As Ahsoka and Anakin fight off a seemingly endless line of droids, each wonders why there is such a large force at this small base. They take turns using to Force to fling droids at walls, and slicing them with the same accuracy as a doctor and his scalpel. Ahsoka uses a single swing to turn the last droid into scrap,
"What could they be hiding here? I thought this was just a small base, and we could take care of it by ourselves."
"Not sure Snips, but be careful."
"Okay Skyguy. Not like anything could hurt me with you a..."
She stops mid-sentence when she feels a surge through Force.
"You feel that too Master?"
"Yes, I did. But what ever it was, it didn't feel Dark."
They both shift back into a fighting stance as they feel it again, this time it's either closer or just more powerful. As they walk down the hallway, they feel it a few more times, it comes and goes, almost like it is searching through the Force for something, and just happens to pause on them.
"If it is looking for us, it would already know where we are, and would have gotten to us already."
Snips states as they walk, she continues,
"And if it was part of the CIS, it would already where everything is, and wouldn't need to look."
The intense feeling of power returns, and they both are shocked by the snap-hiss of a lightsaber springing to life only a few feet in front of them. The honey-yellow blade swings up, lighting the face of a human male.
"You are very smart young padawn. Your strength of mind has been proven, now to test your strength of body."
Both Anakin and Ahsoka bring their own lightsabers to life, and she barely has time to think before the man uses a wave of Force energy to fly at them. They trade bows with a speed that makes the fight look like a light show. The yellow-bladed man jumps up, landing in the cross beams of the ceiling.
"You two are an awesome power together, but I am here to test only one of you."
He waves both hands, one making a pulling motion and the other pushing. Ahsoka is pulled away from Anakin as the ceiling falls into a wall between them.
He stands back, watching her move.
"Are you ready young padawn?"
She gives her reply by running at him, but he just stands there right to the point she would strike him, and blocks her blade at the last moment. After several minutes of blow after blow being blocked, she starts to use the Force to move around with greater speed, but he matches it without even using the Force. She feels no cold hatred or anything at all. He just watches her, never taking his eyes off hers. She finally strikes him when she sees an opening, but barely cuts his arm. Without warning she is flung to the wall and held there, just by the force of his will. As if that wasn't enough to shock her, a bolt of lighting exits his fingers and hits next to her, where she now sees there is a power switch. The lights in the room come on as he extinguishes his blade.
He looks at his now lightly bleeding arm, and begins to clap.
"Well done, I haven't been wounded this bad since training. You were right, I wasn't trying to find you, but not because I had no intrest in you, it was because I already found you, and I was tracking you. The times you felt my gaze was me letting you feel it. So I could test how you would react. Also, there is some new weapon here. That's why the CIS is defending it like this. We have no intrest in it, only in you."
He lets her go, and shocks the panel again, plunging the room back into darkness.
"We will be watching...I will be watching."
By the light of her own blade she sees him pull both hands to his body, ripping a hole in the wall he made.
"Snips! Are you ok?"
"Yea Skyguy, he was just..."
She points to where the man was, but he is gone, and she can't feel him anywhere.
"I really don't know."
"Just glade your safe."
They continue to walk down the hall as she explains what happened and what he said about the weapon. Anakin's mind is locked on the mission, but Ahsoka's is on the man she just fought...
About a week after the raid on the base, Anakin and Ahsoka are called back to Jedi temple, and given the task of guarding Senator Bail Organa and his wife at an upcoming party. When they get there, Anakin steps off to talk to senators Organa and Amidala , and Ahsoka goes to "scope out" the food. She feels awkward in the dress Padme said she should wear for this, one the same color as her normal tube-top, but it goes down to past her knees.
As she sticks a small cake in her mouth, she feels someone's attention lock onto her, and the person moves toward her. Almost moving into a fighting position, she turns around, but just sees a young human male that looks like every other court lackey, and this one has a nervous look on his face that can only mean one thing.
She looks to Skywalker, who gives a slight nod, and takes pitty on this poor boy that managed to get the guts to ask her.
"Yes you may."
He leads her to the dance floor with grace, but so freaked out he is almost dripping distress. They clasp hands and he careful places one of his hands on her hip, trying not to put it too far back, as she places one of hers on his shoulder. A slow song from Organa's home planet of Alderaan plays as they dance, a real smile slowly growing on his face and she does her best to show one back. Soon after, when she is even starting to enjoy it, the song ends and they make their way off the dance floor.
He grabs them both drinks, and blushes about something.
"I'm so foolish, I forgot to tell you my name or ask you yours, how silly of me. I am Charen Jenkai."
She smiles, enjoying this boy's disappointment in himself a bit too much,
"Ahsoka Tono. Padawan learner assigned to Anakin Skywalker."
"Ah, that explains the lightsaber. Sadly, I am not as interesting, just a assistant of Senator Organa's."
"I see, kinda guessed that before you said even said it."
"Jedi mind probe?"
"Nope. You just fit the part."
He hangs his head in shame,
She even giggles at that.
They both stand there without anything to talk about, each one's life so different from the other, until Ahsoka thinks of something.
"So, would you know the security systems for this room? I am here to protect, I may as well learn what they are."
"Of course. Right this way."
He leads her to the controls, leaking both hints of disappointment from leaving the party, and joy that he gets to show her around. Just after reaching the door, they see all the screens are off or showing static, and they start to run to Senators. Outside the door, they step into the hallway and see a large Rodian with a blaster pointed at them. She reaches for her saber to defend her and Charen, and maybe stop the assassination right here. The Rodian fires, and she blinks has her blade roars to life, but when she opens her eyes, she sees a yellow blade in front of her, which blocks the blaster bolt. When she looks over at Charen, she feels the same power as she did back at that base, and guesses he was masking it up till now.
He looks at her with a face the same as a few minutes ago while they were dancing, but somehow nothing like it at all.
"Go tell your Master, I'll try to deal with this, maybe even catch him."
She runs out to the main room, and feels him push her faster. By the time she gets there Anakin is already running to her, blade at the ready. They both run back, and just find the assassin on the floor, with a hand cut off, burned so it doesn't even bleed. On his chest there is a note that says,
"I think you want this guy, not sure why."
Just as they read it, she hears his voice in back of her mind,
"I am watching..waiting.."
The next day, Skywalker and his padawan are still guarding Organa, the Jedi Council are even more worried after the first attack than before it. As they sit in his office at the Galactic Senate, they talk about Charen, who they mostly left out when talking to the Council. Snips walks around the room talking while Skyguy watches from a chair,
"I just don't know how he did that, he felt like a normal person in the Force most of that time. Even when I felt him start to look at me, there was nothing beyond normal."
"I didn't feel him either, and we have no way to find him."
A woman walks in,
"pardon me for intruding Jedi, but you have a messager at the door. Says he was sent by a Mr. Jenkai."
Both look at each other in shock, and say at one time,
"bring him in."
Just to be careful, Anakin hides in a closest while Ahsoka sits in a chair, ready to ambush the messager if need. Ahsoka gasps as Jenkai himself walks in wearing the uniform of a Senate page.
"General Skywalker, you can come out, I know your there."
"no, I'm Yoda on stilts..."
Anakin walks out,
"Watch it kid."
"Aye aye Mr. Ahsoka's creepy master guy."
"Sorry, anyways, going to stop hiding now."
Charen closes his eyes and a wave of Force energy flows, like being in front of a flood gate as it opens.
"Ahhh, much better."
Ahsoka and Anakin look at each other, both hoping the other has some answer as to what is going on.
"So, what's up guys? Unknown Force user got your tongue? Oh..wait...haha."
The Jedi slowly pull their lightsabers from their hips, but Charen pulls them away with a flick of his hand.
"Not fair, I just want to talk. By the way, Snips, how's your arm, looked like you messed it up pretty bad."
"Fine now, thank you. WAIT! How did you know about that?! I did that training at the temple this morning."
"I said I'd be watching..."
Anakin jumps in between them.
"Enough! You two yell any louder and the whole planet will hear you. Now you two calm down, and have a seat. Charen, explain yourself. Why you here, that kinda thing."
"Fine." they both say while glaring at each other.
Once seated, he gives back their lighsabers and starts to talk,
"Lets start with what you know. I am Charen Jenkai and I can use the Force and a Lightsaber"
Anakin smirks, "We found that second bit out the hard way."
"Yea, sorry 'bout that. Now, as to what you want to know, I am neither Jedi or Sith. I was part of a high class family on Corellia , but I discovered I could use the Force around the time I was nine. Since then, which is eight years in case you are wondering, I have traveled the galaxy looking for those that could train me without making me side with them."
His feeling through the Force changes a bit.
"And now....I am going to pick a side in this war."
"Because, you Jedi and the Republic seem like the 'good guys' in all this."
"Why Ahsoka and me?"
"You two were easy to find."
Snips leans forward.
"Why test me?"
"Haha, for fun. And to see who I may be working with."
He has a slight shift in mood that can be seen on his face and felt through Force.
"If I pick you guys, I may tell you."
His face and feeling go back to normal.
"So, I'll See ya 'round. You may not see me, but I'll be around."
He waves as he leaves. Snips jumps up to follow him, but once the door closes him cuts himself off from the Force. She gets out the door, only to see an ocean of beings moving around, each with their own purpose in this massive building.
She walks back in the room, Anakin sits back and Ahsoka just stares into the distance. She starts to say something a few times, and finally says
"This is going to be...interesting"
A few days later, Ahsoka and Anakin get the mission of wiping out a CIS shipyard over some nameless moon. To do so, they take an Venator-class Star Destroyer and a company of clones. Down in the planing room, they talk about the events of the last days, and what will be in the coming days.
Snips flops into a chair,
"A few days with any sign of Charen."
"Yup, and we should be dropping out of hyperspace soon." He reaches for a Comm,
"Commander Rex to the Tac room."
Rex soon shows up, and Anakin points him to a holomap.
"You and squad 7 go here, Ahsoka and I will land here and try to take over the control room." He grins. "It's always a good thing to take over. After that, the main force will land."
"But Sir, why don't you use the other Jedi?"
Snips and Skyguy both look at him with dead-pan faces.
"The one down in the hanger telling stories to pilots."
The Jedi reach out with the Force, and Charen reaches back.
"Wow. Get him up here."
She sends a call through the Force, and he gives the mental version of a nod.
After about five minutes, he comes into the room and tips a non-existent hat,
She holds out a hand to stop whatever it is Anakin wants to do to Charen,
"Why are you here?"
Rex stumbles a bit,
"He's not supposed to be here? I thought he was just a new Jedi."
Anakin glares at Charen,
"He's not a Jedi."
Rex pulls a blaster pistol out, but Charen pulls it away with a swift hand grab.
"I REALLY wish people would stop doing that when they hear I am not a Jedi. But I'm not Sith either, and I am fighting on the Republic's side."
He hands the pistol back by its barrel,
"Sorry for that Commander, I have had my sidearm taken from me before and I hated it, but I would rather have to say sorry for taking your weapon than hurt you physically."
He snaps to attention and does a perfect salute.
"Apology accepted. Good to see a man your age that respects the military."
Rex returns the salute and leaves the room, as Charen turns to the Jedi.
Both of them are shocked to see him act properly and with dignity after the past few weeks of rude behavior.
"What now? Oh, that. High class family, remember? And one of my trainers was Ex-military. I know how to behave, I just perfer not to."
Anakin goes back to the map to plan while Ahsoka makes her way to a chair and starts to ask questions of Charen,
"How did you get on this ship?"
"Do you know how many doors and hatches are open on a ship while it's being loaded?"
"Ah. Now, why did you get on this ship?"
"I said I want to fight in this war, and sitting around waiting for the Jedi council to decide what to do with me isn't getting me anywhere."
They hear Anakin mumbling and walk over to see what's wrong.
"Hmm, this could be hard, even for two Jedi, and the troops are needed over there... Charen, if you're here, I'll use you. But I don't like you sneaking onto my ship."
"Alright, that's what I'm here for."
The ship drops out of hyperspace,
"This is it Charen, time to test you."
In a sarcastic voice, "Yes, wise master."
Then in his normal voice and with a grin,
"Beat ya to the gunship Snips."
"Oh no you won't."
The two run out of the room, both using the Force to move faster.
Anakin follows, but at a much slower pace...
As the Jedi and Charen sit in the troop hold of an LAAT/I gunship, they talk about random things, waiting for the ship to be cleared for take off. Charen sighs,
"Times like this make me miss my ewok..."
Ahsoka leans forward,
"Yes, an ewok. It was a robot. Cute and fuzzy as anything."
"Dawww, you want your stuff toy back?"
"Yes...did I mention it had sharp metal teeth, and a torso full of high explosives?"
"No. No, you did not."
"Oh, well, it did."
"Huh. Sounds like something you would miss..."
After a moment of silence, Ahsoka pipes up,
"You never did say who you meant by 'we.'"
"At the base and party, you said 'we will be watching'"
"Oh. That was a lie."
"Kinda. Mostly, I didn't want to be written off, so I made my one appear to be many. And, I did have my ewok in one of my bags...so...that does make two. Hence, kinda a lie."
The gunship takes off and flies to the shipyard through the vacuum of space. Outside of the gunship, CIS and Republic fighters do a deadly dance, one more in a long line from this war. Two Vulture droids start to trail the gunship, and one of them gets blown to so much scrap by a ARC-170, but the other to still tries make the kill. It fires, hitting the left wing, and the gunship pilot tells the Jedi and Charen to hold on to something. Ahsoka and Anakin grab onto hand holds, but Charen takes a seat, straps in, and closes his eyes.
"Charen, do you not like flying?" Ahsoka asks.
"I'm fine, just busy."
Snips and Skyguy feel Charen use the Force for something, and a moment later, the intercom bursts to life with the pilot's voice.
"We're safe now. The fighter just disappeared, slid off to one side real quick and out of view. Almost like something smacked it."
The Jedi look at Charen, and see a huge grin. The pilot's comes back on,
"Just about landed, here we go."
The gunship thuds on the deck of the hangar as the doors roll open and the Jedi light their sabers. Anakin and Ahsoka jump out, blocking blaster bolts from droids, and Charen launches out of the ship like he was fired from a cannon. He skids to a halt in the center of the hangar, and starts swinging his arms in slow flowing motions, flinging droids around like toys. Two droids jump at him, and he goes down to the floor. Soon, he is covered in droids with no other idea as how to stop him. Ahsoka starts to run to his aid, but is stopped by him sending "hide" through the Force. As she dives behind a box, she yells "Master! Take cover!" and Anakin hides behind a droid Tri fighter wing. They feel something building in the Force, and Charen throws all the droids off like a bomb using a wave of thought.
Charen stands back up, and starts to throw droids around, even moving himself through the air like any other object to avoid blaster fire. Snips and Skyguy fight their way to where Charen has landed for a moment, and when they get there, Ahsoka asks,
"Charen, where is your lightsaber?"
"Woops, almost forgot about them."
"Yea, and since this is a real fight, I can use 'em like I normally do."
Charen snaps his fingers on both hands twice, making a full length lightsaber blade come out the front of his right coat sleeve, and a half length one come out of the elbow of his left. He then holds up his right hand, and his sleeve slides down to show a metal housing that the blade is emerging from.
"This way I can use my hands and my 'Sabers. Got a few tricks too. Back in a sec." He charges at a door that more droids are coming through, and the Jedi do their best to keep up. He runs leaning forward, with his torso almost parallel to the ground, blocking any blaster fire that comes his way. The Jedi are shocked to see his feet come completely of the ground, using the Force to move forward and when he meets the group of droids, he starts to fling himself and his targets around. Ahsoka and Anakin join into the fray, all four blades slicing through metal will little to no effort. Ahsoka starts to chop away at them, one right after the other, and feels a bump, so she swings around, cutting the drop in half, and sees the ones around it get cleaved in two by a blur of yellow, then the blur stops infront of her, Charen grining wide.
"Having fun kid?"
"I am not a child!"
"Fine fine. Well, are you?"
"As much fun as one can have at this..."
He dashes away to a control panel and yells back "Okay. Good."