Back to Dantooine
Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought - Henri Bergson.
Leon woke up slow that morning if it could even be called waking up, he got so little sleep he questioned I he even passed out at all. He sat up first and took in a large breath and yawning it away before sliding out of bed. He bent his knees back a bit stretching his legs and arms out, he felt his neck pop a little and quickly reached up to massage it.
"I'm getting old" he joked in his mind before looking over to the gizka in its tank.
The small creature hopped over to him as he approached the tank and looked up to him. He reached his hand into the tank saying good morning to it as he scratched the nubs on its head. The gizka's back arched as it pressed its head up against his fingertips enjoying the attention at least until the hand retreated from it after a gentle scratch down its back. The small amphibian seemed disappointed for a moment before its automated food dispenser spat out a pellet to draw its attention.
Leon let out an amused huff as Grun scoped the pellet into his mouth and swallowed it. Ahsoka had once compared him to the gizka he keeps as a pet jokingly noting how both of them are low in intelligence. He laughed at the joke although it was an easy one to make, but he was like Grun in one way he was hungry a lot.
Good think I'm such a good cook" he thought before saying farewell to the gizka and leaving his room.
His first stop every morning was the wash rooms taking a quick shower before changing into fresh clothes and then off to the cafeteria. Ahsoka and Liliana were already there waiting for him as he walked in. He was expecting Ahsoka to say something, another joke about how long she had been waiting, but it was Liliana instead a cocky smirk on her face as she looked at him.
"Are you open yet?"
He gave her a blank stare for a few seconds shifting his gaze to Ahsoka locking eyes with her grinning back at him before he silently moved to the kitchen.
"Was it something I said?" Liliana asked her feigning confusion.
Ahsoka chuckled, "He doesn't talk in the morning until after he eats".
"Well the sooner he gets to work the sooner we can eat" the smuggler said.
Ahsoka's eyes fell to her comlink making sure it wasn't on this time, "Don't let him hear you saying that" she said before her tone became sarcastic and rose a bit, "He may threaten to poison your breakfast".
She couldn't hear if he had said anything, but she knew he heard her and chances were he was mumbling to himself again. She understood a bit why he and Liliana liked teasing her so much, it was fun and now she was able to get Leon back occasionally by hitting him with one of his biggest weaknesses hunger. Of course she wasn't doing it just because it was fun or to get back at him she was doing it to keep his mind off the final goliath. The same reason he was always joking in the first place so he wouldn't have to think about the war or all the things that went on in the galaxy and when it came to the final goliath she knew he would be thinking about it more than anyone else.
"Ahsoka" Liliana whispered with a coo as she ran her hand over Ahsoka's leg making her jump.
"What are you doing?" she almost yelled feeling Liliana's hand getting really close to the upper half of her inner thigh.
"You spaced out on me" Liliana grinned, "I figured a little…recon contact would get your attention".
Ahsoka's cheeks brightened slightly, "I swear when you or Leon are around I can't get a few seconds to think to myself without one of you trying to grab me".
"Can you blame us?" Liliana asked, "Someone as pretty as you it's just too tempting".
"She's mine" Leon's voice said from the back of the room as he came out wheeling a cart with him.
"That was fast" Liliana said looking over to him.
"I'm too tired" he told her setting the plates out around them, "Nothing special today just some eggs, grits and hash browns".
Liliana looked down at the food, "Huh, I was expecting more of that famous cooking Ahsoka kept telling me about".
"Too tired" he said dropping into the seat across from them, "I didn't sleep well".
"You seemed to be doing pretty good before you went off to bed" Liliana reminded him.
"Well that was then" Leon told her, "I can't stay happy and make jokes all the time eventually I'm going to have to start thinking of a way to deal with the Goliath".
Liliana fell silent for a moment, "Well at some point you're going to run into it so it's better to have a plan since I've told you everything I know about it".
"Alright" Ahsoka cut in pointing to Leon, "Stop talking like you're the only one concerned about this thing everyone is and the Council is trying to decide how to handle it and secondly when the time does come to fight that thing you won't be doing it alone I won't allow you to".
"Oh so commanding" Liliana cooed resting her chin against her fist, "I like that in a woman".
Ahsoka's next thoughts fumbled in her mouth as she fell for Liliana's remark and failed to recover.
Leon chuckled, "Now there's the Ahsoka I know and love".
Ahsoka groaned, "I hate both of you".
"You love me" Leon said back.
"And me" Liliana said, "Besides isn't hate something you're supposed to avoid?"
"So is love" Leon said to the smuggler, "But we prefer to pick our own battles".
Silence fell between them lasting for a full minute as the tone shifted and finally Ahsoka looked up from her plate, "What are we going to do?"
"I don't know" Leon answered, "It has to have a weakness somewhere" he looked to Liliana, "Right?"
She shook her head, "None that I was able to discover. I suppose we could always try crashing a cruiser into the thing, but it would probably blast it into pieces before it even hit reentry".
Leon's chair slid back and he stood up, "I'm going to take a walk and try to think about this" he said walking away, "I'll see you two later".
"Guess he wasn't hungry after all" Liliana said seeing that Leon hadn't even touched his own food.
And that was it Ahsoka was more worried about him now than ever, in all the time she had spent with him since they met she had never seen him make something and not eat. Forced laughter, missing perfect set ups and openings for jokes and now not eating the final goliath was weighing heavily on his mind. She wanted to go after him to talk to him help him through what was bothering him, but as she moved to stand up Liliana's hand grabbed hers.
"I wouldn't" she said, "Trust me leave him be for now".
"I'm worried about him" Ahsoka said looking back to her.
"I wouldn't" the smuggler said, "He'll be fine he just wants to think about it by himself for a bit".
Ahsoka fell back into her seat, "He doesn't have to do everything by himself".
Leon was in the archives, it had been a long time since he last entered he used to enjoy reading especially about history and cooking. During his training and most of his days as a padawan before finally being sent on missions this is where he spent most of his time he had forgotten how silent and large the archives were it had been so long he need to take a moment to avoid being overwhelmed by the size of the shelves alone. Everything was as it always had been of course and Master Nu was wandering the aisles as well making sure everything was where it was supposed to be.
She was delighted to see him again after so long she had taken a liking to him during his time spent in the archives always wanting to learn more and more history they even had many talks in the past all of that seemed so long ago now. He greeted her and she bowed her head to him welcoming him back to the archives before realizing she had never congratulated him on his promotion to Jedi Knight. He thanked her returning the smile she was giving him, at the time of his promotion Leon felt he was ready to do anything take on any mission and yet his first mission as a knight ended with him losing his best friend.
So many though had invaded and took over his mind after that day suggesting that maybe he wasn't cut out to be a Jedi himself or that he will never be powerful enough to save everyone he cared about and similar despairing thoughts. It was because of Ahsoka that he was able to overcome all of that and return to how he used to be or at least most of his former self, he just wasn't the same anymore. Reality was mixed in with all of the dark thoughts in his head and after they had been expelled reality was able to settle in, Edge and the other members of Titan squad weren't invincible and neither was he.
He was an idiot, everything before was so easy every mission every firefight with the exception of fighting Dooku and Grievous everything before had just been easy and somewhere in the back of his mind he was really beginning to think that himself and Titan squad were invincible, the foolish perceptions of adolescence. It was time for him to correct his mistakes however and with the threat of the final goliath out there somewhere there was no better opportunity.
He had a guess of where to start to, he wanted to kick himself for not thinking of it earlier there were two types of energy shields one that absorbed blaster bolts and radiation and one that repelled solid objects and they were impossible to combine into a single shield because of how they were made and generated. It would work, hopefully. Liliana said its shield would stop missiles and orbital bombings, missiles obviously a physical weapon meaning that it had to be a particle shield to stop them, but orbital bombings were carried out with long-range turbolasers so to stop them it had to have a ray shield.
He grinned, in order for it to have both it had to have a generator for both and not a single one because a single generator was incapable of producing both. This was it all he had to do was figure out where the generators were on or inside it that had to be the goliath's weak spot get rid of its shields and bomb the nightmare back into hell.
He raised his comlink to his mouth, "Liliana can you here me?"
"What?" the smuggler asked pretending to be annoyed or frustrated.
"The data you collected about the goliath" he began standing up from the table, "The shield it uses you said it blocks missiles and orbital bombings and everything in between right?"
"Yeah" she answered suddenly sounding confused by his excited tone.
"So is it a particle shield or a ray shield?"
"Why does it…" it hit her to, "It can't be both".
"Not necessarily" Leon told her, "It could be both if it has two generators grab Ahsoka and".
"Hey" Ahsoka's voice suddenly yelped, "What are you doing?"
Leon sighed with a smirk, "Let go of Ahsoka's arm Liliana".
"What if I'm not grabbing her arm?" Liliana asked him, "Maybe I'm grabbing somewhere else, something chest level".
"I can't believe I'm about to say this" Leon chuckled, "But this is not the time to be messing around I think I've figured something out so you and Ahsoka meet me back at the Council Chambers".
Leon booked it out of the archives his arms pumping for more speed as he ran through the temple halls dodging his way past other Jedi going about their own business. He was so excited over what may be the game winner that he didn't realize he had enhanced his speed through the Force, he was just so anxious to get back to the Council and tell them. If his guess turned out to be right then they would have a fighting chance. He pushed open the doors to the Council Chambers and ran in the eyes of the present masters all falling on him as he slowed to a stop at the center of the room.
"Is something wrong Leon?" Master Luminara asked.
He was panting and chuckling at the same time, "I…I think I've figured something out about the goliath".
They remained silent patiently waiting for him to catch his breath just as Ahsoka and Liliana joined them.
Leon took in a large breath and held it before exhaling his breathing returning to a normal pace, "The goliath's shield it blocks missiles" he turned to Liliana, "That's what you said right?" she nodded and Leon turned back to the Council, "That means it's a particle shield one that repulses solid objects, but it also allows it to withstand orbital bombings which we use turbolasers for so that means its also a ray shield".
"That's impossible" Master Ki-Adi-Mundi said, "It can't have both types of shields at once".
"Unless" Leon said grinning again, "It has a generator for both" he turned to Liliana and asked her to hook her datapad to the projector again and show them the goliath, "It has to have a generator somewhere on or in its body one capable of projecting both shields. Now obviously the two shields can't make contact with each other the differences in their power structure or whatever the actual science is behind them will cause them to negate each other".
"So it must have to alternate between the shields depending on its situation" Liliana cut in.
"Exactly" Leon said, "That is one possibility. Or it could have both up at once, but on different levels".
"What do you mean?" Obi-Wan asked him.
"It could have one up as a field around it and another closer to its body or encase itself life a personal shield".
"I don't think that would work" Anakin said entering the room, "Sorry to drop in as it was getting good, but for something that size I don't think it could have a generator powerful enough to project a shield that just covers or even somewhat outlines its body something like that would be really complex on such a large scale. Not that I don't think the Separatists could do it, but I'm willing to bet that's not the case".
"Which would mean the shields have to be alternated" Liliana said again.
"Either way" Leon began again, "I think the shields are the best bet. We find out where its generators are located and destroy them".
"It's a good plan in theory" Luminara said, "But we would also need a plan to approach the goliath even then we would need a means of getting past its armor and to the generator".
"She's right" Liliana said, "The generators are inside it beneath the back of its shoulders".
"How far inside?" Leon asked.
Liliana fiddled with her datapad going through the data she had on the goliath cursing under her breath as she did, "Three meters of armor plating and from there it's about two more meters till the generators".
"Why didn't you mention these yesterday?" Plo Koon asked Liliana.
"I didn't withhold the information if that's what you're thinking" Liliana told him, "I have a friend of mine study these things as I find them and as far as this one goes I rushed it here once he was done".
"It doesn't matter" Master Windu said, "We've all been trying to figure out a plan and now we have one. Not an ideal one, but it is a plan. I think we should look into this method maybe there will be a way of getting to the generators through the armor".
"Maybe a weapon similar to the electro-proton bomb we used on Malastare" Anakin suggested, "You know as long as we don't end up awakening another zillo beast".
"A what?" Leon asked him.
"A giant reptilian monster" Anakin explained, "And I mean giant it was easily able to climb its way around and through Coruscant before we finally brought it down".
"Something like that was here? When?"
"While you were taking a four month nap" Ahsoka told him.
Leon shot her a quick look, "For the last time not napping".
"At any rate" Anakin said putting an end to the derailed conversation, "I say it's worth a shot I mean we did disable thousands of droids and their weapons and vehicles with that bomb back on Malastare so why not make another one or even a smaller one and use it against the goliath?"
"Now there's a thought" Obi-Wan agreed, "One that only Anakin could come up with, but it's worth taking into consideration. Even if it doesn't disable the shields it's bound to do something to the goliath's systems at the very least".
"And what would we do from there?" Ki-Adi-Mundi asked.
"What else?" Leon asked sarcastically, "We have every ship at our command bomb the thing until there's nothing left of it".
"Never mind what I said" Obi-Wan grinned, "That sounds like an Anakin plan".
Anakin walked over to Leon and placed his hand on his shoulder, "That's because it's a plan that'll work".
Leon shrugged Anakin's hand from his shoulder, "Touch me again and you owe me dinner".
Liliana leaned closer to Ahsoka, "I bet you've said that to him before".
Ahsoka's back suddenly stiffened and she looked away from Liliana blushing a bit as Leon looked around at the Council.
"Obviously we should keep thinking about other methods, but for right now this sounds like something that can work so we should pursue it especially since we have no idea when we'll run into the damn thing and I'd rather have a plan this time unless any of you have something else".
They didn't since Liliana had first shown them the details of the final goliath they had spent the entire day meditating waiting for the Force to show them what they needed to do and that was what bothered Leon most of all. The Force wasn't always going to show them the way despite what they liked to believe sometimes the only way to win was to fight and take your victory. Recently he had been losing faith in the Council as much as he really wanted to believe in them he was beginning to think they weren't capable of leading this war in the long run, too much debating and meditation especially when immediate action was needed.
The Council agreed to Anakin's idea of using another electro-proton bomb and asked him to inform the supreme chancellor while they tried to think of another means of dealing with the goliath in the event the bomb wasn't effective enough. Leon followed Anakin as he left wanting to get out of the temple for a bit desperately needing a change of scenery.
"Do you ever get the feeling the Council is senile?" Leon asked Anakin climbing into a speeder.
"Maybe" Anakin answered with a grin, "Why?"
"We give them a plan that has a high chance of working and they want to think about it instead of taking action. Right now we need one of those bombs ready to go I would say two or three just for good measure and then we need to send out ships to start looking for it instead of waiting for it to show itself".
"That would be my preferred way of doing things as well" Anakin admitted, "But try to understand that it's the Council's job right now to make sure we end this war on top of our original duty of restoring peace to the galaxy and protecting the Republic. Sometimes it's really hard to do all of that at once so they want to take their time and make sure they're doing everything they can to come up with the best course of action".
Leon crossed his arms, "Thousands of years ago during what was known as the Mandalorian Wars the Jedi Council at the time spent months debating on if they should assist the Republic at the time and do you know what happened while they were debating? Entire worlds were being conquered violently forced into submission as the Mandalorians razed their way through the galaxy in every direction. I'm not saying what the Council did then was wrong, but sometimes a situation requires immediate action and those who don't act end up dead".
"I know about that war as well" Anakin said, "While I personally find history boring if I recall correctly the Council at the time felt that something was influencing the Mandalorians from behind the scenes something darker and stronger".
"My point still stands" Leon said, "So many lives sacrificed ones that could have been saved" he sighed, "I want to believe in them, but they're not making it easy".
"Well I know that feeling" he admitted landing the speeder at the Senate Building.
"And then there's this guy" Leon said breaking the silence as they approached the chancellor's office.
"What you don't like the Chancellor now either?"
Leon shook his head, "I never said I don't like him something just bothers me when I'm around him is all".
"Like what?" Anakin asked crossing his arms.
Leon shook his head again, "I'm not entirely sure. I get a sick feeling in my stomach and I feel like a cold air is coming off him and encasing me".
Anakin laughed, "Maybe you should start getting some more sleep you're imagining things".
"What the hell is sleep?" Leon asked as the door slid open and the supreme chancellor smiled exhaustedly at them.
"Ah Anakin it's so good to see you again".
"You as well Chancellor".
The chancellor's eyes fell to Leon, "Ah young Leon it has been a while".
Leon hesitated for a moment that cold air was back it wasn't until the last time he was here that he felt it, a chilling hand on his shoulder before the Chancellor even touched him and a piercing cold pain with it. He didn't want to take his eyes off him worried that if he did the hand would become a dagger and move from his shoulder to his back.
"Indeed it has Chancellor" he answered without bowing, "I hope you don't mind my presence I needed to get out of the temple for a while".
"Of course not my boy" the Chancellor chuckled, "I actually just had some tea made if the two of you would like to join me" he stepped to the side and motioned for them to enter, "Please come in".
Anakin entered first no hesitation unlike Leon who turned almost sideways as he entered keeping the Chancellor in his peripheral.
"Is something wrong?" the chancellor asked him seeing the way he suddenly turned, "Or are you just admiring the walls filled with my achievements?"
A joke obviously one that pointed out everything he wasn't able to achieve as the wall Leon would have been looking at was completely blank, soulless grey, blue walls of nothing.
"I guess we're not the only ones who are tired" Anakin said turning to his friend.
The chancellor answered with a fatigued tone, "I fear I may be getting too old for this Anakin. I'm trying my best to keep order in our dear Republic, but I'm losing my touch. Every day it's something else another world with another problem" he let out an exhausted sigh, "The glories of politics".
"I can't claim to know much about that world" Leon said, "But hopefully it will be a bit better once the war ends or at least easier. Since you'll only have to focus on the senate instead of trying to lead a war as well".
"One can hope" the old man agreed with a tired smile, "So what brings the two of you here today?"
"The final goliath" Anakin told him, "We think we have a way of defeating it".
"Already?" the aged politician wondered, "You had just learned about it yesterday, not even an entire day has passed".
"Well some of us are really determined to get this one out of the way" Anakin said.
"Some more than others" Leon mumbled.
"What kind of plan are we talking about here?" the chancellor asked.
Anakin began explaining the plan while Leon sat there partially closing his eyes under the guise of listening meanwhile keeping his eyes on the chancellor. Like the Council he wanted to trust the Chancellor, but something about the old man bothered him something that felt…dark. Maybe Anakin was right and his lack of sleep was just getting to him it had been a while since he last gotten a full night's sleep a couple of weeks actually, maybe it was all catching up to him.
He didn't even realize it has he continued to watch and listen to Anakin and the chancellor, but his eyes had grown heavier and the sounds of their words were becoming distant and faded. Slowly and without notice his chin dropped to his chest and he leaned away slightly his eyes completely closed.
He heard crying a woman's crying somewhere nearby. He looked around unable to see anything through the perpetual darkness around him, but the crying was getting louder, closer. It was right behind him he whipped around and saw the source a beautiful girl with straight white hair and light skin he jumped the two steps it took to get to her and dropped to his knees next to her and felt a name form in his mouth before his breath was frozen. In the woman's arms was a still body, his body.
She was holding him, one arm underneath his shoulders supporting him as his head dangled limply back and her other arm wrapped around his torso clutching at his side. He was stunned for a moment before shaking it off and grabbing the woman's shoulders trying to get her attention, but as he did a powerful blast of energy had knocked him back.
He rolled on his side clambering to his feet as he looked around just in time to see two red linear lights appear in the darkness. The two lights were straight across from each other close enough to be a single line if not for the darkness in between them and as he narrowed his eyes to try to see better they moved forward. Spinning around in a circle he heard a humming sound as they closed in and then slashed out at him.
He jumped back on instinct reaching for his own weapon the silver light of his own lightsaber illuminating him as he raised it high and brought it down against the red light their meeting creating even more light enough for him to see what was attacking him. A being taller than him covered in some kind of armor with yellow eyes that glared evil, a muscular figure with multiple spikes atop its head wielding a dual bladed lightsaber. He pushed his lightsaber forward forcing his opponent back and swung his lightsaber down in a half circle and brought it up at an angled slash only to be blocked and pushed by the Force from his opponent's hand.
He landed on his back returning to his feet immediately and readying his weapon again, but then he saw the woman the one who was crying standing between them a lightsaber in her hand as well, a green one. She stood there ready to engage the dark armor covered figure as it charged toward her and attacked. He tried to move to help, but his arms and legs were frozen, unable to move. He struggled trying to free himself from whatever invisible force that was binding him, but he failed he had no choice, but to watch the two continue fighting, but they were both gone.
He heard his name being called from somewhere, above him from the sky. He looked up and a bright light tore its way through the darkness blinding him for a moment and he heard his name called again by a sweet almost angelic voice. The voice alone was warm enough to vanquish the cold that surrounded him and as it reached him he felt the warmth of his body hugging against his relaxing him, calming him until the darkness returned bringing with it a suffocating level of oppressive power, but the warm light refused to leave his side holding its ground even though the angelic voice that called to him could be heard struggling.
He had trouble standing hearing his name again and drew his weapon and something shook him he felt a hand on his shoulder one that was violently moving him from side to side and another voice called his name. He ignored it, the male voice calling his name and shaking him he raised his weapon and moved forward joining the light in its fight pushing the darkness back further and further, but then something hit him. A massive tremor disrupting his balance and as he looked over his shoulder to see a giant machine aim its weapon at him the darkness took advantage of his distraction and pushed him and the light back.
The red lights returned and advanced on the light which had taken the form of the woman he saw crying before. He jumped up to defend her, but once again was unable to move. He struggled and a surge of pain ran through him causing his body to lock up. The pain ended quickly and he struggled again only for it to return this time even stronger it was ripping him apart from the inside and out at once threatening to destroy him with every move he made, but he wasn't going to give up he had to protect her the light in front of him he had to save her. He struggled again and again resisting the pain with every ounce of willpower he had left and then the light vanished along with the darkness and everything else everything had just disappeared except the pain that had crippled him leaving him unable to move anymore.
His eyes snapped open and he felt pain again enough to make him jump, lunging upward and clenching at his chest the pain of something trying to crush it. Something tried to push him down tried to steady him and it wasn't until he heard a pair familiar voices that he stopped struggling. The gentle hand and voice of his first master and his secret girlfriend had mixed together telling him to relax as he was pushed down onto his back.
"What happened?" he asked gasping for air while the pain in his chest continued.
"I'm hoping you can tell me" Luminara said, "According to Skywalker you fell asleep in the Chancellor's office, but wouldn't awaken when he tried calling for you he said he shook you a few times, but never got a response and then you just stopped breathing".
"That virus in me maybe?" Leon guessed, "I'm not sure what happened".
"Are you still in pain?" Luminara asked him seeing the way he was grabbing at his chest.
He nodded, "Nothing really bad, but it hurts. I feel like something hit me…pretty damn hard to".
"Rhia took a look at your blood work" Ahsoka said, "She thinks the virus in you is dying or something. The virus cells are getting larger in size, but a lot fewer in number less than half from her previous records of your blood work".
"Fewer, but bigger" Leon breathed through his pain, "Is that good or bad?"
Ahsoka shrugged; "She thinks its good, but she's going to keep studying it when she can" she sat next to him, "Leon I'm worried about you we all are".
He grinned and massaged his chest, "Sorry. Aside from this pain in my chest I feel fine though".
"Well enough to fight?" Luminara asked.
His eyes moved up to meet hers, "Meaning?" he asked with a sigh.
"We've found the goliath" she answered.
"You've been asleep for an entire day" Ahsoka told him, "Thankfully we already have one of those bombs ready to drop on it, but there's a problem".
"Of course there is" he sighed, "There's always a catch".
"The goliath" Luminara began, "Is on Dantooine".
Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men – John F. Kennedy.