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It Has Begun

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The crystalline buildings of Christophsis rocked under the continuous assault of Blaster fire, from Republic clones and Separatist battle droids alike. Clone corpses and droid scraps lay scattered, surrounded by the rubble of the once beautiful buildings of Christophsis' capital city.

At the Republic stronghold, Jedi General Obi-Wan Kenobi and his clone commander Cody surveyed the situation. It seemed to be time to figure out a new strategy against the Separatists, as their current plan wasn't working. The Separatists currently had the upper hand in this battle, and didn't seem to be letting go of it anytime soon.

A clone soldier ran up from the cannon line at the front. He saluted his superiors hastily, and then launched straight into his report.

"General Kenobi, sir! The lookout says that he sees some sort of ray-shield coming from the separatist base! It's making it impossible for us to fire our cannons at the blasted clankers."

General Kenobi straightened. "Let me see this ray-shield. I may be able to find out a way to disable it."

Cannon fire boomed. Buildings collapsed around the Republic Stronghold, shaking the ground. Meanwhile, Republic cannon fire was rendered harmless, absorbed by the recently erected Separatist shield.

Things really were not looking good.

Within all of the chaos, Obi-Wan's comm beeped.

He took the call.

The face of Admiral Yularen greeted him, as austere as ever. And Obi-Wan was glad to have such a capable man on his staff. The Jedi were supposed to be peacekeepers, after all, not Generals.

He wondered what Satine would make of all this, with her pacifistic ways.

"General," the Admiral greeted, "We have just received a message from General Yoda.”

"Hm. I wonder what it is??"

"General Yoda says that he's calling you back from the front lines for a different mission. Since he called you away from the front lines, he will also provide you with reinforcements for the ground assault here in compensation."

"Huh. Well, that's unexpected." The Jedi Master replied, "Did Master Yoda say what this mission was?"

"No, sir, but he did say that he was sending a messenger. "

"A messenger?"

"Yes, sir."

Well then, he mused. That certainly wasn’t Yoda’s style. But doing seemingly mysterious things for reasons only he knew certainly was, so Obi-Wan couldn’t complain.

He wondered who he was sending, however.

Hopefully not Quinlan Vos. That man grated on his nerves sometimes.

"Did he say who he was sending?"

"No, sir."

Well then, Obi-Wan thought, I guess I'll just have to wait and see who it is…

"Thank you, Admiral. I'll be there shortly."

"I'm sending a shuttle down to pick you up now. Over and out."

The hologram of the Admiral disappeared.

"Well then, gentlemen. I suppose that I have to leave."

Cody patted his shoulder in a show of camaraderie. 

Obi-Wan would never have guessed how close he would become to these men. His men. Silently, he thanked his Commander for the support. 

"Don't worry, sir. I'll keep the boys in line," Cody piped in, smirking lightly.

"See to it that you do, Cody. I have a very bad feeling about this…"

 Stealing the huttlet from Jabba's stronghold was easy. Dealing with the repulsive slug afterwards, however, was a different story.

Vader paced around the cockpit of his ship, restless about a past he was determined to forget. Of course his master had to assign him to this mission, when he had been the one who had been enslaved to the wretched hutts! And the best thing about it all was that Sidious had ordered him to keep the kriffing huttlet alive! The nerve of that despicable man, and his mind games!

Truth be told, Vader had always hated his master. How could he have not, when he had ripped him from all that he had known and into a world he would never had dreamed of?

Anything was better than where he came from, he reminded himself. Even Sidious. He should be grateful to the man for rescuing him from the chains of slavery, and changing his destiny into something greater.

Something galaxy changing.

Vader had so much power at his fingertips, and he wasn’t scared to use it to achieve his own ends. And, for now, those ends lay at the whims of his master. His superior.

What Sidious didn't know, however was that he had plans of his own. The Sith apprentice was destined to overthrow his master, after all. For now, though, that would have to wait. He had a mission to complete, and he could not fail. To risk failure was to risk death, and Vader would not let that entitled snob Dooku take his place.

Vader shuddered at the thought.

It was bad enough that Dooku was working for the Sith, and even worse that Sidious had given the aristocratic man the position that Vader knew he had been originally meant to have. Now Sidious had decided to lend him to Dooku to use, a new weapon in his arsenal, but Vader knew better. He was the true Sith apprentice, and he only answered to Sidious, and himself.

He was a slave no more. Never again. The Sith had saved him from that destiny, and he would forever be grateful to them.

The door to the cockpit opened, snapping him out of his thoughts.

Dooku's pet assassin strode in, her lavender skin illuminated by the stark light of hyperspace. He would have had no need of her talents to complete his mission, but Dooku had ordered Ventress to accompany him anyway. No doubt he wanted to keep an eye on Vader.

Vader silently wished him good luck. After all, as long as he was around, he would have no such thing.

"Everything is going according to plan," Ventress said in her raspy voice, "The Chancellor and his Jedi lap dogs will have taken our bait by now."

Vader smirked under his mask. He hoped his master would give the Jedi a good show, as planned.

"Good," the Sith apprentice replied. "Let the fun begin."

 The shuttle’s comm rang loudly, startling Ahsoka out of her nap.

Ugh, she thought, why now? I don’t land for another 2 hours! Isn’t only 1000 or something?

Ahsoka looked at the ship’s clock. The bright display read 1200, which meant her alarm didn’t wake her up on time. As usual.

Sithspit! I’m already there, and I didn’t even notice!

The comm’s insistent beeping continued. Ahsoka shot out of the chair she had napped in with speed only a Jedi possessed, and answered.

The comm lit up, projecting the image of a regal-looking officer. His rank pin signified that he was an admiral. At least, that was what Ahsoka thought. She had always paid more attention in her combat classes than her general ones.

“Incoming Republic Shuttle, this is the Negotiator. Please state your business and cargo.”

Ahsoka took a deep breath. The Negotiator was Master Kenobi’s ship, so she would probably be working with this admiral quite often. Now was not the time to make a bad first impression.

She cleared her throat nervously.

“Hello! I’m Ahsoka Tano… I was sent by Master Yoda.”

Nice job sounding official, Ahsoka, she thought. Nice.

The Admiral nodded, and then continued speaking.

“Very well. You are clear to land.”

Ahsoka thanked the admiral, and then shut off the comm.

Gee, way to make a good first impression, she thought nervously. Well, I hope that Master Kenobi isn’t too mad at me!

A clone trooper named Boil led Ahsoka to the Negotiator’s bridge. He didn’t introduce himself, but Ahsoka had asked his name out of friendliness. If she was going to stay here, she should at least make some friends, right?

Plus, chatting with Boil kept her from thinking about the upcoming meeting with Master Kenobi. Even if the chatting was mostly one-sided.

And then there was Master Kenobi himself.

Ahsoka had gone over what she knew about Master Kenobi before her nap. She had heard that he had never taken a padawan before choosing her, which was surprising, given that he had been a Jedi knight for over a decade. He must have decided to wait a while before he took a student, instead of jumping right in like most young Jedi Knights.

She had also heard rumors that Kenobi was the first Jedi in over one thousand years to take down a Sith lord. Ahsoka was definitely going to have to ask him for the story behind that one at some point. That must have been epic.

The soft sound of the lift door opening interrupted her thoughts.

And then Ahsoka saw the bridge.

Clone troopers and the occasional republic officer scurried around, carrying datapads across the bridge or doing other business for their superiors. The dimly-lit space almost seemed alive with the amount of people hustling and bustling about.

Ahsoka looked around in wonder, soaking in the sights and sounds of the bridge. It was nothing at all like the Jedi Temple in which she had grown up in, which was demure and silent, not bustling and busy.

It was amazing!

As she walked to the front of the bridge, she wondered what it would be like to work on the bridge.

She heard a soft chuckle from in front of her.

Master Kenobi walked up to her. As a Jedi master, he must have been able to sense her emotions from across the bridge.

Master Kenobi stopped chuckling, and smiled.

Obi-Wan turned to Ahsoka.

“So, you are the messenger Master Yoda sent us?”

Ahsoka snapped to attention. She really had to get better at not spacing out. After all, spacing out in the middle of a battle could mean a nasty death from the end of a Battle Droid's blaster.

“Yes, sir! Padawan Ahsoka Tano, at your service!”

Master Kenobi’s eyebrows shot up slightly, and then his face settled into a look of realization. He bowed in respect, and then straightened up.

“Ah, you must be the Padawan I requested quite a while ago! Well, as I’m sure you already know, I’m Obi-Wan Kenobi, your new master. I look forward to working with you.”

Ahsoka bowed back to her master.

“As do I,” she replied, trying to sound as professional as possible. She straightened up, smiling.

Master Kenobi smiled at her, and then cut to the chase.

“So, young one, what did Master Yoda tell you?”

Ahsoka looked away. “Master Yoda only told me to tell you that I was to be your new padawan learner, that’s all.”

Kenobi nodded. “Ah. I see.”

Ahsoka nodded, looking away. Master Kenobi wasn’t anywhere near as bad as she thought he would be. She hoped that they would be able to work well together, especially after he discovered some of her... undesirable quirks.

Kenobi cleared his throat.

“Well then,” he said, as nervous and awkward around Ahsoka as she was around him, although he hid it, “You must be hungry after such a trip. Shall we get to know each other in the mess?”

Ahsoka nodded, smiling.

She was so ready for this.