Part 1 [24/3/12]
"Is he nearly complete?" Darth Sidious asks, from inside a secret bunker of The Works.
"The droid general named Grievous will soon be ready," Count Dooku says.
"Grievous?" Sidious scowls.
"Is there a more suitable name, my lord?"
"I suppose not, but I still don't see why we have to keep the general's original name."
"He will still have his own mind," Dooku warns. "Therefore, to name him anything different would be against his will."
"Who will train him?" Sidious asks.
"I will," a voice says from the door. Obscured by machinery, Anakin Skywalker's lean frame enters.
"I am sorry, young Skywalker," Sidious says. "You hardly have any training of the Jedi, even though Dooku here has been training you. It is therefore Dooku who will be the one to train him."
"Is there anything I can do?" Skywalker asks.
"Yes. Follow Darth Maul and what he is doing in relation to the Confederate movement. We need an appropriate time to talk to each other."
"Yes, my lord," Skywalker says, and leaves.
"Now then," Sidious says as Skywalker leaves. "Will Grievous be ready and operational soon?"
"I can guarantee it, my lord," Count Dooku says.
And the work continues on the cyborg.
Darth Maul's blade retracts from the body of a Republic soldier. He then spins around and blocks a laser aimed at him with the blade still active. That soldier falls, and Darth Maul rushes forward.
He was given command of the droids to help him with a capture a frigate with Republic personnel. This frigate was supposed to be hiding Jedi, who were supposed to be smuggled to a moon of Yavin.
So far, Maul hadn't encountered any, and so had ordered the droids on a shoot to kill mandate, and was following that mandate himself, hoping to draw the Jedi out into a confrontation.
The layout of the frigate was fairly standard, with white corridors as far as the eye could see in an ordered grid system. The bridge was at the front and the engine reactor rooms at the back. Along the port and starboard sides, gun emplacements were located.
Not that they had done the crew any good.
A comlink then beeps from Maul's waist. He picks it off his belt and activates it.
"Sir, there are no sign of the Jedi," the tinny voice of a Battle Droids sounds. "We are however near the reactor rooms, and are planning to blow them, with your permission."
Maul could sense something nearby, and hoping it was the Jedi, he replied in an obvious tone "Go ahead and blow the reactors. There is no point in trying to salvage a proper victory over this vessel."
"Yes sir." The comlink dies as two lightsabers start humming.
"Even if you do blow the reactor," a voice says, "you'll be stuck on this ship with us and will meet the same sticky end."
Part 2 [27/3/12]
"And so the Jedi finally reveal themselves," Darth Maul says. "Prepare to meet your end."
Maul then activates his dual blade and charges the two Jedi. Using spinning tactics to keep the Jedi on guard, Maul quickly finds a way to disable them, first by using the Force to keep at bay one Jedi and cutting off the others blade hand, then swinging his own blade around to the other Jedi's hand as well.
Calling both Jedi blades to him, Maul smiles. "Not that tough now, are you?"
"I can take you any time," one of the Jedi says, and pulls Maul's own blade from his hand using the Force.
As it hits the Jedi's palm, a blast from the floor erupts, sending everyone flying. Another blade activates and blue can be seen through the smoke.
When that smoke clears, both Jedi are lying in pieces on the floor, and Anakin Skywalker waits with both his own and Maul's blades held loosely at his sides.
That is one Force-user to watch, Maul admires. Not up to my standard, but still...
"Skywalker," Maul greets him.
"Lord Maul," Anakin greets in turn. "Lord Sidious wishes to talk with you, and has inquired me to stay with you for a while."
"Fine," Maul says. The first rumble sounds. "But first we need to find a way off this cruiser before it blows up."
"I have a shuttle parked not to far from here," Anakin alerts, and jumps down the hole he made in the floor. "Follow me."
Maul jumps down as well to find he is right next to an acceleration couch. "When you said not far, I didn't expect it to be right underneath us."
"Well, I am a pilot with the Force," Anakin says from the cockpit. He guides the shuttle down from the cruiser, making sure the upper hatch is closed. He then brings the shuttle to full thrust to get away from the cruiser as quick as possible. Only one other shuttle is in view.
The one with the droids on it. The droid shuttle, however, never accelerated quickly enough and was caught in the explosion from the cruiser.
"Well, at least we can talk to Lord Sidious still," Anakin says. "And it's not like Battle Droids are a rarity in the galaxy."
In the Trade Federation cruisers bridge, Anakin and Darth Maul stand by a hologram of Dooku and Darth Sidious. Standing behind the two in the hologram is a droid cyborg that looks like an Old Sith War Droid.
"So, what is thy bidding, my master?" Maul greets, bowing. Anakin does the same.
"Is everyone elsewhere but the bridge?" Sidious asks.
"Everyone else has been removed by force until ordered to return," Maul says.
"Good. Now, the next part of the grand plan should be a simple one. But we need to work together with this, and all should go according to plan."
Part 3 [30/3/12]
"Oh, and may I introduce General Grievous," Darth Sidious says, moving sideways so the cyborg commander was in view. "He will be training under Count Dooku until he is ready."
"I am ready now!" Grievous shrieks. The voice isn't tinny, instead imposing menace, and is strained.
"You will not be ready until you learn the ways of the Jedi combat. Only then will you be able to beat them," Count Dooku says.
"Pah," Grievous spits out.
"So what is this plan?" Anakin asks.
"Well, Dooku plays a big part in this," Sidious says. "Those that have seceded from the Republic and formed the Separatist Alliance will need to be accumulated into one army. And for that, a deal will need to be made. Maul," Sidious then adds, looking into the hologram at his apprentice, "will draw as many Jedi from the Temple as possible by creating local disruption at specific systems near the Outer Rim."
"You never mentioned me, Lord Sidious," Anakin reminds him.
"Ah yes, you will go to the first of the sites selected for a border dispute, and personally see to it that some Jedi find their way to you."
"-on Cyphar." The hologram flickered out and back again as Anakin finished this last sentence.
"And have you seen him since?" Mace Windu asks.
"No. He might be planning an ambush. It is quite dark around here, and a storm seems to be brewing near where I am. Even if he does try to escape-" The hologram flickered. "get far with this... orm."
"The connection is breaking up. We'll get a Jedi squad to assist you as soon as we can."
"...anks a.. t." The connection then breaks fully.
Mace Windu focuses upon the Chancellor. Palpatine looks weary from carrying the Republic's weight on his shoulders for so long.
"Are you really certain you want to be sending an entire Jedi team there?" Palpatine asks, a croak in his voice prominent.
"It is the only option we have," Windu says. "And that message was received as I traveled here. I merely replayed it for you."
"Yes. Yes," Palpatine dismisses.
"How goes the vote on the Military Creation Act?" Plo Koon asks.
"Senator Amidala is working tirelessly to vote against it, while others are in strong favour of it," Palpatine replies. "I see no reason for an army of the Republic. This is about politics and negotiation. Not who has the strongest force."
"I see," Mace Windu says. "If and when the vote does finally come up, you must realise there might not be enough Jedi to protect against such a threat if it comes to that."
"What do you mean, Master Jedi," Palpatine flusters. "I don't understand."
"A war, Chancellor. Two sides of a democracy inevitably creates war."
Part 4 [7/4/12]
The dark, tall alleys of the slum district of Cyphar blocked all light from entering the clearing. A bar of blue light, a meter in length, lights the clearing enough so that one lean form can be seen. Three more blue lights, five lights of varying green, and one yellow light, join the first with a vvzum sound as they activate to a meter in length. All the blades being activated echo in the shadowy darkness.
"Skywalker! Where are you?" a strong voice calls.
Crumbling rocks and bricks then start falling into the clearing. Clanking is faintly heard through the crumbling rocks.
"Skywalker!" the voice shouts again, which then starts echoing.
Other Jedi however, start positioning their blades into defensive positions, and creating a circle with their backs pointing inwards.
"Stop! Jedi!" a Battle Droid calls. Lasers are then fired by the Battle Droids, with harsh peeu sounds, which the Jedi then deflect with their blades.
More Battle Droids start filling into the space, meaning the Jedi have less room to manoeuver and start hitting each other with their blades. More Jedi start to fall dead, and the Battle Droids press forward. The zangs and snazzes of deflected lasers start to diminish as the last few Jedi fall.
The remaining Jedi, a lean human, battles furiously. A laser hits his hand and his lightsaber is flung from it.
"Skywalker!" he calls, as a laser hits him in the heart. The last part of the name fades before it is fully stated.
The Battle Droids then just stand around, looking in all directions. A figure then moves closer to the carnage.
"Part one of the battle is done," it says with darkness in its tone.
"I managed to escape, but I don't know what happened to the Jedi team that was sent," Anakin Skywalker reports to Mace Windu via hologram. Mace Windu is in the Chancellor's office, and Palpatine, as well as Plo Koon, listen in.
"Where are you now?" Windu asks.
"In transit to Zolan. I thought it better to report before I jumped to hyperspace."
"Good. And what of Maul?"
"He might be on Cyphar still. That could explain the missing Jedi squad. However, border disputes are starting up quicker than I care to count. Zolan is one of them. From what I've heard, Battle Droids are attacking the towns and cities there."
"Send through the locations where these border disputes are happening. Jedi teams will hopefully sort them out. We need to keep the peace, no matter what happens."
"OK." The hologram fades.
"Concentrate on the main disputes," Plo Koon says. "Those ones will rip this Republic apart if not settled soon."
Part 5 [10/4/12]
The rocky surface of Zolan met Anakin Skywalker as he landed near one of the cities. Lasers echo through the vast emptiness. Landing near to Skywalker's position is a Republic shuttle. Jedi already out on the surface greet him.
"Skywalker. We was instructed this was a main hotspot for action, and to group at once onto this location," the leader, Duclen Visian, states.
"Well, it's good to have company I suppose," Anakin says slowly.
The rest of the Jedi exit from the shuttle, and they all charge into the city. Lightsabers active, the Jedi spin and flip, attacking the Battle Droids full on. The native Zolanders attack the droids with laser pistols, but more often than not, they miss and hit their own.
Taking a pause from the fighting, Anakin jumps up onto the nearest buildings roof. Slicing some of that roof off, he then uses the Force to throw it at a large cluster of droids harrying some of the Jedi. All the droids are destroyed, but one Jedi gets hit in the process. Anakin didn't care, and had already moved back into the action.
In the forests of Velmor, a Jedi wondered. Walking around checking all the place had to offer.
A beeping sounded, harsh and loud. The Jedi looked all around, and finally up. But it was too late.
A bomb had been released and was dropping down quickly. The Jedi tore his gaze away from it and ran as fast as he could, dodging trees without really seeing them, fully in tune to the Force. He continued running at full speed and soon broke out of the forest when a huge explosion rocked him to the ground.
Face forward he fell, flat against the ground as rubble and foliage covered him. A rough grip then dragged him up, and a voice that was strained, harsh and imposing menace spoke, "So you thought you would outrun by little surprise, did you? Hah. You will be the first Jedi I will have killed. But not the last."
"You are a monstrosity and should be brought down," the Jedi spat.
"Yes. But not by you." The Jedi opens his eyes to see a cyborg with the styling of an old Krath Sith droid flip a gun from a hidden holster in its hip. Using the Force, the Jedi kicks the gun out of the cyborgs hand. But then a blade activates.
The Jedi reaches for his own blade, but realises it has disappeared. Too late he realises that the cyborg has it, and is killed with his own blade.
Anakin thrusts his blade into a Battle Droid's back and deactivates the blade to swing the other blade into its comrade, twirling around the droid he just destroyed. Sighting upon a group of Battle Droids, he jumps down in front of them. They instantly open fire, and Anakin swiftly enters defensive mode. Blocking laser upon laser, he deflects the bolts not at those attacking him, but on others around him.
Slowly he starts to move backward. The droids follow. The pursuers are lead to the two ships the Jedi and Anakin arrived in. Using the Force, Anakin picks up the shuttle. Duclen Visian then jumps over the Battle Droids, twisting madly with his blade held to destroy the most droids. As Visian almost hits the ground, Anakin pushes him into the remaining droids instead. Anakin then guides the shuttle to the main of the action and blows the engines.
What is left is nothing but a crater where the city should have been. Nothing moves.
Satisfied that the job was done, Anakin enters his own ship and activates the system. A message instantly activates.
A hologram flickers into existence of Mace Windu, who says "Anakin. Return immediately to Coruscant. Senator Amidala needs the best protection she can."
Part 6 [13/4/12]
Anakin had forgotten her since being left alone on Tatooine. The simple mention of her name brought back memories. The beauty. The lovely smell. The silken hair.
Anakin just sat in the pilot's chair of his ship, thinking about what he had done over the last few days, and about Amidala's state of non-violence resolutions. To be with her again would be a pleasure, as he remembered that promise he had made, way back on Tatooine when he was just a small boy.
But he would have to forget all about the conspiracy of the Sith lords. But Sidious would need to be told.
"Impressive," Dooku says to General Grievous, standing behind the General a fair few paces back after his first kill in the plains of Velmor. "Most impressive."
"I promised that I would be a good warrior, and kill all Jedi," Grievous growled. "Get as many Jedi as you can in one place, and I will strike them down."
A beeping then indicated a message coming through on Dooku's comlink. Activating it, Anakin then spoke. "I am returning to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Mace Windu wants me to protect Senator Amidala, but as of yet I have no idea where she is. When I get the information, I suggest we use it to lead the Jedi to Kamino."
"Very good," Dooku replies. "But why tell me? Why not Sidious?"
"Lord Sidious seems occupied at the minute. I'm still awaiting a link to him-"
"Report," Sidious' voice emitted faintly through Dooku's link.
"We need a meeting," Anakin says to Sidious. "All of us. I am required to protect Senator Amidala, but have no other information. I think we could bring it into our plan."
"Get your mission, Skywalker. And then we shall see what needs to be done. I will contact everyone else."
Sidious' link then closes.
"I'll leave you then, Dooku. Until we meet again." Anakin then leaves the link.
Sidious' voice then sounds through the comlink. "Dooku. I understand you are training General Grievous?"
"Yes my lord."
"Some trouble has arisen and we need a full group meeting. Meet at Ojom in space. I will have a battleship waiting there. Get there as soon as you can."
"I will, my lord. And General Grievous will be there with me."
"Skywalker. Thank you for your time," Mace Windu says, meeting Anakin in the Jedi Temple hangar bay. "Time is of the essence and I need to deliver your instructions quick. The Chancellor has received word of disruption at Naboo, and as Amidala is Senator for Naboo, he fears that she will be targeted. You will need to arrive there as soon as possible. She is soon to give her vote for the Military Creation Act."
"Yes, sir," Anakin says. "And when I do meet her?"
"Just act as bodyguard until she gets here, right up to the point where she is at the Senate building."
"I will do as you say."
Anakin then walks to the ship again, and takes off quickly. A beep then indicates a message coming through.
"Meet at Ojom in space. I will have a battleship waiting there. Get there as soon as you can."