Chapter 1

About a day ago...

Anakin stared blankly at the hologram. The... Whatever Palpantine had just suggested connected.

Me. Abandon my friends.

"Go, Anakin," one of the Padawans said quietly. "If anyone should live, it should be you."

The hologram momentarily forgotten, Anakin turned to the Padawans. "I..."

"You were to be the chosen one," Aubrie said. "You -"

Anakin lashed out. "No! No!" he shouted, stabbing his finger at Aubrie. "You were supposed to train with Master Windu, you said. You weren't supposed to die here. None of us should die here. We have our individual destinies, and I won't abandon you to yours."

Aubrie swallowed. "Anakin, don't let your emotions get in the way."

The hologram fuzzed. "Skywalker, Padawan Wyn is correct. You -" Anakin cut Palpantine off with a flick of his wrist. The hologram died.

"I'm not a child!" he shouted. "I -"

Then he remembered his promise. "Padmè... I'll come back alive. I promise."

Anakin sat down, covering his face with his hands, letting the tears come freely. Padmè...

She... She would most likely fade without him. He couldn't imagine her suffering if he died.

"No," he said finally. "We're in this together. I swear that we'll find some way out."

A hand was thrust into the middle of the pack. "There is no pain," a voice began.

The other padawans joined in the mantra, hands closing on top of each other.

"There is on suffering."

"There is only the Force."


A day later...

Something exploded nearby. The AT-AT walker smoked in the background.

Aubrie slashed blindly, allowing the force to guide her blade. The green lightsaber intercepted the blaster, and sent it back at Stratus.

The rebel leader screamed in pain and shock as the bolt slashed through his body. Immediately, he dropped the blaster and fell to the ground.

Aubrie kicked the blaster away from Stratus. "Today," she hissed venemously, "You are finished."

She raised her blade over her head. Stratus watched her, fists clenched.

The blade began to descend, but then the saber was wrenched out of her hand.

Anakin held out his hand, and her saber flew into it. Scrutinizing her face, he sadly shook his head.

We can't kill him. It's not the Jedi way.

Aubrie felt all the emotions she'd kept bottled up for the past weeks - anger, rage, sadness, like a tidal wave.

"Aubrie, I'm sorry," Anakin whispered. She nodded numbly and -

Heard a blaster go off.

With her blade in Anakin's hand, she spun around just in time to see Stratus's face, contorted with rage. He was weakly scrabbling for his blaster.

"You!" he screamed at the pair. "You meddling Jedi have destroyed us for the last time!"

Raising his blaster finally, he fired two inaccurate blasts. "You did not even let me die!" he shrieked. Steadying the blaster, he fired again.

The bolt rushed towards Aubrie, sizzling red. She could feel herself stumbling back, reach for a lightsaber that wasn't there, blink for what seemed an eternity...

An electrical zzaaap crossed her ears, and a blue saber spun across the room, deflecting the bolt into a pile of slag.

Stratus gave a final shriek and fell back from a self-inflicted blaster wound.

Anakin looked on, incredulous.

The hand that threw the blade emerged from the pile of rubbish where it had been hiding. Aubrie took in a lean, teenage boy, and the raw force powers swirling round. He picked up the lightsaber he had been using.

"I'm Asher," he said quietly.

The two Jedi padawans exchanged confused glances.

Aubrie held out her hand, and Anakin released her weapon. It flicked into her grasp, and the green blade slid out.

"Are... Are you a Sith?" Aubrie frowned, taking an involuntary step back. Her lightsaber flicked up into a Djem So guard position.

"A Sith?" Asher's eyebrows drew together. "I... I don't think so."

A hiss behind Aubrie, and Anakin began to approach Asher. "I sense tumult in your force signature. Don't lie to us. Where's Ventress?"

"Ventress?" Asher looked incredulous, but he still dropped into a guard position, noting Anakin's offensive stance.

Anakin began circling around the boy, blade wavering gently. "Asher, you're under arrest."

Asher's blade flicked up into an offensive stance. "I don't submit to anyone's authority."

"What about my blade?" growled Aubrie, entering the tense atmosphere.

It took a standard millisecond for her to figure out that had been the wrong thing to say. With incredible speed, the boy leapt into the air, lightsaber whirling in a deadly arc. Aubrie threw her blade out in a block, recovered, and swung.

On the other side, Anakin went for a disarming strike. Asher curled around Aubrie's blade, and slashed Anakin's mechanical arm in half, guttering his blue blade and dropping it. turning on Aubrie, he slashed in a few quick moves, sent her saber spinning onto the ground, and lashed out with his foot, impacting her chest. She dropped to the ground, winded.

Asher raised his lightsaber over her head for a killing blow. Aubrie closed her eyes. She was going to die anyway. They were all going to die.

Two seconds later, she realized that she wasn't dead. Asher was squirming in the air, choking.

Anakin, with a slightly surprised look on his face, was holding Asher in the air in a Force chokehold.

Aubrie scrambled to her feet. "Anakin," she shouted. "Don't kill him!"

Anakin dropped Asher, and signalled to some approaching clones.

Asher collapsed on the ground, unconscious. Aubrie picked up his blue blade and handed it to Anakin, who was frowning over the remains of his mechanical hand and arm.

"Sir," the clones saluted. "And ma'am," to Aubrie. Anakin acknowledged their salutes. "Status report," he ordered. "What's our instructions?"

The clones looked uncertainly at each other. "Err... Sir, you appear to be the highest ranking Jedi on this planet. The troop transports have arrived, sir."

Anakin nodded. "Let's go."

Aubrie motioned to the motionless figure on the ground.

Anakin examined the LAAT/i that was approaching. Then he looked at Asher.

"I'll take him," he decided, and scooped up the unconscious boy.

"And sir?" one of the clones said.

Anakin nodded to him.

"We need your help. The loyalists are giving us trouble."

Hey guys, and thanks for reading this chapter! I just read The Battle of Jabiim: Blood and Rain, and I must admit that wiki is slightky misinformed. So last chapter was kinda... Non-canon. (But that's the point of AU, isn't it?)

Don't forget to review on your way out. Thanks for reading!

Kimjel, out.