Chapter 2: Attack on the Archives
A story by The Nature Boy Andrew Niehaus
A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…..Star Wars
Revenge of the WitchAfter years of civil war, the Separatists have battered the already faltering Republic nearly to the point of collapse. On Coruscant, the Senate watches anxiously as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine aggressively strips away more and more constitutional liberties in the name of safeguarding the Republic. Yoda, Mace Windu, and their fellow Masters grapple with the Chancellor’s disturbing move to assume control of the Jedi Council
Anakin Skywalker, the prophesied ‘Chosen One’ destined to bring balance to the Force, is increasingly consumed by his fear that his secret love and wife, Senator Padmé Amidala, will die.
And Buffy Summers-Skywalker, who had left the order early in the war when she fell in love on assignment to Corellia, awaits the decision on her whether or not she will be reinstated to the Jedi Order after her new family was wiped out by her former friend, and now Sith Lord, Darth Traya; even as another Jedi, Nejaa Halcyon, must confront his fears on the possible loss of his own secret family.
As the situation worsened General Grievous, under the command of the Dark Lord Count Dooku, attacked the Republic capital world of Coruscant and abducted Chancellor Palpatine. As Obi-Wan and Anakin race to free the captive Chancellor, Buffy must once again face her demons when Darth Traya invades the Jedi Archives…
******Disclaimer: Star Wars and its characters are owned by George Lucas and Lucas Films. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its characters are owned by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I own neither.
While most of this story will focus on Buffy, there will be portions that will focus on scenes that happened in the movie. For those scenes, I will be using the novelization Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith by Mathew Stover.
Buffy Summers-Skywalker; Jedi Knight, Slayer (female human)
Darth Traya (Willow Rosenberg-Naberrie); Dark Lady of the Sith (female human)
Anakin Skywalker; Jedi Knight (human male)
Obi-Wan Kenobi; Jedi Master (human male)
Mace Windu; Jedi Master (male human
Yoda; Jedi Master (male your guess is as good as mine)
Zett Jukassa; Jedi Padawan (human male)
Aayla Secura; Jedi Master (female Twi'lek)
Serra Keto, Jedi Knight (human female)
Nejaa Halcyon, Jedi Master (human male)
Palpatine/Darth Sidious; Dark Lord of the Sith, Supreme Chancellor of the Republic (male human)
Nute Gunray; Viceroy of the Trade Federation (male Neimoidian)
General Grievous; Commander of the Separatists (Alien/Droid Hybrid)Previously on Revenge of the Witch:
And explosions seemed to go off right outside Buffy’s window, and she opened her eyes, taking in the darkened room that had served as her quarters since her return to the temple. She drew in a shuddering breath, and then released it, pushing the memory back down into the recesses of her mind and trying in vain to calm her emotions. Another explosion sounded, and Buffy got up.
What in the worlds…” she wondered as she moved to her door to see what was going on outside. Before she could reach the door control, the door slid open to reveal the panting form of Zett Jukassa.
“Ma-master Skywalker!” he panted, leaning on the doorframe to catch his breath. Buffy swiftly walked over to him and placed a calming hand on the Padawan’s shoulder.
“Zett, what in the blue hell is going on?” she demanded. The Padawan looked up into her face, panic in his eyes.
“We’re under attack!” he exclaimed…
Buffy looked out the windows in the hall and saw dozens of ships high overhead engaged in a fierce battle. She saw the rather unfamiliar Clone ships firing to the all-too familiar Droid ships. As pieces of the ships were blown away, the sky was filled with color and metal. Explosions rattled the windows from time to time highlighting exactly how close the battle was. Buffy looked to Zett in exasperation.
“Why the hell didn’t anybody come and get me before?” she demanded. The young Padawan just shrugged his shoulders.
“They told us not to disturb you unless there was a dire emergency,” he replied. Another explosion, louder and closer than the previous ones, caused Buffy to look out of the windows as one of the Republic’s Venator-class star destroyers plummeted from orbit and impacted into a cluster of high-rise residential towers. A large plume of flame and smoke rose immediately from impact. Sucking in her breath, Buffy turned her attention back to the Padawan.
“I’d say the situation is dire,” Buffy deadpanned. “What’s the sitch?”
“The Supreme Chancellor has been kidnapped by General Grievous-”
“Is he dead?” Buffy interrupted. When Zett shook his head in a negative, Buffy scowled. “Damn.”
“Right…um, anyway, Master’s Kenobi and Skywalker were dispatched to retrieve him-”
Zett looked at the smaller girl in sympathy. “I’m sure they’ll be okay,” he said slowly, knowing that both men were important to her. Buffy just rolled her eyes and snorted.
“Of course they’ll be okay. And they’ll manage to pull it off. That’s what I’m upset about. So, why’d you come and get me?”
Zett took a deep breath and then continued. “Because there is a Sith in the Temple Archives. Master Halcyon is trying to subdue her, but he was having little success. There are also a number of younglings in there…”
“Who?” Buffy demanded, her eyes hard. Zett was silent for a moment, and then spoke.
Buffy exhaled the breath she hadn’t even realized she was holding. Darth Traya was here, in the Archives, fighting her friend. The woman responsible for the death of her family…
In an instant, she had made her decision. She would not succumb to the need for revenge. Besides, the best revenge, the best justice, would be for her to capture Traya and purge her from the good person that Willow had been. Though she was still numb from her meditations, she felt as though her body was awakening to the sudden promise of violence. She would get a chance to look Jacen’s executioner in the eye. And then she would show Traya “justice”. She reached out her hand and called her silver and red lightsaber to her hand and marched towards the Archives.
Zett sighed. This won’t end well,
he thought as he rushed after the former Jedi.
Nejaa Halcyon was having a bit of a day.
As if the attack on Coruscant hadn’t been enough, this bloody Sith had to infiltrate the Archives, searching for the Force knows what, attacking Younglings and Padawan’s who interfered with her search.
“You really are a rather pathetic Jedi, you know?” Traya taunted, her hands still, somehow, buried in a computer terminal, seemingly absorbing the vast amounts of knowledge in the computer. Halcyon kept trying to dislodge her, pounding away at her with his blue lightsaber. Unfortunately, the blade couldn’t seem to penetrate the shield she had erected around herself. “I mean, seriously. If you wanted me out of here, all you have to do is yank me away. Oh, but that’s right - you never were powerful enough to tap into the telekinetic aspects of the Force, were you?”
Halcyon growled in frustration. “I never felt the need.”
Willow sneered, “No, you never had the power. Too much of a goody-goody Jedi to even think about it…of course, you’re not exactly the model Jedi, are you?”
Halcyon froze. She couldn’t know…
Willow smiled malevolently. “Yeah, I do know, Hal. Your two special people back on Corellia…lucky they managed to escape the execution squads…of course, I could always go back and finish the job…”
Halcyon felt the rage build up in him and, for once, he did nothing to suppress it. He used his rage to fuel his power, and reached out with the Force to rip Traya away from the computer - and almost succeeded. Traya grinned triumphantly.
“Now you’re getting it, Hal.” She withdrew one of her hands and pointed it at the Jedi, “Just not quite good enough. Now, let me show you how it’s really done…” With a flick of her wrist, she sent the Jedi flying back towards the doors, where he impacted hard next to an arriving Buffy. Seeing her old friend, Traya smiled. “Buffy! What a nice surprise!”
Buffy looked around the room, and saw Jocasta Nu’s body lying still on the floor. She reached out with the Force towards both her and the fallen form of Halcyon and found both of them to be unconscious, but uninjured. She then reached through the Force to the Jedi Masters, alerting them to what was going on and asking them to return at once. All the while, her eyes never left Traya’s.
“Darth Traya. Always a pleasure.”
“Buffy. How have you been? The husband, the kids? Oh, that’s right - they’re dead.”
“Yes, they are. And now I’m back here.” She paused. “A little flaw in your plan, I assume?”
Traya chuckled. “No matter. Just means I get to kill you personally.” She withdrew her lightsaber and ignited the crimson blade.
“Don’t suppose you want to talk about this?” Buffy queried, igniting her own silver blade. “Zett, get the kids out of here. I’ll hold Traya off. GO!” she shouted as she blocked Traya’s attacks with ease. Soon, her parries turned into thrusts and small swipes that were meant to disarm Traya. As Buffy drove the Sith back, she risked a glance and saw that Zett had gathered the Younglings and was slowly leading them around the battle towards the door. Trying to buy time, she shook her head in disappointment.
“Can’t say I’m impressed, Traya. I’m not even trying here, and I’m still beating you. Willow would have probably already kicked my ass by now…”
Traya snarled. “Willow was a pathetic weakling who could barely care for herself. I have the power, now! I AM the power!”
“Blah, blah, blah. I’m hearing a lot of talk, but I’m not seeing much. Tell you what,” she added, blocking another blow and turning it aside, following it up with a swipe that sliced through the top layer of Traya’s robes, “Let’s say you stop all of this foolishness and turn yourself in?” A hard blow from Buffy set Traya reeling back. Sensing this was a battle she wasn’t going to win, Traya opted to use the Sith’s greatest weapon - treachery.
Traya reached her arm towards the balcony, letting loose a blast of Force lightening. The energy impacted on one of the support columns, fracturing it and bringing the balcony down on top of the Younglings that were currently scampering underneath to escape the Archives and, with a flick of her wrist, brought it down. Without a moment’s hesitation, Buffy dropped her lightsaber and reached towards the collapsing balcony, grasping it with the Force and holding it up so the Younglings could make their escape.
Willow cackled with glee. “Well Buffy, it’s been fun, but it’s time I departed. But if you ever want to finish this, all you got to do is go back to the beginning!” A flurry of wind and lightning enveloped the Sith, and in a flash, she was gone. Buffy scowled, and then turned her attention back onto the balcony, which she raised back into place with little effort. Simultaneously, she used the force to re-form the pillar, and then sent her own blast of Force lightening at the stone to fuse it together.
Zett poked his head back into the Archives. “Did you get her?”
Buffy sighed in disappointment. “No, I most certainly did not.”
Mace Windu stood on the Senate landing platform, patiently waiting for Obi-Wan and Anakin to deliver the Chancellor. Around him were a variety of Senators and security guards, anxiously awaiting their return as well.
Mace was unusually anxious. The attack on Coruscant had been too close to home. Even thought the main attack force had been driven off, Yoda and the rest of the Jedi were still mopping up the remaining droids. Shaak Ti was dead - he felt her death through the Force. Add to that Buffy’s tumultuous return to the Temple, and Mace had a whole list of things that were just setting him ill at ease. It was like there was something on the edge of the Force, just waiting for him to see, to understand, but it was just beyond his reach.
Mace pushed his musings to the back of his mind as the shuttle carrying the Chancellor and his two Jedi touched down, and sighed with relief as Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi followed the Chancellor out.
“Chancellor,” Mace said as he walked up to the elderly statesman, carefully hiding his distrust of Palpatine deep down. “Are you well? Do you need medical attention?” he gestured to a field surgery unit waiting in a gunship a few feet away.
“No, no, no need,” Palpatine responded faintly. “Thank you, Master Windu. But I am well, thanks to your two Jedi knights.”
Mace nodded, and then turned to the two Jedi. “Master Kenobi? Anakin?”
“Never better,” Anakin replied with a slight grin. Obi-Wan shrugged his shoulders, and then winced as he reached up to tough the scalp wound he had received.
“Only a bump on the head. Surely that field surgery unit is needed elsewhere.”
“It is,” Mace said in agreement. “We don’t have even a preliminary estimate of the civilian casualties.” He waved off the gunship, and it took off, hurtling towards the fires that were smoldering in the distance.
“The Senate is prepared to receive you, Chancellor,” Mace said, turning back to the matter at hand. “The HoloNet has already been notified that you will want t make a statement..”
“I will. I will indeed,” Palpatine said, then placed a fatherly hand on Mace’s arm. “You have always been of great value to me, Master Windu. Thank you.”
“The Jedi are honored to serve the Senate, sir,” Mace replied, perhaps emphasizing the word Senate. He subtly moved his arm away from Palpatine’s hand and turned back to the two Jedi. “Is there anything else to report, Master Kenobi? What of General Grievous?”
“Grievous escaped,” Obi-Wan replied. “Count Dooku, however, is dead.”
“Dead?” Mace said in shock. “You mean to say you killed Count Dooku?”
“Ah, no,” Obi-Wan admitted, somewhat embarrassed. “Actually, Anakin killed Count Dooku.” He reached up to touch his wound again. “I was taking a bit of a nap at that time.”
“Yes, it was most extraordinary,” Palpatine agreed. “I know little to nothing of sword play, but Anakin was amazing. His speed and grace was unmatched - it almost seemed as if he was more motivated.” He gushed, shifting his eyes slightly towards Obi-Wan as he said the last part. Obi-Wan’s face reddened slightly, even as Anakin shifted uncomfortably under Palpatine’s praise and Mace’s darkening scowl.
“Yes, well - the Council and I will enjoy a full report once we get things settled planet-side. In the mean-“ Mace suddenly trailed off, as he suddenly heard Buffy’s voice, clear as day, through the Force, alerting them to an attack on the Temple. Judging from Obi-Wan and Anakin’s reaction, they heard it too. “Anakin,” he said suddenly, “Stay here and guard the Chancellor. Obi-Wan and I will head back to the Temple.” At the look of protest that suddenly appeared on Anakin’s face, he cut him off. “Don’t argue, Anakin. You’re talents would best be served here.” He turned to the Chancellor. “I must apologize for our sudden departure, Chancellor, but I’ve just been informed of a situation at the Temple that we need to tend to.”
“Of course, Master Windu. I hope everything is well.”
“As do I, Chancellor,” Mace replied grimly. “As do I.”
A few minutes later, Masters Kenobi and Windu joined Master Yoda in the main hanger and the three hurried down the hall towards the Archives. As they neared the doorway, they saw Buffy, leaning against the doorframe with a cocky smirk on her face.
“Good morning!” she greeted. “Nice of you to show up… finally.”
“Buffy, what happened?” Obi-Wan asked as the three Masters stepped up to her. All three came up short at her scowl.
“What happened, besides you letting me meditate through an invasion?
” she said sarcastically. “Oh, nothing much. Aside from Darth Traya breaking into the Archives, nearly killing Madame Pince and Master Halcyon, sucking the Archives dry, and nearly killing a bunch of Younglings. I put the balcony back up, by the way.”
“And Traya?” Mace asked. Buffy shook her head.
“Got away. But I figured you’d want the Younglings alive more than you’d want Traya captured.” As much as she hated that blow to her pride, she knew what had been the most important. Traya would, after all, be dealt with later.
“The right decision you made,” Yoda said quietly, bringing a gnarled hand to his scalp. Even from where he was standing he could see the relieved faces of the Younglings as they hovered in the corridors, waiting to see what would happen to the one that had rescued them.
“Glad you think so,” Buffy replied dryly.
“We’ll take care of things here, Buffy,” Mace said. “You should go back to your meditation.” Obi-Wan suddenly glanced over at him, but held his tongue. He knew from the expression on her face that she was going to disagree anyway.
“Nah. I need to do some work on the Falcon. At least that way, I’ll be ready for any more invasions today.” She bowed in turn to each of them. “Master Benny, Master Kermit, Master Clean.” With that, she walked past the three Masters and headed down to the hanger. Mace looked after his former Padawan and sighed.
“She’s not making this easy for herself,” he remarked.
“On the contrary, very easy she makes this decision,” Yoda responded. Obi-Wan nodded in agreement.
“Calling us through the Force, attempting to capture Traya instead of blindly going for revenge, putting the lives of the Younglings first, reassembling the balcony - all of this shows a mastery of the Force that hasn’t been seen in a long time.”
“Better than me, she has gotten,” Yoda remarked. “Her mastery of the Force, comes naturally to her, it does.”
“Then it is decided?” Mace stated, already knowing the answer. Yoda nodded.
“Tend to the Younglings and Master’s Halcyon and Nu now, we will. After, we will tend to Buffy.”
Halcyon walked into the hanger and instantly saw Buffy, hard at work under the YT-1300 freighter, pulling out the port thruster. It had only been a few hours since the attack, but already her clothes where rumpled and dirty, and her face and hair were spotted with engine grease. She didn’t seem to notice, though, as her attention was fully fixed on the last ‘member’ of her family. Halcyon stood back for a few moments and watched her work, admiring the calmness that seemed to wrap around her like a protective cloak. He tried to figure out how she did it. Here she was, a woman ripped away from one family, had watched her second family be destroyed, and had seen her friend descend into darkness. And yet, she had a calm serenity around her now, she seemed more attuned with the Force…
He didn’t know how she did it, and he wished he did.
“You gonna stand there enjoying the view all day, Hal? Or are you going to help me pull this gorram thing out?”
Halcyon smiled. “How long have you known I was here?” he asked as he came beside the Slayer and helped her maneuver the thruster out of its housing and onto the floor.
Buffy shrugged. “Since you walked through the door,” she replied casually. Halcyon chuckled.
“You really have gotten powerful with the Force, you know?”
Buffy nodded. “Yeah, that’s what they tell me. Grief’s a good motivator, it seems.”
“I don’t know how you do it, Elizabeth. I don’t think I could.”
Buffy looked up at Halcyon shrewdly, her arms still dangling above her head “You had a bit of an accident with Traya, didn’t you?”
Halcyon lowered his eyes in shame. “The Council already dressed me down today, Buffy. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t as well.”
Buffy just shrugged. “I wasn’t going to. If I did, I’d be a hypocrite. I’ll just say that I’ve lost family, Hal. If you let it hang over you, it will destroy you. And that’s the road to the Dark Side.” She paused as she considered her next words.
Halcyon looked around, then leaned in and whispered, “I love my family, Elizabeth. I couldn’t bear it if they were killed because of what I am.”
“And I hope you never have to, Hal,” Buffy said sincerely, a bit of sadness creeping into her voice. “But someday, you may have to. You just have to be sure you don’t lose yourself in the grief and anger you’ll feel. Whatever Traya said, whatever she threatened… don’t think about it. If you do, then they will suffer. Just put it out of your mind. It’s what I have to do.” She turned her attention back to her ship.
Halcyon nodded. “I’ll try. Hopefully, I won’t have to worry about it,” the Jedi sighed. “But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about. Go get cleaned up; the Council has reached a decision.”
Buffy smiled wryly. “Should I finish up the Falcon first so I’m ready to leave when they kick me out?” she asked half-jokingly.
Halcyon chuckled. “I really don’t think you have to worry about that,” he replied, casting an appreciative glance at the stunning ship. “Tell you what - I’ll finish this, you go get cleaned up. It wouldn’t do to keep the Council waiting.”
Twenty minutes later, Buffy strode into the Council chamber, fresh from the shower and wearing clean clothes. She moved to the center of the room and stood at ease with her arms behind her back. All around her the Council members sat; some were real, some were holograms sent from where they were stationed around the galaxy. She noticed two empty chairs and briefly felt a pang of grief at the loss of yet more people she had known, but quickly let it go - it wouldn’t do to dwell on the loss of more friends.
She had lost more than enough as it was.
“You rang?” Buffy said, a small smile on her face. She knew she was getting the boot; she might as well have some fun before she left…
“Yes, and we did it twenty minutes ago,” Obi-Wan replied, amusement clear in his voice. She turned to blink at him, her lips curving.
“What can I say? I wanted to look pretty for you,” she replied cheekily.
“We’ve reached a decision on your request to be re-instated to the Jedi Order, Buffy,” Mace said, interrupting their banter. She turned her head back to the Jedi Master and lowered her arms, standing at ease, though she felt anything but.
“The decision was most difficult, considering the circumstances of your leaving,” the hologram of Ki-Adi-Mundi toned. “Not only did you abandon the Order while on a mission for the Republic, but you also allowed your personal feelings to cloud your judgment.”
“How do you figure that?” Buffy demanded, her voice suddenly hard.
“You were to be married, Buffy,” Master Aayla Secura interjected, not unsympathetically. “You had a child. These things are against the code.”
“I wasn’t a member of the Order when I did these things,” Buffy replied, coolly yet calmly. “I considered all of this before I made my decision. And when I decided that I wanted to spend my life with Jacen, I tendered my resignation. And no,” she said, cutting off Mace before he could speak, “this isn’t something that I plan to do often. What I had with Jacen…it was special. And I thought long and hard about my decision. And,” she added, her tone icy as she stared hard at the hologram of Ki-Adi-Mundi, “there was no judgment clouded. If I had abandoned the Order, I wouldn’t have been here to stop Traya from killing all of the Younglings and likely the rest of you.” She hated sounding so crass, but this had been her call. Had she not intervened, many Jedi could have been killed.
“Do you think you would make the same decision again?” Obi-Wan asked softly. Buffy met his gaze and slowly shook her head.
“No.” she said definitively. “There was only one Jacen. Nobody could replace him.” As she said this, she felt as though this was the best closure she could find. No one could take what she felt for him away… not even the Jedi surrounding her. Though they blinked and scowled at her, passing judgment for her rather inane (to them, at least) decision, she knew in her heart that it was the best thing she had done. “I… I couldn’t put myself through that again,” she appended. She kept her gaze to Obi-Wan’s. She wanted to say that she had learned her lesson, but she thought the only way that would happen would be if Traya was in her grasp.
There was a pause as all of the Masters looked to one another. Buffy carefully kept her gaze averted. Finally, Mace spoke.
“We’ve all thought long and hard about this, Buffy. And while some of us were disappointed that you decided to leave the Order in the first place, we could all agree that you respected the Order enough to resign and, by proxy, respect the code. That, coupled with what happened today - we saw holo-recordings of what happened in the archives, and witnessed both your restraint in dealing with Darth Traya, as well as your apparent mastery of the Force - we have agreed to welcome you back to the Jedi Order.”
Buffy blinked in surprise as his words slowly sunk into her brain which had been chanting the words she thought she’d hear – “get out, go away, you’re through, we don’t need you, you did the wrong thing”… but her mind froze with the “welcome you back” part. Buffy sighed in relief. Guess I won’t be bunking with Padmé,
she thought wryly. But before she could thank her former Master, his next words brought her attention back to the present with a rather pleasant lurch.
Mace gestured to the empty chair next to Obi-Wan. “Take your seat, Master Skywalker.”TBC...
I was going to continue this through her reaction, but this was such a good place to leave off. Don’t you think?
Yes, i know I cut out the rescue. But I wanted to concentrate on Buffy, and I didn't feel like cutting and pasting fromt he book.
Next Chapter: Buffy has her WTF moment, Anakin has a dream, Buffy, Mace, Yoda and Obi-Wan talk about their suspicions, and I reply to Wise.Let the fireworks begin!