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Burned By The Dark

By AlexaSW

Drama / Action

Chapter 1

Ready for this, Caish?

He heard her scoff in his head. Puh-lease! I was born ready.

Anakin chuckled quietly and, with his sister in the starfighter beside him and his Master in the one behind, he raced for the Separatist flagship dead ahead. Having just returned from the sieges in the Outer Rim, it felt unspeakably amazing to be away from the battles and the following negotiations, back into his element: the air.

Keep your head in the game, bro.

You keep yours in the game.

Acacia laughed at him. Mine's always in the right place. It's you we've got to worry about, Chosen One.

He rolled his eyes, ignoring his sister to prove that his head truly was in the game and completely disregarding the Chosen One comment.

Instead, he concentrated on shooting up the droids that flew at them, seemingly quite determined to keep the Chancellor in their Master's grasp. After hearing that General Grievous had captured Chancellor Palpatine, Obi-Wan had contacted the Jedi Council and devised the brilliant plan they were now executing.

Acacia's laugh sounded in Anakin's head. You think it's brilliant and you didn't come up with it? I'm shocked.

Shut it, Caish. Head in the game, remember?

She just laughed again and he chuckled as well, simultaneously piloting around a missile that had just been sent to blow him to oblivion. Even though he and his sister used telepathy to speak with each other all the time, he was beginning to rethink that strategy, seeing as it was just a bit distracting.

But then again, who else could do something this awesome? Never before in the Jedi Order had there ever been two human siblings trained at once. And since, according to the holobook, Ancient Abilities of the Force, humans had to be closely related, Force-Sensitive and trained in the Force, to be able to connect to each other's mind on such a level, they were sure that no one else could do what they could.

Plus, it was beyond fun to have conversations Obi-Wan didn't know about.

Anakin smiled, easily avoiding yet another kamikaze droid. "This is where the fun begins."

"I'm not sure," Obi-Wan grunted, dodging several droids at once, "that I quite agree with your idea of fun, Anakin."

The two other Jedi laughed. "I don't think anyone does, Master," Acacia said. "As we both know, Anakin is one-of-a-kind."

"Very, very one-of-a-kind." Obi-Wan replied, tone as dry as Tatooine.

"Yeah, yeah you're both hilarious. Don't we have a mission to complete?"

Acacia snickered at her brother. "Sounds like someone's getting a little sore."

Obi-Wan chuckled as well. "Nonetheless, he is correct. Concentrate, you two."

As if that were possible for you, Acacia.

Speak for yourself, Skywalker. You've got two missiles on your tail.

Watch and learn, Padawan. Watch and learn.

"Okay, R2," he murmured to his astromech, "Let's do it."

The little droid squeaked, beeping excitedly in reply. Together, the droid-man team sent the starfighter swirling into a corkscrew, their circles growing tighter and tighter. The rockets followed suit, spinning precisely behind them in their ever-shrinking circles, until finally, BOOM! The missiles crashed into each other, exploding in a show of fire and debris.

"We got 'em, R2." I hope you kept a good eye out, Caish.

Her brooding silence as she executed the same move, only with great difficulty and nearly crashing her own ship into one of the projectiles, was response enough.

"Careful, Acacia," Anakin said into his headpiece. "Not all of us can be so amazing."

"Pride is the way to the Dark Side, Skywalker."

Obi-Wan laughed, shaking his head at his padawans, both current and former. "Pay attention, you two! No more talking, at all, unless it is absolutely necessary."

He contentedly took their muteness for a, "Yes, Master."

The distance to the flagship was small, but the droids, explosives, and plasma bolts certainly did their job in stretching out the travel time. Anakin tried to keep his concentration on Grievous' ship, but certain simultaneously occurring events made it difficult

"Ahhh!" The last screams of the clones behind them tore at the hearts of the Jedi. Obi-Wan set his face grimly and concentrated on shooting down the bomb shells coming at him. Acacia bit her lip, desperately trying to hold in the emotion she knew would destroy her if she gave it the chance.

But Anakin simply couldn't ignore it. He heard their final cries and felt a heart-wrenching tug deep inside of him. To some, the clones were just that: clones. Beings manufactured solely to be killed in the Republic's war. But to him, they were far more than that. They were people. His comrades in battle. Though officially, Anakin was loyal to the Republic, the Senate, and foremost, the Jedi Order, his true allegiance was to living beings. His family, his friends, and all the many others he'd decided to care about.

"I'm gonna go help them out."

"No, Anakin!"Obi-Wan shouted. "They're doing their jobs so that we can do ours."

"But-"

"Anakin!"

Painfully, his heart assaulting him with every movement, he put the yellow starfighter back on course to the ship ahead. He didn't need his sister to say a word to know that she felt exactly the same as he did. But they had a job to finish. So what else could they do?

But Grievous made sure that there was no time for them to contemplate their grief. A swarm of buzz droids shot out from the airship, encircling Obi-Wan's plane with amazing speed, completely hiding it from the view of the younger Jedi before they could even blink.

"Master!" Acacia screamed, putting two plasma bolts through the droid space-fighters before zooming down to help him, Anakin following swiftly in her wake. They arrived just in time to see R4, Obi-Wan's astromech, flying through the cosmos, though unfortunately, not of his own accord.

"Anakin! Acacia! I can't see anything! My ship is covered with them!"

The brown-haired Jedi frowned in concentration, angling his ship to align his guns with the droids. "Move to the right, so I can get a clear shot of them."

"Anakin, don't!" But Anakin, who was occasionally hard of hearing, went ahead and shot at the droids. In return for his good friend's efforts, Obi-Wan received three very large, very black, burn marks on his formerly-new starfighter. And the buzz droids continued to scuttle over him, completely undeterred, purposefully going about tearing his ship apart.

"Hold your fire! You're not helping here!"

Anakin pulled up quickly. "I agree. Bad idea."

"There's nothing more you two can do for me! Leave me here! Complete the mission! Rescue the Chancellor!"

"No way!"

"We're not leaving without you, Master," Anakin agreed. "Acacia, let's try to push them off."

"Gotcha."

Together, the secret siblings pushed their starfighters, one on either side of their Master's ship, scooping the droids off and dropping them into the depths of outer-space.

"See?" Anakin said confidently, pretending he wasn't as shaken as the rest of them with Obi-Wan's near-death experience. "I knew we could do it."

But neither of the others replied, because, now that the mechanical cloud of droids had cleared, they could see it. General Grievous' Flagship, The Invisible Hand.

Which, interestingly enough, was incredibly visible to them at the moment.

Anakin grinned, pushing his engines to full throttle as he shot towards the infamous airship.

"Oh, Anakin," his sister called. "I don't mean to bother you, but have you noticed the shields are still up?"

"Shut up, Caish," he growled, pulling back with precise abruptness and blasting out the shield generators, all while mentally calculating the distance between their ships and the quickly closing hatch doors. It's gonna be close.

He grinned.

The three of them pushed forward, silently concentrating as they forced their crafts to top speed, skidding just between the creaking doors as the durasteel slammed behind them. The screeching sound of scraping metal and the stench of burning ship-hulls filled their nostrils as the three popped out of their fighters concurrently and landed just clear of the crashes.

But the excitement didn't end there. Grievous, wonderful host that he was, had been kind enough to send them a welcome party. But the Jedi were hardly pleased with the welcome of blaster bolts whizzing by their faces and disposed of the welcoming committee within moments.

Easy as pie. Acacia thought to Anakin, grinning and sheathing her lightsaber as the final Separatist footman fell before her.

Easier.

"Beep, beep."

Obi-Wan rolled his eyes toward the little droid. "He's going to make too much noise."

"He can't help it," Anakin defended R2, before glancing back Anakin glanced back at the astromech. "R2, I need you to stay with the ships."

His droid squeaked dejectedly, but obediently returned to their smoldering crafts.

"Where to?" Acacia asked.

"That elevator." Anakin pointed. "According to the plans, it should lead to wherever the Chancellor's tracking signal was coming from."

"Is it just me or does this situation have the feel of a trap?" Acacia asked.

"Oh, it's definitely a trap," her Master replied as he stepped into the elevator.

"And we're just going to spring it?"

Obi-Wan smirked as the elevator began to move. "We're going to do more than that."


Count Dooku watched the three of them dispatch the droids with ease and then entering the elevator. He smiled, his lips pulling back from his teeth, stretching over them like the sadistic grin of a hungry zillo beast.

"How far should we allow them to go?"

He grimaced, pulling away from the putrid breath of his companion, General Grievous. "We will allow them to find the Chancellor."

The General laughed incredulously, which sent him into a coughing fit that racked and rattled what was left of his lungs.

Oh if only he'd just choke and die already.

When the cyborg had finally regained control, he said, "But they will rescue him!"

"It is all a part of our Master's plan."

"Is Sidious sure of what he is doing?"

The very suggestion sent the boiling rage in Count Dooku's chest straight over the edge, and he threw the white-plated cyborg against the wall. "Do you dare to question our Master's plan?" His even tone only just hid the fury simmering just below the surface.

But the General was not easily intimidated. He rose without difficulty and stalked over to face the much-shorter human. "Yes."

Dooku glared, before turning on his heel and walking away. "You shouldn't. It may be your last mistake, as it was of your predecessors."

The General scoffed. "They were imbeciles. I am irreplaceable."

The Count turned in the elevator, giving him that same eerie grin. "I'm sure they thought so, too."

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