Just One Moment:
By: Hugo Reed
Chapter 1: The Clone Wars
The skies of Geonosis
The beginning of the Clone Wars
The skies flashed with bombs and lazers that passed within only feet of the wings or cockpit of their dropship. However, as jedi, Anakin and Obi-wan were perfectly calm and collected, giving instructions with logic. The clone troopers had their military disipline behind them, but Padme was far less calm. Anakin could feel her fear seeping through himself. He swore to himself that he would protect her. Suddenly a speeder flashed past them and time seemed to slow down purely for Anakin as he saw Dooku on the little machine. His heart raced as he called to the trooper.
"It's Dooku! Shoot him down!"
"We're out of rockets, sir!"
Damn, thought the young padawan. We'll just have to do this the hard way.
"Then follow him!"
The clone trooper nodded in affirmation. Obi-wan glanced at Anakin, but chose not to comment on his padawan's obvious eagerness. Padme however was thinking about something else altogether. Before she even spoke, Anakin knew the primary thought in her mind was to make sure that he was alright.
"We have to go get help!"
"There's no time," said Obi-wan. "Anakin and I can handle this!"
Anakin glanced as his master, stunned. Obi-wan had occasionally given him some praise or other for some new thing he had learned, but it was always heavy-handed and somehow felt empty to the young one. He just somehow felt that maybe Obi-wan didn't really believe what he was saying. However, that short comment meant that his master truly trusted him in battle. To let someone know that you truly, honestly trust you with their life… What higher praise could he receive than that?
Anakin smiled lightly. Yes, they could handle this. They had to, otherwise Dooku would find a way to escape. His gripped tightened around the barrowed lightsaber. It was strange, and practically foreign in his hands. However, an unfamiliar lightsaber would be better than none at all. As they closed down on the hanger where Dooku would be undoubtedly waiting, Anakin turned to Padme.
"Stay on this ship," he said.
"Padme," he whispered. "If you go in, you'll only be a target for Dooku. I can't fight him at my best if you're in there, in danger."
She stared at him, struggling to find some way to combat that statement, but for all her cleverness in politics, she could think of nothing to say. She couldn't, no matter how badly she wanted to, deny that his words made perfect sense. He was right, and she had to leave.
"Fine," she whispered. "But come back to me."
"Don't worry about me."
"Anakin," said Obi-wan, igniting his lightsaber and pointing at the open hatchway. "Let's go!"
"Right behind you master!"
Anakin ignited his own green blade and ran right behind Obi-wan, whose own blade was shining through the darker room. Just as Anakin had thought, Dooku was waiting for them. It was Dooku who spoke first to the two jedi in his deep, and powerful voice. The voice of the sith.
"Took you time, didn't you?"
"Let's move together," said Obi-wan. "Go in on—"
"No, I'm taking him now!"
Ignoring Obi-wan's protests, Anakin ran right a Dooku, charging with the same fury that had fueled his power against the tusken raiders. However, Dooku gave the boy a small smile and as Anakin charged him Dooku shot lightning at him, but Anakin knew he had promised to go back to Padme. His green lightsaber swung up and caught the lightning. So Dooku extended his own in a hurry and the two entered the elegant dance of a lightsaber duel.
Anakin struck low at Dooku's feet, but with a flick of the wrist, the old man parried the blow. Sparks flew everywhere as the center of the two beams crossed. Dooku twisted his blade the opposite way and Anakin's blade was almost wrenched from his hands. Then, Dooku brought his blade in close to his body again. Anakin knew what was going to happen before he would do anything about it. Dooku came at him again, and his blade was pointing uselessly at the ground. He started to bring it up, but even by backing his arms with the force, he was too slow.
The scarlet blade moved faster and faster and suddenly, a light-blue blade blocked the blow.
"Dammit Anakin!" said Obi-wan. "When shall you listen to me?!"
Anakin trust his blade at Dooku's feet and the sith flipped over them. Obi-wan was an exceptional jedi and swordsman, and Anakin could've rivaled master Windu in battle, but Dooku had one key thing going for him. He was no ordinary swordsmen, he was sticking to an extremely old style. It was much closer the fencing than the random strikes of chops that most jedi had resorted to from the need to deflect blaster bolts. Dooku had always stubbornly held on to it, and in a lightsaber duel it paid off.
Even working together, combining their most powerful moves, neither Anakin nor Obi-wan could punch a dent in Dooku's defenses. However, they refused to give up. Anakin slash at Dooku from up and over his head, but Dooku re-angled his blade and blocked, not only Anakin's blow, but Obi-wan's attack as well. Anakin yanked the saber back and struck at a different point. Again and again his was blocked and trust aside. Obi-wan and Anakin both leapt back at the same time. Obi-wan brought his blade up straight to his shoulder, and pointed it at Dooku.
Anakin spread his feet apart at shoulder width, and held his blade vertically in the center of his body. The air was so incredibly thick with tension that Anakin swore he could no longer breath properly. He looked for a weak spot, an opening inside of Dooku's defense. He saw none.
"Fine," he muttered, almost to himself. "Fine. If I know one thing, it's this. Where there is no hole in the defense, you must make one."
That being addressed, Anakin looked over at Obi-wan and nodded. As soon as Obi-wan nodded back, Anakin ran forward screaming. Power flowed through him and he struck several times at Dooku, and as Obi-wan aided his strikes, Dooku lost his smile and was beginning to be driven back. Even though Neither jedi could hit the man, they worked together to drive him backwards. Then Anakin acted again. He did it almost without thinking, and without even knowing how he did it. As Dooku moved back again, he was forced to stop cold.
Anakin had made him stop as though he'd hit a brick wall. For a long moment, Dooku seemed to be in shock. Then, slowly, realization came to his eyes. He smiled lightly as the jedi withdrew again. Then he spoke in that deep voice again. Again, he spoke in the way of the sith.
"You have unusual powers young padawan, but you're very, very foolish."
"I do tend to be a slow learner."
Obi-wan then struck, but Dooku gave a quick whirl of his blade and skimmed both Obi-wan's legs, causing him to fall down hard. His head hit the floor, and he passed out. Anakin grimaced and called Obi-wan's abandoned lightsaber to his own left hand. Then he went forward in a whole new level of ability. For the second time, Dooku's little smile vanished, and it was replaced by a terrible scowl. He struggled now, but not it was he who couldn't break through Anakin's defenses. Sparks flew down onto the floor and it hit a lot of machinery.
However, Dooku was clever and precise. So, he finally managed to destroy one of Anakin's lightsaber, and while the youth was staring down at it in some amount of despair, Dooku parted the whole lower arm from the rest of the limb. Anakin yelled in pain and Dooku slammed him backwards towards Obi-wan with the force. He struggled to stay awake, but the pain was beginning to overwhelm him. Finally, the world of blackness overtook him and sent him down into the darkness.
The voice, he knew it.
"Anakin, come on."
"Please, Padme may be in trouble!"
Anakin instantly forced himself to sit up and open his eyes. He came to a staggering stance and looked around. Master Yoda was there. Perhaps other jedi too, he didn't care. He grabbed the lightsaber that hadn't been destroyed and dashed out the way they'd come in. A fierce sky battle was going on between a dropship and some droid ships. It took Anakin only a second to understand. Padme was on that ship. He felt it through the force and tried as hard as he could to defend the ship, as much as with his own will as with the force.
However, the force wasn't with him, or it wasn't listening to his calls. The blaster blots kept flying within inches of the ship. Then, three fully charged shots hit the back of the ship, setting it aflame. Then the ship fell down to the surface, scraping the ground and flinging several troopers out of the ship. Anakin noticed one thing, Padme did not. He quickly leapt down to the ship and ignited the blade while running to the burning ship. Before he even got within a quarter-mile of it, a large explosion rocked the whole area. Anakin's heart stopped cold.
It couldn't have happened. It couldn't be true. Panicking, Anakin used the force to increase his speed to blinding heights. He grabbed a clone trooper by the front of his armor and angrily yanked the man up to his own eye-level and shook him. His voice was a terrible rage.
"WAS PADME ON THAT SHIP!"
The clone trooper almost looked away, and nodded. Anakin almost threw him off of himself before running all the way to the ship and hacking through the closed doors. Anakin quickly searched through the burnt corpses, and saw the remains of a droid blaster. It had been the one Padme was using. He looked at it and tears began to spill from his eyes. Tears of hate, and tears of pain. Anakin slowly let himself fall to the sandy ground. The burned blaster fell to the ground, as much a gravestone as Padme would receive. Anakin stood and looked up at the two ships.
"You killed her," he said in his low and soft voice. "I can only begin to return the favor on the whole army."
Then, Obi-wan landed next to his padawan learner.
"Anakin," he said hesitantly, carefully.
In a flash, Anakin was up on his feet and running straight up the side of a plateau. With his left hand, he ignited the green blade with which he would bring destruction to any that crossed his path. The ship came flying back around towards him and he leapt right at it. Anakin parried three bolts and then landed on the ship itself, then plunged the lightsaber into the ship all the way to the hilt. He drew it back out and almost flew to the second ship. He landed near the central engine system and cut them off in his furry.
The ship went spiraling out of control towards the surface of the planet. Calling on the force to keep from being shaken to death or passing out, Anakin let himself let go at just the right moment to be sent skidding across the ground and reduce any worse damage he would've taken from the fall. Then he stood and ran towards the distant outskirts of battle, his new green blade ready for battle. He was more then ready for battle though, he was craving a full-blown war. Little did he know that just what he would be getting over the next three years.
Obi-wan and Yoda watch him anxiously. Each knew for a fact the other felt it. They both felt the pit of rage and hate and fear that had become Anakin Skywalker.