Solstice Knight

Titan

Even a pacifist will take up arms to defend what he considers truly important - Jay Masterson 2013

Leon was sitting on a rusted steel crate his leg restlessly bouncing as he and Master Luminara waited for the other Jedi to arrive.

The Mirialan Jedi was sitting atop the crate next to him with her legs crossed and her eyes closed silently meditating, "Calm your self Leon".

"I'm perfectly calm Master" he replied his leg still jumping with a mind of its own, "I'm just not a fan of waiting when something this important is on the line".

She opened her eyes and turned to him, "They will be here soon have faith and try to relax" she spoke in an almost motherly voice.

Leon looked away from her with an embarrassed almost ashamed look on his face. Ever since Master Luminara saved him as a child on Dantooine he had always looked up to her and while he was her padawan he learned a great deal from her until the Clone Wars began and his training was halted. Even after he was reassigned to Kit Fisto and then again to Mace Windu he always considered her as his only Master and often looked to her for advice.

He revered her even after he was no longer her padawan she always supported him and helped him when he needed advice. His admiration for her exceeded his admiration for his other two masters, he respected all of them, but she was more important to him and he knew in the depths of his mind if such a situation were to ever occur he would become her shield protecting her without a second thought. He began to wonder how far his admiration of his former master went he holds everyone in his life as important, but there were only a few that he had exceptionally strong affection toward. He knew he had strong feelings for Ahsoka and Thalia he still wasn't sure if he loved them or not, but he knew that he would stop at nothing to help either of them should the need ever arise.

"Do I feel the same about Master Luminara?" he wondered, "No…She's important to me, but I don't love her" he looked back to her as she continued meditating, "If anything she reminds me of my mother" a smile appeared on his face. Maybe that's why he had such strong feelings for her the constant support and advice she would give him molded her into a surrogate mother figure in his eyes.

Master Luminara opened her eyes, "They're here".

Sensing the approaching Jedi Leon jumped off his crate, "Finally".

Running over to the troop transport shuttles he watched as Master Windu and Obi-Wan came from one while Anakin and Ahsoka exited the other.

"It took you guys long enough" he called to them.

"I'm afraid we were held up" Obi-Wan began, "After we informed the Supreme Chancellor of the situation and he insisted on us bringing clone backup".

From each transport a large group of clones stepped off one being led by Commander Cody and the other by Captain Rex. Moving over the clones Leon laid his eyes on a single clone with a purple star emblem on the side of his helmet.

"Edge" the young padawan said walking over to the clone, "Together again".

Seeing Leon the clone greeted him, "Good to see you again sir looks like we're meeting a lot these days".

Leon smiled, "Is the rest of the team with you?" the clone nodded, "Good then your team is with me".

Master Windu began briefing them on the plan, "We believe the Separatists most likely attacked our base here to either claim or destroy the weapons storage facility. Assuming they haven't destroyed it yet they have a clear advantage in firepower. We still haven't been able to contact the troop barracks or any other part of the base and scans of the area are coming back scrambled leading us to believe there is a jammer present".

Leon flashed back to his mission to Dantooine and the droid that nearly killed him when he found the jamming device.

Anakin took over, "There are too many unknowns for us to come up with a solid plan so we're going to split our forces and hit the base at once. Obi-Wan, Master Windu and I will go in with the drop ships and attempt an aerial insertion. Master Luminara you'll lead the ground assault with Ahsoka and Leon if we attack from the ground and the air we can catch them off guard".

"Doubt it" Leon said, "They already know we're here they just aren't doing anything about it".

"What makes you so sure?" Obi-Wan asked him.

"Why else would they set up jamming devices?" he asked him in return, "They're trying to lead us in. A base that suddenly stops reporting in and suddenly has a jamming device stopping us from getting accurate scans of the area they knew we would notice and investigate. They're waiting for us".

"It doesn't change anything I'm afraid" Obi-Wan told him, "Whether we have the element of surprise or not we cannot allow the Separatists to use or destroy the weapons storage".

Luminara looked over to Anakin, "I assume you have some means for us to lead the ground assault?"

Anakin smiled at her and called for a third transport to come in. The new transport was filled with two dozen swoop bikes giving the ground force their transportation. Leon looked out into the distance in the direction of the silent Republic base, he could sense her. Thalia was still there he could feel her presence despite the distance between them.

Ahsoka walked over to him as the clones unloaded the swoop bikes, "You look troubled by something, what's wrong?"

Leon didn't look at her, "Thalia is here".

Ahsoka's eyes widened she couldn't believe him, "Are you sure? Why would she be here?"

"You were gone by the time I got back from Felucia, but we found a synthetic lightsaber crystal there. Thalia made it and…" his expression suddenly turned dark he was still struggling to accept the truth of what happened to Thalia, "She's Count Dooku's new apprentice".

Ahsoka was speechless she didn't know Thalia that well only having met her once, but it was obvious she would never ally with Dooku of all people.

Leon turned around and walked over to one of the bikes waiting for them, "I don't care what happens to the base. I'm going to save her".

Ahsoka stepped in front of him once she saw the look in his eyes she knew she wasn't going to be able to stop him, "Leon…Just promise me you'll be careful" she lowered her head speaking almost sadly, "I know she's important to you just be careful you're not alone on this. I'll help you if you need it".

Leon appreciated the offer, but he couldn't accept it when it came time to confront Thalia on what had happened he wouldn't be able to accept help from anyone this was his responsibility and his alone. He thanked Ahsoka as he turned on the engine to the swoop bike consumed in his own thoughts about the situation he wanted to take off right now to save Thalia the more he waited the more he worried he would be too late. Seconds turned to hours for him and finally Luminara rode out in front of him reminding him to stay close as she gave the order for the ground team to move out.

Following his former master Leon narrowed his eyes as they sped past the massive scrapyards around them the collective roar of the engines rolling across the mesa like thunder. It didn't take them long only a half hour of riding and the Republic base came into view. It was hard to tell from so far away, but it looked like the air defense towers were sill operational meaning the air insertion would be in danger if the towers weren't taken care of first. Taking one hand off the handlebars of the bike Leon activated his lightsaber speeding forward despite Luminara telling him to stay with the group. When he entered the range of the base the automated turrets began firing at him the barrage of laser fire zipped by him as he banked side to side taking in a deep breath he stood up placing his foot on the back of the bike's seat.

Jumping off his swoop bike and high into the air he twisted his body around grabbing his still moving bike with the Force and lifting it up. Twisting his torso again he roared as he turned to face the turrets and threw the swoop bike at them landing it on top of one the ensuing explosion destroying another turret on both sides. Landing on his feet he rushed toward the front gate juking to the side, spinning and weaving his way through the laser fire until he closed in on the turrets. With a single swing from his lightsaber each turret fell the final one destroyed by the ground forces as they caught up with him.

The gate opened and a battalion of battle droids began firing at them the three Jedi quickly defending themselves deflecting the blaster shots while their clone backup returned fire. While the ground forces were locked in the firefight Obi-Wan contacted them saying they were approaching the area the transmission cutting as the AD towers began firing at the approaching aircraft. Hearing the massive guns firing at the drop ships Leon made a sharp pivot to the side and sprinted in front of his allies cutting down the droids in front of him as he locked his eyes on the AD tower.

Droid after droid turned to fire at him as he rushed through them his silver lightsaber flashing through the air easily striking down each target. Raising his weapon over his shoulder he brought it down at an angle cutting off a droid's arm and taking its E-5 blaster rifle setting it to full auto as he deactivated his lightsaber returning the Jedi weapon to his belt. Turning on his heel he began firing the rifle at the droids his Jedi senses warning him of the enemy fire allowing him to react in time ducking and weaving around their shots. Shooting down a few droids he spun to the side again reactivating his lightsaber in mid turn and slicing through a pair of droids at the end of the turn.

He was now on the enemy's flank; behind him was the door to the AD tower and in front of him the side of the enemy battalion. The outside rank of the droids turned to engage him their shots being deflected back by the silver weapon flashing through the air. Stepping back Leon opened the door to the AD tower and slid inside closing it behind him now safe from the droids outside he swiftly climbed the ladder leading to the gun controls cutting open the panels of the console he reached in and pulled out a fistful of wires cutting the power to the gun.

With the AD gun neutralized Leon returned outside jumping from the opening in the tower and landing at the outside flank of the droids. The drop ships landed unloading the Jedi and clones into the fight. With Anakin, Obi-Wan and Master Windu joining him Leon left his defensive state and leapt forward cutting his way into the droid ranks with his fellow Jedi at his back. With four Jedi and a small battalion of clones the Separatist droids began falling one after another until the last one was surrounded by the six Jedi. Dropping its weapon the droid held its arms up declaring its surrender.

Leon deactivated his lightsaber and walked over to it placing his hand on its steel shoulder, "Very well I acknowledge your surrender". The droid hung its head in relief not noticing Leon picking up its blaster rifle, "I didn't say I accepted it". Shooting the droid in the head Leon watched it fall and dropped the rifle at his feet.

Hundreds of droids laid destroyed they had to have destroyed the bulk of the Separatist forces on the base. The troop barracks had been burned to the ground, but the weapons storage and main facility were still standing.

"With this many droids I don't think we'll find any survivors" Anakin admitted gloomily.

Leon swiftly turned around staring at the roof of the main facility there was nothing there, but he definitely sensed something. Using his hand to shield his eyes from the sunlight he glared at the relay dish on the facility's roof there was something there he could still feel its faint presence a presence of pure darkness.

"Leon" Luminara said placing her hand on his shoulder, "Is everything alright?"

"Something is out here watching us" he noted, "No nothing let's hurry up Thalia is still in danger".

Moving past his former master he looked to Edge, "Edge grab your men and come with me we're going to sweep room to room down to the detention block".

"Leon" Master Windu called to him, "Do not forget why we're here".

"I know why I'm here Master Windu" he replied barely looking over his shoulder, "I'm here to save my friend and anyone else that's still alive. Everything else isn't my concern".

Master Windu called to him again, but his padawan continued toward the main facility ignoring his master's words.

"We shouldn't let him go alone" Obi-Wan said, "Master Luminara he seems to respond well to you would you mind looking after him while we clean up the rest?"

Luminara bowed her head to him, "Of course Master Kenobi".

Luminara followed after Leon with Edge asking permission for him and his men to follow as well. Master Windu glared at his padawan's back as he opened the door to the main facility; Leon allowed his attachment to this girl to cloud his judgment. He stood in clear defiance of his master and his orders with no trace of regret in his mind over what he was doing if he continued as he was he would surely fall to the dark side.

Since Leon and Luminara were sweeping the ground and lower levels of the main facility Anakin volunteered to sweep the upper floors with Ahsoka leaving Master Windu and Obi-Wan to take the weapons storage. The Jedi split up taking a team of clones with them in each direction as they headed for their target areas.

"Hey Leon hold on a second" Anakin called to them after he entered the main facility, "I understand how worried you are about your friend. Just remember to be careful alright?"

Leon nodded without looking at him, "I will Master Skywalker…thank you. You two be careful as well ok?"

Anakin looked to Master Luminara, "May the Force be with you both".

The two groups went their separate ways, but just as Leon opened the door to the sub levels Ahsoka called to him, "Leon" she waited for him to turn to her, "If you find her bring her back in one piece ok? I'll be waiting for both of you".

Finally even though it was faint Leon smiled before descending into the first out of three sub levels. The lights were on, but dim and flickering barely illuminating a few feet around them. There were plasma scorches all over the walls in the corridors and the rooms, but there were no bodies anywhere clone or droid not even a helmet or piece of armor plating; someone must have moved them, but why?

"This is spooky" the clone medic Baron whispered, "All these plasma burns and not a single body. Something isn't right here".

"Just stay on guard Baron" Edge told him as they continued down the hall checking each room.

"This reminds me of a holovid I saw once" Boulder silently chuckled, "There's this group of seven people just like us".

"Not now Boulder" Coins said bringing up the rear.

Boulder continued, "They all wake up in a dark room with flickering lights just like the hall we're in now".

"Please stop" Coins begged him.

Boulder had to be smiling under his helmet, "Unlike us however they didn't know each other and had no idea where they were or why and then…"

"Boulder" Coins snapped, "Seriously shut up".

"Quiet" Edge snapped at both of them, "We're coming up on the next staircase" he looked to Luminara, "Ready to proceed on your word General".

The second sub level was more like a big control room than anything a long corridor with only a few rooms on each side and a large observation room looking out over the third sub level which was a massive training course to help the clone troopers keep their edge.

"Up ahead is the observation room" Edge told them.

"You've been here before Lieutenant?" Luminara asked the clone.

"Yes sir. It was a short posting, but I was assigned here when I was first deployed".

"Isn't the detention level down here somewhere?" Leon asked him.

Edge nodded, "Yes sir it's on sub level three it's a separate block from the training room".

"Then that's where we need to go" Leon said advancing down the hall and to the staircase.

A subtle tremor shook the ground and a few seconds after Edge's comlink beeped, "this is Commander Cody the jammer has been destroyed all groups check in".

"This is Lieutenant Edge we're on sub level two all accounted for so far".

"This is Captain Rex on floor five we've encountered a few clanker patrols. No casualties so far".

"We're going to secure the weapons storage until reinforcements arrive. We'll join you when we can".

The communication between the three teams ended, "Well we're halfway done then" Chip said, "And here I was worrying that this was going to be difficult".

"I really wish you wouldn't say that" Coins said to him as they proceeded to the staircase and moved down to the third sub level.

Entering the sub level the group loosely fanned out staying within a few feet of each other as they scanned the room. As they proceeded further into the massive training room Leon and Luminara could sense the presence of several individuals nearby each of them weak and another shrouded in a powerful darkness.

"Master" Leon began holding his lightsaber up.

Luminara also readied her weapon, "I sense it to".

Suddenly a hooded figure dropped down from the rafters above landing in the center of the room. The figure kneeled down remaining completely silent as the clones regrouped around the two Jedi. Leon deactivated his lightsaber and began approaching the kneeling figure.

Luminara immediately grabbed his arm stopping him, "Leon what are you doing?"

Leon gently pulled himself free; "This is something I have to do myself" he looked back to her, "Please allow me to face this one alone. It will be ok".

Leon walked over to the hooded figure which slowly stood up as he approached, "Tell me it isn't true" he said.

The mysterious person remained silent the robe's hood concealing the top part of the person's face.

"Its going to be alright now" Leon said slowly raising his arms up and taking the hood off the person standing in front of him revealing the face he suspected, "Thalia".

It was her, her formerly unkempt white hair was now straight and shoulder length her pale skin had gained color and her icy blue eyes seemed to surround him just as they did when he first met her.

"Leon" she spoke in a whimpering voice like she was about to start crying, "I'm sorry".

Leon shook his head, "No I'm the one who should apologize everything that happened to you is my fault" his hands quickly found their way to her shoulders, "I'm going to fix it" he said his own voice started cracking now, "I going to make all this right and I promise I won't let anyone or anything harm or threaten you ever again".

"How touching" a raspy mechanical voice chuckled from the shadows.

Hearing that voice sent a chill down Leon's spine as he slowly turned his head to see the Kaleesh cyborg General Grievous step out of the shadows.

"Grievous" Luminara muttered quickly reaching for her lightsaber only to have it fly away from her belt.

Her lightsaber flew into the darkness of the shadows near the cyborg general and then the lights in the arena sized room fully came to life illuminating everything.

"I wasn't expecting Master Windu's padawan to come alone" a strong, confident voice said as the light spread throughout the large room, "But I did not think he would bring so much backup with him".

The lights reached the dark corner revealing the one who took Luminara's lightsaber, an older man with a wide mustache and long beard sharing the same color as his neatly groomed grey hair. He wore a long brown robe draped from his shoulders and a dark shirt with slightly less dark leggings. The leader of the Separatists…Count Dooku.

"Count Dooku" Luminara said in a disgusted tone that Leon had never heard from her, "So it seems you really do have a new apprentice".

"Yes" the former Jedi Master confirmed, "And a powerful one she is".

The familiar sound of a lightsaber igniting reached his ears and he held his hand out just as Leon roared and leapt toward him.

Catching Leon by the throat he slowly lowered him back to the floor, "Now now young one do not be so hasty. You have an important role to play here and I cannot have you stepping out of line".

Dooku reached down to his belt and grabbed a hologram projector when he turned it on it showed an image of at least twelve people kneeling on both knees with their hands restrained behind their backs and two battle droids standing on either side of them.

"You remember your friend's tribe don't you?" Dooku asked Leon, "If you do not follow my instructions I'm afraid one of them will be executed".

"What do you want?" Leon growled.

Dooku looked over to Luminara, "Firstly the clones you have brought with you they will surrender their weapons at once" after the clones threw their weapons away he looked back to Leon, "And then you will battle with Thalia…to the death".

Leon, Thalia and Luminara froze at his words he wants Leon and Thalia to fight each other until one of them dies?

"Confused?" Dooku asked them, "Allow me to explain. As strong as Thalia has become she still has one weakness that cannot be allowed, her feelings for you boy".

Leon looked at Thalia from the corner of his eyes she had turned her head away hiding in shame from her master's words.

"And before she can realize her true strength she must eliminate the source of that weakness she must kill you. If she succeeds then the true power of the dark side will be open to her and if she fails then I have wasted my time training her".

"You're awfully confident I won't kill you right now" Leon said to the Sith Lord, "Don't be".

"And what of her people?" Dooku asked him, "Would you willing put them at risk? Would you willingly allow them to be killed one by one just to attack me? Her people will be freed regardless of the outcome of this battle, but if either of you refuse to fight or if Master Unduli interferes then they will all die".

Thalia fell to her knees, "Please stop" she began crying, "Just let them go I've done everything you've asked".

"No" Dooku yelled, "This is your final test young Thalia now rise and strike him down. Use your fear your rage and strike him down only then will your people be freed".

Thalia's entire body was trembling. Leon glared at Count Dooku his disgust at his evil plot had evolved into pure hatred all he wanted right now was to cut him down freeing Thalia from his grasp, but it would come at a price a dozen innocents would die.

"Do it Thalia" Leon said turning to her, "Kill me".

Thalia suddenly froze and Master Luminara called to him, "Leon what are you doing?"

"The only course of action available to me" he called back to her, "Thalia free your people they are more important".

Thalia began sobbing, "I…I can't".

"You must" Dooku ordered.

"No" she cried.

Dooku's eye turned stone cold, "So be it" he brought the hologram up.

"Wait!" Leon yelled before he turned it on, "Just wait. Take me" he told him, "Trade me for Thalia's people. You'll have two apprentices then I may be just a padawan, but I held my own against Grievous before. Trade me for them just let them walk out of here unharmed and leave with Master Luminara…and I will submit to you".

Dooku was surprised by Leon's offer he would willingly submit to him becoming his second apprentice as long as he freed Thalia's people. Before he could consider Leon's offer the young padawan held his hand out using the Force to rip the hologram from his hands. Leon's silver lightsaber flared to life and the projector was cut in half as it flew toward him.

Dooku gave him a death stare, "I should have expected such treachery from a Jedi".

Leon leapt into action jumping at Dooku with his lightsaber held high determined to kill the Sith Lord for his crimes.

"Foolish child" Dooku growled holding his hand out and hitting Leon with a blast of Force lightning.

Leon was thrown back by the attack landing violently on his back in front of Thalia who immediately ran to his side. Seeing this as her opportunity Luminara used the Force to call her lightsaber back from Dooku's hand, but the Sith Lord quickly reacted firing another blast of Force lightning before the Jedi Master's weapon reached her hand. Luminara screamed in pain as the dark attack coursed through her causing her to drop to her knees when it ended.

"Enough of this" Dooku yelled, "Thalia kill them both now or your people die!"

Thalia was still crying, "Please…I can't…please don't make me".

"Useless" he yelled firing a blast of lightning at his own apprentice.

Thalia closed her eyes as the dark attack was fired at her. Dooku had attacked her with the technique before and every second of it was painfully burned into her mind. Slowly she opened her eyes when she heard Leon grunting. Leon was on one knee in front of her blocking the lightning with his lightsaber.

Struggling against the Force power he glared at Dooku, "You kidnap her people and force her to serve you…you try to force us to fight each other…" he stood up still struggling against Dooku's Force attack, "But I will not allow you to threaten the people I care about".

He forced his lightsaber up redirecting the lightning away from him before throwing a rage fueled Force Push at Dooku. The Sith Lord slid back on his feet open to Leon's attack. Leon jumped at him from the center of the room bringing his lightsaber down at an angle from his shoulder clashing against Dooku's lightsaber.

"An impressive attempt boy" Dooku admitted as their sabers locked against each other, "But you are foolish to challenge me yourself".

"I'm going to kill you" Leon yelled quickly bringing his foot up and kicking out the side of Dooku's knee.

The Sith Lord stumbled leaving him vulnerable, Leon reared his lightsaber back, but before he could swing it Dooku Force pushed him away. Leon flew back sliding on his feet before falling to a knee before he could retaliate General Grievous entered the fight swinging a blue lightsaber down almost cutting Leon's head off. Leon noticed the cyborg jumping toward him and jumped to the side avoiding the attack as a flash of blue light came down where his neck used to be.

Getting back to his feet he glared at both of them, "Both of you are going to pay for what you've done" he activated his lightsaber once again.

"You are no match for either of us child" Grievous mocked, "But by all means amuse me by trying".

Leon's grip tightened around the hilt of his lightsaber as he planted his foot and lunged toward the cyborg. Grievous blocked the padawan's attack, but Leon used to Force to push at the cyborg general's legs causing him to fall. Rearing his hand back Leon crouched down and flung the full weight of his body forward bringing his open palm up to meet Grievous' chin and with the Force propelled the Kaleesh cyborg back to his feet before swinging at him again only to have his attack blocked.

"Not bad for a child" he taunted, "You've improved since out last meeting, but you're still far from matching my power".

Grievous activated a second lightsaber swinging at Leon. Green and silver met as Leon pointed his saber at the ground running the length of his body to block the attack jumping back as Grievous attacked with his other saber.

Dooku watched Leon take on Grievous the young boy was skilled in the basics of lightsaber combat and even demonstrated knowledge of some advanced techniques, but he was still a mere padawan he would not last long against Grievous. Dooku spun around his red lightsaber blocking a green light just inches away from his neck Master Luminara had recovered and joined the battle.

"Surrender Dooku" she demanded before the Sith Lord parried her attack.

"You Jedi and your notions of mercy" he fell into the stance of Makashi, the second form of lightsaber combat a dueling centric style which relied on balanced footwork to outmaneuver one's opponent and precision and efficiency to strike an opening.

Luminara was at a disadvantage she had already been injured by Dooku's earlier attack and aside from Master Yoda, Dooku was the only Jedi to have ever bested Master Windu in a duel. He was a master fencer and applied the concept to his bladework allowing him to easily parry and deflect attacks with minimal effort. But Luminara had faith, not only was the Force her ally, but her fellow Jedi were there as well and they would surely sense the struggle happening below them.

As Luminara and Dooku began their battle Leon continued his fight against Grievous. He was easily overpowered by the cyborg, but he was faster allowing him to avoid many attacks. Leon spun to the side to avoid Grievous' green lightsaber and jumped back in mid turn to avoid the blue lightsaber coming in from the side.

"What's wrong little Jedi?" Grievous taunted, "Do you not have any skills other than running away?"

Leon refused to respond he stood there eyeing Grievous' stance the way he held his weapons. There had to be an opening somewhere an advantage of some kind. Straightening his lightsaber he brought it closer to his face the silver light glowing against his skin before he jumped forward. Grievous crossed his lightsabers catching Leon's between them the Separatist general laughed before he pushed his dual blades up forcing Leon back.

"A pathetic attempt" he taunted again.

Leon panted Grievous was no Jedi, but he had learned each form of lightsaber combat directly from Dooku he wasn't going to be easy to defeat. As Leon locked eyes with the Kaleesh cyborg his vision started becoming blurry and his chest tightened.

"Dammit not now" he yelled in his head as he clenched at his chest and fell to his knees gasping for air.

Seeing Leon fall Grievous laughed, "What's this? Is something wrong little Jedi?" he advanced on the defenseless Leon, "If you're feeling sick I think I've got a remedy for you". Raising his lightsabers over Leon's head Grievous laughed before bringing them down.

"No!" Thalia's voice cried as Grievous brought his dual blades down. Throwing her hands out Grievous was hit by her Force attack throwing him far back into the wall several yards from where he was standing.

Thalia ran over to Leon as he began coughing his mysterious illness taking hold of him again.

"Leon" Thalia dropped to her knees next to him, "Leon what's wrong?"

Hearing Thalia call Leon's name Luminara allowed herself to become distracted looking over to check on her former padawan and giving Dooku a clear opening. Twisting his lightsaber to the side Dooku spun the crossed blades in a half circle motion disarming the Jedi Master before attacking her with Force lightning throwing her across the room. Luminara screamed again as the dark attacked raged through her body and she was throw across the room rolling to a stop only a few feet away from Leon and Thalia.

Seeing his former master injured caused a primal fury to burn in the young padawan. Slowly he stood up his coughing had stopped, but his chest still felt tight and it was hard for him to breath. Both Dooku and Grievous began advancing on them and the rage in Leon's heart flared. Activating his lightsaber Leon reached his arm out summoning his fallen master's weapon to his other hand and jumped at Grievous quickly entering another saber lock with the cyborg.

Silver met blue as green met green and the two opponents began another vie for dominance began. Grievous continued to taunt Leon only succeeding in enraging him further. Thalia called out to him Dooku was standing over Luminara ready to strike the final blow. Seeing this Leon roared shifting his lightsabers to the side breaking the saber lock and leaping toward Count Dooku.

Seeing Leon jumped toward him Dooku calmly stepped back locking sabers with the young Jedi. Leon's attacks seemed feral he was just lashing out against him without precision. While Leon was fighting Dooku, Edge and his men saw their chance and ran to retrieve their blasters firing at Dooku's back, but the Sith Lord sensed their eagerness to kill him and pushed Leon away before turning to deflect the blaster fire back at each of the clones. Their shots redirected back at them each of them took a shot in the chest and fell back their weapons falling from their hands before they hit the floor.

Dooku turned back to Leon as he roared again locking lightsabers with him and smiling as Grievous charged over to them. Seeing his enemy's smile Leon turned his head to see Grievous running over to them now wielding four lightsabers. Leon tried to force his way out of the saber lock, but Dooku countered and disarmed him of Luminara's saber before using the Force to push him into the bloodthirsty cyborg.

Sliding to a stop on his heels Leon quickly turned around and used the Force to pull Grievous' feet from under him tripping the general before recalling Luminara's saber to his hand. Running forward he locked blades with Dooku again and just like last time the Sith Lord disarmed him causing him to drop his silver lightsaber as he wrist was twisted around. Dooku moved to strike the surprised Leon, but the young padawan jumped back avoiding the attack that would have ended him.

Feeling his chest become tighter Leon could barely see through his blurred vision and fell to one knee again.

Dooku approached him, "I have to admit young one you fought valiantly. You showed great promise, but I'm afraid this is where you die".

Dooku raised his red saber above his head ready to strike the final blow, but quickly brought it back down to block a red lightsaber that was thrown at him. Thalia ran over to him she had thrown her lightsaber as a distraction unleashing a booming Force push as she sprinted to Leon's side. The Force blast was overwhelming catching Dooku off guard and sending him flying back.

Directing a Force push of his own at the wall behind him Dooku negated the momentum of him being thrown through the air and landed on his feet.

He glared at Thalia who had recalled her lightsaber to her hand, "You will pay for this betrayal girl".

Thalia stood firm refusing to become afraid again, "I will die before I let you harm him any more".

"So be it" Dooku replied charging his Force energy into his hand and unleashing a massive blast of Force lightning at Thalia.

Thalia tried to defend against it blocking the initial impact, but the attack overwhelmed her causing her to lose her footing and be knocked back.

"Enough" Leon yelled getting back to his feet and retrieving his silver lightsaber, "This ends now" he declared before someone called his name.

Quickly turning around he looked at Thalia who was slowly getting up it couldn't have been her and Master Luminara was just now regaining consciousness so who called out to him. His senses drew his eyes to the long staircase leading up to the observation room, it was Ahsoka. Ahsoka was standing there with Anakin, Obi-Wan and Master Windu they finally sensed what was going on and came to help.

"Stay out of this" he yelled at the four Jedi as they jumped down to help him he then returned his glare to Count Dooku, "This one is mine".

"You're not strong enough to face him alone" Obi-Wan told him before Ahsoka yelled for Leon to look out.

Dooku had jumped over to the distracted Leon and in a single swing disarmed him again sending Luminara's green lightsaber flying through the air.

"Die Jedi scum!" Grievous roared in his raspy voice as he attacked Leon from behind.

Hearing the cyborg general's words Leon acted on instinct Force pushing Dooku away and making a wide spin juke to the side as Grievous brought one of his lightsabers down. Using the spin to build up his momentum Leon swung his lightsaber up from the floor cutting off both of the general's left hands before doing a corkscrew jump over him and in a single flash of silver light cutting off his two right hands. Grievous let out a ghastly roar of pain as Leon cut his hands off thankfully for him Dooku rushed in to save him.

Dooku swung his lightsaber at Leon and Leon retaliated swinging his weapon with both hands. The increased force behind the swing allowed Leon to crash his way through Dooku's attack deflecting it. Dooku's eyes widened at how easily his attack had been deflected it didn't seem possible a mere padawan was defeating not only him, but Grievous at the same time.

Barely managing to block Leon's rebound strike Dooku gave him a malicious grin, "Can you not feel the power swelling within you? You have such strength such passion; your potential is being wasted by the flawed teachings of the Jedi. Let go of your attachments of your feelings let your anger guide you".

"Never!" Leon yelled, "I will never give up my feelings. The attachment I feel to those I care about, that is where I draw my strength" Leon was forced down to one knee as Dooku gained the upper hand.

"We have to help him" Anakin yelled from the sidelines.

"No" Leon yelled, "Stay out of this I will end this myself".

Dooku continued to grin evilly at him, "You are truly brace to choose to face me alone you are just a padawan nothing more than an insect compared to me".

In the center of the room Thalia helped Luminara to stand watching Dooku overpower Leon's guard.

"Do you really believe you can beat me?" Dooku asked Leon, "Luminara is a Jedi Master far more powerful than you and yet I easily defeated her. What hope do you have?"

Dooku's smile quickly vanished as Leon began standing up down on one knee the padawan slowly stood up forcing Dooku into the defensive.

"It isn't hope that I have" he told the Sith Lord, "Its love, loyalty and undying desire to protect what's important to me. That is why I became a Jedi to protect what matters the most to me what gives my life meaning. Thalia, Master Luminara, Edge, Boulder, Baron, Coins and Chip when someone like you raises your hand to threaten them I will be there to stop you".

Leon was now back at a vertical stance and to the surprise of everyone standing on even ground against the Sith Lord that had defeated so many Jedi Masters in the past.

"I" Leon grunted as he struggled against his opponent, "I am…I am the shield that protects everyone around me, so that no harm may reach them. I am the sword that strikes against those who dare to threaten them".

Feeling the strength behind Leon's push fade Dooku forced himself up and disarmed Leon again, but it was a ploy. Leon allowed himself to be disarmed while Dooku's arm was still in motion Leon stepped to the outside and grabbed it. Twisting Dooku's wrist Leon forced him to drop his lightsaber before moving his other hand to the back of Dooku's head. Grabbing the back of his opponent's head Leon forced him down and raised his knee up slamming it into the Sith Lord's face causing him to stumble back.

Dooku stumbled back leaving him open for Leon to continue his assault. Charging forward Leon kicked at the side of the Count's knee causing him to fall and landing a hard jab into his rib cage as he fell. The Sith Lord hunched over from the jab to his ribs and Leon chained the attack landing a violent punch right into his shoulder joint before unleashing a short flurry of punches at his stomach.

It didn't seem possible if they weren't seeing it for themselves none of them would have believed it. Without his lightsaber Leon was on the offensive landing blow after blow against Count Dooku a Sith Lord who had taken the lives of several Jedi Masters over the years.

Taking a quick jump step back Leon waited for Dooku to slowly rise to his feet dazed before he stepped forward and shot his leg out in a high kicked aimed at the Sith Lord's chin.

The kick hit its mark the heel of Leon's boot slamming against Dooku's jaw knocking him off his feet and to the floor. Standing over his defeated opponent Leon stumbled back before falling into a lopsided sitting position held up only by his elbow.

When Leon fell Ahsoka ran over to him along with the other Jedi including the injured Luminara with the help of Thalia, but before they could check on Leon or attempt to arrest Dooku a large squad of battle droids marched into the room and began firing at them.

Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan, Master Windu brought their lightsabers to life and began defending their injured comrades against he attacking tin cans. Thalia sat Luminara down next to Leon and turned around activating her own lightsaber.

Turning around she jumped over the four Jedi in front of her landing in the middle of the droids and began spinning around slashing at their limbs from head to toe cutting them down with graceful movements as her red lightsaber hummed when slung through the air. Ahsoka and the others saw their chance and jumped in to help cutting down the enemy droids until the last one was destroyed.

Thalia looked at the four Jedi around her no doubt they all new by now that she was Dooku's apprentice. She was sure they were going to try and arrest her after all she did attack their military base and killed many of the clones there, but before she could say anything Obi-Wan switched off his weapon and thanked her for her help. Surprised to hear words of gratitude Thalia gave him a weak smile one that quickly vanished as both Leon and Luminara were lifted off the ground both of them clenching at their throats.

Thalia cried Leon's name running over to help him as the attackers revealed themselves. Two spectre droids were holding the injured Jedi by the throat slowly choking the life out of them. Thalia activated her lightsaber again, but before she could attack the two droids each of them were shot in the back of the head by Edge and his men.

"Come on you over sized trash can" Edge taunted firing at the droids which dropped the two Jedi and sprinted over to the squad of clones.

Edge and his men fired at the two droids missing each shot as they ducked and dodged them closing in on the clone lieutenant one of the droids knocked his weapon from his hand. Edge braced himself for the droid's attack, but instead watched as the two droids were lifted into the air and flew back toward Leon and Master Luminara. Thanks to the distraction by Edge and his team the two Jedi were able to retrieve their lightsabers and cut down the droids as the pulled them back.

After the two droids were destroyed Luminara dropped down to one knee trying to catch her breath as Leon swayed a little before dropping to his knees.

"Can we go home now?" he asked weakly before his eyes closed and he fell to the side into the arms of his old master.

Catching her former student Luminara managed a minor chuckle when she realized he was sleeping. She remembered once that Leon would always honor her as the one who saved his life and today he finally returned the favor.

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