"Time it is then," Yoda said grimly as they listened to Obi-Wan's report, and the other Councillors looked to him in question. "Renounced our army we did, at Ruusan. But ordered for us, an army has been. Our old Army of Light they are not. Warlords, we are not. But if waiting for us, this army is, in play, is the hand of the Sith."
The others dipped their heads, acknowledging what Yoda said.
"You mean us to simply accept this?" Obi-Wan asked, his image flickering across the light years.
"Accept? Yes," Yoda said. "Refuse the Chancellor we cannot, if wish to continue serving the Republic we do. But simple? No. No, simple this is not. Our protection this army will need. Not a Republic world, Kamino. And not Republic citizens, these soldiers. An investigation, we will need to open. All our people, this will command."
"All - Master Yoda," Adi said somewhat reprovingly. "There are thousands of Jedi on time sensitive missions across the galaxy."
"And remain on their missions they will, until concluded, those missions have," Yoda said. "Restrict our mandate to provide aide, this does not. But most vulnerable these soldiers are. Never known our protection they have. Education they will need, if never left Kamino, they have. If raised only for war, they have been. Healing too, they will need, if only as products they have been treated."
Adi nodded her understanding, relaxing slightly at the assurance that their efforts to lend assistance would not be curtailed.
"The ships needed for a relocation such as you are suggesting," Mace began, and Yoda waved him off.
"Forgotten your history you have, Master Windu," Yoda said with a teasing glint in his eyes. Mace's brow furrowed.
"You mean to activate the star drive," Ki-Adi said in quiet wonder after a moment, and a wave of awe washed through the Council chamber.
"I thought that was a myth?" Coleman asked curiously.
"Not a myth, Master Trebor," Yarael said, shaking his head. "But presumed, by most, inoperative." He turned his gaze on Yoda. "Presumed by most, even on this Council, inoperative." Yoda smiled, that broad, too-innocent smile that every Jedi in the Temple knew meant trouble.
"Inoperative hmmm? No, no, Master Poof," Yoda admitted. "But best thought unusable, yes. A last resort the star drive is."
"And you think we have come to the moment of last resort?" Obi-Wan asked, and Yoda's ears drooped, the smile falling off his aged face.
"If an army there is, a war, someone intends," Yoda said sadly. "Too convenient the timing is, as vote the Senate does, to create a Republic military. Fight against the Separatists they wish, not to negotiate. War, Jedi have not seen on that scale in many years. Fall many Jedi would, in a war so vast. Die, many Jedi would. The hand of the Sith yes, I think this war is. Safe, we must make our most vulnerable. Out of reach, our elders and Healers and Younglings must be, if happens, the worst does."
"I cannot disagree with that," Ki-Adi said with a slight smile, then looked to the holo. "Knight Kenobi, you said the bounty hunter had fled?"
"Yes Master Mundi. I had intended to pursue him, but felt it wise to alert you to the situation here before I did so, as I anticipate he will have escaped to a position of greater strength. I did not wish for the information to be lost, if he gained the upper hand. Fett is a more than capable warrior," Obi-Wan said.
"A Jedi killer, he is," Yoda said grimly.
"I had thought he was that same Mandalorian," Obi-Wan said. "It is part of what makes the formation of this army so perplexing. By his account, he was approached by one called Tyrannus, and yet the Kaminoans persist in their claim that the army was ordered by Master Sifo-Dyas."
"And yet Sifo-Dyas rejoined the Force what - ten years ago?" Plo Koon said thoughtfully. "He was not the type to invite greater violence, by commanding an army be made, not when he feared the dangers in his visions. How long ago, Knight Kenobi, did the Kaminoans say the order had been placed to create this army?"
"Ten years ago," Obi-Wan said grimly.
"Terribly convenient," Plo said, his own dissatisfaction with the situation leaking into the Force.
"Just so," Ki-Adi agreed. He turned to Yoda. "The star drive?" Yoda nodded.
"I'm afraid that I too have forgotten my history," Obi-Wan asked, clearly confused. Yoda let out a quiet cackle.
"Tho Yar, this Temple is. Brought here from Tython during Fourth Migration it was, when fled Ossus, the Order did," Yoda explained. Obi-Wan frowned thoughtfully, and then his face cleared as he understand.
"Really?!" Obi-Wan asked, and almost in unison the Masters of the Council nodded. Soft wonder filled Obi-Wan's expression. Tho Yar were as much myth as fact, part of the foundation of the Order from its very inception. The great ships had, in ancient times, been found on eight planets, and in time, Force Sensitives from those planets had entered the ships. According to legend, they had been brought to Tython after numerous stops to pick up others, where they found the final Tho Yar, and established the order that would one day become the Jedi.
Most Jedi, Obi-Wan knew, assumed that the Tho Yar had remained at Tython when the Jedi enacted Third Migration, fleeing the Force Storms there and settling on Ossus, where one of their most ancient extant Temples was built.
"Which?" Obi-Wan asked, and then waved the question off. It wasn't really important.
"The largest," Yoda said, answering the question anyway. The largest, Obi-Wan knew, meant that ninth, the Tho Yar the future Jedi had found already on Tython. The one that, if Obi-Wan remembered correctly, could command the other Tho Yar remotely. The Temple as Obi-Wan knew it must take up only a miniscule fraction of the Tho Yar. And if the other Tho Yar were recalled - he smiled slightly. They would have more than enough room to house the millions of soldiers and cadets now on Kamino.
"So you mean to enact Fifth Migration," Obi-Wan said, and Yoda nodded.
Every Jedi learned about the four great migrations of their people. The First, when the Tho Yar had awaken, and the forebears of the Jedi from planets all over the galaxy had come to Tython. The Second, when the Tho Yar spread out around Tython, and become Temples. The Third, when the Jedi had fled the Force Storms of Tython for Ossus. And the Fourth, when they had fled Ossus after the destruction of the Cron Cluster. That peripatetic history had taught them all that one day, a Fifth Migration would be necessary. Obi-Wan had never imagined it might be in his lifetime.
"I will prepare for your arrival," Obi-Wan said simply. "The Kaminoans?"
"Tell them we are - taking custody of our army," Mace said with a grimace. "All of them, and every scrap of DNA and documentation." Obi-Wan dipped his head in understanding. He also planned to do further investigating of his own. He didn't know the speed of a Tho Yar hyperdrive, but it would likely take a little time for the ship to reach Kamino, beyond the reaches of the Outer Rim.
"And the trainers?"
"Their contracts are fulfilled. Their army is delivered," Plo said firmly, clearly not thrilled about the idea of mercenaries having power of any type over the soldiers. Obi-Wan nodded again. That order he would take some small amount of pleasure in carrying out. While he had not spent much time with the trainers, he had noted that many were Mando'ade, and a few bore the marks of Death Watch on their armour. Unless Fett had been a very close overseer, Obi-Wan didn't doubt the training had been brutal - perhaps even lethal - under their command.
"May the Force be with you," Obi-Wan said in parting, and it was echoed back to him by the Jedi of the Council. The holo blinked out, and the Councillors looked silently to one another.
"I will prepare a message to the Senate," Adi said grimly.
"I will begin the evacuations of the upper levels that will be affected," Eeth Koth said, dipping his head.
"I will begin seeing to the star drive, if Master Yoda will show me the way to the engine room," Even Piell said, and Yoda nodded. The others stated the tasks they would undertake to ready the massive ship for departure. Nearby Jedi would be recalled to the Temple, if their missions were not time sensitive. The Jedi already in the Temple would go to work securing everything they could and preparing the Tho Yar to travel. Fifth Migration might have been a theoretical for thousands of years, but that didn't mean the Jedi didn't know how to plan an efficient evacuation.
Over the next week, Jedi returned to the Temple, some far ahead of schedule, the Force urging them on. Quartermasters laid in supplies, and engineers double, triple, and quadruple checked systems that had long been thought of as building infrastructure rather than ship infrastructure. Certain hatches were sealed, allowing massive internal water and air tanks to fill. Quiet communiques were sent to the outposts run by the service corps. Knights were informed, then Padawans, and finally Initiates.
The ship was made ready. Checks were run to ensure the buildings that had grown up in the Temple Precinct were empty, and wouldn't topple into neighboring districts. The star drive, finally, was eased online. Coruscant, around the Temple, shuddered. Those who had lived in the buildings closest to the Temple mentally thanked the Jedi for warning them that their sensors had detected the possibility of a groundquake.
Buildings trembled, some toppling as the support beneath them shuddered and fluctuated. The Force began to sing. In the Temple, all the Knights and Masters reached out, ensuring that the falling buildings would either remain on the upper mantle of the Tho Yar, or fall in its shadow without harming anyone below. In the Senate Rotunda, the Chancellor glanced out his wide window, squinting slightly when the view didn't quite seem right.
The star drive fired, slagging the bedrock beneath the Tho Yar into magma. The great ship lifted, lines and buildings falling away as it rose. Traffic came to a stop, everyone within sight staring in astonishment. Slowly it rose, the massive octahedral ship looming over the Temple district. Its engines were almost silent even as they began lifting the ship higher and faster.
In the Senate Rotunda, the Chancellor stared in shock, as the rest of Coruscant did. Unlike the others watching, he knew exactly what he was seeing. Tho Yar. Rage bubbled beneath the surface. They'd been keeping a Tho Yar from him all these years. A Tho Yar - the sheer firepower, and they'd used it as their housing, their teaching classrooms. Their library and refectory and gardens. He sneered as it rose higher, steady despite the buildings crumbling from its surface. They fell, somehow, only into the pit left behind, and were incinerated to slag by the powerful star drive.
The ship was almost incomprehensibly massive, even seen from so far away. Palpatine's rage took an undertone of fear. While Tho Yar were so vanishingly rare that calling any one of them 'normal' seemed vastly inappropriate, Palpatine was certain, with a swift surety, that that was no 'normal' Tho Yar. That was the control ship, that had been found on Tython back when those who would become Jedi and those who would become Sith were a single people. That ship controlled eight others with almost unimaginable abilities. And the Jedi had been running about in it, Younglings, elders and all, for thousands of years with nobody any the wiser.
Rage surged through Palpatine, the Dark side swelling within him until his mortal frame could no longer contain its power. With a shriek, Palpatine collapsed, minute sparks of lightning dancing over his form. His assistant would find him some time later, and give a statement that the stress have finally overcome the poor man. He was, after all, getting up there in years for a politician from Naboo.