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Plans Thwarted

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Ahsoka had been in communication blackout when Wolffe's message went out. It was brought to her by one of her scouts, as she had gotten in the habit of sending pilots up during the communication blackouts to listen and watch. Master Shaak Ti had left her with a healthy caution for how far to trust Kamino. Now, as Trawler made his report, she had to choose.

"We're too far from Coruscant to do anything to help there," she told her troops, many of whom still sported bandages from the surgery to remove the chips. "And there are still a lot of Vod'e that have not come through here to have that chip pulled out of their heads. So we're going to stay here, business as usual, but ready to evac at a moment's notice. Trawler, back into space. Oddjob, get us a full roster of pilots to rotate through a constant watch program in the skies above us. Nails, put together ground crews to match that roster, so every ship gets a thorough check between flights.

"We're going to stay vigilant, stay on rotation with getting our brothers here and treated! It's getting trickier, convincing traditional Jedi to accept the swap outs, but so far no one has really pushed to investigate the orders I send." There were mutters, but a lot of nods; they'd all rather be fighting, but Ahsoka was right and they knew it. They were just too far away. She let them get on with their work, and went to meditate, reaching out to feel her connections with other Jedi, to stay on top of what might be needed next.

`~`~`~`~`

What Wolffe did not expect to find as he tracked his General was absolute chaos. A number of Coruscant Guards had littered the trail behind his General, as well as many broken battle and commando droids. The sign of electrical damage on some of them indicated Plo Koon was being pushed hard to manage the situation. Wolffe knew Plo hated relying on the Electric Judgment ability that his fellow Jedi feared, yet it was a potently devastating attack against droids of all kinds.

The number of dismembered droid bodies, where the necks were not cleanly severed, told Wolffe with almost visceral certainty that Master Ti was with his General. That was a comfort. The couple had an uncanny ability to fall into battle trance with one another that would leave all others behind in ability, save maybe Kenobi-and-Skywalker. He felt some hope… until he came across two younger Jedi, both dead of their injuries, and not that far apart from one another. Worse, they both showed signs of lightsaber injuries, leading Wolffe to the conclusion that either the vicious viper that had tortured him was here, or one of her leash-handlers. Either Grievous or Dooku was well out of his league, but he would not stop fighting until he died, no matter how far out-matched he might be. Especially if it meant saving his General.

"General, you'd better keep some alive for me," Wolffe growled, continuing his careful tracking of the party ahead in these tunnels, his DC-17s ready for battle.

`~`~`~`~`

There was, without a doubt, something affecting this running fight in ways Plo Koon did not care for in the least. Twice now, they had successfully evaded the party trying to reach them and take the Chancellor from their care. In both cases, Plo had been certain of evasion, only for a new party of Separatists to find them in minutes.

"Chancellor Palpatine, I must request you remove any electronics you are carrying," he finally decided, as it was the most logical choice.

Was that a flicker of anger in the man's face? "I am uncertain why, Master Jedi, but if you find it necessary," the man said, removing a communicator and a recording device that was fairly standard. A data pad followed, and then the man turned his hands out and palm upward. "I am curious."

"We have evaded their forces three times now, and twice they found us so swiftly that I surmise a tracer was placed in your electronics, probably by an innocuous serving or cleaning droid, recently."

Shaak Ti made a whistling noise of anger at that, prompting Stass to offer a hand to the injured woman, trying to calm her. Plo noted it, filed away the compassion, and a note in his mind to ask his dear friend if she meant to bring the young woman into their circle.

"Then destroy the devices," the Chancellor suggested.

Plo Koon shook his head, picking them up instead. "Shaak, are you able to defend still?" He did note the momentary frown on the Chancellor's face, but he had more pressing concerns than a politician's privacy. The devices were slipped into his robes swiftly.

"Yes, Plo." The Togruta drew herself up, falling deeper into the Force to keep herself strong.

"Take Stass Allie and the Chancellor on. I will wait here."

"And if they are as strong and numerous as the last batch?" Shaak demanded to know sharply.

Plo smiled beneath his mask. "Dear friend, they can only pray to have such advantage." Freed of escorting a civilian, the Baran Do Sage and Jedi Master would release the fetters on his abilities, to buy them time. "Take the Chancellor to safety."

"As you will," Shaak Ti said, a firm wave of loyalty and adoration rolling over Plo from her before she started moving the Chancellor along, aided by Stass Allie.

`~`~`~`~`

It wasn't that Grievous was skilled in his fighting, Plo Koon realized, but that he was fairly untiring in combat and dishonest in his battle.

The magnaguards that had accompanied him, four in total, were now in pieces, and Grievous had lost two limbs with their stolen lightsabers. Plo, however, had taken more injuries than he could truly count, and his ability to power through was failing him. He didn't dare reach out to Shaak Ti for energy; she was too injured. Kit… no, his younger friend was mired down in combat as well. Bultar Swan was not on planet, nor was Lissarkh.

He would have to stand his ground and fight until he could not. He managed to shove the cyborg away from him to take a better, more solid Shien defensive pose, too exhausted to continue with the Ataru offense.

"You will die today, Jedi scum!" Grievous snapped. "And I will take your —"

Whatever was to be said from there died in the rapid staccato of two DC-17s fired with deadly accuracy, all concentrated on one point of Grievous's neck, and Plo Koon felt the vicious, hard satisfaction of his dear Commander Wolffe.

"Kriffing tinnies and their tendency to run off at the mouth," was all Wolffe said, before approaching the now fallen opponent, firing more charges down into the corpse to be certain it remained a corpse.

"As ever, my son, you arrive at the best time," Plo told him, before Wolffe was under his arm, lending him needed support.

"Can't let you have the whole hunt to yourself, General," Wolffe said gruffly, but he was nearly glowing with pride and joy at those words.