Chapter 1: Mace interview
“Pardon my lateness, there was an issue in the creche that required council attentio-” Mace tripped over a bump in the carpet and fell as long as he was in front of the holocrew, the Jedi giving a loud yelp of shock before grunting in pain as he actually hit the stone floor.
The frozen crew stared at the Jedi in surprise.
“…Please tell me that you weren’t already filming?” The master of the Order questioned into the floor.
“…If I tell you we weren’t, would that make you feel better?” The holocamera operator questioned, smiling nervously as the Jedi pushed himself up on his knees. Mace sent her a flat look.
“Not really.” He offered wryly before gingerly touching his nose, prodding at it with care. “Should we get on with the interview?” He looked to the journalist.
“Yes, yes of course!” She beamed, utterly delighted.
Cana fluttered over to the set up chairs and eagerly gestured to the free one. “Please Master Windu, I don’t mind the initial wait but lets get started?”
She never expected to get the green light on any of this, actual entrance to the Jedi temple, interview with Jedi knights, masters and padawans, though the latter was with the stipulation that they were off age or were accompanied by adults, something Cana understood all to well.
And the Jedi were not to have a say in what they ran, all questions were permitted but could be refused to answer.
And a Toydarian to interview them, impervious to Force suggestions.
“Now, Master Windu, many are curious about the Jedi and their lives. Lets get started on a few of the many questions the galaxy at large have.” She settled in as Windu leveled a calm look at her.
The Jedi temple was HUGE.
Cana fluttered along side Windu with the recording crew following behind them, the man himself calming explaining where they were and how many Jedi were currently in Coruscant’s temple. So far they had passed several Jedi, though Windu had pointed out that while all were dressed as Jedi, some of them were Corps members.
“Corps members?” Cana questioned.
Windu stopped, peering at her before gesturing. “Corps members are those of us who didn’t get masters or just couldn’t complete the path to become Jedi knight. There’s no shame in it but its not good to just send them out into the galaxy with nothing. So we have corps. Agricore grows food, mainly for our temples but it also provides for the local area and it also provides 50% of Coruscant’s vegetables and grains.”
“I…didn’t know that.” Cana blinked.
The Jedi feed Coruscant?
Windu shrugged. “Its not a well known fact. There is also exploration crops who’s main job is galactic exploration. The medical corps that specialize in healing Force for the good of the galaxy and then there is the educational corps. Many of our philosophers and scholars come from there.”
Cana took a moment to think over it before fluttering more into eye level of Mace Windu. “They aren’t warriors, are they?”
Cocking his head and raising a brow, Mace shrugged. “They carry sabers but…no. Their jobs are not to fighters, their jobs lay in their corps and their talents are directed in those. Healing, learning, teaching, growing or exploring.” He looked around before focusing back on the Toydarian. “Not all of us are warriors or diplomats.”
That was something to think about.
“If you want, you can observe a meditation class?” Windu suddenly offered.
The room was brightly lit by the sun, the stones lightly colored with a few potted plants standing around. There were fifteen blue mats placed out in the room in a circle around a larger one in green and on each of the blue mat a small child sat kneeling or sitting with their legs crossed with their hands resting on their thighs.
On the green mat the teacher sat, none other then Obi-Wan Kenobi, his breathing soft and steady and his voice lulling as he guided the children to empty their minds and calm down.
It was a very tranquil feeling in the room.
This was part of Jedi life, the way they taught their young ones and stars, Cana had never thought about how young some of the Initiates were.
“…Do you often get so young children?” She whispered to Windu.
“Younger, mostly babes, some as old as six.” Windu murmured in return. “I know that some of the galaxy view us as babe stealers but we have never stolen babies from good families. The parents give them to us, hoping to one day hear about their children as Jedi knights. I was given to the temple as a baby.” He offered.
“…Good families?” Cana zeroed in on that.
The Korun shifted. “…Some parents get frightened when their children suddenly starts levitating their toys. When their cries makes windows splinter and try to…” He took a deep breath. “Tries to beat it out of them.” He nodded with his chin to Master Kenobi. “Master Kenobi is one of those babes. I can ensure an interview with him at another date if you wish?”
“…I and the galaxy would very much like that.”
Chapter 2: Obi-Wan's interview
Warily settling down in the offered chair, Obi-Wan kept his pleasant smile on as the Toydarian almost bounced in her seat, beaming in return. “Master Kenobi, finally we meet!” She offered her hand warmly and Obi-Wan took it, pressing a light kiss to the back of it.
“Miss Cana, its a pleasure to meet you, master Windu told me you were quite pleasant.” He offered, chuckling a bit at her flush as he sat back.
“Well I can see where you gained your nickname Master Negotiator.” She beamed.
She had a very warm feeling about her in the Force though slightly predatory.
Most journalist had that sensation though, a lot of them had to be cunning.
Obi-Wan rested his hands in his lap, chuckling faintly at the infamous nickname he had been given. “Well… use what you can as they say. Now you wanted an interview with me?”
He was prepared to be questioned about the war effort or perhaps even daily life for Jedi, what he had not expected was the question about his past.
“Yes, Master Windu indicated that many of the children that are trained here are given to you because the parents see the chance for them to become Jedi or have better life. But he also indicated that some come from less fortunate circumstances.” Her face turned grave, little tusks quivering. “He indicated you were one of those children.”
Obi-Wan’s face went blank. ‘I am going to strangle Mace…’
“You don’t have to speak about your situation, I understand its a per-”
“My parents were frightened.” Obi-Wan cut in, taking a deep breath then sighing, sitting back against the chair with a slightly bitter smile. “When someone is frightened they sometimes… act without thinking. I don’t remember much, I was two when I was brought to the temple but the first half year after I came here were riddled with medical visits to our healers.”
Cana looked disturbed, knowing how Jedi Medic’s were quite skilled. “That…that’s terrible.”
“But not unique.” Obi-Wan offered gently. “We still get abused children in the temple. Its all based on accords with the Senate, any child on Republic worlds we come across with Force abilities, we are allowed to bring out of the custody of their parents though we are required to check in with Judaical so they can record what happened and why we took it. Evidence is cataloged if the parents wants to contest the claims. Other abused children we discover we let Judaical deal with after we’ve brought them from the guardians or parents in question, to be placed in safer situations.”
Cana leaned forward, her wings quivering against her back. “Do you often find children in such situation?”
Obi-Wan hesitated. Then he nodded. “More often then we like that’s for sure. There is also still slavery in the Galaxy unfortunately and I’ve seen plenty of enslaved children.” He sighed. “Unfortunately we can’t do much about that.” He stared at his knees for a long moment.
The holocrew exchanged long looks with wide eyes.
“Can’t or won’t?” Cana’s wings gave a harsh snap.
“Can’t.” Obi-Wan repeated. “If Jedi involved ourselves, we face civil war with the hutts, something the Senate has been clear in that we are not to do.” He wasn’t going to mention the covert operations that had freed slaves from hutts. “We can only interfere with slavers who try themselves inside the Republic territory unfortunately.”
The whole crew stared at him. “…So the Jedi Order is by the laws of the Republic prevented from helping slaves?” Cana finally questioned, tone weak.
“Legislation 543, yes, its unfortunate but we need the good will of the majority of the Senate since our main temple is here on Coruscant.” Obi-Wan nodded.
Cana blinked at that then shook herself, a subject for another time to another to expand on with views from other Jedi. “For a different theme, Master Windu mentioned that the Jedi Agricorps grew about 50% of the crops of Coruscant. I have never heard this before and neither has anyone I’ve spoken to.” She had looked into it and found it true, being able to trace much of the general crops back to the Agricorps.
Obi-Wan tilted his head. “And the question is?”
“Why doesn’t the public of Coruscant know?” She questioned, wanting understanding.
Tilting his head, Obi-Wan surveyed her while thinking. “…Jedi don’t look for recognition, for reward or titles. We do our jobs in humility for the best of the Galaxy and the laws, or we try at least as we are not perfect beings we can only try. Part of that is also Agricorps.” He shrugged a bit. “Mainly they feed the temples and Jedi, shipping it over the galaxy for our needs as all the temples have beings with different needs and dietary requirements. But the surplus has always been used on Coruscant since its impossible to grow anything on the planet.”
Cana and the rest of the crew listened in fascination.
“As time went on, the Agricorps grew and the demand increased which meant that after a while we were growing 50% of the greens and grains that is supplied to Coruscant.” Obi-Wan shifted a bit. “As for the why people don’t know… well the shipping is funneled through Senate run companies and parted up into where its needed, grains to be ground up to flour, vegetables to different factories and markets and so on and forth.” He shrugged.
They stared at him for a few moments before Cana shook her head. “Still, that is a surprise. Makes me wonder if there’s more we on Coruscant don’t know about our food.”
Obi-Wan chuckled. “I can tell you that the Jedi have nothing to do with the meat or dairy.” He teased gently, a friendly look on his face.
Cana laughed and was about to say something else when the door opened.
“Obi-Wan why are yo-oh! I’m sorry, I didn’t know you had guests.” Anakin Skywalker stood there, blinking at them in surprise.
The camera caught Obi-Wan’s face when it lit up with pleasure as he rose, moving towards the blond. “Anakin, was there something you needed? I was in the middle of an interview, you know for the Through the Lens program the council approved?” He reached out without thought, resting his hand gently on the younger mans cheek.
Gesturing quickly to her crew to keep filming, Cana watched with rapture.
The Hero with No Fear and The Negotiator, interacting while caught on camera.
Anakin seemed to melt a bit into the touch. “Oh right, Padme wondered if we’d be able to have dinner with her, she had something to discuss with us.”
‘Padme? Senator Padme Amidala?’ Cana wondered if that was who Skywalker was referring to.
Humming a bit, Obi-Wan considered it. “Well I don’t have anything planned and neither do you as far as I know so I don’t see why not.” He nodded and then he seemed to realize where his hand was and that there were others in the room, his hand swiftly dropping from the cheek which gained him a startled look by Anakin.
“Okay then…” He offered before glancing at the crew with realization in his eyes. He smiled at them and nodded. “Another time then miss, sirs.”
“Knight Skywalker.” Cana called out before he could leave. “Would it be possible to have an interview with you at a different date?” She questioned, hopeful.
Anakin hesitated even as Obi-Wan made his way back to the chair and sat down. “Well if you’re available tomorrow then yes. I’m shipping out on tuesday though so I only have tomorrow free for an interview.” He glanced at Obi-Wan, gave him a quick smile. “I’ll see you later. Give them my comm codes please.”
“Of course Anakin.” Obi-Wan called out after his back then focused back on Cana as if nothing had happened, a placid smile on his face. “Now, where were we?”
Chapter 3: Anakin's Interview
“So this is your commander?” Cana questioned curiously, blinking up at the clone wearing the standard armor though he was painted in blue. The clone had arrived with a message that couldn’t wait, whispering to Skywalker and Cana found herself… curious.
“Captain. Rex is my commander though he carries the title captain instead, rings a bit better you know.” Anakin smiled before looking up at the other and pulling over a chair with the Force. “Sit down Rex and take off your helmet, you might as well join in since you know the war as good as I do.” He grinned openly.
The captain hesitated a moment then did as told, settling down and pulling his helmet off to show a blond with amber eyes, his face was like every other clone, somewhat stern but there was a softness to the eyes…
Cana blinked then smiled. “Well then, lets get this interview on the way. In your own words Knight Skywalker, what does the majority of the Order feel about being in charge of a cloned army?” She watched the two closely.
Anakin slowly blinked, his lips went pale pink from the pressure being put on them and his eyes narrowed as he glanced between Rex and Cana, the captain staring straight forward while blinking slowly.
Then the Jedi sighed, shoulders slumped. “We don’t like it. We don’t have a choice in this war but we are basically in charge of a slave army that fights for the Republic, we are essentially engaged in a systematic slavery organization even larger then the hutts run. And by the legislation of the Senate, we are now bound to the army to help them and guide them while we fight for the Republic.” He turned to his captain. “Rex, would you like to tell our friends here how old you are. As in how many years you’ve drawn breath and had thoughts?”
Rex raised his brows and so did the Toydarian.
What kind of question was tha-
“I’m ten, I’m among the older clones still surviving from the first battle at Geonosis that was the start of this war with the CIS. I’m among the veterans.” The captain offered calmly.
One of the holocrew members dropped something but Cana couldn’t turn, to busy staring at the captain. “How is that…possible?”
“Accelerated aging.” Rex explained. “The Kaminos accelerate our ages so we are battle ready quicker since it would take too long to grow soldiers else ward. The youngest in battle are…three now I think. We vods call them shinys until they scuff their armor finally.” He smiled, as if it was a joke.
Cana felt ill.
Were they basically sending children to fight their battles?
She hadn’t thought much about the clones, but…Rex had a face, had a voice, a name, a smile.
He was a living breathing man.
“…Vods?” She questioned, voice kind of breathy, her wings fluttering.
“It means brothers. We call each others brothers.”
Oh…Oh stars…oh light…
Vods. Brothers. Family.
Skywalker was staring at her, his eyes calm but slightly sad. They seemed to say. ‘We have no choice.’
“I…I see captain Rex… do…do you lose many…vods?” She whispered, not wanting to hear the answer and yet desperately needing to know.
Rex looked to Skywalker then back to her, blinking slowly. “Our losses are less then others but that’s because we have one of the best General’s. Though most vods would say that their general is the best, we’re partial you see to our own. Our death count is lower but the 212th matches us pretty well, that is General Kenobi’s men.” He offered.
Cana was going to throw up.
The death count was lower.
Skywalker shifted and looked down before looking at her, putting on a smile that was so obviously fake. “How about I tell the story about my first mission as a padawan and how my master had to save my ass?”
Sitting up more, the Jedi waved his hand. “So there we were, on a mission and I like nerf herder didn’t read the mission briefing. I had no idea that commenting on someone’s length of hair could be seen as a grave insult…” The story spun on wards as Cana’s mind worked overtime.
The clone army was younger then her children.
This blond, laughing, smiling man who looked so serious in the beginning and went to war for them was younger then her children.
Cana wanted to throw up.
Chapter 4: An interlude
They had been about to leave when it happened, Cana still feeling vaguely ill about how young the clone army was. Master Skywalker and his captain didn’t look disturbed, Rex even seemed vaguely amused by the stories he had heard about his General’s younger years and in another situation the toydarian might have been amused too.
“Its been nice talking to you Ca-” Skywalker’s words dried up as several Jedi with a gurney rushing between then, a teenage twi’lek laying on it with a breathing mask covering her face and blood coating her tunics.
“Oh kark.” Skywalker whispered, staring down the hall as they disappeared into a room.
“…Was that commander Cinmo?” Rex rasped out.
The Jedi gave one harsh nod. “I don’t see a sign to her master… frip they must have encountered Grievous… They were dispatched to the same area scouts had spotted his flagship…” He whispered in realization.
The captain shifted. “…Is she going to make it?”
The Jedi swallowed and then slowly shook his head. “No Rex…I don’t think she will.”
Rex jaw muscle jumped a bit and Cana looked to her holocamera crew, the togruta lifting a shaking thumb to indicate that, yes, they had gotten the recording of the incident.
The interviews spread across the Republic like a spark in dry grass, sneaking into every home and out into the CIS like sand into clothes.
Clones, living breathing clones, so young and so fresh and so alive just like them.
Jedi, emotional, dutiful and oh so forced into a role they were not suited for.
Not war Generals, not soldiers but peace keepers.
Jedi who were hurt because of the gift they were born with by their parents. Jedi who were given to the Order to become something greater then the parents perhaps could manage.
Relatable, a bit clumsy Jedi, who were living beings and not so mysterious and distant as people thought.
Palpatine stared at the polls, seeing how his popularity had taken a major drop and the Jedi had taken a major rise.
All thanks to this holodrama wannabe reporter.
Clenching his hands on the desk, Sidious snarled beneath his breath and then swept everything on his desk off it in a small fit of anger.
‘I need to do something about this, I need to stop this but HOW?’ He seethed.
“I’m not sure Mace but… well it seems to be… fan-mail.” Obi-Wan slowly settled on, settling one of the packages onto the Korun’s lap. “The quartermaster assistant tells me that there are eight more bags down in the delivery entrance, all of them for us. Though there were a few for Captain Rex too.” He blinked in confusion.
Mace stared at the package and looked around the council room. “… Okay explanation?” He requested even as he deftly started to unwrap the package as Obi-Wan settled into his own chair.
Tapping her lips, Shaak was the one to speak up. “I have a theory…”
“Yes?” Evan cocked his head at her and lifted his ears.
“I believe it has to do with the holo-documentary we’ve allowed to be filmed in our temple. I’ve… well I haven’t watched it but I caught a few clips.” Shaak murmured. “And I have to say it seems to paint us and our troopers as… people.”
Yoda raised his ears. “Understand I do not.”
That got a deep snort out of Obi-Wan. “People believe us to be mythical warrior creatures who can do no mistakes or fault and don’t feel emotions of any kind. They don’t think we are people anym-” He sat back in surprise. “…They understand that we’re people…” He whispered, rubbing his hand over his beard. “That’s what Bail meant.” Green eyes widened in surprise. “Bail Organa commed me about the Senate being in an uproar because of some kind of information…” He looked around.
“You think we have the people on our side.” Plo settled on.
“I think so. Yes.” Obi-Wan licked his lips nervously.
Mace made a low noise of surprise, staring into his opened box. “…Someone sent me Korun biscuits.”
There was silence.
The Jedi Order had the support of the common people…
Chapter 5: Plo's Interview
“And you are Master Plo Koon then.” Cana smiled as best she could to the Kel Dor who bowed lightly to her in return as he moved to a chair. “And this must be Commander Wolffle?” She directed at the stern looking commander with a scar and a milky blue eye.
The clone in question gave a brief, sharp nod, joining his Jedi and settling down, helmet on his lap and face like stone. He looked uncomfortable, like he’d prefer to stand at attention in front of the camera instead of sitting down.
He wasn’t as open as Captain Rex.
Different then his…brother.
Wings fluttering, Cana settled in. “Now Master Kenobi and Knight Skywalker told me that you have command over the Wolfpack Master Koon.”
Chuckling faintly, Plo cocked his head. “More like 104th battalion but the wolfpack is part of it. The wolfpack is the aerial battalion part of it.” He rested his hands on his lap, the man giving of a calm vibe.
“Indeed? So its the pilot part then?” Cana looked at the two. “Commaner Wolffle?”
The clone shifted a bit then nodded firmly. “The wolfpack is the aerial combat division, we engage in dogfights and aerial support, and often guard our General’s tail in the air.” He offered firmly.
Cana blinked. “Tail…” She turned to the Jedi. “Then you fight in the front with them master Koon?”
“Of course, all Jedi General’s fight at the front with their men when we can.” The Kel dor chuckled faintly again. “Unless we are planning or helping the rest of the command that is.”
She blinked slowly.
Helping the rest of the command?
As in people like Wilfur Tarkin?
“I see… is that why there is a decline in Jedi?” She questioned, her voice softer.
Koon seemed to take a deep breath. “…Unfortunately yes. We serve the Republic as we can but unfortunately it… a lot of us have died in the development of this war. Some of the padawan’s are too young to be where they are and… we do not have many choices left.” He seemed to settle on.
She swallowed, a question on the tip of her tongue.
She shouldn’t ask it.
To ask it could be a blow to the hope of the war effort.
But the time for half lies to bolster the strain was over.
She asked it.
“Do you fear the Jedi dying out with this war?”
There was a beat, silence, the twi’lek behind the holocamera pulling away from it to stare at Cana with wide eyes.
Wolffle’s hands tight on his helmet, the creak of armor.
The sound of Koon taking a deep breath.
“…There are less of us then ever.” He finally said. “When this war ends…we will need to rebuild.” A statement that even the infallible Jedi Order was feeling the strain of the war.
Cana wanted to ask more, would have asked more, asked Wolffle about the army, about the wolfpack if it wasn’t for the door suddenly being thrown open, Windu suddenly standing there with a tight look on his face.
“Kenobi and Skywalker went down over Ilysa, we need the aerial support out there, now or we lose them and most of their men. The rest of the wolfpack is already gathered in the hanger.” His face was tightening even as he spoke.
Koon stood smoothly. “Another time Miss Cana.” He walked towards his fellow Jedi with his commander dogging his steps, the trooper pulling his helmet on but not before the holo glimpsed the way the commander’s lips had pulled back in a fearsome snarl.
Cana swallowed heavily, gesturing quickly for her holocrew operator to get a glimpse into the hallway, catching the sight of the Jedi and commander practically jogging away to the hangers.
Chapter 6: Injured Jedi
“Miss Cana, I’m not sure we’re suppose to be here.” The nervous crewman offered quietly. “This is the Jedi Halls of Healings after all.”
The Toydorian waved her hand, wings fluttering. “Master Kenobi and Master Skywalker are in the Halls, we’re only filming for now but I’m hoping to see them and ask them about this linage buisness we were interrupted from asking Master Koon. Or so is my hope at least. Remember, as long as we don’t disturb the Healers at work, then we’re free to go here or I’m sure someone would have stopped us by now.”
At that moment a Miralan healer walked past them, glancing at them before nodding and continuing on her way.
“See?” The Journalist beamed in victory.
She did end up finding Master Kenobi and Master Skywalker.
With a guest.
“Honestly you two, you drive me to distractions all the time.” Senator Amidala sighed, Cana and the holocam operator peeking through the cracked open doorway as she gently touched both Jedi’s cheeks.
Skywalker was sitting up, bacta patches covering his face and the mech arm missing as he gave her a meek grin. “Sorry Pads, we don’t mean to.”
On the other side, Kenobi wasn’t even sitting up, a testament to his injuries and exhaustion as he leaned into the touch and cupped her hand to his cheeks. “We can’t help it, we are your boys after all.” He chuckled faintly.
“There is that.” The senator agreed quietly and even with her back towards the door, Cana could almost feel the exasperated smile she was sending the two Jedi. “My two stupid husbands.”
“I resent being called stupid.” Skywalker pouted.
“Do you really now.” Amidala returned dryly and Kenobi sniggered softly.
Cana fluttered back, flustering at invading someones privacy in such a manner but when she’d heard the Senator’s voice…
Curiosity killed the loth-cat and satisfaction bought it back they said.
Cana just felt bad for invading such a tender moment and learning such a huge secret.
First light, not just together, married Jedi… she’d have to thread ground lightly to figure out if that was allowed before she said anything to anyone about it and she sent her co-worker a sever look that got her the twi’lek running her fingers over her lips in a zipper motion, lekkus twitching.
She knocked on the door and heard clothes shift before Skywalker called for them to come in.
“Master Kenobi, Knight Skywalker, we heard you were here and we were filming the Halls for our documentary.” Cana put on her best smile and pretending not to know anything out of the normal, fluttering in. “Oh, Senator Amidala.” She bowed her head to the Senator who was now no longer standing between the bed but further to the wall and the door.
The Naboo Senator smiled in return. “Miss Cana, I must say I’m impressed with your work, its bought quite the ruckus to the Senate to learn how human our Jedi and troops are. I must thank you for that.” She looked almost viciously satisfied.
Cana smiled a bit. “I must admit that I was as surprised as most of the public but I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Waving his flesh hand at them, Skywalker took that moment to interrupt. “Not to be rude or anything but can I ask what you’re doing here?” He grinned but Cana took note of the paleness of the otherwise tanned blond and the exhausted sink in of his eyes despite the man sitting up. “Senator Amidala came here with some Senatorial reports for Master Kenobi to go over.”
The older Jedi raised a hand a bit of the bed at the sound of his name. “And I’ll look over them once I can sit up.” He grunted.
Skywalker sent him a worried look before focusing back on Cana for an answer.
“Oh well, we were hoping for some clarifying questions on some topics that were brought up among those the question of Jedi lineages, I was going to ask them of Master Koon but we were interrupted. But if you’re both too injured then this can wait to another time.” She waved her hands, wings giving an extra nervous flutter.
Considering that, Skywalker gave a small shrug and sent Amidala a small smile. “Obi-Wan still needs some rest and Senator Amidala should most likely head out but I can keep awake a bit before the healers with a new set of painkillers though, so no, that’s fine, you can ask me.”
The Senator looked like she wanted to protest but glanced towards the two strangers in the room before nodding. “Another time friends.” She smiled at them with obvious affection before heading out the door.
Skywalker watched her departure while Kenobi lifted his hand off the bed for a light wave.
Chapter 7: Not invincible
“So, on the subject of lineages.” Cana settled on the chair by Knight Skywalker’s chair, watching him closely while trying to ignore the injured human behind her, Kenobi’s soft breath’s filling the air though if she listened close enough, she could hear a hitch in it.
Skywalker visibly perked up at the question. “Oh, you know about lineages? Its an internal thing really, you see, Jedi aren’t families in the same way its outside the temple. But we recognize ourselves as a unit still. Master’s picking padawans. Grandmaster’s and grandpadawans, sister or brother padawans…that kind of thing. We all know which linage we belong to.” The blond shifted a bit. “Personally I belong to Yoda’s linage, who trained Yan Dooku, who trained Qui-Gon Jinn, who trained Obi-Wan and who in turn trained me. And I’m now training Ahsoka Tano.” Pride etched Skywalker’s face.
Blinking in surprise, Cana’s wings fluttered and obviously something in her expression gave her away to the Jedi who frowned. “When you say Yan Dooku, do you mean as in Count Dooku?” She questioned softly, aware that the count had at one time been a Jedi but…
Anakin’s face twitched at the name then he nodded tightly. “Technically speaking, he’s my grandmaster. We… don’t like each other, even before the war. What was it he called me Obi-Wan?” He glanced at the other Jedi, brows knotting briefly when the other didn’t even lift his hand.
“An arrogant whelp I believe.” The redhead chuckled faintly, the holocam briefly turning his way before returning to Anakin.
“Right, that. He called me that before he left the Order even.” Skywalker snorted quietly.
“Forgive me for saying so but from the way you’re saying it…it does sound like your family. A large extended family full of siblings, uncles and aunts who teach the younger generation. Even grandparents.” Cana offered.
Skywalker a looked a bit lost and glanced over to Kenobi, searching for his input.
“…We don’t recognize it as family because most of us has never had it. But I guess in a manner, we are family, we grieve when we lose each other, we delight in each others accomplishment and like all families we have squabbles.” Kenobi volunteered quietly. “An outsider might look at us and just see an apprenticeship and cold distance, but… Force wielders… we speak through the Force as much as we speak with our mouths. Emotions and thoughts and for deep bonds even conversations can be exchanged in silence.”
The Jedi master shifted and then grunted in pain. “…Forgive me, I’d talk longer but I don’t think I’m honestly up for much right now.”
Cana stared at him before shaking herself. “Yes, yes of course Master Kenobi, apologies, we should have taken another time for this.”
“I don’t have a lot of down time honestly, its easier to catch me while in convalescence for interviews or talks honestly.” Obi-Wan chuckled faintly.
Infallible, always dutiful Master Kenobi, the Negotiator.
Not even well enough to sit up, bed ridden, visibly injured and out of sorts.
“Its alright Obi-Wan, leave it to me.” Anakin soothed at the other, looking like he desperately wanted to jump out of bed and move to the others side but too injured himself to really leave the bed even if he could sit up.
“I believe we have what we need for this shot of the documentary gentlemen. Please don’t strain yourselves on our account.” Cana fluttered up. “We’ll return to another interview another time. We all wish you both speedy recoveries.”
Anakin gave her a wry grin and waved at them with his hand before perking up when a healer entered the room. “May I make a suggestion Miss Cana?” He asked as the healer went for Kenobi first to give him his painkiller.
“Yes of course.”
“If you want to know more about being out in the fields and more about the clones, you should track down my padawan, Ahsoka Tano, she says a lot with my men while on Coruscant and I’m sure they’d be able to tell you more about working with Jedi.” His grin was friendly.
On the bed, Obi-Wan hummed, a drowsy sort of noise from the speedy painkillers working away at him as the healer moved on to Knight Skywalker. “And if you can, I’d interview Master Yoda…”
“I’ll see what I can manage, thank you for the suggestion Master Kenobi, Knight Skywalker.”
Chapter 8: Crechemaster Dolan
Cana’s original intention had been to seek out Ahsoka Tano but… well events conspired and she had gotten her hands on one of the crechemasters, caretakers of the young ones of the Order.
Honestly if she had meet this man on the street, she wouldn’t assume him to be a Jedi if it wasn’t for his uniform.
He was a man in his upper fifties with his graying black hair pulled back in a short little nerf tail and a slight swell of a pudgy stomach hidden away by robes.
Crechemaster Dolan did not seem graceful as he sat down on the offered chair by Cana, he did not seem unapproachable or intimidating like many and he did not exude the calm she often got from the Jedi she talked with.
He looked kind to her with his tunic with fingerpaint staining his shoulder of the soft beige cloth and crowfeet at his eyes.
“Thank you for agreeing to meet with us crechemaster Dolan...is there more to your name?” She questioned, wondering if that was his only title.
“Only Dolan miss.” The creche master smiled at Cana. “I didn’t want my family name anyhow and it makes the little ones feel better to call me by name.” He offered.
Cana hesitated then asked the question she suspected. “Master Windu told us that certain members are… well brought from less fortunate homes, were you...” She let the question linger.
Dolan slowly reached up to his left upper arm, lips twitching before he smiled at her. “I was three when I was brought to the temple, I still have faint memories of my father… breaking my arm when I levitated a bottle of water. I was just so thirsty.” He was still smiling. “A Jedi knight was in the area… she heard my screams in the Force and came to check what was going on and found me. She wasn’t even on a Search but she found me, found an injured youngling who could levitate objects and scream in the Force in pain...so she brought me here. And this has been my home now for fifty three years.” He offered quietly.
Staring at the man for a few moments, Cana gave him a shaky smile. “Did...did you always know you wanted to be a knight?”
“Kni-I’m no knight Miss Cana. I never took the trials and I believe my master was kind of disappointed but I never regretted it.” Dolan laughed quietly, resting his hands on his lap. “I wasn’t like the other padawans, I knew before my master picked me I wouldn’t be a knight. I wanted to be a crechemaster, I wanted to be down in the creche, caring for the babes and tending to the younglings, wanted to make sure they were safe and feed and held. I knew what it was like to be scared in the night. I didn’t want that for them and if they wanted a hand to hold in, then I was there.” Dolan murmured, his hand once again squeezing his upper arm.
“...Thank you for sharing that with us Master Dolan.” Cana smiled at him, at this caring, gentle man who just wanted to look after the young.
The crechemaster gave a low hum then touched the saber at his side. “I’m no great diplomat like master Kenobi. I’m no skilled duelist like Knight Skywalker nor am I wise like Master Yoda or stern like Master Windu. In that regard I’m barely a Jedi at all.” He was smiling lightly. “But I will be the last defense of the creche. I’m the last member trained to fall before any enemy gets the younglings. There is purpose in that, there is pride if I can say that. We all belong to the Force and the Order, some of us are more skilled, some of us are barely skilled but we find our niche and become the persons we are meant to be.” He stood slowly and then bowed slowly to Cana. “War is coming even to Coruscant and we must all do our parts, even I will do my part eventually. You’re welcome to wander around the creche if you wish, speak to the younglings who dare get close to you and get a shot of it but I’m afraid I must return to them, its about lunch time.” He smiled kindly at her before moving towards the door.
The camera turned to follow him as Dolan opened the door.
Instantly the old master laughed and knelt down, catching a purple twi’lek girl with a tooka toy in her arms and lifting her up on his arm, the child snuggling into the master while peeking shyly over his shoulder with two enormous blue eyes before she hid against the master’s shoulder.
“...Lets get a few shots of the creche and then wrap this part up.” Cana offered, voice soft as her wings fluttered.
Chapter 9: The people
Its becoming a common thing on Coruscant for the citizen to settle down in front of their viewscreens on every fifth day of the week to watch from the Jedi temple.
Children settle down with their Jedi toys from Biscuit Baron and their excitement while adults settled in with more sever minds to what they might see with their preferred beverages in hands. Even rowdy cantinas and less reputable establishments quieted down for these interviews.
Through the Lense eye was a smoking success.
And these utterly remote beings ceased to be just that, remote.
The Jedi weren’t so mystical after all though they served a higher purpose.
People were treated to Jedi children tackling each other in the creche under the kind eyes of Master Dolan who had laughed at the journalist question about his age and answered he was no where near fifty anymore with a happy twinkle in his eyes.
They’d seen young Jedi padawan’s curled up in exhaustion in the hanger with clones tucking blankets around them, gently checking on their commanders as they waited to be shipped out.
They’d seen worried older master’s muttering together before clamming up when they noticed the camera, their frazzled expressions falling into serene ones as if they hadn’t been worried about the war.
The Hero with No Fear, prosthetic off and resting in a medic bed with bacta bandages on him and the Negotiator himself not even rising from bed from his injuries.
The Halls of healing full of Jedi paitents.
Injured little babes, strong in the Force, hurt for abilities they had no control in brought in to the Temple.
Suddenly it makes more sense.
Suddenly it makes sense for there to be Jedi given to the Order at birth, families wanting their children to have the best option or pain babies abused and brought to safety.
These are their protectors.
These men and women and beings from all over the galaxy, trained within something that the common person can’t wield but not doing it to control the common man and woman. Only to protect those who can’t protect themselves and dying for them.
The clones, who until now people didn’t think to much off, are people just like them, with favorites and emotions.
There’s a minute clip of a clone being tended to by a yellow skinned twi’lek Jedi, a cotton being delicately dabbed over the bleeding split of an eyebrow, bacta being spread on it while they mutter together in clear companionship as one friend takes care of another.
And clips of the young being taught by the older Jedi’s, classrooms filled with children and their guardians who guide them through the galactic basic letters, kata movement, navigational, meditation…
Just the daily lives of Jedi as they can manage through the war.
And the commissary.
So many empty tables despite the Jedi’s mingling around, fetching their meals and filling up, trying to make each other laugh, trying to find their friends and companionship.
Utterly being just like any other being on Coruscant only involved in the war that was clearly digging its claws into tired Jedi who slept when they could and ate as best they managed.
It was both disheartening and inspiring.
Chapter 10: Crystal interlude
Cana stared in fascination as much as her camera crew did.
When the offer had been extended, she hadn’t really understood but then Master Yoda had cleared it up.
“Finding a crystal, private is, sacred for all Jedi.” The master had hurmed at her, ears twitching slightly. “Connected to us our crystals are, Force sensitive they are and private. But creation of a saber we can show you, an offer we normally do not extend. A group of younglings agreed to show the galaxy how the sabers are made, welcome you are to this and a privilege it is to see it.”
And now they got to watch these young Jedi children make their first sabers, their master’s sitting by the wall as the young ones focused on their crystals, Cana understood what Yoda meant.
Three of them, a male twi’lek, a female devaronian and a female gotal.
All three of them had boxes full of parts in front of them and their breaths were soft as a crystal floated in front of them.
Metal for hilt, power cells and little bits and bobs that Cana as a journalist didn’t recognize but she was sure she could access the ‘Lense eye’ forums later on the holonet to see what the fans of mechanical skills would say about.
But more then that it was the crystal, how it floated in front of the younglings and seemed to flash at them as if they were whispering encouragements to their…
Somehow owners didn’t feel right in regards to these powerful little crystals that flashed with lights until they were covered up in the hilts that made the sabers.
One by one they stood, looking at each other with both excitement and nervousness, the gotal looked back to her master with wide, nervous eyes even only to receive an encouraging nod and a small smile.
And then they ignited them, the flash of two green and orange blade filling the room and soft gasps of glee.
The twi’lek gave a breathy laugh even as the devaronian squirmed with a wide grin before they extinguished them.
Yoda tapped his cane lightly on the floor for the excited looking padawans attention, looking between them as they one by one focused on him. “A powerful and elegant weapon you all now possess, able to do much damage it can in the hands of someone with dishonorable intentions.” His face turned serious. “But violence not a Jedi’s way, remember young ones, let the blade be the last option when you have exhausted all other so peace and justice may prosper. May the Force be with all.”
The padawans turned serious too and bowed to the master. “May the Force be with you Master Yoda.” They repeated back before moving to their masters with big smiles on their face as they handed their new sabers over willingly to their master’s overview.
Fluttering over to Yoda, Cana stared at them before looking back at him. “That was… amazing.” She offered.
The old being hummed, tapping his cane lightly against the floor. “…Strange the times are. At war the Jedi have never been like this. Future uncertain as it is but still attempt to keep our ways we are.” he sighed then glanced up at her. “Grateful we are though to you.”
“To me?” The journalist blinked.
Yoda smiled a bit. “Told I am that… less afraid of us people are now, you to thank we have. Old I am.” Yoda returned his gaze to the younglings and their masters. “Set in my ways, reminded I have been that to this galaxy there more is. And following the Force all Jedi should.” He hummed.
Cana blinked, unsure what that all meant but nodding and Yoda chuckled quietly and reached out, patting his claws against her arm. “Ignore an old man you should, speak about things that go over your head in context I should not. An episode this will be?” He tilted his head.
“Yes, mixed in with an interview from the pilots and some of the hanger.” Cana smiled, grateful for the subject change.
Humming, Yoda settled back on his cane, smiling. “Good. Showing the life of Jedi… good is.”
Chapter 11: Human clones
“You should take a deep breath Ser Kensing.” Knight Skywalker smiled warmly at the zabrak reporter. “We’ll ensure your safety while you’re here, I promise.” He repeated what he had said several times this trip and Luzarene, Luz for short, was sure that the other must be tired of this civilians anxieties.
“Please Knight Skywalker, Luz is more then enough. Kensing makes me feel like my dad.” The yellow skinned man grinned up at him meekly where he was sitting on a crate.
Skywalker chuckled but nodded and patted him on the shoulder. “Alright Luz but please call me Anakin in return when not on camera. I’m surprised through the lense eye wanted an on the field correspondent honestly.” He peered at him with puzzlement.
“Its only for a few runs.” Luz assured, he imagined having civilians as an additional liability to protect were a terrible deal for them. “But with a few of the social analyzes coming out, people wanted to see what the Jedi and our troopers are going through out there. The… human side of it if I can say it that way.” He explained. “Miss Cana is of course still at the temple but several like me are stationed with several diversion of the grand army of the republic.” He said warmly, smiling up at Skywalker who blinked then beamed back, looking approving.
“I see.” He said with warmth.
“...How high?” Cana stared at the Zarna.
“Half his battalion.” The twi’lek replied. “Wilhuff Tarkin won the station from the Separatist but he lost half his battalion and didn’t even bat an eyelid. It seemed to be...common for him to lose that many.”
Cana turned to Luz who shook his head. “Skywalker lost one man and two were injured. He subdued the Seperatist supporters and took in General Efira captive to be delivered to the Republic for interrogation.”
Slowly they all compared the notes and the clips they had gathered from the various Jedi and Republic General leaders.
“...I thought his name was Wilfur...” Cana mumbled to herself before shaking herself, wings snapping against her back as she took note of how the death tallies of the clones, these wonderful beings who were being cloned at Kamino, rose with non-Jedi personal in charge of them.
“…Its like they’re treating them as if they’re disposable.” She whispered.
Jizzna cleared her throat. “I… one of the clones I talked to, his name was Fives and I think he is with the 501st?” She looked to Luz who nodded, having meet Fives himself. “Well Fives told me that they sometimes feel like the only ones who really considers them any better then droids are the Jedi… and sometimes they don’t even feel less valuable then the blasters in their hands.”
Sighing, Firnza joined in. “Waxer and Boil from the 212th said the same. And at best some of them feel like they’re in a grand scale slavery ring.” He whispered, pale faced.
“Cana, what are we going to do about this?” Zarna questioned. “War morale has been getting higher with the start of this program but this information…” She trailed off.
Cana stared back at her crew before taking a breath. “...We report the truth. The truth the Jedi want us to give out. That was our goal, to give people the information about the Jedi who seemed so far fetched and mystical until Master Windu fell on his own face during that first interview. Now we do the same for the clones, we make them the humans they are. Because they’re out there dying for us in droves.” Her face turned serious and her wings snapped again. “This might mean we lose all founding after this program though, do you all understand?” She looked at them.
One by one the others nodded, understanding that they were putting their future carriers on the risk.
But there were people out there, dying, carrying the same faces but laughing and talking with different personalities.
They deserved to be a part of the galaxy just as much as the reporters and the beings on Coruscant.
Chapter 12: Any price
The latest episode of Through the Lens eye hits the Republic with the Force of a bomb, outrage, shock and despair hitting them all at the death count that is outlined both on the side of the clones and the side of the Jedi.
The frankly shocking number of clones that are ordered from the Kamino’s as if they are just products and the clones own confession that they sometimes feel like little more then tools or droids themselves that are easily discarded.
Jedi who, when asked about the comments the clones made, would stare at their hands for long minutes before looking at the reporters and answer that they served the Republic.
A roundabout way of saying they had no choice and Stars did they look tired when they admitted to such a thing.
Tired and worn down.
Tarkin is suspended from the army along with several commanders with similar high death count and the Senate rumbles beneath Chancellor Palpatine, demanding answers.
Any planet or Senators in favor of the war still gains an unpopular repute and quickly see how the tides are turning, quietening down as the voices screaming for peace grow louder and louder.
The Kamino’s had no other choice but to halt the production of clones for now, understanding that the resentment had turned from the Jedi and the clones and onto the Senators who was profiting of the war going on.
Padme Amidala, Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, Riyo Chuchi and several loud voices of peace were quickly gaining popularity all over Coruscant and the Republic with the Separatist also catching their broadcast.
Unknown to the public, the Jedi Order, Sheev Palpatine and Dooku himself, a few of said Separatists were contacting the Senators in hope of rejoining, weary of fighting as long as the terms would be fair.
As for the journalists themselves?
Well they were safe, kept in the Jedi temple as they had sought sanctuary with the Order they had been showing the humanity off to the rest of the Galaxy with clones visiting their Jedi’s often, ensuring that any unhappy Senators would not be able to… find them.
And tucked up in an apartment in the Senatorial district of Coruscant, three people watched the holoscreen with a muted sort of awe.
Anakin sat with his arms twined possessively around his wife and husband, both curled against his chest where they provided warmth and comfort, Padme’s hand gently petting at his knee and Obi-Wan’s hand teasing his curls slowly.
“…Its all coming to an end isn’t it?” Obi-Wan whispered.
“Feels like it.” Anakin agreed and Padme nuzzled into the blond, trusting their ability to sense it with the Force.
“What kind of end though?” She asked quietly.
Both Jedi quietly mulled over that.
“I don’t know Padme. But I’ll promise you both this, whatever end it is, I’ll always belong to you two.” Obi-Wan smiled at them quietly.
Anakin made a startled noise. “Don’t say that Obi-Wan, that doesn’t sound like a hopeful promise.” He growled quietly.
Padme beat him to the punch in action though as she leaned over his lap and pulled the redhead into a soft kiss. “Don’t you dare do something reckless Obi-Wan Kenobi. You two are my boys and I would be severely cross if you did something heroic but reckless.” She whispered, hands balancing her on Anakin’s thigh.
The older of the three stared at her for a long moment before reaching out and gently pressing his hand to her stomach, feeling the faint curve that would one day soon become a large swell. “Peace for this…would be worth any price I paid Padme.” He whispered quietly.
“I have two husbands. Do not make me a widower for one of them.” Padme scowled though her eyes were tearing from hormones.
“And I have only one husband and one wife.” Anakin chimed in, cupping Obi-Wan’s cheek. “You better bet your last beard hair I won’t let you be reckless.” He scowled in tandem with Padme.
Obi-Wan just closed his eyes and leaned into their touches smiling faintly.
If the price for peace would require his life as payment then Obi-Wan would gladly pay it for Padme and Anakin to raise the babies in peace.
But for his husband and wife sake, he held his tongue and nodded into Anakin’s hand.
He knew they didn’t really believe him but for now they were all willing to pretend.
Chapter 13: The cut scenes
It was the view of a hanger, the camera obviously filming from afar as it focused in on three Jedi over a speeder motor and from the looks of it, they were arguing.
Aayla Secura, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The latter was waving a multitool at the other two before gesturing at the motor with what looked like a huffy face while the other two shook their heads at him.
From what the camera could pick up, Secura’s lekku’s were quivering even as Kenobi leaned back down.
There was a pause as the two knights exchanged looks and then the camera view jerked to the ceiling for a few moments as a boom went off before the camera focused once again on the Jedi, Kenobi now covered in black oil with smoke steaming from the machine.
The two knights were laughing.
Two clones, twined around each other on what was obviously a ship and they were basically mauling each others face.
There was a quiet ‘oh stars!’ as a moan escaped one of the clones before the camera cut out.
“So this label of baby stealing wizards that the Jedi have gained through the years, if you were to guess where it came from, what would be your guess Knight Eerin?” Cana questioned the mon calamari who was carefully healing a quiet padawan beneath her hands.
The twi’lek padawan sent Cana a shy look but quickly looked away when he noticed the camera pointed at him, cheeks turning vaguely purple that clashed a bit with his blue skin.
The knight hummed a bit as she sealed a wound and put a bacta patch on. “My guess would be those families who have children they abuse who the Jedi rescue. They have good reason to be malicious about us and how else to explain that their babies have gone missing? The Jedi stole them.” She shrugged and gave the padawan a lolly before sending them off and turning back to the camera with a half smile. “And the Jedi do not only have friends in the galaxy, children are precious, why not compound on an already existing rumor. Or that’s my take on it.” She shrugged.
There was a food fight in the commissary…
It had started in the junior padawan section but seemed to have crossed borders and now even masters were involved and whoever was controlling the camera was laughing so hard it was shaking as they whirred around trying to catch everything and oh my stars was that Master Yoda discreetly aiming a spoonful of mash at the back of Master Windu’s head?!
As a wookie Jedi sailed by on a puddle of what could be pudding or gravy, the troll’s ammo landed perfectly and the mash slid down the back of the Korun’s head into his robes and the last shot of said man was him flailing around yelping, abandoning his attempt to bring order to the hall as he was busy getting mash out of his tunics.
The last shot of the fight was Yoda, cackling as he crawled under a table with a few initiates and accepting a bowl of jello from said initiates.
Kit Fisto and Aayla Secura were chatting together, the nautolan threading water as he rested his head on his folded arms while the twi’lek sat beside the pond in the thousand fountains that the man had picked to swim in.
They seemed to be very involved in their conversation and hadn’t noticed they were being watched and as the camera zoomed in a bit, Kit slowly reached out until the two’s pinkies twined gently around each others.
For others it may not seem much, for Jedi it was everything.
An unsteady shot peeking into a half open door where creche master Dolan was speaking quietly to Knight Skywalker, both carrying a baby each that they were rocking carefully.
They both looked content but there was something close to awe in the blonds face as he cuddled the whimpering baby close to his chest while rubbing the swaddled child’s stomach with his mech hand, as comforting as anyone could be.
Dolan paced a bit with his own bundle, checking on the quieter cribs before noticing the camera crew and shifting one hand free to lift a hand to put a finger to his lips, a smile on his face as he nodded towards Skywalker.
The scene went black.
Chapter 14: Order 66
The clones were attacking the temple.
The Supreme Chancellor had declared the Jedi traitors and the clones were attacking but there was something not right about the way it was happening, the way they were repeating. ‘Good soldiers follow orders.’ As they marched and laid siege to the building so familiar with them.
The mix of red, orange, green, blue and purple, every garrison on Coruscant at the moment.
Somehow the Jedi had been prepared and had set up barricades at the temple entrances, every possible sealed but guarded by those on the dead planet covered in buildings. Or perhaps not prepared but always ready to defend themselves with makeshift solutions.
As smoke plumed towards the sky, the journalist team filmed it all, frightened Jedi younglings with their creche masters, padawans sealing off the hanger doors and knights setting up guard positions with masters all over the temple, their recordings playing on all emergency channels over Coruscant.
And ever more important, the first in line like Master Kenobi and Knight Skywalker at the entrance of the great halls of the Jedi temple, its statues overturned with the Force to create barricades.
“What’s even happening!?” Ahsoka yelled, catching sight of all to familiar blue symbol carrying armor.
“I don’t know but keep them from the temple Ahsoka!” Anakin snarled, reaching out and snapping his fist shut, sending yet another trooper passed out to the ground as sweat rolled down the blonds temple from exertion.
They were doing their best to avoid lethal actions but it was getting almost impossible.
It did help that Rex, Fives and Kix were all seemingly unaffected and were doing their best to keep the vods from coming up the stairs too, blasters set on stun though Rex seemed ready to go for the kill the closer the troopers were getting to the steps of the temple.
Not far from them, Obi-Wan narrowed his eyes at the troopers as he wondered what made Rex and the other two different, before widening in realization as he stared at Fives, his lips forming the word ‘chips’ unnoticed to everyone else.
Deactivating his blade and placing it on his belt, Obi-Wan reached out into Fives mind with a single focus, finding the deactivated chip, memorizing it, its shape, its feel and its context before pulling back once again.
“…Let the light from inside shine.” Obi-Wan’s voice was soft, almost unnoticeable over the sound of blaster fire and the whir of machines and the cries of men in battle. “For the path is dark and I see no other light.”
But Anakin had been attuned to his master for as long as he had been the mans padawan and he turned to him, cursing as he barely dodged a bolt.
“The battle is wrought, our sacrifices blood worn and the enemy great but my light still shines its brightest and shall not break.” His voice wasn’t gaining volume but somehow he was the only thing that mattered to Anakin as Obi-Wan stood there, every blast missing him even as it ruffled up hair and clothes.
“I am the shield and the spear, I am the swift wings of light, undeniable in the darkness that brightens the shadows. And I shall not be denied, I shall not be stopped and I shall not yield. For my light shines eternal.” And with closed eyes, Obi-Wan took a step forward.
“Obi-Wan!?” Anakin snarled in shock before freezing, feeling a massive build up in the Force that was originating from the redhead and something tickling against his rather impressive shields and he almost feared what he’d see if he turned his gaze into Force Sight.
He watched Obi-Wan slide around the fallen statues made into barricades and take two more steps until he reached the steps of the temple and knew he wasn’t the only one watching.
“Skyguy?” Ahsoka whispered, her hands clamped to her head and she wasn’t the only one. “What’s he doing?” The togruta whimpered. “Its like bells are going off in my head!”
Was it just Anakin or was Obi-Wan glowing?
They watched as the redhead lifted a hand towards the trooper, palm flat and facing up, yet another blaster missing him but ruffling his tunics once again.
Slowly Obi-Wan closed his hand, fingers curled into his hands until he had a fist and then squeezed.
Like puppets cut of their strings, the troopers fell to the ground but a hiss from his side distracted Anakin, making him turn to his padawan to where Ahsoka was having a sever nosebleed with her hands clamped to her head even harder and Anakin’s own shields taking a sudden battering.
It was now obvious Obi-Wan was glowing as he turned back to the temple opening his fist as his eyes flickered beneath his lids before he repeated his motion six more times, each time he did Ahsoka whimpered or cried out until even Anakin could feel Obi-Wan moving through the Force as if he was pure light, having his own nosebleed from the massive amount of Force in motion.
And after every squeezed fist, reports of troopers falling to the ground, alive but unconscious reached their comms.
Anakin lifted his eyes to his husband, watching the glowing form with baited breath as he glowed like a miniature sun on the steps of the Jedi temple.
“Obi-Wan?” He whispered shakily, wiping blood of his bottom lip as Rex rushed to Ahsoka’s side to help his commander, reports of all attacks halted reaching them with obvious relief from those on the comms.
With that Obi-Wan collapsed to the ground, convulsing as the light left him, leaving behind just Obi-Wan and with a snarled curse, Anakin vaulted over the statue to the redhead’s side as the other convulsed harder and harder.
Chapter 15: You stupid man
“You silly stupid man.” Mace froze, staring at the door for a few moment in hesitation. “You incredible, idiotic, self sacrificing barve. I don’t know why I love you but I do.” Skywalker voice came hiccuped through the door and Mace quickly traded a look with Kit before he opened the door.
Skywalker didn’t notice, sitting at Kenobi’s bedside bowed over with his forehead against the older mans with his hands cupping the others cheeks, murmuring things still. “I can’t believe you’ve gone and done this to yourself. You promised us you wouldn’t be reckless with your life…you …” The blond shuddered and then quieted down.
The silence lasted and Mace was about to break it when Skywalker spoke. “Master Che says he’s as good as Force blind, that he’s used up almost every last part of his reserves in deactivating down the chips in the clones on Coruscant and put himself into what might be a permanent coma.” The blond offered roughly. “That he drew so much of the Force into himself that it blew several psychic fuses and his neurochemicals are off the charts and previously undocumented at this level along with sever adrenaline poisoning…tell me it was worth it. Tell me whatever was lost here was worth it.” Skywalker didn’t look at them.
Mace and Kit exchanged looks before the Korun moved forward and settled a heavy hand on the knight’s shoulder. “…Several clones confessed that they had been about to put detonations to the side of the temple near the creche to breech the walls when Master Kenobi intervened. What he did… saved the younglings…”
Anakin’s shoulders slumped as he pushed up, staring down at the redhead before he gave a heavy nod. “I see.” He whispered.
Mace squeezed his shoulder before shifting again. “We’re about to confront Palpatine on behalf of the Senate. His order… the chips in the clones… The Senate is not happy.” He ended with awkwardly, unsure what else to offer the man at this moment when it was clear that he was not in the best state of mind with fancy words being no comfort.
He was treated to the way Anakin’s face tightened and his eyes darkened before the knight nodded and got up, shaking Mace hand off his shoulder. “I’ll come with, I assume that’s why you’re both here.”
Mace nodded. “Ordinarily I’d ask Obi-Wan but in his absence…”
They all glanced at the pale redhead hooked up to several monitoring devices, looking as if he was sleeping and nothing worse.
He should be happy.
The war is slowed down, Palpatine has been exposed as the kriffing sith lord and isn’t that just a blow to Anakin’s ego now that the obvious grooming behavior slams into him. Yan Dooku is still a problem but less so without his master as he wobbles at the blow.
So much leaked intel makes so much more sense and there’s a horrifying sense that Anakin has been Palpatine biggest source.
And yes, Eeth Koth paid with his life, Kit Fisto will never be able to do more then whisper, Anakin’s scar now crosses down his entire face and he no longer has a right eye and Mace is missing two hands but… well the Sith problem on Coruscant has died at the hands of Anakin.
And even Order 66 as they now know it was contained only to the clones on Coruscant with the entire planet under lockdown during the attack though Yoda had been quick to contact the Kamino’s with Plo Koon and well…the kel dor was not happy with the perceived threat to his men. The chips had all been deactivated with a signal from Kamino, a failsafe on the cloners side.
He should be happy.
Because Obi-Wan is not awake to celebrate with him, with them.
Everyone else who can are celebrating while Padme and he sits on each side of Obi-Wan’s bed, his hands in each their laps as they watch him.
“…He’d like the eyepatch…” Padme suddenly whispered, voice heavy from her earlier sobs when she had been told the news.
Anakin snorted faintly and reached up with his mech hand to the red and golden eyepatch Ahsoka had gotten him with their symbol on. “Ahsoka felt it would be…appropriate.” He whispered out, far gone from his tears.
Padme made an understanding noise, brushing her fingers against the open circle symbol on it, a far corner of her mind grateful that instead of bright yellow, Ahsoka had opted for gold.
“…I’m going to resign. I can’t… I’ve done enough, we’ve bleed enough.” Anakin whispered, swallowing thickly before lifting Obi-Wan’s hand. “I can’t give anymore and I’m rather sure the Council knows about this…” He swallowed hard.
“I know…I understand love.” Padme leaned in and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “And so would he.”
Anakin’s breath hitched before tears once again started to roll down his cheek unchecked.
Chapter 16: Eeth Koth
Watching the man for a long moment, Cana finally opened her mouth. “You are Sharad Hett, former padawan to Eeth Koth and former Jedi Knight?”
The bald man gave a slow nod before sighing. “Before you ask, yes, I am also the same Sharad Hett who is the champion of Krmar and too many titles to remember.” He shifted. “Can we… leave those titles behind? Those were titles worth celebrating, this is not a time to celebrate for me.”
Cana’s wings fluttered as she nodded. “I understand, you were close to your master.”
Sharad looked down, staring at his hands for a few long moments before speaking. “He allowed me to keep in touch with my family, we formed a bond closer to father and son then perhaps he should have allowed but that was what we did. He called me fearless and dedicated and praised me for hard work.”
He closed his eyes for another long moment but Cana allowed the silence to fill the room, let Sharad decide what he’d say.
“Eeth… has joined the Force and Jedi are taught not to mourn because all that dies are not truly gone, it has only rejoined the Force. It may no longer be the same shape or form, but he’s there and though I will miss him for every day of my life, the ache will lessen with time but for now its fresh and it bleeds.” The human looked up, brown eyes glittering faintly in the light.
“…Then tell us about his life, Sharad, so that others knows the man who gave his life for the Republic.” Cana encouraged quietly.
Sharad gave a little blink and then he smiled faintly. “…Eeth liked to lay on his back on worlds where the pollution was low enough to still see the stars, he liked tracing star patterns and telling stories about the shapes he could trace.” He leaned forward, the stories spilling from his lips like an ocean of the man he had known.
“I saw that there was a new statue to be unveiled in the halls of the Jedi, the plaque in the hallway read Eeth Koth.” Cana questioned with care.
Master Kolar opened his mouth then shut it, swallowing heavily as his hands twisted into his tunic once again before he tried speaking once again. “Yes, its… we voted that he should be remembered for his dedication and sacrifice in duty. Losing his life… in the line of duty… its a bronze statue, it should be done in a few days and there will be a ceremony after his… after the cremation.”
Agen Kolar eyes were red-rimmed and one could almost speculate…
Well Cana was already aware of one illicit relationship (and marriage!) in the temple so it wasn’t against the odds that another existed.
“You two were…good friends?” She tried gently, wings fluttering when tear glassy eyes meet hers.
And then Agen smiled his best smile, a tear slowly rolling down his face. “The best. We… did you know his name meant fearless? He was fearless too, his combat skills rivaled mine and…” He clenched his eyes shut again and took a deep breath. “…He is-” He broke off his own words and swallowed hard again. “…was fond of Nabooan pears, I could bribe him into almost anything if I got him glazed Nabooan pears…” He trailed off, sounding lost.
Watching the other stare at his knees, Cana eventually reached out and rested a hand on his, Agen looking up. “…He sounds like someone the Galaxy should miss.” She murmured.
The zabrak swallowed before smiling at her faintly. “Thank you…”
It would not ease the pain, not yet… but it was good to know that others would know Eeth Koth and what he meant to some of the Order’s inhabitants.
Sitting down slowly, Depa stared at the blue skinned toydarian. “I… I assume this requested briefing is about Master Kenobi?” She questioned quietly, already aware of the interviews that had been taken for Eeth’s memory.
The Journalist nodded. “We broadcasted the entire battle that happened on the emergency channels…including the end where Master Kenobi collapsed into seizure. I won’t ask what he did, goddesses knows it would go above my head and most of us Force blind people but…may we ask for his condition? Many of us worry.” She questioned, having seen many of the holonet forums for her shows full of questions.
Depa sighed, drawing a weary hand over her face before nodding and sitting straight. “Currently Master Kenobi is in coma, one which he might never wake from. The healers are…not hopeful.” You could hear a pin drop in the room.
The Jedi stared at Cana for a long moment as the journalist wings fluttered in agitation. “…Things will be as the Force wills. If he wakes it will be at its behest, if not…” Depa lost her words there.
“If not?” Cana prompted.
“…If not then we return him to the Force as he would have wanted.”
Cana’s eyes widened in shock and the camera woman dropped something.
Depa looked between them before sighing. “You have to understand…Obi-Wan is currently Force blind, he may never recover. Think of it as an electric socket that has drawn too much energy and overblown… the chance of him filling with the Force again is… slim.” She whispered.
Cana didn’t know what to say after that, staring at the Jedi who watched the window quietly. Then Depa suddenly laughed quietly. “Obi-Wan hated piloting, for all that he is a great pilot… I rather hope to hear him complain again.” She stood and bowed, signaling the end of the interview.
Chapter 17: Those who sleep
Padme is going into labor and Obi-Wan’s not there to see it, not there to watch Anakin pace before being pulling Anakin down to hold him and assure him.
Its so bittersweet as Anakin paces, the birth of their first children and Obi-Wan is NOT there!
Anakin could cry from pure frustration but keeps his tears at bay as he listens to Padme heavy breaths until she begs for his hand.
He gives her his flesh hand and gives her his best smile, rubbing it. “You can do it Padme, come on…” The former Jedi whispered while holding her hand, pressing their foreheads together as he tried to transfer some of the pain from her to himself and then into the Force, whispering encouragements.
They should be two by her side but there’s only one and its a broken circle but its still them and there’s still the babies and a future.
They have no other option then to continue living even without their third.
The first wail breaks through Padme’s cries of pain and Anakin lifts his head to look, watches the healer pull the first wrinkled, pink baby.
A little girl, all theirs and all beautiful as her wails crosses into the Force like the resounding noise of a blaster fired.
Her twins comes fifteen minutes later and the same happens, his cry like hers and they’re wrinkly and wonderful and all theirs.
He gets to cut the second ones umbilical cord, Padme whimpering in relief that its over letting go of his hand as Sabe gently dabs her forehead while he gets this memory.
This memory that should also be Obi-Wan’s.
Obi-Wan who has a ton of fanmail at the temple, Obi-Wan who lays comatose in a bed, Obi-Wan who might never wake…their Obi-Wan.
The thought makes Anakin hold Leia tighter to his chest even as the nurse hands Padme their youngest, the Senator laughing warmly in dazed happiness. “Look at you… so pink and little. Obi-Wan is going to love you…” She whispered before sobering as she realized what she said, looking up at Anakin with a lost expression.
Moving to the bed with Leia swaddled in her soft cotton purple blanket, Anakin sat down on her bedside so she could look properly at their daughter. “He would…both of them.” He murmured gruffly.
Then he sight, looking up. “Windu’s here, I can feel him.” He offered dryly.
“You expected it.” Padme shrugged. “The children were bound to be Force sensitive.” She nuzzled at Luke.
“I already told the Council where to stick it in regards to them when I left the Order.” He grunted.
“Then tell them again now.” Padme smiled, face flushed and sweaty still.
Handing Leia to her in case he’d need to shake Windu, Anakin gave her a tight smile before turning to the door when it swished open. “Master Windu what are yo-” His words froze as he stared at the door opening.
Windu was there but beside him with his arm over the Korun’s shoulder in Hall clothes, slippers and a robe was…
“Obi-Wan…” Anakin whispered, standing slowly as Mace guided Obi-Wan in on slow shuffling feet feet, a month having done its work on the redhead’s muscle with his hair and beard shaggy as it had grown in that time.
“He woke up an hour ago, about the same time the first of your children cried out in the Force.” The Master of the Order offered, letting Anakin take Obi-Wan from him. “Refused to listen to reason and let us take him in a hoverchair or change clothes, barely let the healers do their job even.” He glanced to the babies and nodded to Padme. “Congratulation Senator Amidala, they look and seem healthy and strong.” He gave a rare smile.
Blinking heavily, Anakin looked from his stunned wife and down to his weakened husband, squeezing him protectively to his chest before tipping Obi-Wan’s head up to see him.
Obi-Wan smiled meekly back, raising a shaking hand up to the eyepatch before looking to Padme. “… ‘m late…sorry.” He croaked out.
“…You stupid reckless man.” Padme hiccuped out a sob, her large brown eyes full of tears as she was high on painkillers and hormones. “Get over here and greet our kids.”
With Anakin’s help Obi-Wan did just that, reaching out with trembling hands to stroke his fingertips against their warm chubby cheeks. On his left a bracelet gleamed silver in the light.
Windu drew Anakin a bit to the side. “Che says he’s going to be alright, with therapy and rest, he will be as he was though it will take time. His shielding are shot for now so he needs to wear a neural disruptor bracelet for the time being.” He confided.
“But… other then that he’s alright? He’s just going to need rest and time?” Anakin questioned, flickering his eye over the others face.
Mace nodded before hesitating then sighing. “Its unlikely he can ever be a field Jedi again though I don’t think he’d want to be… will he be staying with you and the Senator now?”
Anakin glanced towards his husband and wife, watching Obi-Wan’s delighted face as he gently caressed little hands with his trembling fingers. “He’s our husband, what do you think?”
That got a quiet snort before Mace offered his right mech hand to Anakin, giving him a firm handshake in understanding. “Then I’ll let you return to your family Skywalker.”
Anakin watched him go before doing just that, returning to Obi-Wan and Padme, marveling at their little lights and the fact that they had their Obi-Wan back.
They could live the future they’d imagined, what more could someone want?
Chapter 18: We thank you
Rubbing his hand through Kenobi’s hair, Skywalker smiled wryly at Cana. “I apologize for this. Most of Obi-Wan’s time goes into therapy and recovery if we’re being honest so he still rests a lot when he can. The time he doesn’t do therapy or play with the kids are used for naps.” He confessed.
Lifting her hands, Cana shook her head with a warm smile. “Please, don’t apologize. We understand that Master Kenobi saved many lives during the attack Palpatine unlawfully initiated on the temple, people are fond of both Jedi and clones and are grateful that he did. Now we only wish to know that he will recover since he managed to wake.” She peered at the bundle in Skywalker’s mech arm. “And to know about your new treasures.” She confessed.
Skywalker laughed faintly, shifting a bit to glance between his husbands head on his lap and the baby in his arm. “Treasures are a good word for them I guess.” He offered with warmth, giving his chubby little one a gentle nuzzle. “They’re names are Leia and Luke Amidala and this is Leia but that’s all I’m going to say.” Anakin grinned wryly.
Cana nodded, understanding that for such prominent parents, they wanted to give their kids privacy.
So she changed subjects. “Will you be retaking the mantle as Jedi again or is it now the parental role you are staying in?” She questioned.
Skywalker grinned at that. “I’m going to be happy as a stay at home dad. Padme is still fighting for the rights of the galaxy and I’m happy to give her the time and space to do that while I look after the kids in the meantime but that doesn’t mean she’s not here.” He looked up as the door to the fresher opened and the Senator stepped in with the second twin.
“I’m sorry about that, Luke really needed a diaper change.” The Senator offered tiredly, smiling at them as she rejoined them on the couch. There was a little milky splosh the collar of her deep green dress that she didn’t seem to have noticed but Luke seemed quite happy to squirm in his blanket, looking around with big blue eyes.
Cana gestured for her camera crew to get a good shot of that. “Please, don’t apologize Senator, family comes first.”
Amidala smiled at that before reaching out and gently stroking her free fingers into the copper hair of her second husband. “Yes…yes they do.”
Kenobi opted to open his eyes too at that moment, yawning before focusing on the lady senator with half lidded eyes.
Drowsy and content, he was a far cry from the exhausted General they had seen on the first episode as he slowly reached up to brush his fingertips over Amidala’s cheek in return with a smile on his gaunt face as Amidala continued slowly scratching her fingers against his scalp.
It was a beautiful thing if Cana was honest
“So that is it then?” Cana questioned the circle of Jedi master’s. “The Jedi withdraw back to their temple? War’s over and done?” She smiled.
“Temporarily at least.” Mace offered, sitting up slowly while waving his mech hand carefully. “We’ve lost some promient members, we’re all sore and tired and while we will still do our duty we…” He looked around the room before looking back. “We need a break.”
Shaak spoke up, her hologram flickering a bit from where she was stationed on Kamino still. “We will still do our duty, we will help the clones settle into a life as they choose it and do recovery and we shall start recovery and relief efforts but…as master Windu says, we need a break. So many of us are injured or dead.” She sighed.
Yoda tapped his cane on his chair, the camera focusing on him. “Much torment the Order and the Galaxy has gone through, perhaps the Senate help us all now will. Warriors we were never designed to be though fight we can.” He offered, croaking a bit before his ears fell. “Agree with the young I do, much death and injury we have experienced in short time. Many bonded masters and padawans broken apart have been. Tired we are… reforms we need to consider.” He looked around the room.
“Reforms?” Cana questioned in surprise.
She hadn’t gotten the feeling that the Order changed lightly but… three years of war could not be considered lightly at all.
“Internal this will be.” Yoda smiled to her. “To worry the rest of the galaxy need not, Jedi we will still be, conduct ourselves properly we will… but perhaps…” He seemed to hesitate.
The rest of the council seemed to hold their breath.
“Perhaps… unselfish love…not such a bad thing will be.” Yoda finished.
Cana stared at him.
There were so many implication in that.
So many things it could mean, but perhaps… eventually… Knight Skywalker and Master Kenobi would one day again walk these halls.
“…Thank you master Jedi, for allowing us into your home and your lives.” She whispered.
As one, all the master’s stood and bowed to her.
“Welcome, the galaxy will always be.” Depa offered with quiet warmth.
“We are Jedi, and now the galaxy knows who we are. It is us who should thank you.” Plo continued.
“From the depth of our hearts, thank you Mistress Cana.” Kit finished and Cana could feel the blood rush to her face as her wings fluttered hard as the rest of the masters echoed his statement.
Stars light, what people the Jedi were.
Chapter 19: Epilogue
Its a sober affair and Cana is honestly shocked that the holo cams are allowed to this funeral even in the back though the Jedi had said they were welcome back to the temple.
Still, the funeral of Grandmaster Yoda with Grandmaster Obi-Wan Kenobi presiding… its a damn shock to be present but Cana had built up a level of trust back during the war when she interviewed these brave people for Lense eye.
In the crowd there is a mix of Jedi from all the corps, padawans, knights, masters and clones who have managed to show up.
Honestly Cana wasn’t so shocked at the latter, the Jedi and the clone troopers had kept a close relationship even after the war, several of the cloned men of Jango Fett forming their own groups akin to the Rangers that went with Jedi out into the galaxy to help restore peace and she suspected that a large group of them outright lived in the temple. Those who did not remain settled into civilian life as there were plenty of spots to fill on many planets after the war and the soldiers had more skills than just to fight a war.
There had been some discounted mutterings about how they weren’t real people but a bill, spearheaded by Amidala and Organa had been launched to give the clones remaining the same rights as everyone else and while there had been some riots in the aftermath and some clone discrimination, that had easily enough been handled when the Jedi threw their weight in.
The Jedi’s popularity after the fall of Palpatine had silenced the discontented even if they were still there so that was something and now people tried to live as peacefully as they could.
She easily spotted Master Billaba holding the hand of one Cana thought was her commander with her tall padawan by her side.
Senator Amidala was also there to support both her husband with Skywalker having two kids on each side of his hip, sporting a deep blue eyepatch today over his ruined eye from the war as he spoke quietly to his wife before glancing around to check for their husband.
‘My they have gotten big…’ She noted in awe, the two five year old’s looking around the funeral hall with big blue and brown eyes.
It was clear they were of Skywalker blood and of Amidala blood she had to note but the little bundle in Amidala’s arm sporting tufts of red…
Well that was going to be interesting for the future.
And they were not the only children present in the arms of their parents, clearly there had been changes done within the order as several Jedi had young now that they carried and Kenobi had quietly admitted to Cana before the funeral as they had managed to snag a short interview that the temple hadn’t been this full in years.
“There are more children now, a boom after the war honestly with people trying to repopulate and thanks internal changes, we don’t have to go far for young members. Though we are often informed of Force sensitive children around the galaxy with some still giving us their young if they see reason to… and then there are still children whose parents don’t approve and we have to use our rights.” Kenobi had summed up, smile tight at the end.
It didn’t shock Cana to hear that there were still those who abused their children for showing signs of the Force but she was glad there were Jedi out there to find and bring them to safety.
There was movement from a small group of masters separating and Master Kenobi moved to the front to stand by the pedestal of the small covered shape that was the once grandmaster of the Order, his hands tucked into his sleeves and a sober look on his face. Cana could spot a small silver bracelet on the mans wrist from this distance.
“We put an old master to peace today,” Kenobi started, the people in waiting going somehow even more silent as he spoke. “Master Yoda has lived a long life and in the last few years of his life there have been many changes as he slowly retreated to leave space for those young and for the new. He told me to say that he made many mistakes, for such is a long life that you have that luxury to make them,” Kenobi glanced over them before smiling. “But told us to not mourn him he has, for he saw the future of the order within us and the changes of the day. Look to the Force, for we are all one with it.” He ended.
There was a quiet noise and the platform lowered down.
Cana could wonder about it all, the Jedi, their place in the galaxy, the still fragile peace with the Confederacy of Independent systems and if everything would blow up once more but for now, five years after the clone wars…
They still had a fragile peace.
They were growing and recovering from all that had happened and if one were to look at the Amidala-Skywalker-Kenobi family as Kenobi joined his wife and husband to carefully pick up the babe in the Senator’s arms and speak quietly to Chancellor Mon Mothma, they would continue to have that chance.
Still… out of all the surprises she had not expected was the sight of Mace Windu sporting a long suffering but fond look as his four year old tried to climb him like a tree, a clone troopers arm wound around his waist.
Life finds a way obviously.