Never go backward. Attempt, and do it with all your might. Determination is power - Charles Simmons.
The battle had reached an explosive peak almost immediately after it started over two thousand clones against as far as they could tell an equal amount of droids. Artillery and tanks and rockets all included in what was already a small all out war and yet there was still no sign of the goliath.
"Where the hell is it?" Leon wondered cutting his way around an enemy tank taking out its cannon leaving Baron and his anti-material rifle to fire through the hull destroying the droid pilot before the round exited the other side taking down another two droids before it buried itself into the ground.
"Damn you weren't kidding" Chip yelled, "That thing packs a punch".
"It's no Sucker Punch" Boulder yelled going crazy with his heavy rotary cannon.
"Oh the number of ways I could prove you wrong right now" Baron hummed to himself taking aim through his scope.
It didn't take long for Leon to cut his way through the far flank, with Baron and Chip providing distance support and Boulder staying behind a low wall leaving Leon to lead a solo charge. Droid after droid fell to the driven young Jedi Knight as he pushed forward more determined than he ever remembered being and within just a few minutes he was already at the gate of the facility. He tossed multiple charges in every direction ducking and weaving through blaster fire as the droids continued to pour out of their base.
Once Leon was clear Chip said farewell to the clankers and their front shield generators that protected their base and with the press of a button those things ceased to exist. The shield surrounding the facility fell and the artillery fire began heavy shells whistled briefly through the air before exploding and tearing their way into the building. More artillery shells rained down pummeling the vulnerable base until the three cannons had finally punched a solid hole in the front wall. The droid forces had been cut in half and only just over a hundred casualties listed on the Republic side so far they were winning.
With a door now made Leon made his way into the facility's lobby a skillful coordinated dance of silver and red lights surrounding his every move as he cut down the defending droids inside. A quick check of his surroundings and a grin crept across his face he was the only one inside so far, perfect. He snatched up one of the rifle from one of the battle droids and tossed the weapon's sling over his shoulder and made his way deeper into the facility alone. Go in and search alone, easily the dumbest thing he's ever done, but Grievous was here he could sense it and if he fought him alone he could finally kill him without anyone else getting in his way.
A couple of turns and halls and hardly a dozen droids later and he was at the center of the old military facility most of the Separatist droids must have been outside fighting otherwise there would be more resistance inside. It didn't matter he trusted his allies would be able to handle themselves he just needed to worry about his target. Someone was sure to be trying to contact him now, he switched off his comlink before entering the facility if any of the other Jedi knew what he was doing they would want him to wait for them and he wasn't about to give Grievous a chance to get away, not again.
"No, this time I'm going to finish him".
He slid on his heels coming to an abrupt halt as he rounded a corner, a pair of magna guards ahead of him guarding a door. The two droids turned toward him their weapons cackling with each of their advancing steps.
"You're in my way" Leon growled at the droids throwing one arm forward grabbing the first droid through the Force and pulling it to him pivoting on his heel as it reached him swinging his lightsaber up cutting it down.
As his pivot ended Leon's other arm reached out and a flash of red light sliced through the air his second lightsaber impaling into the other magna guard's chest. The droid only managed a few more steps before it collapsed to the ground the impaled weapon flying back to its master's hand.
Standing in front of the door the two droids were guarding he placed his hand against the door's keypad and closed his eyes. He gathered the Force within him channeling it toward his hand into his palm as he pressed it against the keypad a swirling warmth forming in his palm the breath of the Force as it manifested at his will. Closing his hand around it he held the Force in his hand and drew it back only a couple of inches extending his finger out to the keypad and he felt the warm swirling sensation move from within his grasp to the tip of his extended finger and once at the end it exploded outward as he tapped it against the keypad. The focused pulse of force power slammed into the keypad penetrating past its aged plating and tearing apart the circuitry under it disengaging the electronic lock of the door.
"Knock knock" he said loudly with a sinister grin as he glared at Grievous on the other side of the room.
"Little Leon, we meet again" the General's raspy voice answered followed by a rough cough, "And all alone this time it seems".
"Just the way I want it" Leon practically chuckled before snatching his lightsabers from his belt and flying across the room in a single jump.
A vicious overhead swing and his silver lightsaber came crashing down on top of the cyborg general who defended himself just in time. The swift attack caught him off guard lacking a proper position to defend himself Grievous could not parry the first strike only able to tilt his lightsaber down and allow the attacking blade to slide down his own, but his counter attack would never come.
Leon forced his lightsaber to slide past Grievous' and snapped his hand out hitting him with a quick force push to stumble him giving him time to bring his deflected blade back around. Silver crashed against green and the strength of the clash weakened Grievous' grip and his lightsaber could not hold its ground giving way to the superior strength of the attack weapon. He broke through his enemy's guard and used the loss of moment to quickly change the direction of his attack turning his shoulder and bending in the direction of his swing Leon brought his lightsaber back around slashing at Grievous' midsection.
The cyborg general managed to jump back avoiding an attack that would surely have cut him in half, but he didn't jump far enough. The tip of the lightsaber caught him just enough to leave an inch deep gash across what would be his solar plexus. It was only his armor causing him more anger than pain, but as he drew his second lightsaber and looked back up to meet his opponent's eyes he saw it.
Even through his anger, his frustration and even his own pride he saw the look his Jedi enemy was giving him and the proud warrior couldn't help, but take a step back.
Fear, no he did not have fear he was afraid of nothing he was Grievous former warlord of the Kaleesh and Supreme Commander of the armies of the Confederacy there was no warrior greater than he. His fear quickly reverted back to anger and his pride took control once again and the cyborg lunged forward thrusting with one arm first then stepping forward following up with an upward swing from his other weapon.
Leon turned sideways and stepped toward Grievous avoiding his thrust and raising his arm deflecting the follow up strike sending it upward and with a simple twist of his wrist brought his lightsaber back down cutting off Grievous' left arm at the elbow. Grievous roared as his arm was severed and stumbled back his anger seething immediately to match his pain and then it became hard for him to breathe.
Something closed around his throat and as he struggled against it he felt his feet leave the ground. Opening his eyes Grievous saw his opponent's arm held out to him his hand closed in a half fist and immediately understood what was happening, he had seen Count Dooku do it many times before he was using the Force to choke him. Struggling fruitlessly against the intangible hand around his throat Grievous only formed half a threat in his mouth before he was thrown across the room and his back slammed into the wall. The impact sapped the air directly from what remained of his organic lungs as he recoiled off the solid surface only to immediately be slammed into it again and then a third and fourth time and then the same invisible force that assaulted him yanked him forward back toward his enemy.
As Grievous flew toward him Leon clenched his hand into a tight fist and with a battle cry that echoed through the large empty room he threw his hand out again attacking Grievous with the strongest force push he ever mustered sending the cyborg crashing back into the wall twenty yards behind him.
As Grievous' battered body fell to the ground Leon lowered his hand back to his belt and drew his second lightsaber, breathing heavily his heavy assault on his enemy had quickly expended his stamina though he still had a lot left in him he wanted to end this quickly before any kind of interruption had a chance to happen.
The cyborg general groaned as he pushed himself off the ground and glared up at him with one eye clenched shut from his pain.
"Impressive" he managed to say as he stood up only to be thrown into the wall again.
He was pinned against the wall this time, the Force holding him against the surface and as he struggled he saw the red lightsaber float out of Leon's hand and point toward him like a javelin and his eyes widened as he struggled more just before the red light leveled with his chest and then the silver light of Leon's other lightsaber rose up to level with his head. Leon's sinister grin returned again as his helpless enemy continued to struggle against his hold and his lightsabers flew toward their targets. Closing his eyes Grievous struggled one last time to force himself free and then a blaster shot and his enemy screamed.
The Kaleesh cyborg opened his eyes to see Leon's body twist and his face contorted in an expression of overwhelming pain as he fell to the floor and his grip was released. At the doorway to their own personal arena a squad of battle droids had entered the room all four of them firing at the Jedi that was about to execute him.
Leon dropped onto his side screaming through clenched teeth as he reached out his arm and summoned his lightsabers back to him lurching upward against his pain and hurling his weapons at the droids cutting them down as he rose up to one knee and grabbing the rifle that dangled at his waist. With his lightsabers thrown across the room Leon pivoted on his knee aiming his blaster rifle at his true target and began firing. Even though he was greatly wounded he was still a trained warrior and Grievous called upon his years of experience to block the blaster shots fired at him he may be unable to deflect them along select paths like his Jedi foes, but he could still defend against them until he was close enough to fight back.
Blocking one last shot Grievous quickly raised his arm and brought it down where his enemy was still kneeling watching as he rolled away at last second and standing back up dropping his rifle and calling his lightsabers back to him with no sign of fear or hesitation in his eyes.
The look of someone who was out to kill, a look he as a warrior that killed countless knew too well a look he had worn through uncounted battles and yet as battle hardened as he was it was a look he did not like receiving.
Maybe it was a primal flight instinct, but considering how wounded he was and, even though he would never admit it how skilled his opponent was, he for a second considered fleeing it was a smart choice even if an unappealing one. Grievous held his ground for now returning the same glare Leon was giving him while using his peripheral vision to check for the best escape route.
"Try to run if you want" Leon said to him reading his thoughts, "I won't hesitate to stab you in the back".
"Arrogant child" Grievous snarled letting his pride once again take over.
Lunging toward Leon the C.I.S. Supreme Commander separated his remaining arm into its second set in mid lunge and brought his upper arm down in an overhead swing while thrusting with his lower arm. Just like Grievous did at the beginning of their fight Leon jumped back and unlike Grievous avoided both strikes and threw his arm out pushing with the force at the General's head. An invisible fist struck him in the head and Grievous stumbled back and then the same invisible hand grabbed his legs and pulled them out from under him causing him to fall. His torso twisted around and he caught himself quickly returning to a vertical stance only to be struck the second he stood up.
Leon charged forward as his enemy stood up and slammed his open palm against the center of Grievous' back unleashing what he called the Force Tap sending a precision burst of force energy into his target at the second of impact denting and cracking at the cyborg's armor then penetrating past it and tearing at what flesh remained underneath. Again Grievous roared in pain and Leon followed up his attack using another Force Tap on the same spot flooring his opponent. Drawing his lightsaber Leon stood over Grievous and raised his blade pointing it downward and something grabbed his arm and restrained him.
His arm was seized his wrist violently twisted forcing him to drop his weapon and then his arm was wrenched behind his back and then he was turned and thrown to the ground and whatever attacked him was now sitting on his back pinning his head to the floor. He heard Grievous groan as he tilted his head to the side as much as he could to get a glimpse of whatever was holding him and then he saw it look down at him, the soulless barely visible eyes of a spectre droid.
He struggled trying to push his weighted body up, but the droid restraining him wrenched his arm further threatening to dislocate his shoulder as it pushed him against the floor even more.
Dammit, he stopped struggling for only a moment and his captor's grip on him lessened just enough for him to look at the one who called his name. She can't be here, no one else is supposed to be here he was supposed to do this alone so it could be over for good, but now that wasn't an option any longer.
In the doorway to the large room stood Thalia and Ahsoka and Luminara and Anakin weapons already in hand entering the room just in time for another voice to echo through the room.
"I would lay down your weapons if I were you" the unmistakable voice of Count Dooku.
A large hologram of the Sith Lord appeared at the back of the room and as it towered over them he smiled as his eyes fell on Leon.
"Ah young Leon, you've grown so strong since we last met strong enough to so thoroughly defeat Grievous in single combat".
"I'm not finished yet" Leon yelled planting his free hand against the floor and unleashing a force push with his remaining strength propelling him upward and to the side tossing the spectre droid off him.
Rolling over in mid air he called his lightsaber back to him and whipped around cutting down the droid before landing on one knee and locking eyes on Grievous again who had finally returned to his feet. Leon's hand tightened around the hilt of his lightsaber as he advanced on the unarmed General.
"Leon stop" Luminara's voice called out to him.
He couldn't stop now, he was too close just one more second and it would end they would be that much closer to winning this war and thousands of lives would be avenged, no he couldn't let this chance go to waste.
Ignoring his former master's words he began bringing his weapon down aiming it across his enemy's back and then the ground, no the entire facility shook as a deafening blast went off very close by.
"Goliath inbound" Commander Cody's voice yelled over the comlinks, "It's attacking from the air".
Another blast and another earthquake and Leon's footing was lost and he fell back and Grievous stumbled away from him before falling himself.
"Are you insane" the general managed to yell at the hologram of Dooku, "I am still in here call off the attack".
Dooku glared down at him, "No, you have failed yet again I will allow you to live if you escape, but the bombardment will continue".
Grievous snarled at Dooku's hologram and began running as fast as he beaten body would allow just as Leon's feet rose off the ground and kicked forward propelling his body up and landing back on his feet weapon still in hand.
"You're not going anywhere" he yelled trying to chase after him only to have the ceiling finally give way and collapse on top of him.
"Leon" Thalia cried again rushing to the massive dust cloud that filled the room.
She could hear him, he was coughing and the silver light of his weapon revealed his position. She used the Force to disperse the dust field around them and kneeled next to him he managed to avoid being crushed by the collapsed ceiling, but now they were cut off from Grievous who was getting away escaping toward the rear of the facility.
"Dammit" Leon growled as he stood up and the ceiling began cracking even more as another blast hit the facility.
"We have to leave now" Anakin yelled.
"Agreed" Luminara said calling for Thalia and Leon to hurry over as the room began collapsing around them.
The five Jedi ran from the collapsing room the towering hologram of Count Dooku watching them mockingly as they fled. Back in the hall they slid to an immediate stop as the way they came was blocked off by another collapsed ceiling forcing them to flee deeper into the facility as the bombardment from the airborne goliath continued. Fleeing deeper into the facility they continued running unsure of what turns they were taking and where they would end up, but all they could do now for now is keep running.
Leon's side where he was shot burned and screamed as his arms pumped at his side for more speed the bombing wasn't stopping anytime soon and their forces outside were retreating unable to deal with the goliath threat. Bomb after bomb continued to fall and with each dozens of lives ended and the facility continued to collapse even more.
"Right there" Anakin yelled pointing at a sign next to a door, "Sub-level access, if we can get far enough underground we'll be safe".
"Or buried alive" Leon panted.
"We don't have much of a choice" Anakin argued cutting the door down, "We can't outrun the bombing so we have to find sufficient cover".
Sprinting down the stairs one after the other they went down to the sub level and continued to follow the stairs to the next sub level and then the third, they had no idea just how far underground they were, but they could still feel the tremors in the ground they were still heavy and shaking everything, but finally it looked like nothing was going to fall apart.
They stopped for now to catch their breath, the bombing continued for a few more seconds and finally ended.
"The goliath is retreating" Commander Cody yelled, "I repeat the goliath is retreating".
Anakin raised his comlink, "This is General Skywalker how many of our forces are left?"
Obi-Wan answered, "We've lost almost half of our forces in the bombing attack we pulled out as much as we could. We're combing the area now for wounded to try and save who we can. Are you alright? Is everyone with you safe?"
Anakin looked to his fellow Jedi, "We're fine Master, we were forced to take cover in the sub levels of the facility, but we're all fine. Leon's a little worse for wear, but he's definitely in better shape than Grievous".
"Is it too much to hope that Grievous was captured?"
"I'm afraid so" Anakin answered, "He got away again, but he couldn't have gotten very far considering the condition he was in I'm willing to bet he's down here in the sub levels as well".
"He should be dead" Leon grumbled to himself, "I had him".
"Well sit tight" Obi-Wan told them, "We'll gather what man power we can spare and try to dig you out, but the entire facility was destroyed so it may take a while".
"I promise we won't go too far" Anakin began saying before Leon yelled and took off at a full sprint past him.
"Grievous" Leon yelled sprinting past Anakin and the others.
There he was Grievous was right there in front of them limping away slowly he could still put an end to this.
"Leon wait" Luminara yelled as both Thalia and Ahsoka began chasing after him.
They didn't notice it at first, they were so exhausted from fighting and running from the bombing attack they had failed to notice exactly where they were, an old underground hangar. There were half a dozens ancient fighter craft on both walls of the hangar and in the center was a single shuttle and Grievous was limping toward it.
Leon was closing in fast channeling the Force in his body to enhance his speed his lightsaber already drawn and then he heard blaster shots. He continued running, but risked a glance over his shoulder, spectre droids at least a dozen of them all firing at his friends. Half of them going after Anakin and Luminara and the other half going after Thalia and Ahsoka, but Grievous was only a few more yards ahead of him and completely defenseless.
"They can handle themselves" he yelled at himself glaring at the retreating cyborg.
"No I have to help them" he argued with himself looking back at Ahsoka and Thalia.
"He's going to get away"
He looked back to Grievous and reached out with the Force grabbing him and pulling him back and to the ground that should keep him down long enough for him to help…Ahsoka.
He heard Ahsoka scream and Thalia called her name as he turned around.
More spectres appeared one had shot Ahsoka in the back with a stun shot paralyzing her and then as a collective they turned their weapons to Thalia bringing her down as well while the rest of the spectres continued attacking Luminara and Anakin, their advanced programming allowing them to dodge the deflected blaster bolts and keep the two Jedi at bay.
Seeing Thalia and Ahsoka both go down rage overtook him and Leon charged forward his vision fully tunneled toward the spectres in front of him they fired at him immediately and he deflected their shots and dodged to the side getting closer and closer and then all he felt was pain, burning pain as something slammed into his back knocking him to the ground.
He fell to his knees and all his breath left him in a single gasp as he dropped to his hands behind him Grievous had gotten up and shot him with a blaster rifle stopping him long enough for the spectres to hit him with a stun shot as well.
Even though every muscle in his body began cramping all at once Leon forced himself up to one knee and up again to a half crouch gritting his teeth and screaming refusing to give in. He almost managed to stand and then everything went black in an instant, no pain anywhere, no feeling anywhere as he fell back without even feeling it. He landed on his back and his lightsaber rolled from his hand Anakin and Luminara could only watch unable to get to them as the spectre droids continued attacking them keeping them at bay just long enough for a trio of magna guards to exit the shuttle and drag the three unconscious Jedi on board followed by a heavily injured, but victorious Grievous.
Anakin yelled his padawan's name as the shuttle's ramp closed and the hangar door opened he forced his way through the line of remaining spectre droids with a violent force push and tried to catch the shuttle before it took off, but he was too late. By the time he made it half way the shuttle had already taken off and was far into the sky above taking Ahsoka, Leon and Thalia to who knows where.
Character is power - Booker T. Washington