AN: I don't own Naruto/Star Wars: Legends


The cells of the Jedi Temple were far from quaint, or in any way simple to get to or get out of. Their structure had been built on years of planning, manipulating positioning and making certain everything aligned in a way that a potential Sith captive couldn't be released by another attempting to storm the Temple to break them out. It was like the heart of a fortress, built to last, and to endure.

Worse in the case of most, each cell was behind ray shields, leaving most to have only enough room to pace about, but also allowed others outside to control the temperatures within, leaving it incredibly difficult for one to use their frustrations or anger at it being too hot or too cold, save for the petty or those seeking to cause trouble. It made it feel all to homely, calm, and safe.

Seating within, Naruto enjoyed the silence despite being bound and restrained in such a way that he couldn't do much in his cell, despite the fact that the restraints barely kept him from simply leaving his confinement. The bindings were across his arms only, leaving him to be able to pace around the cell if he so wanted with much more freedom than most others might have. If they knew him, then they'd very quickly be aware of how much of a disadvantage they were at just by letting him be mobile, but he didn't feel that was necessary; he wasn't leaving until he was proven innocent. Because he was.

He just needed them to figure that out.

It only seemed natural in his mind, that they should see what was most obvious towards his innocence; he had chosen to stay in this place. He didn't want to, but he had made that choice to trust that the Jedi Council would find who actually did this, and who set him up. They could check the records, and they would show where he had been, and that he hadn't been waved out of the system like he should have been. He had spent so much of his youth being made to go around and review the Archives; leaving it in a mess that another would have to pick up was outrageous in his mind.

There was one other thing that made this experience in the cells a far more interesting time than it should been. As he paced back and forth, another voice cut through the silence. "You continue doing that, and I'd assume you were the one channeling your anger, and passion, rather than myself."

Maul. For reasons Naruto couldn't explain, they had been placed in the same cell block area that Maul had been locked away. It had made absolutely no sense to Naruto, but then, his confusion was more the fact that Maul was still there, in the Temple. After half a year, he'd have expected the Jedi to have done something, anything, about Maul's presence. Instead, he was still in the Temple, waiting, and above all else, he had made it rapidly clear that he was bored. It was so crazy to consider, but the idea that maybe they simply didn't see him as a threat was a very real, and very stupid possibility.

"Have you considered just, leaving? I have. It'd be quite the spectacle, but the manner in which I would do so would likely just end up either overwhelmed by numbers, or by boredom. Of course, if you were among them, perhaps it wouldn't be so boring."

"Maybe it would be. Not that I'd expect you to get far if I wasn't out there. You'd be to busy breaking me out so we could fight."

"A bold claim." Maul smirked, eyes flashing faintly as he chuckled darkly. "If I could simply purge your cell, that would make you a non-factor. Shame there's no way to simply incinerate you... the Jedi are far to foolish. To weak to finish what they've started."

"You're hardly worth finishing." Naruto jabbed back, getting a vaguely insulted look.

"I'm hurt. After all I've done, I should hope that you would think that highly of me."

"... that being?"

"Oh, this and that." Maul had been hinting like this since Naruto had been thrown in with him. Hinting that he was a bigger threat than Naruto, and that the Jedi, thought. That he'd done things that should have gotten the Jedi's attention. "Things I'm sure only the depraved might think of. Things, perhaps, only someone like you would understand."

Naruto exhaled slowly. That had been a surprise too. The fact that Maul, after his initial time with him, had been acting almost understanding of Naruto. Like he'd had time to study and learn about him. Or, people had spoken of him, and that without ever leaving his cell Maul had gained information on him. It was startling, imagining how many people had been through the cells, how many could have spoken to him, and accidentally given information. Bits and pieces, here and there. Enough that a brief flicker of Naruto's expression was enough to get another chuckle from the man.

"Mm, yes." Maul tapped his bound hand against his knee, as his bindings gave him little else he could move, lifting his head to peer at Naruto further. "You are uncomfortable... thinking about it all? All you've been through, and seen. Why not let it go? Let those emotions flow through you, and then grasp them so they cannot escape? You could do well, if you weren't tied down by the Jedi's foolish ways..."

"You'd make a great Jedi, if you weren't so angry." Naruto countered, getting another laugh from Maul.

"Ah, you always say such foolish things. How can I remain angry at you when you continue to try and humor me? When I know it's not in... complete ignorance, at least." Maul rolled his eyes, seeming to take Naruto's comment as an end to the conversation.

"Why did you become a Sith?" Naruto pressed, trying to keep him talking just a bit more. It was not the first time he'd done so. As with each other time, his question was ignored. "What's the matter? Afraid I might be innocent and will tell everyone?"

"I'm concerned that you'll be guilty and will tell no one when you're ultimately executed." Maul retorted. "It will do me no good if I tell someone whose head I find emptied pointlessly. Force help me I could use a laugh, hearing you were executed before me."

"You won't find me killed like that. It's not that easy to kill me."

"And yet, you're in here, with me. What does that say?" Maul slowly leaned back, his expression ever the same; confident, arrogant, and smug. Then, as he watched Naruto for a moment longer, he slowly blinked. His mind seemed to process something, taking in Naruto for a moment before he seemed to think of something. "No... no, you..." He threw his back with raucous laughter. "You taunt them so openly? Do they not realize? Have they not known?"

"Not many do." Naruto spoke smoothly, leaning against the wall. A faint smile quirked at his own lips; for all his laughter sounding as haunting and dangerous as it did, to Naruto it was just another laugh. A secret shared between two who'd fought, who knew each other in a way that only combat could provide.

"How long do you think it will be? Before one of them speaks up?" Maul suddenly seemed animated, looking incredibly jovial of the dark joke he now understood and shared with Naruto. "This whole imprisonment if a farce for you! A joke for you to lean back and laugh at the audacity of it all. And they... they have no idea?"

"They're trusting me to do the right things."

"The right thing would be to not be accused of a murder you didn't commit. The least they can do is to make it for something you actually did. It's insulting otherwise."

"I can't control what other people think."

"No?" Maul leaned forwards, his yellow eyes gleaming darkly as his grin shifted into one further malicious. "Why not? There are ways, I'm sure. The Jedi have proven that they can keep the Republic in the palm of their hands..." The sudden shift in conversation caught Naruto a flat foot, and he tried to listen closer. "One or two who can do that, from the ranks of the Jedi to wrap a few minds for you... or, perhaps, a dozen of them?"

The shift was odd, but as he considered it, Naruto slowly frowned. "... you mean that Council?"

"Mm, yes... yes they would be powerful enough to do that." Maul nodded, as though Naruto had agreed with it as a statement, or a suggestion, rather than a question. "They - they! ... yes, they could do it. Wrap each new Chancellor around their fingers, get them to contribute to their so called cause, and have him send Jedi only where they wanted them to be. Surely, that would explain Valorum's fall from grace. Was he not a good man before? I heard he was, even by our standards. One who the Republic believed they could count on? And yet he fell so far that he is now all but forgotten? Surely that says something. After all, what Chancellor hasn't befriended and grown close to the Grand Master of your order?" Slowly, his eyes darkened as his gaze shifted to a far off expression, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "A Grand Master... who has been around for far, far longer than any of them. In a position of power longer than any of them? Who could use that position to ride the Order of threats from within, and make them... disappear?"

Naruto remained silent, letting Maul speculate and theorize to his hearts content. He couldn't prove anything, what with his imprisonment, but he hoped that Maul might let slip something in his ramblings. Instead, he was just pointing fingers at the relationship between the Chancellor and the Jedi Grand Master. Something that couldn't be, as the Chancellor was a strong willed individual.

As strong a will as as Master Yoda?

Sinking back, he bit on his inner cheek to try and keep his face from shifting, not wanting to give anything away. Master Yoda was among the most powerful of the Jedi Order, and he couldn't think of many people who wouldn't listen to him just by his words alone. Many people who did not have the same sort of training that a Jedi would have, and many else in the galaxy who had been trained to resist their influences. Without the Sith, who else could be doing that in the galaxy?

"Do you doubt them?" Maul's question was surprisingly soft spoken, as though he were trying to be genuine and calm with this branch of questioning. Which, for all Naruto could tell, he was. "Can't you see that's what caused the original Sith to fall away? Realizing that the Jedi, for all the good they try to talk and say they do... the only way the galaxy could hold itself together is if someone else had taken control? That someone else must be holding onto the reigns of the galaxy, and directing it."

"The Sith."

"The Jedi."

Naruto shook his head, turning away from Maul as he tried to reign in his frustrations. He was better than that, but after everything else he was going through he had good reason to be. The Jedi were the good guys... except, they weren't. After all, it was something that he himself had thought of and realized; back on his homeworld, he'd realized the Jedi could be seen as 'controlling' the galaxy socially or even politically.

And, he wasn't. He was a Jedi. So they weren't all good.

But he tried. With everything he had, he tried his best, and could only hope that everyone else were doing their best as well. He'd been assailed by those who thought he'd killed their masters, and he'd forgiven their actions because he couldn't say for certain if he wouldn't have done the same. They'd thrown him into prison for his own good, and he could live with that thought. There were good people in the Order; he did not represent it after all. But the idea that the Jedi Order, as a whole, were manipulating the politics they said they had stated they wouldn't take part in, that they would only act in the interest of maintaining peace in the Republic...

And he couldn't help but ask himself; how well was that going? Ryloth with slave trade from the Hutts still allowed, so many places that the Republic needed permission to enter, even with their standing, over fear; fear of conflict, of war, and of change.

Change. How little had they - the Jedi - changed in all this time? Were they the same people they'd been years before? No, they weren't... or were they?

Naruto's hand moved up to his arm, the sealing technique that hid his scroll with so many things - including the holocron of Nomi Sunrider. Closing his eyes, he sat with his back to Maul, letting the man have his moment to think he was victorious in instilling a layer of doubt into Naruto. He hadn't, not truly; all he'd done was made him rethink and reevaluate his expectations of the Jedi as he knew them. They were good people. They were. He knew that.

But, had they always been? And if not, then how did that reflect on the Order as they were now? Perhaps, most importantly, if they had not always been good people, what did that make the Order as it was?

The thought was something that had him on an edge he hadn't known he'd never walked. This had been going back and forth, but this was the first thing that Maul had brought up to make him take a moment to reorient, and recenter himself. It was a verbal wound, and the first thing that Maul had managed to slip into his guard over the last few days, and force him to actually take more than a moment to dismiss it. He couldn't just let it go without some thought; a moment's thought alone though, could be detrimental, and dangerous.

Behind him, Maul laughed, his victory clear to him as he left Naruto to struggle with the words left with him.

[=-x-=]

The obvious place to look for the initiates to begin their search was at the scene of the crime. So, naturally, that scene was being guarded, and they couldn't get anywhere near there. It wasn't frustrating, not exactly, but it meant they couldn't check it out. Probably for the best, as despite it being cleaned and cleared, it probably had some bad energy to it.

That left a few places. Each of the four had their own thoughts on where to go, and what to do, so they decided to split into two groups. Zule and Darra went to check the room people said they'd seen Naruto stumble out of, while Anakin and Tru went to look at the cameras. Anakin and Tru were more tech savvy, which would make it easier in their minds to see if they could spot anything wrong, while Darra and Zule would see if there was anything in the room that the masters might have missed. With a communicator between them to relay results, and no questions asked about where they'd picked one up, they were confident that they'd find something in one of those places. Somehow.

Walking alongside Tru, Anakin grumbled to himself as they reached security. Some of the Jedi around gave them looks, which meant they'd probably talk about seeing Anakin here, but he ignored that. He needed to concentrate so he could figure this out, and get this done. Glancing to Tru, he nodded as the two of them stepped into the room.

The room was quiet, and surprisingly empty for a place like this. Then again, with how much was going on in the Temple, they likely relied on other things that drew the Temple Security Forces attention. Many of them were not Jedi, which simply meant they were more likely to look at things different than how a Jedi would. Good for some things, but if they could simply walk into the security room, then that meant they were likely patrolling and doing other things.

It made the room seem grander than it might've seemed otherwise, but then for two initiates the sheer scope of it all made them look around at it all in awe. There were places all over that seemed to be watched by this room, and it almost felt as thought they could stand at the center of it all and see the entirety of the Temple in some way. Like they could check every piece of the world around them, and see things hidden away.

"You are entering a restricted area."

The two initiates jumped, the sudden buzzing and beeps of a droid hovering out from off the the side as it approached them catching them off guard. It had the appearance of one meant to look friendly enough, but still held the sudden worry of two kids caught out of place. Glancing to each other, they tried to think of what to do as quickly as they could.

"Uh, we were... asked by the Masters to look at the holovids. As a project?" Tru tried to sound convincing, but didn't sound sure at all.

"Unlikely." The droid slowly moved over to them, its photoreceptor shifting and zooming in on them.

"Hey, uh... where is everyone? Shouldn't there be people here?" Anakin looked around, frowning. The fact that it was being taken care of by only a droid wasn't the strangest thing, but after everything that had happened, he'd have thought there'd be more people here. It was strange, and gave him a feeling of anxiousness he didn't like.

"Those who normally are here went down to fix a wiring issue that had been apparently persisting. This unit has noticed no such issue, but they insisted." As it spoke, there was a distinct whirring as it focused on him. Then, there was a moment, a brief pause as it stared before it pointed to Anakin. "You are the one designated Anakin Skywalker?"

"Uh..." Anakin glanced to Tru, who shrugged and looked confused as well. Designated Anakin Skywalker? They probably just meant that it was his name. "Yeah, I'm Anakin Skywalker."

"You are designated for 'upgrade' from the one Naruto Uzumaki?"

Anakin shifted in place awkwardly, the words hitting home and making him drop his head. Great, even the droids were asking about him. "... yeah..."

There was a brief moment of silence between them, giving the droid a moment to process the answer. Then, it straightened up, moved over to its station, and began moving over everything. After a bit, the display changed, and began showing somewhere else. As they watched, one of them zoomed in, and suddenly Tru and Anakin perked up. It was the display of Naruto leaving his room.

"I... what...?"

"This one has spoken with the one designated Gonk." It continued moving over the vids, several others coming up as well on the displays. "The one designated Uzumaki has proven themselves in many things as told by the Gonk. Much has been discussed among those like this unit in the Temple, and we seek to understand the purpose in those of this Temple putting him into an containment unit. It does not add up to this unit with the discrepancy."

"A discrepancy?" Tru slowly moved over, the two of them glancing between each other before moving up next to it.

They stared at the holovids, neither of them catching on at first as they kept trying to make sense of it all. The droid seemed to want to assist them. Anakin was completely taken aback by that thought. Naruto had expressed a dislike for droids in multiple instances, and even had made it clear that, despite his appreciation of Anakin's work, he wasn't always the happiest with the results with even C-3PO. But, this implied that there were droids who thought highly of Naruto. Highly enough that they were willing to help two kids just looking into it. The thought hung in his mind, before he set it aside to look at the footage with all of his attention.

The droid moved about, making sure to keep things in what they assumed to be 'in order', as it pulled up specific scenes for them to review. As they played them through, they'd get to a certain point in each video, play the next piece, then replay it all again. It did this several times, before slowly turning to stare at them, focusing as it waited for them to reply to what they were seeing.

Catching on that it was wanting them to look over and see what it was trying to point out, the two focused in on it. The scene shown was the figure who had performed the massacre walking out of the room without showing the room itself - which was really for the best, walking off down one of three branching paths that had led to the room, off to their left upon entering. They went down a hallway, entered a room, and then the scene cut. Then, after a bit of time, Naruto was walking out of the room, stumbling down the hallway, moving towards the room before he was backpedaling and under attack.

"There is a discrepancy."

Tru frowned, looking over the vid. Anakin couldn't see what was wrong. Naruto went into the room, went out, and then returned to the room. It was clear cut, and was beginning to frustrate him more and more. This couldn't be right. Something had to be wrong, the droid itself was saying so. So what was it?

"Why did the room change?"

The words caught Anakin off guard, making his eyes suddenly snap around the vids, trying to catch what Tru meant. Quickly getting a headache, he blinked rapidly as he leaned in closer. "... what?"

"There." True pointed to the room. Anakin watched it, seeing that he was pointing to the room Naruto went into and out of. As he watched though, he noticed that the room had a slight peak into the room from where it could see just a bit inside, but the room itself didn't have a view within it; likely meant for privacy, or that it wasn't a high traffic area. When it flickered to show the time skipped from one to another, "There's boxes in the room Naruto walked out of... but none when he walked in? Were they put in there? Wouldn't someone have seen Naruto if they'd gone in and put boxes down?" Tru had a point. That would mean that someone would've seen him. Then, Tru suddenly perked up. "Wait, wait! Play that again!"

The droid did so, easily pulling it up and playing it back. Anakin watched, trying to understand what Tru saw himself. Then, as he did so, Anakin froze. "Can you get a side by side? Of Naruto coming to that room and that guy leaving it?"

"Yes, should only take a moment."

"Thanks."

Tru blinked, squinting at Anakin. "... you thought of something? I was trying to see his clothes."

"Yeah, I... I think I do. I have to see though."

"Alright, I'm following you..." Tru sounded nervous, but was watching the screen intently.

As the two came up side by side, the two watched the scene unfold. "Slow it down." The words meant little, as seeing them side by side made it perhaps far too obvious. It was clear, seeing it now, but a moment before, having watched it all the way through, it had been completely missed.

Watching Naruto approach the room, he had come up from the left. The left, as they were looking at it. However, on the other scene, the man had gone off to his left; their right. At no point did it show him moving around to go somewhere else, or otherwise. A discrepancy.

"Are there vents that go between those rooms?" Anakin asked, trying not to sound too elated. This was a chance, a way to prove his innocence. Maybe, just maybe, it would help out.

"There are." Anakin's face fell, his excitement dropping before the droid continued. "They are thin, requiring droids to clean them. Not large enough for someone of most sizes to enter, except perhaps of your size." It slowly looked over Anakin, seeming to reconsider. "Perhaps, not of your size. You are a bit large for such things."

"So he couldn't have just crawled through the vents!" Tru's eyes widened in understanding. "There's no way he could've gone from that room, to the other!"

"... but why does it cut to the room Naruto came out of then?" Anakin stared, watching as, once again, the clip did just that. It went with him going into the room, then it clipped to Naruto coming out. "Where's the clip of them leaving?"

"Uncertain. There has been a bit of time looking into that, but no clip of that area was found. Someone else has put in the details of that clip, ensuring they meshed together. Additionally," There was another version of the scene they'd seen, except this one had Naruto walking in from the right, instead of the left, and when Naruto left the room he'd been in, he was going in the opposite direction. "These two camera's images were flipped before being sent in to the Council."

That had the two glancing to one another. "... do, you mean that someone spliced the clips together?"

"Possibly."

Tru winced, leaning in to Anakin. "Wouldn't that mean that someone on the Security Force did that?"

"Or a Jedi." Anakin muttered, looking further upset by that information. Thinking it over, Anakin perked up. "We should tell the others."

"Huh? Oh! Right." Tru flushed, pulling out his communicator. "Hey, Darra, you there?"

[Haven't gone anywhere yet. Nothing really seems to be in the room yet.]

"Hey, there's another room, if you go down the hallway, on the..." Tru stared at the doorway, tilting his head. "It's on the left side? Wow, this clip is making my head hurt now that I'm actually looking at it."

[You guys found something? What is it?]

"There's a discrepancy in the clips. Naruto walks up to the room from one direction, but the person who left the room when a different way."

[Oh, yeah, that's... that sounds kinda big, I think. You want me to check that other room?]

Anakin leaned in over Tru's shoulder. "Just to see if there was something left behind by that person. It might help us prove more with it."

[Alright, easy enough.]

Tru and Anakin grinned, then glanced back to the droid. "Can we get a copy of this? If we give it to the Council, maybe we can prove his innocence!"

"I would, however..."

"What do you mean 'however'?" Tru blinked, looking to Anakin in worry.

Instead of answering, another clip came up. A droid, moving through the halls, with someone approaching it. As it did so, there was a sudden blur, an arc of light, and the droid fell to pieces. Immediately the figure picked through the pieces, pulling something out before shoving it away and pulling the droid towards something - a garbage chute. With a heave, the droid's form slipped down into the shadows, leaving the person to walk around as though nothing had happened.

"... a... Jedi is keeping them from getting to the Council?" Anakin winced, the quick, blatant destruction catching him off guard. "But, that's in a public hallway isn't it?"

"No, it is one closed for some manner of construction needs." The droid made a soft whirring sound; a sound of discontent. "Droids are allowed to move through those areas unrestricted, but only those who are allowed can do so. It is, however, the only path designated at this time for droid use to get information from security or otherwise to the Council room."

"So, we just need the names of those people?" Anakin asked, then winced as Tru laughed.

"Yeah, two initiates asking about that. Totally. We'll get that."

Anakin punched Tru's arm. "Not funny. We don't need to ask them for that, we just need to get both videos to the Council, and they'll take it from there, right?"

"I mean, yeah, maybe..."

The droid slowly nodded, seeming to catch what was intended. "Perhaps. If it becomes a danger, do not put yourself in such a position. I will put out a call to the others. We will do our part to protect you."

"We?"

Anakin's question went unanswered as the droid pulled up the data, putting it quickly onto a holoprojector. Part of it being the two images side by side, and the other being the droid being cut down in the hallway. The speed at which they were put on implied that the droid was on their side already, and once the two vids had been placed onto a small projector, it handed it off to them without another word. It then opened up another device, speaking into it to someone on the other end about the two initiates in droid-speak.

As it spoke, the door behind them opened, and as the two turned to see who it was, they stared up at a lithe, feminine form who stared back at them in equal confusion. A Rodian woman - a Jedi. "And just what do you think you're doing here?"

"We're - we're just..." Anakin fumbled, the way she had positioned herself blocked the doorway, and as it was their only way out, it was making him stutter and stumble.

Backed into a corner, the two looked up at her, trying to think their way out of it. As she looked at them, she seemed to perk up; it was hard to tell with how wide her eyes already seemed, but Anakin had seen a few on Tatooine and had a better idea than Tru. Slowly, she knelt down, leaning in as they stared at her. Slowly, she turned to face the video images, eyes locking onto them and watching them play out before she spoke. "... you're Naruto's kid? His... padawan to be?"

"... yeah..." Anakin's voice was soft, barely a whisper. He didn't know who she was, but it felt like everyone else for a moment; that judging, less curious and more that they knew better. Then, he watched her head drop slightly, and that oppressive air seemed to drop away.

"I see." Slowly, they stood up, turning to the droid. "... and what is it they're doing here?"

"They are taking a discrepancy to the council for myself. Every attempt to do so has been met with resistance." The droid shifted, seeming to almost take up a vaguely aggressive stance as it plugged back into the system. "It cannot continue."

"... someone's stopping you? That's..." She looked between at the two initiates, then back to the droid. "I'll take it."

"I am entrusting it to them. Not you."

"I can take it." She tried to insist, but the droid immediately shook its head.

"Even the guards I do not trust. You can lead them, but we will watch you. I will not have this lost again. Not after the dozen attempts that have been made thus far."

"A dozen - no..." Her eyes moved back and forth, as though considering that and trying to make sense of it. Then, as though resigned to the truth, she nodded. "Then, I will. Please, give it to them, and I'll take them from here."

"Uh, no offense, but... who are you?" Tru asked, looking between them as though they had interrupted her and droid's conversation, and not that she had walked in unannounced and interrupted them.

Slowly, she turned to them, placing a hand over her heart as she bowed to them. "Forgive me. I am Sheeka Tanwa, a friend of Naruto's growing up. I... hope I still am a friend." Bowing her head, she slowly nodded, more to herself than to them. "Yes, I am. Please..."

"How do we know you're actually his friend?" Anakin asked, trying to reach out through the Force. He knew that there was supposed to be a way that the Force could reveal the truth of things, but it wasn't something that he'd been taught. Still, if the Force knew everything, it could tell him this much.

As he was doing so, the droid suddenly made a garbled, almost strangled sound. As they all looked, it twitched and writhed with electricity suddenly arcing over it. As it was doing so, the other images and holovids around them glitching out. It dropped the datacard it had been holding, it's body shifting as they saw where it was still plugged into the mainframe, moving as though to try and remove itself from the mainframe, before it jerked back and collapsed with a colossal crash as the room went dark.

Staring into the darkness, Anakin leapt forwards, groping in the darkness for the datacard. If this Sheeka wasn't Naruto's friend, then if he let her get their hands on the datacard could be bad. Worse, if whatever had thrown the room into darkness had destroyed all the footage. That would make the data on this card all that was left of their evidence that Naruto was innocent.

A blue light suddenly lit up the room as a snap-hiss of a lightsaber illuminated everything. Anakin flinched away from it, blinking rapidly as he tried to adjust from the pitch black to the light. In that moment, Sheeka had moved over faster than he'd expected, and scooped up the datacard. He'd lost it. After all he'd been trying, after this great, immediate success, he'd lost it. He-

"Take it." Sheeka held out her hand to Anakin, the datacard placed gently in her palm. When Anakin didn't move, she gently shook it closer to him. "Quickly. If someone did this, I don't think they'd be pleased to find out that someone downloaded something before this. They'll try to destroy it... take it."

"Why..." Anakin's voice was rough, but his hand quickly snatched the datacard from him, eyes staring up wildly as he tried to process everything that was happening all at once.

"There's darkness in this place..." Sheeka whispered, standing up as she put her lightsaber away. "Always has been, just... I didn't... I can't just stand here and let this all keep happening. Naruto deserved better. Always has...I should've..."

"And, you're helping?" Tru's voice sounded so excited in the darkness, like he was being told to follow the light that he could just now see.

"Yes. I am. Come on." The doorway opened, and Sheeka motioned them out. "Go, quickly. I'm not counting on us having much time, and I don't want to have to deal with the questions when you have answers the Council needs."

The three of them moved out of the room, Anakin taking only a brief moment to glance back into the room. The droid's form was still, and likely whatever had been done had destroyed much of it internal software; it could be restored physically, but to wipe the memory likely meant any restoration would make it something new. Slowly, he bowed his head.

"... we'll avenge you... I promise..."

Turning, he bolted behind them, the three making their way towards the Council Chambers as quickly as they could. Something was happening in the Jedi Temple, as as the shadows were spreading rapidly, they moved as quickly as they could to outrun them and bring the light they'd found to banish them.


AN: There's so many things that could be said for this chapter, and the difficulty it posed - not by itself, but because the previous and subsequent chapters have been a pain (next chapter is still being a pain). Finally thought, finally, I've gotten this one down.

Things continue building, and I am still working to keep that good writing content coming, and I appreciate your patience.


Q&A Time

Vizard890: Didn't near the beginning Naruto showed interest in Mandalore and Mandalorians?

You're correct - in part due to his interactions and understanding of Jango Fett. Which was brought up again when he fought Jango when he went to Jabba's Palace. The Mandalorians will have their place - it's Star Wars, a story without them would be silly to forget them.

Yuuchi Yosamu: Will the council be made aware of Jiraiya since he can shed some light on certain aspects of Naruto's background that most of the galaxy are not privy to?

Nope! That'll be something to think on and discuss more later, but having Jiraiya suddenly pop up and go "hey here's what happened" would be good, but it's not something Jiraiya can do. His presence can be seen, but only by specific people. Couldn't use him as a deux ex in this instance; would ruin the drama, and have Naruto without character building, which would be a shame.

XPartan Caos: Hey, I was wondering if the name of Naruto's planet had any sort of meaning or it's just a name? Also, are you going to do something interesting with Naruto's "spy network" in the temple, or is it just there for show?

Yes! It is a homage to the story Naruto of the Force - a story that no longer exists sadly. In that story, Naruto was found by Qui-gon, trained by Windu, and when he went home his home was called Ibonihs - which is Shinobi backwards. Because it no longer exists, I named it as such to pay respect to a story that no longer exists on this site.

It's there for a purpose, as you've seen a bit already, but their purpose is still building, as they only had so much time to start it - but clearly the "legend" was built up among them, and with all the stories Naruto has sent out, it would only make sense that the droids could have that more chances to be exposed to things Naruto has done.

Kysor Shades: how much hold does naruto have over grevious? will it affect the clone wars? will grevious' daughter come into play? (cuz dude that would be sick)

Qymaen, known to the public as Grievous, changed his name because of the death of his lover. In the canon story, he became an enforcer for the Muun when his planet needed help due to the economic devastation that came because the Republic sided with the Yam'rii.

Except, Qymaen lost to Naruto in ritual combat in my story, and hasn't had a chance to reclaim it. And the Republic didn't side with the Yam'rii due to what Naruto did. Which means there's a lot of sway that Naruto has over him even now, and we'll see him show up. As for his daughter, I'd say which one because he had near 30 kids, but the one who died could possibly show up. Then again, I have other plans as well regarding his family, which will come up later as well.


Thank you all for your reviews, they are always great to read. If you haven't seen, the poll to go over the pairing options for Anakin on my Profile page. I look forward to seeing who you choose, and how I'll be able to consider and use it through the building story.

May this chapter find you well, and may the Force be with you.