Just One Moment:
By: Hugo Reed
Chapter 3: Kidnapping
Head Jedi Temple
Last Month of the Clone Wars
Anakin slowly walked around the everlasting twists and turns within the jedi temple. The night upon Corusant was nice and cool, and if he hadn't been so tired, he would've enjoyed it. But he was tired, and sleep would not come to him. If it ever did, dreams would begin to haunt him. They were always one of two things. Padme's death, or an imagined one of Ahsoka. Anakin had to admit he'd grown very fond of her and would've died to keep her safe, but that was normal. After all, she was his padawan learner, if only a short while longer.
"Up late again?" interpreted a voice. "I don't know how you can still fight at all. You haven't slept more than three hours a night ever since the war began."
Anakin turned to Obi-wan.
"Longer than that," said Anakin. "It was from the time dreams of my mother came to me."
"Oh," said his old master. "Of course, I remember. Tell me, how have you been, raising Ahsoka?"
"She has been headstrong, and hasty, but she has began to listen to what I have to say. Also she's twice had to replace her lightsaber so far. However, overall she is close to becoming a very capable jedi. She's so force-strong that I think she may even rival me one day."
Obi-wan grinned lightly.
"Strange that you tell all this now. Do you remember how many lightsabers you have to make?"
Anakin thought back to his padawan learner days.
"Five wasn't it?"
"Yes, and how many times did you not only ignore me, but do exactly what I told you not to."
"That's different," said Anakin. "You were almost always wrong."
The two laughed a little more. Anakin then asked Obi-wan about how he'd acted with Qui-gon-jinn. Obi-wan reveled something along the lines of being stubborn.
"But," he said. "I only ever had to make one lightsaber in my apprenticeship."
Anakin grinned lightly, and thought about how his padawan had lost her second blade, in the heat of the chase.
Last Year of the Clone Wars.
Anakin looked at the approaching army with a clarity no normal man possessed. He was the Hero without Fear, the title of a jedi if there ever was one. Then his metallic arm slowly reached across his chest to his left hip, and wrapped around the handle of his lightsaber. The metal hit metal and clinked. Anakin reached to his shoulder and tossed off his cloak and vest, which were burned and mere strips of clothing. While the rest of his attire was in tatters as well, he could now move freely. Anakin took one more quick look around.
There were no troopers. There was no other machinery that could operate to save him. He merely had his skill in battle, and his lightsaber. At such a thought, Anakin smiled grimly. If droids had feelings, he would've felt sorry for them. However, they did not, and as such, he felt nothing.
He loosed a terrible war cry and flung himself into battle. Blasters loosed lasers and they pulsed through the air around him. Then, he ignited his plasma-blue blade and landed heavily on his feet, now bare. All the droids refocused their target sensors, but Anakin was already moving through them, slicing left and right as he went. Metal and circlet wires crashed into the snow at his feet. Then the blots came at him again, but he was quick and hid behind the slower or destroyed droids, slicing others down with ease all the while.
Anakin knew the only reason he'd been upgraded to jedi already was because of the war, but that didn't mean he wasn't more accomplished than almost any other jedi. As Obi-wan had put it, he just needed a little more mental growing. Having a padawan was supposed to help him do that.
"Speaking of padawans…"
Anakin glanced up at the main control tower of the current army. It pulsed with terrible electricity, and was the main center of their mechanical problem. Of course, as sheer habit would have it, Ahsoka was already was right on top of the tower, chasing a fleeing Titarion. The little blue-winged creature was making a fair headway towards his ship, and Ahsoka was in danger of missing. Anakin attempted to leap up and help her, but droids were right in his face, and keeping ground-bound. He cut down two separate battle droids.
"Give it up jedi."
Anakin turned to the droid with the commanding voice and blasted large waves of them back and off of the bridge they fought upon. Anakin was trapped behind the lines of fire and droids and couldn't get to his padawan, not yet anyway. He spun and a quick ciricle, dropping low and taking several of the metal legs from their owners. Then, something clinked by his head and he turned to see Ahsoka's month-old lightsaber bouncing off the bridge. Moving in as quick as he could, he raised his organic hand. The blade stopped and flew towards his palm.
However, the droids weren't done with him yet. They fired at him rapidly and caused him to parry the bolts. The sad effect of this was that his hand was not where it needed to be to catch Ahsoka's new golden blade. Anakin swore to himself as it went spinning off the lip of the bridge, as though it were a perfectly round disk. Then Anakin glanced up again to see his padawan wrestling enthusiastically with the Titarion and his guards. Anakin attached his lightsaber to his left hip and blasted the ground around in a twenty meter radius with the force.
Droid parts were sent flying and several were blasted clean off their mechanical feet. Anakin, however, was already high up in the sky and rapidly approaching his padawan. Just as their target pulled out an P-43 ionizer blaster, Anakin landed in front of him and cut forward just far enough to melt the end of the ionizer together. Of course, the Titarion's brain hadn't yet caught up and he pulled the trigger, causing the blaster to explode in a fit of sparks in his hands. Anakin pointed his own weapon at the creature's neck, and he surrendered.
Anakin glanced behind Obi-wan, wondering just where is strange little padawan was now. He looked at Obi-wan, who was not forthcoming, so Anakin put the question directly to him.
"Where is Ahsoka now? Still asleep?"
"No she's with the chancellor."
"What for?" asked Anakin. "Is he punishing her for something? Her missions have been flawless so—"
"Nothing like that," said Obi-wan. "There's been a possible threat from Grevious."
Anakin stared at him in horror.
"Why didn't you tell me?" his voice was full of worry. "Obi-wan?"
"Sorry," he said softly. "I didn't think it was legitimate, in fact Palpatine himself is only having a guard as a formality."
However, only one part of this statement reached the anxious young man.
"A guard? As in one guard? Dammit!"
Anakin's hands flew to his lightsaber and his was already sprinting to his ship. Obi-wan stared after him, thinking that he should wake Masters Yoda and Windu.
"I've got a bad feeling about this…"
Anakin panted lightly as he finally found his personalized starfighter. He flung the window open and hopped into the pilot's seat, starting up the engine. Then he took off and flew at full speed towards the chancellor's main lobby. At this late hour, few were flying about, but Anakin still had a great many of displeased humans and humanoids who complained about how poor his piloting was. Anakin ignored them leapt high out of the ship before it had even landed properly. Anakin kept running right through the building up to Papatine's office.
As he came through the doorway of an elevator, he saw the droid of a man carrying both his padawan and the chancellor on his back. Anakin swore and felt several other jedi wake suddenly as blasters fired outside. It appeared the droids had just landed and were fighting troopers. Anakin leapt on the train-link that the droid-like being had disappeared onto and Ahsoka called out to him through the force.
Her voice sounded far too weak for his own liking.
"Ahsoka!" he yelled. "Hang on! I'm coming."
He ignited his familiar blade and quickly cut a wide circle in the back of the cart. Calling upon the force, he ran so fast through the compartments that tears flew from his blue eyes. As he neared the last train cart, he began to spin his metal hand quickly back and forth as fast as he could. Kicking through the last door, Anakin bellowed his loudest war cry and, purely by chance, hit Grevious with his foot. The general backed away behind his guards.
"Interesting," said Anakin, readying his blade. "I guess a droid can feel fear of death."
Grevious coughed harshly.
Anakin looked at which of the two would move first, and saw the one on his left move just a half-second sooner. Giving himself to battle, Anakin blocked first left than right. He cut through one side of both of their weapons. The droids actually seemed to be stunned for a second. That second was all that he needed. With two quick strikes, he sliced them in half vertically, and by the time their metal remains clattered against the ground, he'd already locked sabers with the general droid. Ahsoka quickly took up on the oppurtinity to grab her blade.
Her blue-green lightsaber flashed in the compartment and moved to rescue the chancellor, but Greivous managed to keep her at bay, and surprised her by using his extra arms. One of his big metallic hands caught Ahsoka by the neck and threw her quickly out the open door of the compartment and right in front of the rear wheels of the train. Anakin was moving faster than he could've even had time to think. He reached forward with all the speed his body could gather up, even calling on the force to save his padawan. He reached forward and their hands connected.
Anakin pulled upward so quick that the metal gears in his hand squealed in protest, and Ahsoka flew into him, pressing the both of them just close enough to the wall to avoid being flattened by the train. Anakin looked down at Ahsoka and she looked up, shaking terribly.
She nodded and sat down hugging her knees close to her body. Anakin looked back at the far-off train. He swore and began to chase after it. Even with the force backing his legs, Anakin was barely making any progress on catching the train. Then, two droids landed in front of them. Never slowing down for a second, he cut them down with this blue-plasma blade and continued running. Soon, the outside tunnel vanished and they were running several hundreds of miles above the ground of the city-planet.
The wind pounded in his ears, and made his eyes sting and water. He saw that the train was rapidly approaching a very large ship. Anakin already knew that he would never make it in time. He stopped almost cold and sank to his knees. He failed and had allowed Gervious to get away Palpatine in his metal hands. Anakin pounded his fist into the ground in anger. He was still too slow, even after all his years of training. Would he ever be able to save people who were in danger? He let himself fall into a slight depression and heard something off to his right.
"Hey Sky-guy, lying down on the job?"
Anakin let a very small smile cross his face. Then he flipped over the lip of the rail and landed in the co-pilot's seat. Closing the window, Anakin turned to Ahsoka.
"What would I do without you?" he asked.
"I don't know," she said. "Luckily, neither of us should have to find out for a little while."
He dropped his smile and put his hands on the control.
"Give me full manual controls," Anakin said. "Track the ship in quadrant… C-4.2!"
The ship identification screen went off and Anakin slammed on the accelerator.
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