Chapter Seven -- Discovery


"It sounds like a sniper blast to me, General, a man could be 500 yards away and fire that."

With Obi-Wan bringing up the rear, the security guards hustled Organa inside the shuttle and with the ship’s co-captain at his side, Obi-Wan re-emerged, reaching out to with the Force to sense any other presence that had fired the blast.

The co-captain, a strikingly tall dark-skinned Alderaanian scanned the area with his own electrobinoculars as Obi-Wan said nothing, his eyes nearly closed.

"Pardon me, Master Kenobi, but could you describe the shot to me?" the dark-skinned pilot asked.

"Kenobi slipped back into his memories, replaying the event in slow motion.

"Dark green energy ... angling down toward us ... one shot," he murmured.

"It sounds like a sniper blast to me, General, a man could be 500 yards away and fire that."

The Alderaanian stood where Organa had dropped and looked up, and all around. He pointed toward a dilapidated foodstuffs shop hovering in the morning breeze.

Obi-Wan grabbed the binocs and focused them. There was someone looking down at them through a window. The Jedi Master sprung into action.


Barely able to keep his senses, Anakin scrambled around the shop’s back room, unfastening the clamps of the rifle, hastily cramming it back into its case and gathering his robe around his shoulders.

His swoop bike was parked in the shop’s front, and he could be five miles away in a matter of minutes. His eyes scoured the room frantically, determined not to overlook anything that could connect him to the scene or the aborted assassination.

He looked down at his hands to see only one of his gloves was on. The other he had laid near the window to tighten the scope. He moved across the room and grabbed it, stopping to look down throught the window at the scene below.

In morbid shock, he saw his Master staring back at him through binoculars. Anakin burst to the front of the shop, mounted his bike and hastily keyed in the door code to open and then close behind him.

His engine stalled once as he overrevved it. He desperately tried to calm himself and the engine finally caught. Anakin wasted no time, shooting out of the storefront and arching toward the far corner of a nearby superscraper to put distance between him and the scene.

He rounded the corner and his blood ran cold, the Alderaanian shuttle hovered some 50 yards ahead.


Obi-Wan had taken over in the pilot’s seat, the tall Alderaanian still at his side in his familiar co-pilot chair. The Jedi squinted at the swoop pilot and frowned. His model of swoop was the most popular among Coruscant’s gangs and a figure in a dark robe and hood could be a member of any number of biped species, gangs, crime organizations or political factions. He knew he would need to capture the would-be assassin if any questions were to be answered today.

And that would be the tricky part, for while the shuttle could fly into deep space, it had nowhere near the close-ground velocity or manueverability of the swoop bike. He’d have to nail the biker with a tractor beam, which would be tough should the pilot manuever into any sort of trafficked area.

Obi-Wan motioned his co-pilot to activate the tractor beam, only to see the swoop pilot do the impossible.


Seeing the shuttle dead ahead, Anakin turned to desperate action. Although his bike sat more than three miles off the true surface of Coruscant, Anakin powered off the repulors of his bike.

Without its anti-grav system, gravity took possession of the bike and his rider, and they plummeted as one.

Obi-Wan watched the swooper’s bold move as his co-pilot uttered a stream of curses as the shuttle’s sensor tracked the bike’s free-fall. Perhaps half a mile down, the bike inexplicably slowed, then burst back into action, zipping out of sight.

"Shall we pursue, General?"

"No ... no, we shall not," Obi-Wan replied, staring out the viewport at the empty sky. "I need a ride somewhere, then you can take Senator Organa to his rendezvous point in orbit."

"Aye, sir."

After a moment or two of silence, the co-pilot apparently could not contain his curiosity and he breached the stillness in the cockpit.

"General? How did he do that? Have you ever seen anyone do that before?"

Obi-Wan did not answer, his mind reeling. Not only had he seen it before, he was the only person still alive who had wittnessed that particular strategy’s invention. It had been three years ago in the lower levels of Coruscant as he chased the bounty hunter Zam Wessell, who had nearly murdered Senator Amidala of Naboo.

Wessell had died shortly thereafter at the hands of another bounty hunter. Leaving Obi-Wan alone to express his amazement at the boldness and audactiy to the strategy’s inventor -- his Padawan, Anakin.