “Well, if it was just Anakin. I can see how you would not be mentioned. But, with both Anakin and myself. As our Jedi commanding officer, they would have to mention you, while putting a positive spin on the entire situation.”
Obiwan stated, “I can see your point. I guess I am live with being called, Wise. I will talk Master Yoda and Master Windu about this. The Jedi Order does not public notoriety of their individual members.”
Padme pointed out, “You are clearly not going to let the title go to your head. I think you will be fine.”
Obiwan responded, “I agree. Since we do not control the press there is not much we can do about it.”
Padme stated, “Exactly. And the nickname of, the Wise, suits you.” She thought, 'Though, occasionally you are more of a wiseass, than wise. But, I am not going to say that to your face.' She continued, “Just let them know you are aware of the situation, and you will not allow this to effect your job. If you say that and mean it, you will be fine.”
Obiwan replied, “I think that would work...” He then realized what Padme was doing, as he continued, “Oh my. You are teaching my politics.”
Padme giggled a little. As she stopped giggling, she said, “Yes.”
Obiwan jokingly asked, “When did I become a politician?”
Padme stated, “When you accepted being a General. You think politics is bad between Senators. They do not hold a candle to some of the politics events I have heard happen from within the various planetary military organizations.”
Obiwan said, “I will keep that in mind. If I need advice on such matters, I will come to you.”
Padme smiled, as she offered, “Please do. I am more than happy to help.”
Obiwan replied, “Thank you.”
Anakin said, “Well, I for one like being called, the Hero Without Fear.”
Obiwan stated, “That is another thing. I guess I will have bring that up with the council, as well.”
Anakin pointed out, “And what will you say, Master? You have been pushing this, chosen one, angle on me since we met. And now the Republic news services are doing something in the same vein as that. You cannot just say that I am suppose to be your hero, and then reject allowing others to call me a hero.”
Obiwan admitted, “You're right. You have me there. There is no point in going to the council about your new title.”
Anakin grinned in response to his victory.
Padme commented, “Speaking of when you, Anakin. When you were young kid, I remember you were foolhardy even then.”
Obiwan stated, “He never actually grew out of it.”
Anakin smiled, as he said, “I will take that as a compliment.”
Obiwan turned to Padme, as he inquired, “What do you think about being called Storm Bringer?”
Padme answered, “It is self explanatory. How else would you call my abilities as Thor?”
Obiwan said, “True. You are a storm bringer.”
Nearby, C3-PO was standing near R2. C3-PO looked down at his droid friend, as he commented, “I think that was a wonderful broadcast about Master Anakin, Mistress Padme, and Master Kenobi.”
In response to C3-PO's comment R2 whistled a snort in disbelief.
Back at the table, Anakin asked, “I wonder who came up with these names?”
Padme stated, “Likely the Chancellor. He has always been good at coming up with names for people.”
Obiwan questioned, “Then Padme why did he have us pick your name, instead of him?”
Padme said, “Occasionally he is open to suggestions, when those suggestion do not conflict with his agenda.”
Obiwan looked at both Anakin and Padme, as he stated, “You know. Out of everyone. You two probably know the most about the Chancellor.”
Anakin replied, “Probably.”
Padme said, “That is likely. Though, the Chancellor has always been a private person.”
Anakin commented, “That is an understatement.”
Obiwan asked, “Padme. From what I understand. Chancellor advised you in politics?”
Padme responded, “Yes. I would not be where I am today, as a politician, without his counsel. When I first met Chancellor Palpatine, it was during my election as Queen of Naboo. Even then, he was a seasoned politician and a Galactic Senator. This was during one of his the times he visited Naboo. Between legislative sessions of the Galactic Congress.”
“During that meeting we has a very productive discussion about the future direction of Naboo and the Republic. From then on we mostly talked by holo-comm. He was interested in my progress. When I was became a Senator, he helped adjust to live on Coruscant. During that time, he taught me much about the inner workings of the Senate.”
“This is why when the Chancellor formed the Loyalist Committee to investigate corruption within the Senate, he invited me to join as one of the main leaders of the committee. And I accepted his invitation. Without his help, I would not gained as much respect and influence within the Senate.”
Obiwan pointed out, “Though, concerning the war you are opposed to him?”
Padme said, “I feel we are taking the wrong direction with the Republic. During my training, I did talk to him a few times by holo-comm about the war. Chancellor and I have agreed to disagree on this matter.”
Obiwan questioned, “On a related matter, I noticed you were not upset that Jar Jar supported the measures in the Senate which you opposed? Measures which started the war?”
Padme admitted, “I will foolish enough to put Jar Jar in that position in the first place.” She thought, 'I will leave out that I believe it was the Chancellor whom tricked Jar Jar into doing so.'
Obiwan complimented, “Such a sense of responsibility is rare for a politician.”
Padme commented, “I am not like most politicians.”
Obiwan responded, “That is true. How do you reconcile being a soldier in this war with being senator opposing this war?”
Padme stated, “The same way you members of the Jedi Order reconcile between being keepers of the peace and being warriors in this war. You do not. You just do both jobs, and you hope that the conflict between the two does not destroy you.”
Obiwan conceded, “Fair enough.”
Anakin cracked a grin, as he said, “Master. You have to give her credit on that one.”
Padme turned to Anakin. She kindly replied, “Thank you, Anakin. And onto another matter. Over the last few days, I noticed that you two have started carrying new lightsabers.”
Obiwan look down at the lightsaber holstered to his belt. He turned back to look at Padme.
Meanwhile, Anakin continued to look at Padme, with him not looking down at the holster on this belt. Anakin said, “I was wondering what you were going to ask about that. We finally constructed our lightsabers. And we stopped using the ones we were given on Geonosis. I decided to use a different color crystal than blue in my new lightsaber.”
Padme asked, with curious interest in her tone of voice, “Which color crystal?”
Anakin smiled at Padme, as he stated, “Well, I enjoyed using that green training lightsaber to spar with you so much that I decided that I would build a green blade lightsaber.”
Padme complimented, “Nice choice. Green suits you.”
Anakin replied, “Thank you.”
Padme turned to Obiwan, as she casually asked, “What color is your new lightsaber? Is it red?”
Obiwan turned to Padme, as he casually said, “No. I decided to stay with the traditional blue crystal.”
Padme replied, “Okay.”
Anakin stood up from his chair. He stated, “Well, I need to get going. I got a few things I need to do this morning.”
Padme turned to Anakin. She smiled at Anakin, as she said, “We will talk later.”
Anakin looked down at Padme's face, as he returned her smile. He stated, “That we will.”
Obiwan noticed the shared smile between his two students. But, he did not say anything about the matter.
Anakin turned to 2R and C3-PO. He said, “Come on. R2. C3-PO. You can be help me with checking on my starfighter. And I need to check with Captain Rex on how morale is doing. Along with inspecting the troops and equipment.”
Padme and Obiwan then watched as Anakin walked to the door to the hallway. He pressed a button on a panel the right of the door. The door slid open, with Anakin walk out into the hallway, with R2 and C3-PO following behind him.
As the door slip closed, Padme and Obiwan were still looking at the doorway. Padme commented, “At least he takes his job as a General very seriously.”
Obiwan agreed, “True.” He turned back to look at Padme, as he inquired, in a concerned tone of voice, “I can tell you are holding back things from Anakin. But, how are you really holding up?”
Padme turned to look at Obiwan. She slumped her shoulders, as she admitted, in a tired tone of voice, “Fine. We both know I have been in battles before. I just did not realize the whole destruction and death that these battles would entail. I thought my experiences dealing with the invasion of Naboo would have prepared me for me for this. But, I was wrong.”
Obiwan pointed out, “This is because you were not on the front lines of those battles. And while you did not lead from the rear, you did not see the brunt of the action.”
Padme stated, “Perhaps. I knew when I volunteered, that I was going to have to kill people in this war. I accept that. But, there is a difference between killing a handful of people at a time, and killing whole cities at a time.”
Padme brought her hands up to the top of the table. She made a fist in both her hands, as she set them together, behind her cup of coffee. She looked down at her fists, as she continued, with a concerned tone of voice, “I am worried I might eventually be ordered to use my powers to destroy a populated city of civilians, because the Republic military will see it as easier to do so than have a ground invasion.”
Obiwan stated, “Do no worry. I am commanding officer of this small fleet. Since the orders come from the Jedi Council and the Chancellor, only the Council, or the Chancellor can overrule my orders. I know the members of the Jedi Council feel the same way as I do. And as we just saw, the Chancellor values you enough as a propaganda tool to use you in such a blatant manner. As such, I doubt the Chancellor will order you to do so.”
Padme look up at Obiwan. Obiwan saw a bit of fear and worry in Padme's eyes.
Padme responded, “I hope not. I use to think I knew Sheev. Now, I am not so sure.” She looked down at her fists. She relaxed and flexed her hands, as she continued, “But, it is not just that. I never knew a single individual could cause so much destruction. And it is my hands that are doing the destroying.”
A thought occurred to Obiwan He inquired, “As your friend, and your commanding officer, I have to ask. Are you having second thoughts about joining the Republic military?”
Padme looked over at Obiwan. Obiwan saw hardness form in Padme's eyes, as Padme firmly stated, “No. I am just realizing the dangerous potential of the power that I now wield.”
Obiwan calmly said, “Good. Such realizations will help keep you from being corrupted by that power.”
Padme looked to her right side, down at the hammer. Then, she looked back at Obiwan. She stated, “I hope so. Though, this hammer. This power. It is humbling to use. But, at the same time it is intoxicating to use. It is like this hammer wants to be used, but only in the manner it desires.”
Obiwan explained, “I can appreciate that. In some ways, that is how the force effects Jedi. Do you sometimes feel guided by your hammer?”
Padme answered, “Yes. I am sometimes not sure if I am wielding the hammer, or if the hammer is guiding me.”
Obiwan gave Padme a smile, as he responded, “Perhaps a bit of both. And that is what is like to use the force. Do you think the hammer is self-aware to the point of being aware of those around it? Or, even if it is only partly self-aware? As Yoda once mentioned. I know we were able to help you to strengthen the bond you have with the hammer. But, I was never really sure how aware the hammer is.”
Padme said, “It is possible the hammer is aware of us. Though, if that is the case the hammer is not aware of its surroundings like we are.”
Obiwan said, “If that is the case, I wonder if this hammer has a name? Or, if it wants a name?”
Padme dropped her hands back to her lap. She then used her right hand to picked up the hammer by its shaft. She gently set the hammer on the table on its side, in the middle of the table, away from both Padme's cup of coffee and Obiwan's cup of tea.
Padme set the hammer on the table so Obiwan could look at the weapon.
Padme kept her right hand on the shaft of the hammer as she looked at the weapon. Padme rolled Obiwan's inquiry of the weapon's name. Suddenly, a thought came to her mind. Padme stated, “Mjolnir.” She then looked at Obiwan. She said, “Do not ask me how I know this. I just know.” She turned to look at the hammer, as she continued, “When I asked the question in my mind, Mjolnir is the name that popped into my mind.” Padme look at Obiwan.
Obiwan casually said, “Good. Then we can at least address this weapon by something less generic than, the hammer.”
Padme replied, “I agree.”
Obiwan turned to the hammer. He said, “Hello Mjolnir.”
Padme could not help but giggle a little at the casualness that Obiwan displayed towards all the strangeness that surrounded their lives.
As Padme calmed down, Obiwan offered, “You know. I could wrap the grip of Mjolnir with leather. Brown or black. Your choice. It would give you a better grip with the hammer.”
Padme commented, “I thought about that. But, I wear gloves, and it seems on top of Mjolnir being so light in my hands, I have never had any issues of losing my grip.”
Obiwan said, “That is good to know.”
Padme stated, “But, if an issue does develop I will come to you for help. I would likely use brown leather, instead of black leather. The brown leader straps would go well with the brown leather of my armor.”
Obiwan replied, “I agree. And thank you.”
Padme inquired, “By the way, how is the new admiral assigned to assist us working out for you?”
Obiwan answered, “Fine. He is offering good advice.”
Padme replied, “That is good to here.”
The two friends then continued talking for a little while longer. When they finished their conversation, they stood up from the table and put away their cups into the nearby kitchen sink.
Then, Padme picked up the hammer and changing into Thor, with her clothing changing to her armor.
With Padme now presently ready, both Padme and Obiwan exited the break-room to resume their duties as officers of the Republic military.
A day later, Padme heard back from Obiwan. They talked in private. Obiwan inform Padme that Padme's advice over the propaganda media about him had worked out fine with the Jedi Council. Obiwan had discussed the matter with Yoda and Mace Windu. The Jedi High Council was fine with the matter as long as such propaganda did not over-inflate the egos of the Jedi featured on the press reports.
It had been three days after Padme, Obiwan, Anakin, had their discussion concerning Republic new services using them as propaganda for the war effort, and giving them nicknames.
While the Resolute and Negotiator were still in hyperspace, inside the Resolute, in a meeting room a mission briefing was being held.
It was presently early afternoon in the ship rotation schedule.
The lights in the room were on.
The doors to the room were closed.
The people present has just entered the room and sat down in the black chairs around a large, black round table. There were control consoles on the top of table in front of each chair.
Those sitting in black chairs, at the large black, rounded table in the room, clockwise, and closest to the door, was Thor. Thor had on her armor, helmet, and equipment. This included the sheathed Black Solace strapped to her back. Thor set Mjolnir on the top of its head beside her chair, to her right.
To Thor's left was Anakin Skywalker. In his dark red and black clothing. He has dark armor on his upper chest and shoulders. He had on his gloves. There was a comlink in his left glove. Also, he had his lightsaber holstered on his belt.
To Anakin's left was Obiwan. Obiwan was in why trooper armor, with his brown Jedi robe over his armor. He has his lightsaber holstered on his belt.
To Obiwan's left was the clone trooper CT-2224 and to that clone trooper's left was clone trooper CT-7567. Like most clones they had taken on nicknames. CT-2224 was nicknamed Cody. While CT-7567 was nicknamed Rex.
Cody held the rank of Commander. While Rex held the rank of captain.
Commander Cody was under the 212th Battalion. Captain Rex was under the 501st Battalion.
Commander Cody oversaw field command of armory and artillery groups. Captain Rex oversaw field command of infantry and reconnaissance forces.
Both were in their white trooper armor. Neither of them had their helmets, nor weapons with them.
Cody's armor was a mix of white and yellow. Rex's armor was a mix of white and blue.
Cody's black hair was trimmed short. Rex's hair was trimmed extremely short, and Rex had bleached his hair blond.
To Rex's left side was the flight commander. The commander was a clone nicknamed Tony. He held the rank of captain. He oversaw command of flight squadrons and fly transports.
Captain Tony was part of the command of 212th Battalion, but Obiwan and Anakin had given Captain Tony command to pulled personnel and hardware for missions from the Resolute as needed.
Because Captain Tony oversaw the logistical side of command and not direct action, he was dressed in a olive green naval uniform, with insignia showing he was a captain.
To Captain Tony's left was the last member in the meeting. This was the human, Admiral Wullf Yularen. He wore a olive green naval uniform, which insignia showing he was an admiral.
A week ago, Chancellor Palpatine had Admiral Yularen to assist Obiwan and Anakin. Chancellor Palpatine has told Obiwan and Anakin that he felt having an experienced officer there to assist them in command would be helpful.
Obiwan and Anakin found that Admiral Yularen was a fair minded man, whom was very easy to get along with. When asked, Admiral Yularen offered excellent advise. Admiral Yularen also helped streamline the day to day operations of both the Resolute and Negotiator.
To Admiral Yularen's left there were two empty chairs at the table between Thor and himself.
Obiwan looked around at the people at the table, as he stated, “Okay people. In just over one hour we will be coming out of hyperspace. We are going to be coming in hot. So we need to be ready. This is the target.”
Obiwan pressed a few buttons on the console on the table in front of him.
The lights dimmed and a holographic projection of a planet came on. The holo-monitor build into the center of the table showed a holographic projection showed a planet shown in red outlines, that slowly rotated clockwise above the table.
Obiwan said, “This is the planet Christophsis. It is one of two planets orbiting a single star. The planet has one moon. This planet is located on the southeastern part of the galaxy, in the Outer Rim, near the Mid-Rim. It is part of the Corellian Run hyper-route that goes from the Core to the Outer Rim.”
“The population of Christophsis is composed of Christophsians, which were near-human. The immigrant populations of the planet included humans, rodians, and kerkoidians.”
“Besides its location, what makes Christophsis so important is that it is a crystal planet that is rich various in mineral resources. These resources range from materials used to build starships to the materials used to make the warheads for photon torpedoes.”
“Due to Christophsis being rich in mineral resources and only Corellian Run near the border of the Mid-Rim and Outer Rim, Christophsis is an important strategic location.”
“Should the Separatists maintain control of Christophsis, they can blockade the southeastern corner of the Outer Rim from the rest of the Galaxy, while also strengthening their military.”
“But, we are not going to allow that.”
“Reconnaissance probes have been very detailed data on Separatist forces in the solar system. The specific mission objectives and needed data for your parts of this operation have already being relayed personal datapads. You can brief your teams after the meeting.”
“The data shows some good news. The Separatists have not fully entrenched themselves yet into Christophsis.”
“There are signs that the Separatists are building a base on the moon of Christophsis, but this is only in the beginning stages and as such will not be a factor.”
Obiwan press a button on the console in front of him. A yellow dot appeared on part of the surface of the holographic image of Christophsis.
Obiwan stated, “This is the capital city, Chaleydonia. Chaleydonia is known as the Crystal City. The reason for the nickname was due to the way the locals had constructive their tall buildings to have the exteriors of the buildings be covered in the same cyan, teal, and green crystals that made up much of the surface of the planet of Christophsis. The city had a central area, with out outer ring of building encircling the central area. Between the central area and the outer ring is open spaces, with highways connected between central area and the outer ring.”
“Reconnaissance data states that most of the Separatist forces are based on the central area of the city.”
Thor asked, “What is the population of the Chaleydonia? Thy would expect massive civilian casualties from this battle.”
Obiwan turned to Thor. Obiwan answered, “Fortunately, the location population has been evacuated from the city. Republic intelligence reports that the Separatist leader on the planet is General Whorm Loathsom, a kerkoidian man. It is of the opinion of Republic intelligence that Whorm likely did not desire to see members of his own species, along with the rest of the locals killed in the conflict. So, he allowed an evacuation of the city.”
“This was likely done due to General Loathsom previous public stating that the justification for the Separatists invading was as a act of liberation against the Republic. The Separatists forcing civilians to be caught in the crossfire would conflict with this propaganda claim of liberation.”
Through the force, Obiwan sensed Thor feel relief after hearing this news.
Commander Tony commented, “While the crews of two Star Destroyers is enough to take over an entire planet, we could lose so many personnel in the battle that holding the planet could become difficult.”
Obiwan turned to Commander Tony. Obiwan stated, “That is a possibility.” He turned to Thor. He continued, “Though, the military commanders whom put this plan together believe that having Thor with us will tilt the odds in our favor and decrease causalities on our side. I agree with their assessment.”
Thor remained silent on the comment.
Admiral Yularen inquired, “What resistance should we expect to confront? Such an important location would be heavily guard. Both in orbit and on the ground.”
Obiwan looked over at Admiral Yularen. Obiwan answered, “We expect to only deal with ground forces. But, the space forces have already been dealt with. This is due to other Republic operations taking place in key Separatists holdings in the area. Christophsis is important. But, not the most important location.”
“Latest probe data states that the Separatist space forces have left the planet to aid other locations.”
Obiwan press a button on the console in front of him.
The hologram of Christophsis disappeared and a red color, three dimensional view of the galaxy which slowly rotated counterclockwise.
The image of galaxy was shades of ready to show different parts of the galaxy. Such as Hutt Space, the Outer Rim, the Mid-Rim, and other areas. With Hutt Space making up much of the eastern part of the Galaxy, between the Mid-Rim and the Outer-Rim. Much of the western half of the galaxy was in a light red to show it was part of the Unknown Regions.
The parts of the northeastern galaxy was in dark shades of red to show that area was held by the Separatists.
There were also to hyper-routes shown on the map. One route went from the core of the galaxy to the southeastern end of the galaxy.
The hyper-route when through a yellow dot that was in the Outer Rim, near the Mid-Rim. The hyper-route also passed through a red dot further in the Outer Rim.
There was a yellow dot near the other hyper-route went along the edge eastern side of the outer rim, on the eastern side of Hutt Space. But, the hyper-route did not directly touch Hutt Space.
Near the bottom of the map, the eastern hyper-route passed through the red dot.
Obiwan looked around, as he stated, “The yellow dot is Christophsis. The red dot is the planet, Arkanis. The Separatist currently control both planets. As you can see, Corellian Run passed through both systems. You will also note that most of the Separatists controlled areas are in the northeastern concern of the galaxy. Such as their capital world, Raxus Secundus. The area of control the Separatists have in that part of the galaxy spans across the Outer Rim, Mid-Rim and some of the Expansion Region.”
“Now, the other hyper-route on the eastern edge of the galaxy is Triellus Trade Route. This hyper-route is nicknamed the Hutt Highway. This hyper-route skirts Hutt Space and the hyper-route is used by spice runners and other smugglers.”
“The Triellus Trade Route use to go through Christophsis, but this was changed a few centuries ago to Arkanis to move away from Republic influence.”
“This is one of the most lawless areas in the galaxy. And one of the areas that Republic has the least influence on this side of the galaxy.”
“The Separatists are using this fact to their advantage. They have clearly cut a deal with the Hutts. The Separatists are using the Triellus Trade Route to funnel their military and resources to the southern part of the Outer Rim.”
“This needs to be stopped not before we see another major front in this war.”
“If the Republic can take both Christophsis and Arkanis we can cripple the Separatists operations within this section of the galaxy. Even if we lose Christophsis, and we take Arkanis. We can cut off Christophsis and force their surrender”.
Obiwan press a button on the console. The holographic system shut down. Obiwan pressed another button and lights in the room brightened back to normal.
Obiwan said, “We will come in front the west to land our forces on the western end of the city. The local time in that area will be just before dawn. The Resolute and Negotiator will come out of hyperspace in high orbit around Christophsis. This is so if the intelligence is wrong and the planet is guarded by a fleet. That fleet will likely be in close orbit of the planet and we will not be running head long into a ambush.”
“When we have confirmed there are no Separatist ships in orbit, we will implement the invasion. The invasion itself will be in three waves.”
Obiwan turned to Thor. He stated, “General Thor, you will take your starfighter and be the tip of the spear. You will provide cover for our forces. While dealing with any Separatist starfighters. Though, I do not want you to be flying in the sky. That would make you to tempting a target for a sniper droids and anti-aircraft weaponry. Use the skyscrapers for cover as you fly about.”
Thor commented, “General Kenobi. Thy will do as thou requests.”
Obiwan looked around the room, as he went onto say, “The next wave will be starfighters escorting bombers. The bombers will take out any major Separatist installations that our probes have found. Though, the Separatists likely have other holdings in the city which are either camouflaged, or underground.”
“This bombings will also include our landing area. I do not want to be ambush as we are getting out of the transports.”
“Once the starfighters and bombers have completed there missions, the squadrons will return to the Jedi Cruisers to rearm. Both those squadrons and other starfighter squadrons being be put on ready status in case there is a ambush in orbit by Separatist forcing coming out of hyperspace.”
Obiwan turned to Thor. He commented, “General Thor. Your personal datapad has noted maps and locations of the city that I wish for you to keep the storm down to a minimum. This included the western end of the city.”
“I want air cover, but keep the wind, rain, and lightning to a minimum in the areas we will be flying over. Once we have landed and the bombing runs are complete, racket up the storm in the atmosphere. But, keep clear the ground level where we will be.”
Thor asked, “That will not be a problem. Still, we will be leveling the city?”
Obiwan answered, “Hopefully not. Having to deal with a homeless population would present difficulties to everyone involved.”
Thor agreed, “Yes. It would.”
Obiwan looked around. He said, “The final wave will be our gunships and transports carrying our ground forces. We already have a landing site targets. Once we land, we will quickly set up our artillery cannons for Separatist ground forces. Once we have have established a beach head we will move east to deal with the Separatist holdouts in the central area. This will not be easy considering there are choke-points and open spaces between western area and central area of the city.”
“I want to keep the gunships and transports within the base. That way if we need to we can move our personal and vehicles more quickly to better positions. If we can take out some of their defenses within western side of the central area of the city, we might try a blitz attack with our forces. Though, even I will admit that is risky. We do not know the full numbers of their ground forces. We could easily find ourselves overwhelmed by their sheer numbers.”
“Also, the gunships will remain at the base to conserve our fuel needs. If we do get cut, I do not want fuel to become an immediate issue.”
“Also, if we are overrun, we can use our air transport to escape to more strategic locations to the west, outside Chaleydonia. This locations have already been picked out and sent your datapads.”
“There are mountains with jagged ridges and deep valleys outside of the city that would make for formidable natural fortresses. And between our artillery and Thor's weather abilities, we could hold out until reinforcements arrive. But, that is only for the worst case scenario.”
Obiwan turned to Thor. He stated, “General Thor. Once we are on the ground, I want you to fly over the western side of the city and destroy any droid patrols you can find. And be ready to return to our base camp at a moments notice. Even with our artillery, I would not be surprised if the Separatists do not try to hit us with at least one major wave of droid forces. Should that happen, I would like your aid in repelling those forces.”
Thor said, “Yes sir.”
Obiwan looked around the room, as he commented, “Also, we need to see if we can take the General Loathsom alive. He has the codes to shut down the droids on the planet. Having him do means we do not have to search building to building for any droid holdouts.”
Obiwan turned to Admiral Yularen. He commented, “Admiral Yularen. I want you to keep the Negotiator and Resolute in orbit to watch out for an possible outside ambush from a Separatist fleet. I do not want you to provide fire support on the off chance the Separatists have an ion cannon on the surface of the planet. One or two shots from such a weapon can taken out a Jedi Cruise for a few hours. And we cannot afford for that to happen.”
Admiral Yularen responded, “I agree. Should the Separatists come in force, how do you wish for the matter to be handled?”
Obiwan answered, “Should the Separatist send an counterattack with their cruises. If you feel you can hold the line, do so. If not then flee. But, let us know before you act. Should we be able to retake the planet before there is a fleet ambush I want to have the Negotiator sent down to fortify our holdings until reinforcements come to relieve us.”
“Should there be a fleet ambush afterward, I want the Resolute to flee. The Separatists will then learn how tough a Jedi Cruiser can be as a ground fortification. We do not need to worry about energy being sent to the lower half of the ship and to the engines. We can triple the strength of our shields and quadruple the firing rate of our turbo-lasers on the upper deck.”
Obiwan noticed from their expressions that no one has thought of how to use a Star Destroyer in such a manner.
Obiwan inquired, “Any other questions?”
After a few seconds of silent, Obiwan stated, “Alright, this briefing is over. Let us get ready for battle.”
The group them got of their chairs, collected their belongings, and filed out of the room to prepare for their parts of the mission.
An hour after the mission briefing, the Resolute and Negotiator dropped out of hyperspace in high orbit around the planet of Christophsis. As expected the Star Destroyers long range sensors confirmed there were not any Separatists ships in orbit around the Christophsis.
Since an immediate space ambush was no longer a concern, the swiftly two Star Destroyers launched their forces to invade the world of Christophsis. Once the starfighters, bombers, and transports had left the two ships. Both Star Destroyers raised their energy shields and stood guard for a possible ambush from Separatist ships coming in from hyperspace.
Meanwhile, the Republic invasion forces headed for the city of Chaleydonia. The crystal city let up on the twilight sky right before sunrise.
The Republic forces were composed of a squadron of V-19 Torrent starfighter escorting a squadron of starfighter bombers. Behind these starfighters and bombers were troop carrier gunships, vehicle carriers transports, and supply transports.
Ahead of all the other forces was one lone, two-wing Z-95 headhunter starfighter.
The pilot in Z-95 headhunter starfighter was Thor. Thor was in her armor, helmet, with her sheathed Black Solace. It was not comfortable to fly in a cockpit with a sword strapped to one's back, but Thor managed. The hammer was set behind the cockpit seat. Also, Thor has used the seatbelts to strap herself to the chair.
Thor piloted the starfighter into the atmosphere, in a trajectory that would take her to Chaleydonia. As soon as she cleared the re-entry and slowed down to where the heat was no longer a factor, she ejected from her starfighter, by popped the canopy, undoing her seatbelts, and jumping out. As she jumped out she summoning the hammer.
The hammer flew up to Thor's right hand, and Thor gripped the weapon by the shaft, which allowed her to use the hammer to fly.
The starfighter itself never made it to the ground, as it dropped in a straight direction, it was shot down by Separatists anti-aircraft fire.
Meanwhile, Thor was much smaller than the starfighter she had just abandoned. She flew towards ground in a corkscrew fashion. Her smaller size and erratic path made it next to impossible for the Separatist anti-aircraft defenses to hit.
While Thor flew she began creating a storm to offer cover for the invading Republic forces.
Thor was careful to not make the storm to powerful to risk the Republic forces. Just enough electrical discharge to make target locks from the ground difficult. Though, on the ground there was no rain and very little wind. She was careful minimize the storm from the western end of Chaleydonia until after the transports had landed and the other spacecraft has finished their missions and returned to space.
Thor also flew down to below the skyline of the highrise buildings on the western edge Chaleydonia. She used the skyscrapers for cover. Though, she was careful to avoid any of the bombing areas that were about to be hit.
Once the bombing was complete, Thor planned to move into the western part of the city.
Meanwhile, Thor continued to create the storm cover.
A few minutes later, Thor had created the storm cover she desired just in time starfighter squadrons, gunships and transports pass above her.
As Thor flew between the skyscrapers on the western edge of the crystal city, her enhanced sight allowed her to watched as the starfighter squadron provided cover as the bombers bombed suspected key Separatist supply depots and other military targets. This included bombing the staging area, to clear out any Separatist droids that might be present.
When the bombing run was done, both squadrons of starfighters heading back up to the Star Destroyers to both refuel and rearm, in case of a surprised attack by Separatist space forces.
As the Republic starfighters and bombers returned to the Resolute and Negotiator, Thor had just watched the Republic bombing runs be completed.
Thor mentally maintained the storm as she headed into the western part of the city.
While Thor provided air support, given the last few weeks, Thor has developed quite the reputation of taking out whole fleets of Separatist starfighters in the air. As such, in more recent battles that Thor has been in, the Separatist had stopped fielding starfighters altogether.
Thor noticed that there were no Separatist starfighters in the air. So, she began to fly around the western end of the city, hunting down and destroying various battle droids patrols using lightning from Mjolnir and from the storm above the city.
Meanwhile, while the ride was a little bumpy for the Republic forces, due to the storm, the Republic gunships and vehicle transporters were having no problems.
Within the invasion forces, in the back of a sealed gunship stood, Anakin, Obiwan, and some clone troops. Everyone ready for battle, with weapons and armor. With them all holding the ceiling handholds as the made their way down to the surface. There was only very little light in that section of the ship.
Along with everyone else, there was the droids R2-D2 and C3-PO.
Anakin thought, 'I hate this part. I would prefer to fly down on my starfighter. But, that is not want this mission calls for.'
One of the pilots then, “ETA two minutes until we hit the ground.”
Anakin thought, 'Good.'
C3-PO turned to Anakin, as it asked, “Master Anakin. What do you want me to do once we get down to the surface?”
Anakin turned to the gold plated droid. He ordered, “Stay with R2.”
Anakin thought, 'Unfortunately, there is not much you can do on the ground, C3-PO. But, I cannot leave you behind. Because nowhere is save in war. And with Padme here, I have no one to turn you over too. So for right now, you should just stick with R2.'
C3-PO replied, “I will endeavor to do so.”
R2 whistled an acknowledge to their comments.
Over a minute later, they felt the gunship land.
A few seconds after the landing, the side hatches opened up. Anakin, Obiwan, and the clone troopers jumping out. One of the clone troopers kicked C3-PO out, with the droid falling to the ground, but quickly picking itself back up. R2 used its leg hover-jets to hover onto the ground.
Anakin looked around and he saw they had landed on the middle of the street, with high-rise buildings on both sides of them.
The bombing run had turned much of the surrounding building's crystal exteriors to rubble. Along with cracking the streets they were on. Though, as planned, the buildings were still standing, for the most part. Save for a few buildings in the distance, to the east, where a few of the bombs strayed from their paths and destroyed the buildings, causing the building to fall onto one another. Though, the buildings did not fully collapse and block that way. Instead, the buildings created a large, impromptu archway over a large highway road.
Behind the two partly collapsed buildings leaning against each other was the open space between the western side of Chaleydonia and the central area of Chaleydonia. The highway leading between the two area ran right under the two partly collapsed buildings.
The Republic forces knew well to avoid such unstable structures.
The Jedi and the Clones then swiftly went about their jobs creating the base camp and preparing for the Separatist counterattack.
As the gunships dropped off the troops, the supple transports dropped off large crates with supplies, and the vehicle transports dropped off the large artillery cannons and AT-TE six legged Republic walkers.
Some of the crates had electronic equipment. Some of the crates had supplies and ammo. And some of the crates had energy battery cells and canisters of other types of fuel.
Since the Republic landed on the western part of the city, with reports the droid forces were mostly located closer to the center of the city, the vehicle transports dropped of the artillery cannons near the western end of the base, away from possible fighting. While the Republic walkers were placed near the eastern side of the base to offer immediate heavy defensive fire of any droid forces coming towards the base from the east.
Fortunately, there were no battle droids in the area.
Once the gunships dropped off their personnel and transports had unloaded their cargo, the ships hovered into the air and moved to land on the western sides of the base camp, just west of the artillery cannons. A squad of clone troopers were assigned to guard the western side the vehicles from possible attacks.
Those troopers assigned to the vehicles quickly began moving their vehicles in place. Along with a few of the troopers getting the crates open to pull out the supplies. The crates held small crates which held the supplies.
After the large crates were emptied, they were moved together to create small alcoves for sleeping areas and medical areas.
When the troopers were finished emptying the smaller crates, the troopers would use the crates to form the outer boundaries of their base camp. The troopers also used the wreckage they were clearing from the area as part of the walls of their base camp.
Meanwhile, the other troopers were divided up providing cover, making makeshift barricades with what they had, and a few of the squads when on scouting mission.
A few minutes after landing, the Republic forces watch saw Thor do a low attitude flyby to left them know she was in the general area, and she could provide them with cover as they set up for their base.
The reason the Republic forces did not want use gunships, nor vehicles transports, as air support, was they did not want to waste fuel, in case they needed to move quickly. Such as being in the wrong area, or the risk of being overrun.
At the rate the Republic forces were working, they would have completed their base camp within an hour of landing at the site.
Ten minutes after the Republic forces had landed on the western part of Chaleydonia.
East of the new Republic military base, near the center of the crystal city was the hidden, underground Separatist headquarters.
Inside the main command and control room of the headquarters, the blue skinned, humanoid, kerkoidian, General Whorm Loathsom. General Loathsom wore a blue uniform with a golden short sleeve vest.
Presently, General Loathsom was working on a strategy to deal with the Republic invaders.
The only other individuals in the room beside General Loathsom were B1 droids which were assisting him in relying orders to his droid army.
General Loathsom's Separatist officers were in other locations inside the base. They were overseeing various other tasks.
General Loathsom stood in from of a large holo-monitor which show a large, red holographic representation of Chaleydonia, including the Republic forces invading the western side of the crystal city. There was also a red dot showing Thor flying around destroying various droid patrols.
This information was being sent to the Separatist headquarters by sensors placed on various skyscrapers in the city.
General Loathsom looked at the holo-monitor, as he thought, 'Given how quickly Thor is moving there was no way I could organize the battle droids on that side of the city to stop her.' Loathsom turned his attention to the Republic forces which had landed and were already setting up their base camp. Loathsom thought, 'And the bombing runs were very effective. I have no battle droids near the area where the Republic invasion forces lands. And from the looks of it they have heavy artillery and walkers. Thor handles the air while they prepare for a slow ground fight. This is good thinking on their part.'
'Though, I already have a plan in motion that will buy time until reinforcements arrive.'
Just then, he heard a beeping from holo-monitor.
Loathsom thought, 'Who could be calling me at this moment?'
Loathsom used the controls in front of him to activate the main holo-monitor from the battle to answer the call. A second later, the holo-monitor changed from the battle to show a life-sized image of Count Dooku.
Dooku wore a long sleeve black shirt. His shirt was not tucked into his black pants, with the bottom of his shirt going almost to his knees. Over his shirt, around his waist was a large brown belt. He wore black boots over his feet. The bottom of his pants were tucked into his boots. He wore a brown cloak, which a small gold chain hooked at the sides of the front of the cloak at his neck line. Dooku had his lightsaber holstered on the left side of his belt.
Loathsom thought, 'Dooku. That figures.'
Loathsom and Dooku looked at each other. Loathsom was the first to speak, as he commented, in a slightly sarcastic tone of voice, “Count Dooku. You have a wonderful knack for timing.”
Dooku firmly asked, “What is going on?”
Loathsom groaned, as he answered, “A disaster in slow motion. On top of the Republic invading from the west of Crystal City, Thor is here.”
Dooku responded, “Hmm... That cannot be helped. It is imperative that you keep the Republic forces here busy for as long as possible. Plans are in motion that require you to do so.”
Loathsom stated, “I will try. But, given that we are not only dealing with the Republic military, but also with Thor, I am not sure how long I can hold out. Thor has already prevented my anti-air defenses from taking out the Republic invaders. The Republic bombers then destroyed those defenses. On top of that, Thor is currently picking off the droid troops I have stationed on the western end of the city, near the Republic invasion force.”
Dooku inquired, in a firm tone of voice, “Are you able to hold the planet? Or not?”
Loathsom answered, “It depends on if they buy the feign attack I am implementing right now. I have most of my droid forces under camouflage from air reconnaissance. I am sending out a small portion of my force to attack the Republic forces. They should be engaging the Republic forces in fifteen minutes.”
“I am going to sacrifice those droids in the hopes to lure the Republic forces into a false sense of belief that they have defeated me. If that happens, they may send their ships away from resupplies. Their supply lines are further than ours, they will not waste a chance to do so.”
“If they do not fall for this ruse, then when the Separatists ships get here, they can either destroy, or force those two Star Destroyers in orbit to flee.”
“Fortunately, long range sensors show the Republic are keeping their Star Destroyers away from the planet. They will not have enough time to react to my second attack. So, even if the ship are still in orbit they will not be a factor in this coming battle on the ground. And my attack with be swift and brutal. I intend to hit the Republic force hard and crush them. Then, I will hunker down until reinforcements arrive...”
Loathsom continued, in a slight doubtful tone of voice, “If the ships arrive?”
Dooku stated, “Presently, Separatist forces are taking heavy fighting in orbit over Arkanis. But, we sent three Separatist cruisers to aid you. They will be there within an hour and a half.”
Loathsom replied, in a straightforward tone of voice, “Good.” He thought, 'At least I will not have to worry about the Star Destroyers aiding their ground forces.'
Dooku questioned, “How do you plan to handle the Republic forces on the surface?”
Loathsom answered, “My droid army outnumbers their forces four to one. Though, my forces are infantry droids, heavy assault droids, and armor vehicles. They have artillery cannons, while I do not. With their heavy artillery cannons I cannot stop them from entrenching themselves. And while an air assault would the logical choice, I am glad I did not plan to attack with an air assault, with Thor here that would have been useless. But, I am working on a countermeasures for their artillery.”
Dooku asked, “That being?”
Loathsom stated, “I have a few plans in motion. But, the main plan is use of a mobile shield system. The shield system should also work against weather attacks, such as the weather assaults Thor is so well known to use.”
Dooku said, “This prove useful for your countermeasure. And what of Thor?”
Loathsom responded, “I was just getting that. I have something in mind. It may not permanently take her out, but it will put her out of the battle for a little while.”
Dooku replied, “I look forward to seeing that.”
Loath stated, “So will I. Once Thor and the artillery are no longer factors to worry about, my droid forces can overwhelm their position. I will see to the victory in person, since I will be commanding from a hover tank, in the rear of our armored cavalry.”
Dokku questioned, “Is that wise?”
Loathsom admitted, “No. But, I prefer being blown away than to being buried alive. Even if our cruises cannot handle the Star Destroyers. Their attack will by me time to overrun their ground forces here. And I can use the surviving prisoners as bargaining chips to keep the Star Destroyers from destroying our forces down here until further reinforcements arrive.”
Dokku complimented, “For what it is worth, I admire your boldness.”
Loathsom said, “Thank you. Now, let us hope that fortune truly does favor the bold.”
Dooku replied, “May the force be with you.”
Dooku then shut down the communications on his end, with his hologram disappearing.
Loathsom turned and he began heading the doorway to a hallway which would lead to his nearby hover tank forces in an underground hangar. The underground hangar had a ramp which opened to the surface of the crystal city.
As Loathsom walked towards the doorway to the hallway, he thought, I am not looking forward to this coming battle because my chances for victory are very slim.'
Twenty minutes later, on the northwestern side of Crystal City, Thor held Mjolnir in her right hand, she used the hammer to fly below the tops of skyscrapers. She wanted to stay below the skyscrapers, and fly between the buildings, so she would not be spotted at a long distance.
Thor maintained the cloud cover, but she kept the clouds from being so dark that they blotted out the sky, which would have made it hard to for those on the surface to see their surroundings. Such a trick would only harm those without technology to see in the dark. Such as any civilians whom had not been able to evacuate the city.
Meanwhile, the Jedi had the force, the troopers had night-vision equipment in in their helmet, or the eyes of a droid could see in the dark.
As such, there was no point in using the clouds to make it dark. But, she had enough cloud cover that she could summon lightning from the sky, if she desired to do so.
Currently, she was patrolling the western end of Crystal City, near the Republic base, as she took out several small squads of battle droids, which were stationed at various chock points.
Fortunately, with her enhanced sight, and powers, this was not difficult. Most of the time, Thor used the hammer to fire lightning to droid the droids, but Thor sometimes used lightning from the storm above the city.
The blaster firing from the battle droids were useless against her.
Thor had just taken care of another pocket of battle droids hidden under the awning, in an ambush position. But, with Thor's enhanced sight, she immediately spotted them.
As turned a corner to her right, and flew down another street, she thought, 'That is another group taken care of. And every droid I take out, is one less droid that can kill someone. Though, the droideka droids are annoying. Given their energy shields, I sometimes have to hit them a few times with lightning. Instead of just once. I am starting to see why the Jedi have a particular dislike for that type of droid.'
Then, a thought occurred to Thor, as she continued her mental reflection, 'Though, I wonder. Droids do have emotions? I have spent years being served by C3-PO. That droid is more high-strung than anyone else I know in the galaxy. One would have to be sentient to be that neurotic. There is no other explanation.'
'But, does that make it immoral to destroy droids, as well... Hmm... Perhaps regular droids. But, not droids that are built for battle. Especially, those droids one meets on a battlefield, whom have weapons and are programmed to kill people.'
'Though, I suppose if an assassin droid renounced violence and took up another vocation, I would allow that droid to live, in the hopes it would serve as an example to other killer droids to do the same.'
Thor attention was then brought back to the forefront, as from under her helmet, Thor heard Obiwan's voice from the comlink on her right ear. Obiwan said, “Thor. We have a large droid assault force coming towards the eastern side of our base camp. We could use your help.”
Thor replied, “Thy is heading that way.”
Thor then turned towards the Republic base, which was south of her location. She flew towards where her friends and allies were.
A few minutes later, Thor reached the Republic base from the north side of the encampment. As Thor flew she saw that waves of droids were attacking the eastern side of the base. Though, the droids had yet to break through the front line of the Republic forces.
The eastern side of the Republic base was set in the middle of a very wide highway.
The droids marched down the highway towards the eastern front line of the Republic base.
Most of the droids were either the skinny B1 battle droids with blaster rifles, or the larger, brutish B2 battle droids with blaster cannons in their right forearms.
Thor saw Anakin and Obiwan were behind the front line, near each other. Both of them were directing the defense of the base. They both had their lightsabers ignited and in their hands. Anakin with his new green blade lightsaber. Obiwan had his new blue blade lightsaber.
The clone troops defending the base camp were giving a good showing, as they fired from the front line cover they had created from storage crates and wreckage they had pulled from the nearby area.
Thor could see that the Republic troops were still on the final stages of setting up their artillery cannons.
Thor thought, 'Once those cannons are online this will not be a problem. But, for right now they could use some help.'
Thor turned to her left, as she charged from the sky towards the droids. She called forth a large gust of wind to blow passed the Republic front line and hit the front rows of battle droids. The droids were mostly skinny tan painted B1 droids ,which were knocked on their backs by the gust of wind. Though, there were a handful of bulkier, dull silver and black painted B2 battle droids mixed in with the B1 droids, and the B2 droids were hardy enough not to be knocked down by the wind.
Nevertheless, Thor followed up her wind attack up by using the hammer to send for lightning that rake across the front rows of battle droids which had been knocked down by the wind. The electrical attack destroyed those B1 battle droids.
Thor saw her lightning attack had not destroyed the handful of B2 battle droids in the group due to the B2 battle droids having heavier armor.
Though, Thor saw blaster fire from the clones troopers' blaster rifles and their Republic walkers directed at the B2 battle droids.
Thor noticed one of the foolish clone soldier had jumped over that firing line to in hand to hand combat.
The physical attacked were useless against the droid. And in response, the B2 gripped the clone with its left hand by the clone's throat. The droids readied to bring its right hand down in a killing blow.
Thor thought, 'Fool.'
Thor immediately flew down, as she brought her hammer down with both hands, with the axe end facing forward.
Thor used the hammer to slice through the B2 droid holding the clone trooper, from the top of the head to the bottom of the crotch.
The destroyed droid let go of the clone without harming the trooper. A second later, the droids fell to the ground in to pieces.
As Thor's feet hit the ground, she looked over at the clone. She saw the clone standing, with the clone's helmet turned in her direction.
Thor ordered, in a barking tone of voice, that was more out of annoyance than anger, “Get back over to the other side of the firing line!”
The clone realized he was lucky to be alive. He replied, “Yes ma'am.” He then turned and ran back to the other side of the firing line.
Thor looked around and she saw that the clones had handed the rest of the droid that had gotten in close to the front line.
Thor then surveyed the battlefield. She saw throughout the battlefield there were about twenty battle droids left.
Thor let go of the hammer with her left hand, while still holding the hammer with her right hand. She then flew up, to take care of stragglers on the far north side of the battlefield, near a building.
As Thor flew, she though, 'I will work my way back towards the Republic front line. This will prevent me from getting in the way of the clone troops firing on the nearer battle droids.'
When Thor reached the other end of battlefield, on the north side, she circle around, with her facing the Republic front lines. As she flew, she fired a bolt of lightning from the hammer which destroyed the droids below her.
Then suddenly, Thor felt something hit her in the back. It felt like an explosion on her back which knocked on the ground. As Thor hit the ground on her stomach, she let go of the hammer.
The hammer at on its side by Thor's right side.
Those at the Republic front line saw this, including Obiwan and Anakin. And they saw the shot had come the heavy laser cannon of a hovering Separatist armored assault tank, which had poked itself from around the corner of a street, three buildings down, to their right, on the south side of the battlefield.
Obiwan knew what was going to happen next. He turned to Anakin, as he said, “Anakin, wait.”
But, before the words had come out of Obiwan's mouth, Anakin had already jumped over the small wall of cargo containers.
Anakin held his ignited green bladed lightsaber at the ready in his right hand, as he ran towards Thor on the other side of the battlefield.
Obiwan turned to the clone troopers near him. He ordered, “Give cover Anakin and Thor!”
The clone troopers on the firing line heard the order and rely it, while they complied with the order.
A few seconds later, the troopers began giving cover fire for both Anakin and Thor. The troopers fired on the battle droids and Separatist vehicles on the battlefield. Though, they were careful not to hit either of the allies they were defending.
Meanwhile, as the clone troopers gave Anakin cover fire, Anakin used the bottom of his ignited lightsaber hilt to hit the button on his left glove, on his forearm, to turn on the communicator.
Anakin held his left, forearm to his mouth, while he used the lightsaber in his right hand, to slice through battle droids, as he passed by them, on his way to check on Thor.
Also, Anakin used the force to inform him of when he needed to deflect the blaster shots around him.
Anakin sliced through one of the battle droids, as he asked into the communicator, “Are the heavy cannons online?”
On the other end of the communication, Anakin heard a clone trooper answered, “Yes sir. We just got finished checking them out. They are ready to go.”
Anakin used the force and his lightsaber to deflect the blaster shots of the skinny B1 battle droid's blaster fire, as he approached the B1 battle droid in question. He did this, as he ordered, “Good. I want you to focus on hitting a Separatist hover tank three building down from the firing line, to your south. I am on the north side of the same street from the target area. Do not miss.”
A second later, Anakin reached the B1 droid. He sliced the droid in two as he continued running.
Meanwhile some of the clone trooper's blaster fire took out some of the battle droids around Anakin, without hitting Anakin, as the Anakin continued running towards Thor.
On the other communication, Anakin heard the clone reply, “Yes sir.”
A few seconds later, Anakin heard the heavy artillery cannons fire and hit the hover tank that had shot Thor, from across the battlefield from him.
A second later, Anakin heard the explosion that destroyed tank.
But, Anakin did not look in that direction. Instead, He was focused on Thor's welfare.
Just then, Anakin had reached Thor.
Anakin use deactivated his lightsaber. After which, he used the bottom of hilt of his lightsaber to turn off his communicator.
Next, Anakin looked down at Thor, laying on the ground, with concern showing on his face.
Anakin saw that Thor was on her stomach, with her hammer by her right side.
Anakin saw where the shot had hit.
Fortunately, the blast hit Thor dark blue upper back armor, right above up the below the right shoulder blade, right above where the black scabbard of the sheathed Black Solace ran diagonally along her back. The dark blue armor was cracked and slightly scorched black. But, the armor was still in one piece.
Anakin stated, in a worried tone of voice, “Padme. Speak me.”
Thor turned over, and Anakin saw that Thor's eyes were open, as she looked back at him.
Then, Thor used her left hand to reach out and gripped the hammer by the shaft.
Anakin saw flashing of light, as he heard thundering booms behind him, by over a hundred meters away.
Anakin turned around to see the smoldering ruins of a few hover tanks that had just come around a corner, from the left side of the street, on the northeast side, across from the hover tank that had hit Thor.
Anakin looked over towards Thor, as he cracked a grin. He said, “I will take that as a, yes.”
Thor asked, “What hit thee?”
Anakin responded, “It was a heavy laser cannon from an assault tank. It is likely the only thing that tank had that could hurt you. Are you okay?”
Thor said, “Thy is sore. But, thy will be okay.”
Anakin replied, with relief evident in his tone of voice, “Good.”
Thor stood up. She swapped hands to hold the hammer in her right hand.
Thor saw behind Anakin the next wave of battle droids turn a corner and head towards them. The droids were almost within firing range of them. Most of formations were composed of skinny B1 battle droids, with a few dozen brutish super B2 battle droids. There were also a three giant large three-legged droids, with a small torso attached to a large ball on top which towered over the other droids, beneath them.
These three-legged droids were octuptarra magna tri-droids.
The three large tri-droids were in a triangle formation within the droid forces. Two in the front, and one in the rear.
Thor held up Mjolnir. She walked passed Anakin, to Anakin's left side, as she stated, “Jedi Skywalker. Cover thee.”
Anakin turned to fact Padme, as she walked passed him. He watched as Thor briskly moved passed him and towards the droids.
While slightly confused, Anakin asked, “Aren't you suppose to cover me?” Anakin ignited his green blade lightsaber in his right hand.
By then, Thor started running in a blur towards wave of battle droids.
When Thor was about to reach the wave, she jumped towards the large three-legged tri-droid to her right, as she threw the hammer at the large three-legged tri-droid to her left. This throw caused her right arm to be across the front of her chest.
As Thor reached the apex of her jump, with her falling right in front of the large droid, her right hand was still across her chest. Her right was already reaching to grip the hilt of Black Solace from behind her left shoulder. After she gripped the hilt with her right hand, she drew the Black Solace vibro-katana. She then used her right thumb to flip the switch on the back top of the hilt to turn on the blade.
While Thor fell, with one hand, she brought her blade down the front of the large ball of the droid, almost cutting it have.
At the same time, the hammer flew into the ball of the large three-legged tri-droid through the ball section of its body. As the hammer flew threw the ball, it called the tri-droid's head to explode, and the droid to collapse.
When Thor's feet hit the ground, she immediately used a gust of wind to knock the droid she had almost cut in half, on it back, away from her. With the damage and the fall causing the droid to explode.
Thor then used a gust of wind to knock the droids to her left, onto the ground. After which, Thor turned to her right, and she used the Black Solace in her right hand to swiftly cut down as many droids as possible.
Meanwhile, Mjolnir was still in the air, guided by Thor's thoughts and desires, curved to its right, and went through the ball head of the large three-legged tri-droid, causing the droid to explode.
The hammer then flew to Thor, with its shaft landing in Thor's left hand, at the bottom end of the shaft, at the angle Thor wanted.
Thor gripped the hammer's with her left hand, with the axe head side of the hammer facing forward. This allowed Thor to use the hammer as an axe in her left hand, while she used her sword in her right hand.
A moment later, Thor used her super-strength, super-speed, and super-reflexes, along with her training and increasing battle experience, to cut into the droids as swiftly and brutally as possible.
Thor held the bottom part of the shaft to allow for a longer reach and more powerful blows with her hammer. And while the axe head of the hammer did not cut as sharply as the Black Solace, it was very sharp and effective, even against the battle armor the droids' exteriors were made of.
While Thor was able to dodge a lot of incoming fire. And she used her weapons to deflect several of the blaster shots. She was not worried, because standard blaster rifles and pistols did not harm it. And the incoming first did was when it hit her, or her armor, it stun a little. But, each blaster shot bled off her body as quickly as it hit, in the form of small electrical arcs being created where she was shot.
Thor also noticed that a number of droids around were being shot by blaster fire coming from the Republic firing line.
At that moment, Anakin reached the wave of droids. He ran towards Thor and the droids, as he used the force to warn him when to use his lightsaber to deflect the occasional stray blaster shot from both the droids and the Republic troopers.
But, Anakin could clearly see the droids were solely focused on Thor as Thor literally tore through them.
Anakin noticed that the droids to his left, the droids that Thor had used her wind powers to knock down, were getting back up.
In the middle of combat, Anakin saw Thor notice the droids get up. Thor quickly used the hammer to fire lightning at the droids in the distance. The electricity raked across the droids getting back up, destroying them, without the lightning hitting Anakin.
Anakin watched as Thor went back to focusing on the droids closer to herself.
As Anakin approached the battle, he thought, 'By the time I reach Thor there will be almost no droids left. Not that I am complaining.'
Further way, behind Anakin, right behind the Republic front lines, Obiwan was watching what had happened between Thor and Anakin in the battle.
Obiwan had his ignited blue bladed lightsaber in his right hand.
Obiwan thought, with concern, 'Anakin is reckless to go check on Thor, at the end of this first wave of droids. And while I am happy that Padme is alright. So far. Once Padme got up she then acted in an even more recklessly manner against this next wave of droids, with Anakin following right behind her.'
'And their attacks are so aggressive... This is not the first time I have seen this in our battles. Though, both Anakin and Padme have proven themselves able. So, I do not say much on the matter. Instead, I use our time away from battle, through their training, to subtly guide them on a more calmer path. Still, I will have to speak to Anakin about running head long into danger without a proper plan.'
Over the next few minutes, Obiwan watched as Anakin reached Thor. The two of them worked to destroyed the rest of the battle droids in the second wave with minimum help from the Republic force.
With the battle over, Obiwan saw Thor and Anakin walk up to stand next to each other, as they talked. hands.
Obiwan thought, with relief, 'At least the battle is over for now.' He deactivated his lightsaber, but he kept his weapon in his right hand.
At that moment, on the other end of the battlefield, east of the Republic base, Thor and Anakin stood next to each other.
Thor had her Black Solace in her right hand, and the hammer in her left hand.
Anakin held the hilt of his ignited green lightsaber blade in his right hand.
Both lovers looked at each other.
Anakin asked, “So are you going to be okay?”
Thor answered, “While thy's upper right back is sore, thy will be okay.” She then carefully used her right hand to turn off the switch to the vibro-katana, and sheath the Black Solace into its scabbard behind her left shoulder. Next, Thor swapped hands to hold the hammer in her right hand at her right side.
Anakin complimented, “By the way, your swordsmanship is getting better.”
Thor said, “Thank you. Thou and Obiwan are good teachers.” She turned to look at the Republic base. She saw Obiwan looking at them. She stated, “Thou needs to return to base, while thee does some reconnaissance. Thy wants to see what is going on in the east”
Anakin guessed, “How bad is it with Obiwan?”
Thor continued looking at Obiwan, as she answered, “He is giving that usual disappointed and annoyed look he sometimes get when we do something he believes is foolish.”
Anakin suggested, “I expected as much. Why not I go on reconnaissance and you handle Obiwan? You are better with people than I am.”
Thor turned to Anakin. She responded, “True. But right now thy can fly and thou currently cannot.” She smiled mischievously, as she continued, “Next time, thou can bring thine starfighter with thee. And thee can do the reconnaissance with thy.”
Anakin let out a small laugh. He returned Thor's smile. He said, “I just may do that. We do have scouts for reconnaissance. And I would like a medic to check you out.”
Thor stated, “Thy will be okay for right now. And we now have a lull in the battle. Thy wants to see what we might soon be facing. Besides, thy has better eyes than the clone scouts, even with their binoculars.”
Anakin conceded, “Good point.”
Thor said, “Thy will check in with thee in little while.”
Anakin stated, “Okay. Just watch your back. And don't get shot again like that.”
Thor replied, “Thy will try not too.”
Anakin said, “Good luck.”
Thor stated, “Thy wishes the same for thou.”
Thor used her hammer to fly up towards the eastern sections of Crystal City.
Anakin watched Thor fly away, as he deactivated his lightsaber. Once Thor turned a corner on a building, and Thor was out of sight, Anakin turned and headed back to the eastern front line of the Republic base camp.
While Anakin had turned off his weapon, he kept it in his right hand, in case he needed it at a moments notice.
Anakin looked around him, as he walked to the Republic front line. He surveyed the wreckage near him, as he thought, 'Padme can really lay down the pain when she wants to. I am glad she is a good person deep down. Or, we would be in some real trouble. Still, that blast hurt her. She may not admit it, but she is not unstoppable. And while she recovered fairly quickly from that hit, that blast was a reminder for her to be more careful. I worry about her. I am sure she worries about me, as well. I am believe when she gets a chance, she will have a medic check her body to make sure she is okay, and that there are no internal injuries.'
A minute later, Anakin made it to the eastern front lines of the Republic base camp.
Anakin walked between two rows of stacked, small, metal, crate boxes and other items the clone troops had used to make the front lines with. As Anakin did so, he holstered his deactivated lightsaber on the left side of his belt.
Just after Anakin passed by the front lines, he saw that Obiwan was had walked up to him, to his left side.
Anakin saw that Obiwan had his deactivated his lightsaber and strapped it to the left side of his belt.
Obiwan stood a meter from Anakin.
Anakin came to a stop. He turned to face his teacher. Before Obiwan could speak, Anakin stated, “Yes. No. Yes. No.”
Obiwan was mildly confused by Anakin's comment. He asked, “What do you mean?”
Anakin admitted, “Yes. It was reckless. No. I had no intention of disrespecting your authority. Yes. I would do it again. No. You could stop me even if you wanted to.”
Obiwan was mildly surprised by Anakin's responses. He thought, 'I am beginning to think that Anakin and Padme are spending way too much time with each other. They are both rubbing off on each other in interesting ways.”
Obiwan was not sure how to respond, as he said, “Well... Now... At least we are on the same page.”
Anakin casually said, “Good. I am glad we had this chat.”
Just as Anakin was able to turn and walked further away and towards some nearby Republic soldiers, Obiwan quickly stated, “Hold up a second. We still need to figure out what our next move is.”
Anakin came to a quick stop. Anakin turned to Obiwan. Anakin commented, “We wait a few minutes for Thor and the scouts to report their findings. Then, we plan our next move.”
Obiwan was impressed with Anakin's response. Obiwan's reaction showed on the expression on his face. Obiwan asked, “When did you become such a skilled strategist?”
Anakin answered, “When I became a teacher.”
Obiwan thought, 'It was clearly a wise decision on the part of the council, and myself, to allow you to teach Padme.' He said, “Okay. We will do as you suggested.”
Anakin replied, “I'm glad we agree.” He then turned to look at the Republic soldiers nearby. Most of them appeared fine. Though, there was some were wounded, and a few were dead.
Anakin stated, “Let us check on our troops.”
Obiwan turned to look at the Republic soldiers. He agreed, “That is a good idea.”
Anakin and Obiwan then went to check on their subordinates.
During the next twenty minutes, Obiwan and Anakin had finished checking on their soldiers. This including making sure the wounded go medical treatment, the dead were cleared, and those unharmed were ready to fight, with their weapons fully reloaded and checked out.
Some of those being medically treated were placed on beds located inside of some of the large, empty supply creates.
Obiwan and Anakin left the injured in the hands of the clone medics, and they had moved further into the Republic base, as they stood around a large circular holo-monitor, that the clone troopers had put in place. Which they had pulled out from one of the crates that was set down during the invasion.
Obiwan turned to Anakin. He said, “At least the wounded and dead are not as many as expected.”
Anakin looked at Obiwan. He responded, “True. And we are fortunate for that. Let us try to prevent any more unnecessary loses. I believe Thor might have already finished her reconnaissance.”
Obiwan stated, “I agree. We might want to check on Thor to see what she has found.”
Anakin replied, “I'll call her.” He held up the back of his left glove close to his face. He used his right hand to tap a button on the comlink located on back of his left glove. He stated into the comlink, “General Thor. This is General Skywalker. Please check in?”
Over the comlink, both Anakin and Obiwan heard Thor's voice say, “This is Thor. Thy has much to report.”
Anakin requested, “Start from the beginning.”
Thor stated, “Thou is scouting from the edge of the western side of the city towards the central sections of the city. Thy is seeing a lot of odd activity in the location.”
Obiwan asked, “Such as?”
Thor answered Obiwan. Her answer make Obiwan feel grim.
At the moment, Thor was using the hammer to float in place, by a building to her left side, right below the roof line.
Below her, she saw the main highway leading from the central section of the city to the western side of the city.
In the distance, with her enhanced sight Thor saw between the high buildings. There were pitched tents in the streets. The tents were camouflaged to look like the street itself.
Thor thought, 'From the profiles of the tents, I could make an educated guess as to what is under them.'
Through her communicator, Thor answered,“There is a lot of camouflage tents that blend in with the streets between the buildings. Thy thinks the Separatists attack was a feign and they are getting ready for another attack.”
Over the communications, Anakin commented, “I thought we might have broken the back of their forces.”
Thor said, “From what thy sees, they believes that would be an unwise assessment of the situation.”
With their communications, Obiwan stated, “I agree. And they were probably planning us to believe we had broken them. Only for them to hit us harder when we least expect it. Instead, we will warn the Admiral to be ready for a possible attack on the ground, and for the Negotiator and Resolute to be ready for a possible space ambush. General Thor. I want you to return to base. We may need you.”
Thor replied, “Will do. See you in a few minutes.”
Obiwan stated, “When you get back. I want a medic to check you out. You took a nasty shot from that laser cannon. Also, we will need you if the droid forces we already faced are a taste of what is come.”
Thor commented, “Okay. Thy is coming. Though, thy is feeling fine. Still, before thy left the battlefield, thy noticed that there few injured among our troops. After those has been cared for. When the medics have a chance. Then, thy will summit to a scan.'
Obiwan replied, “That will be fine.”
Thor thought, 'I will do a circle around to the northwest. To patrol that area one more time. Then, I will come into the base from the north.'
Thor turned around and headed back to the northwest, in a planned arc around the northwestern end of the western part of Chaleydonia before she returned to the Republic base.
Back at the Republic base, Obiwan and Anakin were by the holo-screen. Obiwan was at the controls of the holo-screen to contact Admiral Yularen on the Star Destroyer, Resolute.
A few seconds, a three dimensional life-sized representation of the upper body of Admiral Wullf Yularen, in his officer's uniform, appeared on the holo-screen, facing Obiwan and Anakin.
Admiral Wullf Yularen asked, “General Kenobi. General Skywalker. How can I be of service?”
Obiwan stated, “Admiral Yularen. We just repelled some battle droids. But, we believe it was a feign to lull us into thinking that victory was near. We believe they intend to attack us down here with a larger force in the near future. And when they do so, they may also attack you up there. I want you to be ready for a possible attack from Separatists forces coming from hyperspace.”
Admiral Yularen responded, “I already have both ships at the ready. Our weapons charged and shield ready to go up at a moments notice. In addition, two squadrons each on standby. And other squadrons that can be ready within less than a minute.”
Obiwan replied, “That will be fine. Please, keep us appraised of the situation in orbit.”
Admiral Yularen said, “Sir. I will do so. Admiral Yularen out.”
Then, Admiral Yularen cut off communications.
Obiwan and Anakin looked at each other.
Anakin commented, “I guess, now we wait.”
Obiwan replied, “I guess so.”
Meanwhile, further within the Republic base camp, on the western side, R2 and C3-PO were walking near the artillery.
R2 kept out of the way. But, for some reason that the small blue and white droid could not figure out, his annoying gold plated friend wished to bother the clone troopers. And R2 was trying to convince his friend not to do.
In truth, R2 was more worried that the clone troopers might decide to destroy both it and C3-PO. With the clones chalking it up to just destroying two more droids in the line of duty. Though, the droid doubted that its friend, C3-PO, realized this.
R2 whistled and beeped a question for C3-PO
C3-PO replied, “Not now, R2. I have an important message to give to the soldiers.”
C3-PO then turned and started walking towards one of the clone troops assigned to the artillery.
R2 decided to back away, just in case the meeting went badly.
As C3-PO approached the clones near the heavy cannons, it said, “Excuse me. But, I need to talk to someone.”
The clone troopers assigned to the artillery were wearing their white armor and helmets.
One of the near clone troopers stopped what he was doing, and he turned to the droids. He asked, “What do you want?
C3-PO came to a stop in front of the clone that had asked it the question. The droid said, “I have been trying to inform someone here. I have been detecting communication from the Separatists. I believe from the communications state they are about to try to flank us from the south.”
The other nearby clone troopers heard what the protocol droid was saying. They suddenly stopped what they were doing to hear what the gold plated droid has said.
The clone trooper whom spoke to the gold plated droid inquired, “You can decrypt separatist communications?”
C3-PO said, “I am fluent in over six million forms of communication.”
The clone trooper flatly asked, “Are you able to decrypt the separatist communications? Or not?”
C3-PO said, “Yes. I can decrypt some of the short-range communications. But, I cannot decrypt the long range command and communication protocols.”
The clone turned to his superior officer, Commander Cody, whom was standing nearby. Cody was wearing his full white and yellow armor and helmet. Cody had been silently listening to what C3-Po said.
Cody look over at the protocol droid.
Cody turned to the south, which was to their right side. He used the binocular function in his helmet, which was hooked to the interior video screen of his helmet.
Cody saw a group of ten B2 battle droids making their way down an access road, along a pipe-line.
Cody continued to look at the droids in the distance. The binocular function in his helmet gauged the distance. The display on the interior helmet told him how far the squad of battle droids were.
Cody stated, “The gold-bug is right. I see them. Ten battle droids. It would have been bad if the gold droid had we not spotted them. Turn the artillery batteries by a hundred of twenty degrees to the right. Aim for two kilometers, a hundred and twenty four meters. And get ready to fire.”
At the moment, Anakin and Obiwan were standing by the holo-screen,
Anakin was beginning to worry. His used his right hand to pressed the communication on his forearm part of his left glove, as he requested, “Thor. Where are you?”
Over the communication, Thor replied, “Thy can see thee right now. Thy is coming in from the north.”
Anakin and Obiwan turned to the north of them to see Thor in the flying towards them in the sky, below the skyline of the buildings.
Anakin replied, “I can see you, as well.” He then turned off his communications.
A few seconds later, Thor landed by them, near the holo-screen. Thor turned to her two friends.
Obiwan and Anakin turned to Thor. Obiwan asked, “How are you doing?”
Thor replied, “Good.”
Anakin offered, “I will get a medic to check you over, in a minute.”
Thor said, in a slightly annoyed tone of voice, “Thy said thy was fine. But, if that is what thou wants, thy will do so.”
Obiwan commented, “Doing so will alleviate our concerns.”
Thor replied, “Okay.”
It was then, they heard the artillery cannons, on the western side of the base camp, start to fire.
All three turned to see, in the distance, the Republic artillery cannons firing to their left, towards a southern direction.
Obiwan asked, “What are they doing now?”
Thor asked, “Thee would prefer to know why?”
Anakin commented, “Whatever their reasons. It better be good.”
A few seconds later, the artillery barrage ended.
Obiwan pushed a button with his right hand on the comlink on the outside part of his left forearm gauntlet. He ordered, in a firm, even tone of voice, “Commander Cody? Why did you fire your cannons?”
Over the communication lines, Obiwan, Anakin, and Thor heard the Cody said, “General Kenobi. We were just taking care of some battle droids we noticed were about to flank us from the south.”
Obiwan inquired, “And how did you know?”
Cody responded, “It seems that the gold protocol droid has some decrypting skills.”
Obiwan responded, with curiosity in his tone of voice, “Really. That is interesting.”
Anakin said, “It looks like we found a use for C3-PO.”
Thor stopped herself from giggling.
Something occurred to Anakin. He asked, “Is R2 with the C3-PO? The blue and white astromech droid?”
Cody heard the question though Obiwan's nearby comlink. Cody answered, “Yes. General Skywalker.”
Anakin turned to look at Obiwan, with Obiwan looking back at him.
Anakin said, “Keep those two droids with you. We will sort this out later. And good job.”
Cody replied, “Thank you, General Skywalker.”
Obiwan requested, “Commander. Keep us updated on the situation. And keep an eye out for other Separatists forces. I feel the Separatists are not done with their attacks on our base camp.”
Cody said, “Yes sir.”
Obiwan used his right hand to turned off the comlink in his left gauntlet.
Obiwan looked over at his two friends. He said, “That went well.”
Anakin and Thor turned to Obiwan.
Anakin stated, “After the battle. I will check on the droids. And doubt C3-PO can do much. But, it is nice that he can do something to aid us.”
Thor stated, “Thy agrees. Still, it is nice to have some use from that droid, while on the front.”
Anakin replied, “Yes. It will be nice to have him do something useful for these missions.”
Obiwan commented, “Though. If Thor here is correct. We are likely going to face another assault by the Separatists in a few minutes. So let us get ready.”
Meanwhile, by the artillery cannons, Cody had just finished his report.
Everyone nearby, including the droids, had silently listened to the conversation.
C3-PO turned to Cody. The gold plated droid asked, “What does this mean?”
Cody turned to the protocol droid. Cody answered, “It means that you bucket of bolts get to stay around for a little while longer. You and the astromech droid are ordered to stay here for the time being.” He turned to R2, as he inquired, “You hear that?”
R2 wheeled a few meters towards the captain's direction, as it beeped an affirmative.
Cody replied, “Good.”
Twenty minutes later, three Separatists cruisers came out of hyperspace in orbit of Christophsis.
Though, the Star Destroyers Resolute and Negotiator, along with their starfighter squadrons were ready for the ambush.
The Star Destroyers swiftly deployed their fighter squadrons and raised their shields. The starfighters took point while the Star Destroyers followed their starfighter squadrons in an attack run on the Separatist cruisers.
The Separatist cruises had expected the Star Destroyers to be in a standard orbit over Christopher, and not a high orbit. As such, the Separatists were in the wrong location and position for their ambush.
Also, due Republic space forces being ready, they were able to get the jump on the Separatist cruiser.
The starfighters used their photon torpedoes, while Star Destroyers the Separatist cruisers with their turbo-lasers.
The Resolute, Negotiator, and Republic starfighters hit three Separatist ships hard before the Separatists had fully deployed their down star fighter squadrons and raised their shields.
These important first few minutes determined the outcome of the battle.
Within ten minutes from the start of the fight, the battle was over. The Separatist cruisers were cripple, the starfighter droid squadrons the Separatists had been able to deploy before they were forced to raise their shields has been destroyed. And the Separatist cruises were forced to escape into hyperspace.
Admiral Yularen doing an assessment of the damage and causalities.
The two Star Destroyers did not suffer any damage nor causalities due to their shields holding. And there were only a handful of starfighter pilots whom had been killed when their starfighter had been destroyed.
Admiral Yularen then began to formulated a report for the victorious route his forces had just accomplished in space. He would then contact General Kenobi and General Skywalker with a report of the incident.
On the ground, in the central area of the Crystal City, under the camouflage tent, on the street, the Separatists droid forces were getting ready to attack.
In the center of the hover tank formation, surrounded by various types of battle droids on all sides, General Loathsom was sitting within the top part of the center armored hover tank
The blue skinned kerkoidian had just gotten some bad news from various sources. Both from his droid forces on the ground, and the Separatists forces that just retreated in hyperspace.
The news was relay using the holo-monitor by a small droid which held out a small disc in its hands that was a holo-monitor.
Loathsom had just turned off the holo-comm. The small droid then moved elsewhere in the tank.
Loathsom cursed, “Blast it.”
Loathsom thought, with concern, 'I was just informed with the news that my feign had not work. Nor, did my flanking attempt. And how the Separatist cruisers have been repelled. Though, I will admit that flanking attempt was a long shot. But, those three Separatist cruisers should have at least kept their space forces busy for a few hours.'
'Also, I have reports of Thor being spot flying between the buildings of the western section of the city. So my plan to take out Thor has fizzled. I thought a shot from a heavy laser canon would at least knocked her out of the battle for a while. I was wrong.'
'Also, I do not dare pop my head out of this tank. Even under this canopy. Because Thor might see me and try to make a quick attack from me.'
'I might as well try my plan. It will at least vex the Republic forces. And I will at least be facing them on my terms. Instead of the other way around.'
Loathsom turned to his droid pilot in front and below him, at the helm of the hover tank. He ordered, “Relay orders to begin the assault. And inform the droid army I wish to take prisoners. Only kill those that fight. And accept the surrender of those that request surrender.”
Loathsom thought, 'One of the reasons I had the civilian evacuate is the Republic truly do not care for their lives. And should I win, when the civilians return they will see the mess the Republic create. This will strengthen their resolve in seeing the Confederacy of Independent Systems are the side of righteousness and the Galactic Republic are the side of evil...'
Loathsom sighed, a she continued his thought, 'That is if I win... Still, win or lose. This is going to be a fight.'
The B1 battle droid pilot replied, “Roger. Roger.” The battle droid then relayed Loathsom's orders.
Meanwhile, at the Republic base, Anakin, Obiwan, and Thor were by the large, circular holo-monitor.
Anakin, Obiwan, and Thor were look above the holo-monitor, towards the three dimensional picture of Admiral Yularen.
Admiral Yularen was facing them, as he was giving his report on the battle in space, which had concluded a few minutes ago.
As this went on, one of the clone field medics was finally free to look over Thor. The medic had a small medical scanner in his right hand which he used on Thor by placing it close to Thor's upper right back, which was the location of where she had been shot by the laser cannon.
The medic wore his white and blue trooper armor and helmet. The medic was clone CT-6116. He was a member of the 501st battalion. He was nicknamed Kix.
Though, before Thor could have the check up, she had to remove her upper chest armor for the scans to work. To take the upper armor off, she first had to take off the scabbard for the Black Solace. The upper armor then came off by undoing the straps on the armor.
Presently, Thor stood in place, as the medic looked her over.
Thor's chest armor in Thor's right hand. The hammer was set to her right side, on the ground, on its head. And the scabbard with the sheathed of the Black Solace was set on the ground between her and the hammer.
Though, Thor did not take off her helmet, because she knew that out in the open she would be a prime target for a sniper.
Meanwhile, over the holo-comm, Admiral Yularen stated, “We are able to repel the Separatists with minimum casualties. The three Separatist cruisers forced to escape back into hyperspace.”
Obiwan said, “That is good to hear, Admiral. I want you to have the Negotiator and Resolute return to high orbit, and have your crews be on alert in case this the Separatists attack against from hyperspace.”
Admiral Yularen stated, “Yes General. I will leave you to your work. Admiral Yularen, out.” He then cut the communication on his end. His image disappeared from the holo-monitor.
A few seconds later, Kix removed his scanning device from Thor. He said, “The scan is over. You can put your armor back on.”
Thor has put her armor back on, as she replied, “It took thee long enough.”
Fortunately, Thor found the upper chest armor went easily in place and straps were easy to tighten to the point the armor would not move, without it being too tight. Next, Thor leaned down and picked up the scabbard of the sheathed Black Solace. She leaned up straight and placed the scabbard across her back, with the hilt of the Black Solace behind her left shoulder and the black strap of the scabbard being across her chest.
Thor turned to Kix. She asked, “What are the results?”
Kix looked up from his scanning device. He turned to Thor. He said, “General Thor. From the results I am seeing, you will be fine. Your armor took most of the blast. And you clearly recovered from the part of the energy hit you. I wish I knew what your armor was made of. We could use that for our armor.”
Thor stated, “Good. And if thy knew what it was made of, thy would share it with thy troops.”
Kix replied, “Thank you.”
Thor asked, “What is thou's name?”
Kix answered, “CT-6116. Everyone calls me Kix.”
Thor said, “Thy will keep this in mind.”
Obiwan and Anakin overheard the good news. Both of them turned to Thor.
Anakin said, “It is good you are going to be okay. Though, that was a nasty shot you took.”
Thor turned to Anakin. She commented, “The medic, Kix, here says thee shall be fine. Though, thy is still sore, but not as much as before.”
Obiwan requested, “Just watch your back.”
Thor turned to Obiwan. She said, “Thy will.”
Kix turned to Obiwan and Anakin. He requested, “Permission to resume duties elsewhere in the base.”
Obiwan turned to Kix. Obiwan said, “Granted.”
Kix turned and went to attend to the other members of the Republic military whom needed medical attention.
Suddenly, they heard a beeping from the holo-monitor, indicating there was transmission on the line.
Obiwan, Thor, and Anakin turned towards the holo-monitor.
Obiwan pressed a button on the holo-monitor. He said, “This is General Kenobi.”
The other end was audio only. And the voice was from a clone trooper. The trooper sounded anxious, as he stated, “General Kenobi. This is Captain Rex with scouting squad, four-nine-six. We have a urgent information to rely to you about the Separatists.”
Obiwan turned to Thor and Anakin. With Thor and Anakin looking back at him.
Obiwan stated, “Go ahead Captain Rex. Give your report.”
Over the audio, Rex reported, “The Separatists are on the move. In a big way. They have amassed a large force. They are heading down the highway bridging the central part of the city to the western section, where we are. And they are heading right for us. Sending holographic data right now.”
Suddenly, the holo-monitor showed the droid forces moving out from the central part of the city, on the highway, heading to the western part of the city. Though, the Separatist forces were moving slowly, and they had a ways to go before they reached the western section of the city.
The holo-monitor allowed for a detailed three dimensional look of the forces.
The Separatists forces were composed of formations of skinny B1 and brutish B2 battle droids, surrounding a group of armor hover tanks. There were droideka battle droids and large tri-driods mixed in with the groups.
Also, there was a repulsorlift in the center of the convoy moving a large electrical box, with the box being in the center of the hover tanks.
And over the entire group was a pink dome.
Obiwan said, “Okay. That is a lot of droids.”
Anakin commented, “They must have brought everything they have.”
Thor said, “Thy believes this reeks of desperation.”
Obiwan commented, “Yes. Of the worst sort. General Loathsom is going to throw everything he has at us in the hopes he wins. Chances are he is in one of those tanks. If I was the leader of the other side, given what I was facing, I would be in the center of that convoy.”
Anakin stated, “That many droids is going be difficult to handle, even with Thor and our heavy cannons.”
Thor noticed the pink dome. She asked, “What is this dome over them?”
Over the audio Rex heard Thor's question. Rex answered, “I was just getting to that. That is an energy shield coming from that is a mobile energy shield emitter that have with them, in the center of their convoy. Our artillery cannot penetrate that energy shield”
Anakin commented, with a bit of concern in his tone of voice, “There goes our cannons. I think we might be in trouble here. Though, from the look of it, that box has to be the shield emitter. And the enemies forces are carrying the shield emitter with them.”
Thor said, “They realize if it is left unguarded, thy could swoop in and take destroy it.”
Obiwan turned to Thor, as he asked, “Exactly. Thor can you take that out emitter?”
Thor turned to Obiwan. She answered, “No. This is too much firepower for thy to repel. Thou could not reach the emitter in time before they shot as thy to the point they would kill thee.”
Obiwan inquired, “You are right. That is too much firepower for you to take on. Though, what about a lightning shot?”
Thor said, “It would be the same as hitting it with an artillery shot.”
Obiwan stated, “I was afraid you were going to say that.” Obiwan turned to holo-comm. He requested, “Captain Rex. Keep up appraised of the situation.”
Over the audio, Rex replied, “Will do, sir.”
Obiwan pressed a couple of buttons to disconnect the communication, but keep the image of the Separatists forces on the three dimensional screen.
Anakin looked over at Thor. He asked, “Thor. I know that lightning is out of the question. But, do think you could just send a tornado to deal with the Separatists?”
Thor turned to Anakin. She answered, “No. Those types of shields are originally designed to handle weather. Thy wind, water, and even lightning will not work against them. The amounts required would damage that part of the city.”
Obiwan overheard Thor and Anakin's comments. He turned to his two friends. He said, “And we do not want that.”
Anakin turned to Obiwan. He asked, “What is the charge time for those shield emitters?
Obiwan looked over at Anakin, as he answered, “Usually around five hours. Maybe six. Even at the rate they are going, that is enough time to get here and pound us into the ground.”
Anakin inquired, “What about dropping a building on them? Shield or no shield. That would squish them like bugs. Even most of the tanks would not survive that.”
Obiwan pointed out, “While we are under orders not to do intentionally damage to the city. And we need to try to take General Loathsom alive. He is the only one that can order the droids to stand down. Without him there will be no one to order the droids to stop fighting. And we will have to literally fight every battle droid left on the planet.”
Anakin conceded, “That is a good point. How about we just call in Admiral Yularen to hit them with the Jedi cruisers' turbo-lasers? We already took out the Separatist air defenses on the ground.”
Obiwan stated, “While I doubt the Separatists have a functioning ion cannon or turbo-battery on the ground. I do not want to call in the Jedi cruisers just yet. We could still have more Separatists attack from hyperspace. And if we call in Yularen to come closer to the planet. We could find our Jedi Cruisers and this base camp in a pincer attack between Separatist ground forces and space forces.”
Anakin stated, “You're right. That could leave us in a bind.”
As Anakin and Obiwan talked, Thor looked over in the western direction the separatist were coming from. She saw the two buildings that had collapse to fall in each other, creating an archway over the highway the Separatists were using.
Thor continued to look at the archway, as she asked, “What if we trapped them by using a combination of our forces, and destroying what is already damaged?”
Obiwan and Anakin stopped talking. They turned to Thor.
Obiwan asked, “What do you have in mind?”
Thor turned to the two men. Thor smirked under her helmet. Thor asked, “Ever played hopscotch? Or, leapfrog?”
Anakin returned Thor's smile. Anakin said, “This I have to hear.”
Half an hour later, General Loathsom was in the center hover tank of his forces. They were out in the open on the highway.
Loathsom saw they would start to approach the western section of the city within the next few minutes.
Loathsom thought, 'While it is foolish to move out in the open, with this energy shield, we can do so with little worry. We are literally taking our cover with us. Like carrying a large strong box overhead. And we will soon be in firing range of the Republic artillery. Once we make it to their base, their artillery will no longer be a factor and the rest of the Republic forces will easily fall from our numerical superiority. Save for Thor. But, this shield also protects from her weather powers. And she cannot repel this amount of firepower.'
'I am willing to bet all the Republic ground forces from those to Star Destroyers, are already on the ground. And if I can out Thor, as well. Then, I can have my anti-aircraft defenses rebuilt while I use any prisoners I capture to hold off the Star Destroyers in orbit, until reinforcements arrive in greater numbers. So, my chances of victory are still good.'
Then, Loathsom heard artillery fire happening outside, in the distance.
Loathsom thought, 'We are not in range of their guns, yet. I might as well risk a look.'
Loathsom stood up from his chair and he open the top hatch of his hover tank. He looked out in front of them.
Beyond the pink energy dome, Loathsom watched from a distance as the Republic used its artillery to cause the two partly fallen highrise buildings that had fallen onto each other to create an archway, to completely collapse onto the highway, which completely blocked Loathsom's advance.
The buildings were right on the edge of the western side of the Crystal City, leaving the Separatist out in the open.
Loathsom immediately ordered, “Halt.” And his droid force heard him and they immediately stopped in their tracks.
Loathsom thought, 'Okay. Not bad. An obvious tactic. We will just go around. It will take longer, but I can still win this.'
A few seconds later, Loathsom saw Republic gunships and vehicles transports fly from the west, to his left, towards the south of his position.
The transports landed just outside the range of his tanks. He saw the vehicles transports drop off a few Republic walkers. Then, the vehicle transports swiftly fly northwest back to the Republic base camp.
Meanwhile the gunships landed, and stayed landed, as Republic soldiers get out of the gunships.
Loathsom saw the gunships, walkers, and troops all aimed their weapons his military formation.
Seconds later, Loathsom noticed the clouds in the sky darken, and suddenly, lightning erupting in the distance, in a curve that went from behind him, to the east, to his right, towards the north.
As the clouds cleared to daylight, Loathsom saw that Thor had used her weather powers to create a trench of rubble, in a crescent shape, from the highway road behind him, to the crystal field to his north. The trench stretched all the way to the line of buildings to his west, where the Republic forces were located.
Loathsom realized, as he thought, with worry, 'I am trapped in a coming pincer attack. Thor destroyed my ways of escape, while the Republic forces are getting ready to make their move. The Republic forces are likely already moving their artillery cannons closer to my forces. When they are ready. Likely when my shields give out. The forces I see will advance. I will be pounded by the artillery, while these forces I see advance and mop up what is left.'
Suddenly, Loathsom small assistant droid come out of a small hatch near Loathsom. The small droid approached him from, to stand on top of the hover tank by Loathsom. The droid had a disc in its hands.
Loathsom realized that someone was trying to contact him.
Loathsom thought, 'It does not take a genius to figure out who is trying to contact me. But, I might as well get this over with.' He said, “Alright. Accept the communication.”
The small droid held up the small disc in its hands, to where the flat of the disc was facing up. It pressed a button on dics to show the item was a holo-monitor. The holo-monitor showed the hologram of a person.
Loathsom recognized the hologram of the person as Jedi General Obiwan Kenobi of the Jedi Order, in his combat outfit of white armor and robes.
Obiwan said, “Hello General Loathsom.”
Loathsom responded, in a humorous tone of voice, “Hello General Kenobi. Have you come to ask for my surrender?
Obiwan answered, “Actually, yes. We have you trapped. We both know that. And all we have to do is wait out your shields. Or, you could surrender now and avoid any more unpleasantness. I do want to avoid creating further messes.”
Loathsom stated, “I will not pretend to ignore the obvious. So instead, I will compliment you. Well played, General Kenobi. Though, I have a few minor conditions for my surrender.”
Obiwan replied, “I am willing to hear you out.”
Loathsom requested, “First, while we are your prisoners, I wish for my officers and myself to be treated well.”
Obiwan said, “You will not be harmed while under my custody.”
Loathsom inquired, “This will be fine. I would like to know to whom do I have to thank for coming up with this strategy?”
Obiwan answered, “General Thor.”
Loathsom complimented, “Then, she is clearly a better tactician than most Republic officers.” He thought, 'I wonder who Thor really is? It is clear that there is a devious mind behind all that power.'
Within the Republic base camp, while outside, Obiwan was standing by the large, circular holo-monitor. Obiwan was looking a live-sized representation of the upper half of Loathsom on the screen.
Obiwan said, “I will make sure she is inform that you said that.”
Thor and Anakin stood nearby, outside of the range of the holo-camera. Thor held the hammer in her right hand at her right side. Anakin had his lightsaber deactivated and holstered on the left side of his belt.
Thor smiled at Loathsom's compliment.
Loathsom stated, “You have my surrender. I am ordering my droid forces to stand down. And I will shut down my shield.”
Obiwan responded, “Good. Thank you for be negotiable.”
Loathsom said, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do so.”
Obiwan pressed a button on the holo-monitor to end the communication. Loathsom's image disappeared.
Obiwan turned to Thor and Anakin. He saw his two friends were looking back at him.
Obiwan commented, “Well, General Loathsom is a surprisingly pleasant fellow to talk to.”
Thor requested, “Given General Loathsom was cooperative he should not be treated harshly.”
Obiwan said, “I agree. I will keep my promise. Neither him, nor his officers will be harmed while in my custody.”
Thor responded, “Good. So what is next for the people of this city? Of this world?” She thought, 'This is one of the most populated planets we fought on. I would like to know for my peace of mind.”
Obiwan commented, “Well, since we are were able to take this city without destroying it. Thanks in no small part to your help.”
Obiwan saw Thor smile at his compliment.
Obiwan continued, “And with the droids deactivated. We contact the local populations to inform them the battle is over and they can return to their homes and business. In the meantime, we will wait for our our reinforcements. We will hand the job of clean up, rebuilding, and repairing what was destroyed in this city to our replacements. Then, we will leave for our next mission.”
Thor asked, “What about the local government?
Obiwan stated, “A Republic military garrison will be placed here, in the city. With a planetary governor appointed by the Chancellor, himself. The governor will deal with the local government, and local populations.”
Thor inquired, in a sad tone of voice, “So this will planet will be placed under martial law?”
Obiwan responded, “Sadly, yes. Unlike smaller cities and planets we fought to take back. This is a key strategics point for several reasons. This planet has vast mineral resources. Also, the planet is on the Corellian Run hyper-route that goes from the Core worlds to the Outer Rim. This planet is too important to allow the Separatists to regain control of it. And it is likely that are sympathizers among the local populations. A garrison here will deter the sympathizers from trying anything foolish.”
Anakin turned to Thor. He said, “Do not worry. When the war is over, power will be handed back to the local population.”
Thor looked at both Anakin and Obiwan. She soberly stated, “History has shown once power is taken by force, that power is rarely peacefully handed back to the people.”
Obiwan questioned, “So you object to this approach?”
Thor admitted, “No. Thy cannot think of a more peaceful way to remedy the situation.”
Anakin commented, “We are not bringing tyranny here. We are bringing peace and order.
It is not a tyranny.”
Thor said, “This is peace through tyranny. Losing freedom in exchange for security. And that security never lasts long, and soon turns to fear by the populace towards those whom are in control of them.”
Obiwan pointed out, “Would you prefer for the Separatists to retake control of this planet?. You know from our experiences on Naboo how they treat the local populations they seize control of by force.”
Thor relented, “You are correct. The Trade Federation treated the people of Naboo like slaves.”
Thor thought, 'After we drove the Trade Federation from Naboo, we found documents with plans by Nute Gunray to start rounding up and shipping my people off world to mining and factory worlds. To be used as slaves. Fortunately, we stopped them before they could begin to do so. Still, we were never allow to use the evidence we found in court to nail Gunray and his associates. Though...'
Thor said, “Though, these actions by the Republic are only a few steps from being no better than the worst the Separatists can be.”
Obiwan stated, “This is why the Jedi Order are here. To make sure the Republic, especially the Chancellor and the military, do not overstep their mandate.”
Thor thought, 'Though, given how cunning Sheev can be, I am sure the Sheev might have contingency plans if you try to stop him. But, this is a conversation for another time.'
Thor replied, “Alright. The point has been made.”
Obiwan said, “I am glad that you are seeing reason concerning the Republic's actions in this war.”
Anakin stated, “Do not worry. Thing will turn out alright.”
Thor said, “Thy hopes so.”
Suddenly, the three of them saw a small Republic ship breaking through the cloud line over the Republic base, and fly over them, as it slowed down.
The three adults looked at the ship. They recognized it as a small, long range Republic shuttle.
Though, Thor used her enhanced vision to take a close look at the ship, as she commented, “Thy does not recognize the markings on the ship.”
Anakin stated, “It is not one of ours. But, it is from the Republic.”
By then, the ship had landed not to fair from them, in a clearing in the Republic base. Also, they saw some clone troopers nearby readying their blaster rifles on the shuttles ramp entrance, which was below the cockpit, in the front of the shuttle.
Obiwan stated, “Well, whomever it is, they cannot be here to our relieve forces.”
Anakin asked, “Why is that?”
Obiwan said, “Because we have no even informed them of our victory.”
Anakin replied, “Good point. At least we knew they are friendly.”
Thor inquired, “How does thou know?”
Anakin stated, “Because the Admiral would have shot down any shuttle trying to make it to the planet if its crew did not have the proper clearance codes.”
Thor was not sure how to reply to Anakin's comment.
Obiwan said, “Let us go say, hi, to whomever it is.” He turned and started walking towards the shuttle.
Anakin turned and followed Obiwan.
Thor held Mjolnir in her right hand, at her right side. She turned, and she walked over to join Obiwan and Anakin in heading towards the shuttle.
Less than a minute later, the three adults neared the shuttle. They circled around to their right, to reach the front of the shuttle.
As they approached the front of the shuttle, Obiwan looked around at the clone troopers, whom were pointing their blaster rifles at the spaceship.
Obiwan ordered, “At ease, gentlemen. We will handle this. Go about your duties.”
The clone troopers lowed their blaster rifles, and walked away to resume their duties at the military base.
Obiwan, Anakin, and Thor came to a stop to stand about ten meters from the front of the shuttle. Anakin was in the middle, with Thor to his left side and Obiwan to his right side.
The shuttle ramp opened up from the front, below the cockpit. The three adults watched a lone figure walk down the ramp.
The person was a young, orange skin Togruta girl, with two white and blue stripped montral horns going up the sides of her head, and three white and blue stripped lekku headtails going down her head and shoulders. The two side headtails went down the front of her right and left shoulders. The middle headtail on the back of her head went down her back, between her shoulder blades.
The Tortuga girl was skinny and she was much shorter than those adults whom present.
The Tortuga girl wore a red cloth wrap around her chest. She had violet stockings on her legs, with a short red skirt over her stockings. She had red boots on her feet, and a belt around her waist. Along with some small jewelry over her head, that hung between her lutes.
Thor then noticed the girl had a lightsaber holstered to her left side of her belt.
Thor realized what the lightsaber meant. She commented, “Please. Thou tell me this is a joke.” She mentally wondered, 'Is this child even a teenager?'
Anakin said, “I am not sure myself.”
Obiwan turned to the Togruta girl. He asked, “Who are you?”
By then, the Togruta girl had come to a stop on the ground, a meter from them. The girl looked over at Obiwan. She answered, in galactic basic, “My name is Padawan Learner Ahsoka Tano.”
Anakin commented, “I thought you were a youngling.”
Ahsoka turned to Anakin. She stated, “I just completed my initiation to become a padawan.”
Obiwan inquired, “What are you doing all the way out here?”
Ahsoka looked over at Obiwan. She said, “I was send by Master Yoda to be your new padawan student.”
Obiwan pointed out, “I already have two students.”
Ahsoka turned to Anakin. Ahsoka commented, “Actually, from what Master Yoda has informed me. I am suppose to be Jedi Skywalker's student. But, given that he is not yet a Jedi Knight.” She turned to Obiwan, as she continued, “The council is bending the rules until Jedi Skywalker has completes his trials. So until then, I am technically your student, Master Kenobi.”
Obiwan thought, 'The council really wants me to go ahead with Anakin's trials. But, I feel he is not yet ready. And I cannot inform the council of my reasons for not going ahead with his trials. I still recall what Anakin had told me months ago, concerning the death of his mother and what he did afterward.'
'If I openly object to the council concerning Ahsoka's appointment with us, the Council will demand to know why. And it will likely come out as to what Anakin did in his response to his mother's death. The order will likely expel him. And then expel myself for not reporting sooner on what Anakin had told me.'
'I have found myself in a conspiracy of silence. A web I have caught my own self in. And one I do not regret doing so. He is like a son to me. And I will not destroy his future over something that he was driven to do by forces beyond his control.'
'So for the moment I will have to go along with this.'
Obiwan turned to look at Thor. He continued his thoughts, 'Though, from what I sense from Padme, she is not happy with this situation. And I do not blame her for not being so. And I will talk to her in a little while about this. In private.'
Obiwan turned to Ahsoka. He stated, “Okay. We will see how this goes. But, Anakin is clearly meant to be your teacher. Not myself. That being said, we will share the workload in training you. And make this a smooth transition as possible to having Anakin eventually being your sole teacher.” He turned to Anakin. He asked, “Does that sounds fine with you?”
Anakin turned to Obiwan. He answered, “Yes. That sounds perfectly fine with me.”
Both men turned back to look at Ahsoka.
Obiwan continued to look at Ahsoka, as he thought, with a bit of sarcasm, 'Still, a third student. Just great. And I remember, years ago, when the council complained about Qui-Gon Jinn talking about taking on two second students at the same time... Jinn. Somewhere out there, I am sure you have a good laugh over this. Well, I hope you enjoy it.'
Ahsoka looked towards Obiwan and Anakin. She asked, with anticipation in her voice, and mannerisms, “So, when do we begin my training?”
Obiwan said, “Right now we can start with your first lesson.”
Ahsoka showed a bit of enthusiasm in her facial expression, as she asked, with a little excitement in her tone of voice, “Which is?”
While maintaining a straight face, Obiwan calmly said, “Learning patience.”
Ahsoka expression turned into a combination of surprise and disappointment.
Anakin and Thor each let out a small laugh at Ahsoka's reaction.
As Anakin and Thor calmed down, Ahsoka noticed the Hammer in Thor's right hand. She then looked up at Thor's face.
Thor noticed Ahsoka looking at the hammer, and then towards her face. She thought, 'This cannot be good.' Thor focused her attention on Ahsoka's face.
Ahsoka face lit up with excitement, as she asked, “Are you her? Are you really, Thor? The Storm Bringer?”
Thor replied, “Aye”
Ahsoka said, with excitement in her tone of voice, “Oh. I am such a big fan of yours. I have watched all the holovids about you.”
Thor slowly said, “Really?” She thought, 'This could be a problem on several levels.'
Ahsoka responded, “Yes. I heard that you trained at the temple. But, I could not find much else out about you. It is great to finally meet you in person. I was not told you would be here.”
Thor thought, 'It is likely the reason Yoda did not tell you that you would probably be meeting me is because he wanted the clone pilot assigned to bring you here to remain sane. Instead of dealing with a child whom is bouncing off the walls in excitement of meeting her hero... I knew this day would come. That I would meet one of my fans. I just did not realize the fan would come from someone within the Jedi Order.'
'Still, since you do not know who I really am, this is a good sign that my identity is safe. Yet, if we work together, I will eventually have to tell you whom I really am. That is if I cannot get Obiwan to find a way to keep you out of this war. You are too young to experience this. Now to handle this delicately, for just as much your sake, as mine.'
Thor said, “Yes. Thy did train with Master Kenobi and Jedi Skywalker, in the Jedi Temple.”
Ahsoka inquired, “Cool. Though, what is with the speech pattern?”
Thor calmly said, “It came with the powers thou wields.”
Ahsoka questioned, “Oh. Okay. Also, I heard you were invulnerable to harm?”
Ahsoka noticed Thor, Anakin, and Obiwan became visibly uncomfortable.
Thor thought, 'I am not surprised that the Republic propaganda services would play up on how tough I am. Still, I need to set this girl straight.'
Thor stated, in a serious, through even tone of voice, “No. Thy is not invulnerable to harm. Actually, today thy was hit in the back with a powerful blast which knocked thou to the ground.”
Anakin said, in a sober tone of voice, “It was a close call.”
Thor turned to Anakin, then back to Ahsoka. She said, “But, thy is doing better. Though, it is a lesson to be wary of one's surroundings in battle.”
Ahsoka replied, in a more serious tone of voice, “Oh. I will keep that in mind.”
Anakin commented, with concern in his tone of voice, “You need to watch yourself. You are still very young.”
Ahsoka responded, with pride in her tone of voice, “I will have you know I am proud I was able to become a padawan at my age.”
Anakin cracked a grin, as he joked, “You know you can be real snippy. I think I will call you, Snips.”
Ahsoka sarcastically replied. “Sure. Whatever, Skyguy.”
Meanwhile, Thor and Obiwan were trying their best to not break out laughing at Anakin and Ahsoka's conversation.
Obiwan thought, 'This is as good as time as any to get them to to walk away, so I can talk to Thor about Ahsoka.'
Obiwan turned to Thor, as he continued his thoughts, 'Because from what I am sensing from her emotions this is not going to wait for later this evening. And I need to be careful what I say because that earpiece of hers is an open microphone. And this is not the environment for Padme to take off her helmet, or change back to her normal form.'
Obiwan turned to Anakin and Ahsoka. He suggested, “Perhaps you two should get to know each other better.”
Anakin turned to Obiwan, as he agreed, “Good idea.” He looked down at Ahsoka, as he said, “Ahsoka. Please follow me. I will introduce you to R2 and C3-PO.”
Ahsoka looked up at Anakin She asked, “Okay. Who are they?”
Anakin smiled, as he said, “Just the two best droids in the galaxy. Come on.” He turned and started walking towards the artillery section of the base, with Ahsoka following right beside him, to his right side.
Obiwan and Thor silently watched the two padawans walk away.
When Anakin and Ahsoka were out of earshot, Obiwan and Thor continued to watch them, as Obiwan commented, “She is going to be a handful.” He turned to Thor, as he continued, “Unlike you. I wish all students I know were as attentive and disciplined as you were when Anakin and I trained you.”
Thor turned to Obiwan. She responded, “While thee is thankful for the compliment. Though, thou is not even sure if she is old enough to be a teenager.”
Obiwan admitted, “I know. But, there is not much I can do about the matter?”
Thor flatly stated, in a firm tone of voice, “Sure you can. You can send her back to Coruscant. Back to the Jedi Temple.”
Obiwan replied, “I cannot.”
Thor forcefully responded, “Yes you can. Using child soldiers in war is one of the most despicable, dishonorable actions a military can take. And thou is shocked the Jedi Order would do such a thing. Thy thought you of the Order were better than this.”
Obiwan looked Thor in the eyes, as he stated, in a disappointed tone of voice, “I thought we were better than this, as well. But, if I sent her back questions would be asked.”
Thor asked, “Such as?”
Obiwan cryptically said, “Tatooine. He told me.”
Thor realized several things at once. She thought, 'This earpiece on my right ear is an open microphone. I cannot talk about it while I have it on. But, I cannot take off my helmet because I still look like my normal form, just... Prettier. And for the same reasons I change back out in the open. Still, I am not surprised that Anakin told you, Obiwan. And that does explain why you are against him taking the trials to be Jedi Knight. Though, I think he is ready. But, you clearly disagree.'
'And there is no point in dragging this out and talking to Anakin about this. He has barely started to get over what happened to his mother. All this would do is make him relive what happened.'
Thor replied, in a tone of voice that admitted defeat, “I understand.”
Obiwan sighed. He commented, “Listen. I control the mission schedules for us. We will just keep an eye on her as we train her. This should not be that difficult.”
Thor replied, “I agree.”
Obiwan offered, “Also, I want you to help train her, with Anakin and I.”
Thor smirked under her helmet, as she said, “Okay. A few ideas already come to mind.”
Obiwan stated, “I'm sure. And Master Yoda would not send her here unless he had faith in her abilities.”
Thor commented, “Let us hope that Master Yoda did not have a lapse of senility with this decision.”
Obiwan admitted, “Yes. That thought cross my mind, as well. We will just be careful.”
Thor said, “That is all we can do.”
Obiwan stated, “Let us head back to the holo-comm. After I contact Admiral Yularen to tell him what is going on, to request some supplies and more personnel, I am going to personally contact Master Yoda. To give him the good news of our victory here, and that Padawan Tano made it here safely. And given you were so instrumental in our victory. Not just with your power, but your tactics. I would like you to be there when I give the report.”
Thor replied, “Thank you. Thy accepts thou's offer.”
Obiwan and Thor then turned as they headed over to the large holo-monitor.
Meanwhile, further inside the Republic base, Anakin and Ahsoka heading for the artillery, where R2 and C3-PO were.
While the artillery has been moved a little to the east due to Thor's plans to defeat Loathsom and the Separatists, the artillery was still on the western side of the base.
Anakin was walking to Ahsoka left side.
While they walked, Ahsoka commented, “I am surprised that you are okay with teaching me.”
Anakin said, “When I helped to train Thor in learning about her abilities I found that I enjoyed teaching.”
Ahsoka stated, “That must have been interesting experience.”
Anakin responded, “It was. I am sure there are members of the order, inside the Jedi achieves, whom are going the reports Obiwan made of our training of Thor. With those reports compiled a volume concerning some the more stranger training methods employed by the Jedi.”
Ahsoka giggled a little. As she calmed down, she asked, “Probably. Is is true that you had Thor picking up a Republic walker?”
Anakin commented, “Actually, while on her back, we had her bench pressing the walker.”
Ahsoka let out a laugh. She smiled. She stated, “I would pay to actually see that.”
Anakin said, “Likely a lot of people would.”
Ahsoka commented, in a slightly sad tone of voice, “And I regret not seeing that.”
Anakin responded, in a supportive tone of voice, “Do not worry. You did not miss much. All there was to see was the walker's feet being lifted off the ground a few centimeters into the air.”
Ahsoka replied, “Okay.”
Anakin inquired, “So is there anything you would like to tell me? If so, you might as well start at the beginning.”
Ahsoka happily said, “I was found by Master Plo Koon and brought to the temple by him. My time at the temple was, I guess, like the other younglings. Eventually, I become a padawan and I was sent here.”
Anakin commented, “Simple. And to the point. That is what I would expect. And Master Plo Koon is a good man. A good Jedi. He is a wonderful judge of character.”
Ahsoka replied, “I hope so.”
Anakin turned to Ahsoka. As they continued walking, he looked at Ahsoka's lightsaber attached to the left side of her belt. He commented, “So that is your lightsaber. Did you build it yourself?”
Ahsoka answered, “Yes. I am quite proud of it.”
Anakin requested, “Can I look at your weapon for a minute.”
Ahsoka turned to look at Anakin. She replied, “Sure.” She unclasped her weapon, and handed it to Anakin.
Anakin took the weapon in his hands.
They continued walking as Anakin looked at the lightsaber hilt.
Anakin commented, “You spent some time making this. I can tell. Your weapon shows some skilled craftsmanship in its creation.”
Ahsoka smiled, as she happily replied, “Thank you.”
Anakin held the lightsaber with his right hand, outward, as he activated it. With a snap-hiss, the green blade showed in front of him. He questioned, “A green blade?”
Ahshoka shrugged, as she causally said, “I wanted to stand out from the others.”
Anakin responded, “I can appreciate that. I am currently using green blade, as well.”
Ahsoka looked over at Anakin. She commented, “I thought you used a blue blade, like most Jedi.”
Anakin casually said, “I wanted to do something different.” He deactivated the lightsaber, and headed it to Ahsoka, as he continued, “And here is your lightsaber back.”
Ahsoka took the lightsaber and hooked it back to the left side of her belt.
Anakin asked, “So what style do you prefer to use with your lightsaber?”
Ahsoka answered, “I have found than an underhand style with the lightsaber suits me well.”
Anakin commented, “That unorthodox. But not unheard of. That is mostly used with two lightsabers for the Jar'Kai style.”
Ahsoka said, “I am planning on working up to that.”
Anakin stated, “That is an aggressive style. It requires a lot of training.”
Ahsoka commented, “I am not afraid of hard work.”
Anakin said, “Good. Now we need to temper you patience. We still might make a Jedi out of you, yet.”
Ahsoka pointed out, “Just a reminder Jedi Skywalker. But, you are still only a Padawan.”
Anakin admitted, “True. But, it is clear the Jedi Council realize that is a technicality and that I am ready for the trials. All I am waiting for is Master Kenobi to allow me to do so. Still, we will have to spar some time. I would like to see what your skill level is, and what you are capable of.”
Ahsoka replied, “I would like to do that as well.”
By then, Anakin and Ahsoka had reach the artillery area of the military base.
While they walked they approached artillery area, Anakin looked around and he saw the droids he was looking for. He turned towards the individuals in question, with Ahsoka turning with him.
As they came close to the artillery area, nearby Commander Cody saw them.
Cody looked towards his men. He ordered, “General Skywalker is approaching. Stand at attention.”
Those troopers nearby stopped what they were doing. They and Cody stood at attention, while facing Anakin and Ahsoka.
Anakin noticed that Cody men and his men standing at attention before one of their Generals.
Anakin came top a stop by Cody. Ahsoka stopped also.
Anakin turned towards Cody. He stated, “Commander Cody. You and your men may carry on with your duties.”
The Cody and his men relaxed. They went back to their duties.
Meanwhile, as Anakin turned and continued walking in the direction he was heading. Ahsoka followed right beside Anakin.
A few seconds later, as Anakin and Ahsoka approached R2 and C3-PO, the two droids turned to look at them. R2 was to C3-PO right side.
C3-PO exclaimed, “My, Master Anakin. It is good to see you.”
Anakin and Ahsoka came to a stop in front of the two droids. Anakin said, “It is good to see you as well.”
C3-PO asked, “Who is this with you?” It turned its head towards Ahsoka, as it continued, “Who might you be, dear?”
Ahsoka looked up at C3-PO face. She answered, “I am Padawan Learner Ahsoka Tano. Student to Master Kenobi and Jedi Skywalker.”
C3-PO stated, “It is marvelous to meet you, Master Tano. I am C3-PO. And this person with me is R2-D2.”
Ahsoka replied, “Likewise.”
Anakin said, “These are my two most favorite droids in the galaxy. Both are loyal and brave. The astromech droid is R2-D2. But, we call him, R2, for short. And he might be the best astromech droid in the galaxy.”
R2 whistled in happiness towards Anakin's compliment.
Anakin then said, “And this is the protocol droid. C3-PO. I built him when I was a child. And he seems to be able to decrypt Separatist communications.”
C3-PO replied, “Glad to be of service.”
Ahsoka commented, “That is interesting.” She turned to Anakin, as she continued, “But, not as interesting as you building a droid as a child. I heard you were one of the best pilots in the Order. I did not you were good with electronics, as well.”
Anakin turned to Ahsoka, as he said, “I am very gifted in mechanical engineering and piloting.”
Ahsoka requested, “Nice. Could you teach me how to do both. I have some training in those areas, but only the basics.”
Anakin commented, “Well see how things work out. But, if we have the time, I would be more than happy to do so.”
Ahsoka smiled, as she said, “Cool.”
Anakin turned towards the two droids. He stated, “As Ahsoka said. Obiwan and I will be training her. So, I expect you both to be on your best behavior.”
R2 whistled and beeped an affirmative.
C3-PO replied, “Of course, Master Anakin.”
Just then, the comlink on the back part of Anakin's left glove came on. Obiwan's voice stated, “Anakin, I need you and Ahsoka to head back to the communication area of the base.”
Anakin held up his left forearm. He asked into the microphone, “What is it?”
Over the communicator, Obiwan responded, “I contacted Master Yoda. It seem he has a mission for us. Bring Ahsoka with you.”
Anakin turned to look at Ahsoka, whom he saw was looking back at him. Anakin said, “We are heading back your way.”
Anakin lowed his left forearm, and used his right hand to turn off the comlink on his left glove.
Anakin continued to look at Ahsoka, as he said, “Come on, Ahsoka. You heard Obiwan. We need to head back to them.” Anakin turned to the two droids. He stated, “R2. C3-PO. Come with us.”
Anakin turned around and started heading for where the large, circular holo-monitor in the base camp.
Ahsoka, R2, and C3-PO followed Anakin.
A few minutes later, as Anakin, Ahsoka, R2, and C3-PO walked through the base, Anakin noticed to his right, in the distance, across the street, some Republic troop transport shuttles had landed.
Anakin thought, 'Obiwan likely informed Admiral Yularen we won. And the Admiral sent those them down with supplies and more personnel.'
Near the shuttles, Anakin saw a handful of the clone trooper escorting Whorm Loathsom. Loathsom had stuncuffs over his wrists, which we held in front of him.
Anakin saw Loathsom being cooperative as he was being lead to the entrance to a nearby transport shuttle.
Anakin thought, 'I see Loathsom is cooperating. Loathsom and any Separatists with him will be transferred to the Negotiator. We decided that as a added security measure. We keep the command staff on the Resolute and we keep any prisoners in the brig on the Negotiator. Loathsom and any other prisoners we take on will be held on the Negotiator until they can be handed off to the Republic Military Justice Division.'
Anakin turned his attention back to Obiwan and Thor, whom were standing in front of the large holo-monitor.
Thor had held her hammer with her right hand, at her right side.
As Anakin, Ahsoka, and the droids approached the large, circular holo-communicator, Anakin saw the life-sized holographic representation of Yoda above the holo-monitor. Yoda was standing, with his small wooden cane in his right hand.
Both Obiwan and Thor were looking up at the hologram of Yoda.
Anakin thought, 'Now to find out what Yoda wants.'
A few seconds later, Anakin and Ahsoka came to a stop by Thor and Obiwan, near the holo-monitor.
R2 and C3-PO stopped a few meters behind the Anakin and Ahsoka.
Obiwan and Thor turned to Anakin and Ahsoka. Yoda's hologram also looked over at Anakin and Ahsoka.
Obiwan stated, “Hello Anakin. Ahsoka. I just gave Master Yoda the report on the battle. And one Padawan Tano's arrival.”
Anakin turned to Obiwan. He said, “Good. Thanks for bringing us up to date.”
Anakin, Obiwan, Thor, Ahsoka, and the droids turned their attention to the hologram of Jedi Master Yoda.
The hologram of Yoda looked around at the group. He stated, “Now that everyone is here. Much to discuss.”
Anakin calmly inquired, “What is this about?”
Yoda stated, “About secret treaty negotiations with the Hutts.”
Obiwan pointed out, “Pardon me, Master Yoda. I mean no disrespect. But, the Hutts are not known to be trustworthy.”
Yoda responded, “True. But, this war would go much easier should the Republic military have permission to use Hutt trading hyper-routes on the Outer Rim. The Jedi have been negotiating such a possibility.”
Thor questioned, “While thy can appreciate this. What does this have to with us?”
Yoda answered, “The negotiator for Hutts is Jabba. And Jabba's young son, Rotta, was recently kidnapped by renegades. Due to this kidnapping negotiations have stopped cold. Though, the renegades and the child have been tracked to the planet of Teth. You are the closest to Teth of Republic and Jedi forces the Republic can spare.”
Anakin commented, “Okay. That explains a lot.”
Yoda stated, “Your missions is two fold.”
The hologram of Yoda turned to Obiwan. Yoda continued, “Master Kenobi. Head to Tatooine and Jabba Palace to directly negotiate with Jabba. Along with rescuing his son, see what else is needed to put our treaty negotiations back on track.”
The hologram turned to Anakin. Yoda went onto say, “Padawan General Skywalker, take the forces you need to Teth to rescue the child. Make sure the child is returned to Jabba, unharmed. Leave those forces you do not need to guard Christophsis until Republic relief forces arrive.”
Anakin said, “I will not fail you.”
Yoda replied, “See that you do not.”
Thor asked, “Is there any more information thou can give what type of planet Teth is? Where on the planet the child is being held? What forces we may be up against?”
Yoda stated. “Fortunately, Republic military scouts are already Teth. They have provided much information.”
Anakin stated, “We will pick them up when we reach Teth.”
Yoda responded, “Please do. Now, Teth is a planet of jungles, forest, plains, and oceans.” Yoda turned to Thor, as he continued, “Similar to to the planet, Naboo.”
Ahsoka thought, 'Why is Master Yoda specifically mentioning Naboo while looking at Thor? I will find out later.'
Thor noticed this, as well. She thought, 'Yoda. I hope you did not just blow my cover with Ahsoka.'
Yoda looked around the group, as he said, “The scouts have tracked the renegades to a jungle area of the planet. The renegades are based inside of a B'omarr monastery located on a high plateau. There is no easy access to this monastery from the ground, nor the air.”
Thor made a mental note of what Yoda was saying.
Obiwan questioned, “A fortress built using a natural defensive position. With modern weaponry this could prove a formidable location to defend from.”
Yoda stated, “Yes. The renegades are reported to have battle droids. So caution is advised. All information we have will be relayed to the Resolute for your further detailed study.”
Obiwan said, “Thank you, Master Yoda.”
Anakin commented, “An air attack might not work. It would be too out in the open. But, a ground assault might be just as difficult.”
Thor turned to Anakin. She asked, “How can we assault a plateau from the ground? That would be a straight virtual climb upwards.”
Obiwan turned to Thor. He commented, “Walkers can be rigged to walk up straight walls and mountains.”
Thor turned to Obiwan. She asked, “Like a spider.”
Obiwan answered, “Yes.”
Thor cracked a grin under her helmet, as she said, “Cool.”
Obiwan agreed, “Very much so.”
Yoda's hologram turned to Ahsoka. He asked, in a kind, comforting manner, “How are you doing, Padawan Tano? I hope your trip was uneventful.”
Yoda's comment gained everyone's attention. They turned back towards the hologram of Yoda.
Ahsoka calmly stated, “I am doing fine, Master Yoda. And my trip was pleasant.”
Yoda replied, “Good.” Yoda turned to Obiwan. He commented, “Master Kenobi. I hope you are up to taking on another student.”
Obiwan commented, “If I can handle this, I can handle anything.” He thought, 'At least you are not openly pressing me about Anakin's trials to become a Jedi Knight.'
Yoda chuckled a little. As he calmed down, he said, “Take that as a, yes. I will. Good luck. And may the force be with you.”
Yoda shut off the communications on his end. His hologram disappeared from on top of the holo-monitor.
Obiwan turned to look at the others near him. He commented, “Well that was an interesting conversation.”
Anakin said, “At least you do not have far to go. Tatoonie is only a few star systems away.”
Obiwan replied, “That is true. I could likely make in my starfighter with a hyperspace ring.”
Thor inquired, “Where is Teth located?”
Obiwan replied, “Good question.”
R2 overheard Thor's question. The little droid rolled up to the later holo-monitor. R2 pulled out its data interface arm and plugged into the computer.
Suddenly a stationary color hologram appeared of the Outer Rim. It showed a map with a red dot from where they were, through the knowing hyper-routes to blue dot where Teth was. Which was on the very eastern side of the galaxy.
Thor said, “Thank you, R2.”
Obiwan looked a little more closely to the map. He commented, “It looks like Teth is on the Triellus Trade Route. You will have to take a minor route around the fighting of Arkanis, but that should not be a problem. Thought, Teth is very close to the eastern side of Hutt Space. On the opposite side of Hutt Space from the Republic.” He turned to Thor, Anakin, and Ahsoka. He continued, “You will have to be careful.”
Thor said, “I fully agree.”
Meanwhile, Anakin has been silently paying attention to what his friends were saying. Anakin turn Obiwan. He stated, “I do not know which one of us has the worst mission.”
Obiwan looked at Anakin. He responded, “I know. I heard a rumor that Jabba arrange his throne room so those he meet stand right over a trapdoor. When he does not like what he is hearing from his guests he drops the unsuspecting people down into a giant chamber, where he watches from the grates above as his large pet rancor eats his victims.”
Anakin said, in a serious tone of voice, “I have heard from personal accounts that is no rumor that is very real.”
Obiwan stated, “I will keep that in mind.”
Anakin commented, “I wouldn't worry. Unless you make a direct threat, Jabba won't do anything to you. He does not want to make an enemy out of the Jedi. Especially, since the Jedi now command an army, and we are at war.”
Obiwan said, “That is a good point.” He continued, in a more casual tone of voice, “And it if come down to it. I wonder. Do you think the Council would allow me to mount a fully stuffed Rancor in one of the main chambers of the Temple?”
Ahsoka and Thor were quietly listening to this. They both burst out giggling at Obiwan's comment.
Even Anakin let out a few laughs. As Anakin calmed down, he stated. “No. But, I would love to see that.”
A few seconds later, Ahsoka and Thor calmed down as well.
Obiwan was trying to hide his smile, but failing, as he commented, “Yes. It would be tempting to see.”
Anakin stated, “Well we will be fine. For a long time I have been doing far riskier things by myself than this mission. Such as when I was younger, when I was pod racing and liberating Naboo from the Trade Federation.”
Ahsoka spoke up, “Master Koon mentioned that.”
Thor turned to Anakin, as she commented, “While thou's actions helped us a lot. We were never really happy with your pod racing. For us, it was a necessary evil. And we were especially not happy that thou snuck into a starfighter and when into battle.”
Anakin looked over at Thor, as he casually replied, “R2 was with me.”
Thor pointed out, “If anyone noticed. R2 can be occasionally as reckless as thee can sometimes be.”
Nearby, R2 let out a whiny beep. Then, R2 shut down the hologram and unplugged itself from the holo-monitor. After which, R2 had its data interface arm retract back into its body.
Anakin cracked a grin, as he said, “I know. That is why I like keeping him around. He comes up with the most interesting of ideas.”
R2 rotated its head towards Anakin, as it let out a beep in confirmation.
Obiwan chuckled a little bit at listening to Anakin and Thor's comments.
Ahsoka turned to Obiwan. She inquired, “Master? Are they always like this?”
Obiwan turned to Ahsoka. He smiled, as he said, “No. Sometimes they are funnier.”
Both Thor and Anakin heard Obiwan's response. They turned to Obiwan, as they stated, in unison, “Hey.”
Obiwan turned to Thor and Anakin. He held back from making his smile into a smirk, as he calmly said, “It is true.”
Both Thor and Anakin realized Obiwan was right. They both turned and looked away from everyone. The body language of both of them showed how uncomfortable they were at the moment.
Obiwan held back a chuckle. But, Ahsoka could not help but giggled a little bit from the responses of those around her.
Obiwan thought, 'If would be best if I get this conversation back on track.' He stated, “I will have the Negotiator land in a nearby clear are. Once it is landed, I will take my starfighter to Tatooine.”
Anakin, Thor, and Ahsoka turned to Obiwan.
Anakin said, “Good idea.” He looked over at Ahsoka and Thor. He turned back to look at Obiwan. He went onto say, “I will take Thor and Ahsoka back to the Resolute and head to Teth.”
Thor commented, “Thy will do as thou requests.” Thor turned to Ahsoka. She thought, 'I cannot stop you from fighting, but there is another matter we will address.' Thor said, “Padawan Tano.”
Ahsoka turned to Thor. She responded, “Ahsoka is fine. General Thor.”
Thor stated, “Ahsoka. While thy cannot prevent you from fighting. Thy does have one request. We will need to find you a shirt to wear. And later on we shall find you more proper clothing for a your lady of you station.”
Thor thought, 'She is far too young to just wear a cloth wrap around her chest. And I spent too many years learning to be a lady in a royal court not to teach someone a few lessons on etiquette. Though, I will do so politely. As a lady should. And from the time I spent at the Jedi Temple. Besides please, thank you, and table manners. Jedi are not taught much when it comes to the finer points of manners and tact. They clearly believe that manners and obedience are the same thing. This is not the case.'
Ahsoka looked up and down at Thor's armor. She looked at front of Thor's helmet. She commented, “You do not look like someone that knows much about fashion.”
Thor laughed for a few seconds. Then, she smiled under her helmet. She said, “My dear. These are just thou's work clothing. And thy has a lifetime of experience with fashion.” She thought, 'The wardrobe I use as a Senator proves that point.' Thor went onto say, “Let us walk to the shuttles as we talk.”
Ahsoka replied, “Okay.”
Thor and Ahsoka then began walking side by side, towards the shuttles, with Thor to Ahsoka's left side.
Thor calmly inquired, “Tell thy, dear Ahsoka. What have the Jedi Order taught thee in the ways of etiquette?”
Ahsoka said, “Not much. I guess.”
Thor calmly stated, “Well then. This is something we will have to work on.”
Behind them, Anakin and Obiwan silently watched this play out.
The two men looked each other. Obiwan said, “I think she can only be a good influence on the girl. As long as she does not get the girl involved in politics, I am okay with her taking our young padawan under her wing.”
Anakin agreed, “I agree. I fully support her teaching Ahsoka what she knows. But, no politics.”
Obiwan stated, “Good. Still, Ahsoka is clearly rough around the edges.”
Anakin pointed out, “So was I, at her age.”
Obiwan commented, “That is probably why Master Yoda wants you to end up teaching her.”
Anakin asked, “I agree. Though, I wonder what I did to deserve this?”
Obiwan answered, “Master Yoda has a nice sense of humor. And he does not forget things.”
Anakin questioned, “Like what?”
Obiwan stated, “When the council overruled him on training you.”
Anakin remembered when he first met the Jedi High Council as a boy. And Yoda dismissed him as being to old to teach. He replied, “Oh...”
Obiwan noticed Anakin's tone of voice. He said, in a supportive tone of voice, “Do not feel bad. Master Yoda is doing this is a sign of trust towards you. He believes you are now responsible enough to be a teacher.”
Anakin stated, “I hope you are right. Still, it is clear the Council is pushing you let me take the trials.”
Obiwan commented, “Even after everything, I believe you are almost ready for the trials.”
Anakin replied, “I appreciate that.”
Obiwan turned to look at Thor and Ahsoka. He saw they were almost to the loading ramp of one of the transport shuttles. He stated, “Let us catch up with them.”
Anakin turned to look at Thor and Ahsoka. He agreed, “Good idea.”
Both men started walking side by side, to each up with Thor and Ahsoka. Anakin was to Obiwan's right side.
R2 and C3-PO followed behind them. With C3-PO being to R2 right side. As they followed behind Anakin and Obiwan, C3-PO said, “Come on, R2. We don't want them to leave us behind.”
Meanwhile, ahead of the droids, Obiwan and Anakin continued to walk.
Anakin said, “On our way up, I will call in the personnel on the ground I wish to come and join us on our mission to Teth. I may not like Jabba. But, I will help an innocent. No matter what the innocent is.”
Obiwan inquired, “Good. Who do you have in mind?”
Anakin answered, “Along with calling up Rex and my battalion. I was thinking of taking Cody and his armory groups with us.”
Obiwan said, “You have my permission to do so.”
Anakin replied, “Thanks.”
Obiwan said, “You're welcome.” He then muttered under his breath, “Three students.”
Anakin overheard Obiwan. And he understood what his teacher men by the comment. Anakin casually said, “Yea. You know somewhere Master Jinn is laughing about this.”
Obiwan started chuckling, as he stated, “I know.”
Anakin soon joined Obiwan in laughing a little, as they caught up with Thor and Ahsoka.
Meanwhile, the two droids were following about three meters behind Anakin and Obiwan.
Obiwan soon stopped. The droids soon passed by him.
Then, Obiwan watched as Ahsoka, Thor, Anakin, R2, and C3-PO boarded a transport shuttle.
A minute later, Anakin had convinced the pilot to let him flying the shuttle. Anakin flew the shuttle back to his Star Destroyer, the Resolute in orbit around Christophsis. Half an hour later, they safely arrived inside a hangar bay of the Resolute
Meanwhile, Obiwan after watching his friends leave, he headed back to to the main communication hub to contact the captain of the Negotiator to leave a hyperspace ring in orbit and the to take the to the surface, in an open space between the interior western sides of outer ring of Chaleydonia and the center area of Chaleydonia. This location would be near the Republic base camp.
Once the Star Destroyer was on the surface he would have an astromech droid placed in his Jedi starfighter. Then, Obiwan would take his starfight into orbit. Next, Obiwan would dock the starfighter with the hyperspace ring.
Obiwan would use the astromech to plot a course to Tatooine and use the hyperspace ring to go into hyperspace towards Tatooine.
Hours later, it was a warm morning, during a cloudy day, on the jungle area of Teth, where the B'omarr Monastery was located. The B'omarr monastery itself was located on a high plateau, over looking the jungle. This was not the only such plateau overlooking the jungle. And the monastery had been build atop the entire plateau, with the sides of the monastery being extended out beyond the plateau itself.
Inside the Monastery, Asajj Ventress was alone in a set of personal quarters she had taken as her own.
Asajj Ventress has pale skin. She shaved her head bald. She had a skinny athletic physical build.
Asajj wore a blue form fitting long sleeved shirt, white form fitting leggings that covered her feet, as a substituted for shoes. Over that was a dark blue shirt with a belt. She had her two red bladed, deactivated lightsabers clipped to the sides of her belt.
Presently, Asajj stood as she faced a holo-monitor that was set on a nearby table.
Asajj had just answered the ringing of a call on the holo-comm.
On the holo-monitor, she saw Dooku was sitting in a chair.
Asajj thought, 'Dooku must be in a ship. When he usually contacts me, he is in a standing position. I might as well get this meeting started.'
Asajj bowed her head towards Dooku, as she asked, “How may I be of service, master?”
Dooku responded, “There is much you can do. To start with, where is the young huttlet?”
Asajj raised her head, as she looked at the holo-monitor. She stated, “He is in the care of a caretaker droid.”
Dooku said, “That is fine. Though, for our plans to work the child must continue to live. At least for now.”
Asajj commented, “Then, I will see to it the child continues to live.”
Dooku questioned, “Good. Now you know your part of the plan?”
Asajj answered, “Yes. This should be no more difficult than gripping the arm of a child and guiding the child down a path.”
Dooku stated, “Exactly. Within the next few days they will strike at you, and those with you. They will have to come at you with overwhelming force. It will be a ground invasion during day. You know what to expect.”
Asajj inquired, “Are we sure they will attack during the day?”
Dooku answered, “Given whom is coming. Yes. The person leading them prefers to use brute force. This location was picked for that specific reason. You are inside a natural defensive location. The monastery is built from stone and metal. It can take a few hits and still be sturdy enough to stand. Whether by air or by land, during the night our droid forces would have the advantages of being able to see more clearly. And those coming will wish for every advantage they can have.”
Asajj asked, “Who is coming after me?”
Dooku stated, “Skywalker, Thor, and Skywalker's 501st battalion, on the Jedi Cruiser, the Resolute. While the clone soldiers are competent, your droids can handle them. It is Skywalker and Thor that you need to be concerned with.”
Asajj inquired, “What about Thor's weather powers?”
Dooku said, “The monastery you inside of has stood for thousands of years old. It as weathered far worse than what she can cause you.”
Asajj responded, “Fine. And what about Jedi Master Obiwan Kenobi? I was under the impression he traveled with them.”
Dooku stated, “He usually does. But, presently he is not with them. It took a lot of work behind the scenes to set this up. With Kenobi gone, that leaves Skywalker and Thor. While I have trained you well, do not underestimated either of them.”
Asajj replied, “I won't.”
Dooku responded, “I know. Though even I am not sure of the full extent of Thor's abilities. She does not use the force, but her powers are as potent as any force abilities. With her training under the instruction of the Jedi she has become more powerful.”
Asajj inquired, with concern in her tone of voice, “How truthful are the Republic broadcasts concerning her abilities?”
Dooku stated, “More truthful than I am comfortable with. Though, she can be sensed through the force. You will sense her coming. If it comes down to a fight with both Thor hand Skywalker at the same time. Strike Thor first. As quickly as possible. You know what to expect from Skywalker. You do not know what to expect from Thor. And use your lightsaber. I found that she is invulnerable to most force attacks.”
Asajj commented, “I will do so. I know well how to employ sneak attacks.”
Dooku commented, Yes. The Sith use stealth to their fullest advantage. And use what I taught you. Fear, surprise, and intimidation. But, if you can take down Thor. Then, Skywalker will likely start to act more irrationally.”
Asajj asked, “Skywalker cares for Thor?”
Dooku complimented, “Yes. It is very astute for you to guess this.”
Asajj commented, “A poor warrior does not know her enemies.”
Dooku said, “Exactly. There is one other piece of information about those that are coming for you that you may find useful.”
Dooku told Asajj a few more items of information about whom she will face, before he disconnected the communication with her.
Then, Asajj prepared for the coming attack.
Earlier that day, in orbit around the planet Christophsis, Anakin, Ahsoka, Thor, R2, and C3-PO has arrived inside a hangar of the Republic Star Destroyer, Resolute.
Once aboard the Resolute, Anakin began arranging troop assignments. With Obiwan's permission, Anakin called up those he wanted to come to Teth with him, to the Resolute, whom were on the surface of Christophsis with the Star Destroy, Negotiator. Anakin also sent down a few crew members and supplies to the surface of Crystal City, to help the crew of the Negotiator with the clean up until Republic relief forces arrived.
After Anakin was finished and ready, he took the Resolute to hyperspace, by a minor-hyper-route that would take them around Arkanis. Once they were north of Arkanis, they would take the Triellus Trade Route directly to the planet Teth.
Meanwhile, the Negotiator and most of the ship's crew were left to on the surface of Chaleydonia to oversee the planet Christophsis until other military Republic ships could reach the planet to relieve the 212th battalion.
While the Resolute traveled through hyperspace to Teth, Anakin assigned Ahsoka her personal quarters.
Anakin had to go back to his duties, but Thor was able to spend some time with Ahsoka.
While they did not have a lot of time to spend together on their first day, Thor was able teach Ahsoka some of the basic lessons concerning manners and tact.
In addition, Thor helped Ahsoka find some shirts and other clothing that would work for Ahsoka.
That evening, Ahsoka, Anakin, and Thor had eaten dinner together in the mess hall.
After dinner, Thor retired to her personal quarters. Once inside her personal quarters, Thor changed back to Padme.
Padme set down Mjolnir on small nearby table in the room on the top of its head.
Padme then got cleaned up and dressed in one of her formal dresses for her other job.
Presently, the ship was on the early night rotation schedule.
Inside her quarters, Padme took care of some personal business, in the privacy of her diplomatic quarters.
The ceiling lights of Padme's quarters were currently turned on.
Padme was in a formal cyan dress, as she talked to Senator.
Padme was sitting in a chair at a desk in the bedroom of her personal quarters.
On the small holo-monitor on top the desk, Padme was talking by holo-comm with Senator Bail Organa.
The small hologram showed that Bail wearing one of his uniforms.
While it was night for Padme and the crew of the Resolute, it was the middle of the day for those in the Senate District of Coruscant.
Their discussion dealt with a number of topics, including Bail quietly overseeing their anti-war movement within the Senate.
Bail continued his comments concerning what their small little group of Senators had been up to. Bail stated, “Still, while Garm can be a bit of handful, he has come through on his end. We now have a number of rich Corellian trading and industry families whom quietly agree to no longer support the war effort. They seem to have realized that war is not profitable. Especially, when they lost out on the government contracts.”
Padme let out a small laugh. She said, “Sometimes practicality and greed can find a common ground.”
Bail agreed, “That seems to be the case.”
Padme asked, “And the others?”
Bail answered, “Our allies are coming through for us. It is slow in coming. But, we have a few more Senators whom have quietly agreed to aid us. Along with a some agriculture groups. And even a few entertainment companies, whom said they will throw their support on the PR front when we are ready to be more open about this.”
Padme replied, “That is good.”
Bail inquired, “So how is your diplomatic mission coming?”
Padme thought, 'I do not like lying to you, Bail. You are my friend. After all. But, I have to maintain my cover.'
Padme casually lied, “We are about to land on Datooine, at which point we will begin helping to oversee possible charity food shipments from that world to be sent to the populations of other planets whom need the supplies.”
Padme thought, 'While my part in that mission is a lie. I checked with Obiwan and Anakin. The mission is real and the Jedi are going to help a lot of people with that mission. The planet of Datooine has a massive agricultural farming industry. Just the wheat they produce annually can feed hundreds of worlds for a standard year. And Datooine grows much more than just wheat.'
Bail responded, “That is good. So did you hear about what happened on Christophsis today? The Republic defeated the Separatists there.”
Padme hesitated, as she thought, 'While I am not surprised the Chancellor would allow the press to quickly report of the Republic victory of retaking Christophsis. Why would Bail ask me this?... Does he know?... No. He could not. The Jedi and I covered our tracks too well.'
Padme chose her word carefully, as she said, “Yes. I heard the city was not destroyed and the people there will likely be okay.” Padme thought, 'I will leave out that Obiwan told me there would likely be a garrison stationed there.'
Bail stated, “That is a relief.”
Padme thought, with concern and a little worried, 'This is not a good subject to talk about. I am too close to this. And I might accidentally give myself away and give away secrets. I need to end this conversation right now.'
Padme smiled at the hologram of Bail, as she commented, “Well Bail. I need to get going. Have a pleasant day.”
Bail returned Padme's smile, as he said, “You too, Padme.”
Padme reached down and turned off the holo-monitor.
Padme leaned up and breathed a sigh of relief.
Then, Padme heard knocking from the other side of the door to the room which lead to a deck hallway.
Padme turned towards the door to the hallway. She groaned, as she thought, with mild annoyance, 'What now?'
On the other side of the door, Padme heard Anakin's voice said, “Padme. It is me. I am alone. Please, open up.”
Padme thought, 'While he has to codes to open my door, he is polite enough to respect my privacy. Though, with the force, he likely sensed I was talking to someone by holo-comm and he was waiting for me to finish. So this begs the question of how long was he standing outside of my door? Not that I am going to ask. That would be a rude reaction to his consideration of my privacy.'
Padme said, “Coming right now.”
Padme got up from her chair. She walked over to the door. Then, she pushed a button on the panel by the door to open the door.
As the door slid open, Padme saw only Anakin standing in front of her.
Padme stepped out of the way, to her left. She requested, “Please, come in.”
Anakin walked inside. He stood to face Padme. There was less than a meter between them.
The door slid closed.
Padme asked, “So is everything set for Teth?”
Anakin answered, “Yes. We had not problems traveling around the fighting happening Arkanis. We should be there by tomorrow morning.”
Padme inquired, “That is good. How is the fighting above Arkanis?
Anakin commented, “I have no clue. There is a information blackout on both sides. We will not know anything until the battle is over.”
Padme responded, “Okay. And what about Obiwan? Did he make it safely to Tatooine?”
Anakin stated, “I just talked to him by holo-comm. He is already on Tatooine. He has already set up meeting with Jabba, which is scheduled tomorrow morning.”
Padme questioned, “He is not saying at Jabba's Palace?”
Anakin answered, “No. he is staying at an inn in a small town called Anchorhead. In the morning he will take his starfighter to Jabba's Palace and meet with him then.”
Padme commented, “Good. That means we won't have to worry about any surprises from Jabba before we get to the mission.”
Anakin said, “I agree. Hutts are known to pull things on short notice. We will have the meeting briefing at nine hundred about Christophsis and work out the mission. Obiwan's meeting with Jabba is a few hours earlier. Obiwan told me if he got finished with his meeting earlier, he is going to try to contact us around nine, during the meeting. So we know what is happening on his end before we lay out our plans.”
Padme said, “That is a good idea. And I will be there as Thor.”
Anakin responded, “Good. Speaking of which. Since Ahsoka is going to be with us. If we do not tell her, she is eventually going to find out who you really are on her own.”
Padme admitted, “I know.”
Anakin commented, “I also believe we need to figure out how to tell her before she finds out on her own.”
Padme stated, “I agree. Though, I need to think about how I want to handle this. We will talk about it tomorrow. Maybe after the mission. I already talked to her this afternoon. But, it was more of small talk. When I get a chance to talk to her some more. And get a sense of where she stands on a few matters. Then, we will talk.”
Anakin commented, “That will be fine. By the way. Speaking of Ahsoka. After dinner, I finally got a chance to do some lightsaber sparring with Ahsoka with this evening. And I even tested some of her force abilities.”
Padme asked, “How good is she?”
Anakin stated, “She has a lot of raw talent in both the force and lightsaber combat. But, she needs training.”
Padme said, “You and Obiwan will fix that soon enough.”
Anakin stated, “I hope so. Also, I saw the shirt you picked out for Ahsoka. It is nice.”
Padme commented, “Thank you. A girl her age should not be just running around with only cloth wrap around her chest.”
Anakin stated, “I agree. Also, Obiwan and I noticed we you were talking to Ahsoka about manners.”
Padme tactfully said, “No offense intended. But, you Jedi are not the most refined of people.”
Anakin stated, “Actually, I fully agree with you. Jedi can be the most stubborn and foolhardy of people.”
Padme responded, “I am glad you realize that. Ahsoka is still at an impressionable age. And since we will be working together, I would like to show her a point or two that does not involve the force, nor violence. I hope you and Obiwan are fine with that.”
Anakin said, “Actually, we fully support you. Anything you teach her will make her easier to deal with, and put her in a better frame of mind when she is learning from us. Though, we do request you not get her involved in politics.”
Padme gave Anakin a warm smile. She commented, “Thanks. And I will try not to involve her in politics. Also, Ahsoka could use some positive role models.”
Anakin replied, “I agree.” Anakin lips curled into mischievous smile, as he continued, “Especially, since she is a fan of yours.”
Padme groaned, as she requested, “Please. Do not start with that. She might be a fan of Thor for all the wrong reasons.” She thought, 'Such as all the violence and destruction I commit as Thor.'
Anakin pointed out, “Still that means she will listen to you.”
Padme conceded, “That is a good point.”
Anakin replied, “I am glad you agree.”
Padme pointed out, “Also, she is so young. Too young to be sent into battle.”
Anakin said, “I know. I am not exactly happy about the situation, either. But, there is not much we can do about it.”
Padme stated, “It is good you understand that. Now let us talk about you. I learned that when I was hit, you lost control, and almost got yourself killed. You cannot allow your feelings for me to cause you to lose control like that.”
Anakin was silent for a few seconds. He then said, “I know. I promise to do better.”
Anakin stood a step closer to Padme. He said, “Before first.” He learned down as he made a pass to kiss her on the lips.
Padme did not objected, as she slightly leaned her head upward, with the two of them kissing for a few seconds.
They soon broke their kiss.
Padme commented, “It is to bad we cannot do much more than this right now.”
Anakin stated, “If we did, with Obiwan on the ship, he will sense something is amiss. I guess we will just have to learn what Obiwan has been trying to teach me for years.”
Padme asked, “That being?”
Anakin replied, “Patience.”
Padme let out a small laugh. She smiled up at Anakin's face. She commented, “Yes. We could all use some more of that. There will be opportunities. Just not tonight.”
Anakin agreed, “Exactly. See you in the morning.”
Padme replied, “I look forward to it.”
Anakin then turned to the hallway door. When he reached the door, he pushed a button a panel by the door, for the door to slide open.
The door slid open. Anakin walked through the doorway, and into the hallway.
Padme watched Anakin turn to his left, as he headed for his personal quarters.
A few seconds later, the door then slid closed.
Padme turned to look at the hammer on the small nearby table in her bedroom.
Mjolnir was set on its head, with the shaft pointing upward.
Padme was then reminded of something that was said by Yoda earlier that day.
Padme thought, 'Now to do something else I need to do, before I head to bed.'
Padme walked over to her desk. She sat down in the chair at her desk. Once she was comfortable, she used the computer in the desk to log onto the Senate datanets. After which, she searched the Senate archives, by using a search engine program to cross-reference B'ommar monastery, the planet Teth, and a building on a plateau.
During her search Padme found something interesting that she planned to mention to her friends later. After the mission was over.
A little while later, Padme finished what she then retrieved a small data-stick she had brought with her, in her luggage. She used stuck the data-stick into a small data-port, where she backed up the information on what she found. Once she was finished, she removed the data-stick, logged off of the Senate datanets, and got ready for bed.
Soon Padme was ready for bed, she turned off the lights in her bedroom, and she went to sleep on her bed.
Earlier that night, Obiwan had exited hyperspace in orbit around Tatooine, he had his starfighter detach from the hyperspace transport ring, leaving the transport ring in orbit around the planet.
Obiwan entered the atmosphere of Tatooine on the night side of the planet. As Obiwan traveled to the surface of Tatooine, he had contacted Jabba's palace to set up a meeting.
Once Obiwan had scheduled the meeting, he headed for a town he knew of to rest for the night. The town was Anchorhead. He landed on one of the docking areas of the small spaceport in Anchorhead. He got out of his starfighter and paid the docking fees.
Obiwan then used his ship's communication system to talk with Anakin and set up when he could contact him later the next morning.
After Obiwan finished his conversation with Anakin, he left the spaceport and he found an inn to pay for logging to sleep for the night.
The next morning, Obiwan got up, got ready, had something to eat, and went to the spaceport. He get into his starfighter and flew towards Jabba's Palace.
In the cloudless blue morning sky of two suns, Obiwan flew his Jedi Starfighter to towards Jabba's Palace.
While Obiwan flew towards Jabba's Palace, he used his ship's communications system to contact Jabba's palace for confirmation of his meeting, clearance to land and landing instructions.
After being given confirmation of his meeting, clearance and landing instructions, Obiwan flew his starfighter to Jabba's palace.
Given how trigger happy criminals were, Obiwan did not deviate from the instruction he was given.
Presently, Obiwan saw he was approaching Jabba's Palace. Jabba's Palace was located on rocky outcropping in the desert in sandy desert planet of Tatooine. The outside of Jabba's Palace appeared to be one large domed central building, surrounding by towers.
Though, all these building were connected by an underground system of chambers, hallways, and rooms.
A few minutes later, Obiwan did as instructed, and he landed his starfighter right in the clearing in front of the closed main entrance, by the large dome of Jabba's palace.
Obiwan set the landing gear and hovered down to a stop on the ground. Next, he turned off the engines, and he opened the canopy to his cockpit.
As Obiwan got out of his ship, he said to the astromech that was in its own cockpit in the starfighter, “R4. Watch the ship.”
R4 beeped and affirmative
As Obiwan made it to stand on the ground, he saw there was no one around, except for a few armed guards in the surrounding towers. Obiwan could tell the guards were watching him. Though, the guards did not have their blaster rifles trained on him.
Obiwan stood by his starfighter for a few seconds.
Then, Obiwan heard the sound of metal being moved by a large wall.
Obiwan turned towards the wall. He watched as the large armored door to the main building began to raise and open in front of him.
Obiwan saw that behind the door were a group of Jabba's men. Many of the men wore clothing that ranged from normal clothes to brown armor and helmets. All of them were armed. Their weapons ranged from blaster pistols, to blaster rifles, to various types of slugthrowers, and a few had vibro-halbards. Though, only a few of the men had their weapons in hand. And none of them were pointing their weapons towards Obiwan.
Obiwan looked at them. He thought, 'Rough crowd.'
When the door stopped moving, Obiwan turned to address the individuals in front of him. He stated, “Hello. I am Jedi Master Kenobi. I am here to meet with Jabba.”
One of the men stated, “Please, follow us. Jabba is expecting you.”
Obiwan walked over to Jabba's men.
While Obiwan was lead inside, he thought, with mild concern, 'At least they did not ask for my lightsaber. Still, I hope this goes well.'
After Jabba's men escorted Obiwan inside the palace, to meet with Jabba in the main throne room of the building, the large armored door was lowered and closed behind them.
The next morning, it was right at nine hundred on the ship schedule rotation of the Republic Star Destroyer Resolute.
Hours earlier, when the Resolute had come out of hyperspace in high orbit around the planet of Teth, they had a rendezvous with the reconnaissance team of clone troopers whom used a Low Altitude Assault Transport-infantry gunship. The gunship had been modified with better engines and better fuel supply to go in out of orbit of a planet by itself.
Republic military scouts had used to land and spy on the monastery on Teth, from the jungle floor.
The modified gunship had landed inside one of the docking bays of the Republic Star Destroyer, Resolute.
Since then, the reconnaissance team had been debriefed.
Along with this information, the upper command staff had Resolute also reviewed the information sent by the Jedi Order and Republic, on what was known of the renegades that had kidnapped Jabba's son.
Presently, the command staff of the Resolute, along with a few other people, were having a private meeting in a room used for mission briefings.
Unlike other meeting rooms, this did not have a chairs and a table. Those present stood around a large holo-monitor.
The room lights were slightly dimmed, so the holograms from the holo-monitor could be better seen.
Those present were Anakin, Padme in her Thor form, Ahsoka, Admiral Yularen, Commander Cody, Captain Rex, and the Captain of the Republic scout troopers whom had been doing reconnaissances on Teth.
Anakin and Ahsoka were in their Jedi clothing. They each had their lightsaber attached at the belt. Also, Ahsoka wore one of the shirts that Thor had picked out of her. The shirt was a long sleeved shirt that was the same color red as the other red clothing Ahsoka had on.
Thor was in her armor, helmet, with her Black Solace sheathed in its scabbard across her back. She held the hammer in her right hand, against her right side.
Rex, Cody, and the Scout Captain, had their white armor on. Rex had blue highlights on his armor, while Cody had yellow highlights. Also, both Rex and Cody had their helmets off.
The reconnaissance captain was in his green and white camouflaged armor. And he had his helmet on.
The clone troopers did not have their weapons on them.
Admiral Yularen was present. He wore his olive green naval officer's uniform.
Currently, Obiwan had just contacted them. Obiwan's holographic form showed above the large holo-monitor. Obiwan was in a standing position.
Anakin and Obiwan had planned for Obiwan's report on his meeting with Jabba to be the first item of the meeting.
While Anakin looked at Obiwan's hologram, he noticed that Obiwan's hair was occasionally being blow. He thought, 'Obiwan is likely making this communications from outside his Jedi starfighter. I am glad he was able to contact us, as we planned. It will make things simpler for us.'
Obiwan asked, “Can you read me?”
Anakin stated, “Loud and clear.”
Obiwan said, “Good. I met with Jabba. I have some news.”
Thor commented, “Let us hear it.”
Obiwan responded, “Along with rescuing Rotta unharmed, Jabba wants the head, or heads, of those responsible for his son's kidnapping. I believe he is not talking about the droids involved. And I feel he would prefer the heads of the individuals responsible not be attached to their bodies when they are delivered to him.”
Anakin said, “We will see what we can do.”
Obiwan firmly stated, “Rescue the child. If you cannot capture, nor kill, the person, or persons responsible. Let them go. We will just deal with the repressions afterward, and work from there. This is a rescue mission. Not an assassination operation.”
Anakin replied, “We understand.”
Obiwan said, “I will come join you, as soon as possible.”
In response to Obiwan's comment, Thor thought, with disbelief, 'I cannot believe that Obiwan is planning on leaving so soon after such a simple rough patch with negotiations. Personally, I have been in tougher negotiations where there was no talking on the first day. And I was eventually able to get an agreement. Also, leaving is a bad idea for a number of other reasons.'
Thor stated, “General Kenobi. Thy requests thee does not leave Jabba's Palace.”
Obiwan asked, “Why is that, General Thor?”
Thor explained, “Thee can do more good from where thou is. What will happen on Teth will be over by the time thou joins us. Also, thou can make sure that no one else may use the situation to their advantage by attempting to manipulate the situation and Jabba behind our backs.”
Obiwan admitted, “Hmm... I did not considered that possibility.”
Thor cautioned, “Though, from what thee has learned of Jabba. Jabba may not listen to any further requests by thee. It may be best to just stay and listen to what is going on within Jabba's court.”
Thor thought, 'I do not know if it is true or not. But, I do not want to risk you bothering Jabba to the point of being dropped into a rancor pit. With you likely getting yourself killed, and destroying any chance of a treaty between the Republic and the Hutts over the Republic using Hutt controlled hyper-routes.'
Obiwan said, “True. Many times. Listening can be more useful than speaking. I will do as you requested, General Thor. And I will let you know if anything else comes up.”
Thor thought, 'I wonder how the other battles went.' She inquired, “Thank you. And how did the rest of the operations go? Was the Republic able to capture the other locations?”
Obiwan stated, “From the reports I read this morning. Results are mixed. We were not able to take some planets. Such as Arkanis. Though with the capture of Christophsis and other locations, we are making headway in the part of the war front.”
Thor thought, 'Mix results are the nature of battle.' Thor commented, “We will contact thee went we have the child.”
Obiwan said, “Good. General Kenobi, out.”
Obiwan then turned off the communications on his end. His hologram disappeared.
Ahsoka turned to the scout. She asked, “Do you have any idea whom may be behind this kidnapping?”
The scout turned to Ahsoka. He looked down at her, as he answered, “Sorry Miss. But, no. All we saw were droids. And we did not dare approach the monastery.”
Anakin turned to the scout. He commented, “Well, let us start this part of the meeting. Captain. Show us what you have learned.”
The scout turned Anakin. The scout replied, “With pleasure.”
The scout walked over the holo-screen and used the controls to pull up the information that he and his team had collected and had already been fed into the Resolute's databanks.
Suddenly, a large, green, three dimensional representation planet of Teth. The hologram had the circumference and height of a single meter.
Everyone in the room turned to look at the hologram.
Then, the reconnaissance scout pressed another button on the holo-monitor. And there was a blue dot on part of the planet.
The reconnaissance scout stood, as he stated, “This is the part of the planet we believe the child is located. This part of of the planet is mostly jungles and swamps. Though, high, narrow outcroppings jut up from the surface like giant spears. One such outcropping is a plateau that was used as the foundation for the monastery we tracked the renegades to.”
The scout pressed another button on the holo-monitor. The hologram changed into a three dimensional picture of the monastery on the high plateau, form the vantage point of the jungle floor.
Anakin commented, “Okay. I can see what Yoda meant by that place being easy to defend from. What can we expect from the renegades?”
The scout answered, “Battle droids. Mostly B1 and B2 classes. And a lot of them.”
Yularen stated, “The Separatists do not sell B2 droids. They could be behind the kidnapping.”
Anakin turned to Yularen. He said, “That is very possible. But, the Separatists produce these droids by the millions. An expert slicer, with an understanding of data networks, droid software and electronics could steal some of these droids, and program these droids to work independent of the Separatists command systems.”
Thor turned to Anakin. She commented, “It is always wise to be open to other possibilities than the obvious. Especially in war.”
Anakin turned to Thor. He replied, “Exactly.”
Thor and Anakin turned back to look at the holo-monitor.
Yularen inquired, “Can we bomb them?”
The scout said, “No. A single bomb could cause the destruction of the entire monastery.”
Cody asked, “What about an air drop?”
The reconnaissance officer stated, “It is too heavily defended from the air.”
Admiral Yularen turned to Thor. He asked, “What about weather assisted air drop?”
Thor turned to Yularen. She answered, “Admiral. This is not a city on the ground. We do not know how stable that monastery is. While thy feels lightning would be fine. Thy might accidentally knock the monastery off the plateau with an ill placed tornado.” She thought, 'Besides, I have my own ideas for our plan of attack.'
Yularen conceded, “Fair enough.”
Thor and Yularen turned back to look at the rest of the group.
Rex guessed, “So it is a full scale ground invasion?”
Thor spoke up, “I have an alternative suggestion.”
Anakin turned to Thor. He requested, “Go ahead.”
Thor used her left hand to snap open a buttoned pouch on the left side of her belt. She pulled out a small data-stick from the pocket, and she stuck into a dataport on the side of the holo-monitor.
Thor pressed a few buttons on the controls of the holo-monitor
Everyone saw the hologram changed from the outside of the monastery to show the schematics of the monastery and interior of the plateau. Also, there were five yellow dots within the monastery itself.
Rex asked, “Where did you get this information?”
Thor answered, “Thy have my sources. Instead of a frontal assault that will get many of us killed, thy has an alternative plan. As thou can see on the interior of the outcropping, there is a spiral staircase which leads up from the ground to a secret entrance to the monastery.”
“The monastery itself is thousands of years old. It uses the same basic design of almost all B'omarr monasteries. While there have likely have been changes, thy doubts that this secret passage has been changed. And thy doubts that the renegades whom have set up a base there know about the passage.”
“The yellow dots the possible places the renegades could be keeping Jabba's son, Rotta. Once we are able to enter the monastery, we can begin searching for the child as we deal with the renegades.”
Those present look at the schematics and they noticed where the yellow dots were located.
Rex complimented, “Power and brains.”
Thor turned to Rex. She smiled under helmet. She replied, “Thank you.”
Cody commented, “I like this plan.”
Yularen asked, “It is a good plan. But what if the entrance is sealed?”
Thor turned to the admiral. She held up the hammer. She said, “Thou has a key.” She lowered the hammer.
Some of those at the meeting chuckled a little in response to Thor's comment.
Anakin noticed that Ahsoka was smiling as she looked with adoration towards Thor.
Cody commented, “While I like this plan, what about the droids outside?”
Thor stated, “I will be delicate. But, when we have the child. Or, if the alert is sounded. Thy will create a storm to cause lightning and wind to take care of the droids outside. That only leaves those few droids on the inside, along with the renegades.”
Cody inquired, “This could work. So who is going on this mission?”
Anakin said, “Well, since General Thor is going to be needed for this. I will be going as well. Who else?”
Thor said, “This needs to be a small group.”
Anakin turned Ahsoka.
Ahsoka saw him looking at her. Anakin said, “Make it a three person team. Thor, Ahsoka, and myself.”
While Ahsoka held enough restraint to not become excited, she smiled towards Anakin. She said, “I am ready when you are.”
Thor turned to the scout. Thor inquired, “What time of day is it on that side of the planet?”
The scout turned to Thor. He answered, “It is early evening.”
Rex overheard Thor and the scout. Rex spoke up, “This is perfect. We are not close enough to the planet to alert their sensors. We can bring you in on a gunship under the radar. We will keep a squad with the gunship, planetside to pick you up.”
Thor turned to Rex. She complimented, “Good plan.”
Cody said, “I agree.”
Anakin agreed, “I like it.”
Yolaren said, “I think this could work better than a frontal assault.”
Anakin stated, “Then, this meeting is concluded. Let us move on this right now.”
With the meeting was concluded, Thor took the data-stick from the holo-monitor. She pocketed the item in the pouch she had held the item in beforehand.
Everyone walked out of the meeting room to handle their duties.
Meanwhile, Rex and Anakin pulled together their team, supplies, and ship, for their mission.
A few hours later, the long range gunship had entered the atmosphere of Teth from the west, several hundred kilometers from the monastery. The gunship flew low, right above the tree line, so as to not alert the renegades of the oncoming Republic rescue operation.
It was early night, just after sunset of the single sun in that solar system. Though, the two moons of the planet had slowly risen in the clear, violet color sky. The moons provided plenty of illumination for those on the ground to see around with.
The gunship came to a hovering stop above the treeline several kilometers from the monastery. The gunship gently hovered down into a clearing.
Once gunship was hovering less than a meter above the ground, the left side door of the gunship opened up to reveal Captain Rex, and his squad of clone troopers in full armor, with their helmets on, and their weapons at the ready.
Rex had a DC-17 blaster pistol in his right hand, while he used his left hand to hold one of the hand grips from the ceiling, to steady himself. His other DC-17 blaster pistol was in its holster on the outer side of his left thigh armor. The holster for the pistol in his right hand was on his right thigh armor.
The other clone troopers each had a blaster rifle in one hand and their other hand was holding one of the grips on the ceiling.
By the soldiers were Thor, Anakin, and Ahsoka. Thor gripped the hammer in her right hand at her right side.
Rex turned to Anakin. He stated, “General Skywalker. The monastery is ten kilometers to the west from here. We cannot possibly get any closer without risking detection by the renegades.”
Anakin turned to Rex. He responded, “Captain Rex. This will be fine. We will call you if we need you.”
Rex said, “Just say the word and we will be there.”
Anakin replied, “I know.” He turned to Thor and Ahsoka, whom were looking at him. He stated, “Come on you two. Let's go.”
Anakin, then Thor, and then Ahsoka jumped out of the gunship. All three of them landed fine on their feet.
They turned to see the high plateau with the monastery on top of it in the distance.
Anakin turned to Ahsoka. He asked, “I know this is a little late. But were you taught how to use the force to enhance your speed and running abilities.”
Ahsoka looked over at Anakin. She answered, “Yes.”
Anakin said, “Good. Then, follow me.”
But, before the two Jedi could take a step, Thor turned to them. Thor stated, “Keep in mind this is not a race. We should focus on stealth and guile. We will go around animals and thick brush. We will not force our way through the area. In the dark a lightsaber can be seen for kilometers.”
Anakin conceded, “That is a good point.”
Ahsoka said, “I will do as you request.”
Thor said, “Thy will go first. On foot. Captain Rex is correct. Flying is too risky.”
Thor turned and started running through the jungle towards the plateau where the B'ommar monastery was located.
Anakin and Ahsoka used the force to enhance their speed and physical abilities to run in the same direction as Thor.
Thor risked a quick glance back to see the speed at which Anakin and Ahsoka was going.
Thor turned back to look in front of her. She slowed down to allow Anakin and Ahsoka to keep up without them physically overexerting themselves.
About half an hour later, Thor, Anakin, and Ahsoka reached the bottom of the rock face of the outcropping that lead up to the plateau where the B'ommar monastery was located.
As they all stood by the rock face, they looked at each other.
Thor could tell Anakin and Ahsoka were a little winded. She asked, “Do either of thee require a break?”
Anakin leaned down, as he placed his hands on his knees. He answered, “I could use a minute to catch my breath.”
Ahsoka was breathing heavily, as she said, “Same here.”
Thor stated, “Okay. Thy will find secret entrance, while you rest.”
Anakin leaned up. He turned to Thor. He asked, “Do you know where it is?”
Thor answered, “Yes. I know it should be on the western side of the outcropping. Which is this side. Actually, the entrance should be somewhere right here.”
Thor thought, 'With my enhanced sight, I can tell very closely where the door should be. Because the door is made to look like the rock, but it should have a slight, but distinct metallic sheen to it.'
Anakin replied, “Good. At least we do not have to walk around.”
Ahsoka asked, “Do you think there are any droid patrols on the ground.”
Thor stated, “Thy does not hear any. And given the difficulty of bringing the droids up and down from the monastery, thy doubts there are patrols on the ground.”
Anakin said, “I agree.”
Over the next few minutes Thor carefully looked for the secret entrance, as Ahsoka and Anakin caught their breath.
By the time, Anakin and Ahsoka had completely gotten their second wind, Thor had found the door that looked like part of the rock face.
Thor looked at the door in front of herself. She said, “Thy has found the entrance.” She tried to gently open it with her left hand. But, the door would not budge. She lowered her left hand. She turned to Anakin and Ahsoka. She commented, “But, it is sealed.”
Thor noticed that Ahsoka was about to reach for her lightsaber.
Thor commented, “No. As thy stated. A lightsaber will create too much light. The droid guards may see the illuminated blade.
Ahsoka stopped reaching for her lightsaber. Ahsoka replied, “Okay.”
Anakin suggested, “I could use the force to open the door.”
Thor stated, “No need. Thy has this matter in hand.” Thor turned back to the door. She set her hammer down on its head. She used her gloved hands to grip the rock around the entrance. She pulled the entrance from the rock face as quietly as possible.
When Thor detached the entrance from the rock wall, she quietly set the door to the side, against the wall, to her left of the hole she had create.
Ahsoka complimented, “Not bad.”
Anakin said, “You should see what she can do when she really gets going.”
Thor picked up her hammer with her right hand. She turned to face her friends. She said, “Thank you. Now follow thee.”
Thor turned back towards the entrance to the cave. She walked into the cave. Anakin followed Thor. Ahsoka was in the rear.
Ahsoka followed them into the cave. She noticed it was very dark inside the cave. She asked, “How can you see?”
Thor kept moving forward until she reached the first step. By then, she was almost completely darkness of the room. She turned back to look at Anakin and Ahsoka.
Anakin and Ahsoka stopped to looked at Thor.
Thor stated, “Thy has enhanced vision. But, thy still needs a little light to see with. And we are leaving even the ambient light of the outside. So we will need to make our own light.”
Thor then used her hammer, to create arcs of bright blue and white electricity from her hammer. Just enough to see with.
Anakin and Ahsoka pulled out their lightsabers and ignited them to provide green light.
Ahsoka turned to the doorway. She then looked back at Thor and Anakin. She asked, “Should we close the door behind us? Even if there are no droid patrols on the ground. It could be spot from an aerial patrol.”
Thor answered, “No. If we need the clones troopers to seek in behind us. Then, they need to know where the door it. And battle droids are too dumb to notice the door. Even if their fliers did a patrol.”
Anakin looked at both Thor and Ahsoka. He commented, “This is true. Droids are not the most creative bunch.”
Thor said, “Thy will take point. We will walk a few meters apart from each other. We will take our time. This is a stealth mission. Not an assault mission.” She turned back to the bottom step.
From the light of her hammer and the lightsabers, Thor saw the stone steps of stairs spiraled to their right, in a clockwise fashion. Each step was smooth, and was about feet feet in depth, and three feet wide, with each step being six inches high. Though, there was no handrails on the sides of the staircase.
Thor started walking up. Anakin followed about two meters behind her. And Ahsoka followed about two and half meters behind Anakin.
There was silence for the first several minutes as they slowly ascended the staircase within the high plateau.
Eventually, boredom and impatience got the better of Ahsoka.
While they continued up the steps, Ahsoka complained, “Okay. I admit it. I am bored and impatient. But I have to talk, or I am going to go crazy.”
Thor kept walking up, with her eyes in front of her. She cracked a grin under her helmet, as she commented, “Thy am surprised thou was able to last this long.”
Anakin kept walking, as he said, “We all get bored. I am glad you are willing to admit your boredom.”
Ahsoka replied, “Thanks for understanding.”
Thor replied, “You're welcome.” Thor thought, 'Ahsoka. This is a good time to find out how you feel on a few matters, before I tell you who I am.'
Before Thor could make her first inquiry, Ahsoka questioned, “Thor. Does that hammer have a name?”
Thor answered, “Yes. Mjolnir.”
Ahsoka said, “I like the name, Mjolnir.”
Thor replied, “Thank you.”
Anakin commented, “That is not a bad name for a hammer. Makes me think of smashing when I hear the name.”
Thor agreed, “Thy feels the same way about Mjolnir's name. Though, thy have a few things to ask thee.”
Ahsoka responded, “Such as?”
Thor inquired, “Since we are at a war. With the Jedi overseeing the military. And the Jedi and military being overseen by the Senate and Chancellor Palpatine. What is thee's opinion of the current government of the Galactic Republic?”
Anakin thought, 'Padme must be seeing how Ahsoka feels about a few things before we tell her that Padme is Thor.'
Ahsoka commented, “Well since you have spent time in the temple, you would know that the Jedi do not feel very thrilled with the actions and views expressed within the Senate towards the Jedi.”
Thor took mild offense as Ahsoka's comment. But she hid he feelings, as she said, “From what thy hears, not many senators are wild about the Jedi either.”
Anakin thought, 'I better keep this from turning into the argument.' He stated, “While two different groups with power naturally are not trusting of each other. That does not mean they are enemies. Nor, that they cannot work together.”
Thor came to a stop. In response, Anakin and Ahsoka stopped, as well.
Thor turned back to look at Anakin. She asked, “When did thee become Obiwan?”
Anakin looked up at Thor. He answered, “When you both became my students.”
In response, Thor chuckled a little, while Ahsoka let out a small laugh.
Thor stopped chuckling. She smiled. She said, “Fair enough.”
Thor turned back around, and she started climbing the stairs again. Anakin and Ahsoka resumed walking up the steps behind Thor.
Ahsoka stated, “Well to continue our conversation. I will be honest. I am not crazy about the government. Especially the Senate. All they seem to do is talk.”
Thor looking forward, as she walked up the staircase. She sighed. She commented, “Thy guesses from looking in from the outside that would be all they could see.”
Thor thought, 'But sometime I hope to fix that. I am not surprised by your responses. Actually, they are not as bad as they could be. Even some Jedi Council members do not like the Senate, especially the Chancellor.'
'Given that even with their force abilities, we still have legal power over them. I can sometimes tell, when Mace is dealing with us members of government, he is literally gritting his teeth and grinning, as he works with us.'
'And there are others members none of us are sure where they stand. I feel no one is sure where Yoda stands. The man has a better poker face than most gamblers. And he knows it.'
Ahsoka asked, with a little curiosity in her tone of voice, “Where did you get the schematics to this B'omarr monastery?”
Thor smiled under her helmet, as she answered, “The Senate.” She thought, with a bit of mischievousness, 'I bet you feel slightly embarrassed now from you previous comments on the Senate.'
Ahsoka replied, “Oh.” She felt mild discomfort as her previous comments about the Galactic government. She thought, 'So that is why you were asking me those questions on government. You have friends in the Senate. And you want my opinions on the Senate. This is understandable.'
Anakin stated, “Well ladies. We have a ways to go. I suggest that we do so in silence. I do not want to be discovered due to small talk. Think of it as a training exercise.”
Ahsoka groaned. She said, “Fine.”
Thor commented, “Thy will do thou's best for thou's teacher.” She mentally added, 'And boyfriend.'
The three of them then continued up the staircase in silence.
Over an hour later of constant walking, Thor, Anakin, and Ahsoka, reached the top of the staircase.
The stairs lead them to a medium size room, with blank walls, and a ceiling that was only a two meters high.
They stood around the room, as they used their illuminated weapons to see with.
Ahsoka asked, “now where do we go to?”
Thor used her enhanced sight for groves on the walls or corners that would be a sign that there was a door near them.
While Thor looked for a door, she commented, “Thou is looking for the door.”
A few seconds later, Thor found the door, which was as smooth at the walls, save for the outline of the door itself. The door's height and width was large enough that they would not have a problem walking through the doorway.
Thor stated, “Thy has found the door.”
Thor walked over to the door, as she held the hammer in front of her, with her right hand.
Thor came to a stop in front of the door. She stood in place as she ceased making small electricity arcs out of the hammer for light. As the blue and white light disappeared from the hammer disappeared, all that was left green glow from Anakin and Ahsoka's lightsabers to illuminate the room.
Thor lowed the hammer to her right side. She lifted her left hand, and gently placed the flat of her left hand on the smooth surfaced of the door.
Thor gently pushed the door, and the door easily gave way into a dark room.
Thor found that unlike the sealed door at the bottom, this one gave way very easily.
When the door was fully open, Thor walked into the dark room.
As Thor walked into the room, she found that it was not as completely dark as she first thought.
From the high ceiling, Thor saw there was skylight windows where the light from Teth's two moons poured in.
With the light and her enhanced vision, she saw tapestries and other cloth items hung on various locations on the walls the room. There is also a clear area around them. But, there was furniture to their left side.
As Anakin followed Thor into the room, he asked, “Where are we in the temple?” He held his ignited lightsaber away from himself and his friends.
The light from Anakin's lightsaber allowed him to see the room, though not as clearly as Thor's enhanced sight allowed her to see the room.
Thor continued into the room, as she answered, “Thy believes this is a living room of sorts. Most of the room is clear. But, there is furniture to our left. So be ware of this.”
Anakin replied, “Thanks.”
By then, Ahsoka has walked into the large room. Ahsoka made her way into the room she was careful with her ignited lightsaber.
Since Ahsoka was the last one out of the secret passage, she decided to close the door behind them. While she had the hilt of her ignited lightsaber in her right hand, she used her left hand to close the door. She noticed the other side of the door was smooth. Also, she found the door was easy to close.
Ahsoka thought, 'Interesting, this side is as smooth at the other side. I guess this is how the buildings of this place hid the door so door. I wonder...' Ahsoka turned to Thor and Anakin. She asked, “Why did no one find this door?”
Thor and Anakin came to a stop and turned around to look at Ahsoka.
Thor remembered all the secret passages in the Theed Royal Palace on Naboo. She commented, “Likely because these types of doors usually push inward rather than pull outward. And there is usually a lever nearby which is needed to open the door.”
Anakin commented, “Leave it to a group monks to find a simple, yet elegant way to hide something in plain sight.”
Ahsoka noticed the skylights in the high ceiling. She turned back to look at Anakin and Thor. She inquired, “Why do all religious buildings seem to have high ceilings?”
Thor said, “Thee is not sure. Though, thy wondered that when thou visited the Jedi Temple?”
Ahsoka replied, “That is a good point.”
Anakin commented, “I always figured such individuals wanted the benefits of the open feeling of the outside without actually going outside.”
Thor stated, “That makes sense.”
Ahsoka said, “I can see that.” She looked around, as she continued, “Though, I am surprised that no one is here.”
Anakin took a few steps from Thor and Ahsoka. He commented, “We should be happy this is a stealth mission.”
Thor agreed, “I agree.”
Thor heard a footstep right behind her. She noticed through her enhanced hearing a fourth heartbeat besides Anakin, Ahsoka, and herself.
Several things happened within the span of a few seconds.
Thor heard the snap-hiss of a lightsaber blade being ignited.
Thor turned around clockwise, just in time to use the hammer to parry the red energy blade.
Unfortunately, Thor quickly realized that she parried the red blade held in one hand. The attacker's left hand. Which that mean there was actually two clicks from two lightsabers being ignited simultaneously.
Thor immediately brought her left hand to block the other strike to her front.
While Thor was able partly block the blow, with her form pushing the attacker's right hand, with the hilt of a lightsaber being pushed away to Thor's left. Before Thor could move the red energy blade away, the attacker's red blade pierced Thor's left lower side of her chest.
The energy blade went through her brown leather bodice, and hitting her skin before Thor pushed the hilt of the weapon away from herself.
To Thor's credit, Thor did not collapse, nor scream in pain. Instead, Thor grunted in pain. Thor also tightened her grip on the shaft of the hammer in her right hand.
Asajj Ventress had just made her quick strike against the great Thor she had heard about.
The reason there were no droids was that she knew her best chance was complete stealth and to strike quickly.
Asajj thought, 'I almost had you.'
But, a second after she struck, and she had both her attacks countered. Save for a glancing strike to Thor's left side. Asajj immediately sensed danger surrounding Thor.
Asajj jumped away to land a few meters away from everyone. Just as Asajj landed, she saw electricity radiate around Thor for a few seconds.
Asajj thought, 'Nice trick. But not quick enough. That attack might have taken me out if I had not moved.'
Thor stopped radiating lightning.
Anakin and Ahsoka saw what happened. That a slender woman, in a purple cloak and hood, carrying two lightsabers had had attacked Thor, injured their friend, with the attacker backing away before Thor counterattack with her lightning.
Anakin yelled, “No!”
Thor immediately realized, as she thought, 'I have to calm him down. Now!'
Thor kept her eyes on Asajj, as she stated, “It is only a flesh wound. Thou will live.” She then placed her left hand on her left side.
Anakin kept his eyes on Asajj, as he ordered, “Check on Thor. I will handle her.”
Asajj overheard this. She thought, 'I cannot handle all three of them at once.' Asajj turned fled passed the furniture and into a near hallway of the castle.
Anakin following Asajj further into the castle.
Meanwhile, Ahsoka when to check on Thor.
Ahsoka came to a stop by Thor.
Thor turned to Ahsoka. Thor stated, “Thou will be fine.”
Ahsoka demanded, “Let me see.”
Thor removed her left hand from her left side.
From the ambient light of Ahsoka's green lightsaber blade, Ahsoka could see that the burnt flesh on Thor's left side was healing right before her eyes.
Ahsoka stated, “Impressive.”
Thor said, “Yes. Thy heals quickly.” She thought, 'And my armor will be repaired after I summon it again. Though...' She continued, 'For the moment, thy is in no shape to fight.”
Ahsoka asked, “I understand. How did she know we were here?”
Thor realized, as she said, “Thy has a strong presence in the force. She likely sensed me.”
Ahsoka responded, “From what I heard in the Order, you do not use the force.”
Thor thought, 'We do not have time for this.' She stated, “A mystery for another time. Thee head out and find the child. I will deal with the droids outside and aid Anakin.”
Ahsoka pointed out, “You cannot face all those droids like this.”
Thor commented, “Thy does not need to face them at all. Now go.”
Ahsoka turned and headed to the entrance to a hallway opposite of where the furniture were located in the room.
Ahsoka was quickly able to orient herself of where she in the monastery based on the schematics she saw during the mission briefing.
Ahsoka then headed to the closest location where they believed Jabba's son could be held.
Meanwhile, Thor focused her concentration into Mjolnir. She felt the need for a storm to be called outside of the monastery. One that would last only a few minutes, but would do was what needed.
Down the hallway where Asajj fled, Anakin followed her. Asajj turned the corner to her right, and Anakin followed.
Their chase took them through various hallways. Between the glow of their lightsabers blades and the moonlight coming in from the windows in the hallway they had plenty of light to see with.
While Anakin gave chase, Anakin noticed something odd as he ran. He thought, 'I do not see any battle droids. Maybe she does not want any distractions when fighting me. So she is leading me down a path where there are no battle droids. This is very likely. She likely sensed Padme while we were making our way up to the monastery. So she had plenty of time to set up this ambush.'
Soon they reached a large circular room with large circular stone columns lining the sides of the room.
Anakin entered the room.
While Anakin passed the columns the middle of the room, he saw the woman in the purple cloak come to a stop by the columns on the other side of the room.
The woman turned around, with both her red blade lightsabers held out to her sides.
Anakin came to a stop, as he held his lightsaber in his right hand, towards the woman.
Anakin commented, “I guess this is where we makes our introductions.”
Asajj held her lightsabers in an offensive stance, with her blades pointed at Anakin. She stated, “I already know who you are. You are Anakin Skywalker. And I prefer not to give you my name.”
Anakin took an offensive stance with his lightsaber, as he said, “If that is the way you want it. Fine with me.”
The two combatants charged as each other.
As their lightsaber fight began, both found they were evenly matched. Though, as they battled, Anakin soon realized that Asajj wished to continue to keep moving the battle within the monastery. Not that he minded.
While Anakin and Asajj fought, in another part of the monastery Ahsoka quickly found that the hallways in the direction she was heading to be filled with battle droids. But, most did not immediately react to her presence. Ahsoka swiftly destroyed battle droids with her lightsaber as she passed by them.
Ahsoka used her green bladed lightsaber in her right hand, in a underhand style, to destroy the battle droids.
When she turned a corner, she came to a stop, as she saw a droid that looked like a sort of like C3-PO, only with bug eyes on its head. The droid's exterior was a fade metallic yellow.
Ahsoka thought, 'This droid might know where Jabba's son is.' She held her lightsaber at the droid, as she inquired, in a firm tone of voice, “Who are you?”
The droid begged, in its electronic voice, “Please do not destroy me. I am but a humble caretaker droid for this monastery. I am 4A-7.”
Ahsoka demanded, “Where is the huttlet?”
4A-7 answered, “The hutt is being held in a cell in the detention section of the monastery.”
The droid heard Ahsoka growl.
Ahsoka ordered, in a low tone of voice, “Take me to the huttlet. Now.”
4A-7 said, “Right this way.”
The droid turned and started walking down a hallway. Ahsoka following the droid, but she kept her lightsaber in her right hand and her guard up for the possibility of being lead into a trap.
At the moment, in the large living room that Thor, Anakin, and Ahsoka had entered the monastery from, Thor had finished what she was doing.
Thor then cleared her mind, and she listened out in the silence for sounds. With her enhanced hearing Thor heard many things in the background. Thor heard the faint sounds of when two lightsaber blades clashed against each other coming in a specific direction.
In another direction Thor had heard a single lightsaber hum clashing against metal, but she had not heard those sounds for a few seconds. So, she focused on what she guessed was Anakin and the cloaked woman fighting each other.
Thor was still sore. She did not feel like flying. Though, she did walk at a brisk pace towards the sounds of lightsabers being used against each other.
Also, due to them facing a force user, while Thor walked she reigned her thoughts and emotions as she brought up her mental defenses.
While Asajj and Anakin fought, Asajj had lead them to a open terrace overlooking the main courtyard of the monastery. It was a partly cloudy in the violet colored sky, which was well lit by the two moon of Teth.
Neither combatant was trying to use the force against the other. Both of them desired to see how well the other was in their skills with their lightsabers.
The two combatants continued to trade lightsaber strikes, parries, and dodges.
While fighting, Asajj thought, 'While I fight Skywalker, I have to put as much distance between us and the other two. Especially, Thor. Skywalker is a handful. And I admit. Dooku is right. I cannot handle both Skywalker and Thor at the same time.'
'I almost had Thor. And it is clear that Skywalker would have reacted in the way Dooku warned me of, if Thor had not told him she was okay. So while I did not kill her, I did prevent Skywalker from going berserk. As such, the situation is a wash.'
Asajj noticed that the outside was wet. Like it had just rained. Then, she saw in her peripheral vision, that it was a partly cloudy in the violet sky. When is had been a clear sky earlier in the night.
Asajj risked a glance down at the courtyard, to her right, over a low laying parapet wall. What Asajj saw deeply troubled her. She saw that the battle droids outside had been destroyed. From the look of burn marks on them, which were clearly made by lightning.
Though, Asajj forced her attention back on the fight with Anakin. Asajj thought, 'That must have been Thor. She can control the weather without looking. I am glad I decided to put as much distance as possible from her. Though, this is not good. Still, I have a few tricks that could work against her.'
As they continued to fight, Anakin commented, “I realize you are trying to lead us away from Thor. That is not going to work. She can hear pin drop a kilometer away. She can hear us fighting no matter where we are in this fortress. And from the looks of what has happened out here. You are out of options.”
Asajj thought, 'He noticed the droids have been destroyed as well. Still, I am not going to give up without a fight.'
Asajj replied, “But not out of tricks.”
Asajj quickly, thought carefully attached the bottom ends of her ignited lightsabers together, to attach them.
Asajj swiftly used her hands to attack with her now red bladed double-sided lightsaber in a clockwise spinning fan attack. This attack forced Anakin back.
But a few seconds later, while holding the hilt of his lightsaber in his right hand, Anakin blocked the top blade, right above the hit with his green lightsaber blade.
If Anakin had blocked the top red blade further from the hit, Asajj could have pivoted with the bottom blade to attack Anakin. But, due to Anakin's blade being so close to the hilt, Asajj risked damaging her lightsaber hilt, or even her hands, if she attempted such an attack.
A moment after Anakin used his lightsaber to block Aasjj's lightsaber, Anakin used his left fist to hit Asajj in her nose, knocking her back a meter and a half.
Asajj was partly dazed by the blow, but she was still conscious enough to realize this. She back up two more meters before she came to a stop while looking at Anakin.
Anakin did not press his advantage as he stood in a defensive stance with both his hands on his lightsaber hilt.
Asajj held her lightsaber in her right hand, with the blades outside her robe and hood. While Asajj did this, she used her left hand to check her nose. She found it was not broken, but Anakin did bloody her nose.
Asajj wiped the blood from her left hand onto her robe. She snorted out the rest of the blood from her nostrils.
Asajj looked over as Anakin and she saw him looking at her. She smiled, as she said, “Not bad.”
Anakin cracked a grin, as he thought, 'You should see my foot work.' He responded, “Thank you. The Jedi do not teach much in incorporating physical attacks with lightsaber attacks. But, I like to mix things up.”
Asajj replied, “I agree. It breaks the monotony.”
Anakin stated, “I am not surprised that you have had some Jedi training. I can see it in your style.”
Asajj conceded, “That is evident.”
Anakin commented, “I would think I would noticed you in the Jedi Temple.”
Asajj said, “I have never been to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.”
Anakin asked, “Then who taught you?”
Asajj said, “A man by the name of Ky Narec.”
Anakin admitted, “I have not heard of him.”
Asajj said, “I am not surprised. He was killed years ago. He died in my arms.”
Anakin questioned, “By your hand?”
Asajj flatly answered, “No. He was shot in the back by a coward.”
Anakin responded, “You have my condolences. And I admit my accusation was uncalled for.”
Asajj said, in an even tone of voice, “Apology accepted. I have long since avenged his death. Though, I was informed you were a lot more hot headed and immature than this.”
Anakin stated, “I had a six week working vacation to think over a lot of things. My outlook on life has since changed a bit.”
Asajj complimented, “It suits you.”
Anakin asked, “Thank you. So who are you? And who told you about me?”
Asajj cracked a grin, as she said, “Those are my little secrets.” She gripped the 's' curved hilt of her double-sided lightsaber with both hands.
Anakin stated, “You know. I must say thank you for this fight”
Anakin's comment took Asajj by surprise, as she flatly asked, “What?”
Anakin explained, “I have recently been assigned to teach someone. And I found she is interested in eventually studying the Jar'Kai style. I had my doubts on using two weapons at once. But, after fighting you. I see how effect this style is. Still, I prefer a single blade. Though, I can see the appeal.”
Asajj was not sure how to responded, as she said, “Thank you... Though, are you talking about the child with you?”
Anakin replied, “Yes.”
Asajj stated, “I was wondering about her. If the Jedi are sending children as young as her out to fight in this war, then they are more foolish and arrogant than I thought.”
Anakin said, “That we agree on.”
Asajj commented, “I am starting to hate having to kill you. As I said. I was under the impression that you were immature. I see I was wrong.”
Anakin casually asked, “Thank you. Do you think I could convince you to surrender?”
Asajj answered, “No.” She then carefully detached the two hilts, with harming herself with the energy blades. She was now holding an ignited lightsaber in each other her hands. She reversed the grip hold the curved hilts in straight manner, with the blades mostly pointing in a forward manner. Much like style of grip that Dooku preferred with his curved lightsaber, only Asajj did this with both of her lightsabers.
Anakin shrugged, as he said, “At least I tired.”
Asajj then charged at Anakin, and Anakin responded by charging at Asajj. With they met they clashed their blades against each other as their battle resumed.
Deeper inside the monastery, the caretaker droid, 4A-7, lead Ahsoka down to the detention area.
They passed by a few battle droids. Though, the battle droids did not attack, Ahsoka destroyed any nearby battle droids she saw with her lightsaber.
Soon, 4A-7 came to a stop by a door to the droid's rights side. The droid turned to the door.
4A-7 stated, “Here is where the hutt is being kept.”
The droid used its right hand to touch a button on the panel by the door to open the door.
The door slid open. The caretaker droid walked into the room.
Ahsoka followed the droid.
4A-7 soon came to a stop, with Ahsoka stopping behind the droids.
Ahsoka saw the room was bare walls, floor, and ceiling. Then, from the shadows, further in the room, Ahsoka saw the saw young, small huttlet make his way into the light of the room. The huttlet had grayish-green skin and orange eyes.
The child was small enough to be placed in child carrier backpack.
Ahsoka forced herself to reign in her rage at seeing an innocent child being neglected in such a way.
Ahsoka circled around the room, in a counterclockwise fashion. As she did so, she did not take her eyes off the droid. Ahsoka kept her ignited lightsaber in her right hand.
When Ahsoka reached the child, she quickly bend down, and used her left hand and arm to pick up the huttlet. She then stood up, as she held the huttlet between her left arm and chest.
Ahsoka saw the huttlet in her arm looked happy, but she could tell from her sense of touch from her left arm that huttlet was sick and had a fever.
Ahsoka held her lightsaber towards the caretaker droid. She demanded, in anger, “Why has this baby not been cared for?”
4A-7 realized it was in trouble. It begged, “Caring for the hutt is not part of my programming. Please do not destroy me with your lightsaber.”
Ahsoka lowered her lightsaber, as her lips curled into a smirk. She said, “You're right. You are not worth a lightsaber strike.”
Ahsoka used the force to telekinetically throw 4A-7 out of the cell, and into the fall wall of the hallway. Ahsoka used the force to slam the droid a few times until the droid seized to function.
Ahsoka looked down at the young hutt, as her smile turned warm. She said, “Now let's find my friends and get you home.”
Ahsoka looked up. She rushed out of the cell. She briskly walked down the hallway, as she used the force to locate Anakin and Thor.
Ahsoka thought, 'Thor is right. I can sense her with the force very clearly. I can also sense Jedi Skywalker. And I guess that dark spot in the force near Jedi Skywalker is the person he is fighting. I was told that the dark side left such a sensation in the force. I see that my teachers were correct. Though, I need to be careful that I am not ambushed by any droids on my way to them.'
Ahsoka continued through the lower levels of the monastery, towards the stairs that would take her to the upper levels, where she sensed her friends were. Though, she was own her guard and she was careful in how she handled the sick child in her left arm.
As Anakin and Asajj fought outside on the terrace, Thor and Ahsoka were approaching the two combatants from two different directions.
Thor had her the hammer in her right hand. She had destroyed the few battle droids she passed by. Though, none of the battle droids had attack her. Though, Thor was not going to take any chances.
At the same time, while Ahsoka carried Rotta in her left arm, she used the lightsaber in her right hand to take out any battle droids she passed by.
A few minutes later, as Anakin and Asajj fought, Ahsoka and Thor appeared from two different sides of the terrace, with Anakin and Asajj being between them.
Unfortunate, it was Thor that was behind Anakin. And Ahsoka, with Rotta, standing behind Asajj.
Asajj was the first to notice this. She quickly made her move. She turned and jumped in a spinning flip to land right on her feet, behind Ahsoka and the huttlet, while face them, with her lightsabers held to her sides, so as to not harm herself, nor the children..
From behind, Asajj swiftly move her left red lightsaber blade the front of Ahsoka's throat, while holding her right lightsaber blade towards Anakin and Thor, whom were three meters in front of her, Ahsoka and Rotta.
As this happened, Thor walked up to stand to Anakin's left side.
Asajj ordered, “Drop the lightsaber, child.”
Ahsoka immediately dropper her lightsaber. Ahsoka had set her lightsaber so when she left go of the lightsaber, the weapon would turn off.
While the lightsaber fell the ground it automatically deactivated. The lightsaber made a clinging sound as it hit the stone floor of the terrace.
Ahsoka continued to hold Rotta in her left arm. She looked at Anakin and Thor, as she said, “Sorry, Jedi Skywalker. General Thor.”
Anakin said, “It is okay. We will get you out of this.”
Asajj ordered, “Deactivate your lightsaber, Skywalker. And holster it.”
Anakin immediately deactivated his lightsaber, and he put it into holster on the left side of his belt.
Asajj thought, 'It would take a few seconds to pull that weapon out. Or use the force pull the weapon on the floor to him. And he knows that is too long a span of time to save these children. Now, for Thor. I am going to enjoy this.'
Asajj turned to Thor. She ordered, “Power down, Thor.” She cracked a grin, as she continued, “Or, should I say Senator Amidala. And then set the hammer down by you.”
Thor thought, 'Given who she is, there is only one way she can know who I am. Still, I better do as she demands. If we need to do something quickly, Anakin still has the force. And I can summon the hammer at a moments notice. I just regret not being able to tell Ahsoka my true identity on my own time and choosing. Also, in my normal form have a small blaster hidden on a holster on the outer side of my right thigh in my pants.
Ahsoka watched as Thor changed, along with the armor Thor had on. From a tall, slightly muscular human woman, with long blond hair coming out from her her helmet, to a slightly smaller, shorter human woman with long brown hair, wearing a simple blue shirt, dark gray pants, and blue boots.
Ahsoka saw the brown haired woman looking directly at the Ahsoka, Rotta, and Asajj, as she set the hammer down, on the top of its head, by her right side.
Asajj chuckled a little, as she said, “I bet you did not realize I know who you are.”
Padme maintained her mental defenses, as she thought, 'No. But this answers a few questions. And this gives me a few ideas on how to get us out of this mess.'
Padme said, in her normal voice, in a calm manner, “No. All you have done is reveal who you work for. Though, what you do not understand is at this moment, as long as you hand over the children, you still win. Dooku still wins.”
Asajj stated, “This I want to hear. Though first how did you know it was Dooku whom told me?”
Padme calmly responded, “There are only a handful of people that could organize this and whom know who I am. Once I realized it was Dooku. It was not hard to figure out the plan was to keep the Hutts from siding with Republic, and signing a treaty with us over the Hutt controlled hyper-routes.”
“Also the only proof is my identity. Which I wish to remain secret. So, I am willing to make a trade. Jabba said he would only agree to a treaty in exchange for your head. I will trade the lives you hold, for your life. Let them go, we will let you go, and we will only state that it was renegades that took Jabba's son. With no mention of what you look like. Nor we will mention the involvement Dooku and the Separatists, concerning this whole affair.”
Asajj pointed out, “And why should I do so? It sounds like I see hold the power in this situation.”
Asajj's comment hit a nerve with Padme.
Padme's eyes met Asajj's eyes. And Asajj saw a icy hardness to Padme's eyes.
Padme stated, with a cold rage lacing her voice, “No. You do not understand. If you harm either of those children. No only will we come after you. The Jedi Order will make it their mission to find you. I will use every resource in the Senate to find you. And Jabba will put a bounty on your head which will be so high that every scumbag in the galaxy will be after you. You better pray that the Jedi find you. They will just kill you. The rest of us will do far worse to you.”
Anakin turned to look at Padme, with a look of disbelief on his face at what Padme had just said.
Ahsoka looked at Padme. Ahsoka commented, “Remind to never upset you.”
Meanwhile, Padme continued to watch Asajj. Padme saw fear in Asajj's eyes, as Asajj swallow hard.
Padme held back a wicked smile of satisfaction. Instead, she calmly said, “Or, you let them go. And we allow you to leave unharmed, with your anonymity intact.”
Asajj sense through the force that Padme had very strong mental defenses which she could not break. In addition, Asajj could tell that Padme was not was not bluffing. Asajj commented, “You talk like a Sith.”
Padme could not longer hold herself back, as he lips curled into a wicked smile of satisfaction. She said, “I will take that as a compliment. Now do we have a deal? Or not?”
Asajj let go of Ahsoka and Rotta by removing her left lightsaber blade from Ahsoka's throat.
Asajj said, “Take them. Neither of you are worth such problems.”
Asajj turned and ran off, as she headed through an entrance taking her inside the monastery, and to hidden hangar within the building, where she had her starfighter hidden. Once she reached her starfighter, she would fly into orbit and then into hyperspace, and away from the one woman in the galaxy she actually felt fear towards.
Anakin turned towards the entrance Asajj had just use. Though, Anakin was about to head after Asajj, Padme ordered, “No. Do not go after her.”
Anakin looked over at Padme. He asked, “Why not?”
Padme stated, “I gave my word. As Yoda said about Dooku on Geonosis. There will be other opportunities. As of right now, she is not going to come after us. We have the huttlet. The mission is accomplished.” She turned to Ahsoka, as she continued, “And we will not tell Jabba about who we faced, nor Dooku's involvement. We have no proof. And informing Jabba may backfire and cause the Hutts to side with the Separatists. Besides which, I do not want to make that force user a personal enemy.”
Ahsoka gently hugged the small huttlet, as she said, “I will do as you request.”
Anakin said, “So will I.”
Padme asked, “Good. Now how is everyone doing?”
Anakin stated, “Besides letting a dark side user go. I am fine.”
Ahsoka stated, “I am fine. But, Rotta is sick. He has a fever.”
Padme turned to Ahsoka and the young huttlet. Padme said, “We will get this child some medical attention as soon as possible.”
Anakin commented, “That is a good idea.” He used his right hand to press a button on the comlink on the outer side of his left glove. He held up his left glove to his face, as he stated into the comlink, “Rex. We have Rotta. Though, he is sick. We are on the top of the terrace of the monastery. Thor has taken care of the droids. Come pick us up.”
On the communication line, Rex replied, “Coming right to you, sir.”
Anakin used her right hand turned off the comlink in his left glove. He lowered his hands. He turned to Padme. He asked, “How is the wound?”
Padme turned to Anakin. She answered, “It healed back completely a while ago. Not even a scar.”
Anakin stated, “Good. Though, I want you to have a medical check up when we get back to the Resolute.”
Padme replied, “No problem.”
Ahsoka used the force to pull her deactivated lightsaber up into her right hand. She then holstered the weapon on her belt. She turned to Padme. Ahsoka asked, “So you are Senator Amidala of Naboo?” She thought, 'That is why Master Yoda singled out Naboo when explaining Teth. And why Thor defended the Senate. This all makes sense now.'
Padme picked up the shaft of the hammer with her right hand. She looked at Ahsoka. Padme stated, “Yes, Ahsoka. I am Senator Amidala of Naboo. But, when I am like this you can call me, Padme.”
Ahsoka responded, “Okay, Padme. By the way, are you the same Senator Amidala that had to deal with all those assassination attempts?”
Padme said, “Yes.”
Ahsoka questioned, “This is why you want to teach me some manners? Because you are a Senator?”
Padme smirked, as she replied, “And former Queen of Naboo. And yes. This is why I want to teach you.”
Ahsoka returned Padme's smile. Ahsoka requested, “Cool. Well could you throw in some diplomacy lessons as well?”
Ahsoka request caught Padme a little by surprise. Padme said, “I was going to work up to that. I am pleasantly surprised that you still want to accept such lessons from me.”
Ahsoka stated, “You were a former queen of an entire planet. You are a senate member of the Galactic Republic. I would be insane not to take you up on your offer. I am willing to learn, if you are willing to teach me.”
Padme said, “Good. We will start our lessons when we get back to the ship.”
Ahsoka inquired, “Good. Also, let me guess. You get you powers from your hammer? Like the rumors in the Order stated.”
Padme replied, “Yes.” She thought, 'I am not surprised there were rumors about me. I am just happy that my identity was not included in these rumors. Or, Ahsoka would have mentioned that by now.'
Ahsoka looked over at the hammer in Padme's right hand. She asked, “And how did you get that hammer?” She looked back at Padme's face.
Padme stated, “It is a long story.”
Ahsoka pointed out, “We have nothing better to do while we wait for our pick up.”
Padme said, “Fair enough. Anakin and I were present during the arena battle on Geonosis, and the hammer literally landed by us. I picked up the hammer and that is when the fun started...”
Padme recounted her story to Ahsoka. Though, Padme left out a few details. Such as her relationship to Anakin. Along with omitting details of her training and her missions.
A few minutes later, by the time the gunship came to picked them up, Padme has finished her tale.
As they saw the modified gunship coming closer, Padme used the hammer to change back Thor.
A minute later, the modified gunship came to a stop hovering near them. The left door of the gunship open. Those present were careful as they moved Rotta onto the ship. Ahsoka was then helped above. Anakin was next. And finally, Thor board the gunship.
The gunship doors was closed and sealed.
Rotta was placed in a small backpack holder that the attached to the back interior wall of the gunship.
Once everyone was secure and the seals on the doors were confirmed to be airtight, the gunship headed into orbit towards the Republic Star Destroyer, Resolute.
Less than an hour later, the Republic gunship reached the Star Destroy Resolute in orbit. The gunship landed in a hangar and the hangar was pressurized, making it safe to exit the gunship.
Once it was safe to left the gunship, Thor, Anakin, Ahsoka, immediately disembarked, as they carefully took Rotta to the main medical ward of the Star Destroyer.
When the reached the medical ward, Rotta was taken by a medical droids to a private room for himself. Meanwhile, while carrying her hammer in her right hand, Thor was lead by another medical droid into another private room for herself.
Though, Thor allowed Anakin and Ahsoka to come into the room, as she was checked out.
When they reached the room, and the door was closed, Padme changed back to her normal form and clothing. She set the hammer down on the floor, on its head by the examination table.
Next, Padme sat on the examination table, and the droid used a handheld device to scan through Padme clothing on, on the left side of her abdomen, for any possible internal injuries.
Padme already checked and found that her skin had completely healed with not even have a scar showing.
While this went on, Ahsoka stood out of the way, and Anakin used the holo-monitor on a nearby table in the room to contract Obiwan.
Anakin contacted Jabba's Palace to leave a message for Jedi master Obiwan Kenobi to contact his students concerning important matters.
A few minutes later, Obiwan contacted them from his starfighter outside of Jabba's palace.
After Anakin got in touch with Obiwan, Anakin informed Obiwan that they head the huttlet and that Rotta was safe. Anakin mentioned how Thor came up with the plan to rescue the child, how the mission was set up, and what happened on the mission.
Though, Anakin omitted the few details they agreed on not talked about. Still, Anakin did mention he fought a dark force user, and the dark side user had been able to use a lightsaber to slightly harm Thor, but Thor quickly recovered. Anakin did not give any details about the dark side user, save that the person was a woman.
Meanwhile, Padme and Ahsoka silently listened as Anakin gave his report.
By then, the medical droid had finished its scans of Padme.
The medical droid stated, “Senator Amidala. Your medical scans are finished.”
Everyone in the room overheard the droid. They, and Obiwan by holo-comm, went quiet as they listened to the results of the check up.
Padme turned to the medical droid. She asked, “Am I going to be alright?”
The medic droid answered, “Yes. You are in a good health. Except for some mildly irritated tissue, my scans did not detect anything. If the soreness on your side does not disappear by tomorrow, contract us.”
Padme stated, “The sensation of soreness is almost completely gone. If I have any problems, I will let you know.”
Anakin turned to Padme. He commented, “Still that was a close call.”
Padme looked over at Anakin. She said, “I agree.” She turned to the medical droid, as she inquired, “What is the status on the huttlet?”
The medical droid answered, “He has a fever. But, we are already treating that fever, and it should break within the next few hours. Also, the hutt child is suffering from malnutrition. We are treating him for this. With proper treatment and care, the child should make a full recovery.”
Over the holo-comm, Obiwan was the first to speak. He happily stated, “Good. I will be sure to inform Jabba that his son will be fine.”
Those people in the room turned to the hologram of Obiwan.
Padme requested, “Please do so.” She then thought, 'I need to inform them of something.'
Padme mentioned, “There is something I found while searching the Senate datanet archives for the monastery schematics. There was another log in the Senate datanets for the same data. The log was from three weeks ago. But, the log did not list as to whom logged into those files on the archives. I believe this means that Dooku has allies in the Senate. And whom in all likelihood did not leave for the Parliament of the Separatists. While this is not proof, this does offer suspicions that the renegades were either working for, or working with the Separatists.”
Obiwan asked, “This is not surprising. Given your experience as a negotiator I would prefer your input. Do you think I should inform Jabba of this?”
Padme thought, 'I am glad you are willing to acknowledge that, and ask for my advice. Now for the bad news.' She stated, “No. We have not concrete proof of Separatist involvement. As such, there is no point in mentioning this to Jabba. If we did mention this doing so would likely backfire on us.”
Padme thought, 'When the Loyalist Committee existed, we were tasked in finding Separatist sympathizers. So, I can recognize the circumstantial evidence when I see it.'
Obiwan agreed, “That is a good point. I will not mention this to him.”
Padme said, “Thank you for heeding my advice.”
Obiwan commented, “Still, the way you came up with that plan to sneak into the monastery was brilliant. And your suggestions on taking down Loathsom has not gone unnoticed. You saved a lot of lives with your quick thinking and your display of a solid understanding of strategy and tactics. You may yet end up with a command rank in this military.”
Padme replied, “We'll see.” She thought, 'As a Senator, I already have all the political power I desire. And while I would not mind being able to give orders to soldiers, I still have the authority from the Chancellor to arrest people. Along with having a rank of general, the power from Mjolnir, and my friends in high places. Including you, Obiwan. I have enough clout not to worry about any chain of command issues arising in the foreseeable future.'
Obiwan asked, “Now what about this dark force user?”
Padme stated, “We did not learn of her name. Nor, did we get a clear look at her, due to her wearing a purple cloak and hood.”
Neither Anakin, nor Ahsoka replied to Obiwan's inquiry.
Obiwan responded, “This is unfortunate. Though, as long as the hutt child is fine, I do not see any major problems arising for us. A few hours after I give Jabba the good news, I will see if I can convince Jabba will change his mind on desiring the heads of those response. Still, even if we did not get the treaty, we will only be back to where we started. And we will not have to worry about the Hutt immediately siding with the Separatists.”
Padme said, “Exactly. I would rather have a stalemate than to have the Hutts side with the Separatists. The Republic cannot afford a war on two fronts.” She continued, in a firm tone of voice, “Though do not try any mind tricks with Jabba. Doing so will backfire.”
Obiwan agreed, “You are absolutely right.”
Anakin remembered something the dark force user had told him. He thought, 'I need to ask the question.'
Anakin stated, “There is one thing about the dark force user I fought. While I did not learn her name. I did learn something from her. She claimed to have been trained with in using the force and with lightsabers by a man named, Ky Narec. Does that name mean anything to you?”
Obiwan responded, “Yes. He was a Jedi Knight. He was presumed lost in the Outer Rim over a decade ago. Do you know anything else?”
Anakin answered, “Yes. Though, she claimed Ky Narec died in her arms years ago. With him being shot in the back.”
Obiwan asked, “And you believe her?”
Anakin responded, “Yes. I do not believe she was the one to kill him.”
Obiwan stated, “Well, Jedi Narec must have saw something good in her to have taken her on as a student. And this at least puts the mystery of his fate to rest.”
Anakin said, “I am glad we can find some good meeting her.”
Obiwan asked, “So how will you be transporting the huttlet to Tatooine?”
Anakin stated, “Once the huttlet is stable, I was planning to send a shuttle with some clone troops, to transport the huttlet to Tatooine. He will be reunited with Jabba in a day or two. At most.”
Padme thought, 'I can think of a much better and more stately way.'
Padme suggested, “Since the huttlet is still sick and time is pressing. In addition that a parent would want to be reunited with their child as soon as possible. And there has been no invasion of Teth. Thus, we have no clean up. In addition to the importance of the mission. I suggest we just take the Resolute to Tatooine.”
Anakin conceded, “That is not a bad idea.”
Ahsoka commented, “I like it.”
Obiwan stated, “I believe bringing the huttlet to Tatooine with a Jedi Cruiser escort would for be best. Jabba may even find it flattering for us to do so. Well keep me appraised of the situation. I will be momentarily informing Jabba of the good news. Obiwan, out.”
Obiwan ended the communication from his end. His hologram disappeared from the holo-monitor.
Padme turned to the medical droid. She calmly requested, “Could you give us some privacy.”
The droid turned to Padme. It replied, “Sure. Inform me if you need anything.”
The droid then turned and headed for the door. When it reached the door, it use a panel by the door to open the door.
As the door slid open and the droid walked out.
A few seconds later, the door slid closed.
After the door slid closed, Padme turned to Ahsoka. She saw Ahsoka looking back at her.
Padme said, “Now let us talk about my little secret.”
Ahsoka commented, in a casual manner, “Do not worry. I won't say a word about it with anyone. Save for Anakin, Obiwan, and yourself.”
Padme calmly responded, “I realize that. But, that was not what I was talking about. The reason I did not tell you the truth when we met was that I wanted to first get to know you. Then, I planned to decide how to handle things from there. Anakin was helping me with this.”
Anakin spoke up, “We discussed the matter a few times. But, we did not have time to figure a way to tell you, before the dark force user forced our hand.”
Padme said, “Yes. We just did not have time. I hope you are not upset about this.”
Ahsoka responded, “No. I am fine. This is a secret worth keeping.”
Padme happily commented, “I am glad you feel that way.”
Ahsoka inquired, “Does anyone else know you are Thor?”
Padme answered, “Yes. But, only a few. Though none of them are my family. And I would prefer this remain between the four of us. You, Obiwan, Anakin, and myself.”
Padme thought, 'I do not want you to know that those on the Jedi Council and the Chancellor know that I am Thor. Along with Dooku and Jango. Though, you would likely suspect the Jedi Council and the Chancellor do know. But, I do not want to put you in a position where you feel you would have to talk to them about this matter.'
Ahsoka replied, “Okay.”
Padme stated, in serious tone of voice, “Though, I am concerned that about the welfare of my love ones back on Naboo. Some of the people who know who I am are very bad people. Though, there are only a few such bad people whom know who I am. Such as that dark side user we faced today. And I do not want any of them to declare a personal vendetta against me. Because if that happens, they will come after my family.”
Ahsoka said, “Given the way she reacted to your threat. As long as we do not antagonize her further, I do not believe you will have to worry about her.”
Padme agreed, “I believe you are correct. After I warned her, I saw fear in that woman's eyes. And that gulp she made was very real.” Padme lips curled into a wicked smirk, as she continued, “She realized I was not bluffing.”
Ahsoka commented, “You have a dark side.”
Padme smile turned more warm, as she replied, “Don't we all.”
Ahsoka replied, “Perhaps.”
Anakin silently watched as Padme and Ahsoka have pleasant conversation. He thought, 'I am glad this situation of Padme's secret identity concerning Ahsoka knowing has been defused before it became a problem.'
Padme and Ahsoka talked, while Anakin made a few comments, but otherwise remained silent.
This continued for a little while until they decided to get something to eat.
Padme hopped off the bed to stand on the floor. She used her right hand to pick up the hammer, and change back into Thor. After which, they left the medical ward to head for the mess hall to have some an early dinner.
A few hours later, in another part of the Outer Rim, while traveling through hyperspace, Dooku was in the cockpit his small two seat transport shuttle. He sat in a chair. To his right was the droid piloting the ship.
While in hyperspace, the ship had a sail that was set in front of the ship as it traveled.
Asajj had just contacted Dooku. And she was giving her report of what happened on the monastery on the planet of Teth.
From a small holo-monitor built into the dashboard in front of him, Dooku saw the small hologram of Asajj showed she was sitting in the cockpit of her starfighter. Her purple cloak cover her body save for her bald head.
Dooku remained silent as Asajj gave her report.
Asajj had already informed Dooku of how the huttlet had been rescued by Thor, Anakin, and a young Togruta girl whom had a lightsaber. That Anakin had said the young girl was his student. With the rescue coming through guile and stealth at night, instead of a full assault during the day, as Asajj had been expecting.
Dooku thought, 'Experience had taught me that the best way to spot a lie in someone's statement is to just listen for the lie. So far, I sense no lies from her.'
Dooku looked around the cockpit of his small transport shuttle, with the droid pilot to his right.
Dooku mentally lamented, 'I really need to invest in getting a space yacht for myself. This type of transportation is beneath my station. And traveling in this way is becoming cramped and tiring.'
'Once Ventress has informed me of the huttlet's rescue, I realize this operation was over. I already order my droid pilot to change course from Tatooine to a nearby Separatist spacestation to refuel. And I know better than to try to find a decent ship in a backwater world like Tatooine. After I refuel at the spacestation, I will head to the Mid-Rim to start looking for a space yacht worthy of my station.'
Dooku turned back his attention to Asajj's comments, as he continued his thoughts, 'The Jedi came early. And I have yet to even land on Tatooine. I will not able to frame the Jedi. As such, the plan is scrubbed. But, from what Asajj tell me from the deal she struck with the girl, the girl let slip that the Republic would still not be able to have a treaty with the Hutts. So all is not lost.'
'It seems the girl is willing to sacrifice a potential strategic treaty to protect her identity. This shows that the girl has the potential to be more corruptible and selfish than I thought. She is willing to risk the fate of the galaxy to protect herself and I guess, by extension, her loved ones. I might someday be able to use this against her. But, not today.'
'And even better, Sidious cannot blame anyone for this mission going eyry. The timetable moved up faster than anyone could have guessed because of the girl's actions. Though, for the girl to figure out a way to sneak into the monastery, instead of the full on assault we were expecting, was brilliant on her part. And it had to be the girl that whom behind this change of plans. She is the only factor that Sidious clearly did not account for. And the girl has showed brilliance in her planning.'
'Considering the brilliance the girl has shown in her political career this is a blind spot for Sidious. It is clear that Sidious only values and considers force users to be threats. He does not consider those whom are blind to the force to be a threat to him.'
'This is a major mistake on his part. I have known to may Jedi that were killed by someone blind to the force, whom caught the Jedi off guard and killed him or her, with a single shot. Usually to the Jedi's back.'
'One of the primary reasons I decided to teach Grievous lightsaber combat was to reminded me how dangerous a properly prepared person can be. No matter if that person uses the force or not.'
'And such a mistake might someday get Sidious killed.'
'Besides Sidious picked out the location of using that monastery for Teth, And when he did so he did not inform me there was a secret passage in the monastery. He always does hold back information from everyone. He has only himself to blame. Though, I will be more diplomatic about this matter when I speak to him. I will do so by holo-comm. In case he tries to force choke me I will cut off the transmission. I find such tricks in the force to be distasteful.'
'Also, I am not surprised that the boy would be assigned a student of his own. Well unofficially until he reachs knighthood. Though, I thought they would have waited until the boy had been officially been made a knight. Unless this is a move by the council to pressure Kenobi to allow the boy to take his trials. Either is possible from my old teacher, Master Yoda.'
As Asajj finished her statement, she requested, “I do not make excuses for my failure. But, I do wish for your counsel on how I could do better in the future.”
While being mildly impressed with Asajj willingness to take responsibility, Dooku thought, 'This is a mature point of view to take on your part. You admit to failure, but you want to know what you could have done better. Fair enough.'
Dooku commented, “Given the circumstances, I am not sure you have failed.” Dooku saw Asajj's eyes light up. He continued, “But, we will get to that in a minute. What is your appraisal of the boy and the two girls?”
Asajj answered, “The boy has a soft spot for Amidala. And Amidala has a soft spot for the girl-child. All I know of the girl-child is Skywalker mentioned she is interested in learning Jar'Kai.”
Dooku thought, 'I already knew that that Skywalker had weakness for Amidala. And it is not surprising that Amidala has a weakness for children. And the girl-child showing an interest in learning Jar'Kai shows an inherent sense of recklessness in the girl-child's nature. I will later find out who she is. Though, I wonder how the discussion on lightsaber forms was started between you and Skywalker. But, it is best not to ask. I am not sure you would tell me, Asajj.'
Dooku calmly said, “Interesting. Anything else?”
Asajj stated, “Amidala is shrewd, with an uncanny nature about her. I can see how she attained her position in the Senate. She figured out our plan. And yet, she allowed us a victory rather than allow her friends to come to harm.”
Dooku pointed out, “Not a victory. A stalemate. Though, you did not fail. You did your part well. You could not have expected a small force at night. Using an unknown secret passage to enter the building. Yet, you were able to improvise. And even while losing your droids, you were able to stall them for as long as possible while still fulfilling your mission parameters of not harming the huttlet.”
“Well done. While not exactly how I planned for this operation to work. The end results are still most of what I had hoped to achieve. The Republic will not get its treaty with the Hutts. And the Confederacy will not have to worry about the Republic forces using the Hutt hyper-routes to flank us on the Outer Rim. You will be rewarded.”
Dooku could tell from Asajj reaction that she was grateful for his positive response.
Asajj said, in a slightly happily tone of voice, “Thank you, master.” Dooku saw Asajj's body stiffen a little. Asajj's voice took on a more serious tone, as she continued, “Though, I have one request.”
Dooku replied, “That being?”
Asajj stated, “I do not wish to face this woman. Amidala. Thor. Whatever name she goes by. Ever again. The power from her hammer is the least of her abilities. She is cold, calculating, and I sense an untapped rage in her. With her resources, if she desired my death, I do not feel I could hide from her, nor stop her from doing so.”
Dooku said, “Yes. You have a point there. She is handful. I will be mindful of your request.”
Asajj replied, in a grateful tone of voice, “Thank you, master.”
Dooku stated, “I will contact you the next time I have a mission for you. Good day.”
Asajj bowed her head in respect towards Dooku.
Dooku used his right hand to press a button on the dashboard in front of him to end the communication.
Asajj hologram disappeared from the holo-monitor.
Dooku leaned back in his chair, as he allowed his arms to rest on the armrests of the chair. As he leaned back he allowed himself to feel his physical age.
Dooku collected his thoughts, as he mentally reflected, 'This whole situation is not such an important matter. The Hutts are a small part in this game. They do not have as much control of the Outer Rim as they believe. They are disorganized. Their so called mercenary fleets are a joke.'
'And the only reason they have as much influence and power here is because the rest of the civilized galaxy ignores them and their places of power. When the Separatists or Republic wins. It does not matter which. The resulting Empire that is born from the ashes of this war will likely turn their might on the Hutt Cartels and crush them.'
'While losing Christophsis and a few other locations hurt the Confederacy, we were able to hold Arkanis. That is the important part. As long as we hold Arkanis we have a supply line to the southeastern section of the galaxy.'
'And even better news. From this mission, I have confirmed what I had hoped to be the case. That Thor is not invincible. A lightsaber can harm her.'
'While things did not go according to plan, things are still working out in my favor.'
'When I first found Ventress. I had considered using her to lure out the boy to fight her in a battle to the death. With her either proving herself worthy to learn the secrets of the Sith, or starting the boy down the path to the dark side.'
'Unfortunately, the boy, and Kenobi, had been locked in the Jedi Temple training the girl for most of the beginning of the war.'
'Not that I am complaining. Ventress has still proven herself to be an exceptional agent. And I have kept her more in the shadows than I originally planned. Which has been good for both of us. By keeping her in the shadows, she has avoided gaining the attention of Sidious.'
'While I mentioned to Sidious of looking for someone on Rattatak. I did not give him details of whom I found. All Sidious knows is I found an agent there. He does not know that agent is a force user. And he does not know that I am secretly training this force user.'
'Tthis was her first outing in directly facing the Jedi. With her showing great skill and cunning. After each successful mission she continues to prove herself worthy to learn the secrets of the dark side of the force.'
'I have even started teaching her some of the more advances lessons in the force and lightsaber styles.'
'My efforts in teaching her have been rewards ten fold. Much of our success in the southeastern area of the galaxy is due to the work Ventress did along the Triellus Trade Route. From Jabiim to Arkanis.'
'From the shadows Ventress insured certain targets died in perfect accidents, or had sudden medical aliments which quickly proved fatal.'
'Taking and holding Jabiim was surprisingly easy for such a resource rich world.'
'The rumor I heard were that the Jedi did not support leading the invasion of Jabiim because they were stretched too thin. Once Ventress quietly dealt with any political and military holders in the leadership of Jabiim. With no one left to at act as liaison for any local opposite movement to build from, The Jedi and Republic wrote off attempted to retaking Jabiim as a lost cause.'
'The Confederacy used Jabiim as a staging point. Within one week the Separatists launched full scale assault on key planets along the Triellus Trade Route.'
'To our surprise, we found there was no real resistance along the Triellus Trade Route. The Hutts did not guard the route. There was no real resistance except for the Arkanis. Which was ironic considering that was the planet we had decided to be our beachhead to the southeastern part of the Galaxy. This decision was due to Arkanis being on the crossroad between the Triellus Trade Route and the Corellian Run.'
'Still, once the Arkanis government realized how heavily outnumbered they were they quickly surrendered in exchange for their lives and the lives of their loves ones. And we kept our word. They were not harmed, nor were they imprisoned. But, the former leaders and their family were not allow to make public statements, and they could not leave the planet.'
'The last report from the appointed Separatist governor of the planet stated the Arkanians were fully cooperating with the Separatist forces, which means we do not have to enslave the population.'
'By the time the Hutts realized what happened, there was not much they could do. And we offered them a deal. We would share the Triellus Trade Route with them in exchange for them not inferring with us, nor spying on us.'
'They were not in a position to negotiate for more favorable terms, so they agreed.'
'The only reason we allowed this negotiation to take place between the Hutts and the Republic was to keep the Republic in the dark on how weak the Hutts truly are. If Republic realized how weak the Hutts are they might try to annex Hutt Space as a way to cut the Confederate held space in half.'
'Though, the Republic creating a two front war would benefit us. But, after we took the Triellus Trade Route by force, I doubt the Hutts would willing aid us. Still, the Hutts know better than to cross us.'
'I am sure the Hutts will not sale the information about the our invasions of the Triellus Trade Route, nor our troop movements along that hyper-route, because then they would have to admit the embarrassing fact that in their pride they left the back door to their nation wide open. Such a scandal could wreck the reputations of the Hutt Ruling Council, leading to internal conflict and possible rebellion within Hutt Space.'
'The only reason I do not leak this information myself is because the time is not right.'
'Yes. Igniting such chaos is for a later time. After the Hutts do something foolish in their greed. Like they always do. Then, I will use their incompetence as an excuse to drop the hammer on them and show them what it is like to face real power.'
'And speaking of hammers. The girl, with her hammer, has proven to be as powerful as the boy. In addition, she is almost as reckless as he is.'
'I thought the girl controlled the boy. But instead, both follow the others lead, when the other has experience in the endeavors they are working towards. As such, she is as aggressive in battle as he is. And this makes her just as open to such temptations in battle as he is.'
'When I first decided to become a Sith, I thought with the Rule of Two I would be limiting my options for future apprentices. But, I found that I could not have been further from the truth.'
'There are so many potential apprentices to choose from. And while neither Sidious nor myself will admit it to the other. We both feel that the Rule of Two is outdated and needs to be scrapped into the dustbin of history.'
'But to admit this would to admit seeking to build an army of the force behind the others back. And that would lead to a war. A war neither of us can afford at this stage of the game.'
'One day, I will depose Sidious. Then, I be able to focus on building a true empire lead by those worthy to do so. Like the Jedi Lords of old. Before the Ruusan Reformation.'
'I will admit to myself, Sidious is more powerful than me. Yes. He has shown me the power of the dark side. But what he has shown me is but trinkets of that true power.'
'Sidious withholds too much for himself. Yet. Those few times we have sparred with a lightsaber, he has shown to be as skilled as Yoda.'
'I became a Sith because I realized that I would have the access to knowledge and power that I did not before dream of. Now I realize that Sidious will not allow me to acquire such power and knowledge while he is alive.'
'Sidious has no interested in passing down what he has learned from his line of force masters.'
'Also, Sidious wants to destroy the Jedi Order. While I am now an enemy to my old friends, I have no desire to erase all their accomplishments from history.'
'Yes. I must kill Sidious to make sure that hundreds of thousands of years of accumulated knowledge and wisdom of the force are not lost.'
'Though, I cannot beat him in a straight fight. Even with an army of force users behind me. I know this. He knows this. But he is not invincible. And he is also reckless. He takes unnecessary risks. He may protect himself most of the time. But by the same token, he has no issues with showing himself in public with little protection.'
'I will wait until he does not expect the attack to come, then I will strike. It is possible to catch a force user off guard. Even one as powerful as him. I just need to put him in a position where he cannot immediately defend himself. All I need is a few seconds. This is all I need.'
'If this war drags on. He might try to use himself as a hostage. All I need to do is have him bound and distracted. I will arrange for a lightsaber fight, with a Jedi in front of him. At which point, all I have to do is bring the fight close to him and strike. He will never see it coming. After which, I will be the new master of the dark side of the force.'
'And this rule of two. Such foolishness. One can have more than one servant with power. That power just needs to be disciplined with obedience. The Jedi Order proves this lesson well. I have no interest in allowing the skills and knowledge to risk being lost by only two people holding the power and knowledge. A simple ship accident in hyperspace could kill two people with ease.'
'While I plan to create a army of force users, the one group with the numbers to do so are the Jedi Order.'
'I must break the Jedi so I can remold the Jedi Order in my image. I realize when I take control that all of the Jedi High Council members will have be killed. And most of the masters and knights. I believe that many of the padawans, and all of the younglings will be salvageable. I can use them as a foundation for a great force dynasty.'
'Once they see reason they will follow me.'
'Still, I will need allies. Even if they do not view themselves as my allies, yet.'
'For all her anger and bluster, with her claims of being Sith. I can sense that Asajj is not looking to be a master of the Sith. It is lonely as the top. And Asajj has been alone for a very long time. She clearly does not want to be alone anymore.'
'Asajj is looking to belong to something. Instead of being alone. A group. A family. Whatever. But, she has been alone for so long she does not know how to be a part of a group.'
'That is why I keep her at arms length. Given her current temperament, she will kill me if I give her the chance to do so. But overtime, with each successful mission she accomplishes for me. And which each lesson I give her. She is slowly becoming for sociable and less violent towards me.'
'It is a slow process. But, I have experience with teaching difficult students before. Many of them went onto become power masters in the force.'
'With each successful assignment I give her, she becomes a little more emotionally stable. I wonder if she had failed me to begin with. And she had survived. She would have likely become even more emotionally unstable.'
'Fortunately, that has not been the case with her. Also, She is learning from my instructions at a pleasant pace.'
'Though, I am never going to turn my back on her. But, I apply that rule for everyone I meet.'
'Now about the boy and the girl. Both of them have weaknesses that could be exploited. The boy can be easily turned with the proper motivation.'
'From what I have reviewed from videos and reports. The girl is as aggressive in battle as the boy. It looks like it may be possible to turn the girl, as well.'
'That is if Sidious does not foolishly order me to kill the girl, beforehand. It is clear that Sidious has his eyes solely on the boy. This is why he wants to get the girl out of the way. The boy is fixated on her. And Sidious is so obsessed with the boy. He does not see the potential for the girl to be a powerful agent of the darkness in her own right. This is very narrow-minded of him. Sure. The boy has potential. But, that can mean nothing in the long run. He might become crippled, leaving him unable to reach his full potential in the force.'
'Should Sidious gets rid of all his other potential apprentice options. Including myself. Then, the boy becomes crippled due to some foolishness. Sidious will be left with a crippled servant whom he will not be able to pass the line of the Sith to. Even if he wanted to. Now that would be ironic for a schemer such as him.'
'Still, if Sidious orders me to kill her. Or, even Ventress. Or, someone else that is useful to me. I will not argue.'
'I will have to make a good showing. But, if I do kill her, or the others. It will be in battle. I will not poison her, nor anyone else that could be useful. Especially not in their sleep.'
'I would sooner destroy one of the nicer pieces of art in my family's collection than to kill Padme.'
'The power she wields through the hammer is as unique as a work of art. All reports state that only she can lift the hammer and use the power from the hammer.'
'And this power is not part of the force. This is unprecedented in the entire history of the Jedi and Sith. Or perhaps not...'
'Like so many cases in history, when those in power face something they did not understand, they bury that knowledge and erased all record of such power ever existing. If the force users of the past had encountered such power during their time. A power they could not control. They usually removed all records of such power existing. And they buried that power. Or maybe if it was the hammer, they found a way to move the weapon and ejected that hammer into space.'
'Others may not be able to move the hammer. But for something not to move, it needs gravity to tether itself too. This is something that space does not have. At least from this size and point of relativity.'
'If this was the case, the hammer could have floated in space until it sense someone worthy to wield it. Then, the hammer headed toward the arena on Geonosis to find its new wielder. The timing and location of the hammer landing in the arena is a little to convenient. Especially given that the only person shown to be able to wield the hammer was near where it landed.'
'This could be proof the hammer is aware. This is a possibility. If the hammer is aware this is good fortune for myself. Awareness is all this needed to be seduced by the force. It just take times and effort. Even if the hammer cannot use the force. Maybe Padme can. Even the force blind can be infused with the force, and be taught to use the force.'
'It is considered taboo by both the Jedi and Sith to gift the force blind with the use of the force. Mainly because we can be elitist as the worst of the political families of the galaxy. But it can be done. And from there I can turn her. And then she turns the hammer.'
'Either way, the hammer has power which is unknown to any of us. While Sidious may disregard this power. Both I and the Jedi Order value this power. We all want to learn and understand more about it. I am sure that Yoda and Mace were instrumental in convincing the rest of the council to train Padme in her new abilities.'
'Neither of them will pass by such a potential ally falling in their laps. And with them training her, that saved me the time and effort of doing so myself.'
'If the girl survives this war, she can be another option as my second in command of the new order I plan to create. Once I kill Sidious and win this war. That is if Asajj, Obiwan, or Anakin, do not panned out. Though, no matter what, I would prefer her as a lieutenant, than having to kill her.'
Dooku smiled, as he continued his thought, 'Yes. The future is just full of options and possibilities.'
Dooku's starship continued on its course for Dooku's next intended destination.
A day later, it was morning on the clear sky over dry landscape of Tatooine, where Jabba's palace was located.
The twin suns had already arisen.
The main door Jabba's palace was open, with Jabba sitting inside the doorway.
Jabba was flanked by his armed men on both sides.
To Jabba's left side was a translator droid.
Just outside the main door, Obiwan stood near his Jedi starfighter. Obiwan had lightsaber was attached to the left side his belt. The R4 astromech droid was mounted inside Obiwan's starfighter.
They had all already been contracted less than an hour ago by Anakin Skywalker that the Resolute was in orbit above the planet of Tatooine. Anakin also informed them that he would be personally piloting a shuttle down to bring Jabba his son, whom was presently fine. Rotta's fever finally broke a few hours ago.
Those present watched as a Republic transport shuttle was making its landing approach towards them.
Less than a minute later, the shuttle hover to a stop and gently landed in an clearing by the Jedi starfighter, in front of the main entrance of Jabba's Palace.
The shuttle landed while facing the front. The main ramp to the shuttle being right below the cockpit.
From Obiwan's point of view, he could see in the cockpit windows that Anakin was in the pilots seat.
A few seconds later, Obiwan Anakin turned off the engines of the ship, and exit out of a chair in cockpit. Then, Anakin headed deeper into the ship.
A minute later, the ramp to the front of the shuttle began to lower.
When the ramp reached the ground, those on the ground saw Ahsoka standing inside the ship. Ahsoka's lightsaber was attached to her belt. Ahsoka was holding Rotta in her arms. From the look on Rotta's face, Rotta was happy.
Anakin and Thor flanked Ahsoka's sides. Anakin was to Ahsoka's right side, with his lightsaber attached to his belt. And Thor was to Ahsoka's left side. Thor held the hammer in her right hand, at her side.
Ahsoka began walking towards Jabba and his men, as she was careful with the huttlet in her arms. Thor continued to walked behind Ahsoka, while Anakin veered to his right, towards Obiwan, whom standing by his Jedi starfighter.
When Anakin reached Obiwan, he came to a stop, a few feet in front of his teacher. Anakin reached Obiwan, as Ahsoka and Thor continued to approach Jabba.
Both men looked at each other.
Anakin quietly asked, “No luck?”
Obiwan softly replied, “No luck.”
Anakin thought, 'I guess we are not getting a treaty, after all.'
Both men turned their attention back to Ahsoka, Thor, Rotta, Jabba, and the guards by Jabba.
As Thor walked, behind Ahsoka, she thought, 'At least my left side is completely fine now. And if anyone tries anything, they are going to regret it.'
Soon, Ahsoka came to a stop right in front of Jabba. She then gently handled the Rotta into the arms of Jabba.
Then, Ahsoka took a few steps back, with Thor taking a few steps to Ahsoka's left, so Ahsoka would not risk bumping into her.
From the look on their faces Jabba and Rotta were happy to see each other.
Jabba looked down at his son, in his arms, as he spoke huttese to the Rotta.
Then, Jabba turned to Ahsoka and Thor. Jabba spoke some more huttese in a more firmer tone of voice.
The translator droid stated, “The great, mighty Jabba wishes to thank you for the return of his son. Though, Jabba wished to know if you were able to encounter whom was behind his son's kidnapping?”
Thor answered, “Yes. We met that person.”
Jabba spoke some more huttese. The translator droid asked, “Why do you not have the head of this person with you?”
Thor said, “The woman in question escaped us.”
Jabba asked, in huttese, “Do you know this woman's name? Or, could give us a description of what the woman looks like?”
Before the translator droid could repeat the message in basic, Thor honestly answered, “Thy does not know her name. And thee wore a cloak and hood. So, thy could not identify her.”
Jabba realized that Thor understood huttese. Not that Thor's language ability mattered much to Jabba.
Jabba responded, in huttese, “Oh well. No treaty. But, we will agree to keep peaceful relations with the Republic.”
Thor said, “That will be fine.”
Ahsoka turned to Thor. Thor realized, as she thought, 'She likely does not know huttese. And I did not know it without the power of the hammer. Still, I might as well translate what Jabba had just said.”
Thor looked at Ahsoka. Thor stated, “There will be no treaty between the Republic and the Hutts. But, we are still on peaceful terms with the Hutts.”
Ahsoka replied, “Oh.”
Thor turned to look at Jabba and Rotta being happy to be reunited with each other. Thor thought, 'We won the battle, but lost this war. The Republic not have a treaty with the Hutts to use their hyper-routes in the Outer Rim, which was likely what Dooku was trying to accomplish. Which means he won this round. But, we are alive. Jabba's son is alive. And we all live to fight another day. The Clone Wars have only just begun. There will be other opportunities for victory.'
Thor turned to Obiwan and Anakin. She stated, “Let us leave. Nothing more can be done here.”
Ahsoka heard Thor, as well.
Thor saw Anakin nod once towards her, in acknowledgment of her comment.
Obiwan said, “I will see you on the Resolute.”
Thor, Ahsoka, and Anakin then began walking towards the shuttle entrance, while Obiwan headed for the cockpit of his starfighter, by the astromech droid, R4.
As this went on, Jabba turned around and head into his palace, as he held Rotta in his arms. Jabba's guards followed Jabba and Rotta inside. Once Jabba, Rotta, and the guards were inside, the large, main door to the palace began to decent until the door fully closed.
Meanwhile, Thor, Ahsoka, and Anakin were soon inside the shuttle, as Obiwan was inside the cockpit of his Jedi starfighter.
Ahsoka press a button on an interior wall of the shuttle to raise the ramp, while Obiwan sealed the canopy of his cockpit.
Soon, Anakin was in the pilots seat of the shuttle, as he started the engines of the shuttle. A few seconds later, he was flew the shuttle into the sky, with himself, Ahsoka, and Thor, inside the ship.
Meanwhile, Obiwan took off in his starfighter. Obiwan followed the Republic shuttle, as they headed into to orbit, to land in one of the hangars of the Republic Star Destroyer, Resolute.
Once they reached the Resolute, they would soon find out what their next mission would be in the long war they knew they had ahead of them.
“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde.
To be continued.
This story is mainly from Padme and Anakin's points of view. If I showed every little detail that happened from the main timeline in this story in relation to the plotlines of each chapter, doing so would increase the chapters by two or three times in size. And doing so would make the story drag.
For simplicity sake. If this story does not show an event that is part of the plot of this story, that happened in the main timeline, which is not conflicted with the change in the timeline, it is likely the even happened in the changed timeline. But, this is not a certainty.
Also, doing this way creates more drama from the main points of view of the story.
I know galaxies are three dimensional. I am using the Star Wars galaxy map for describing locations, which had a north, east, south, west compass on the map.
“Slugthrowers” are the Star Wars term for projectile weaponry, such as pistols and rifles. Slugthrowers are similar to the firearms found on Earth.
It was shown at the beginning of Episode Five: The Empire Strikes Back, inside the Rebel base on Hoth, that C3-PO can recognize imperial codes. It stands to reason the translator droid would be able to decrypt some short range, low level droid codes. Being a translator by definition is decryption of one language to another. So decryption of codes would be second nature to translator droids.
Besides, while R2 has been show to be helpful in a number of ways. I desired to find a way that C3-PO could be helpful in a battle situation. And having C3 help with communication issues makes a lot of since.
In the original timeline, Anakin was called by the Republic propaganda services, the Hero Without Fear. And that nickname was likely that created by Palpatine to inflate Anakin's ego, because Anakin liked the nickname.
Now in this alternate timeline it would make sense that Palpatine would want propaganda dealing with Padme as Thor. And given it was Obiwan that is teaching both Anakin and Padme, and Obiwan is their direct commanding officer, that Obiwan would be included in the propaganda and be nicknamed as well.
And since it was likely Palpatine nicknamed Anakin, he would be the one to pick the nicknames for Padme and Obiwan. And Palpatine does have a sense of humor.
Now, I know, “Stormbringer”, one word, is the name of one of the mystical hammers in the Marvel realities. That is why I used two word, “Storm Bringer” for the Republic propaganda services.
And given no one so far shown in this Star Wars reality knows where Padme's hammer Mjolnir came from. Or, whom the original wielder, Thor, is. So it would make sense the propaganda services would nickname that is self-explanatory. And “Storm Bringer” is about as self-explanatory as one can get with someone with powers and control over the weather.
Now, why did I nickname Obiwan, “The Wise”. Yes. I did it for that joke that Obiwan can be a wiseass. Obiwan has always been shown to have a sarcastic wit about himself. In Star Wars Episode Four, the verbal snark on snark combat between Obiwan and Han Solo was some of the best in cinema history.
Though, I believe there is a fine line between being 'wise' and being a 'wiseass'. The trick in having wisdom is figuring out where the line is.
The various adaption of the Clone Wars series really do not mesh that well. It is a mess. The Clone Wars OVA, Clone Wars Movie/TV series, Clone Wars comicbook series and Clone Wars novel series. So I am having the play some of the Clone Wars timeline fast and loose.
The Clone War Film was a bit of a mess. The third act of that movie, where Anakin, Ahsoka, and Rotta, headed to Tatooine in an old spaceship was really not needed.
Also, the way Ahsoka was dressed when she is introduced in this chapter is the same way she was dressed in the Clone Wars movie. I am not sure what those whom made the Clone Wars movie were thinking, but I used Padme to make some hard points on the matter. And I fixed the issue.
Still, I wanted to introduce Ahsoka into this story. So I modified the plot of what happened to make the story flow better.
I know I shoehorned this story a little. But, I got it to work.
Ahsoka as a character always showed some potential in leadership abilities. But, when she was first introduced she was clearly not taught much on etiquette.
I believe the Jedi Order confuse etiquette with obedience. It would explain a lot of the behavior from the various members of the Jedi Order.
It would make sense if Padme had gotten to know Ahsoka, she might have taken Ahsoka under her wing, to teach Ahsoka about manners and diplomacy.
Anakin and Obiwan would likely be fine with Padme doing so, because such lessons would only help Ahsoka focus and become a better students. Making it easier for them to teach Ahsoka about the force and being a Jedi.
But, while in this story, Ahsoka does now know that Padme is Thor, Padme and Anakin do not trust anyone knowing about their secret relationship.
I do believe it is very possible for Padme to have slowly built up an pool of untapped rage over the course of Star Wars Episode I to Episode II. At lot of bad things happened to her, with several people dying around her to protect her. In this manner, she could have untapped rage. Rage she might not have realized she had. And a rage that did not come out in prequel trilogy because by the time of Episode III she has fallen so far she was a former shell of herself.
But, in this story, with Mjolnir, Padme has her confidence back, and she may discover this untapped rage that she did not know she had.
While Anakin is Jedi Knight in the Clone Wars Film and TV series. He is a padawan in the Episode II and Clone War OVA Volume I.
The reason Anakin was given a field promotion to Jedi Knight was a combination of losing his arm and later defeating the dark side user, Asajj Ventress. Because neither of these events have happened the Council is not going to consider giving Anakin a field promotion to Jedi Knight.
Also, Anakin does not have that scar by his right eye that he received in his first conflict with Asaja Ventress.
This also allows me to have Anakin take the trials. I have a few ideas that should prove interesting.
Because events of this story prevented Anakin from leaving Coruscant sooner to join the war effort. There was no trap for Anakin by Asajj Ventress on the jungle moon, Yavin IV.
Anakin was busy helping Padme training. He never faced Asajj and defeated her. Therefore, Asajj has no desire for revenge against Anakin.
First impressions are important. In this story, Anakin and Asajj fought in a different situation, than the first time they met. Also, unlike the original timeline, neither are as hot-headed as in the original series.
The over six weeks of training Padme has made Anakin more calmer. And without Asajj failing in her first mission, to kill Skywalker, in the original timeline, and instead with her being successful in her missions for Dooku, she is more emotionally stable and level headed.
So, Asajj would be more open to negotiation in this story.
While that scene at the end of this chapter also showed how vicious Padme can be. Even without the hammer. I always felt that given the proper motivation Padme could be a very dangerous person.
Given Ventress did not have to deal with failure, Dooku allowed her to take on more important missions which aided in the Separatists having a stronger foothold in the Outer Rim.
The planet Jabiim is north of Hutt Space, with the planet being on northern part of the Triellus Trade Route.
In the original timeline, the Jedi Council selected Obiwan to lead a disastrous attempt to retake Jabiim.
In this story Obiwan was busy training Padme so he could not be selected to lead the attempted retaking of Jabiim, and the Republic let the planet go.
Given the history of Jabiim in the Star Wars franchise, with the planet being fought over by the Republic and Separatists. Later being bombed into rubble by the Empire. This change was good for everyone involved.
Though, by Anakin helping to train Padme, with Padme showing great skill from the training. This action convinced the Jedi Council that Anakin was ready for the trials to become a Jedi Knight and being given a student of his own.
But, Obiwan refuses allow Anakin to take the trials to become a Jedi Knight, because in this story, Obiwan learned from Anakin about what happened to Anakin's mother, and what Anakin did to those Sand People.
By sending Ahsoka, as Obiwan's student, technically. Though, she is really Anakin's student. And everyone involved knows this. This Jedi Council is bending the rules to both give Anakin a student, and pressure Obiwan to allow Anakin to take the trials to become a Jedi Knight.
Also, while the timeline has changed, and the Republic has a powerful ally in the form of Thor, this does not mean easy victories.
One of the points I am working on in writing this story is that victory on the battlefield does not easily translate to victory overall.
For example, at the end of this chapter, the vying for the Hutts favor, between the Republic and Separatists ended in a stalemate.
Just because something is changed does not mean events will likely go right. It only means that events will likely go differently.
In the original Clone War film, the heroes did almost everything wrong, and they still won. They received the help of the Hutts to agree to trade route treaty between the Republic and the Hutts.
Meanwhile, in this story the heroes did almost everything right, and they lost, because the Hutts refused to agree to a treaty with the Republic.
This is how the events leading up battle of Christophsis were different.
Dooku still wanted to attempt to set the stage to ruin negotiations for a treaty between the Hutts and the Jedi, for the Republic to use the Hutt's trade routes. Dooku's plan was to frame the Jedi for kidnapping Jabba's son, Rotta.
And while Dooku's timetable was thrown, he was still victorious by default, due to the Hutts declining to agree to a trade route treaty with the Republic.
This is what I mean by things going differently, but not always better.
In this story, because Padme is not such a presence in the Senate, Bail is taking point for Padme in the anti-war movement within the Senate on Coruscant. As such, Bail had nothing to do with Christophsis, both before and during the invasion of that planet, by the Separatists/Confederacy of Independent Systems.
As such, when Dooku found Asajj Ventress, he decided to use her in a more secretive fashion. Except for Dooku no one knows who Asajj is, which is the way Dooku prefers it.
While Dooku told Sidious he was looking for servants at the end of chapter one of this story. That does not mean that Dooku told Sidious the truth in how those searched panned out.
Most people when they write an alternate timeline story, they make it so that almost everything goes right.
But, the really good alternate timeline stories are the ones that show a mix of how things can go wrong and go right in different ways than what originally happened.
Dooku's comment on hundreds of thousands of years of information on the force the Jedi Order have is a bit of a misnomer. The Jedi have records dating back tens of thousands of years. But, the Jedi Order likely has archaeological information that dates back much further in the past.
On Dooku. I have wondered what goes on in that man's mind. What is his point of view? And I believe I have figured Dooku out.
Dooku was once one of the best Jedi of his time. Yoda stated this. Since Yoda was Dooku's teacher, Yoda would know this.
At the beginning of Star War Episode Three, during the battle in the Separatist Cruiser, the event was a massive power play in several ways. On its surface, the whole rescue the Chancellor plan seemed like a foolish idea. Then, it makes sense if you think about those involved and their stated goals.
The only time Sidious has ever been defeated in combat was when he is distracted. Dooku knowledge of force users would allow him to realize this. So the entire lightsaber fight on the ship was designed to allow Dooku to distract Sidious, whom was bound to a chair at the time, and then for Dooku to get the fight close to Sidious, so Dooku could kill Sidious.
Dooku just did not plan for Anakin to defeat him.
But, this plan also worked for Sidious, because Sidious was planning for Anakin to defeat Dooku and kill Dooku. Allowing for Anakin to get closer to Sidious, and become Sidious' new apprentice
This is called a gambit roulette.
Dooku's point of view on his long term plans are not hard to understand.
Much like the Sith Lords and Sith Ladies dreamed of creating a Sith Empire with the Sith Lord or Sith Lady in in charge. Dooku dreamed of restoring the Galactic Republic to the time when the Jedi Lords reigned.
Dooku was already a Count of Serenno, and he likes being call Count Dooku. It is not that great a stretch to believe that he longs for the days of returning to the time where the force users ruled the Galactic Republic as Jedi Lords.
For those that do not know the events I am talking about. Over eleven hundred years before the Clone Wars started, the Galactic Senate became so corrupt the Jedi took direct control of the Galaxy.
Basically, think the Galactic Empire. Only with Jedi. And instead of Imperial Governors being appointed as rules of planets and sectors of space, Jedi Lords were appointed.
This era was considered by many a dark age where Jedi Lords and Ladies ruled as masters of the galaxy.
This was also a time when the Sith army still existed and was out in the open. Towards the end of this era, due to some of the crimes committed by the Jedi, the Sith actually gained in power, with the Sith able to again challenge the Jedi for control of the galaxy.
Around a hundred years later. A thousand years before the Clone Wars, after much fighting between the Jedi Lords and Sith Lords, there was a major battle where most of the Sith and Jedi killed each other. This causes a lull in the power the force had over the galaxy.
That was when a politician stepped in. His name was Tarsus Valorum. He was instrumental in convincing the surviving Jedi to turn over power of the Galaxy back to the Galactic Senate of the Galactic Republic and the people of the Galaxy.
From all accounts, Tarsus Valorum a good man. And he showed it. He was instrumental in creating and implementing was would later be called the Ruusan Reformation.
I have mentioned the Ruusan Reformation a few time before in this story, but I did not elaborate.
The Ruusan Reformation did many things. But, a number of key things the Ruusan Reformation did was to abolish the Republic military.
Remove the Jedi from direct political power and instead put the Jedi under the authority of the Senate. To be specific, the Jedi were under the Justice Department. This is why they consider themselves to be law officers. The Jedi technically work for the Justice Department of the Galactic Republic.
The Jedi were to centralize their organization on Coruscant with most of the Jedi Order's training being only done at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
The Russan Reformation restored more independent control for planets and sectors to do as they wished, as long as they followed the laws of the Galactic Republic.
Tarsus Valorum went onto become the first none force user to become Supreme Chancellor for a very long time. Chancellor Valorum was considered one of the better leaders of the Galactic Republic.
During this time, Darth Bane, one of the last surviving Sith, instituted the Rule of Two. Given the history of infighting between members of the Sith, Bane figured it would be better if there were only two Sith allowed at any time. One the master, one the apprentice. Of course, Bane was the first of this line of these masters, and he was the first of this line of masters to be killed in battle by his apprentice, the Sith Lady Darth Zannah.
When Darth Zannah was younger, she was also know as Rain.
Between the Ruusan Reformation and the Sith Rule of Two, the rest of the galaxy finally received nearly a thousand year reprieve from the insanity of light side and dark side force users fighting each other, while dragging everyone else in the galaxy into the hell of combat with them.
This is why Sidious had to start from scratch on creating his military and slowly seizing power for himself.
Though, given Sidious' later actions hinted he all but did away with the Rule of Two. Darth Bane would have likely not allowed Sith Inquisitors to exist. Darth Bane would likely have viewed allowing such dark force users to serve the Sith as breaking the Rule of Two.
Also, in the Clone Wars TV series, Dooku was eventually called out by Sidious on letting Asajj Ventress serve as his agent, with Dooku teaching Asajj some of the ways of the force.
Sidious eventually made Dooku betray Ventress. Though, Dooku clearly did not want to do so. And Dooku even then went behind Sidious' back and attempted to arrange another force student, Savage Opress. Those Savage Opress did not work out for Dooku, either.
As such, either way it was likely both Sidious and Dooku were planning to get rid of the Sith Rule of Two.
Though, Sidious was never shown to really teach anyone any real power. He knew if he did they would then use the power to kill him and take over. Because that is exactly what Darth Sidious did to his master, Darth Plagueis, when Sidious felt he could no longer learn anything from Plagueis. And Sidious did not even kill Plagueis in combat. Sidious poisoned Plagueis to death while Plagueis was sleep.
This can be seen in Sidious' three known apprentices. Darth Maul was a brute whom Sidious only taught a little about the force, and instead Sidious focused on teaching Darth Maul stealth abilities and lightsaber skills.
Dooku and Darth Vader's knowledge and skills in the force came from their Jedi training.
Though, I believe this course would have changed if Dooku has killed Sidious. Dooku clearly believed in teaching students. Dooku did not want to just dangle the temptation of knowledge in front of would be students like Sidious did. When it came to the Sith line, Dooku would have made for a better Sith Lord than Sidious, because Sidious was only interested in himself and not the line of the Sith. Meanwhile, Dooku believed in something more than himself.
Just some things to think about.
Until next time. Have fun.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.