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Adni-Rahn, fourteen months into the Clone Wars.


The Interceptor.

“As you all know,” Clone Commander CC-2582, also known as Tornac, said before the troopers of the 217th Legion, “the target’s Adni-Rahn.”

“This is in a key position for the war. If we get it from the Seps, we’ll undoubtedly bring the war to a quicker end. Images from probe droids sent to the surface reveal that they’re just as determined to keeping it. Which is why we brought the AT-ATs.”

“I will be leading the first main attack, towards the front of their bases, while Commander Krenis and Lieutenant Drewton come from behind.”

“Most of you will be coming with me. Those in the 118th platoon will be serving under Lieutenant Drewton. Drewton and Krenis will be going before you of the 118th and communicate via your comlinks of when to attack.”

“The second attack will be commenced by the 212th Attack Battalion, led by Commander CC-2224 and General Kenobi. Any questions?”

“If Adni-Rahn’s so important to the war, why don’t we have Jedi with us, for the first attack, sir?” asked one clone trooper.

“The only ones they had to send at first were either Padawans or newly-knighted. Who would die and therefore by wasted. General Kenobi was only made available through persistent requests by the Commander of the 212th, and it was thought better, strategically, because of their experience together, that the General would work with the Commander.”

Jedi Master Idnum-Ki’s quarters, Coruscant.

“You wanted to see me, Master?” Jedi Knight Dular questioned. Though no longer the Cerean’s Padawan, he still conferred with him often.

This meeting, however, seemed somehow different to him than those that had come before. He could sense it through the Force.

“Yes, indeed,” Idnum-Ki said smiling as he put him hand on Dular’s shoulder. “Are you well, Dular? You’re looking rather pale.”

“It’s nothing. It’s just…I don’t think the Jedi will ever fully trust me again. I could feel it in the Council Chambers.”

Dular’s name had been cleared publicly by Chancellor Palpatine following a misunderstanding which involved the assistance of Bodotor Thuvat in escaping Republic prison, but that hadn’t mean he’d been personally forgiven by others.

“They wouldn’t even trust the savior of the galaxy, my friend. They want everyone under their control. Everyone living their way of life.”

“Of course. Well, not everyone - their students. It’s like a government; there must be leaders, and laws that people must follow.”

“Interesting insight…but the Jedi Order is more than just that. They take children from their homes when they’re too young to even give their consent. Try to picture yourself as an average being. Would you really want to live your life as a Jedi if you had the choice? Wouldn’t you want to be normal?”

“I…I’ve never really thought about it.”

“Of course, though I’ve asked you of this before. Because the Council wants to have you under their control. They never let you think for yourself, only of what they want for you.”

“What they want is to maintain peace in the galaxy…and so do I. That’s what we all want, isn’t it?”

“It is indeed. But the concept of bringing peace and how it is done are two different things. And the Jedi way is not the only way. Ironically, both the Jedi and Sith want to bring peace to the galaxy, but look at our history. Almost every war has been between Jedi and Sith, and Sith and Jedi. It is an everlasting conflict. Everlasting turmoil. That is why there must be those who are willing to rise above the conflicts…”

“That sounds like something a Sith would say,” Dular said sternly. Is he falling to the dark side?

“Does it? And does that make it wrong? Is everything about the Sith wrong? You must have the contrast, not adherence to a single ideal - in this case, the Jedi ideal.”

“You think the Sith believe in peace? You obviously haven’t read the job description. Peace is a lie.”

“Exactly, my boy. Exactly. The Sith are blinded by their hatred and their quest for power. That is why the Sith must be reformed.”

Dular’s head was spinning. “What?”

“How can you say that the Jedi would do a better job ruling the galaxy than the Sith? The Jedi don’t even believe their own philosophies. There is no death, there is the Force. Do you believe that, Dular? Does any Jedi believe that? I couldn’t even believe that Yoda does…”

“I’m not supposed to questions the Jedi’s teachings.”

“Which is, again, evidence of how the Jedi try to shape their students.”

“This is why there must be a new Order…the Sith of Darth Taral.”

It took a few seconds for Idnum-Ki’s apprentice to register the full meaning of the words.

The Sith of Darth Taral.

The Jedi Master was a Sith.

Idnum-Ki was Darth Taral.

That acknowledgment brough a plethora of questions - a plethora of answers - and utter shock.

“You’ve turned to the dark side!” Dular’s voice was barely audible, cracked with emotion, as he ignited a blue-bladed lightsaber.

“No,” Darth Taral responded calmly. “I merely see the Force as it is meant to be seen.”

Far away, on the distant planet Adni-Rahn.

“Commander Trojon, Republic troop transports have landed near our outter outposts,” a B1 battle droid declared. “There is a group nearing our position.”

“Already? Sooner than expected,” the Neimoidian said. “Very well.”

“Order Unit 8311 and a squad of snow droids to guard this post! I will find these scouts and elminate them before the entire GAR force can know of the details of our base.”

Not far away, as planned, Commander Krenis and Lieutenant Drewton were leading a small group of troops which would announce when the time to attack was right.

As Krenis made a report to Commander Tornac…

…the group was spotted by battle droids.

“Kriff, we’ve been found,” Krenis muttered.

“They’ll either now know our exact position, or they already kenw our position, in which case there will be more coming,” Tarisian warned.

“Commander! Droids!” a clone marine yelled above the cold wind.

“The 217th Legion!” Commander Trojon exclaimed. “I’m surprised they’d send such a small force to attack here, after the decreasing in size at Phaeda…”

“Shut it, grub.”

“Agh…fire at will!”

“We can’t defend against them. There’s not enough of us!” Kyle Krenis yelled, one of the few times Tarisian had heard desparation in his voice. “Fall back!”

Back on Coruscant…

“Something was wrong about you, ever since Dantooine,” said a Jedi Knight, lost in the galaxy, suddenly acknowledging that the true nature of a man who had been a father to him had been unknown to him.

Or had it been? Was his former Master acting any different than he ever had before?

“No, something was right,” Darth Taral said. “I was no longer blinded by Jedi philosophies. I found a balance between the Jedi and the Sith.”

“That’s what all the other Sith thought. Revan, Malak, Traya, Phobos, Bane. They were all eventually corrupted.”

“No, Dular. Revan and Traya were able to see the true threats. Revan saw the threat of the True Sith and would have used his Empire against them, if not for the Jedi. If not for the Jedi, there would have never been a war between the Republic and the True Sith. And Traya saw the threat of the threat of the Force itself. Malak, Phobos, and Bane were brutes, admittedly, blinded by power and hate…though some credit must go to Bane for creating the Rule of Two.”

Dular didn’t have any answer. “You…you didn’t always used to think like this. You started ten years ago.”

“Correct. Darth Desolous showed me the truth. Before I killed him.”

There may have been a hint of regret in Taral’s voice, but Dular didn’t notice.

“The Rule of Two…”

“I…I have to kill you. I can’t let the Sith return. That’s the point of the Council of Seers, which you were part of. Preventing the Sith. I’m doing that now…selflessly. As a Jedi. I - I’m sorry, my Master. This is the end for you.”

There was a snap-hiss as Darth Taral ignited his lightsaber.

“If you wish to end this here, now, then so be it.”


“Why did you not inform me of your progress via comlink?” Commander Tornac demanded as Lieutenant Drewton and Commander Krenis approached him. “I had to order your troops to attack myself.”

“Communications have been jammed, and the CIS became aware of our location - and therefore, of the planned ‘surprise’ attack!” Tarisian Drewton informed him. “The scale of the CIS forces is disturbingly larger than probe droids revealed to us. We barely made it here alive.”

Behind them, the sound of a lightsaber made the soldiers turn to see a sight - a person - which they had not ever expected to see.

Count Dooku, leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems.

“Greetings, my friends,” he said simply.

For some reason, Tarisian thought that he could kill the Sith Lord himself, end the war now.

That was a line of thinking which Dooku hated.

A thousand bolts of pain entered Tarisian Drewton’s body.

“That was foolish, Lieutenant,” the Count of Serenno said in a proud, yet courteous voice.

The situation was unnervingly similar to that on Mithus, when Tarisian had been at the mercy of Nockudumey leader Bodotor Thuvat.

Expect this time, Raymus, his brother, was not here to pilot a gunship and save him at his signal.

This time, there were those willing to sacrifice their life.

“This is not a time for sacrifices,” Dooku said to a clone as he drew away his wounded lieutenant. “Your lieutenant and your army shall die either way.”

“Get him to a medic!” the soldier told the Commanders, ignoring the Count’s words.

“For the Republic!”

Retreating, Krenis and Tornac reached their speeder bikes.

“We have to warn Cody and tell him not to attack,” Krenis said.

“Our communications were jammed! We couldn’t warn him in time! He’s already started the attack…they’ll expect the CIS’s shields to be down already. The battalion’s doomed.”

Meanwhile, the 217th Legion’s battle had arrived at its conclusion.

All who did not manage to escape the planet were killed.

“You will be remembered, clone,” Count Dooku said to the soldier who had sacrificed his life for Tarisian Drewton.

“Yes, you will be remembered.”

“For inspiring your legion to abandon hope - and with it, the battalion of General Kenobi!”

In an event that should not have occured, lightsabers clashed together.

“I see now that you were never to fit to be my apprentice, to be my heir,” Taral said, prodding Dular. “You are deaf to the truth. In the end, you are a blind slave to the Jedi.”

“I am not a slave!” the Sith’s apprentice growled.

“Then what are you?”

“Something against you!”

The ferocity of Dular’s next attack surprised Taral…

…forcing him to the ground.

Suddenly Dular seemed to be ashamed for striking out against him. “Master…”

“My offer to you is still open, my boy,” Taral said in a kind voice as if nothing had happened. “And note that I am giving you a choice. I am not forcing you to, unlike how the Jedi forced you to join their Order.”

Dular weighed the two options: killing or sparing his former Master, this Sith disease.

He prepared to bring down his lightsaber, strike the final blow…

…but then he remembered what Anakin Skywalker had done in his situation.

“No,” he said. “I don’t know what I want - but no one deserves execution. I - I’ll take you to the Jedi Council. They’ll know what to do. They’re wiser than I am.”

Suddenly appearing strong once again, Darth Taral rose and sent a burst of Force lightning towards Dular.


“Can you not see what has been presented to you? The solution to this chaos?”

“Ah, I sense it. You are afraid. Fear leads to anger.”

“Though you have seemingly refused this offer, I still sense the future that is to come. You will join me. For now, you cannot remember this event, unfortunately. The Jedi can have no knowledge of this.”

“But in time, you will…”


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Brought to you by Drewton

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