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DARK ILLUSIONSChapter 31



At the request of the Supreme Chancellor, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker is summoned to Palpatine’s office for an unofficial meeting.


    



Mas Amedda: Everything is on schedule.

Chancellor Palpatine: Excellent. We will discuss this matter at a late time.



    



Chancellor Palpatine: Anakin, thank you for seeing me on such short notice.

Anakin Skywalker: I always have time for the Supreme Chancellor.






Chancellor Palpatine: Come……let us speak in private……guards, leave us!





Chancellor Palpatine: I wanted to extend my best wishes for your upcoming mission to Oner. The Jedi Council made a wise choice in selecting you for this assignment.





Anakin Skywalker: Thank you, Chancellor. But how did you know about the mission?





Chancellor Palpatine: When a large division of Clone troopers is re-assigned to a remote system like Oner, I take notice. It is…my army after all.





Chancellor Palpatine: However, I do question the real objective of the mission. Do you think the Council is serious about defeating the Separatists?

Anakin Skywalker: What do you mean? The Jedi are trying to end this War by finding General Grievous and Count Dooku.






Chancellor Palpatine: I hope so. But why would the Council hide the real objective? To rescue Master Saesee Tiin?





Anakin Skywalker: I…I…don’t know. I’m sure they have their reasons, Chancellor.





Chancellor Palpatine: Perhaps……but to withhold this information from the Senate or from me is suspicious, don’t you think?





Chancellor Palpatine: It concerns me that the Council is quick to respond to their own needs……yet is slow to respond to the needs of the Republic.





Chancellor Palpatine: Believe me, I understand the importance of the rescue mission. Master Tiin is a valuable member of the Jedi Council.





Anakin Skywalker: The Republic could not win this War without him.

Chancellor Palpatine: Oh, I agree. But what about you, Anakin? You should be on the front lines right now, winning this War for the Republic……not waiting for the Council to give you an assignment while sparring with Padawans in the Temple.






Anakin Skywalker: You……heard…about that?

Chancellor Palpatine: Yes, but don’t be embarrassed, Anakin. You did what had to be done. The growing arrogance of the Jedi has spread to their Younglings.






Chancellor Palpatine: It’s that type of arrogance and lack of cooperation that has the Senate worried.

Anakin Skywalker: Worried? About what?






Chancellor Palpatine: Well, for example, their delay in deciding which Jedi to appoint to the new 501st Clone Division. This has been a matter of extreme urgency, yet, they seem complacent to wait as long as possible. The Senate is growing impatient.





Anakin Skywalker: I had no idea this was going on……

Chancellor Palpatine: It doesn’t surprise me, since they don’t think it concerns you.






Chancellor Palpatine: The very security of this Republic depends on the 501st protecting Coruscant. Just imagine if certain Senators were killed in an attack on the Senate Chamber? Or if I was captured during a battle?





Anakin Skywalker: The Separatist wouldn’t dare attack Coruscant.





Chancellor Palpatine: One can never be too sure, Anakin. During these stressful times, all potential threats against the Republic must be watched carefully……even your allies can betray you……including the Jedi Council.





Anakin Skywalker: The Council? The Jedi would never do anything to endanger the Republic.

Chancellor Palpatine: But can you be sure of that, Anakin?






Chancellor Palpatine: What about Count Dooku? Remember, that he was once a Jedi. If someone as honored and respected as Dooku can leave the Order and wage a war against the Republic, then what is to prevent another Jedi from attacking the Republic……from within?





Anakin Skywalker: That……would never happen……





Chancellor Palpatine: Yes, you’re probably right. But these are the things that I must consider as the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic.





Chancellor Palpatine: That’s why the 501st is so important. It is Coruscant’s final line of defense versus all threats, internal and external.





Chancellor Palpatine: If the Council refuses to assign a Jedi to the 501st Division, then I will unfortunately have to make that decision…for the sake of the Republic. What about……you, Anakin?

Anakin Skywalker: Me? Command the 501st?






Chancellor Palpatine: Oh, absolutley. You are clearly the best person for the job. Your mere presence will lift the spirits of the people of Coruscant. Just because the Jedi are blind to your importance, don’t let that hold you back. The Republic needs your help.

Anakin Skywalker: Thank you, Chancellor…but…I think we should wait for the Council’s decision.






Chancellor Palpatine: Every day that passes, the Senate grows more and more restless. But I will do what I can to maintain order. We can only hope the Council will decide when you return from Oner.

Anakin Skywalker: Oner? I’m sorry, Chancellor, but I have to go. I’m late for a mission briefing.






Chancellor Palpatine: I understand. I also have matters to attend to.





Chancellor Palpatine: And I think it would be best if we kept this conversation between us…for now.

Anakin Skywalker: I agree.




DARK ILLUSIONS
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