Darth Vader: Hero of Naboo
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Ki-Adi-Mundi and Oppo Rancisis were justifiably tense; behind them stood Depa, Bemic and Sahdett. The verpine Sahdett's insect-like body was coiled and anxious while holding the amputated body of Jekram over his shoulder. The klatooinian Bemic held the small body of Evan Piell in one arm, almost like an infant, his lightsaber in the other. Depa was holding Gallia up with the uninjured arm over her neck, and trying to do some minor healing techniques on the blast wounds.
All three of them kept glancing to the opening, preparing to make a break for it while Mundi and Rancisis stood in front of them, lightsaber held up defensively…which was contrasted by Sidious, standing over the corpse of Luminara, both of his sabers pointed downward and his shoulders deceptively at ease.
The standoff was obvious. The moment they ran, he would be shooting lightning or otherwise attack the fleeing Jedi in the back. If the two masters charged him and he managed to get around them before the injured could be taken out...
Rancisis and Mundi shared a glance. While they couldn't abandon their comrades, it wasn't clear what was more dangerous for them all: Trying to save the injured now or if the five combat-ready Jedi all tried to deal with this enemy first.
"Hmm, that worked out better than I had hoped," Sidious remarked idly.
No one spoke, no one replied, knowing not to entertain this Sith's words.
"The Animated Sealant," Sidious elaborated, nodding towards the now seal hole, a notable bulge having formed where Yoda attempted to keep it open. "Amazing what happens if you find a way to mix that with something as superconductive as ultrachrome. Add in a bit of liquid carbonite and you have an instant anti-lightsaber wall," he commented calmly, as if they were his peers that were reviewing his work. "Albeit, a bit of Sith Alchemy smoothed over the kinks. You wouldn't believe how it used to balloon when I made the first prototypes. By the moons, that was terrible to clean up."
Mundi raised an eyebrow, realizing something. "It was a fake," he deduced with a scowl. Sidious didn't comment, as if waiting for an elaboration. "The gas, there was never anything in it. You wouldn't be rambling, waiting to die with us otherwise."
"Are you sure, Jedi?" Sidious asked with a smirk. "Completely? Perhaps I've already cured myself or am simply immune to the poison creeping towards your lungs," he taunted sinisterly.
Rancisis conceded that possibility. More to the point, Sidious was rambling, as if stalling. If the gas was fake, why stall like this?
"Is it wrong to gloat about my creations?" Sidious asked, making Oppo tense at being read so easily. "After all, sometimes enemies are the only beings that can truly appreciate one another's work," Sidious paused before snorting. "I suppose that is why I have no appreciation for you Jedi. In a thousand years, your progress has been rather...minor, at best," he mused darkly. "You have no idea how dedicated to your destruction we are, do you?"
"I'm sure you'll tell us," Rancisis stated.
"Not really," Sidious answered with a shrug. "I will say that a past Master of our Order did have a rather...ingenious idea: To create a deadly virus that could target Jedi."
There was a horrified instant of silence at that.
"You're lying," Depa stated with a frown. "There is no possible way you could create something like that without risking yourselves being infected as well."
"Perhaps, perhaps not," Sidious said with a haunting chuckle. "But whether it's true or not, the fact is...you believed, if only for an instant, it could exist."
Mundi felt sweat form on his head, recalling Vader's words: Don't listen to Sidious. Loathed as he was to take the advice of a Sith, he admitted that the cyborg was completely and utterly correct in that point.
Sidious hummed in displeasure, sensing them dispel their doubts as best they could. Better than he expected. "Vader warned you about me."
It wasn't a question.
"And yet, he is not here," Sidious noted, glancing outwards. "It's rather funny, how easily you all jumped to do his bidding."
Depa bristled and Mundi scowled.
"I'm sure he had a rather convincing and convenient excuse, why he couldn't accompany you to face me," Sidious stated with a cruel smirk. "It's a shame most of you won't live to learn the true aim of Darth Vader."
His lightsabers ignited and he prepared to leap forth upon them.
But the Jedi took the initiative this time.
Evan Piell's eye opened as his hand shot up, sending his own lightsaber sailing towards the Sith, igniting in mid-air.
Sidious smirked as he casually blocked and side stepped the green blade, cutting it in half at the hilt. His eyes went wide as he did an about face, blocking a strike from a clearly-living Luminara. His gaze shot from her blood stained mouth to fixate on her chest wound. He had somehow missed her heart and she had been carefully healing herself and hiding her continued-life right in front of him. Not enough to survive, no, she would die. But enough for a final act.
He growled, sent the weakened Jedi flying with a Force-enhanced strike, impaling her on some metal debris.
He turned around, already knowing what to expect: Mundi and Rancisis had already closed the gap, the others making a rapid dash for the exit.
Raising both sabers, Sidious found himself on the defensive again as the two kept up their assault with great intensity. Mundi was a steadfast and determined attack from one side while Rancisis used his two lightsabers and serpentine body to try and worm his way past Sidious's defenses.
He jumped back, trying to buy some room between them, but the two would not allow that. He growled, ceasing his retreat as he managed to lock his blades against those of his foes, keeping them at a stalemate. He had caught Rancisis when the two blades were crossed, and the legless Jedi knew he'd probably lose an arm if he tried to break the exchange.
Sidious seethed as he saw the Jedi about to make their escape. Or, so he thought.
All three parties of the duel were at least slightly surprised when the three uninjured Jedi took the wounded and literally threw them out of the opening, sending them hurtling down. Presumably to the other Jedi still outside, but still.
A slow smirk came across Sidious's face. He considered vocalizing his gloating, but why ruin the fun? He hadn't been faking anything; there had indeed been a deadly gas in that canister, a variant of trifaraleen gas. But it was quick to lose its potency. By the time the vapors had been freed to fill the room, it would have no effect. As much as he would have enjoyed seeing the Jedi choking as they turned to dust, he knew it would never work on Masters such as these. But, the secondary gas was much more subtle.
Tava, the sleepwalking gas. Its only effect was that, for an hour or so, it would cause one to act foolishly. Like a drunkard, but less obvious.
Which was why he was not surprised when Rancisis decided to gamble his chances. Nearly beheading Sidious when he broke the blade-lock and losing one of his arms with a pained hiss.
Sidious broke his other blade-lock with Mundi and jumped back, just in time to dodge a Force-blow from Rancisis as he revealed his secondary set of arms while the three other Jedi rushed to rejoin the fight.
Taking on five Jedi Masters at once was not a wise move, tactically speaking. Taking on five Jedi Masters who didn't realize yet they were under the influence of an inhibition disabling drug? That was more manageable.
"It's not going well, is it?"
Dooku turned to a Bothan named Beev Vono, staring at him with a grim expression. One matched by the rest of their companions. "No, my friends, I fear it is not. Some are dying, or dead, and Master Yoda is actively not holding back," he answered bluntly, frowning as he gazed up, trying and failing to see through the shadows of the Dark Side. Without the veil, they knew the Sith were there, but seeing more minute happenings with the Force was difficult, almost impossible for most. Only they, Jedi Masters could glimpse within it.
And Dooku wasn't sure this Sidious wasn't glimpsing back at them…Sidious or perhaps the Dark Side itself.
"Should we join them?" the human Nat-Sem asked, watching the high opening the rest of the Jedi had scaled to and entered.
"Patience," Dooku cautioned. "Something is amiss."
"What do you mean?" Coleman asked, cocking his long head.
"I'm not sure. There is a great, troubling frustration from the Grandmaster. He is no longer engaging the Sith, it appears," Dooku explained. "He is not injured or defeated, but cannot fight."
"The trap was sprung," Sinube remarked sagely. "Now, how to undo it?"
"And why are we waiting?" Beev asked again, some frustration leaking through.
"Just a feeling, Master Beev. Trust me for a moment longer," Dooku requested sternly.
No one dared to speak against Dooku's request, wondering just what the aging Master sensed-
"Someone is coming down," Celsha Krataley warned as three dots appeared to fly out of the opening, descending rapidly.
"I think you mean thrown down!" Nat-Sem called out, seeing that the dots were in fact three bodies falling rapidly towards them.
Three Jedi bodies.
Without another word, all of them reached out and used the Force to slow the descendant of the three, lowering them to the ground.
"By the force," Coleman remarked as he took in their injured states. "Are they-"
"I'm alive, you half-wit," Evan Piell answered with heavy breathing.
"Master Piell," Krataley said kneeling down to bring a hand to his small chest. Her eyes widened. "You-"
"I'll be fine," Piell snapped. "Worry about the other two."
"Piell, what's happening up there?" Dooku asked, kneeling down to the resting Jedi's level.
"The Sith was ready," Evan admitted with a grim look. "He knew he couldn't face all of us, so he did everything in his power to keep us divided and distracted, picking us apart. To keep us unable to focus on him entirely while his traps were in play."
"What about Master Yoda?" Dooku pressed with a furrowed brow.
"He and Windu had him on the run, but we failed to see the ultimate goal: he divided us. The Grandmaster and the Master of the Order are with about half of the masters, stuck a level below the fighting. They're surely trying to find a way back up by now," he explained, taking a deep breath. "Luminara is dead. The other five may soon join her."
Dooku nodded solemnly. "Master Krataley, can you stabilize them while we join the fight?"
"Force willing, I will try," she answered, tending to Gallia. "But if there are more injured, I probably won't be able to grab them out of the air like that."
"What were they thinking?" Sinube asked to himself.
"Dooku," Evan Piell spoke up imploringly. "Listen to me. No matter what happens, someone must take this message back to the temple. Vader wasn't lying. The Sith truly have infiltrated the republic. The identity of this Darth Sidious...is Senator Palpatine."
Dooku's expression darkened at that confirmation. "So, we need someone to return to the temple, just in case this Sith has some...insurance that we don't leave this place alive."
"But who?" Nat-Sem asked, letting the real question hang in the air.
Which of them, if any, would be the least to contribute in this coming battle? This already meant it would be four Jedi joining instead of five. They had to make a sound decision, and quickly or-
"Perhaps I can be of help?"
His fellow Jedi ignited their lightsabers in defense as Dooku turned to face the new voice-
And stared into the incarnation of evil.
It wasn't an expression Dooku particularly liked. Evil was such a nebulous and subjective concept, a way of labeling an enemy as one that cannot and should not be reasoned with. One who had traveled the galaxy should know that everyone believes their side is somehow in the right. Not all wars are between tyrants and idealists. Sometimes, circumstances just bring two sides to clash. Evil was a word used freely only by the ignorant or the manipulative.
But he had no better way to describe the being before him.
It was...humanoid in shape. Yet taller, looming over them all by a height of at least ten feet. But it was not bulky with muscle. On the contrary, it was very thin, with arms almost too long for its body and folded behind its back.
But it was the body itself that alarmed them most: It was not a body of flesh or metal or anything material. It was a body of darkness, of shadows. Like the blackest smoke given life and thought, with two burning red ovals for eyes.
Every moment he stared at this entity made him realize how powerful this being was with the Force, the sheer ocean of might ready to be unleashed upon them.
And yet, unleashed it was not.
While his allies stood rigid with a cold sweat, Dooku walked forth to stand before the entity, his lightsaber still holstered. "Darth Plagueis, I presume?"
"You presume correct, Master Dooku," Plagueis greeted cordially with a nod of respect, completely unphased by the other Jedi, so on edge still. "I see my former apprentice has given you a rather warm welcome," he mused, red eyes trailing to the bodies. Evan Piell glared, too weak to move, but defiant all the same.
Dooku hummed as he studied this Sith, or this projection at least. Because he knew it wasn't real. It was obviously an illusion. But even knowing that...he couldn't see through it in any way. To his every sense, this shadowy being was as real as the metal beneath their feet. "Former, you say. And yet, he lives?" Dooku mused, stroking his beard. "Our assumptions of you may have missed the mark, but I doubt the Sith have changed so much to forgive treachery like that."
Plagueis moved slowly, strolling about with mist evaporating in his wake. "Do not assume living and alive to be so synonymous, Jedi," Plagueis warned mysteriously. "And let us not pretend that you are not here to confront me as well."
"And if we are not?" Dooku retorted with a raised eyebrow.
"Then the conversations with Lord Vader must have been truly interesting," Plagueis mused without missing a beat.
"Oh? Did your fellow Sith neglect to inform you of our arrangement?" Dooku questioned with a small quirk of his mouth.
"Perhaps he did, perhaps he didn't," Plagueis answered, waving his long digits in the air. "Or perhaps, I simply don't care."
Dooku frowned again, knowing he would find no information on this matter. "You offered assistance. Why?"
"Sidious's fate is sealed," Plagueis remarked with finality. "He will scar your order greatly, but no amount of death will purchase his life."
"And once he's fallen, you finish off the rest of us, is that how it works?" Vono accused.
"Calm yourself, Jedi. I could have killed you already if I wished," Plagueis informed in a strangely soothing voice.
Dooku scowled, but didn't try to refute that.
"In light of your arrival, I don't feel obliged to stop Sidious from facing you. I have washed my hands of him and I have no reason to aid you against him."
"And yet, you are here," Dooku remarked. "Why?"
"Are you deaf, Master Jedi?" Plagueis asked in amusement. "I will not help you slay Sidious, but if he is so clumsy as to not finish his prey off?" he asked rhetorically, a strange smile on the head of the shadows. "Masters like you should die in combat, not with your life-force fading away due to lack of medical support."
"You think we would trust you? To heal our wounded?" Dooku asked skeptically.
"Now Dooku, let us be honest. You all don't believe I can heal you Jedi properly, not with the Dark Side," Plagueis said knowingly.
Silence was his answer, and it said much. It was known that Dark Side users could have self-healing abilities, even if they were fueled on negative emotions such as hate and rage. But to use such techniques to heal another, without tainting them with the Dark Side?"
"More to the point, I'm not really giving you a choice in rejecting my aid," Plagueis informed idly.
Dooku eyes went wide as he felt something in the Force, something Plagueis had allowedhim to sense. He turned in time to see a glow of green Force energy around Gallia, Piell, and Jakram. Evan was the only one of the three conscious, but even he seemed to be in a trance.
"Stop, let them go!" Coleman demand, sending a Force push at the Sith Lord. The smoke rippled and pulsed, but nothing happened as it perfectly reformed. Dooku doubted the Sith was actually in that exact spot. More likely, he was standing near the injured.
Still, Dooku had to admit that he was amazed by what he was seeing. The severed ends of Jakram's missing hand and leg rapidly healed and grew over into stumps. The same was true of Gallia's arm, along with various shards and fragments being removed from their body with utmost care, the many cuts and burns healing over with new, scarred flesh.
The glow faded and Evan gasped for breath as he stood on his feet. "I'm...I'm healed?" he asked, more to himself than anyone.
"If you dare to rejoin the fight, you may," Plagueis answered calmly, turning his attention to Dooku. "Since trust is clearly an issue, I would recommend sending one to the Temple that I did not heal."
The Jedi all stared skeptically at the Dark Lord. One Sith being on their side was one thing, but two? It was far, far too good to be true.
"Don't mistake me, Jedi," Plagueis stated firmly. "I'm not aiding you to be your ally. I'm aiding you against Sidious, even if minutely."
"That doesn't explain why," Sinube spoke up, lowering his lightsaber, his wizened eyes studying the mass of darkness. "If you are to be believed, this battle would allow you to soundly make quick work of many survivors. Even us. Why aid us at all?"
Plagueis paused, raising an eyebrow at the cosian Jedi. "Why do we do anything, Jedi?" he asked mysteriously. "Sometimes one does something merely because they can."
No one retorted to that unfulfilling answer as Plagueis glanced upwards.
"You should join your fellow Jedi soon. Your injured I will save, but your dead are another matter," he warned gravely before he vanished, leaving the Jedi in an uncomfortable silence.
"He's ali-alright. He's alright," Obi-Wan said with a sigh of relief, more for himself than the youngling watching on. A check of Anakin's vitals revealed that he was indeed alive, physically at least.
"What wrong?" Ahsoka asked, worry still clearly unabated.
"I don't know," Obi-Wan admitted as he checked more thoroughly. The pulse was fine while an ear to Anakin's chest told him the lungs were unhindered. He held open one of Anakin's eyes, seeing the glazed over optical organ stare back with awareness. He placed a hand over Anakin's head. While not skilled in any kind of medical care for the brain, he had learned how to sense if a human brain was injured or not. But that showed nothing as well.
His first instinct had been to think of the bomb in Anakin. Had it somehow malfunctioned? But nothing showed any signs of that. Anakin's body was fine.
It was just his Force presence that was missing.
"To help me, he tried."
Padawan and youngling alike turned toward Yaddle, no longer floating in a trance. Her shoulders sagged, the only sign of any exhaustion on her part.
Despite her no longer attempting to shield the temple, Obi-Wan realized that there was no more pressure on his mind. That thought brought him no comfort though, knowing his master and the others were likely in the midst of battle now.
"Too untrained, he is," Yaddle continued softly as she approached the unconscious boy. "Too hard, he pushed himself."
"But I don't understand, why can't I sense him?" Obi-wan asked as Yaddle knelt down to touch Anakin's forehead.
"Lost in the Force, his mind is. Return, he will. He must. Careful in the future, he must be," Yaddle stated gently. "Too strong in the Force, perhaps, he is."
"Too strong?" Obi-wan voiced with a furrowed brow.
"Feel the Force the easiest, those with the highest midi-chlorian count can," Yaddle reminded grimly. "Even in ways unprepared for, they are."
Obi-Wan was...confused and surprised. He had heard stories about many Jedi across history being lost in trances for extended times, in deep communion with the Force for days or weeks or even longer. Tales around the temple said Master Yoda once had one for a month. But those were always Jedi that were trying to meditate and hear the Will of the Force. Had Anakin unknowingly...forced such a thing?
It sounded more dangerous than impressive the more he thought about it.
"Skyguy, okay?" Ahsoka asked suddenly, obviously not following what was being said. Obi-Wan doubted she would even if they had been speaking her native language.
Yaddle smiled reassuring at the youngling. "Fret not, young one. In danger, he is not," she assured, placing a hand on the child's shoulder.
Obi-Wan believed her, it was hard not to, but...he was certain he didn't imagine the brief scowl on Yaddle's face when she looked back to Anakin.
Not in danger, to Yaddle's knowledge at least.
No words were spoken. None had to be spoken.
The instant after the Jedi Masters had realized they were cut off from their comrades, they made a run for it. They did not use the Force to enhance their speed or at least not to the full extent, knowing that doing so would make it easier to fall for any and all inevitable traps the Sith had waiting for them.
The six ran through tunnel-like halls, the two rear most Jedi constantly moving to be the newest ones at the front, with the two Jedi in between sensing intently: for danger and for a clear path back to their allies. It was slower than they would like, but they knew it was the only option.
Eeth Koth suddenly stopped at a hallway, staring down it. "This way! I can see an opening!" he called, about to step towards it.
"Wait, don't!" Talsmi Inchern yelled, using a Force Push to hurl the horned humanoid off to the side-
-Just in time as the entire hallway in question exploded with a rush of flames, the very air catching on fire, rushing towards the Jedi.
Mace Windu and Yoda both put up a shield on either side of the hall as the flames rushed by, supported by Qui-Gon and Tiin. Eeth Koth could only watch in horror as the body of the female rodan that saved him was hurled back and burned to death, the green body frying and incinerating before his own eyes as the charred corpse collapsed before the flame finished.
The flames died out and the Jedi had an uneasy silence as the steam filled the air.
"...What have I done...?" Eeth whispered in horror.
"It is not your fault," Qui-Gon assured, putting a hand on the man's shoulder with a firm grip.
"I didn't even sense that until it happened," Windu commented, both as a reassurance and a grim observation.
"For us, it was not meant," Yoda predicted sagely. "For a great time, plotted against one another, these Sith have."
"We shouldn't waste time here," Tiin said solemnly. "Her death will mean nothing if we don't finish this."
"He's right," Windu agreed, glaring down the hallway, the air still steaming and rippling from the flash-fire explosive. "We have to finish this, quickly."
Without further prompting, the remaining Jedi sped forth down that now trap-less hallway. Upon reaching the end, they found a massive, circular opening that likely went to the bottom of the facility and up to one of the uppermost levels. Without hesitating, they scaled the rim and began to ascend to the next level.
Until Yoda stopped upon reaching the above floor.
"Master Yoda?" Qui-Gon asked in concern as they halted. "Another trap?"
Yoda shook his head. "Sealed they were, the doors to that room," he reminded with a thoughtful look, remembering the moments when he held back the gas, and when they fought in that room. "Holes in the ceiling, there were. Cut by lightsabers, perhaps. Another level, we must climb."
No one doubted the Grandmaster's logic and direction, all of them taking to the next level.
Now they used the Force to push themselves through the hall, heading towards where their goal must be. Mace Windu and Yoda both stayed at the head, knowing the dangers were not absent. Droids of some sort began to activate and move from their hiding spots within the walls, only to be pushed back in by Yoda, while Mace Windu used a Force Crush to keep two turrets from unfolding properly, keeping them only able to shoot at the walls.
And never once did the group slow down, sensing the peril those below were in.
In less than a minute of accelerated running, they found what they were looking for: a hole in the floor, created by lightsabers by the looks of it.
To the untrained eye, it looked as though they all jumped in without even looking. But increased reaction speeds were the barest of abilities provided by the Force, allowing them each to ascertain a suitable place to land the instant before they jumped.
It was during the falling that they saw what had happened in their absences.
Beyghor Sahdett lay on the ground, dead or dying from a lightsaber slash to the side of the gut. Mundi was struggling to stand against the wall, clutching his side with a heavily pained expression. Rancisis had lost yet another arm, but this one he sliced off himself with a cry of agony, retreating to acclimate to the pain while Depa and Bemic stood before him in defense, wary but uninjured themselves.
Sidious stood before them, Sith lightning dancing from his left hand, destroying the arm Rancisis had used as a shield to save his own life.
As shocking as that desperate move was, the returned Jedi were more focused on Sidious's other arm, the right sleeve of his robe charred and torn away, and the arm itself covered in a burn from a lightsaber strike Sidious had not been complete able to stop.
The Sith's gaze shifted hatefully to the descending group of Jedi, effortlessly blocking a strike from Bemic without looking. Pushing the klatooinian back, he lifted two fingers and waved his lightsaber.
The instant Yoda's feet touched the ground, all of the discarded lightsabers in the room went spinning and flying about, to the alarm of the Jedi.
Explosions and smoke filled the room as the Jedi barely managed to put up Force Barriers around themselves. But the Jedi Masters could read the situation the instant the explosions started: there was more smoke than explosions. This wasn't an attack, it was a distraction.
They all held out their hands, sending a wave of the Force to dispel the clouds.
Yoda's eyes went wide as, right in front of him, was a hurling slab of jagged metal. He instinctively reached out to stop it but was shocked to find he couldn't. The Force had no effect on this material.
Qui-Gon reacted first, using the Force to push the small grandmaster out of the way, Yoda landing on his feet instantly.
The Jedi became more alarmed as the strange material shifted slightly in midair, clearly controlled by Sidious's Force powers despite being immune to their own. The now-swirling disk left a gash in Qui-Gon's upper arm and was just able to nick Yoda enough to leave a scratch on his head.
Yoda grimaced, but otherwise didn't react as his green blood trailed down his skin, focusing on the room as the smoke rapidly cleared.
Sidious was no longer standing before the three surviving Masters. Rancisis had a shallow lightsaber strike on his tail, and Bemic was kneeling in pain for some reason, with Depa attempting to guard both of them while in the smoke.
Sidious, however, was instead fleeing to the exit with full haste. The Jedi wasted no time in pursuing him, senses wide and alert for any more surprises the Sith Lord had.
They were right to do so as Sidious's finger twitched again. Mace Windu skidded to a halt as he did an about face while the others kept with the chase. The Master of the Order glared at the slab of metal that had cut Yoda and Qui-Gon, hurtling towards the back of the Jedi. Knowing he could not affect it directly with the Force, he reached out and grasped the debris and the floor itself in a grip of the Force, pulling them forth in mass. The metal screeched loudly as it blocked, and then buried the material with extreme prejudice.
Windu wasted no time in returning to catch up with the other Jedi, Sidious right on the exit now.
The senator pressed something beneath his robes, and the top of the exit exploded, the upper stone coming crashing down. But Yoda glared, jumping onto Tiin's back. The horned Jedi already sensed the plan and wordlessly carried the smaller Jedi, as Yoda focused on parting the debris, giving them a mostly-clear opening to jump through without risk of anyone getting crushed.
Sidious growled as he leapt out of the building, ready for the long descent.
He was not, however, prepared to see Dooku leaping towards him at that exact instance!
Dooku glared firmly into the yellow, hateful eyes of their enemy, lightsabers clashing in midair, as Sidious realized there was a swarm of Jedi leaping after him and several more lower on the building's exterior, ready jump after him as well.
Including one Evan Piell.
His wrath smoldered disdainfully as he locked eyes with Dooku. Only one person could have possibly healed the stout Jedi from a blast of Force Lightning, to the point of being instantly ready for battle again.
Plagueis really wasn't playing fair.
At least seven Jedi had been killed or crippled by this point, by Sidious's hand. Considering he was taking on over twenty at once, that was nothing to be ashamed of. Between that and his psychological assault on the temple, he would be in the nightmares of Jedi for generations to come.
Dooku's glare hardened as Sidious revealed his healed right arm before drawing his other lightsaber once more, the Sith Lord grinning maliciously.
It wasn't quite time yet for his performance to end.
Darth Plagueis hummed from atop a shorter tower across the metal landscape of the Flats as he watched the scene unfold before his very eyes. Sidious descended in a duel between Dooku and two other Jedi as he fell, more enemies right on his tail. His apprentice was performing marvelously, but it was only delaying the inevitable, squeezing out a few more deaths and dismemberments before falling himself. The Naboo-born Sith had healed his arm through his own hate and rage, but Plagueis could feel it: it might have cost more to heal the arm than just fight one handed.
Sidious was finally running out of steam. Just as Plagueis expected. This would soon be the end of Darth Sidious the Impatient.
If they hadn't fought, if Sidious had been completely fresh at the start of this encounter, it would certainly be different. Plagueis was sure that his former-apprentice would still be fighting and deceiving the Jedi, and might even be able to take down all of the lesser Jedi before Yoda and Windu could finish him off.
But then, if they hadn't fought, this wouldn't be happening. This entire situation was not an accident, but by design. It was planned. To what extent, Plagueis couldn't say for certain. This was no simple treachery on Vader's part to destroy the Order of Bane. No, if that was the case, the Jedi would have attacked him on sight. Only Vader, in this moment, could have convinced them to stay their blades, however futile their attempt on his life would have been.
This truly was about Sidious's death. That was the ultimate goal of the Third Sith Lord. Why, who could say but Vader? And perhaps that was why Plagueis had given Sidious this fate instead of a quick death: To not give Vader the satisfaction of his plan working so cleanly.
That said, Vader would have his desired result, even if it did cost a few more Jedi their lives and limbs.
"Still, is this really how it should end?" Plagueis mused out loud. "After all, this has been a great deal of effort to let it end without participating in this battle."
End of Chapter
Annnd yeah, there we go. Some people thought that Sidious was too overpowered last chapter- I'm assuming they were ones that mainly watched the movies. However, Sidious has every advantage: Home Territory, traps, he knows the Jedi capabilities while they do NOT know his, power boost from the Dark Side being strong on the planet right now, etc. The only reason he hasn't killed more is, as Plagueis pointed out, Sidious isn't at a 100% after their battle.
And Plagueis, for some reason, healed the Jedi. Perhaps he has his own plan going on, perhaps he was in on Vader's plan but didn't really trust him, or maybe he's doing it just to mindfuck the Jedi. Because you never would expect a Sith Lord to have the most OP Healing powers to use on others. That said, Plagueis is NOT adeverstizing his ressurection power because...you know, he's not going to reveal he can do THAT to potential enemies.
Anakin is alive, Vader has arrived, and Sidious still plans to make his kill count a bit larger before everything is over. That's about it for now, hope you enjoyed this. The Sidious fight should end entirely next chapter, or the one after.
Hope you all enjoyed this chapter.
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