Chapter Six: “Emerald Dawn.”
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.
It had been a month since the invasion of Balmorra by the Republic.
The location was between the Inner Rim and Expansion Region, in the southern part of the galaxy, on the Corellian Trade Spine, at a hyperspace relay jump point, where a hyperspace beacon was placed. This was along the hyper-routes where ships dropped out of hyperspace to reorientate themselves to the correct angle, and then jump back into hyperspace to towards their destination.
All this took a matter of seconds to do. Less than minute at most.
There were a near countless number of such hyperspace beacon locations spread throughout the galaxy. These hyperspace beacons also used as communications satellites transfer of communications in a wireless grid pattern, much like a planetary internet. Where if one beacon was offline the other nearby beacons handled the communication transmissions.
For the most part there were usually no problems in these locations unless there was a war going on.
While it was rare for two opposing enemies to dropped out hyperspace at the same time and same hyperspace relay location, to started battling one another, such incidents did occur.
As was the battle that was currently happening at the nearby hyperspace relay location.
The two Republic Star Destroyers, the Resolute and the Negotiator, were heading towards Coruscant, in the Core Worlds, from the mission they had accomplished on the Mid-Rim. When the two Star Destroyers dropped out of hyperspace, the two ships found themselves right beside a Separatist Providence Class Carrier-Destroyer.
From the markings on the sides of the Separatist cruiser, the capital ship was named the Neebon.
Even though the Providence ship was mostly crewed by droids, with one or two Separatists command staff officers. The ship itself, size, crew, armament, and fighter squadrons were comparable to a Republic Star Destroyer.
Both sides immediately went to red alert, went to battle stations, sent out their fighter squadrons, powered up their weapon batteries and activated their energy ships.
Within four minutes of the meeting, both both Star Destroyers were locked in battle with the Separatist cruiser.
While the battle was two on one, that did not mean the Separatist cruiser was helpless. The Separatist cruiser and its forces could still severely damage both star destroyers, take out several fighter squadrons, before the Separatist cruiser and its forces were fully destroyer.
Both sides had jammed the long range communications of other side.
Though, due to the battle being in the middle of space, on a well traveled hyper-route, it would be a question if their allies or enemies would accidentally show up first.
As such, for Obiwan and Anakin, this situation mean they had to take down the Separatist cruiser as quickly as possible. That meant a boarding party.
While Obiwan and Anakin were tempted to try to just bomb the Separatist cruise, destroying the cruiser would not necessarily cause the droid starfighters to shut down. As such, the boarding party had to find the Separatist captain, take the captain alive, and force the captain to issue the command shutdown codes to shut down all the Separatist droids.
Obiwan and Anakin both agreed that the Separatist captain would likely be in the most heavily defending part of the Separatist cruiser, the command bridge. And even if the separatist captain was not on the command bridge, the boarding party could still take control of the Separatist cruiser and shut down the weapon of the ship which were firing on the Resolute and Negotiator.
The battle had only gone of for ten minutes, with the actual firing and battle engagements being six minutes. But, for those fighting it was a long ten minutes.
The Republic Star Destroyer ships, Resolute and the Negotiator, kept close to each other, as they fired on the Separatists capital ship. While their starfighter squadrons battled the Separatists starfighter groups.
Presently, Obiwan and Anakin were each piloting a jedi starfighter, as they lead Republic starfighter squadrons against the Separatists vulture droid squadrons. R2 was in Anakin's starfighter, aiding Anakin. R4 was inside the starfighter Obiwan was piloting.
Commander Cody was on board the Resolute. Commander Cody was as a liaison between the officers of the Resolute and Negotiator in coordinating the battle with the Separatist forces, while at the same time preparing for a possible boarding party situation.
Given Cody's excellent military record, Obiwan had placed Cody in the position of liaison between the Resolute and Negotiator for this type of emergency situation.
C3-PO was assisting the communications officer on the Resolute, by looking through any short range separatists encrypted signals that may warn them of an coming Separatist boarding party, or bomber group.
So far the Separatists had not sent any boarding parties. And the one Separatist bomber squadron sent by the Separatist cruiser was destroyed by the Resolute and Negotiator's turbo-laser batteries before the Separatist ships came within bombing range of the two Star Destroyers.
The boarding party whom left the Resolute in a boarding shuttle was escorted by a squadron of Republic starfighters, while Obiwan and Anakin were nearby take several of the Separatist starfighter droids before they could even get close to the escort starfighters and shuttle.
Since the Republic forces needed the job done as quickly as possible, Obiwan and Anakin assigned Thor, with Mjolnir, Ahsoka, Captain Rex, and Rex's elite squad of troopers.
While the energy shields on all three of the capital ships were holding, the shields at the tail end section of the Separatist's Providence destroyer had collapsed, allowing for the boarding party to enter ship from that side of the ship.
Unfortunately, the bridge of the Providence ship was located on the front section of the Separatist cruise. Though, the members of the boarding party knew where the bridge was. Over the course of the last few months all of the members of the boarding party had studied the designs of various Separatists ships. From Separatist starfighters to Separatist capital ships.
The members of boarding party all knew the same class of ship had the same basic layout and design. This knowledge would only easy their efforts reaching the Separatist captain and forcing the captain to shut down the droids.
The boarding shuttle 'mouth' attached itself against the tail end of the hull of the Providence. Once the shuttle made it to the Separatist cruiser, the Republic starfighter squadron that had been ordered to protect the shuttle broke off and joined their starfighter comrades in taking out the droid starfighters.
When the shuttle's sensors stated they had a backwards pressure seal against the hull, the shuttle's mouth used laser to cut a two meter in diameter circular hole into the hull of the Neebon.
Inside a large, well illuminated interior hallway of the stern section of the Neebon, a two meter round section of the hull had just been cut opened and dropped to the floor of the hallway.
Six clone troopers, in full combat gear, weapons in their hands, poured out of the shuttle. They had white and blue armor and helmets. Five of the troopers had blaster rifles in their hands.
Captain Rex, the trooper squad leader, had a DC-17 blaster pistol in each hand. The holsters for his weapons on the outer sides of his thigh armor.
Following the troopers was Thor, in her helmet and armor. Thor, had the Black Solace in its scabbard, strapped to her back. Thor grip Mjolnir by the hammer's shaft in her right hand, as she held the hammer in a defensive position.
Behind Thor, Ahsoka walked out of the shuttle, and onto the metal deck of the hallway. Ahsoka had on her Jedi clothing. Which was short sleeve brown shirt, white pants, with a brown short skirt and brown boots over her pants. There was a brown belt over her shirt. She wore fingerless gloves what went up her forearms. Her left glove had a comlink built into it, with the controls and microphone located on the back of her left glove. Ahsoka had her lightsaber strapped to the left side of her belt.
Captain Rex turned Thor, Ahsoka, and his five troopers. Rex used the external speakers of his helmet, as he stated, “Okay. Time is a factor here. We know where we are. We know where we want to be. Let's move people. I want to get to the bridge as soon as possible. And get these tin cans shut down for good.”
Thor turned to Rex. Thor request, in a polite tone of voice, “Captain Rex. It is alright if thy takes point? With your squad and Ahsoka following behind?”
Rex turned to Thor. He replied, “Of course.”
Rex happily thought, 'Given you are one of the nicest people I know. And a walking meat shield. I am more than happy for you to go first. I doubt the Separatists have anything on board that could take you out.'
'And we know you are really Senator Amidala. And if you are this nice in your political career, I can see how you ended up being elected as queen of a whole planet for a full term.'
Thor turned Ahsoka. She stated, “Ahsoka. Thou requests thee take the rear.”
Ahsoka turned to Thor. She replied, “Alright.” She pulled out her lightsaber and held it in her right hand and held the hilt in an underhand style She then ignited the green blade. Ahsok held her weapon so the blade at her right side, at a perpendicular with her body.
Thor looked over at the group, as she inquired, “Is everyone ready?”
Rex commented, “We are troopers. We are always ready.”
Just then, Thor heard droids coming towards them from both ends of the hallway. She stated, “Good. Because we have droids coming from both directions.” She looked in front of herself. Her lips curled into a wicked grin, as she commented, “Let us enjoy this feast of chaos.”
Thor thought, 'It is unfortunate that I cannot use lightning. Doing so risks accidentally destroying critical electronics. And water is out of the question for the same reasons. But, wind is perfectly fine.'
Rex ordered, “Formation Three-Six people. Thor I need to you provide cover for us from the front. Ahsoka, give us cover from the rear.”
Ahsoka looked towards her end of the hallways, as she stated, “Of course.”
Thor looked towards her end of the hallway. She said, “Thee is in good hands.”
Formation Three-Six was a the formation was a battle formation trained to clone troopers which used two or more Jedi to assist in a situation where the troopers faces enemy from two sides with not apparent cover. The Jedi would use their lightsaber to deflect blaster bolts from the sides of the group where the oncoming blaster fire would originate. At the same time, the troopers would fire around the Jedi at the enemy attacking them.
Rex and the other five troopers closed in together, with Thor in front of the men, while Ahsoka was behind the group. Rex and two of his soldiers faced the direction Thor was at. And the three other troops would face the direction Ahsoka was at.
Suddenly, one group of five B1 battle droids, each with a blaster rifle, came around the corner that Ahsoka was facing. As seeing the boarding party, the droids came to a stop fifteen meters from the boarding party, and fired on the group.
Ahsoka used her lightsaber to deflect the blaster right.
A few seconds later, another group of five B1 battle droids came around the corner facing Thor. The droids each held a blaster rifle. The droids came to a stop ten meters from the boarding party and fired their blaster rifles at the group.
Thor quickly generated wind in both directions to knock down most of the droids. She then charge group of droids with the hammer in both her hands. While she lead out a vicious war-cry.
Meanwhile, the troopers used their blaster weapons to destroy as many of the battle droids as they could.
The battle was over in less than thirty seconds.
The droids were destroyed, with no injures for the boarding party.
Right after the battle ended, Rex looked around his group, as he asked, “Anyone hurt?” No one answered and all the members of boarding party appeared fine. A few seconds later, Rex commented, “Alright. Let's move it people.” He turned to Thor. He continued, “Lead the way.”
Thor turned to Rex. She stated, “Yes sir.” Thor thought, 'I will lead us towards the right side of the ship. We do not want to go deeper into the ship and risk being ambushed on all sides. We will go around those areas to reach the command bridge.'
Thor turned back towards the direction of the hallway she was facing. She knew where she was in the ship.
Thor began briskly walking down the hallway. She turned the corner of where the droids she destroyed had come from.
The Republic forces quickly followed Thor, with Ahsoka taking the rear of the group.
The boarding party made their way further into the ship, and closer to the front, where the command bridge was located.
Inside the main command center, on the bridge of the Separatist Providence destroyer, the Neebon, one the droids at the tactical station turned the captain of the ship, whom was standing a few meters away in a clear area at the front of the bridge.
The captain was named, Pos Tenith. Pos was a male muun. The droid stated, “Captain Tenith. We have a boarding party.”
Captain Pos Tenith stood on the bridge, in his gray Confederacy naval uniform, as he looked out the windows of the bridge, at the battle before him.
Pos turned to the droid whom spoke to him. He inquired, “Where?”
The droid answered, “At the stern of the ship.”
Pos turned to windows. He said, “That at least gives us options.” He thought, 'They will likely head here to take control of the ship.'
Pos turned asked droid he had just spoken to. He asked, “Which way are they heading to reach the bridge?”
The droid answered, “They are taking a route on the outer on the starboard side of the ship.”
Pos thought, 'That is the right side facing the battle. This makes sense. If avoid the deeper parts of the ship to prevent ambushes. Also, if they have problems, the right side of the ship. would be easy to launch a rescue from them.'
Pos inquired, “Where are they now?”
The droid responded, “They are in a hallway that will lead them to hangar two. The contents of the hangar are presently not being used for the battle. Do you wish to send the contents for the outside battle, before the boarding party reaching hangar two?”
Pos cracked a grin, as he said, “No. I have a better idea.” He then laid out his plan to the nearby droids. Soon, the droid relayed Pos' orders.
In the middle of the starboard section of the Neebon, inside the hallways of the right outside side of the capital ship, Thor, Ahsoka, Captain Rex, and the five elite clone troopers were quickly advancing towards the command bridge.
Rex and the five clone troopers were using their blaster weapons. While Thor had the hammer in her right hand, while her vibro-katana remained sheathed. Ahsoka was holding her lightsaber in her right hand, with it's green blade ignite. Though, Ahsoka continued to use her lightsaber in an underhand style.
Thor took point of the group, as she destroyed the battle droids with a combination of brute force using Mjolnir and wind attacks. Ahsoka protected the rear from their group being flanked by droids, by using her lightsaber to deflect blaster fire. The troopers used their blaster rifles as cover fire for Thor and to assist Ahsoka.
So far, none of the eight members of the group had been injured.
Resistance had been lighter than expected. Though, no one complained about this.
They came to a large set of double-doors. Thor used the panel by the doors to open the doors.
After the doors slid open, the group saw it was a large, dark hangar bay.
Ahsoka asked, “Do we go in?”
Thor turned towards the group. She said, “Thy believes this is the safest way through the ship.”
Rex commented, “I agree.” Rex thought, 'There is less chance of an ambush taking this route than through the deeper parts of the ship.' Rex stated, “Let's go. Thor continue to take point.
Thor turned towards the hangar doors and she walked inside.
The rest of the group followed Thor.
As they made it into a hangar bay, the saw it was dark, they noticed some dim lighting on the walls which gave dimensions to the room. They saw the room did not have any large crates blocking anything. Also, the room was very large, very high, very wide hangar.
A few seconds later, the doors slid closed behind them.
As they continued walking inside, Ahsoka asked, “Is there any other way around to the command bridge? I do not like this this. I have a bad feeling.”
Thor continued facing forward. She answered, “No. It would take to long to go around. We just need to keep going straight for about a minute, and we will reach the other side of the hangar.”
Ahsoka replied, “Fine.”
Thor enhanced sight allowed her to see more clearly in the dim light. And to her right she could make out shapes on the other side of the hangar, but she recognized the shape. Thor just kept moving, while she hoped this would not be a problem.
They continued walking. When they reached the middle of the hangar the main lights in the hangar came on.
Thor and the rest of the group came to a stop.
Across the room from them, to their right side, they saw the two large hangar bay doors to space were closed. But, the lights showed that between them and the large hangar bay doors were twelve vulture droids in starfighter mode.
The vulture droids were in starfighter mode immediately started to come on. The vulture droids were painted blue and white. While the vulture droids were not facing them, everyone watched as the vulture droids transformed into walker mode. In walker mode the vulture droids were each over six and a half meters tall.
In walker mode the main body of a vulture droid was four meters from the ground. While in this mode the droid had a head pop up from the center of its body. The head had two glowing red vertical slits set side by side which were the droid's eyes. The droid had four long, large spikes for limps that were attached by arms to the body. Two legs on the right side of the main body and two legs on the left side of the main body. Each arm was attached to each leg about five meters up along each leg.
The clones immediately started firing on the droids, as the droids turned around and advanced on them.
The vulture droids did not have access to their long range weaponry in that their walker mode. The vulture droids were so much larger than the members of the Republic forces, and if vulture droids reached the group, the vulture droids would large spear-like legs to attempt to kill the members of the group.
As the vulture droids began marching towards the Republic boarding party, behind the vulture droids the hangar bay doors to space began slowly to retraced towards the right and left walls. Though, there was no vacuum. This was due to the environmental shields being left on outside the large hangar doors.
Thor immediately realized, as she stated, “The Separatists is going to space us!”
Rex commented, “This is not good.”
Ahsoka said, “You are one to talk. At least you are in a space rated suit.”
Rex stated, “That just makes me easier pickings for the turbo-lasers outside.” Rex thought, 'The only things we have on our suits to lead up work in space is our magnetic systems on our boots. If we are thrown out into space, beyond the outer hull, we have no way to move around and get back to the ship. As such, the droid starfighters will kill us with easy.'
Thor thought, 'I lead in to a trap and did not realize it. I did not even recognize the vulture droids. I will let anyone die on account of my mistakes.'
Thor turned to face the group. She stated, “Get to the other side and get in. Thy will soon follow.” She turned towards the vulture droids. She used Mjolnir to fly at the droids, with the intent to attack them.
While Thor distracted the droids, the clone troops and Ahsoka rushed to the other side of the hangar towards a small door they saw.
Unfortunately, the vulture droids were too large for a simple gust of wind to knock them down. And throwing lightning or creating a full storm inside a spaceship in space were very bad ideas. So, Thor had to rely on her skills physical abilities.
Thor held Mjolnir in her left hand, with the axe end of the head facing outward, as she used it to fly towards the vulture droids.
While in flight towards the battle droids, Thor swiftly used her right hand to grip the hilt of the Black Solace and draw the blade. As soon as the weapon was fully drawn, Thor used her right thumb to flip the hilt switch to the vibration mechanisms in the vibro-katana. The vibration mechanisms of the weapon came on just as she reached the closed vulture droids.
Thor immediately used Mjolnir and the Black Solace to slight through the vulture droids as quickly as possible.
Thor had no problems hacking and slashing away at the battle droids, while she avoided the simple leg attacks from the droids. But given the large sizes of the vulture droids, it would still take time for her to destroy them all.
At that moment, one of the clone troopers reached the door to an auxiliary room which did have not have a window to see into the smaller room.
The clone tried to open the door by using the buttons on the panel by the door. But, nothing happened.
The clone trooper standing at the door turned to Rex. He stated, “It's locked.”
By then, Ahsoka and the rest of the troopers reached the door.
Rex turned to Ahsoka. He said, “You're up. But cut the door itself. Do not damage the emergency door behind the wall.”
Ahsoka replied, “Fine.” She walked up to the door, with the clones moving away from her. When she reached the door she used both hands on her green blade lightsaber to slowly cut through the door.
While Ahsoka began cutting, she overheard one of the clones use their external speakers to state, “At this rate, the doors will be fully open in under half a minute.”
By then, Ahsoka was half way done with creating a hole. While she continued with her lightsaber, she asked, “Why not turn off the shields now, and space us?”
Rex answered, “When the doors are fully open, the backwash of suction is greatest.”
While Ahsoka continued to work, she responded, “Oh. By the way, I do not know if you were told. But, General Thor does not have a command rank. Actually, as a Jedi Padawan, I have the rank of Commander, and I am the highest ranking person present.” She thought, 'Though, I do not really have a command rank. I can given a order that has to be obeyed. But, I have to have a very good reason for doing so. I have to prove myself before the Council will issue me a command of my own. That is why I rarely mention my rank.'
Rex stated, “We are aware of General Thor's status. But, I agree with common sense orders which do not conflict with the mission parameters. Truthfully, General Skywalker gave me orders that I am acting CO when he is not present.”
Ahsoka did not look in Rex's direction, as she continued working. She asked, “What?”
Rex said, “He told me he would handle telling you. I guess he did not because he did not want to hurt your feelings” He holstered his pistols.
Ahsoka grumbled, “I am going to have a long talk with him when we get back.” By then, the door was cut out from the part attached to the wall. Ahsoka used the force to push it into the other room.
The other room was well illuminated and she did not see anyone inside.
Due how close everyone was to her, she turned off her lightsaber. She leaned up and turned toward the clones. She said, “Done. And there is no one in the next room.”
Rex stated, “Good.” He turned to his troops. He ordered, “Men. You go first.”
Except for Rex, the clone troopers made their way into the other room. As they entered the auxiliary room the clone troopers had their blaster rifles at the ready. The troopers saw no one in the room. And the troopers saw a door on the other side of the room which lead to a hallway.
Meanwhile, Ahsoka turned to look across the hangar at the battle. She saw that Thor had already destroyed all but one of the vulture droids.
But as Thor destroyed the last vulture droid, Rex saw the hangar doors had fully opened.
By then, Rex subordinates were inside the other room.
Rex immediately grabbed Ahsoka and pulled both her and himself into the auxiliary room.
Just as the environmental shields that kept atmosphere in the room dropped and the suction began, Rex immediately hit the panel on the interior side of the small room he, Ahsoka, and his troopers were inside of.
Behind the main door to the hangar, the emergency door swiftly dropped down sealing them and the air around them from vacuum of space.
Ahsoka immediately felt through the force as Thor's presence was pushed out of the ship and into hard vacuum.
Ahsoka was quiet, as she sorrowfully thought, 'Padme.'
A few seconds later, from the comlink speaker of the back Ahsoka's left glove Ahsoka and the clone troopers heard Thor's voice stated, “Ah. Thou is still alive. And talking. Thou does not know how. But thy seems to be doing fine while in the vacuum of space.”
Ahsoka's mood immediately brightened, as she asked though her comlink, “Thor? Are you okay?”
Thor replied, “Yes. Thy is fine. For the moment.”
Floating right outside of hangar two of the Neebon, in the vacuum space, Thor held the shaft of Mjolnir in her left hand, as she held the hilt of the Black Solace in her right hand.
Thor saw the vulture droids parts floating passed her, as she looked out at the space battle behind the Separatist cruiser.
Thor saw the Separatist ship and the two Star Destroyers fired as each other, while starfighters from both sides were dogfighting each other in space.
While Thor found being alive in space was interesting. To herself, given all the powers Mjolnir had blessed her with, being able to survive in space was no great surprise.
Thor thought, 'I guess I should have had the nerve to test to see if I could survive in space months ago. Well better to learn this now than later. Though, being able to talk and hear is completely surprising, given basic physics dictate one needs the vibrations in air to speak and hear.'
Thor said, “Thy also do not understand why thy can talk and hear without air.”
Over the comlink earpiece on Thor's right ear, Thor heard Ahsoka say, “We will chalk it up other mystery of your powers.”
Thor responded, “This explanation works for thou. Did all of thee make out of the hangar?”
Over the comlink, Thor heard Rex suggest, “Yes. We all made it out of the hangar in time. It is best that you get back inside before someone decides to pick you off. While a shots from blaster rifle won't hurt you. You could be seriously injured by the turbo-lasers being used by the starfighters.”
Thor used Mjolnir to rotate around to face the Separatist cruiser. She used the hammer to stop from further floating away, as she looked at the large capital ship in front of her.
In front of Thor, to her right of the hangar, she saw something interesting. She commented, “Thy agrees. Thy sees a door to an airlock by the right side of the hangar near where thee should be. Thy can enter the ship from there. Though, thy would prefer you open it from the inside, so thy can use the pressure doors as thy should.”
Thor used her right thumb to turn off the switch to the vibration mechanisms of the Black Solace. After which, she sheathed the weapon in its scabbard. With that done, she swapped hands with the hammer, to hold the weapon by its shaft in her right hand.
Over the comlink earpiece Thor heard Rex state, “I believe I know the location you are describing. We will open it from the inside and meet you there.”
Thor replied, “Thank you.”
Thor used the hammer to fly to the outside airlock door by hangar two.
A minute later, the docking hatch door slid open. Thor use Mjolnir to fly through the small entry door and into the airlock. Once she was inside the airlock, she felt gravity pull her down. Fortunately, she was in the proper angle so her feet hit the metal floor.
Thor stood as she looked around. She saw that the door on the other side from the small room was closed.
Thor turned around to use a panel by the outside door to close the outside door.
The door slid closed.
A few seconds later, the automatic systems kicked in and Thor felt the room pressurize with air.
Thor turned around to face the interior door.
Several seconds later, Thor watched the interior door slid open. On the other side of the door, Thor saw Ahsoka and the six clone troopers.
The troopers had their blaster rifles lowered, while Ahsoka had her lightsaber deactivated and in her right hand.
Thor walked into the room the hallway to stand by her friends.
A second later, Ahsoka rushed up to hug Thor. Due to Thor being taller than Ahsoka, both of Ahsoka's arms wrapped around Thor's stomach and lower back, instead of higher on Thor's torso.
While Ahsoka hugged Thor, Ahsoka said, with relief evident in her tone of voice, “I thought we lost you.”
Thor kept Mjolnir in her right side, to her right side, as she used her left hand to gently hug Ahsoka.
Thor looked down at Ahsoka. Thor commented, “For a few moments thy thought that as well.”
Rex stated, “You gave us a scare.”
Thor turned to Rex. She responded, “Thee is not the only one.”
Thor looked down at Ahsoka, as Ahsoka looked up at Thor's face.
The interior door to the airlock automatically slid door.
Both women let go of each other, as Ahsoka took a step back from Thor.
Under Thor's helmet, Thor smile at Ahsoka. Thor maintained her smile, as she turned to the clone troops. Thor said, “Now let us take control of this ship and shut down the battle droids.”
Underneath his helmet, Rex smiled. He pulled out both of his blaster pistols. He said, “With pleasure.”
The Republic boarding party headed out toward the bridge of the ship.
A few minutes later, on the command bridge of Neebon, Captain Pos Tenith was standing by the front windows of the right side of the room. He quietly looked out at the battle raging space between his Confederacy forces and the Republic forces.
Then, Captain Tenith heard a banging sounds coming from the large blast doors behind the droid technicians. The blast doors were across the room from where Pos was standing.
Captain Tenith turned around to looked at the blast doors. The blast doors had inward bulges. In addition, the walls around the doors were bending inwardly. Someone was hitting the doors so hard the doors were beginning to to give way.
Captain Tenith thought, with regret, 'Perhaps I should have kept a few armed battle droids on command bridge.' He sighed, as he continued his thoughts, 'Too late now.'
A few seconds later, one more bang was heard, as the walls around the doors gave way and the doors fell inward onto the floor.
Captain Tenith watched as six troopers, in white and blue armor and helmets, with blaster rifles at the reach, rush into the room.
The troopers came to a stop a few feet into the room, as they pointed their weapon around the room, in a sweeping motion. Though, no one had fired just yet.
From the back of the command bridge, the six troopers had come to a stop, as they were ready, in case someone tried anything.
A few seconds later, Thor and Ahsoka walked into the room to stand behind the troopers, with their own weapons in hand.
Rex turned to the only Separatist officer in the room, whom was ten meters away from Rex and his squad. Rex pointed his blaster pistols at the Separatist officer. Rex used the external speakers of his helmet, as he ordered, “In the name of the Republic. Surrender.”
Captain Pos Tenith turned to his droids. He stated, “Order a full seize fire. Then, issue shut down command order, Four Alpha Six Bravo.”
One the droids stated, “But sir...”
Captain Tenith barked, “Issue the order.”
The same droid replied, “Roger. Roger.”
The droids complied with the order. The Neebon and droid starfighters stopped firing on the Republic ships. Then, all droids assign to the Neebon began to shut down. This include the droids through the Separatist cruiser, on the command bridge, and the droid starfighters outside of the ship.
Captain Tenith turned to the Republic forces. He thought, 'I might as well ask.' He humbly requested, “Would it be too much to ask if someone could collect a few personal items from my quarters for me.”
Rex lowered his weapons. Rex said, “As long as they are not weapons, communication devices, nor tools. I do not see a problem.”
Captain Tenith commented, “They are holo-pictures of my family.”
Rex responded, “That will be fine.” Rex thought, 'We will check to make sure the items he is requesting are not communication devices, tools, nor weapons. If the items are found to be any of those things he will regret trying to trick us. If not then we will allow him to keep those devices.'
Two troopers walked over to Captain Pos Tenith, to detain him.
Later, the devices that were retrieved for Pos Tenith were determined not to be communication devices, weapons, nor tools. The items were then given to Pos Tenith in his detention cell on the Negotiator.
A ten minutes after Pos Teinith was captured and the droids were shut down, the Republic starfighters outside mopped up and destroyed the remaining droid starfighters that had shut down outside of the Neebon.
Among those Republic forces in their starfighters were Anakin and Obiwan each piloting a Jedi starfighter.
Inside the Neebon, Pos Tenith had been cuffed taken to a holding nearby docking door, with two troopers standing watch over him. They were waiting for a shuttle to come to transfer Tenith to the Negotiator, where he would be held in the brig until they reached Coruscant.
Though, a trooper did retrieve the holos for Tenith, from Tenith's personal quarters without a problem.
Thor, Ahsoka, Rex, and the three troopers in their group were still on the bridge. They had been turning off the shields and overseeing things from their end, as they readied the ship to be taken over by a skeleton crew whose members would be transferred from the Resolute and Negotiator.
Thor, Ahsoka, Rex were presently using audio function of the bridge's communication system to talk to their allies, in the other spaceships. Meanwhile, the three trooper subordinates stood guard.
From the bridge of the Resolute, Cody stated, “We will have a skeleton crew ready for our prize within the hour.”
From his starfighter, Obiwan complimented, “Good work everyone.”
Rex stated, “Thank you, sir.”
Thor held Mjolnir in her right hand, to her right side. She inquired, in a sober tone of voice, “How were casualties?”
From his starfighter, Anakin answered, “Light. We lost three pilots.”
Cody commented, “There were no injures reported on neither the Resolute, nor the Negotiator.”
Thor breathed a sigh of relief, as she thought, 'That is good.'
Obiwan ordered, “Thor. After that little floating act. When you get back to the Resolute, I want you to have a full medical scan.”
Thor replied, “Thy was already planning to do that.”
Obiwan responded, “Good.”
Anakin asked, “Thor? Are you alright?”
Thor answered, in a calm tone of voice, “Yes Anakin. Thou is fine.”
Ahsoka had her lightsaber attached to the left side of her belt. She stretched her arms upward, as she said, “Well, with this done, I am so looking forward to our leave.” She dropped her arms to her sides.
Thor turned to Ahsoka. She stated, “Thou agrees. And thou looks forward to introducing you to my family.”
Ahsoka looked over at Thor. She smiled, as she happily said, “I can't wait to meet them.”
Over the audio, Anakin said, “They are very nice people. You will like them. And it will be nice to see them, again.”
Obiwan stated, “Well, I hope you kids have fun. I have report to the council when we get back to Coruscant.”
Thor smiled mischievously, as she joked, “Ah. The chains of command.”
Over the audio, Obiwan lightly chuckled for a few seconds, at Thor's joke. As he stopped laughing, he said, “So true. This is so true.”
Two hours later, Thor, Ahsoka, Anakin, Obiwan, Rex, R2, R4, the boarding team of troopers were back on the Resolute. With the starfighter pilots back on either the Resolute, or the Negotiator. Depending on which Star Destroyer they were stationed on.
During this time, Thor had a full check up. Both as Thor and as Padme. The medical droids found that Padme was fine in both forms. In addition, Thor found that her equipment that did not come with the Mjolnir, such as the items in her belt pouches, along with Black Solace, scabbard, strap and tassel, were undamaged by being in the vaccum of space.
Thor chalked this up to Mjolnir using its powers to protect the items.
Meanwhile, Pos Tenith had been transferred to the Negotiator, and he had been taken to the brig of the Star Destroyer.
The Republic skeleton crew had arrived on the Neebon, and they were able to take control of the Neebon without any serious difficulties.
After a check of all three capital ships, it was found that all three of the large ships were still fine to travel in hyperspace. With no more problems, the three capital ships flew in a formation. The Resolute in front. The Negotiator in the middle. And the Neebon in the rear. The three cruisers jumped to hyperspace and they continued on their way to Coruscant.
A few hours later, elsewhere in the galaxy, Dooku, in his personal space yacht, which was piloted by two droids. The ship around the same size as Padme Amidala's H-type Nubian space yacht. Though, this space yacht was not as streamlined in shape. This outside of the Dooku's space yacht was painted gold color, instead of silver.
The space yacht was a Horizon Class Star Yacht built by the SoroSuub Corporation on the planet Sullust in the southern part of the Outer Rim. Sullust was the homeworld of the Sullustans near-human species.
The ship was in orbit around the planet Arkanis on the southeastern side of the Outer Rim.
Dooku had just finished making a inspection of the planet and the Separatist defenses on the planet on in orbit. Dooku did the personal inspection to make sure the planet had recovered from attempted Republic invasion of the planet some months ago.
Dooku found that everything on the Arkanis and in orbit of the planet was find. Dooku met with the Separatist planetary governor, and Dooku congratulated the planetary governor for his skill leadership in making sure Arkanis had fully recovered. Dooku promised to say a few good words to the Separatist Council about the governor's work. A promise Dooku intended to keep because Dooku value competent leadership.
The governor was happy with Dooku.
Soon after, Dooku left Arkanis in his new space yacht. Dooku then ordered the droid pilots to place his ship in orbit around Arkanis, as Dooku patiently waited for a important scheduled holo-communication.
Presently, in the living area of the space yacht, Dooku sat in a chair at his desk. He was reading a datapad on his desk which another report of a defeat and capture of the Separatist capital ship Neebon. While details were limited, it was reported Thor was instrumental in the defeat.
Though, Dooku was expecting a call from Sidious on this matter. Considering Sidious had sent him some information on Thor a few days before, to look over, while Dooku also inspected the Separatist forced on Arkanis.
As Dooku finished reading the datapad, he set the datapad on the top of his desk.
Dooku thought, 'Senator Amidala has certainly become quite a handful. Though, it is nice to learn that she has not waste the gifts that she has been given. Which is good for all of us. From what I have read about her allies, they have become more powerful, as well. Even the young Togruta girl.'
Just then, Dooku heard the beeping from the holo-monitor at his desk as a holo-communication came through. Only one person had the number to his direct line. All the others were answered by his droid pilots, with the communications forwarded to him.
Dooku thought, 'I wonder if he uses the force to time his calls. He probably does. I might as well talk to him. And I hope this conversation is not what I think it will be about.'
Dooku pressed a button on the holo-monitor on his desk to answer the holo-commmunication.
Above the holo-monitor showed a small hologram of the head of a man whom had a black hood over his face, with only his jaw and mouth being visible.
The man stated, “Lord Tyranus.”
Dooku said, “Lord Sidious.”
Sidious inquired, “Have you completed you inspection of Arkanis?”
Dooku answered, “Yes.”
Sidious asked, “How was the inspection?”
Dooku said, “The inspection went well. The assigned governor is doing his job well.”
Sidious stated, “Good. Now that you have no immediate business to deal with I have a assignment for you. One that only you, with your abilities, can personally handle.”
Dooku inquired, “What is the assignment, my master?”
Sidious asked, “Did you finish reading the information I sent you on the girl?”
Dooku thought, 'Like you already did not know.' He replied, “Yes.”
Sidious stated, “Good. The time has come for the girl to die. Though, you much make sure that her death is as Thor. Not as Amidala.”
Dooku thought, 'I was hoping this order would never come. But, I still have to obey... For right now... Though, that does not mean I will kill her in a manner that she does not have a fighting chance to survive.'
Dooku commented, “I understand. Though, doing so will have to be in combat. Any other way may martyr her.”
Sidious agreed, “Yes. Her death must be through combat.”
Dooku thought, 'At least the girl will now have a fighting chance. Though, the more important question is why do you want this done now of all times? She could still be useful to us.'
Dooku inquired, “I do request to know why you desire her death done soon? She might still might prove useful to us.”
Sidious answered, “While there is still the possibility of her being useful. The opportunity for her death has presented itself. An opportunity we cannot ignore. I have learned that within three days, the girl, the boy, and boy's own apprentice, will arrive on Theed, Naboo to visit the girl's family. Now, is the perfect time to strike when she is at her weakest.”
Dooku realized what Sidious meant. Dooku said, “She will not fully use her powers and risk harming her family, nor her home city.” He thought, 'I admit. The timing is perfect.'
Sidious stated, “Exactly. Also, I will need you to make sure her corpse is still recognizable and that her body is left where it can be found by the local citizenry.”
Dooku commented, “To help demoralize the locals and the Republic. To send the message that one of the most powerful heroes of the Republic can be killed in her home city. Meaning no one is safe from us no matter where they are.”
Sidious laughed a little. As he stopped laughing, he said, “More than that. With her revealed as Thor, Amidala the peacemaker will be exposed as a hypocrite towards the war. Thus shattering any remaining opposition to the war effort within the Senate.”
Dooku cracked a grin, as he complimented, “This is brilliant.”
Sidious returned Dooku's smile. He responded, “Thank you. And her death. With her being so emotionally close to the boy, will help push the boy further down the path to becoming one of us. Though, the boy's own apprentice, nor the girl's family must be harmed. At least, not until after the girl is killed.”
Dooku commented, “I understand. Killing the girl's family before her may cause her to use her full powers against me. I have no interest in facing a hurricane. And by sparing the apprentice, the apprentice will anchor the boy. Keeping him from becoming too reckless in his grief as the darkness from losing the girl slowly grows within him.”
Sidious stated, “Correct. The boy and the girl have become close. The girl is close to her family. And the girl and the boy care about the boy's apprentice. We can use these attachments to our advantage. But, this assassination must be properly done. Make sure this is a one on one fight between Thor and yourself. I do not believe you can handle both Thor and the boy, by yourself.”
Dooku conceded, “You are perhaps correct. The girl is powerful. She might be as powerful as you.”
Sidious flatly responded, “No one is as powerful as I am. Still, you make a very good point. Do you believe you can do accomplish this mission?”
Dooku suggested, “I believe I can do so. Still, if I cannot kill the girl, I could be creative in how kill girl's family, and try manipulate her emotional state to create a hurricane which would destroy the city Theed. Such a reckless act would demoralize the Republic. And with it being leaked that Amidala and Thor are the same person. It would still harm the opposition within the Senate.”
“Amidala would be branded a mass-murderer by the Republic. If not a traitor. We can drive a wedge between her and the Republic and use this wedge to turn her against the Republic. Make one of their greatest heroes into one of their greatest enemies.”
Dooku thought, 'This is what you have in mind for the boy. But, I believe the girl could prove more useful in this role.'
Sidious firmly stated, “No. Do not kill her family before she dies. Because then she would become unpredictable. And she would present an even greater danger to our game. Given how close she and the boy are. They might join forces. And we cannot allow such a powerful individual to become a random factor. Let alone two powerful individuals.”
Dooku replied, “I understand.” Dooku felt disgust, as he thought, 'Your obsession with the boy is clouding your judgment.'
'I could use this opportunity to turn her and use her as an weapon against the Jedi and you. She and I could kill you. Then, I would turn her against the Jedi Council. She has the power to take on most of the Jedi High Council at once with a real possibility of killing most if not all of them.'
'Such a power vacuum could be used to take control of the Jedi Order. Once I control the Jedi Order, I can upend the Senate through a Jedi coup. The I could use the Jedi to take over the Separatists and the rest of the galaxy in a Dynasty of the Force of my creation.'
'Unfortunately, I am not ready to act against you. So, have to do as you request and hope both she and I survive so there would be other opportunities to turn her and the boy.'
'Though, I am thankful we have having this conversation by holo-comm. I am not sure my mental defenses could hide the contempt I feel for you at this moment for your single-mindedness.'
Sidious said, “I do not wish for Amidala to be exposed as Thor, unless she is killed. She has come back from worse politician situations than a scandal of her identity would recreate. Should you fail in this task, I wish for you to escape. But, do not publicly expose her as Thor. And do not attack her family, nor friends. Both of you still have some use to me.”
Dooku thought, 'I am not sure what your use for her is. And I am not sure I want to know. If it came down to a choice, she is more likely to join me than you. You are the one whom arranged all these death marks on her. Not I. I did not spend years making it a hobby to try to kill her through use my proxies.'
'While I will carry out your orders to kill her. I do not like carrying out these orders.'
'Still, Sidious. When it concerns myself. We both know I am the one person keeping the Separatists Council, and the Separatists Parliament from attacking each other. I am still needed to crack the whip on those simpletons, and be the public face for the Separatists. If you kill me too soon the Separatists falls apart, and so does your plans. But like all Sith, I am biding my time for the proper opportunity to strike you down. I just need to figure out a way to do so that will work, and not martyr you.'
'Having the girl join in doing so is only one possibility of many. All I have to do is be patient and what for the right opportunity.'
Dooku continued his thoughts, with a more firm emotional state, 'Now to get down to business.'
Dooku firmly stated, “Within four days Senator Amidala will be dead. And she will be exposed as Thor.”
Sidious replied, “Good.” Then, Sidious cut off the communication on his end.
Sidious' hologram disappearance from above the holo-monitor on Dooku's desk.
Dooku pushed down a button on the intercom on his desk, that went to the cockpit of the ship. He stated, “Set course for Theed, Naboo.” Then, he let go of the button on his desk.
Through the intercom, one of the droid pilots replied, “Right away.”
Dooku looked around the living quarters of his ship. He thought, 'I really do like this star-cruiser. And I found it on Sullust of all places. On the Outer Rim, homeworld of the Sullustans. It seems the SoroSuub Corporation has Separatist sympathizers. Once I got in touch with them, they were more than willing to sell me with a space yacht worthy of my station, at a fair price. They were even willing to paint the ship's exterior gold, as per my request.'
'The amenities of this ship are first class. This living area is nice. The sleep quarters are nice. The shower system is great. The communication systems are top of the line. And I ordered the droid pilots to make sure the kitchen and pantry areas are always will stocked with food and supplies.'
'The ship flies well for its class. It is not as agile as a starfighter, but close. I had the ship's two ion engines slightly modified so ship's sub-light engines are faster than most starfighters. This ship is even faster than a Jedi starfighter.'
'Also, the hyper-drive engines of this ship are very nice.'
'This star-cruiser even has in two hidden laser cannon turrets that pop out from hidden panels in the front top of the ship to fire at targets in front of the ship. When no longer needed the two laser cannon turrets retract back into the hidden housing.'
'I even had my star-cruiser modified to be equipped with two deflector shield generators. My ship will not be destroyed on the first hit.'
'Though, this is not much in the way of weapons and defense. But, it is nice to have options. '
'I have been a long time customer of the SoroSuub, so I should not be surprised that it was this company that I bought my new star-cruiser from.'
'I have been using one of their FA-4 pilot droids to fly myself around in my Punworcca 116 Class Interstellar Sloop ship for years. But, I have found that solar sailer is to small for my needs.'
'The SoroSuub even throw in another FA-4 pilot droid and a black R2 model astromech droid. Now my old pilot droid and the new pilot droid work together in piloting this ship, while the astromech droid acts as the navigational computers. This works out quite well for me.'
'This Horizon-class star yacht has not even been made public yet. Only a myself, and a select few workers and executives of SoroSuub Corporation can recognize this ship on sight. So no one can immediately identify this ship's origins, which works for someone in my line of work.'
'This ship is one of the ten or so prototypes built for its class built by the SoroSuub Corperation. Though, all the bugs are worked out on the ship. I even checked to make sure that was the case. From what I have learn, SoroSuub Corporation is one of the starship companies that design and organization their releases of various classes of ships decades in advance. There are several different classes of star-cruisers before they plan to officially released. Which should be in around two decades.'
'Right now, the latest publicly sold star-cruiser by the SoroSuub Corporation is the Personal Luxury Yacht 3000. The Yacht 3000 is such a gaudy ship when compared to the Horizon Class Yacht. And the two star-cruisers look completely different.'
'I believe that Sidious uses a Yacht 3000 star-cruisers. I am tempted to brag to him that I have better star-cruiser than he does. But except for those at SoroSuub Corporation, I do not want anyone to know I am using this ships. Especially, Sidious.'
'I am enjoying using star-cruiser. And I plan to make future orders from the SoroSuub Corporation. They offer a wide various of products from space yacht, to speeders, to droids, to comlinks, to some interesting energy pike designs. An energy pike can parry a lightsabers. SoroSuub has an electrostaff which an energy pike on both ends.'
'The Separatists have a contract with Holowan Mechanicals to develop and build a combat droid which could actually combat a Jedi using lightsaber in a melee battle. While I laugh at the idea. I support the contract to see if it is actually possible. But, Holowan Mechanicals is still looking for a proper weapon to equip their combat droid with. I believe this electrostaff might be the weapon they are looking for.'
'Holowan Mechanicals is a subsidiary of Holowan Laboratories. I will contract the CEO Holowan Laboratories to see if they are open to using a the electrostaff made by SoroSuub Corporation.'
'If this works out, I will arrange a contract between the two companies. If not, I will license the plans from the SoroSuub Corporation and contract a more Separatist friendly company to build the electrostaffs. Such as the Baktoid Armor Workshop.'
'Either way, I will have another type of weapon to use against the Jedi and the Republic. If these combat droids do prove a challenge for Jedi. I believe I might incorporate them into my plans to destroy the Jedi High Council and to later deal with Sidious.'
'Sidious is to powerful for me to defeat in one on one combat. And given Sidious once let slip he poisoned his previous master, Darth Plagueis, in his sleep. I have no illusions about dealing with in a one on one battle. If I have to wear him down with an army of droids before I kill him. I will. The only reason I do not risk an orbital strike on where he lives is the building he resides in is built to withstand orbital bombardment. I could destroyed everything else in the area and that building will still be standing. So, I will have to try another way to get to him.'
Dooku looked in front, towards his desk, as he continued his thoughts, 'Though, that is for later. I have other matters to attend too. Such as how I will deal with Senator Padme Amidala.'
'While Padme has become more powerful in her own abilities. She is still no match for a lightsaber master. Though, I will have to wait for the proper opportunity.'
'While the ship is fueled. It will take me a few days to get to Naboo. This will give me time t come up with a plan.'
'Even with my skills and experience, Padme will have many advantages in this battle. And not just her powers and skills. She will know the battlefield. Such knowledge can turn the tide of battle. I will need to brush up on the geography and people of that area of the planet.'
'To make this a one on one battle, I will need to separate the three of them.'
'Though, I have something wonderful in mind to separate Padme, from Anakin, and the new apprentice of theirs... I believe her name is Ahsoka Tano. Later, I will look up information on her.'
'I will need to find somewhere, in Theed, that I may fight her out in the open. A open location which plenty of options for fall back positions. Yet, a location where we will not be disturbed. Fortunately, with my knowledge of security codes, landing on the spaceport of Theed and leaving later will not be a problem.'
'I will give Padme an honorable fight. Given her professionalism as both as a senator and as a warrior, I feel I should do nothing less. Should she die, then at least she will die a warrior's death.'
Soon, the astromech droid acting as the navigational computer in Dooku's space yacht had plotted out the course to Naboo, in the southeastern section of the Mid-Rim. Then, the two droid pilots of the ship then had the space yacht jump to hyperspace towards Naboo.
Three days later, it was a sunny, mid-morning in the Temple District on Coruscant. In the Jedi Temple, Obiwan had just finished a personal meeting with the Jedi Council inside the Council chambers.
Obiwan gave reports on the matters concerning the training and missions that Padme, Anakin, Ahsoka, and himself had undertaken over the last few months. In addition, during the meeting Obiwan answered questions from the council members on how his three students were were doing in their training and missions.
Obiwan had told the Council what he was suppose to say. Though, he kept many of the details, and his opinions, to himself. Details that would have gotten his friends, and himself, in trouble. Though, these details did not state that his students did anything that was actually wrong.
Obiwan felt that given the circumstances that were involved in those actions, that his students actions fell in a moral gray area.
Obiwan had already confronted his students about some of the more questionable actions they had undertaken. Such as Padme letting Jango and Boba Fett go on Balmorra.
Obiwan even omitted Padme's accidental space walk while Thor because he did not want to risk ruining her vacation because the Council may want to further study Thor's resilience towards environmental extremes.
Obiwan felt that given he confronted his students about these matters, and reporting such actions would cause unnecessary problems for his students. As such, he omitted these details from his reports.
Given the council members could use the force to sense someone telling a lie, Obiwan was careful to tell the truth, from a certain point of view.
After the meeting was over, Council Member Mace Windu and Jedi Master Obiwan Kenobi decided to talk as they made their way through the Jedi Temple, at a leisurely pace.
Mace and Obiwan took and elevator to a level near the middle of the Jedi Temple. Then, they started to walk, as talked about very topics.
Presently, Obiwan and Mace were having a pleasant conversation, as they walked down a mostly empty large hallway inside the Jedi Temple. The hallway was located by the outside wall of the Temple. To the right side of the hallway, there were windows which allowed in plenty of sunlight to see with.
Obiwan to Mace's left side, and Mace walked being to hallway wall to his right side.
As they walked, Mace commented, “I know while we have been asking about your students. We still care about you. We have not forgotten you.”
Obiwan replied, “I know.”
Mace asked, “So how are you doing?”
Obiwan answered, “All things considered. I am doing fine.”
Mace admitted, “Good. Though, I was wondering how you were handling the propaganda services nicknaming you, The Wise.” Mace stifled a small laugh.
Obiwan noticed Mace was trying to stop himself from laughing. A few seconds later, Obiwan realized what Mace truly meant by his comment.
Obiwan thought, 'I long suspected this nickname would make me the butt of some jokes.'
Obiwan said, in an even tone of voice, “I admit that I have a sarcastic wit. And a sense of humor that goes with that wit. I realize the reason the council allowed me to keep that nickname was so you council members could called me, wiseass, behind my back.”
Mace mischievously smiled, as he commented, “You were always, wise, Obiwan.” This time, Mace could not stop himself from laughing a few times.
Obiwan caught the pun. He flatly replied, “Ha. Ha.” He groaned, as he requested, “Can we please move on from this matter?”
Mace reigned in his emotions. He calmly said, “Sure. I have some good news for you. The council wanted me to quietly tell you. Your name has been placed on the Old Guard. You are now on the list to eventually become a member of one of the four councils. Very likely the high council.”
Obiwan came to a stop, as he realized the importance of what this meant for himself.
Obiwan thought, 'The Old Guard is not so much as a position, but an unofficial title for those Jedi whom are considered to have upheld the traditions of the Jedi Order. Most members of the four Jedi Councils were first give the title of being a members of the Old Guard. This means I could become a member of the Jedi High Council. Or, one of the other councils. I have already become a Jedi Master. And by becoming a member of the Council, I would surpass my former deceased master and teacher. A man that was like a second father to me, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn.'
'I could end up a member of the high Council which governs the entire Jedi Order. Though, being assigned to be any of the other three councils which work under the High Council would be a high honor.'
'Council of First Knowledge handles the teaching academy and lessons for younglings and padawans. The members of this council also advise member of the Order on various matters. And this council runs the Shadow program, which are the assassins of the Jedi Council. The Jedi Shadows are assign to kill any Sith followers they find. Along with destroying any Sith teachings and Sith artifacts they discover.'
'Even as a Jedi Master I am not suppose to know this. But, it is more well known than the leadership of the Jedi Order would wish. Given my personal experiences with Sith and darkside users, the Jedi Shadows are clearly not doing their job as they should.'
'While the High Council members in the High Council Tower which is the southeast tower, the Council of First Knowledge meets in the northwest tower, the Tower of First Knowledge.'
'Then, there is the Council of Reconciliation. This council whom handles the diplomatic side of the Jedi Order. This includes assignments to negotiate peaceful agreements for the various member governments of the Republic.'
'The Council of Reconciliation meets in the southeast tower, the Tower of Reconciliation.'
'And there is Council of Reassignment. This council handles assignments for those younglings and padawans whom fail their training. These individuals are assigned to one of four Jedi Service Corps, which are overseen by this council.'
'The first and most well known of these Jedi Service Corps is the Agricultural Corps, or Agrocorps. The individuals are sent to agricultural worlds to learn to be farmers.'
'While most most members of the Jedi Order consider assignment to the Agrocorps to be disrespected. The other three organizations are held with a little more value within the Jedi Order.'
'It interesting that after fighting in a war, some Jedi Knights and Jedi Masters sometimes request to be transferred to the Agro Corps as call to earth, as it were. To grow instead of destroy. After the battles I have been, I can understand why some Jedi would want to leave the Temple and go live somewhere quiet and peaceful.'
'While most all failed younglings and most failed padawans are assign to the Agrocorps, those failed padawans that show a potential in one of part of their training are assigned to one of the other Jedi Service Corps.'
'Those that show a strong grasp of history are assigned to the Educational Corps, or Educorps, to assist the Lord Keeps in maintaining the Jedi Archives.'
'Those that have a strong grasp of academics. Such as math, are assigned to the Exploration, or ExplorCorps, to be ship pilots in assigned Jedi Researchers on archaeological sights on remote planets.'
'Those failed padawans which are strong in the force but not so good in academics, or lightsaber training, are usually assigned to the Medical Corps, or Medcorps, as medical technicians or assistants to Jedi Healers.'
'There is also the Temple Security Force which is overseen by the Jedi Battlemaster, whom reports directly to the Jedi High Council. The current Battlemaster is Jedi Master Cin Drallig.'
'The Temple Security Force is composed of Jedi Peacekeepers and non-force using police officers whom enforce the law in the Temple District. While the Jedi Temple is a large part of the District, there are residential areas in the district where civilians live. And the Jedi Order is tasked with assisting the security forces in the district to maintain the law.'
'The Temple Security also includes the Jedi Temple Guards and the Gate Keeper whom oversees members of the Jedi Order assigned to directly guard the temple doors. Those Jedi whom are assigned to guard the doors are regularly rotated as a basic assignment for those living in the Jedi Temple.'
'The current Gate Keeper is Jedi Master Jurokk whom does a good job at his assignment.'
'Still, being a member a of the Old Guard will not guarantee I will be eventually assigned as a member to any of councils. This is just a sign that there is a possibility of such an assignment. And while the High Council and the other councils have positions which are appointments for life. Most of the appointments to the various councils have term limits. Though, these term limits are usually waved during a time of war, when rotating appointments on the various councils can be detrimental to the stability of long term strategies implemented by the various councils for the war effort.'
Obiwan turned to face Mace. He saw Mace had stopped by him, with Mace giving Obiwan a warm smile.
Obiwan returned Mace's smile. Obiwan sincerely said, “Thank you. I will keep this to myself.”
Mace calmly said, “I know you will. Do not mess this up.”
Obiwan shrugged, as he casually responded, “I will try not too. But, with three students at once. You never know. I now understand why the Jedi have the rule of one teacher, one student.”
Mace commented, “Do not worry, I have faith you will make it. Or, as Master Yoda would put it.” Mace did a fake Yoda accent, as he continued, “Do. Or, do not. There is no, try.”
Obiwan asked, in a curious tone of voice, “Does he actually believe that?”
Mace answered, in his normal tone of voice, “Between you and me.” Mace leaned closer to Obiwan's right ear, as he whispered, “No.”
Mace leaned his head back up straight, as both Obiwan and himself, chuckled a little at their joke.
As they calmed down, the two men looked forward, and Mace started casually walking down the hallway. Obiwan noticed this, and he walked along side his old friend.
While they walked, Obiwan commented, “I hope that the way I achieve such a prominent position is not through posthumous replacement.” He thought, 'Retirements are not unheard of for older members of the council. Or, those council members killed on missions.'
Mace soberly stated, “I hope that is not the case, either. Though, with this war, that is one possibility on how you will end up with on one of councils. Though, either way I feel you will deserve your place among us.”
Obiwan replied, “Thank you.”
Mace asked, “So, where are you students heading to? You did not mention in your reports where they are taking their leave to. You only mentioned they are together.”
Obiwan stated, “I only omitted their locations as a security precaution.”
Mace responded, “I understand. One has to be careful about security leaks. So where are they?”
Obiwan answered, “Padme is taking Anakin and Ahsoka to visit her family on Naboo. They are heading to Theed, the capital city of Naboo. I approved their leave,myself. I gave them two weeks off. Enough time to get there, and come back, with over a week to spend there.”
Mace commented, “While I agree such a visit would be nice. That seems like an awful lot of time to get there.”
Obiwan explained, “We all got disembarked onto Coruscant two days ago. They had to pack. They had to prep their ship. They heading to Naboo on Padme's star-cruiser. Which from personal experience is a very nice ship. They are taking Anakin's two droids with them. They are going from the core worlds, to the Mid-Rim. That takes a little time to accomplish.”
Mace inquired, “True. This will be a nice visit for them. It will be good for their morale. I think some downtime like that will be good for all three of them. Also, while it was not in your report. I heard that Padme was in space for a little bit with an enviro-suit?”
Obiwan thought, 'I am not sure how you found out, Mace. But, I am not surprised.'
Obiwan commented, “Yes. I was not sure how to inform the council of that. It seems that as Thor, Padme is tougher than we thought. She does not need air in her stronger form. She can actually talk and hear in space. None of us have clue on how she does this. Even she admits she does not like to think how her powers and that hammer work.”
Mace inquired, “Interesting. So how is her health?”
Obiwan answered, “Fine. Once we got her back to the Resolute, we had a full medical check done on her, on both her forms. Also, along with extreme temperatures, and hard vacuum. In her stronger form, Padme seems immune to even high levels background radiation found in space. After the incident she showed no signs of problems, nor any health issues. And there was not radiation signature for her body beyond the normal range found in a human woman.”
Mace replied, “That is a relief.”
Obiwan stated, “Yes. It is a relief. That event scared them, and it even troubled me.”
Mace commented, “That could be a good thing. This is reminder of their mortality. Still, all three of them could use some peace and quiet. I am sure Padawan Skywalker and Padawan Tano both need to be reminded that there is more to being a Jedi than adventure.”
Obiwan commented, “You are sounding like Master Yoda.”
Mace cracked a grin, as he said, “Thank you.” Mace dropped his grin. He firmly stated, “Now, we need to discuss other matters. The council is becoming more impatient with you, about Anakin. Concerning his trials.”
Obiwan thought, 'There is one excuse I can use to stop this conversation.' He said, “I thought that there were many on the council that believe Anakin is still too reckless to take the trials.”
Mace said, “Yes. In the past. But given how well you and Anakin taught Padme. With everything you have reported concerning Senator Amidala and Padawan Skywalker's service records being nothing short of exemplary. Even your reports state that Padawan Tano is coming along nicely. Due to all this, most of those on the council have come to believe that Padawan Skywalker has matured to be ready to take and pass his trials for knighthood.”
Obiwan thought, 'I guess that excuse is not going to fly.' He conceded, “They would be correct. Anakin has grown in the last few years. He is must more emotionally mature.”
Mace commented, “I am glad we agree. Because we of the council want you to have him do the trials, so we can knight him, before this drags out into a mess.”
Obiwan responded, “I feel he is not ready. What if he fails?”
Mace stated, “Hmm... If that happened, it would be an embarrassment. But, it would not be the first time the council bent the rules concerning knighthood.”
Obiwan thought, 'I cannot believe what I am hearing. This is like the Senate appointing someone to the Jedi High Council and declaring the person to be a Jedi Master.'
Obiwan commented, 'We both know that is a rarity. And would you really make him a knight even if he is not ready?”
Mace flatly stated, “We are at war. And Anakin Skywalker has the potential to be the most powerful force user in the galaxy. Everyone knows this. From us to Dooku, to even Sidious. We cannot allow Padawan Skywalker to leave the Order. Let alone throw him out. And he is too old for the Agrocorps. If we tried to send him there, we might as well just throw him out of the Order. And if we did so, Dooku would have his hooks into Anakin before we knew it. I do not even want to think of the implications should such a situation occur.”
Obiwan mentally reflected, 'He has a point.'
Obiwan conceded, “I can agree that Anakin falling to the dark side would be very bad thing for everyone involved. Including, Anakin. Though, some members have left the order from the embarrassment of failing their trials. If he does fail. What would be the fallout?”
Mace shrugged, as he responded, “Depending on the severity. If it is only a minor failure, we can arrange a mission to prove himself. If it a major failure. He would likely be removed and trained by another Jedi Master. Likely a council member until the council felt he was ready to take trials again. With him hopefully passing the trials during his second attempt.”
Obiwan thought, 'But, since the council that is pressuring me to have Anakin take the trials before I feel he is ready. And for a student to be removed from a teacher is a far worse embarrassment for the teacher than their student failing the trials. Though, I wonder if you wish to become Anakin's teacher. I believe you need to be reminded of a few things.'
Obiwan questioned, “Should Anakin be removed from me, do you plan to be his new teacher? Both of you have abrasive attitudes that would likely clash. It would not be a good fit.”
Mace conceded, “That is a good point. But, there are other good teachers we can pair Padawan Skywalker with.”
Obiwan took offense, as he flatly asked, “Are you saying I am not a good teacher?”
Mace realized he had hit a nerve. He responded, “Far from it. You have brought Anakin this far. From what we have seen of Senator Amidala in action, your training of her has shown nothing short of phenomenal results. And Padawan Tano is even showing progress. But you are right. Juggling three students might be too much for you. All a new teacher would be doing is smoothing out the rough edges in Anakin's training.”
“If this happened, we of the council would take into account that we pressured you in having Anakin takes the trials too early. We would arrange it so removal of Padawan Skywalker from you instruction would be done in a manner that would be the least embarrassing for everyone involved.”
Obiwan thought, 'That is good to know. Though, there is another related manner which needs to be discussed.'
Obiwan pointed out, “But, Anakin might not want a new teacher? And to fail in the trials would be a devastating blow to his pride.”
Mace conceded, “True. But, we will cross that bridge when we get there. Even if Padawan Skywalker was removed from you. You would still have two other students, which would show the council still supports you as a teacher.”
Obiwan thought. 'Meaning you do not have an answer. And you want to move on in this conversation. Fine with me. We can now get to the heart of the matter.'
Obiwan responded, “Perhaps. And you raise another matter. What about Ahsoka? What becomes of her, if Anakin fails? We all know she is originally was going to be Anakin's padawan apprentice once he is knighted. But, if he fails the trials that plan is no longer going to happen.”
“Will she eventually removed from me instruction? While we both know that Padme is not going anywhere. I am worried about Ahsoka, if Anakin is fails he trials and he is removed from my tutelage.”
Mace answered, “You have no worries on that matter. If that happens, Padawan Tano will likely become your student on a more permanent status. You and Padawan Skywalker have done a good job on her training. I see no reason for removed her from your instruction. Still, this all comes down to Anakin taking the trials. We cannot wait forever.”
Obiwan realized, as he thought, 'While I feel relief about Ahsoka. I am still concerned about Anakin. Though, I realize am not going to win this argument.'
Obiwan stated, “I have already given some thought. Given Anakin has become more mature since becoming a teacher, I believe he might be ready to take the trials sooner, rather than later. I am just not sure when.'
Mace said, “Good. Time is ticking away.”
Obiwan flatly responded, “This I am well aware of. Though, when I do have Anakin take his trials, I have one request.”
Mace inquired, “What?”
Obiwan stated, “I wish for Ahsoka to watch as Anakin takes a few of his trials. I know some of them Anakin has to do alone. But such as the trial of skill, Ahsoka can watch.”
Mace said, “It is not unheard of to have other padawans watch their peers take the trials. I see no problems in her attending.”
Obiwan replied, “Thank you.”
Mace asked, “So, since we are talking about your students. What is your opinion on your three charges?”
Obiwan answered, “Well, the good news is. Anakin makes a fine teacher. Ahsoka is coming along nicely. Padme is doing great. As to Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka, in combat. They show themselves well in their conduct both on and off the battlefield.”
Obiwan thought, 'I might as well tell you. Besides Yoda and a few others. I believe you would understand this.'
Obiwan mentioned, “I did not bring this up in the council meeting, nor my reports. Because I was not sure how some of the council members would react. But, Padme has also be teaching Ahsoka manners and diplomacy.”
“I support this. And so does Anakin. Because Padme's lessons have increased Ahsoka's attention span and discipline. Thus making it easier to train her in the force, lightsaber forms, and making her easier to deal with in general.”
Mace said, “I bet. I, for one, am okay with this. As long as Senator Amidala does not have Padawan become involved in politics.”
Obiwan agreed, “That is where I drew the line. Anakin told me that he discussed the matter Padme. And Padme agreed to our minor requests. I just hope this won't cause any problems for anyone.”
Mace stated, “It won't And I will keep this to myself. You were right not to bring this to the council. Some of them would not understand. But, I do.”
Obiwan replied, “Thank you.” He thought, 'I am glad I was right to privately talk to you about this.'
Mace questioned, “Now speaking of temperaments. What are your views on Padme as a person? Were we correct in training her?”
Obiwan admitted, “Yes. I have gotten to know Padme. She is a decent woman. Yes. She is a politician. And she has a very shrewd mind. But, she has convictions and she shows courage in her beliefs. And they are good beliefs. I have seen her go out of her way to minimize civilian causalities, while completing her mission. And she does so in a way that does not jeopardize her mission.”
Mace inquired, “I sense a, but, in your comment.”
Obiwan sighed. He said, “I use to think that Padme would be a bad influence on Anakin. Now, with her having as much power from that hammer, as Anakin has in the force, I have come to believe that Anakin is a bad influence on her.”
“While she does minimize civilian causalities, she is very aggressive on the battlefield. She takes Anakin's lead on this. I am glad she is on our side. But, I am starting to regret teaching Anakin to be so aggressive in combat. And I have only myself to blame.”
Mace suggested, “It is best we learn from our mistakes and move on. Instead of allowing ourselves to wallow in our regrets. Do you wish for us to separate them?”
Obiwan said, “They are good friends. I hope they are only friends. If they are more than that, they are very good at hiding it.”
Mace commented, “I do not see Padawan Skywalker being that clever. Senator Amidala, yes. But, not Padawan Skywalker.”
Obiwan responded, “I agree. Also, Ahsoka admires Padme as a peer. I do not want break up a very skilled and powerfully effective team.”
Mace said, “I can understand your point on this.”
Obiwan conceded, “Still, the occasional sole missions for Padme, and Anakin, might be the best way to approach this. Let them spend some time separated. But, not all the time.”
Mace said, “I will bring this up with the council. But, I believe that might be the best way to deal with this matter. Perhaps we could assign Senator Amidala on some easy personal assignments on Coruscant after her leave is over. While Padawan Skywalker and Padawan Tano are assigned off-planet. Or, they are otherwise busy.”
Obiwan commented, “This might work. I will think on it. I will contact you when I come up with some ideas.”
Mace replied, “That will be fine.” Mace cracked a grin, as he said, “Now. I learned that a few weeks ago, before you rendezvoused with the Resolute and Negotiator, you were on a solo mission. I heard that after you completed that mission, you had some trouble getting back to your Jedi Cruisers. It just so happened, you landed your shuttle on a tropical beach resort planet for a few days. A very popular planet for tourists.”
Obiwan cracked a grin, as he said, “It is purely coincidence that it happened to be that world.”
Mace offered, “If you wanted a few weeks off for a vacation, we would have gladly granted you the time to do so.”
Obiwan stated, “I am suppose to be the responsible one. I realized that I would still have work to do, even when my students are on leave. And if that got back to Anakin, Padme, and Ahsoka, that I went on vacation without them, I would never live it down. But, I still needed a break.”
Mace chuckled a little. He said, “Okay. Point taken. Still how was your time there?”
Obiwan warmly smiled. He happily said, “The people there were lovely. All of them were very friendly. I have nothing but good things to say about my stay there. I will have to go back there sometime.”
Obiwan and Mace continued their pleasant conversation, as they made their way through the corridors of the Jedi Temple.
Eventually, when the concluded their discussion, they went about their separate duties for the day.
Hours later, a silver painted, arrow shaped, H-type Nubian space yacht came out of hyperspace in orbit around the planet Naboo, in the southeastern Mid-Rim.
Within the next hour, the captain of the ship made used the ship's communication's syteme to make arrangements for her and her friends to come down to the planet on short notice.
While there were a few minor difficulties in such a short term request, the captain was able to gain clearance to land on Naboo, at the spaceport in Theed, the captain city of Naboo.
The H-type space yacht belonged to government of Naboo. The ship was assigned to Senator Padme Amidala Naberrie to use after Padme's previous space yacht, the silver painted J-type diplomatic barge was destroyed in a bombing on a landing pad on Coruscant, a short time before the Clone Wars started.
The government of Naboo allowed Padme to use the H-type space yacht for as long as she was the Galactic Senator representing the Chommell sector, which included the Naboo star system.
Presently, Padme was sitting in a chair at the controls in the cockpit of the ship, as she made the final arrangements for her visit to her homeworld of Naboo, and to land in the city she grew up in, Theed.
Padme was wearing casual clothing of a white short sleeve cloth shirt, black pants, a red belt and black slippers. Her long hair was draped down the back of her head.
Now that the communication between the Naboo government officials and Padme had ended, Padme focused on the instruments on the control panel and the controls of the ship, and not the view from the window in front of her of the planet Naboo.
While Padme worked the controls of her ship, she thought, 'Since we are about to go into orbit, I need to account for everyone. Turbulence during atmospheric entry can be rough. But, as long as the passengers are notified in advance there are not usually any problems.'
'Let's see. Anakin and Ahsoka are in the living area mediating. R2 is connected to the ship's computer, in another part of the ship. C3-PO is somewhere. And Mjolnir is in my personal quarters.'
'If Ahsoka was not with us, I would be tempted to sleep with Anakin during our trip here. Still, I do want Ahsoka to meet my family. It would broaden her horizons as to her friends outside of the Order.'
Padme smiled, as she mentally reflected, 'I am glad I convinced Anakin and Ahsoka to let me take them to Naboo on my yacht. So we can travel in style. A Jedi transport shuttle is nice and all. But, it just does not rate to the comforts of this ship. Besides, a Jedi transport shuttle would likely attract attention, while this is a Nubian ship, and a class of ship which is used by government officials. So piloting this ship cause too many questions to be asked.'
'Hmm... I do not like coming in unannounced. I already talked with Queen Neeyutnee. She was kind enough to make sure my visit was discreet and would not be an official visit. This will allow me to visit with my family with no political entanglements...'
Padme sighed, as she continued her thoughts, 'I am just tired of politics. Especially, the politics of war. I need a break. I am sure Anakin and Ahsoka could use a break, as well.'
'Though, I wish the reservations at the Hidden Crest hotel were not so expensive. But, it was on short notice. Fortunately, I can afford the fees. Considering this is not an official visit I cannot use my senatorial account to pay the fees.'
'I trust the staff of that hotel to keep our visit secret.'
'Also, if my plan works in how I have our suites arrange, Anakin and I can have some time for ourselves with Ahsoka not realizing what is going on.'
'To make sure I checked my body with a small medical scanner I keep with my luggage. These next few days will be a safe time to be with Anakin. So I do not have to worry about that possible problem.'
'Also, last night, when Anakin came to the cockpit. While Ahsoka was asleep in her quarters. I told Anakin my plan at the hotel. He liked the plan. And we are both looking forward to tonight.'
'I am tempted to contact Dorme and Captain Typho. To see how they are doing. But, I decided it was for the best not too. Last I heard, Dorme is no longer a handmaiden, and she is currently studying to become a teacher for children. Captain Typho is currently overseeing the Naboo government security services whom handle foreign dignitaries visiting Naboo on official business.'
'Fortunately, the Queen accepted my request that security would not be notified of my arrive. That my ship would gain clearance to the planet without any questions being asked.'
'Security has been tight on Naboo since we took back our planet from the Trade Federation. And since the war started security has only tightened on Naboo.'
Padme turned to the communication controls of the console in front of her. She made sure the communication was set to an encrypted channel. She typed in a specific communication number for a home on Naboo, as she thought, 'Now just one more person I wish to speak to before I start our approach to Naboo, to land at the Theed spaceport.'
Padme set the communications to audio only. Then, she waited for the other end of the line to pick up.
After Padme heard a few rings, she heard the other end pick up. A feminine voice she recognized said, “Hello.”
Padme smiled, as she casually said, “Hello mom.”
Jobal Naberrie, Padme's mother, happily responded, over the line, “Hello Padme. How are you doing?”
Padme answered, in a relaxed tone of voice, “Fine. Presently, I am my ship, in orbit above Naboo.”
Jobal inquired, “Padme. What are you doing here?”
Padme said, “I am sorry that it is on short notice. But, I have arranged to spend some time to visit you, dad, and the rest of our family.”
Jobal commented, “Given everything that has happened. This is quite alright. I understand the need for secrecy given the threats on your life.”
Padme mentioned, “I am also bringing some friends with me. To start with I am bringing Anakin is on the ship with me.”
Jobal casually asked, “That nice young man you brought with you the last time you came to visit?”
Padme responded, “Yes. The other person with me is named Ahsoka Tano. She is a teenage Togruta girl. She is also a member of the Jedi Order. She is a very sweet girl. You will like her.”
Jobal happily said, “I look forward to meeting her.”
Padme stated, “Good. I will see you in a little while.”
Jobal inquired, “I look forward to your arrival. Do you need for us to replace the bed covers, with fresh covers, in your old bedroom?”
Padme answered, “No. I already made hotel reservations. Though, the hotel we are staying at will be close to you.” Padme thought, 'I am not going to say which hotel I am staying at, even over an encrypted channel.'
Jobal responded, “That is good. I will let you father and sister you know are coming.”
Padme requested, “For right now, just let dad know. I realize this is a weekday, with Sola and her family being busy. We will contact them later this evening.”
Jobal agreed, “That is a good point. We will all be happy to see you.”
Padme stated, “I will be happy to see you, as well. Bye.”
Jobal replied, “Goodbye dear.”
Padme pressed a button to turn off the communication with her mother.
Then, Padme press a few buttons at her controls to turn on the ship intercom system. She set the intercom system to have the speakers carry her works over the ship, at a comfortable volume. She said into the intercom microphone in the control panel, “This is your captain speaking. We will be momentarily entering the atmosphere of Naboo. Please, buckle yourself to a chair and prepare for atmospheric entry.”
Padme put on the seatbelt on her chair. Then, Padme sent the signal for her clearance and flight plan, as she set course for the ship to take them to the spaceport of Theed.
Meanwhile, Anakin, Ahsoka, C3-PO, and R2 had heard Padme's request. Anakin, Ahsoka, and C3-PO each found a chair to with seatbelts to buckle themselves to. R3 headed to one of the astromech stations where the droid would be most secure when the ship began entry into the Naboo atmosphere.
Less than an hour later, Padme piloted her space yacht onto a tarmac of the Theed spaceport, with Padme, Anakin, Ahsoka, R2 and C3-PO safely arriving on Naboo.
The city of Theed was located at an end of a large plateau,The plateau stretched into the horizon.
The city of Theed was built all the way to the edge of the plateau.
The Solleu River ran through the top of the plateau. As the Solleu River ran through Theed the river broke apart into tributaries which flowed to the edge of the cliff to create magnificent waterfalls.
There were several bridges throughout Theed which connected the city together.
The Royal palace of Naboo, located in Theed, was build on near the edge of the plateau cliff, with the palace going all the way to the edge. Part of the palace was a single tower that was built on a lower outcropping from the wall of the plateau. This tower was connected to the rest of the palace by a bridge.
The space port was located at the base of the plateau, away from the waterfalls that ran down from the rivers that flowed through the city of Theed.
A few of the Sollue waterfalls fell over the spaceport. Through, the spaceport had created aqueducts to catch the water from the waterfalls and divert that water, along with the other water falls back into a single river which flowed into the horizon away from the plateau Theed was built on top of.
It was around twelve hundred local time, on a warm sunny day.
Half an hour after Padme piloted her ship into a hangar in the spaceport, with she and her friend disembarking from her ship, with their luggage. Padme carried Mjlonir. While Anakin, Ahsoka, and C3-PO handled the rest of the luggage.
Padme made sure her ship was locked up.
The group then headed to customs. R2 followed behind the other members of the group.
Given Padme was Galactic Senator whom representative Naboo, Anakin and Ahsoka were members of the Jedi Order, the security officials at the customs area allowed Padme, and her group, including the droids, pass through customs without their items and luggage being checked.
Padme was able to rent a speeder vehicle from the spaceport for them to use to get to Padme's family home.
The hovering speeder vehicle had an dark orange paint job. The speeder had four doors, with front and back seats. The speeder had a front windshield and side windows. The speeder had a retractable roof, which retracted into a small hole between the backseat and the trunk. Presently, the side windows were lowers and the roof had been retracted into the speeder.
The driver's side was on the left side of the speeder vehicle.
Padme decided to let Anakin drive. To Anakin's right, in the front middle was Ahsoka, and on the right front seat was Padme.
All of them had their seatbelts on.
C3-PO sat in the backseat, behind Anakin. And R2 was sitting on to of the backseat behind Padme.
Anakin had to use the force to pick up R2 and gently set the droid into the backseat.
Mjolnir rested on its side on the middle of the floor of the backseat.
C3-PO had one a seatbelt. R2 was secured to the backseat by strap that was equipped in the backseat of the speeder for non-humanoid shaped droids.
Their luggage was in the trunk of the vehicle.
Anakin was dressed in a white short sleeve shirt and white pants, with a black belt and black boots. He had his lightsaber holstered to the left side of his belt.
Ahsoka wore a short sleeve light violet blouse, with a long dark purple skirt that went to her ankles. She work dark red slippers feet, under her skirt. Ahsoka had her lightsaber hidden on a holster attached to her outer right thigh, under her purple skirt.
Unlike Coruscant, which allowed speeders to be piloted into the air in the skylanes over Coruscant, Theed do not have skylanes and planetary speeder regulations only allowed speeders to hover several centimeters over the road, at the posted speed limits within the city limits. Which varied from twenty-five kilometers per hour to fifty-five kilometer an hour. Though, on average speed limit for most of the city limits of Theed was between thirty-five to forty-five kilometers an hour.
The exceptions being traveling ones personal property and driving off road. And even the off road regulations stated the speeders could not be fly more than a hundred meters in the air and no more than three hundred kilometers an hour. Any higher or faster required first filing a flight path with the Naboo government and receiving a temporary flight permit from the Naboo government before doing so.
Government officials on official business were exempt from such speeder regulations. Since Padme was not on official business, she could not have Anakin fly over the city to her family home. Instead, they had to drive down the streets of Theed.
As Anakin drove them through the light traffic of the back streets of the city, at a casual speed, Ahsoka saw that there were many people walking along the sidewalks, coming and going throughout the city.
On Theed, most of the roads were made of light brown tiles and white tiles. The sidewalks by the roads were made of red and light brown bricks with white mortar.
Ahsoka turned to Padme, as she asked, “Padme? What is your family like?”
Padme turned to Ahsoka. She answered, “They are just normal people. They are no royalty. Actually, I come from humble beginnings.”
Ahsoka inquired, “Then, how do you end up a Queen? And later a Senator?”
Padme stated, “Through hard work. My father, Ruwee, did volunteer work for the Refugee Relief Movement. That is where he met my mother, Jobal. My father later worked as a building and eventually he ended up teaching at Theed University. When I was young, I helped with the Refugee Relief Movement. This combined the excellent results form aptitude test, due to studying, I was placed in the Legislative Youth Program at Theed University. And thus began my political career.”
Ahsoka sincerely replied, “That is interesting to know.”
Anakin kept his eyes on the road, as he said, “I have met Padme's family. They are good people. You will like them.”
Padme smiled, as she said, “Thank you, Anakin.”
Ahsoka asked, “So, who will be meeting?”
Padme answered, “For right now, just my parents. My mother, Jobal Naberrie. My father, Ruwee Naberrie. My elder sister, Sola, lives elsewhere in the city with her family.”
Ahsoka questioned, “You have a sister?”
Padme said, “Yes. She has a husband and two young daughters of her own. We will likely not be meeting any of them today. My sister works in a market in another part of the city. My brother in law is an architect. Since it is a school day, my two nieces are in school. We will likely arrange meeting with them tomorrow.”
Ahsoka casually replied, “Ah... school...”
Padme picked up on the Ahsoka's comment. Padme asked, “Ahsoka. Do you sometimes think about what would have happened if the Jedi had not taken you away to join the Order?”
Ahsoka stated, “Yes. Sometimes. But, only sometimes.”
Padme commented, “We all have thoughts like that. Sometimes. Do not let those thoughts trouble you.”
Ahsoka inquired, “I don't. So where will we be staying?”
Padme answered, “A nice hotel nearby called the Hidden Crest. I have used them before. The staff there knows me. And they will keep quite about my visit. I already have reservations. We will check in and unpack after we visit my family.”
Ahsoka inquired, “Okay. By the way, since your family name is Naberrie. How did you come with the name Amidala for your public life?”
Padme stated, “Amidala is my middle name.”
Ahsoka replied, “Oh.”
They continued on their way to Padme's family home.
Twenty minutes later, Anakin came to a stop on the street, in front of Naberrie home. Anakin parked the speed with the passenger side of the speeder facing where the sidewalk met the walkway leading up to the front door of the Naberrie home.
The street was empty except for them.
Anakin set the speeder into park and turned off the engine. As the repulserlifts under the vehicle powered down, the speeder gently lowered to the ground.
Once the speeder was on the ground, Anakin took out the key from the ignition and put it in his right side pants pocket.
Padme, Ahsoka, and Anakin undid their seatbelts, opened the front side doors and got out of the speeder.
Padme out of the right side, followed by Ahsoka. Anakin got out of the left side of the speeder. They closed their doors.
Anakin stated, “I while helped with R2.”
Anakin walked around the front of the speeder to stand next to Padme.
Ahsoka commented, “I will get C3-PO.”
Ahsoka walked around the back of the speeder to the left side of the vehicle.
Ahsoka opened the left back seat doors. She helped unstrap C3-PO and get the droid out of the backseat. Once C3-PO was out of the vehicle, Ahsoka shut the left back seat door.
Meanwhile Anakin and Padme unstrapped R2. Anakin then used the force to gently pick up R2 and set the droid on the walkway in front of the Naberrie home.
Padme looked around at her friends. She asked, “Ready?”
Not one answered, but they looked fine. Padme commented, “Okay. Let's go.”
Padme turned and headed up the walkway to her family home with the rest of the group following behind her.
The front door was opposite to the back door to the Naberrie home. The back door lead to a back street with had arcs in a narrow, thought clean and illuminated alleyway. A small staircase leading up to the back door. The back door leading to a small entryway room, and directly into dining room of the Naberrie home.
The first time Padme took Anakin to visit her family. When she first landed on Naboo, with Anakin as her bodyguard, during the Separatist Crisis. Padme used the back way to lead Anakin into her family home.
The front side of the Naberrie home was much different. The front door lead to much larger two lane street, with sidewalks on both sides of the street, and a small lawn in front of the home that lead to the street.
The Naberrie home was three stories high. Though, when facing the front door, the second and third start were located on the right side of the building from the front door, while on the first story extended to the right side of the front door. The left side also extended three meter further into the yard than the right side of the building. This extended of the left side of the building went a few meters to the right before the front wall met the corner to the left wall of the building.
There was a meter high fence that ran the left side of the wall, from the front door, beside the extended part of the home to the street. The fence was made from a mix of blue, black, and white stones.
The walkway was a meter wide, white concrete walkway. The walkway right to the front door. The front door was slightly set into the building, with a set of white stones forming an archway around the door.
The building was painted a brownish yellow color which had faded over time. The roof had reddish-brown tiles.
The front side of the home had several casement windows placed along the outer walls on all three floors of the building. The casement windows of the first floor were higher than the casement windows of the second and third floors. The window frames of the casement windows were painted blue, and the window panes of the casement windows had a blue tint decrease the amount of sunlight which came into the home.
Though, when looking out of the windows from the inside the view was clear through the windows to the outside of the home.
The lawn was nearly cut green grass.
In the center of the front lawn, a few meters the right of the walkway was a large tree which shaded much of the front lawn. There green small bushy plants places around the base of the tree.
The right side of the Naberrie home was set against a hill.
The bottom part of the hill set against a three meter high concrete wall which wrapped around front the right side of the home several meters in a crescent shape further right in front the yard. The top of the concrete wall was just about the floor level of the second story of the building. Above the concrete wall, the hill gently slopped upwards and away from the Naberrie home in a dome shape.
The doom of the hill had green grass and bushes growing from the dirt. There was willowy red bush growing from near the top of the hill right in front of the right front side of the third story of the home.
The right side of the second and third floor of the Naberrie home followed the contour of the hill. With the top of the hill being level with the third floor of the home.
There was a large green hedge which wrapped from the right front side of the home, beside where the concrete wall met the home, which the hedge wrap around the base of the concrete wall. The hedge was set half a meter away from the concrete wall.
Green vines grew wild along much outside front wall of the first floor of the home and the concrete wall. There were a few vines even growing up along the front wall of the home which reached the third story of the building.
When the groups reached the front door. Padme stood in the center, with Anakin to her left and Ahsoka to her right. C3-PO and R2 were behind them, with R2 to C3-PO's right side.
The front door was an old style door that required opening by turning a knob release a latch and pulling the door back into the interior of the home.
There was a button to a doorbell by the right side of the door. Also, there was were controls and a speaker to a intercom system set below the button to the doorbell.
Instead, Padme chose to knock on the door a few times.
A few seconds later, the door opened inward to Padme's left. As the door open, Padme saw it was her mother, Jobal whom had opened the door.
Jobal was dressed in a green long sleeve cloth shirt, black long skirt, and red slippers.
Jobal greeted, “Hello Padme.” She looked to Anakin, as she continued. “Anakin. It is good to see you.”
Anakin replied, “It is good to see you, as well. Mrs. Naberrie.”
Jobal turned her attention to Ahsoka. She kindly asked, “And who is this?”
Ahsoka calmly answered, “Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Ma'am.”
Jobal said, “It is nice to meet you, Miss Tano.”
Ahsoka replied, “It is nice to meet you, Mrs. Naberrie. And Ahsoka is fine.”
Jobal complimented, “And so polite as well.”
Ahsoka said, “Your daughter has much to do with that.”
Jobal looked at Padme, then to Ahsoka. She smiled. She said, “I'm sure.” Jobal turned to Padme. She stated, “You have a guest waiting for you in the living room.”
Padme was caught flatfooted, as she flatly questioned, “What?”
Jobal said, “A very polite older gentleman. He arrived here a little while ago. He is right now in the living room, talking with your father. I have seen his face somewhere. But, I cannot place him.”
Padme immediately felt dread, as she walked passed her mother and towards the living room at a quickened pace.
The other people present followed behind her, as a more casual pace. Anakin and Ahsoka followed Padme inside. After the droids came into the hallway, Jobal gently shutting the front door. Then, Jobal went to join the others.
As Padme approached the living room, she saw the sliding door the room was open. Also, she overheard her father, Ruwee, state, “Now, my daughter is a Senator. So I can understand a least a little of where the Separatists are coming from. Given the insane corruption that has happened in the Senate, I can appreciate that a number of worlds have grown tired of all the insanity, and they have decided to strike out on their own.”
By then, Padme had almost reached the hallway door to the living room, when she heard a very familiar masculine voice comment, “It is confronting to hear such a reasonable response.”
Padme immediately came to a stop, as several things came to her mind. She mentally put up her mental defenses, as she thought, 'My family does not know who he is. And if I do not take control of the situation. Right now. This is going to lead to a fight. But first I need to account for my family before I make my next move.'
Padme immediately turned around. She saw her friends, the droids, and her mother approaching her.
Padme walked up to Anakin, Ahsoka, Jobal, and the droids.
By the look of concern on Padme's face, they could all tell something was wrong.
They came to a stop, as they watched Padme walked pass them, and to C3-PO. She then flipped a switch on the back of C3-PO's neck, turning the droid off while standing next to a wall.
Anakin asked, “Why did you do that?”
Padme turned to Anakin. She stated, “So he doesn't get us all killed.” She turned to R2, as she requested, “Guard your friend.”
R2 beeped an affirmative.
Padme turned to Jobal. She asked, “Where is Sola? Darred? And the children?” Padme thought, 'I need to make sure where everyone is.'
Jobal answered, “Sola is at her job in the market. Darred is overseeing the construction of a building near the spaceport. And the Pooja and Ryoo are in school.”
Padme thought, 'Good. They are out of the line of fire. Now to get you out of the line of fire.'
Padme calmly requested, “Mother. How about you get us something to drink? Fruit juice would be wonderful.”
Jobal happily replied, “That is a wonderful idea.” She then turned and headed down the hallway, towards the kitchen, in a direction that took her down a hallway around the living room.
When Jobal was out of earshot, she turned to Anakin and Ahsoka, whom were looking at her. She stated, in a serious tone of voice, “Anakin. Ahsoka. I need you both to promise me. No matter what happens. Promise me no fighting in my family home.”
From the tone of Padme's voice, both Anakin and Ahsoka realized the severity of Padme's request.
Anakin replied, “Okay.”
Ahsoka said, “That is fine.”
Padme said, “Also, no names. And let me handle this. Now let us go greet our guest.”
Padme turned around and headed down the hallway to the entrance to the living room, with Anakin and Ahsoka following her.
When they came to the entrance to the living room, Padme turned and came to a stop just inside the room, with Anakin and Ahsoka stopping behind her. With Anakin to Padme's left side and Ahsoka to her right side.
Anakin and Ahsoka then immediately realized why Padme made them promise not to fight in her family home. And they honored their promise to her.
In front of them, across the furnished living room, were two men. Each man sat in a cushion, high back, armchair. With both armchairs toward to slightly faced each other, while also facing where Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka stood. There was a small, round table between the two chairs.
There were other high back, cushioned armchairs placed around the room. With small tables round tables set up between a few of the chairs.
To Padme' left was her father, Ruwee, sitting in a chair. To Padme's right was Count Dooku sitting in a chair. With both men facing each other.
Ruwee was dressed in a light brown short sleeve shirt, dark blue pants, dark brown belt, and brown boots.
Dooku was dressed in a long sleeve black shirt, his black pants, a large brown belt around his waits, and black boots. He work a brown cloak with a small gold chain hooked at the sides of the front of the cloak at his neck line. The cloak hide much of Dooku's clothing.
Padme held up her mental defenses, as she thought, 'Dooku must be hiding his lightsaber within his cloak. Though, I am surprised to admit. From the look on their faces, and the words I overheard, it sounds like both of them were having a pleasant conversation. With luck this will help me in my efforts.'
While Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka showed masks of calmness, having Dooku in the room set them on edge. And even though they were not planning on starting a fight, all three were ready for anything Dooku might try. This included them using their mental defense training, to shield their thoughts and emotions, in case Dooku tried to use some sort of mind trick on them.
Both men stopped talking, as they noticed Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka appeared and come to a stop at the hallway entrance of the living room.
The two men turned their attention towards them.
Dooku looked over at the three standing individuals. He casually said, “Ah. If it is not the woman of the hour. It is nice to see you again, Senator.” He turned his attention to Anakin, as he continued, “And you to as well, Jedi Skywalker.” He focused on Ahsoka, as he inquired, “And let me guess. You are Padawan Ahsoka Tano?
While Ahsoka had not met Dooku before, she knew of him and how dangerous he was. Ahsoka chose her words carefully, as she replied, “That is correct.”
Dooku turned to Padme. He complimented, “Senator. Your family has been gracious hosts.” He turned to Padme's father, as he commented, “I see where you got your political skills from.”
Padme's father turned to Dooku. He replied, “Thank you.” He turned to Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka, as he said, “Hello Padme. Anakin. Ms Tano. Jabol told me to expect your arrival.”
Padme turned to her father, as she said, in an even tone of voice, “It is good to see you, dad. Please let me handle this.” She turned to Dooku, as she all but growled, “What do you want?”
Dooku stood up from his chair. He turned Padme. He stated, “We have business to attend to of a more aggressive verity. Though, with your in your professional clothing.”
Padme thought, 'Meaning you were sent to kill me. And as Thor. At least as Thor, I will stand a chance against you. Also, this means I can convince you not to fight here. But, far away from here.'
Padme stated, “There is clearing not far from here. We can conduct our business there.”
Dooku replied, “That will be fine.”
Anakin stated, “And she won't be alone.”
Padme turned around to face Anakin and Ahsoka. She stated, “No. I want you both here to see to my family.”
Anakin questioned, “Both without us?”
Padme stated, “So I can cut loose without worrying.”
Anakin said, “Point taken.”
Ahsoka said, “Good luck.”
Padme turned around to face Dooku. She stated, “This way. They are promised not to try anything.”
Dooku said, “After such pleasantries by your family. I would dare not ruin the mood here with violence. Besides, I could some fresh are. And it is such a lovely day outside. Now my dear. Please lead the way.”
Dooku began walking towards the entryway to the hallway where Padme, Anakin and Ahsoka stood.
Padme turned and walked into the hallway, as Dooku approached Anakin and Ahsoka.
By the time, Dooku reached Anakin and Ahsoka, Padme had made it to the far wall of the hallway, and she had turned to face Dooku.
Anakin and Ahsoka never took their eyes off of Dooku as he passed between them.
Dooku came to a stop in the hallway, to stand by Padme.
Padme stated, “You will take the lead. I will walk right in front of you.”
Dooku said, “That will be fine.”
Both of Padme and Dooku turned and head down the hallway to the front door, with Padme following a few steps behind Dooku.
Anakin and Ahsoka remained looking towards the hallway. Though, they could not see the front door from the angle was which they were standing.
A few seconds later, they have heard the beginning of the conversation between Padme and Dooku. That was until they also heard the front door open, and shut a few seconds later.
Then, Anakin and Ahsoka turned their attention back towards Ruwee.
Ruwee looked at them. He asked, with concern, “What as this all about?”
But, before Anakin and Ahsoka could answer, Jobal came into the room, from an hallway entrance, behind Ruwee which lead from the kitchen to the living room.
In her hands, Jobal was holding a platter with five empty glasses and a pitcher full of fruit juice and pieces of ice.
Jobal noticed the tension in the room. She came to stand by Ruwee, to Ruwee's right. She looked around the room, first towards Ruwee, then to Anakin and Ahsoka. She asked, “What is going on?”
Anakin stated, “It is about the man whom came to visit you. Whom Padme had to leave your home with just now.”
Jobal asked, “Well who was he? He never did give us his name.”
Anakin answered, “That was Count Dooku of the Separatist Movement.”
To Jobal and Ruwee's credit, they did not act very surprised.
Anakin thought, 'While I can sense in the force that while both of them are surprised, they are forcing themselves to remain calm. I can see that Padme inherited her inner strength of will from both her parents.'
Jobal firmly asked, “And why does the most dangerous person in the galaxy have an interest in my Padme? And why did you allow her to leave with him just now.”
Before Anakin and Ahsoka could figure out how to answer to Jobal's question, Ruwee requested, “It would be best to start from the beginning.”
Anakin and Ahsoka were no sure how to react. Both of them looked at each other.
Ahsoka asked, “Do you think we should tell them?”
Anakin said, “We might, as well. If the fight is as big as I suspect it will be, eventually they will put two and two together.”
Ahsoka agreed, “Good point.”
Anakin and Ahsoka turned to Jobal and Ruwee. Anakin calmly stated, “Ruwee. Jobal. Your daughter. Padme. Is Thor.”
Jobal replied, “Huh?”
Ruwee calmly responded, “That is not the answer I was expecting. But it is an answer. Though my next question is should I be worried about Padme's welfare?”
Anakin stated, “Actually, I believe Dooku may have bitten off more than he can chew.” Anakin thought, 'Especially, coming to your home. Padme is not going to like that.'
Ruwee said, “Then we will wait for Padme's return. So she can give this explanation to us in person.”
Jobal commented, “In the meantime, let us have something to drink. To help calm our nerves.” She held up her platter of empty glasses and a pitcher full of fruit juice and pieces of ice.
Jobal offered Ruwee, Anakin, and Ahsoka, something to drink, which they all accepted.
Meanwhile, over a minute earlier Dooku and Padme were in front hallway of the Naberrie home, as they made their way to the front door.
Padme was following a few steps behind Dooku.
As they passed by the droids, R2 backed away from them, and by the door.
Dooku noticed R2 and the turned off C3-PO.
Dooku commented, “I sensed you come near the living room, and then back away. Most obviously to reign in your friends. Well played.”
Padme said, “Not everyone believes that violence is a solution to their troubles.”
Dooku replied, “Very true. I prefer a strong word over a firm hand.”
Padme stated, “This we agree on.”
When they approached the front door, Dooku used the force to gently open the door.
While they continued to walk, Padme casually said, “You will forgive me if I do not go first.”
Dooku replied, “My dear. I fully understand.”
Dooku walked outside first. As Padme walked outside, she shut the door behind herself. Though, Padme left the door unlocked.
Dooku came to a stop, with Padme stopping right behind him.
Dooku turned to looked at Padme.
Padme stood look at him. She then turned her attention to the speeder vehicle parked on the street, in front of them.
Padme held out her right hand towards the speeder parked on the street in several meters in front of herself. Padme summoned Mjolnir. The hammer flew out from the back floor of the speed, in an upper curved arc which avoided any damage to the vehicle. The hammer flew to Padme. The weapon came to a sudden stop by Padme's right side, with the center of the shaft landing in Padme's right hand. Padme gripped the weapon with her right hand.
Dooku watched this.
Padme looked over at Dooku. She lowered the hammer to her right side, as she said, “This way.”
Padme then turned to her right, as she began walking.
Dooku calmly caught up with Padme, with him walking to Padme's left side.
When they reached the sidewalk She soon reached the sidewalk, Padme turned to her right, and continued down the down the sidewalk.
Padme walked on the interior side of the sidewalk, while Dooku walked on the outer side of the sidewalk. The street was to Dooku's left side.
While they walked down the sidewalk, side by side, there was no one else around. There were no vehicles flying along the road, nor pedestrians walking on the sidewalk.
Padme commented, “It is fortunate that it is the middle of day. There will be no one around as we settle this matter.”
Padme maintained her mental defenses, as she thought, 'I grew up in this neighborhood. I know the nearby roads were not very busy in the early afternoon. So I do not have to worry about any one else becoming involved in this matter.'
Dooku stated, “I have no interest in having civilians be harmed for no reason.”
Padme admitted, “That is comforting to hear.”
Due to there being no traffic on the roads, at that time of day, when they came to a four way intersection, they looked both ways, as they continued walking. Unless they saw a vehicles coming, they did not stop, as they continued on their path to the clearing that Padme knew about.
Padme thought, 'Now to ask a question I have been wondering since I saw you in my family home.'
As they walked, Padme calmly asked, “Did you use the force to mind trick my parents into letting you into my family home?”
Dooku answered, “No. I was just polite in my introductions with them.”
Padme sighed. She admitted, “I was afraid you were going to say that.”
Dooku commented, in a comforting to of voice, “Your parents are not very gullible. From the discussion I had with them. They both have very sharp minds. Though, given they did not recognize me, they clearly are not paying as much attention to galactic events at they should.”
Padme questioned, with a bit of firmness in her tone of voice, “And if they did recognized you?”
Dooku stated, “They would not have been harmed. I would have still met with you. I was quite truthful with your parents in my desire to meet with you. I just did not state my reasons for wanting such a meeting. Everyone tries to spot a lie, when it is the truth which is more dangerous.”
Padme responded, “This is very true.” Padme took a deep breath and slowly let it out. Once she let her breath, she asked, “Is there anyway I can talk you out of doing this?”
Padme thought, 'Considering those I talked within the Jedi Order consider one of their most skill members. And the fact on Geonosis, you were able to hold you own against Anakin, Obiwan, and Yoda, and you were still able to escape in the end. I really do not want to fight you.' Padme allowed herself to feel a little joy and anticipation, as she continued her thoughts, 'But, if I must fight you. I am going to have some fun doing so.'
Dooku stated, “Unfortunately, these orders come from my master.”
Padme asked, “Sidious?”
Dooku calmly inquired, “So the Jedi told you of him?”
Padme commented, “There is not much to say. They know very little of him. That he was call as Sith. A master of the dark side of the force. If I knew who he was, I would literally send a hurricane at him.” She thought, 'Dooku, you know that we do not know much about Sidious. Because if we did, we would would be focusing on him and not you. So, there is not point in denying the obvious.'
Dooku thought, 'So, the Jedi only told you the basics. They told you a little of what the dark side is. And they mentioned the term, Sith. But, they did not tell you exactly what a Sith is. This is not surprising. My former colleagues have always preferred to keep their secrets with the upper levels of the Jedi Order. And I prefer to keep my secret as well. Still, they did not tell you enough of the Sith to be a danger to my agenda from that angle. As such, I will not kill you where you stand... Though, that hurricane idea against Sidious does not sound like a bad idea.'
Dooku shrugged, as he allowed his lips to curl into a slight smile at the mental image of violent which Padme had suggested.
Dooku said, “That might be worth seeing.”
Padme stated, “I am happy you feel that way. And thank you for not harming my family.”
Dooku responded, “You have no need to thank me. Both my master and I have no interest in you family.” Dooku thought, 'Unless I have to do so.' Dooku continued, “Having harm coming to them would not benefit anyone. Besides we have known where your family has lived for a very long time. It was my master whom has kept the Trade Federation from coming after them as a way to get to you.”
Padme thought, 'Meaning you could have come after them at any time. But you did not. Also, this does not change the fact that your master did nothing as the Trade Federation personally targeted me and those around me... Still, I could learn a few things from you, right now, if I am careful.' Padme said, “I will keep that mind. It sounds like you do not want to kill me.”
Dooku stated, in a sincere tone of voice, “I do not. You have a power that is unknown to the Jedi. I do not want to lose that power over such trivialities as internal politics.”
Padme commented, “But these are orders from above.”
Dooku replied, “Exactly.”
Padme inquired, “Let me guess. Your master ordered my death because I have become too powerful? And thus a threat to him?”
Dooku coyly said, “I hope that is the case.”
Padme caught the subtext of Dooku's statement. Padme asked, “What do you mean?”
Dooku explained, “I mean. My master has made it no secret to me that he has an interest in your friend, Skywalker.”
Padme questioned, “And why are you telling me this?”
Dooku admitted, “Because I do not wish to be replaced.” He thought, 'Having you know this will only aid me in the future. And if I am correct about your nature, you will keep this to yourself. You will not even mention this to Skywalker. And you will deal with this matter quietly, under Sidious' nose. As such, it will not get back to Sidious that I told you this.'
Padme replied, “I will keep that in mind.” She thought, 'He and Sidious know that Anakin and I have a close friendship. I just hope they do not realize how close we are. Though, I will not tell Anakin about this. It would do him no good to worry.'
Dooku thought, 'Now, to change the subject. I know just what to say to do so.' He mentioned, “Though, it has been quite a while since the event. I must say that you made quite the impression towards my agent during your time the planet Teth.”
Padme commented, “I figured she was one of yours. I hope she was not killed for her failure.” Padme thought, 'I do not like people dying over my account. Even if they are an enemy. Unless it is someone like Sidious, who is pulling the strings. But an agent whom is nothing more a puppet deserves at least a little sympathy from me.'
Dooku stated, “Oh. She did not fail. The treaty between the Hutts and the Republic fell through. She was rewarded accomplishing her part of our mission.”
Padme mentally reflected, 'Interesting. You did not consider her actions to be a failure. And I guess those actions were not from a certain point of view.'
Padme conceded, “I will admit you earned that victory.” She thought, 'Since no one go killed on that mission. And Jabba's son, Rotta, was returned safe and unharmed, I will not hold that incident against you for having your agents kidnap Jabba's baby son in the first place.'
Dooku said, “Thank you. Though, I have to admit. After she returned from that mission and we had an interesting conversation. I never had one of my agents make a request like she did.”
Padme inwardly groaned, as she thought, 'I can guess where the is leading.' She halfheartedly asked, “Does she now want revenge against me?”
Dooku said, “No. Quite the contrary. She never wants to see you again. She asked me to again never be given a mission that would involve you.”
Padme's mood brightened at the news. She happily thought, 'That is nice to know.'
Padme smirked, as she said, “Good. I am glad that someone on your side can see reason.”
From the right corner of his eye, Dooku noticed Padme's smile. He commented, “You would be surprised. It is unfortunate that my master currently wants you dead. If that was not the case, I would try to recruit you.”
Padme said, “I doubt that would work.”
Dooku commented, “Likely not. But, it might still be worth the attempt. You are definitely now a major player in this war.”
Padme replied, “I would not go that far.”
Dooku stated, “Oh. But you are. Between your position as a Senator and your powers. You hold much influence in both the realms of politics and war.”
Padme conceded, “When you put it like that, I can see your point.”
Dooku realized something, as he commented, “I find it intriguing that we are agreeing on more topics than not.”
Padme stated, “We are both have leadership experience. We realize that there is a lot of problems in the Galaxy. Our point of contention is how to fix those problems.”
Dooku agreed. “This is true.”
Padme said, “Truth be told. I realize when is comes to our roles we are not much different. For the public, I am seen as the enforcer of the Supreme Chancellor's will. For you, you are the enforcer for Sidious' will within the Separatist Movement. We both are political symbols of powerful individuals whom use our existence as an excuse to reign in the more treacherous members of our organizations.”
It took all of Dooku's self control to maintain his mask of calmness, and not to burst out laughing at the irony of Padme's statement
Dooku maintained his mask, as he thought, 'I cannot laugh and give myself away. I would have to raze the planet if I laughed at her comment. Because she would likely figure out why I would find her comment to be funny. And the secret of Sidious' connection to the Chancellor has to remain hidden at all cost. She does not realize how true her comment is. Let alone the irony to her comment.'
Then Dooku realized something, as he continued his thoughts, 'And forget Skywalker. If I am not careful, Sidious might change his mind and replace me with you. Though, I would prefer you serve me than him. I respect you and your abilities. While Sidious just uses people and he then destroys them when they are no longer useful.'
Dooku calmly said, without a hint of mirth in his tone of voice, “That is quite likely, my dear.”
When they came to a corner, Padme slightly quickened her pace, as she turned to her right, a few steps in front of Dooku. Dooku came to a stop as Padme walked in front of him and across the empty street. Dooku turned and began walking right beside her, to her left.
As they came to the other side of the street, they walked onto another sidewalk, with the buildings to their left side. Dooku was not on the interior side of the sidewalk, and Padme on the outer side of the sidewalk.
As they continued to walk, Dooku noticed, in front of them, a gassy field with a few trees in the distance, just beyond a three way intersection and a sidewalk on the other side of the intersection.
The intersection was about thirty meters from where they were and the edge of the green grassy field was about thirty five meters from them, on the other side of the sidewalk across the intersection from them.
Dooku asked, “Is that the clearing up ahead?”
Padme responded, “Yes. It is not really an official park. But people sometime use it as such. It is just a cleared privately owned lot, with a few trees growing on it.”
Padme thought, 'The story my parents told me was when they were children the owner of the lot was wealth and wanted a park for that area of the city but the city government would not do so. In response, the owner bought the entire city block, which was composed of rundown, empty buildings. The owner tore down the buildings and created a clearing. Then, the owner had a few trees planted and made it known that everyone was welcome to visit his lot. In addition, the owner set up a trust that keeps paying for any upkeep or taxes which need to be handle. I spent many times as a child playing there with my sister and our friends. Now to find out how Dooku wants this fight to happen.'
Padme continued to look forward, as she asked, “So how do you want to do this?”
Dooku kept was alert to what was going on around him, as he inquired, “Did Master Kenobi teach you the etiquette and rules of Jedi duels?”
Padme answered, “Not really. Obiwan is not one to talk about such matters. Though we did spar a lot.”
Dooku stated, “Good. Jedi duels are similar to sparring. It is an ancient tradition during the reign of the Jedi Lords. It fell favor with the Ruusan Reformation.”
Padme thought, 'You sound like a teacher. Not that I am complaining.”
Padme commented, “A lot of things were changed during the Russan Reformation.”
Dooku replied, “True. Some where good. Some were unfortunate.”
Padme thought, 'We would like disagree one which changes were for good or ill. Though, on the duel, I might as well ask.'
Padme inquired, “Are you planning to immediately use the force in your attacks?”
Dooku responded, “No. I want to see how your weapon skills have come along. Are you planning to use your weather abilities?”
Padme mentally reflected, 'I might as well tell him.' She admitted, “No. I wanted to show you how much my skills have progressed.”
Dooku commented, “Then it looks like we will get out we want out of this battle. At least in the beginning.”
Padme agreed, “It looks that way. So, what are the rules to this duel.”
Dooku stated, “The rules are simple and vary. There are sometimes condition for the duel. What can be done and what cannot. Such as we set. For the purpose of decorum both duelists try to adhere to the conditions they agree too. At least for a reasonable amount of time.”
Padme replied, “Of course. Please continued.”
Dooku said, “We walk out into the middle of an open area. Such as the field front of us. Stand facing each other. Five meters is the usual distance. When we are ready, we approach each other attack, until one of us is defeated. Or in this case, dead.”
Padme calmly said, without a hint of sarcasm in her tone of voice, “Do not expect mercy during our duel beyond what we agree too.”
Dooku replied, “I would expect nothing less from you.”
By then, they reached the three intersection, with the clearing on the other side of the two lane street and the sidewalk on the other side of the street.
While still on the sidewalk, they came to a stop next to the left corner of the intersection. They looked both ways, and they saw there were not vehicles coming either way.
With the road clear, they walked across the street, pass the sidewalk on the other side, and onto the clearing.
The clearing was a single city block, with not streets running through it. The clearing was surrounded on all sides by a sidewalk that wrapped itself. The clearing was almost completely flat. The clearing a rectangular shaped, with the clearing being around a hundred meters wide and eighty meters deep. There were a few trees in the clearing. But, most of the clearing was just green grass.
The lack of obstructions allow Padme and Dooku a few view to the other side of the clearing.
While they walked closer to the middle of the clearing, they both started walking away from each other. Padme walked to her right and Dooku walked to his left. As they did so, Padme looked around, and she noticed there was no one else in the clearing. With only a few people walking along the sidewalks surrounding the clearing.
Though, none of those people were paying attention to her.
Padme thought, 'Good. No one is nearby. And those that are on the sidewalks, are not looking at us. Not that is really matters. I doubt anyone would recognize me as Senator Amidala without my hair styled and wearing a formal dress.'
A minute later, they reached the middle of the clearing. They came to a stop around five meters from each other, with no trees around them. Only green grass. They turned to face each other.
As Padme and Dooku looked at each other, something occurred to Padme. She said, “For what it is worth. Thank you.”
Dooku asked, “For what, my dear?”
Padme said, “For paying me the same respect that you would a Jedi.”
Dooku stated, “No need to thank me. Warrior Padme Amidala, you have earned my respect.”
Padme thought, 'You used my title name and not my family name, along with calling me a warrior, as a sign of respect. I will not forget this.'
Padme offered, “As we fight. I will keep that in mind.”
Dooku said, “I appreciate that.”
Padme used her right hand to hold up Mjolnir in front of her chest.
Padme used Mjolnir to instantly change into Thor, with her armor, helmet, belt, equipment, and the Black Solace sheathed in its scabbard, across her back.
Dooku thought, 'I do wonder about the sword on your back. I have not see good pictures of it. I know it is a vibro-blade. But, I suspect it might be more. I may have find my answers as this battle progresses.'
Thor raised the end of Mjolnir's head towards Dooku, as she firmly stated, “While as Padme, thy desired for you to leave in peace. As Thor, thy wishes to bring you into custody.”
Dooku mentally reflected, 'Given the hammer empowers Padme's body. I wonder how much of that hammer effects Padme's mind? Though, this is not the time and place for such conjecture.'
Thor went onto say, in a firm tone of voice, “Now for my offer. There is still time to avoid this fight. Thy has already been warned of your abilities since we last met. And you do not fully know of my abilities. You could surrender. Though, if thee surrenders, thy promises a far more fair trial than the trial which put Anakin and thyself through on Geonosis.”
Thor thought, 'It is still tempting to created a storm. But, that would attract attention that I do not want. Besides, as I told you Dooku. I want to show you that I am not helpless without my direct weather abilities. That no matter that situation I am far from helpless.'
Dooku's calmly stated, “I will have to decline your offer.”
Dooku turned to have his right side facing Thor. Dooku used his right hand to reach under his brown cloak to pull out his curved lightsaber from the left side of his belt. He ignited the red energy blade with a snap hiss. The red energy blade making the distinct hum of an ignited lightsaber.
Dooku held up his curved hilt in his right hand in a manner that the tip was pointed outward towards Thor.
Thor smirked, as she said, “Have it your way.”
A light wind blow around them in the field.
This wind was not caused by Thor, but by the wind currents covering off the plateau Theed set on, with the wind running from the plateau off the edge and into the lower lands below.
A second later, Thor and Dooku charged at each other. When they reached each other, the battle was engaged.
While they clashed their weapons, Padme took a two-hand approach to her fighting style. In contrast, Dooku continued to keep the right side of his body facing Thor, as he used just his right hand to fend off Thor's attacks, while responding with his own strikes against the storm bringer.
They parried, counters, and dodged each others attacks, without actually being able to harm the other.
Dooku was mildly surprised that Thor showed real skill in use of her hammer, in a two handed style, against Dooku's one handed style, with him holding his ignited, curved, red lightsaber hilt in his right hand.
While they traded blows, parries, and blocks, Dooku noticed a few other things, as he thought, 'She is strong. Even with the force enhancing my strength, I can barely counter her blows. I believe she is not even trying to use her speed. All she is doing with her reflexes is to counter my use of the force in guiding my attacks.' Dooku then sensed Thor in the forced, as he continued his thoughts, 'She is blocking my abilities to sense her thoughts and most of her emotions. Obiwan trained her well. Both in her mind and her body. And I believe... Yes. That is the case...'
As they continued fighting, Dooku stated, in a calm tone of voice, “You are enjoying this.”
Thor smiled under her helmet. She responded, “Oh yes. Thy is working out very deep issues with thee. It is not every day one can confront one the primary individuals responsible for so much misery in thou's life. One that thou was once afraid of...” Thor smile turned sinister, as she continued, “But, now thee shall fear thou's fury.”
Dooku thought, 'There are worse things than you. Though, I am starting to understand why Ventress refuses to face you again. You have a dark side. One I would very much like to bring out. Even given the circumstances. But, I am under orders to make sure you do not lose control. Still, that does not mean we cannot made some small talk.'
Dooku struck out with his weapon, Thor parried the strike with the flat head of her hammer. Though, Thor was careful to make sure the lightsaber blade did not slide down the shaft, and reach her gloved fingers.
Dooku said, “If it is helps. From my perspective that was purely business.” Dooku lamented in thought, 'Though, this situation is a little more than business interest for myself.
Thor flatly said, “Perhaps for thee.” She sneered, as she continued, “But, tell that to the grieving families of thou's friends that thee and thine master murdered.” She then struck out towards Dooku the flat part of the hammer.
Dooku sidestepped the strike to his left, as he commented, in a casual tone of voice, “Fair enough. Still, you have such a cavalier attitude about this duel.”
Thor sneer turned into a smile. She said, in a calmer tone of voice, “Given whom thy has been fighting with. Can thou be blamed?”
Dooku casually replied, “No.” Dooku struck out at Thor's right side.
Thor blocked the blow and she followed up with a forward thrust of the top part of Mjolnir's head towards Dooku's chest.
Dooku took a step back back to avoid the attack. He complimented, “Still, for one that has only been studying these styles for a few months, you are showing remarkable skill in the use of your weapon. You have excellent control of your central line, and your form is good. While your weapon is blunt, you show such grace in using it. I can hardly see any openings in your defenses. And none which I can exploit.”
Then, Dooku took a step forward as he attempted a swipe at Thor's right upper arm.
Thor sidestepped the attack to her left. Thor smiled, as she happily said, “Thank you. Thy notices some inflections in your fighting form that thou recognizes. Though, this is not surprising, given your student taught my teacher.”
Dooku stated, “Correct. I taught Qui-Gon much of what he learned in the arts of lightsabers and the force.”
Thor complimented, “He was a good man.”
Dooku said, in a sober tone of voice, “I miss him.”
Thor struck out with her hammer. She brought the axe head down towards the upper right side of Dooku's chest with frightening speed, as she yelled, “Then, why does thee dishonor his memory?!”
As the hammer's axe blade came down, Dooku swiftly had both his hands grip his lightsaber hilt, he turned into the block, as he used his red energy blade to block the strike. With the front of Dooku's body now facing Padme.
Both Padme and Dooku were only about twenty centimeters apart.
While the red energy blade crackled against the mystic bladed edge of the axe head, Dooku saw passed the slits of Thor's helmet, with Dooku and Thor looked each other in their eyes. Dooku stated, in a direct tone, with his voice laced with malice and rage, “If the Galactic Senate or the Jedi Council had stepped in to aid your world during the Trade Federation invasion, Qui-Gon would still be alive. Instead, they did not heed Qui-Gon's warnings. And their decisions lead to Qui-Gon having to face Darth Maul and save Naboo with only Kenobi by his side. It was then, after my apprentice's death, that I realized how cowardly and corrupt both those institutions are. By working to overthrow both those institutions, and bringing about a new order, I am honoring Master Jinn's memory.”
As they continued to press their weapons against each other, Thor looked at Dooku's face. Thor conceded, “Thee may have a valid point.”
Thought, Dooku was caught off guard by Thor's comment, he continued to firmly hold his lightsaber against Mjolnir. Dooku asked, “I did not expect this response. Is it too late to ask you to change sides?”
Thor held Mjolnir against the red lightsaber blade, as she giggled a little. Her lips curled into a wicked grin, as she said, “Much too late.”
Thor swiftly let go of the shaft of Mjolnir with her left hand, while continued to hold the hammer by the shaft with her right hand, with the hammer still pushing against Dooku's red energy blade in place.
Thor quickly used her left hand to reached under both weapons. She used the flat of her left palm to gently push in a diagonal upwards motion, beneath both weapons, towards Dooku's lower chest with enough force to knock him back a few steps, without crushing his ribcage.
Though, Dooku was push back, he used the force to quickly recover on his feet, with his walking backwards to a stop on his feet, with his lightsaber in both his hands.
When Dooku stopped, he found himself about three meters from Thor.
Dooku noticed that Thor had not taken the advantage. Dooku used the opportunity to let go of his lightsaber hilt with his left hand. Dooku then turned to have his right side facing Thor, while he held his curved lightsaber in a manner the tip of the red blade pointed towards Thor.
Dooku and Thor looked at each other, as Dooku thought, “You had the advantage. Why did you not take it?”
Dooku demanded, “You had the opening, why did you not just finish me?”
Thor calmly said, “Thy wants thee to know thine will be defeated by skill. Not by cheap tricks and raw power.”
Dooku responded, “For giving me this opportunity, I will afford you the same curiosity. Thank you.”
Thor replied, “You're welcome.”
Dooku stated, “Now let us see what other skills you have. I hear along with being very strong, you are quite quick. Let us see how quick.”
Dooku was already facing the direction he wanted to be in. Dooku ran out of the clearing to Thor's right side. As Dooku ran he used the force to enhance his physical abilities until he was a blur. Though, he kept his lightsaber ignited, in his right hand. But, he held the blade way from him, to his right. And he was careful not to have his lightsaber accidentally cut anyone or anything that as he passed by.
Thor turned to her right. Thor followed Dooku on foot with just as much speed.
While Thor ran with such speed, her thoughts and reflects also speed up. She lamented in thought, 'I had to boast how I would defeat you with skill. Now, I have to follow on foot. If I use my hammer to fly I defeat the very purpose of my boast. I believe I know what is about to happen. I guess you are a fan of action holo-films about Jedi. Though, I should not be surprised.'
Dooku soon reached the edge of the street, leading to a city part of the area, with buildings set beside each other across the street from him.
Between the clearing and the buildings was a three way intersection, with sidewalks along the sides of the streets and buildings set back from the sidewalks, on other two sides of the street from the clearing.
The buildings were three stories high. The buildings were mostly had light brown brick outer walls with green tiled or reddish-brown tiled roofs.
There was no one walking on the nearby sidewalks. And only a speeder passed through the intersection every few seconds.
Dooku was still using the force to enhance his physical abilities. When Dooku reached the sidewalk by the clearing, Dooku used the force to jump over the intersection from the green tiled roof on the building across the street to his right.
A few seconds later, Dooku landed on the green tiles of the roof and he continued running, with the force enhancing the speed of his movements. In addition, Dooku used the force to guide his footsteps so he would not slip and fall. Dooku poured on the speed, jumping from roof to roof, while he sensed for Thor's presence in the force.
Dooku felt through the force that Thor was not far behind him and that she was quickly catching up to him.
Meanwhile, Thor followed Dooku, with her jumping from the sidewalk by the clearing, across the street, and onto the green tiled roof of the building to the left of the intersection.
Thor ran parallel across the street from Dooku's path.
Thor used her enhanced reflexes, speed, and training, to keep from slipping and falling, while she was careful not to shatter the tiles as she stepped on. But, she did feel through her boots as she damaged some tiles as she ran.
When they reached a street intersection, they jumped across the street, to easily land on the nearby roofs that were across each road the passed.
While most of the roofs were covered in green tiles, a few of the roofs were tiled red, and some roofs were tiles a light brown color.
Both of them moved so fast, that as they passed by the people, to those on the street below them, they appeared as a blur, passing their field of vision in the timespan of a blink of an eye. As such, those below them on the street level did not even noticing them, as they passed by.
The buildings varied in height from one, two, or three stories, in no particular order. Dooku and Thor had no problems jumping and clearing the heights and landing from the drops, as they ran from roof top to roof top.
During this time, Thor used her enhanced physical speed to catch up with Dooku. Both of them were soon running parallel with each other.
Neither of them showed any signs of trouble on loosing their footing, nor tripping
Both of them risked a glance at each other.
Once their saw their heads were turned in the direction of each other, Dooku jumped in an diagonal arc to his left that would take him to where Thor would be when he landed.
Thor did the opposite. Thor jumped in an diagonal arc to her right that would take her where Dooku would land.
They met in the middle over an nearly empty street. They clashed weapons in midair. Though, neither was able to harm the other. As they landed on opposite side of the street, they continued to run and jump, from roof to roof, at high speed.
They continued to do a few more running jumps towards the other, clashing their weapons before landing on the roofs of the opposite side of the street from here they had been, with neither of them landing a hit on their opponent's body.
Thor soon found herself on the left side of the street, while Dooku was on the right side of the street.
Both of them looked ahead and they saw they were coming to one of the many tributaries of the Solleu River that flowed through the city of Theed. It was twenty meters across the two shores of the tributary.
Both of them were on the roofs of the last buildings from the edge of the tributary, were there was a sidewalk and the a drop off into the water. On the other side of the shore was a sidewalk and then rows of three story buildings going deeper into that side of the city.
The buildings on the other side of the shore had light brown bricks with green tiled roofs.
Dooku was the first to reach the edge of the roof he was running on. When Dooku reached the edge, he jumped all the way across the tributary, to land on a roof, at a full stop, with him in a kneeling position on his left need. A second later, Dooku sprinted forward and he was again a blur of speed, as he continued running from roof to roof. The roofs Dooku was traveling on was to the right of a nearby street.
Just before Thor reached the edge of the roof she was running on, she jumped over the tributary. Thor landed on a roof on the left side from the same street to the roof Dooku landed on. As Thor landed on the roof, she held the shaft of the hammer in her right hand, away from her, as she landed in a roll, with the rolled ending with her on her feet, as she continued to running without losing momentum.
Thor found that she was a little behind Dooku. Though, she decided to not catch up with Dooku. Instead, she followed him from the roofs on the other side of the street from where Dooku was located.
After both of them passed over the two more much mostly empty intersections, Thor noticed Dooku turn to his right.
Thor realized, as she thought, 'He is leading me somewhere. He knows where he is going. And we both know he cannot keep this up for much longer. While I am not even winded.'
Thor turned to her right and followed Dooku.
Less than a minute later, Thor saw Dooku began to slow and jump down in the middle of a two lane street. Dooku came to a stop in the middle of the street. Dooku did not waste time as he turned to face Thor, with he used his right hand to hold the curved hilt of his ignited red bladed lightsaber in front of his chest.
Thor followed Dooku. She slowed and jump down onto the middle of the street Dooku had landed on.
After Thor landed, she looked around. She saw that Dooku was roughly eighteen meters from her.
Thor quickly adjusted the grip she held the hammer's shaft in her right hand to where she held the middle of the shaft. Next, Thor held Mjolnir's head up towards her chest with the flat hammer ending pointed towards her left and the axe blade pointed towards her right.
In addition, Thor saw that Dooku had lead her to deserted street, with ruined buildings around them. Most of the buildings around them were two or three stories in height. Though, many of the buildings were hollowed out by fire or bomb blasts. While the street itself was fairly clear of rubble. There were large chunks of rubble on the cracked and broken sidewalks between the street and the buildings around them. Most of the rubble was whole and broke light brown bricks used to building the outer walls of the ruined buildings.
Thor thought, 'This is one of the few locations, from the battle to retake the planet from the Trade Federation, where the Naboo government has not yet had a chance to repair the damage and restore the area. This is not a bad location for a fight such as ours.'
Thor focused her attention on Dooku. Thor could tell from Dooku's body language that the much older man looked tired and winded. Thor saw that Dooku was breathing heavily
Thor saw Dooku looking back at her.
Thor watched as Dooku turned his body so the his right side faced Thor. Dooku held his lightsaber in his right hand in a his ignited lightsaber held in his right hand so the red blade pointed in a downward diagonal direction, towards the way his body was facing. The length of the lightsaber blade faced Thor.
Thor thought, 'Dooku is tired. But, he is not ready to give up. I recognize that lightsaber position. It is a one-handed defensive position which Obiwan and Anakin taught me. This means he is has to catch his breath and he is on the defensive until he gets his second wind. Well, I did say not tricks. So, I will give him the chance to gain his second wind.'
Thor offered, without even a hint of sarcasm in her voice, “If thee needs a moment to catch thee's breath. Please, do so. Thou is in no rush.”
Thor thought, 'I want to defeat you in a manner of skill, not by having you fall over and collapse due to exhaustion and old age.'
Dooku composed himself, as he looked at Thor. Between breaths, Dooku firmly said, “That will be unnecessary.”
Dooku reigned in his tiredness, as he used the force to invigorate and energize his body.
Thor watched a Dooku's body language when from slightly slouched from raw tiredness, to him standing upright and firm. His labored breathing became very relaxed with a casual rhythm.
Thor curiosity got the better of her. She commented, in a inquisitive tone of voice, “Nice trick. Thy did know Jedi could use the force to empower physical abilities so long. Let alone use the force to swiftly recover one's stamina. Or, are those abilities of the Sith?”
Thor thought, 'I have seen Anakin, Obiwan, and Ahsoka use the force to speed themselves up and increase their strength for brief moments. But, nothing like what you just did, Dooku. Also, I believe Anakin might find that stamina trick useful in bed with me.' Thor emotionally caught herself, as she reigned in her thoughts and emotions behind her defenses. She mentally added, in a firm state of mind, 'But, that is a matter for another time.'
Dooku stated, “Both of those those force techniques are of the Jedi. Though, most Jedi do not know how to use the force to push themselves in this manner for more than a few seconds. Fewer still know how to do so for a prolonged amount of time and swiftly recover from doing so.”
Thor thought, 'I wonder.' Thor asked, “Then, why did you not use this speed ability directly in our battle?”
Dooku responded, “We both know that if this came to physical ability, you would win without question. Even in my prime I am not sure I would have been able to hold mine own against you in such a way. Though, one well placed strike is worth ten swift blows.”
Thor agreed, “Very true. I did not realize those that used the dark side of the force also use the teachings of the Jedi?”
Dooku answered, “While I may have chosen the dark side as my path. I do not ignore the strengths and skills that I learned during my time with the Jedi.”
Thor complimented, “Thy always do admire when people who know when to mix it up. Being solely dedicated to one belief, or way of thought makes one ridged to the point of likely breaking.”
Dooku gave Thor a warm smile. Dooku casually complimented, “That is a very astute observation by you, my dear.”
Thor inquired, “Thank you. Now why did thee lead us here?”
Dooku said, “While that clearing was a nice idea. I believe we needed a little more privacy.”
Thor replied, “Thy agrees. Thy did feel a little confined in that clearing.” Padme thought, 'Along with the people walking around the clearing, there were too many inhabited buildings around the field. I did not feel comfortable in cutting loose. But here is another story. There is no one around except the two of us.'
'Still, you did lead me here. This likely means you scouted out the area first and you know the terrain. But, I also know this terrain as well. I doubt you placed any traps here because the needed explosive power to take me out would likely draw too much attention. Besides, you want to kill me with your skills, not cheap tricks. Just as I stated in how I feel the same way about killing you.'
Dooku stated, “I must say. I am truly impressed with your skills. The Republic propaganda services do not embellish your abilities. You have come a long way.”
Thor responded, “Thank you. And let thou guess. With more privacy. Without worry of attracting attention from others. And not worrying about property damage. You can start using the force in more direct ways.”
Dooku admitted, “Exactly.” He thought, 'Though, we both know that force lightning is useless against you. And I can defend against your lightning attacks.'
Thor held Mjolnir up, by the shaft of the hammer, with both her hands in a defensive stance in front of her chest. She smirked under her helmet, as she asked, “Is thee ready?”
Dooku's force enhances sight saw Thor's smirk underneath the slits of Thor's helmet. In response, Dooku's lips curled into a wicked grin. He happily replied, “I am always ready.”
Thor maintained her grin, as she thought, 'I guess the reasonable amount of time is over. And if you want to use direct force attacks, then I will show you some of my more creative abilities.'
Thor continued to smirk under helmet, as she said, “Then let us make this interesting.” She let go of Mjolnir with her left hand. Next, she used her right hand to throw the hammer directly at Dooku, with the head of Mjolnir in the front.
While the hammer traveled in the air, midway between Thor and Dooku, the hammer started spinning with the axe blade facing the spin. Soon the spinning hammer was a blur which would slice apart anything the weapon made contact with.
Dooku dropped his grin. Dooku's eyes went wide as he showed surprise at Thor's attack. Dooku swiftly attempted to use the force to take control of the Mjolnir. But, Dooku quickly realized that he was unable to use the force to move the weapon, nor would he have the strength to block the blow. So, as the spinning weapon headed for Dooku's right side, Dooku dodged out of the way by stepping back from attack. The spinning weapon passed Dooku's front side within the blink of an eye.
Dooku risked turning his attention from Thor, as he watched the spinning hammer swiftly turned around in the air and come back towards him.
Dooku continued to dodge the attacks by the hammer, with him occasionally using his lightsaber to deflect the hammer away from him. But, these deflects were no direct block, but glancing blows against the sides of the spinning hammer meant to use the momentum of Mjolnir had to push the rotating weapon away from Dooku.
In the distance, roughly eighteen meters away, Thor watched Dooku dance around to avoid the hammer's attacks, that she was controlling with her mind. Under her helmet, Thor's smirk curled into a wicked grin, as she though, with a bit of mirth, 'Dooku. This will teach you not to come to my family home unannounced.' She held her wicked grin, as she began laughing in a manically evil manner.
Meanwhile, as Dooku dodged the attacks of the spinning hammer, he overheard the laughing.
Dooku displaying amazing acrobatics in dodging Mjolnir's attacks. Though, Dooku was careful to stay in the center of the street. If he accidentally dodged the attacks to the point of being lead up against one of the damaged walls on the sides of street he would trap himself in a manner he would not be able to avoid the swiftly rotating weapon.
While Dooku continuing to dodge the attacks of the spinning hammer, as he thought, 'From the sound of her laughter, the good news is we might not have to turn her after all. She might already have turned and no one noticed. Not even herself. But, I cannot allow this to go on. this is like dealing with spinning lightsaber attacks. The best counter is an offensive attack against the attacker, to break their concentration.'
As Dooku dodged another attack, he used the force to tear off a large, two meters wide, by three meters long, eight centimeters thick, section of light brown brick and light brown mortar wall on a ruined building. He threw that piece of wall directly at Thor.
A second later, Dooku saw the hammer stop spinning as the weapon flew towards Thor.
In midair, five meters from Thor, the hammer knocked the piece of wall out of the way of Thor, to Thor's left side.
The hammer came to a stop to float at Thor's left side. The head of the floating hammer was pointed at Dooku, with the axe blade pointed downward and the rounded flat side of the head pointed upward.
As the hammer deflected the telekinetically thrown object, Dooku came to a stop to land on his feet. He stood near the center of the street as he turned to his body to face Thor. Dooku held his lightsaber in his right hand, in a defensive position in front of his chest.
Dooku heard that Thor had stopped laughing. Dooku's force enhanced vision was he saw within the slits of Thor's helmet to see that Thor had dropped her grin. And Dooku saw Thor was looking back at him.
Thor looked at Dooku. She calmly said, “Nice counter. But, thy has other tricks thy came use.”
Thor used her right hand to reach across her chest, and over her left shoulder to grip the hilt of the Black Solace. She drew the weapon. Once it was fully draw, Thor used her right thumb to flip on the switch on the upper back part of the hilt, below the guard, that turned on the vibrations mechanisms in the hilt, that make the black blade vibrate thousands of times a second.
The Black Solace began to hum, but it was a lighter hum than a lightsaber hum.
Dooku recognized the weapon, as he thought, 'Well, I suspected that was not a normal vibro-blade. I see I am correct. I should have recognized the vibro-katana from the curve of the scabbard.'
Dooku questioned, “The Jedi gave you one of their Sith vibro-katanas?”
Dooku mentally reflected, 'And from the blade, hilt, and tassel, I would say that is the Black Solace.'
Thor answered, “Yes. Thy Jedi friends stated it held no darkness within it. And the Jedi felt that I would do better with it, than a lightsaber. It the Black Solace. Its name means to offer comfort in the form of a clean, swift death to those whom its blade is used to against to kill.”
Dooku thought, 'It is the Black Solace. And they even told her its story and the meaning of the sword's name. Interesting. But, I will not be intimidated by a piece of metal.'
Dooku commented, “I would like to see that.”
Thor gripped the hilt of the Black Solace with both hands. Thor took and an offensive stance, with her left side facing Dooku, while the hilt of the sword was held up by her right shoulder, the blade held in front of her face with the sharp edge pointed downward, and the tip of the blade pointing towards Dooku.
Mjolnir continued to float where it was, with Thor's back now facing the hammer. The head of the hammer was pointed towards Dooku, with the axe blade facing downward and the flat hammer facing upward.
Thor happily thought, 'In a way, Mjolnir has my back. Now to have some more fun. The spinning attack is nice. But with my abilities and weapons I can attack Dooku in other ways and combinations.'
Thor stated, “Good. Now thee shall have a taste of his own medicine.”
Dooku held the curved hilt in his right hand. He used his right hand to have the tip of his lightsaber point towards Thor. Though, unlike before, Dooku remained having his front face Thor.
Suddenly,Dooku let out a battle cry, and he ran towards Thor. Dooku used the force to enhance his speed. While Dooku ran, he used his right arm to hold up his lightsaber to ready for a powerful first strike.
In responded, Thor let out a war cry as she charged at Dooku. While Thor ran she moved her sword up, at the ready for her first strike.
Thor ran with equal speed towards Dooku, as Dooku ran towards Thor.
Mjolnir float parallel with Thor, to Thor's left side as she ran.
When Dooku and Thor nearly reached each other, Dooku used the force to telekinetically pick up rubble from both sides of the street and throw the rubble toward Thor from all sides.
The rubble was mostly pieces of light brown bricks.
As Thor ran, Thor saw the rubble coming at her. She thought, 'While these bricks will not harm me. So many bricks hitting me at once could create a distraction. And this attack will obstruct my field of vision, thus allowing Dooku the chance to finish this duel in one single killing blow at my body. I cannot allow this. And I shall use Mjolnir to counter this force attack.'
Thor used the hammer to quickly move around her, from her left to her right, to shield her from the rubble which had been thrown at her.
Mjolnir quickly knocked away most of the rubble, with Thor powering through the few bricks that the hammer missed.
A second later, Thor and Dooku reached other and clashed their weapons against each other.
Dooku continued to rely on his one-handed style of lightsaber combat, with him holding the curved hilt of his lightsaber with his right hand.
Dooku found as they clashed that Thor showed even more grace and skill with the Black Solace vibro-katana than the hammer.
While Thor still used a two handed style, she was slightly faster and most precise when using the Black Solace than the hammer.
Dooku was about to use his skills, experience, and force enhancing techniques to compensate for the greater speed and skill Thor was displaying in their duel.
Though, unlike their duel in the clearing, the moment their weapons clashed, they both began to mix in other forms of attacks with their swordsmanship.
Thor used her hammer to attack Dooku, as if Mjolnir was another fighter.
Though, since the hammer was not spinning, Dooku was able to parry the attacks by the hammer, with Dooku successfully dividing his attention between Thor and the hammer.
While this went on Dooku used the force to throw rubble and large sections of the outer walls of light brown brick and mortar from around them at Thor from all sides. Though, Dooku was careful not to have any of these items be thrown in a direction that would hit himself.
Thor counted by having Mjolnir alternate because shielding her rubble and parts of walls coming at her, and attacking Dooku.
In a fluid manner, the hammer moved away from Dooku, and spin around both Thor and Dooku clockwise to knock the rubble and sections of wall, from reaching Thor.
Between the waves of rubble and section of walls Dooku use to force to throw at Thor, Thor had Mjolnir try to strike at Dooku.
Thor and Dooku continue to be able to successfully divide their attention duel between blade and their various types of attacks.
Neither combatant showed any signs of breaking their concentration while fighting their combatant.
As the battle continued, Thor tried a familiar tactic with Mjolnir which Dooku recognized.
Dooku counted by using the force to throw some of rubble from a nearby sidewalk towards Thor's right back side. This kept Mjolnir busy for a few seconds. As such, Dooku would only have to worry about countering Thor's swordsmanship skills with the Black Solace against his red bladed lightsaber.
This allow Dooku to think, while he countered Thor's attacks. Dooku thought, 'Padme is trying to have the hammer and herself get to opposites sides on Dooku. She was present when Kenobi and Skywalker tried a similar trick on Geonosis. Kenobi likely also taught her the basics of that technique. Well, I taught that technique to Qui-Gon. And Qui-Gon taught that technique to Kenobi. And like this technique did not work for Kenobi and Skywalker on Geonosis, this technique will not work for you here, Padme. Because I am far too skilled and knowledge for such simple tricks to work on me. And I remember the counters to such techniques.'
While they fought, Dooku wielding his lightsaber, against both Thor wielding the Black Solace, and the floating Mjolnir, Dooku kept moving around to prevent Thor and the hammer from reaching opposite sides of himself. As Dooku did this, he was mindful to stay near the center of the street, so he would not accidently back up to a wall and be trapped.
While they continued clashing, Dooku threw some more rubble and sections of wall at Thor from various sides.
Though, without missing a beat Thor continued to fight Dooku, as the hammer suddenly flew to various points around them to knock the thrown objections away from Thor.
Once the Mjolnir had finished defending Thor, the hammer went back to attack Dooku with Thor.
Though, as the battle continued, Thor slowly increased the speed of her attacks between her Black Solace and Mjolnir, with enthusiasm in Thor's movements.
While Dooku was presently able to keep up against the increasingly faster assaults between the hammer and the blade he was beginning to find it a struggle to do so.
Dooku declined sending another wave of rubble at Thor and instead he focused on countering Thor and Mjolnir increasingly faster attacks.
Dooku realized, as he thought, with more concern than anger, 'While the speed of her attacks have increased, the strength of each of her attacks has not decreased. And she is showing no signs of leveling off her speed. This means she is going to slowly keep going faster and faster until I cannot keep up. Where she will kill me. Damn Sidious for ordering me to kill her. And damn me for foolishly following Sidious' order. I am not fighting a person. I dare say I am fighting a goddess. No wonder Skywalker and Tano allowed her to leave with me without openly disagreeing with her.'
'They have sparred with her. Fought with her. They know what she was capable of. And I clearly do not. I thought without access to her weather abilities I would have a decent chance of victory. I see I was wrong.'
'And while her enhanced physical abilities are imposing, her skill in dividing her attention between her attacks with the Black Solace and her control of the hammer is incredible.'
'I believed those smalls gaps I saw in her defenses at the beginning of the battle were due to her inexperience. I see now that was just the style she used, with the hammer, that caused those gaps. When she is using a far more elegant weapon, such as the Black Solace, she barely has any defensive gaps at all.'
'Still there has to be sometime I can do to turn the tide of battle in my favor.'
While still fighting, Dooku then remembered something from his first battle with Thor, in the hidden flight hangar on Geonosis.
Dooku thought, 'What a minute. She uses the hammer to fly. And she has never been shown to fly without that hammer. She likely uses the hammer to keep herself in place against force attacks. But she is currently not holding the hammer.'
Dooku's lips curled into a wicked grin, as he continued his thoughts, 'This is going to be fun. And a reminder to her not to try the patience of her elders.'
Dooku suddenly used the force to telekinetically grab hold Thor's body and threw her back towards a building thirty meters down there street towards a building one the other side of a three way intersection, where the road forked left and right.
While in the air, Thor held the hilt of the Black Solace in her hands.
As Thor traveled in the air, between the slits of Thor's helmet, Dooku saw surprise on Thor's face.
While Thor was thrown back, Dooku noticed Mjolnir suddenly stopped and hover a meter in midair and two meters from Dooku, to his right side.
Though, Dooku was paying attention to Thor, he did not forget about the hammer that was so close to him. He had his lightsaber ready to parry any attack from Mjolnir, as he used the force to toy with the weapon's master.
Dooku thought, 'I realize you are holding the hammer in place, waiting for you next move. Though, your mistake is that you forgot I could directly use the force against you, and this will cost you.'
Then, to Dooku's mild surprise, Dooku watched while Thor was in mid-flight, as Thor shifted her body weight around to have the flat of her feet facing forward in the direction she was going, and the front of her body was facing the ground. As Thor did this, she was careful to keep the Black Solace from harming herself.
Thor continued to look at where she was going.
A second later, Thor's landed on the soles of her boots onto outer wall of a partly ruined building. Though, the wall did slightly crumble against Thor weight, the light brown brick and mortar did not fully give way. With Thor using the momentum to crutch down on her knees down, as the front of her body was facing the ground, which was a meter below her.
Dooku thought, with mild surprise, and a little bit of amusement, 'Oh. Kenobi and Skywalker did train you well. They even trained you for this exact situation.'
Thor turned her head upwards in relation to her body to look towards Dooku down the street. Thor used her legs to vault off the wall, but in a diagonal upward arc, but Dooku realized that Thor's landing would not be near himself. Instead, Thor would land around fifteen meters from Dooku.
Dooku watched Thor travel through the air, as he thought, 'She is going to land half way between us. That is intelligent of her. By not directly charging at me, I cannot angle my lightsaber to attack her as she passes by. When she lands she will come at me from the direction she feels will give her the most advantage. Still, I can always throw you again. But first I will do this.'
As Thor reached the apex of her jump, Dooku used the force to throw some rubble and sections of outer walls at where she would land, with the trajectories of the rubble and wall pieces hitting her from around her just after she landed.
Thor noticed this attack by Dooku. In response, Thor had Mjolnir attack Dooku. But, Dooku was ready, as he lightsaber to block the attack by the floating hammer.
Though, Thor only had Mjolnir try to attack Dooku once to break his concentration. This plan did not work. Mjolnir hovered a few meters away from Dooku.
Dooku continued to divide his attention between Thor and the hammer, as he thought, 'Nice tried. But you will not use my own tactics against me. If I cannot immediately kill you, hitting you debris may distract you to the point I can kill you.'
Meanwhile, as the rubble and pieces of walls came at Thor, from around her, but not above her, Thor landed on her feet. The moment Thor's feet touched the ground she jumped upwards and slightly forward just in time to avoid the attack, as the rubble and pieces of wall slammed into each other.
While she held the Black Solace, Thor did a frontward flip in the air.
A few seconds later, Thor landing on her feet, facing Dooku, ten meters in front of Dooku of Dooku.
Dooku commented, “Not bad.” He used the force to throw her directly up a thirty meters into the air.
Dooku immediately noticed the hammer fly up toward Thor.
Suddenly, Dooku felt the force warn him of immediate, impending danger.
Dooku looked at where Thor was, as he mentally lamented, with concern, 'I might have no thought this through.'
Dooku watched the hammer reach Thor at the apex of the upward throw. Then, Dooku watched Thor come down much more quickly, towards him.
Dooku immediately jumped back. He landed thirty meters away, down the road, to land on his feet, on his feet, in the middle of the street, exactly where he had planned to do so.
Dooku landed on the street just before Thor landed hard on her feet where Dooku had been standing.
Just as Thor's landed with such force it left a small crater in the street, which had a diameter of one meter and a depth of ten centimeters. The force of the impact of Thor landing kicked up a cloud of dust which swiftly spread throughout the street.
Dooku held his breath before the dust cloud reached him. He continued to hold his breath as he waited for the dust to clear. While Dooku did waited, he used his red blade lightsaber in his right hand for a defense stance.
While Dooku could sense Thor and Mjolnir's presence in the force, with Thor's speed, Dooku was not going to take any chances.
Dooku thought, 'I had to jump out of the way. If I had tried to step out of the way, and strike her when she landed, the force of the landing would have still be like a grenade going off right beside me.'
'Even worse, while I can still sense her and the hammer in the force. This dust will make it harder for me to deal with her. Since I cannot directly see her, the hammer, and the Black Solace. Also, the dust will make it harder for me to breath. While her lungs are still very young and likely more healthier than mine.'
Dooku maintained his defensive stance, as he used the force to warn him of any swift attack Thor might try against him.
Instead, a strong wind suddenly blew around the area, clearing the dust.
As the dust cloud was cleared from the area, Dooku saw Thor standing where she had landed.
Thor faced Dooku. Thor held the hilt of the Black Solace in her right hand. The blade of the vibro-katana being pointed downward. Thor held Mjolnir in her left hand at the near the bottom of the shaft. The axe head on the hammer was pointing downward.
Thor held her weapons in front of her in a somewhat beserker battle stance.
Dooku took a quick breath, as he though, 'You summoned that wind to clear the area. Likely because you have to rely on your sight, ears, and likely nose, to track me. While I do not. Though, the dust cloud would have put me at the advantage in some ways. I will not give up just yet. I have to room to work with. I would say we are around thirty meters apart. Still, I might as well be polite and give credit where credit is due.'
Dooku complimented, “I much admit. Very few Jedi masters have been able to successfully do similar tricks with lightsabers as you just did with your hammer and sword. As such, I feel your skills are quite admirable. More than even I first believed.”
Thor replied, “Thy highly prizes your compliment.”
Dooku feigned sadness, as he said, “That is nice. But, the time has come for you to simply die.”
Dooku thought, 'I might loath this ability. And find it distasteful. But, it is the only ability I have left that might stop her.'
Dooku used a force choke technique on Thor. As he used the force to grip Thor's throat, in an attempt to strangle her.
Though, to Dooku's surprise, Thor did not buckled, nor even choke, as she calmly advanced on him as if nothing had happened.
When Thor was twenty-five meters from Dooku, Dooku stopped force choking Thor. Dooku demanded, “How are you still moving?”
Thor continued to slowly advance at a casual pace, as she calmly stated, “While thy in this form, it seems that thee does not need to breath. Nor, does thy need air to speak. Thou already learned this when thy also learned that thy can survive in space.”
Thor thought, 'Though. I forgot you could use the force to directly attack me. And for that mistake on my part, you almost had me.'
Dooku raised an eyebrow, as he thought, 'I really wish I had known that before this battle. I would have done things much differently. And this must have been a more recent discovery, given those abilities were not listed in the reports Sidious sent me.'
'Meaning that after all this time you are still learning about your powers and the hammer that gifts you these powers. I wonder what other abilities you have that none of us know of. Not even you.”
'Still, such contemplation is for later. Right now, I need to focus on surviving. With your regenerative abilities, this likely will not kill you. You will probably fully recover. But, you are going to feel this. And this attack will buy me the time I need to escape.'
Dooku stated, “Interesting. Though, I still have a few tricks left to try.”
Dooku tried to use the force to tear apart Thor's body and damage her internal organs.
While Dooku did this attack, he saw Thor's face contort in confusion for a few seconds. Thor face then returned to a calm expression.
Dooku mentally lamented, 'You felt that. But, I sense in the force that my attack is clearly not doing any damage to your flesh, nor internal organs.'
Dooku stopped his force attack.
By then, Thor was fifteen meters from Dooku. She continued to walk towards the Sith Lord, as she commented, “Thy can feel thee's attempts to put thou apart. Though, thou felt no pain, only slight pulling. It seems it beyond thee's abilities to harm thou directly with the force. And all thee can do is press against flesh.”
As Thor came close to Dooku, with her weapons in her hands, underneath Thor's helmet Thor's lips curled into a wick grin.
Dooku saw the change of demeanor in Thor's face. He immediately realized how much danger he was in.
Dooku thought, 'I have one more force trick to try on you.'
Dooku used the force to hold Thor in place. He thought, 'You are right. I can press your flesh, like choking. Which does not work on you because you do not need to breath. And poison likely will not work on you. I cannot throw you as long as you hold that hammer. But can I at least stop you?'
Unfortunate, to Dooku's disappointment, Thor continued her slow advance on him.
Dooku continued to pour his powers in the force to try to make Thor remain in one place.
Then, Dooku felt a strong gust of wind suddenly come from Thor's direction towards his front. The gust of wind was so strong it knock him on his back, but he still maintained his force grip on Thor, and his grip on his ignited lightsaber hilt, in his right hand.
The wind suddenly stopped.
Dooku leaned up to look at Thor still slowly advanced on him, but at a much slower pace than before.
Though, Thor was now less than ten meters from Dooku.
Thor warned, “Thee will release me from the force. Or, thee shall learn thy true power in commanding the heavens.”
Dooku's eyes slightly widened with concern. He realize his mistake, as he though, 'From the reports I have read. And holovids I have seen. You are not bluffing. I lead you to a location you likely would not not mind damaging with your weather powers against me. I opened myself up by bringing you here. Which means I have to escape before you decide you want to unleash your full powers on myself. And I know just how to do so. I picked this spot to land for a reason.'
Dooku immediately let go of Thor with the force, and he refocused his efforts nearby.
Thor began to more quickly advance on Dooku.
Dooku jumped up to his feet. Then, Dooku used the force to confirm what he thought. That as he planned a day ago, when he studied the blueprints of this area of the city, that he was right over a large storm drain.
Dooku swiftly used his lightsaber to cut a hole clockwise around himself. As Dooku created the hole, he used the force to pull three empty three story buildings from each side of the street towards Thor and himself.
As the buildings came down on them, Thor was five meters from Dooku.
At that moment, Dooku has finished using his lightsaber to cut the hole, he used the force to push street beneath him, forcing himself into the large, empty storm drain below, right before the building fell on top of Thor and himself.
When Dooku reached the bottom of the two and a half meter high storm drain, he jumped forward to avoid the rubble that fell into the hole with him.
Dooku stood in place. Dooku held his lightsaber in his right hand. The red blade of his lightsaber provided light for himself to see with.
Dooku looked around. Except for a little but of water, that was a few centimeters deep, which was draining towards one of the nearby tributaries of the Solleu river, the storm drain was dry.
Dooku held his light up to see that the rubble above had fully enclosed the he made in the storm drain ceiling. There was no light coming out of the hole.
Dooku thought, 'I can sense that she and the hammer are buried in the rubble above. That rubble will not hold her for long. It seems nothing can slow her down for long. I better escape while I still can. Before she tried to break her way into this storm drain.'
'At least it does not smell that bad down here. It is clear the Theed has separated their sewer system from their storm drainage. Which makes since considering they pride themselves on how clean they keep their planet. Including their rivers, lakes, and oceans.'
Dooku felt reminiscent, as he mentally reflected, 'It has been years since I had to use a storm drain to enter a location and later escape undetected. This brings back some good memories with Qui-Gon, when he was my padawan student. I miss him. And as I told Padme. I hold both the Senate and the Jedi High Council responsible for his dead.'
'Now to escape.'
Dooku looked around. He then came to a stop in the direction opposite to the way he faced Thor on the street above. Dooku thought, 'And if remembered which was the street I was on goes and the blueprints this was will lead me in the direction to the upper sections of the Theed spaceport which are on the plateau of this city.'
'Not that it matters. I will find a manhole cover I can claim to the surface from in the next fifty meters or so. But when I surface I will be wary. I do not want Thor to find me. That would be embarrassing. And this has been a trying day as is.'
'Though, I have no clue what is down here. So I will hurry, but not rush.'
Dooku did not use the force to enhance his movements, as he briskly walked in the direction he felt would lead him closer to the Theed spaceport and to his escape off of the planet Naboo.
Meanwhile, on the street above, the falling six three story buildings had knocked Thor to the ground and buried her under rubble. While the buildings had crashed down on herself, she let of of the hammer with her left hand, while she had used her right thumb to flip the switch on the hilt to turn off the Black Solace's vibrations, so she would not harm herself on the blade as she was knocked to the ground.
Thor has been able to remain standing as the walls fell on top of her. She was unharmed. Though, she had to let go of her weapons to she could use her hands to free herself.
Fortunately, with her super-strength, it only took Thor a minute to finally able to use her hands to push away the rubble to the point she saw the daylight of the sunny blue sky above her.
Thor fully stood up, she found the debris pile was only at her upper chest level. She thought, 'It looks like the pile of debris is only a meter and a half deep. It should not be to hard to collect weapons and get out of this mess.'
As Thor stood up, she leaned down and reached into the rubble where she had set her weapons down.
Thor bent down picked up the Black Solace by the hilt. She stood up straight, as she sheathed the vibro-katana into the scabbard strapped to her back.
Then, Thor held out her right hand, and summon Mjolnir. The hammer lifted itself from the debris and move around Thor front side to Thor's right hand. Mjolnir rotated itself to where Thor used her right hand to firm grip the middle of the shaft, with the head facing towards Thor's front, and the axe head of the hammer was facing to Thor's right side, away from her body. shaft going into the grip of her right hand.
With her weapons accounted for, Thor had no trouble climbing out of the debris of broke bricks and mortar.
When Thor reached the top of the pile, she stood up. Thor looked around, she saw that the six buildings around her had been completely destroyed.
Thor thought, 'Well Dooku sure know how to make an exit.' Thor sighed, as she mentally reflected, 'What a mess. And in creating this mess he got away. Those storm drains are a maze. I am not going to find him down there. And I am not going to even try to do so.'
Thor smiled, as she continued her thoughts, 'But I know this is the best shot Dooku is ever going to get against me. And I am sure he realizes this as well. I won. I beat a Sith Lord by myself. Though, I will not gloat on this matter. But, this is one step closer to me taking down Sidious for all the pain he has cause me, my friends, and the galaxy at large.'
'Dooku will not harm my family. Because he now knows I can take him in a fight.'
'Also, given this area is likely slated for demolition, I will leave it the way it is. No one was harmed. And no real damage was done. So there is not point in getting Theed security involved.'
'Now I can head back to my family.' She looked around, as she continued her thoughts, 'Once I figure out where I am. I kind of got turned around while I chased after him. But that is a small matter. I will find my way home. And I am feeling so good, I believe I will fly back home. If I stay low and if I am quick enough, no one should notice me.'
Thor used Mjolnir to fly into the air. While she was in the sky, she quickly used her enhanced vision to located her family home. Then, she swiftly flew towards her intended destination before anyone noticed her in the sky.
Less than a minute later, Thor landed by her speeder, on the concrete walking way leading up to the front door of her family home. Thor faced her family home.
Thor noticed that her home was still the way she had left.
Thor thought, 'Good. It looks like nothing happened while I was away. Now to change back to Padme and come up with a convincing cover story. Given the shutters on the windows on the front of the home. I doubt anyone is looking at outside at me. And I did not see anyone else around whom is outside. So, I do not have to worry about that.'
Thor changed back to Padme, with her clothing changing back to what she had on before she became into Thor. White short sleeve cloth shirt, black pants, a red belt and black slippers.
Padme turned to face the right side of the speeder. Padme walked over to the right side of the speeder, by the back seat. She leaned down and placed the hammer back onto the backseat floor of the speeder.
Padme leaned up and she turned around to face her family home.
Padme smiled, as she was happy at the outcome of her fight. She all but skipped her way down the concrete walkway to the front door of her home.
Padme turned the knob and opened the door. She walked inside. She gently closed the door behind her.
As she walked through the front hallway, towards the living room, she noticed neither C3-PO, nor R2 were in the hallway.
Padme thought, 'I guess they turned C3-PO back on and both droids are with everyone else. While C3-PO is sometimes annoying. R2 makes for good company and the droid understands what I say when I talk to it. Even though R2 only beeps and whistles, unless you plug it into a monitor that allows it to make text messages.'
As Padme approached the living room, she was relieved to hear voicing coming from the room. Voices that she recognized. And from the tone of their words, they were all in a casual, relaxed state of mind.
While Padme walked, she happily thought, 'Years of studying on how to prepare and give speeches, along with having debates, has taught me how to read a person by the tone of their voice. Their facial expressions. And their body language. From the sound of things, my family and friends are doing fine.'
Padme dropped her smile, as she continued her thoughts, 'Now what I am going to tell my parents. Depending on what Anakin and Ahsoka told them, I may have to play this by ear.'
When Padme came to the doorway to the living room, she turned and walked inside. She came to a stop just inside the doorway of the room.
As Padme entered the room, they noticed her. They went silent, as they turned to Padme.
Padme stood just inside the doorway she had used to enter the room.
Padme looked around. In front of her, she saw her father, Ruwee, was still sitting in the same chair as he did when she left. Her mother, Jobal, was sitting in the chair to her right, the same chair that Dooku had been sitting in.
R2 and C3-PO were standing to Padme's left side. With someone having turned C3-PO back on.
Anakin and Ahsoka were standing to Padme's right side.
During Padme's absence, her family and friends had long since finished their drinks, with Jobal already taking the platter, empty pitcher, and glasses, back to the kitchen. Jobal had then returned to the living room, and the conversation they held as they waiting for Padme's return.
Ruwee commented, “Daughter. I see you are unharmed.”
The way Ruwee phrased his comment set Padme on edge. She said, “Of course I am.”
Ruwee gave Padme a knowing smile.
From years of experience of knowing her father, Padme recognized the smile he gave her. Padme looked around the room, as she asked, “What is going on?”
Ahsoka said, “They know.”
Padme immediately understood what Ahsoka meant. She turned to Ahsoka. Padme asked, “You told them?”
Anakin stated, “We could not think of a good excuse as to why the leader of the Separatists would personally come visit your family, in their home, as a way to meet with you.”
Padme looked over at Anakin. Padme groaned, as she conceded, “Good point.”
Ruwee inquired, “So you are Thor?”
Padme turned towards her parents. Padme admitted, “Yes.”
Jobal asked, “How did you gain this power?”
Padme answered, “From the hammer, which is named, Mjolnir.”
Jobal commented, “Okay. Though, I wonder how we are going to tell your sister?”
Padme admitted, “I am not sure myself. Though, I hope Sola is not jealous of the news.”
Jobal calmly said, in a motherly tone of voice, “Dear. If your sister was not jealous of you being elected queen of the planet, she is not going to be jealous over this.”
Padme could not help but let out a small laugh. Then, she said, “Okay. I will tell you how I gain Mjolnir. The hammer. And how I became Thor the Storm Bringer.”
Ahsoka turned to Padme, as she asked, “Is it a wise idea to share such secrets with others?”
Padme turned to Ahsoka, as she thought, 'Now you ask that question.'
Before Padme could respond, Jobal stated, “We do not keep secrets in this family.”
At that moment, Ruwee noticed Padme and Anakin shared brief glace as each other, before they looked back at Jobal. Ruwee lowered he eyebrows in concern, but he remained silent.
Jobal continued, “And this secret will stay within our family.”
Ahsoka questioned, “Okay. Also, should we inform security about what happened with Dooku?”
Padme turned to Ahsoka and Anakin. Padme stated, “No. No one was hurt. And the only things destroyed were some partly demolished buildings. I doubt anything will come up what just happened. At least at the local level. And if we did make a report, all it do would raise questions. Many of which we do not want to asked. Let along, answered. If security does an investigation, and they do ask questions. We will deal with it, then.”
Ahsoka replied, “Okay.”
Anakin inquired, “How was your confrontation with Dooku?”
Padme stated, “I had to fight him. It was a difficult fight. Though, I defeated him. Unfortunately, he escape.” She looked over at her parents. She continued, “I doubt he will bring any more trouble to our home.”
Jobal replied, “That is comforting to know.”
Ruwee commented, “I am happy to hear this.”
Anakin said, “Still, you defeated a Sith Lord. That is a major accomplishment.”
Padme turned to Anakin, as she said, “I know. But, I do not need the notoriety of doing so. I would suggest we downplay this event. I do not want to spurn further attacks.” She turned took her parents. She continued, “Especially this close to my family.”
Anakin agreed, “That is a good point.”
Ruwee inquired, “Padme. I see you still take the lessons we taught you on being humble to heart. So, how this all happened?”
Padme thought, 'I already said I would tell you. So, I might as well. Though, I will leave out my relationship with Anakin and what happened to Anakin's mother. Along with omitting the secrets I have learned about the Jedi Temple and the Republic military. When I finish my story we will need to contract Obiwan to make sure this does not happen again.'
Padme inquired, “Do you remember that last time I brought Anakin home?”
Ruwee replied, “Yes.”
Padme stated, “Well, I was in a little more trouble than I let on...”
Then, while omitting a few facts, Padme explained most of what happened, all the way from when she had left her parents on Theed, to when the hammer had fallen in the Geonosis arena, to training for the Jedi, to going to war under the secret identity of Thor while also remaining a senator of the Galactic Republic.
An hour later, Padme finished her explanation. After Padme had finished her story, they used the holo-monitor on a table in the Naberrie living room to contract Obiwan on Coruscant. They made sure the communication was encrypted.
Before the call was made, the holo-monitor and had small table it had been on had been moved to the middle of the room, over a large, round, red rug. This was done so everyone in the room would not have a problem seeing the holographic projection.
Those present are Anakin, Ahsoka, Padme, Jobal, Ruwee, and the droids.
Jobal and Ruwee remained seated, while everyone in the room was standing.
Padme between her parents and her friends, with Ruwee to her left and Anakin to her right. Across the room stood the droids.
Obiwan small hologram above the holo-monitor showed that he was sitting in a chair.
Padme had just informed Obiwan what had happened when she, Anakin, Ahsoka, and the droids had visited her parents at her family home. From Dooku's surprise visit, to how she defeated Dooku. As Padme told her tale, the other people present sat in silence.
Padme looked at the small hologram of Obiwan, as she finished her reported, “After I climbed out of the rubble. I put away the Black Solace and used Mjolnir to fly back here. Then, I changed back. Put away the hammer in the speeder. And walked inside to explain things to my parents. They know I am Thor.”
Padme thought, 'That is no point in having Anakin and Ahsoka get in trouble over this manner.'
Anakin and Ahsoka understood the subtext of Padme's comment.
Ahsoka turned to Padme, as she thought, 'Thank you Padme, for not telling Obiwan whom informed your parents that you were Thor.'
Obiwan stated, “Padme. You did the right thing. This was unexpected. I am sorry the war has literally come to your family's doorstep.”
Padme firmly stated, “We have a leak. The timing is too close for our visit for this to be coincidental. And the only people whom know when and where we are going are us.”
Obiwan responded, “I realize that. Though, due to the circumstances, I had to list where and when you were all going in my reports. So you could be contracted in am emergency. I filed these reports a few days ago. So the leak could be anyone whom saw those reports.”
Ahsoka turned to Obiwan's hologram. She asked, “Who reads at those reports?”
Obiwan answered, “The Jedi Council, the high ranking officers of the Republic military, and personnel whom work for the Chancellor. These reports to go through many hands. So it could be a number of people along the chain of command.”
Padme commented, in a firm tone of voice, “Still, this confirms we have a leak. And I want to make sure this does not happen again.”
Obiwan stated, “If Dooku wants you dead, there is not much we can do.”
Padme suggested, “What about sending my family to a safe house? I know the Jedi have such places for when the Order need to hide someone.”
Obiwan conceded, “That is an option.”
Ruwee spoke up, “I am not leaving my home.”
Jobal said, “Neither am I. And I can speak for Sola and her family. They feel the same way.”
Padme looked over at her parents. She turned to the hologram. Padme commented, “How about Jedi bodyguards. I know first hand the Jedi have been know to do bodyguard assignments.”
Padme turned to Anakin.
Anakin looked at Padme. He nodded towards Padme, as he remember how he was assigned to protect Padme during the Separatist Crisis.
After Padme saw Anakin's nod, she turned back to look at Obiwan's hologram.
Anakin also looked over at Obiwan's hologram.
Obiwan heard the comments from Padme's parents and Padme's suggestion. His hologram turned to look at Jobal and Ruwee. Obiwan offered, “We can send a few Jedi to guard your family. Taking into account the aid your daughter has given to the war effort. It is the least we can do.”
Padme turned to her parents.
Padme's parents noticed Padme looking at them.
Ruwee said, “I can live with that.”
Jobal commented, “So can I. Sola and Darred, Sola's husband, would likely be fine with this arrangement.”
Padme turned to Obiwan. Padme stated, “Thank you.”
Obiwan turned to Padme. He said, “I will make arrangements today. The assigned Jedi should arrive in a few days, before you leave Naboo.”
Padme replied, “We appreciate that.”
Obiwan asked, “Though, how many people are we talking about guarding?”
Padme stated, “My parents, here. Jobal and Ruwee. My sister Sola. Sola's husband Darred. And their two daughters, Ryoo and Pooja.”
Obiwan stated, “Okay. That should not be a problem.” Obiwan's hologram turned to Anakin. He said, “Anakin.”
Anakin looked at the hologram of Obama, as he replied, “Yes.”
Obiwan stated, “In the light of recent events, I believe it is time for you to take your trials. When you, Padme, and Ahsoka return to Coruscant, the two of us prepare for the trials. When you are ready, we will conduct the trials as soon as possible.”
Anakin happily said, “Thank you, master.”
Obiwan responded, “You're welcome.” He looked around the room, as he continued, “And for what it is worth. I hope all of you enjoy your vacation. Obiwan out.”
Obiwan disconnected the holo-comm from his end. His hologram disappeared.
Padme turned to Anakin. Padme said, “Congratulations Anakin.”
Ahsoka looked over that Anakin. Ahsoka commented, “This is good to hear.”
Anakin turned to Padme and Ahsoka. He said, “Thank you. But, I still have to pass my trials.”
Jobal asked, “What are these trials?”
Anakin turned to Jobal and Ruwee. He answered, “They are tests to determine if I am ready to become a Jedi Knight. Right now, I am only a padawan.”
Ruwee commented, “I wondered how people were promoted within your order.”
Anakin stated, “Barring the force elements of the trials, these tests are meant to prove one's hard work, knowledge, and skills.”
Ruwee commented, “That the case with everything.”
Anakin agreed, “I guess so.”
Ahsoka looked around the room. She asked, “While this is great. Now what?”
Ruwee offered, “Now we enjoy the day. How about a picnic?”
Jobal agreed, “That sounds like a wonderful idea. If this sunny weather holds.”
Padme turned to Jobal. She smiled, as she said, “That weather is no longer a concern.”
Jobal realized what Padme meant. She turned to Padme. She smiled, as she commented, “Oh right. With you. It is a sunny day any time you want.”
Padme smile slightly widened, as she admitted, “Yes. Just about.”
Anakin commented, “Before anything else happens, we need to check into our hotel suites, and unpack.”
Padme turned to Anakin. She said, “I agree.”
Jobal offered, “You go get check in and unpack. By the time you get back, we will have food and drinks prepared and ready for our picnic.”
Ahsoka smiled at Jobal. She said, “That sounds great.”
Padme looked over at her parents. She thought, 'I doubt Dooku will try anything this soon. He would consider it unsporting. And he is to intelligent to stay on the planet. If he is not already escaped off the planet, he soon will be. So it is best we check in at the Hidden Crest hotel and come back here to have a picnic.'
Padme turned back to Anakin and Ahsoka, as she stated, “Let's head out.”
Padme was just about to turn and start walking, when Jobal inquired, “By the way, Padme. Where are you saying?”
Padme stopped and she turned towards her mother. Padme answered, “The Hidden Crest Hotel.”
Jobal said, “That is a lovely hotel. And it is not far from here.”
Ruwee commented, “That place is kind of pricey, though.”
Padme turned to her father. She stated, “I can afford it.”
Ruwee responded, “I guess you could with your salary. Well have a safe trip. We will be here when you get back.”
Padme replied, “Thank you.” Padme turned to Anakin and Ahsoka. She said, “Now let us head to the hotel.”
Anakin turned to the droids. He stated, “Come on R2. C3-PO.”
Padme turned and head for the doorway to the front hallway.
Anakin and Ahsoka followed behind Padme. The droids following behind Anakin and Ahsoka.
While the group walked through the front hallway, towards the front door, Ahsoka asked, “Are all your family members this nice?”
Padme kept looking forward, as she smiled. She happily said, “Yes. I am very fortunate to come from such a loving family.”
Jobal and Ruwee overheard Ahsoka and Padme's comments. They smiled at the compliments directed towards them.
Soon, they made it outside. A few minutes later, they were able to place the droids in the back of the speeder. Then, Ahsoka sat the front middle with Padme on the right front seat and Anakin in the left driver's seat.
Once everyone had their seatbelts on, Anakin used the key he had to the speeder to turn on the ignition.
The speeder gently lifts several centimeters into the air. Then, Padme gave Anakin directions to the Hidden Crest hotel. Next, Anakin followed Padme directions, as Anakin drove them down the road towards the Hidden Crest.
Meanwhile, inside the living room of the Naberrie family home, Jobal and Ruwee stood up from their chairs. Then, they headed into the kitchen of their home to bring to prepare for their picnic.
On Coruscant, inside the Jedi Temple, Obiwan sat in a chair, at his desk, in his personal quarters.
For those inside the Jedi Temple, it was early evening, just before sunset.
Obiwan had just finished talking to Padme about what happened on Naboo, with her fighting and defeating Dooku.
Obiwan had turned off the holo-monitor on his desk mere seconds ago.
Obiwan leaned back in his chair, as he thought, 'While Dooku escaped, I doubt he will cause Naberrie family any further problems. And convincing the council to assign some Jedi bodyguards to Padme's family will not be difficult. It is not a large family anyway. I believe Padme has her mother, father, sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces. And the parents live together in one home. While the sister and her family lives in another home. This will not be at all difficult.'
'And Padme is right, we have a leak. This time it was a close call. I will kick this up to Mace and Yoda for them to assign some people to look into the matter. Though, it is likely the leak is not in the Jedi Order so there is not much we can do about the matter.'
'The High Council and the Chancellor want to keep taps on both Anakin and Padme. Due to how powerful both of them are, I cannot blame the High Council and the Chancellor for wanting to do so. But, I will see how long I can delay filing a report on their schedules and whereabouts. So the next time they go on vacation they will not have a trap waiting for them at their destination.'
'What will be difficult is explaining to the council how Padme defeated Dooku in a straight out battle.'
'Or, so she claims. I believe her. But, if the council believed her this could cause her problems. While she has shown nothing but respect towards the Order, some of the council members are still wary of her powers and the fact her powers do not come from the force.'
'Dooku was one of the best Jedi to ever be taught by the Order. As a Sith, he is even more dangerous. For me to report that Padme defeated Dooku in such a way would also be admitting if Padme desired to do so, she could now defeat most of the members of the Jedi Order, including a number of the Jedi masters on the High Council.'
'I think it is best that I downplay this incident in my report to the council. I will state that Dooku likely underestimated Padme. Because if she really is this powerful and skilled, then reporting such achievements to the council would only breed distrust and resentment within by the Jedi against her. And that is something none of us can afford. Especially with a war going on.'
'Now, about Anakin. With Dooku making such a play against Padme out in the open, I cannot wait any longer. Anakin has to take his trials. I just hope he is ready. It will take a little time to prepare him for the trials. But not a lot of time.'
'And Mace has a point. I can use Anakin's trials as an excuse to separate Anakin and Ahsoka from Padme.'
'When they get back, I will offer Padme some time to deal with her senatorial duties, on Coruscant. Also, I will have Anakin work on his trials. I will assign Ahsoka to do some studying in the Jedi Archives. Given I am their commanding officer, it will not be hard for me to stretch Padme's leave by an extra week or two. This will split them up a little without causing much discussion. Also, I have a few ideas to suggest on some simple missions for Padme, as Thor, during her stay on Coruscant.'
'Later this evening, after the council concludes a meeting they are having right now, I will contact Mace about possible assignments Padme, as Thor, with Coruscant Security. Mace will likely know the official channels to go through on this matter. If not, he will know who to ask.'
'During this time, Padme will unfortunately not be able to contact us, because we have a lot to do to prepare for the trials. But, I will promise her that I will keep her in the loop. And I will keep that promise.'
'We should be finished with Anakin trials by the time Padme's leave is over on Coruscant.'
'Now that I think about, I would prefer to have Ahsoka watch Anakin's trials. While I cannot have her watching Anakin practice for the trials. I would like her present to see Anakin pass a few of his trials.'
'It is rare, but not unheard of for a Jedi master to allow a padawan to watch the trials of knighthood for another member of the Jedi Order. And I see know reason why council members deny me such a request.'
'On the bright side. Given the pressure I am receiving from the council. When Anakin is ready, the council will likely open their schedule on short noticed so Anakin can take his trials as soon as possible.'
'Now to get to work.'
Obiwan began to put together his report of what happened, along with his request for Jedi bodyguards for the Naberrie family.
Over the next few days, Obiwan had successfully downplayed Padme's victory against Dooku in his report to the Jedi Council.
Obiwan's request for the Jedi bodyguards was approved with little difficulty. The Jedi bodyguards arrived on Naboo a few days later, before Padme, Anakin, Ahsoka and the droids left the Naboo, to head back to Coruscant.
Four Jedi Knights were assigned to bodyguard the Naberrie family. Two Jedi for Jobal and Ruwee. And two Jedi for Sola and Sola's family.
And the Jedi High Council were happy to hear Obiwan had finally relented on allowing Anakin to take his trials to become Jedi Knight.
On Naboo, it has been half an hour after the battle between Thor and Dooku had ended.
At the Theed spaceport, on Naboo, Dooku had secretly inside his gold colored space yacht. The ship was located in a hangar in the spaceport.
Once Dooku was inside his ship, he used the security codes he possessed gain clearance by Theed air control to leave the planet before security would be alerted his what had happened.
As soon as his space yacht was given clearance and assigned flight path, he had his droid pilots take the ship flying out of the hangar, and take the assigned flight path into space.
Once Dooku's ship was in orbit around Naboo, Dooku had the droid pilots plot a course to Arkanis, where he would refuel. After which, he would had up the Triellus Trade Route to the northeastern part of the galaxy, where much of Separatist controlled space was located. There he would check on a few matters concerning the Separatist and the war effort.
After giving his orders to the droid pilots, the droid pilots had the astromech droid attached to the ship computer do the navigational calculation. A few minutes later, the calculations were put into the ship's computer and the droid pilots had the space yacht jump into hyperspace towards Arkanis.
Presently, as space yacht traveled to Arkanis, Dooku sat in a armchair, in his living area of, as he contemplated his next moves. His lightsaber was deactivated and holstered to his belt.
The chair Dooku sat in was a cushioned armchair for relaxing. This allow Dooku to relax, while he contemplated important matters in his life and in the political affairs of the galaxy.
Dooku looked around him, in his nicely furnished living area, as he thought, 'This is a much nicer arrangement than that small shuttle I use to fly in. I can actually enjoy myself, and sleep in a bed on this ship. A man of my status should have a ship of this quality.'
Dooku looked out a window to his, out at the blue and white colors of hyperspace, as he continued his thought, 'Well, I failed in my mission. I will have to explain my failure to Sidious. This report will likely be painful for myself. Though, I will be ready to shut down my holo-comm, should things turn too dangerous for myself.'
'Still, I do not really regret being defeated by Padme.'
'Both of us gave a good showing. Padme defeated me in an honest duel. She earned her victory. And I have no intention of going after the Naberrie family. Doing so would only earn me Padme's wrath. A wrath I wish to avoid. I now understand why Ventress wants nothing to do with Padme.'
'By not killing Padme. Nor, seriously injuring her. Future possibilities remain open to me. Though, such possibilities will likely have to wait a while. Until things cool down.'
Dooku smiled, as he mentally reflected, 'Besides, I learned a very important piece of information in this fight. A piece of information that I am sure Sidious will find enlightening. That being young Padme is open to the idea of overthrowing both the Galactic Senate and Jedi Order. Which I am sure will make Sidious happy...'
'Yes. I may have lost this battle, but I may yet win the war.'
A few hours later, Sidious contacted Dooku by holo-comm.
In his space yacht, while in hyperspace, Dooku sat in his cushioned anchair, and not at his desk, as he took the holo-communication. The holo-monitor Dooku used was located on a small table in front of his chair.
Dooku saw the small hologram of Sidious, in his cloaked hood. Sidious' face was hidden save for his mouth, and lower jaw.
Sidious ordered, in an even tone of voice, “Lord Tyranus. State your report.”
Dooku calmly said, “Master. I have ill news. I have failed to kill Thor. She defeated me. I barely escape her.”
Dooku prepared himself for being attacked by the force, with him ready to break the communication to save his own life.
Instead, Sidious calmly said, “As I expected the outcome to be. I see the girl is progressing nicely. And I see you have survived with any serious injuries. Carry on with your duties. I will contact you when I require something of you.”
Then, Sidious disconnected the communication with his hologram disappearing.
Dooku was left stunned by Sidious' calm reaction.
As Dooku sat in his chair, he remained silent for a few seconds.
Then, Dooku realized what had happened. He face took on a scowl, as he felt anger.
Though, unlike most Sith Lords, Count Dooku was not prone to violent outbursts. Instead, Dooku channeled his anger into more construct activities.
Presently, he channeled his anger into his thoughts, as he mentally reflected, 'Sidious! You played me! You knew I held an interest in Padme. And with this duel, you created a wedge between Padme and myself. Also, by me fighting her, you are now able to better gauge her abilities more clearly against your own. To see how she would measure up against you.'
Then another thought occurred Dooku. He dropped his scowl, as he took on an expression of concern. He thought, 'Or, perhaps you are no longer eyeing just Skywalker. But, you are now looking at Padme, as a potential replacement for me.'
'Even Padme told me she realizes the similarities between herself and myself. Though, she does not realize the connections we both have to you, Sidious. Still, the way you arranged this, there is nothing I can do about this matter... At least for now.'
Dooku realized another matter concerning what had happened.
Dooku immediately began to calm down, as something important he had remembered during his fight with Thor.
Dooku smiled, as he happily thought, 'And you were so impatient, Sidious. That I did not give you the good news. That Padme is open to overthrowing the Jedi Order, and the Senate. And your impatience will likely cost you in the future. So, while you may have used me. I know one thing about our quarry, that you do not. That gives me a slight advantage in this situation. An advantage I hope to someday use.'
'Also, I warned Padme that you are interested in Skywalker. And while I doubt she will tell Skywalker, she will watch out for Skywalker, whom she clearly has deep feelings for.”
'On further reflection, there are a few abilities I was taught by the Jedi Order that I have never tried to use because the techniques were too dangerous. The type of abilities I do not wish for anyone to learn. Especially not you, Sidious.'
'In theory, some of these abilities might have worked against Padme. Though, there would have been no point in using such abilities against Padme. I did not want to kill her in the first place. And using such abilities would attract the wrong kind of attention.'
'If I had kill Padme and I survived the battle. I might have martyred Padme. The Jedi might take more serious measures against me and the Senate would would have used her death as grounds to escalate the war. This was likely Sidious' fallback plan.'
'If that is the case I am happy I lost this battle. Because victory would have come at too high a cost...'
'But for now, I have other more pressing concerns to deal with.'
Dooku mentally reflects on matters he had been keeping up with, on the events within the war between the Confederacy and the Republic. Dooku thought on how he would to deal with various matters concerning the internal politics within the Confederacy. Especially in dealing with the continued political friction between the Confederate Parliament and the Separatist Council.
Of two main parts of the Confederate government, Dooku officially held the position of Head of State to the Separatist Council, with him holding the military rank of High General of the Confederate military.
While Dooku was the Head of State of the Separatist Council, the title was more officially a role of Senior Adviser to the Separatist Council and the title did not officially give him much control of the public day to day functions of the Confederate government.
Instead, Dooku controlled the Confederacy from behind the scenes.
The Confederate Parliament was the public face of the Confederacy government and the parliament dealt the day to day internal issues of the Confederacy. While the Separatist Council dealt the war effort.
Many members of the Confederate Parliament and many members of the Separatist Council did not like each other.
Fortunately, part of Dooku's job in ruling the Confederacy from within the shadows was to keep the Confederate government from tearing itself apart.
On the planet Naboo, in the city of Theed, an hour and a half after leaving the Naberrie home, Padme, Ahsoka, and Anakin, had already checked into the Hidden Crest hotel they were staying at. Padme had already got them specific suites located throughout the hotel. Once Padme had the three keycards, she handed Anakin the keycard to his room and Ahsoka the keycard to her room.
Each of the three adults pocketed their keycard.
Soon they had moved their luggage in their suites. After which, with R2 and C3-PO, they returned to the Naberrie home to find that Jobal and Ruwee had finished packing a few baskets of food and drink for a picnic.
Fortunately, Theed security had not shown up, and they all considered the matter settled.
Once everyone was ready they walked to a nearby park which the Naberrie family like to use for picnics. The park was the opposite direction of the clearing that Padme had brought Dooku to, begin her battle with him.
Padme had left her hammer in her family home, with her parents' blessings to do so.
When they reached the park, it was mid-afternoon, and while there were a few people there, there was not many people and none of whom were near them.
They soon reached a clearing, where they laid out a blanket, set down the baskets and began to get ready for the picnic.
As preparations were made for their meals, Ruwee turned to Anakin. Ruwee stated, “Anakin. Let us take walk, as the women prepare the meal.”
Anakin turned to Ruwee. He said, “Lead the way.”
Anakin saw Ruwee turned and start to walk towards some trees about fifty meters from them.
There was no one near the small thicket of trees.
Anakin caught up to walk by beside Ruwee to Ruwee's left side.
The two were in silence as they walked, until they reached the trees. As they walked under the shade, and far from the earshot of the others, Ruwee came to a stop. In response, Anakin stopped, as well.
The two men continued to stand side by side, as they looked pass the trees they were near, and at the city streets and buildings in the distance.
Ruwee looked in front of him, as he calmly asked, “How long have you been in a relationship with my daughter, Padme?”
Anakin was caught surprised by Ruwee's question. He turned to look at Ruwee. Anakin saw Ruwee looking at him, with a knowing smile.
Anakin thought, 'Jedi. Sith. Republic personnel. And the one person whom found us out is Padme's father. That figures. I might as well face the music. If I want to stay in Padme's good graces, I need to keep her parents happy with me.'
Anakin admitted, “Soon after Padme introduced me to you, Jobal, and the rest of your family.”
Ruwee said, “I see. That was a while ago. Given the dire situation Padme was in at the time, I will not fault either of you for doing so.”
Anakin questioned, “How did you learn this? I have to know.”
Ruwee let out a deep breath. Then, he calmly stated, “I know my daughters. At least as well as a man can know how women think. And while you both hide it well, I saw you two glancing at each other, from time to time. And I remember seeing that same look which Padme gives you, in Sola's eyes, when she looked at Darred, her future husband. When they were dating, and they both thought they were fooling Jobal and I.”
Anakin thought, 'I need to ask. Even if I do not like the answer.' He asked, “Do you have a problem with me courting Padme?”
Ruwee turned to Anakin. He answered, “No. I always figured that Padme would end up with some politician, or rich corporate executive. At least we know you were raised with some ethics and morals.”
Anakin soberly thought, 'I am coming to realize that is not as much the case as you would think. But, I will take the compliment as is.'
Anakin replied, “Thank you, Ruwee. Though, I request you keep this information to yourself.”
Ruwee stated, “I will discuss that matter with Jobal. But, it will go no further than there.”
Anakin said, “That will be fine.”
Ruwee commented, “With that hammer. I believe she called it, Mjolnir. I am not worried about her coming to harm. Even with her fighting in this galactic war. I have seen the holovids of her fighting as Thor. And I closely listened to what she said to us. Though, I have to know. Is she really that powerful? Is she that tough?”
Anakin responded, “Yes. I doubt very much you have to worry about your younger daughter coming to harm.” Anakin thought, 'As long as Padme does not try to face down a squadron of starfighter, or a cruiser.' Anakin continued, “Though, your younger daughter's welfare is always on my mind.”
Ruwee stated, “I do not doubt that. But it is not physical harm I am concerned about. If things do not work out between you, I do not want you to break her heart.”
Anakin said, in a sober tone of voice, “If something happened to her, it would likely break me.”
Ruwee replied, “I believe you.” He turned to look in front of himself, towards the trees. He sighed, as he muttered, “Years of studying to become a leader of people, and in the end she becomes a soldier in a war.”
Anakin overheard what Ruwee had said. Anakin commented, “I did not see that one coming, either.”
Ruwee turned to Anakin. Ruwee said, “I believe no one did. Though, on this matter, I just have one request from you and Padme.”
Anakin tactfully asked, “And that is?”
Ruwee stated, “Given you are a Jedi and she is a senator, with her also having a secret identity as a soldier. I know you have to keep your relationship a secret from just about everyone. I realize that if you two ever do become married to each other, you would likely do so in secret. Though, I speak for Jobal and myself, when I request, if you two ever have children. We would like to see our grandchildren from you. We do love Ryoo and Pooja. And we would wish see any children you two have, as well.”
Anakin responded, “Ruwee. If that happens. And if it is within my power. I will see what I can do.”
Ruwee replied, “That is all one can do. And thank you.” Then, Ruwee smiled. He said, “Now let us go get something to eat.”
Ruwee turned around towards where his family and friends were setting up the picnic out in the open. Ruwee started walking towards the group.
Anakin turned around and he walked beside Ruwee, to Ruwee's right side.
Ruwee commented, “When you first came to visit us, you never did say much about your family.”
Anakin stated, in a sober tone of voice, “A lot of sadness there. I am trying to move on.”
Ruwee said, “I can appreciate that. And I hope you do move forward with your life, to where you can find some happiness.”
Anakin look at the group in front of them. He focused on Padme. Padme turned to look at him.
Anakin said, “I believe I will.”
Ruwee turned to look at Anakin. Ruwee offered, “Good. Also, should you get married to Padme. I have no problems with you calling me, father.”
Anakin turned to Ruwee. Anakin gave Ruwee a warm, though sober smile. Anakin gratefully said, “Thank you, Ruwee.”
Ruwee gave Anakin a warm grin. Ruwee replied, “You're welcome.”
The two men turned to look at the picnic they were approaching.
A minute later, Anakin and Ruwee reached the picnic.
As Anakin and Ruwee approached the group, Padme turned to them. She asked, “What was that all about?
Anakin walked over and leaned over to Padme's left ear. Anakin whispered, “Your father knows. And we are okay.” Then, he leaned up from Padme.
It took a few seconds for Padme's mind to register what Anakin said. She realized, as she thought, 'That is what their discussion was about. Dad knows I am in a relationship with Ankain. But, he is okay with it.'
Padme turned to Ruwee, and she saw her father whom was standing near Jobal. Ruwee looked back at her. Padme lipped the words, “Thank you.”
In response, Ruwee gave Padme a caring smile.
Then, the group had a lovely picnic, as they all enjoyed the rest of the day talking and getting to know each other.
When they finished the picnic, they collected their belongings and they headed back to the Naberrie family home.
Later that night, on Theed, Naboo. Padme, Anakin, Ahsoka, and the droids had spent a lovely afternoon and evening with with Jobal and Ruwee Naberrie.
Though, as the sky became night, Padme, Anakin, Ahsoka, and the droids said their goodbyes for this evening. After which, Anakin drove Padme, Ahsoka, and the droids to the Hidden Crest Hotel, where they would be staying for the night.
When they reached the hotel, Anakin parked their in the hotel parking lot, which was located under the hotel. The hotel parking lot had entrance ramp and exit ramp set beside each other, which lead to the outside street.
After Anakin turned off the speeder, he pocketed the key to the vehicle, and the group exited the vehicle.
When they entered the hotel, Padme used a white cloth to cover her hammer. She carried the covered hammer her right hand by the shaft, as she walked through the hotel lobby, to the elevators.
Anakin, Ahsoka, Padme, and the droids took a single elevator up, together. With no one else in the elevator with them.
The Hidden Crest hotel was a slightly upscale hotel and would fit their needs during their for stay on Naboo. The suites were nice and comfortable. With the suites offering the amenities they expected in a hotel of such quality.
Padme had arranged for them to stay on separate floors, on separate sides of the hotel.
Padme has given Ahsoka the excuse that she arrange this to give Ahsoka some privacy. Which Ahsoka believe.
The truth was Padme did this to allow Anakin and herself to have some private time together, without anyone else realizing it. Padme had already informed Anakin of her planet the day before, while on her ship.
While Ahsoka knew how to use the force. From being her friend and training with her, Anakin and Padme knew that Ahsoka senses in the force were not yet very well developed. As long as they kept her at a distance she would not sense them moving around the hotel.
To help maintain the alibi, of the three of them, Anakin's room was on the lowest floor. Ahsoka was in the middle. And Padme was on the highest guest floor among the levels. Though, Padme's suite was not on the penthouse level.
Though, the locations for their rooms were away from each other in other ways than just height.
Anakin was on the fifth floor, on the southwest corner. Ahsoka eighth floor, on the northeast corner. And Padme was on the twelfth floor, in the middle of the east side of the building.
Anakin would get off the elevator first, with R2 and C3-PO joining him in his suite. Ahsoka would get get off the elevator second. With Padme getting off the elevator last, with her carrying the covered hammer with her.
They all agreed to meet each other in the morning, around nine, in the hotel restaurant, on the ground floor of the building, where they would have breakfast together.
When elevator reached the fifth floor, Anakin and C3-PO said goodnight to Ahsoka and Padme. While R2 happily beeped to them. Padme and Ahsoka said goodnight to them.
Anakin, C3-PO, and R2 exited the elevator and headed to Anakin's suite.
The door to the elevator closed. Ahsoka and Padme then continued up the hotel, until the elevator stopped on the eighth floor. The elevator doors opened, Ahsoka and Padme said goodnight to each other. Then, Ahsoka exited the elevator, with her heading to her suite.
The elevator door closed, with the elevator soon stopping at the twelfth floor. The elevator doors open, Padme walked out, with the white cloth cover hammer in her right hand.
The doors closed behind Padme, as she headed to her own suite.
An hour later, Anakin snuck to Padme's suite, with Padme expecting him. When Anakin reached the hallway door to Padme's suite, he knocked on the door.
Padme soon opened the door for him.
Then, the two adults enjoyed the night's company and intimacy.
Hours later, inside Padme's bedroom, which had a large, comfortable bed, Padme and Anakin were asleep, beside each other. Padme slept on the left side of the bed, and Anakin slept on the right side of the bed. Padme slept on her right side, away from Anakin, while Anakin slept on his back.
Then, something awaken Anakin. A feeling more than anything else. A calling, as it were.
Anakin's eyes snapped open as the feeling grew stronger.
The only light in the darkened room came from the slight illumination from the city lights outside, which were filtered in from around the window curtains. The headboard of the bed was set to the opposite wall from the large window to the outside.
Fortunately, this was enough light for Anakin to see with.
Anakin leaned up, and used his experience in the force to locate where this calling from.
Anakin carefully got out bed, so as to not to awake Padme and he stood up by his side of his bed.
Anakin did not want to be caught by a surprise while nude. Anakin quickly, though quietly walked over a nearby chair where he left his clothing. The chair was by a small desk. His boots were on the floor by the chair. His lightsaber was on the top of the desk.
The desk and chair by the desk were set against the outer wall, to the right of the large window. The a bureau was set against the wall to the left of Padme.
The back wall, to the left of the headboard was a door that lead to the bathroom. On the opposite side of the room, there was a door on the back wall, to the right of the headboard which let to a hallway that connected to the rest of the bedroom to the rooms of the suite.
Both the doors to the bathroom and the interior hallway of the suite were left open.
Anakin quietly got dressed without disturbing Padme. After Anakin was fully dressed, with his boots on and lightsaber holstered on his belt, he turned towards the direction where he felt the force was calling him from. Anakin also checked to confirm he had his keycard to his suite in a pocket of his clothing. Anakin did find his keycard where he left it in his clothing.
Anakin located where the feeling was coming from. And it was coming from across the room from where the bed was located.
Anakin started to slowly walking towards where he sense the feeling was emanating from.
Anakin approached the cause of this feeling. Then, he came to a stop half a meter from the cause of the feeling.
In front of Anakin, set on a small, meter high, round table, resting on its head, with the shaft pointed upward, was Mjolnir. Padme had unwrapped the white cloth from around the hammer, before she placed it on the small table.
The table was located in corner to the left of the window.
Out of curiosity, more than anything else, Anakin held up his right hand, and he slowly reached out towards the shaft of the hammer.
Then, as the tip of his right index finger brushed against the chrome colored shaft, Anakin suddenly felt rage and passion like he had never felt before. The feeling was intoxicating. Then, he suddenly found himself on a world of fire, with him standing on black charred stone, surround by fast moving rivers of lava.
Then, he felt himself begin to burn, and he quickly found himself painfully on fire. And as he breathed, his lung burned as well. He found his vision had changed red, and he realized he was now wearing a heavy suit, mask, and helmet, with his limbs all feeling numb. Anakin realized that each breath he took very labored, with him finding it hard to breathe.
Then, Anakin felt any more rage, with frustration and self-loathing mix into his emotional state as well. While in this emotional state, Anakin could not stop himself as he watched himself committing acts of cruelty a thousand times over. Including, murdered several Jedi. Including, padawans and younglings.
Anakin saw himself commit everything from using the force to choke several people to death. One after another. To using a red blade lightsaber to slice through dozens of people. To watching from the window of a command bridge, as he ordered orbital bombardment by Star Destroyers and starfighter bombers against spacestations, moons, and entire worlds.
Then, Anakin found himself standing on a large command bridge. A command bridge that was large than any Star Destroyer command bridge he knew of had.
He saw on the large viewscreen in front of him the image of a planet. The planet had green forests, white mountain chains, and blue seas.
Suddenly, he saw a green light shot out from beside the viewscreen at the planet. And a second later, the green shot hit the planet, and the planet exploded.
Anakin instantly felt the death screams of millions of people. Their fears. Their pain. And then there silence. All the sensations were felt within the time frame of a few seconds.
Anakin found the strength to move and he jerked back his right hand.
Anakin immediately found himself in the darken bedroom of Padme's suite.
As Anakin stood in place he found the silence of the room to be deafening.
Anakin looked down at himself. He saw that he was fine and unharmed. Though, Anakin found that he was breathing heavily, and his body had broken out into a cold sweat.
Anakin then turned back to look at the bed that he and Padme were sharing. He saw Padme was still laying where she was, as she gently breathed.
Through the force, Anakin could sense that Padme was still asleep.
Anakin thought, “I might have not made a sound. Or, I would have likely awakened Padme.'
Anakin turned back to look at Mjolnir. In the darkened room, he silently gazed at the hammer for several seconds, as he slowly put together what had just happened to himself.
Then, Anakin realized, as he thought, 'Mjolnir just showed me a possible vision of my future. A future where I was horribly injured... And I had become a monster.'
Anakin continued to look at the hammer, as he softly said, “Thank you for the warning, Mjolnir. I will strive to avoid such a fate.”
It was difficult to see in the shadows, but Anakin noticed the hammer gave off a slight sheen from the little light in the room. As if Mjolnir was saying, 'You are welcome.'
Anakin thought, 'Now to head for my suite. I do not want Ahsoka to suspect anything. Fortunately, my keycard is in my right pants pocket. So, entering my suite should not be a problem. When I get my suite, I will get some more rest. I will go the long way to decrease the chance of Ahsoka sensing me.'
Anakin quietly left Padme's bedroom. He walked down a short hallway to the living area. From there, Anakin made it to the door the hallway outside of the suite. There was similar panel on the other side of the door, but the panel on the hallway side required a keycard to open the door.
Anakin used a button on the panel on the wall by the door to have the door slid open. Fortunately, the door slid quietly open.
Anakin walked into the hallway. Anakin waited for the door to slid close to make sure Padme was safe.
After the door slid closed, Anakin turned down the hallway, and headed for an elevator to take him to his suite.
Anakin took the long way to an elevator on the far side of the building from where Ahsoka's suite was located a few floors below where he presently was.
Five minutes later, Anakin made it to his suite. He used his keycard to open the door. Afterward he headed to his bedroom and his bed to get some more sleep.
That morning, Padme awoke to find herself alone in bed. She expected this. She got cleaned up and dressed. And she then joined Anakin and Ahsoka for breakfast, in the hotel restaurant, on the ground floor. With the droids still in Anakin's suite.
Ahsoka was none the wiser, and did not expect Padme and Anakin of anything from the previous night.
After breakfast, Anakin retrieved C3-PO and R2. Padme retrieved Mjolnir, with her covering it with her white cloth, as she traveled with it, through the hotel. Then, Padme, Anakin, Ahsoka, and the droids headed down to the hotel parking lot, where they got into their speeder vehicle.
They were soon seated and buckled up. Mjolnir in the backseat floor of the vehicle
Once everyone was ready, Anakin used his key to start the ignition to the speeder vehicle, and he drove them out of the parking lot.
They headed out, into the sunny, warm day to visit Padme's extended family, and enjoyed their vacation.
The time was just after Mjolnir had given Anakin his vision, and he had left Padme's hotel suite to sleep in the bed of his own hotel suite.
On an immaterial plane of existence, the force was at disagreement with itself.
At first, the force could ignore the interloper, whom was this mysterious far outsider hammer, Mjolnir. But, after the defeat of a powerful champion of the dark, by the hammer and its wielder. And now the hammer attempted to directly influence the chosen one of the force, by warning the chosen one of his possible darker paths in his life, in an attempt to steer to chosen one to a path much closer to the light. This was too much for the force to tolerate.
The dark of the force took issue with the light of the force.
While no verbal words were exchanged. The force was in conflict with itself. The dark protested this sudden shift in balance. And the light conceded the point.
While the force was not allow to directly interfere with the corporeal realms. The force would send proxies to do its bidding. This was the point of people being about to use the force. So the force could use them as its proxies.
As such, a response was needed to main the balance. An emissary of the dark would be needed.
One worthy to fight the light. To fight the thunder, with the fire.
So the one that would not have survived, survived. And of the force itself, the light recoiled in horror, as the darkness soon realized its mistake. But, it was far too late for even the force itself to change the course it had set.
For feminine laughter in green had been summoned to the realm. And a female Loki Laufeyson, a would be queen of a long forgotten island, from a world that no longer existed as it once was, had been given a second chance to live again.
At that moment, while it was still nighttime for those living in the city of Theed, on Naboo, it was sunrise, on a clear day, for those living in the Senate District of the city planet of Coruscant.
There, a very different Loki Laufeyson than usual found herself alive, healthy, and in an empty clearing, on the upper levels of a skyscraper on the city planet of Coruscant.
While not human, Loki was a human looking woman, with fair skin, green eyes, and long, black hair left loose to drape down her back to just below her shoulder blades. She was of average height for a human woman. She was beautiful. She had a physical build that bordered between slender and athletic. The size of her two breasts on her chest were in proper proportion to her body and gender.
Loki looked down at herself. She noticed she was not wearing the same clothing she had been wearing only moments ago, when everything went white. When the world around her turned white.
Loki was no longer wearing a green scale bodysuit that exposed only her upper chest, head, hands, upper arms and shoulders, with a brown fur coat, and knee high brown leather boots.
Instead, the clothing Loki currently wore far more utilitarian. Her brown leather boots were more modern and appeared to be based on hiking style boots. Her green pants, with pockets, were held up by a brown leather belt in the loops of her green pants around her waist. Her belt also held pouches with snap-open fastener buttons. She had green t-shirt that was tucked into her pants. And over her green t-shirt was an open, green cloth jacket, with pockets on the outside and interior, along with a zipper to close the jacket.
All the green clothing matched. And all the brown clothing matched.
While the clothing was comfortable to Loki, Loki also realized the clothing she now wore was of the style for one whom was going to do a lot of traveling.
Then, Loki noticed she was not wearing the golden horn crown she preferred, but lost recently. Though, she felt at the moment that she did not deserve to where any type of crown on to of her brow.
As the warm breeze blew through the strands of her long, loose, black hair, Loki wondered where she was.
Loki looked around to see there was no one on the large walkway balcony she found herself on. Loki found she was standing by a one meter high parapet wall overlooking the building she was on.
Loki looked in front of herself, beyond one meter high parapet wall, and at the sunrise, which showed the cityscape. She entire landscape was covered in buildings. With the buildings being so deep and so thick they created canyons, with the walls and floors of the canyons being the sides of building.
There were large buildings of almost every shape and size which stretched into the sky far higher than any building she had personally ever seen in her life.
In the distance, between the large, tall buildings, there were countless flying vehicles traveling together in the rows of skylanes.
Loki looked down to see the building she was on was several kilometers from the city surface. Or, what passed for the surface. Loki looked up to see that the building went up so high, that from angle of where she stood she could not see how far the building she was inside of reached into the sky.
Loki looked around herself. Then, Loki turned back to look towards the cityscape in front herself.
A few seconds later of thinking, she began to happily laughing as she realized where she was. Along with the comprehension that she had been given a second chance. A second chance to do better. A second chance to properly misbehave.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
To be continued.
“Crest” can mean “crown”. So, the hotel can mean, the “Hidden Crown”. A play on Padme being a former queen and her trying to keep her stay on Naboo quiet.
In the Star Wars franchise a big deal is made out of entering hyperspace. That the spaceships have to be at the exact angle for their destination or there would be problems. This is why astromech droids are used to do the calculations.
Though, if you look at the various maps of the Star Wars galaxy, the hyper-routes twist and curve, requiring ships to make multiple hyperspace jumps. A ship has to exit hyperspace, do the proper calculation, reorientate their to the proper angle and enter hyperspace on the next section of the path to their destination.
In the Star Wars galaxy, hyperspace beacons are placed along the hyper-routes. And it would make sense to have these beacons double for communications satellites.
The hyperspace beacons are also known as jump beacons.
In some cases, hyperspace beacons are not needed due to advances in navigational computers and astromech droids. But, it would stand to reason since the hyperspace beacons are along the hyper-routes. That as a safety measure a ship's navigational computer and astromech droids would check their calculations with the hyperspace beacon they are nearby. If the calculations do not mix further investigation is needed before making the next jump to hyperspace.
Though, I do wonder how all these navigational system compensate for stellar drift (movement of the stars and planets including rotational movement around the orbit of a galaxy) and time dilation issues which vary across a galaxy.
Dooku's droid pilot was built by SoroSuub Corporation. It would stand to reason he would be open to buying other products from that company. And the SoroSuub Corporation had connections to the Separatists. But, only from a deal to customer relationship.
Dooku need a space yacht and I gave him the Horizon Class yacht which looks very cool. Much cooler than the Yacht 3000.
Though, the Horizon Class was released in the New Republic era.
My logic on this explanation is simple.
In real life, yacht building boating companies and high-end car companies hold off on releasing their car designs years after they worked out the bugs for those designs.
So, Dooku bought a prototype Horizon Class space yacht to use. And since no one in the galaxy knows this type of ship, Dooku can come and go without anyone realizing he is the one using the ship.
SoroSuub Corporation builds energy pikes. Also known as force pikes. A electrostaff is a type of energy pike.
In the story, the combat droids Holowan Mechanicals are designing and building are what will become the IG-100 MagnaGuard later in the Clone Wars.
While it is stated the electrostaffs the MagnaGuards used were built by the Baktoid Armor Workshop. Though, Baktoid Armor Workshop specializes in heavily armored vehicles, not handheld weapons.
It is likely that another company, such as SoroSuub Corporation, designed the electrostaffs and Baktoid Armor Workshop was licensed to build the electrostaffs.
This happens a lot in real life weapon manufacturers. One weapon manufacturer creates the design for a firearm. Later on, the weapon design is licensed to other weapon manufacturers to build said weapons.
Given Dooku is a customer of SoroSuub Corporation, and that company builds energy pikes. It is possible that the contract for the electrostaffs for the MagnaGuards came from SoroSuub Corporation.
The “central line” comment during his fight with Thor was a nod to a scene in the Clone Wars Volume II OVA, where Dooku is training Grievous and Dooku makes the comment that Grievous has problems controlling his “central line” in Grievous' fighting style.
Yes. A Loki has now been introduced into the stories. And a female Loki at that. This is the A-Force Loki from Battleworld. She is much different than the other Loki. And I am not just talking about her gender.
This Loki's personality, along with what happened in the A-Force comics, offers such flexibility for her as a character.
If you have not read the A-Force Battleworld five part mini-series, I suggest you do. Because this story will delve into the repercussions of those events for Loki, herself.
The Lokis of Marvel Comics are associated with the color green. This is why they have green eyes and wear green clothing. This is where the title, “Emerald Dawn”, came from for this chapter.
Eventually, as you read this story you will realize why the force realized it was a big mistake on its part to bring this Loki into the Star Wars reality in this story.
Though, I will be leaving clues about this throughout the story.
And “far outsider” is a term for those from outside the galaxy.
I enjoyed the scene between Dooku meeting Padme, in Padme's family home. This allowed me to try a scene where it is not a surprise. Padme realized who it was. And she took measures before confronting Dooku.
Dooku always struck me as the “dark knight” archetype. No. He is not Batman style character. Dooku is a warrior, but also a well mannered villain. He would consider it beneath him to come after someone's family to get to that person, unless he has no other options.
I feel that when Christopher Lee played Count Dooku, he due from his experience in from playing Count Dracula in a number of movies earlier in his life.
While Dooku did not drink blood, or suck the life force from someone. In other ways, Dooku and Dracula were similar. Both were will mannered, tragic villains.
Dracula start of darkness began when his lost his love. While Dooku's start of darkness began when Qui-Gon Jinn was killed by Darth Maul. Qui-Gon was Dooku's student. And given how much Qui-Gon's death effected Dooku, to the point Dooku left the Jedi Order. I would guess Dooku felt that Qui-Gon was like a son to him.
Dooku and Dracula had a nice, civil side. They could do the “grandfatherly” approach with easy. But, both were also very mystically powerful and evil.
This “grandfatherly” approach is the main reason the scene where Dooku was talking to Padme parents, Ruwee and Jobal, worked so well. Only a few Sith could taken such a civil approach in the Star Wars franchise.
Palpatine tries the “grandfatherly” approach, even before he revealed he was Sidious, the act does not work for him. There was always something off. And those around him could tell that something was off about Palpatine's nice guy act.
Both Dooku and Dracula held the title of “Count”.
This may be why Dooku was made a Count. A nod to such inspiration. Count Dooku, Count Dracula.
Dooku also has a sense of honor that most Sith do not. He was not going to kill Padme in her family home. He wanted to one on one duel with Padme. And that is exactly what happened.
This allowed me to off a rare opportunity of having the hero and villain talk in a more civil manner.
And I can see Dooku warning Padme about Sidious' interest in Anakin, as a way for Dooku to make sure he continues to have a job.
Also, there is an European old tradition to tip the executioner. This is so the executioner will pay extra close attention to this job. And he will only have to swing his axe once to behead the condemned individual.
While I did not state this outright. Part of the reason Dooku was having such a civil conversation with Padme before their dual was a form of tipping the executioner. Dooku had no illusions that his duel with Thor could go either way. So, Dooku wants to lessen the chance that if he lost that Thor would immediately kill him instead of painfully drag out his death.
And Dooku had some legitimate concerns to work about this possibilities. Padme has a dark side. I just have not yet had a chance to show Padme's dark side, but I will.
Also, Dooku thought shifting his thoughts from referring to Padme as “Amidala” to “Padme” is to show how he has changed in mind on Padme's value and how he knew desires to make Padme his apprentice.
Though, as I hinted at in this chapter. Sidious realized this and he sabotaged Dooku's efforts by setting him up to fight Padme. Also, this allowed Sidious to better gauge how powered Padme has become.
And due to Dooku's position, Dooku could not openly disobey Sidious' orders without risking Sidious' wrath.
On Padme's family. One of the major problems with Episode Two was how the movie was edited. If they had kept the scenes showing Padme's family, and Padme talking to Anakin while in her family home, that would have been enough character development and material for the love story between Padme and Anakin would have worked much better if those scenes had been included in the Episode Two movie.
As such, I am using those scenes as canon for this story. Because they are wonderful scenes that give Padme more depth as a character and a glimpse of her life between she became a politician.
The delete scenes I am talking about are divided up between the original deleted scenes that came with the release of the Episode Two two disc DVD set and the release of the Blu-Ray versions of the Prequel trilogy.
I stand by my opinion that the major one flaw of the Star Wars Episode II was that the movie was poorly edited. The romantic plot between Anakin and Padme would have worked if the movie producers kept the scenes of Padme introducing Anakin to her family.
If you noticed in the delete scenes, the way Padme lead Anakin to the Naberrie home, that entrance was clearly the back door which lead from an alleyway, a small entryway room that lead directly into the dining room.
Front doors do not immediately lead into a dining room. Some back doors do, but not front doors.
I figured Padme might have done this to be more discreet about her visit with her family. Given she was being hunted at the time.
Since that was the back door, this allowed me to have fun describing the front door, and front of the Naberrie home.
As for Sola, Padme's elder sister and her family being there. In one of the deleted scenes the Sola's young daughters, Ryoo and Pooja, run out the back door to greet Padme. It is clear that Padme called ahead. And it is likely that Sola and her family live somewhere else in Theed.
In the delete scenes released with the prequel trilogy, the front side of the home and yard are shown. The scene is where Anakin and Ruwee talk in private about what is going on with Padme. Anakin eased Ruwee's concerns for his daughter's welfare. This is where Ruwee mentions to Anakin that when Ruwee was younger he worked in the relief movement, he later worked as a builder, and then as a teacher at a university.
This was a very scene of trust being shown between Ruwee and Anakin.
In this chapter, I did my best to describe the front side of the Naberrie home and the front lawn, as shown in that scene.
From all the deleted scenes concerning the Naberrie family, Anakin hit it off very well with the Naberrie family, with Padme's family being welcoming towards Anakin.
Even with everything that happened in the original timeline, it is nice to know that the Naberrie family was not standing in the way of the relationship between Padme and Anakin. The Naberrie family might have supported the relationship if Padme and Anakin had trusted them with that secret.
And before you ask. Padme is not going to get pregnant from sleeping with Anakin during their stay on Naboo.
If you understand what the term “safe time” means you will understand why Padme will not get pregnant.
The discussion between Padme and Dooku, before their fight, offer a lot of opportunities to cover some subjects. Padme and Dooku are civil enough to have such a conversation.
And both before and during the fight, Dooku found to his surprise that he had more in common, and he agreed more often with Padme then he would have expected.
On Thor and Dooku's fight. I wanted a casual fight where both were under constraints where they could not go full out, but instead they had to show their skills in combat, and not raw power.
I really enjoyed writing the three different parts of the duel between Thor and Dooku. And I enjoying showing different sides and abilities of both Thor and Dooku.
Also, much like Darth Vader is shown in the original timeline to be an near unstoppable juggernaut, I wanted to show at the end of duel, when Dooku realized he could not defeat Padme, nor even slow her down, that when Padme wants to, Thor can be just as unstoppable a juggernaut as Darth Vader can be. If not more so.
At which point, Dooku realized his only option to survive was to escape. Dooku accomplished his escape with skill, planning and preparation. Even before the battle began, he has planned out his escape. This is to show the tactical genius mind that Dooku has.
In addition, in Episode One, the Galactic Senate and Jedi High Council did leave Qui-Gon Jinn in a bind over saving the planet Naboo from the Trade Federation.
From a certain point of view, one could consider the Galactic Senate and Jedi High Council as being partly responsible for Qui-Gon Jinn's death.
This point of view could be used by Dooku to help rationalize his actions against both the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order. For Dooku, part of his reasons for his actions is that he might believe that in doing so he is honoring his deceased student and friend, Qui-Gon Jinn.
It would make sense that Dooku knows how to use the force to enhanced his abilities, and use the force to quickly physically recover. Dooku using the force to enhance his body to physical overpower someone was directly shown at the end of Episode Two when Dooku overpowered Obiwan, whom was using two hands on his lightsaber, while Dooku was only using his right hand.
Also, given Dooku has been stated to have once been one of the best students Yoda every taught. And one of the best of the Jedi ever. He would know about the history of the vibro-katanas and the Black Solace.
In addition, I did enjoy that spinning axe attack. The only reason Padme does not use it often is that it leave her vulnerable to telekinetic attacks. And she is not so ruthless to use such an attack against people in battle, unless she believes those she is fighting really deserve such ruthlessness.
For Padme, her battle with Dooku was very cathartic, and she worked out a lot of issue she had with him over him trying to kill her, and him getting her friends killed.
Though, Dooku thought. Padme's evil laugh during that scene does make one wonder if she has become a bad guy and no one noticed. Not even Padme, herself.
The trial Padme mentioned in this chapter that involved Anakin and herself was from a delete scene at the end of Episode II, on Geonosis, between Padme and Anakin's capture and them being taking to the arena.
The delete scene was released on the Star Wars Episode II DVD set.
Also, I like how Padme point out the comparisons between her and Dooku almost caused Dooku to laugh and by him laughing, he would have given away how they are connected to Sidious.
Now about Obiwan. He is walking a tightrope between his orders from above and protecting Padme, Anakin, and Ahsoka from possible political blow back.
Also, from the movies, the Clone Wars series, and various novels, he is clearly not above it all.
Obiwan seeks to be a role model for his students. But, left to his own devices, he can be just as irresponsible as his student. If he was not careful. And he realizes this.
Also, except for Yoda. In the Star Wars series, Obiwan is shown talking to Mace. It stands that Mace would be the one to talk to Obiwan about off the record matters concerning the Jedi Order, and the Jedi High Council.
And they have a friendship to the point where they can tell jokes to each other.
While I jumped back and forth doing the last part of this chapter. I felt if I weaved the separate plot strings between each other, it would have ruined the mood I was creating for each set of characters.
And speaking of characters. The more I write this story. The more I realize that Mjolnir is a character in its own right. With its own thoughts and feelings. Though, it likely thinking in a different way than you and I.
The latest comics of the Female Thor comics have hinted on the point. And I went with that idea.
As such, the Mjolnir in this story likes Padme as a person. That is why the hammer allows Padme to use its power. Also, the hammer wishes to help keep Padme happy. So, the hammer warned Padme's lover, Anakin, of a possible darkness in their future.
This darkness will be addressed in future chapters.
Like I said, I am altering the timeline. And it may not end up being a timeline where the main characters have good outcomes.
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.