I knelt before the holoimage of my Master. His eyes were displeased as I stared at him through the red tint of this hideous mask I have to wear to live. Sidious was looking down at me at me as if I were a large, revolting insect. I pretend to be humble before him.
But in my heart, I hate him.
It was he that put me in this suit of horror, this never-ending nightmare of pain. This suit, which keeps me living, was his way of keeping me under his control by locking the most power Jedi in galaxy in box. If the Force had not been with me all these years, I surly would have went mad from the pain and restrictions of it a long time ago.
There were other ways of saving my life after Mustafar, easier, less painful ways. Sidious thought the pain would bring me closer to the Dark Side. He was right; it has, in many ways. But it has made my pure unadulterated hate for him grow as well. It clouds my every thought. I would like nothing more than to toss him in a pool of hot lava and incase in him the same contraption.
He would not survive it.
But I have.
One day, Sidious will be dead. It will be me that kills him. I use the pain and it makes me stronger. I’m already more powerful than he. But I wait, bide my time, sucking knowledge from him and waiting. When the time is right, I will strike him down and his Empire will be mine.
It should have been from the start.
Knelling in front of his glowing holo made the mechanical joints of my knees throb excruciatingly. Sidious knows this and in his sick way, enjoys it. He leaves me there, saying nothing, while I bite my lip until it bleeds. I felt the blood run down my chin.
“Why is that girl still with you, Lord Vader?” he said in the harsh, cracked voice.
“She can a be a great advantage for us, my Master,” I replied.
“I hardly see how. You were foolish to bring her from her time to ours. If she finds out who you are and somehow returns to her own time, you can see what trouble that can cause. Kill her now before its too late.” He paused.
Sidious in my Master, I don’t deny that, but only to a certain degree. I am still my own man. I am not his slave and never will be. What I chose to do in my own time is none of his concern. I refused to explain myself or my actions to him on this.
Suddenly, he laughed. “You are still a foolish man, Vader. Will you ever learn?” A pause. “Fine, do you what you like but remember this: if I sense that this girl in any way is threat to my Empire and all I have built, I will kill her myself and then you will have to deal with me. Is that clear?”
“Yes, my Master,” I said, glaring, wishing he could see my face and that particular expression.
The holo faded and I pulled myself back to my full height. Hate welled up in me and I slammed my fist down on the console. Sparks flew from it where I had crushed it.
20070222An Interesting Discovery
Ignited my saber and gave a quick look around. The room was bare of anything except for a large structure in the middle of the room covered with a tarp. It wasn’t what I was hoping to find. Not at that point, anyway.
I walked over it and pulled the tarp off it. It was a statue of a woman, but not just any woman. It was beautiful and atrocious at the same time. One half of the statue was a Jedi with soft features and kind eyes. The other half was a Sith with a hard facial appearance and hateful eyes. Her arms were stretched, reaching up to the sky, long waves of hair spiraled down her back.
I stood there staring trying to put the face to a name and came up with nothing. I’m not a good judge of art but this was magnificent, even it did radiate Dooku’s aura. It was obviously his; that he had made this with is own hands. But who was she? And what was her connection with Dooku, if there was one. She could be someone made up from his mind or memory.
She was quite beautiful and familiar in someway.
“General Skywalker?” A voice down below called. I stuck my head out the door in the floor. General Tarvis was standing in the middle of the room, looking a bit confused to say the least.
“Up here,” I called down.
He looked up. “I’m not even going to ask you got yourself up there.”
I smiled. “Get a ladder, there’s something you should see up here.”
He nodded and disappeared. I went back to the statue and stared at it some more, trying the to place the face. Tarvis climbed up and came to my side, whistling softly.
“Impressive,” he said. “Any idea whom this is?”
I shook my head. “Not a clue. But it’s hidden up here for a reason.” I lifted a small holorecorder and captured the image, moving close for her face.
“Dooku is talented. Twisted, but talented.” He snapped his fingers. “The reason I came looking for you. You have a transmission from Coruscant.”
I nodded, absently. I could sense there was little more in here. Moving around the statue once more I followed Tarvis back down.
“Make sure no one comes in here,” I told him before leaving him. “I don’t want anyone touching that statue.”
“You got it, boss man.”
~ ~ ~
Back at the control center, I went straight to the commutations console and pulled up the transmission. It was audio only.
Don’t ask questions. You won’t like the answers.
My eyes narrowed. What was this? The voice was feminine and very low in tone.
I looked at the clone trooper behind me.
“Where did this come from?” I asked.
“Somewhere on the planet, sir,” he said.
“Trace it, now.”
I listened to it again while I waited.
“General Skywalker, this is odd, but it came from the area you were just in, sir,” the trooper tells me.
I raised an eyebrow.
I love a challenge and this mission I knew was going to be one. First thing I did was inspect the regions and the troopers at each location. Then I regrouped the troops, sending some of Commander Cody’s men to reinforce the others. I kept a small group and Cody with me. Cody is good to have at your back; he is one step ahead of the other clones, and faster.
Then I spoke to the new Geonosian leader. General Tarvis stood silently behind me as I spoke to Gebb with the help of a translator. I had expected him to be hostile but he wasn’t. He was for peace even if was under the symbol of the Republic. Whatever I thought was best he agreed that he would go along with it. His only plea was that his people not be hurt if all possible.
I can’t help but to enjoy that feeling of authority. With Obi-Wan around, it was usually him who approved the final decisions. Even if I didn’t like it. The perks of being a Jedi Master and higher ranked General. Now it was mine turn.
“If the men have to discharge their weapons it will be to stun only,” I told Gebb. “Unless necessity calls for a different approach.”
He bowed and made several clicks in his language which I took for ‘Thank you.’
After leaving him and General Tarvis I entered what used to be the control center for the Separatists leaders. The place reeked of Dooku; I could feel his presence as if he was actually in the room with me. I felt a scowl come to my lips.
I did a search. I saw nothing that we didn’t all ready know about that Dooku could have left behind. Yet, I felt there was something I couldn’t see, something just out of my sight. So, I stood in the middle of the room and closed my eyes, letting my mind and body tune in with Force.
My eyes came flipping open and turned my head to the ceiling above. At first glance there seemed to be nothing special about it, just stalemate. But what I sensed, however slight, had come from up there.
I eyed the ceiling carefully. Where the ceiling curved down into the wall, I noticed what appeared to be a small ledge. Easily missed if you weren’t looking for it. There was little space to stand on, getting up there and staying there would be tricky. For anyone that wasn’t a Jedi, that is.
I tossed my robe on the nearest console and positioned myself with my back facing the ledge. Using the Force, I jumped up and back flipped, landing on the ledge with only my heels and perfect balance to hold me in place.
What I had sensed was in fact a secret panel in the ceiling, carefully concealed In the rock. There didn’t seem to be a handle on the rock panel but I could see the outlines of the door. I debated on whither to use the Force to open the door or cut around the edges with my lightsaber.
Seeing how my arms were helping me balance, I opted for the lightsaber. I looked down and used the Force to lift the saber off my belt. I moved it to the rock panel and ignited the blade. Following the outline, I cut the door away, sparks and shards flying everywhere. The door fell to the floor with a loud bang.
Now I could have jumped back to the floor and jumped straight up the open panel but where is the fun in that? I leaned forward, pushed myself off the ledge, leaping and grabbing the hollow edges the open panel with my hands. My left hand slipped but my right, the mechanical one gripped hard to hold my weight.
I looked up into the darkness of the hole above me with curious eyes.
Geonosis, planet of the insectoids. The whole planet is basically a nest, a huge bug nest. At first you think the planet was inhabited, that is until you land and get surrounded by the nasty things.
It was here that their leader, Poggle the Lesser, became a member of the Separatists Counsel, and built most of the droid army. The planet recourses were at Count Dooku’s disposal, and for a time was used as he base of operations. That is, until we came in.
Last time I was here, Padme was with me, attempting a rescue of Obi-Wan. It didn’t quite go as planned and we ended up prisoners ourselves. I was more worried about Padme than myself. I shouldn't, she can take care of herself in most situations, but I can't help it.
We faced some impossible odds that day. When the Jedi landed and began the assault, we lost a large number of them. I was determined, despite the odds, that I wasn’t going to die and nether were Padme or Obi-Wan. I admit, right before Yoda arrived with clones, I had a bad feeling I couldn’t stop it.
I lost my arm here, when I faced Dooku. Or as Obi-Wan calls it: attacked Dooku without thinking. I can still feel the Force lightning he used on me. You don’t forget that kind of pain. Someone asked me once, which hurt more, losing my arm by saber or the lightning? The lightning.
When I exited the transport the first thing that I noted was the smell. There is such a fowl odor here that it makes you want to use your saber and remove your nose. It is that bad. I could say I have smelt worse but that would be a lie.
Poggle has yet to be located. I wonder if he knows the extent of what the Republic has done to his beloved factories. What once made droids now makes weapons, armor, and ships. I think it was fair trade. Work for the Republic or suffer without means of income for their people. That doesn’t mean they hate us any less. I could feel hate filled eyes on me as I walked with Commander Cody to the control center, a line of troopers behind us.
General Garvl Tarvis met me at the entrance. He was an older man with a face covered in scars. Rumor was, this man had flown his ship into a enemy ship as it was firing on Republic troops to stop the attack, and had lived the hideous explosions and crash. I knew him well enough to believe it was true. He was all soldier.
"It makes my eyes glad to see you, Anakin Skywalker. I was hoping they would send you," General Tarvis said.
I bowed and smiled. "General Tarvis, this not where I would expect to you be posted."
He clapped my back with a large hand. "Good thing I am here. These Termites are getting out of hand. Revolts, protests, attacks, they want us out of here."
"How bad is it?" I asked.
General Tarvis shook his head. "The Counsel sugar coated it, didn’t they?"
"I don't understand what you mean."
He waved his hand. "Let me guess, they just sent you here and didn't you much, right? Come on, let me show you."
We walked over to a console. He pulled up the reports of the last few weeks. My eyes narrowed. Things here were much worse than the Counsel had led me to believe. In fact, it was a down right disaster waiting to happen.
"They should have sent more Jedi Knights with you, Anakin," General Tarvis told me.
I looked up at him with a grin. "I think we can handle this."
I rushed down the hallway to the turbolift to meet up with Commander Cody in the hanger bay with my eyes narrowed. I had just had the fastest, most uncomfortable conversation with Padme. As I predicted, she wasn't pleased. That sad expression on her face was going to haunt my dreams. I ended up getting snappy with her, which I hate doing because I love her. But sometimes, like I get, she doesn't understand.
I can't just tell the Counsel no, I can't go. My wife would like to spend more time with me, can I? I have thought about it, however. Sometimes, I get so frustrated I want just to lay it out for the Counsel and be done with it. But that would be one disastrous move for both of us if I did.
I can still be the Chosen One and fulfill my destiny if I’m not in the Jedi Order, can't I?
At least we would still have each other.
I rounded the corner and ran into the something short and small. It fell back and I had to step over them to keep from crushing them under my boots. I looked down at the small red headed youngling at my feet.
"Excuse me, Master Skywalker," Belda Pinik said, looking up at me.
I run her over and she apologizes to me, and then calls me Master. I had to smile at that. I like the sound of it. Master Skywalker.
I leaned down, picked Belda up and placed her on her feet. "I ran you over, little one, I'm the one that is sorry. Are you hurt?"
"No, sir," Belda said, blinking at me. "Are you hurt?"
Ruffling her hair, I stood up, my annoyance gone. Nothing like plowing down a nine-year-old to snap you back into focus. I smiled at down at her. "I'm fine. Thank you for asking."
Belda smiled and bowed. "Excuse me, Master, I have to go class now. I'm late."
I waved her on her way. Being late for class was grounds for trouble. I should know, I was late a lot. Extra lightsaber practice was never much of a punishment for me. Washing dishes in the kitchens, however, was.
I watched her disappear before I headed to the turbolift.
- - -
"General Skywalker, all the men are on board and everything is ready when you are," Commander Cody told me as I walked up the ramp of the Republic cruiser.
"Well, let's get this bird in the sky then, Cody," I said.
I gave one last glance around the hanger, that uneasy feeling still in my guts. I almost expected D.J. to be on the catwalk above, ready to tease me about keeping my head. Of course, she wasn’t there. I frowned. There was still no word on her but I know her well enough to know she can take care of her self.
Inside the ship, I watched the ramp close, thinking about all the others that had disappeared in the last few months. I really feel that there should be more of effort by the Counsel to find the missing Jedi. And if there is, it's just another thing I'm painfully unaware of.
With a deep sigh, I turned and walked to the bridge.
Anakin’s Blog Reloaded