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CHAPTER 15: MISSING

It was getting dark by the time General Grievous and Shaak Ti stopped to rest. They had been walking for hours and the Togruta couldn't wait to get off her feet and right then the ground looked very inviting.

"Wait here," Grievous said looking at her as she sat down on a fallen log.

"Where are you going?" she asked looking up at him.

Grievous chose not to answer that question. All he did say was. "I'll be right back," then vanished into the darkened woods.

Please, please forgive me, But I won't be home again. Maybe someday you'll look up, And, barely conscious, you'll say to no one: "Isn't something missing?"

You won't cry for my absence, I know - You forgot me long ago. Am I that unimportant...? Am I so insignificant...? Isn't something missing? Isn't someone missing me?

Shaak Ti sighed and pulled her knees up to her chin. She listened to the sounds of creatures of all shapes and sizes as they scurried, flew, or ran through the dense jungle around her. The sounds made her nervous and a little bit scared though she would never admit it to anyone, especially Grievous.

I hope Grievous gets back here soon, she found herself praying. She then realized what had been on her mind and pushed it away. She wasn't going to think like that.

What did she need him for anyway? She was a Jedi. She could take care of herself. She even had a lightsaber, though she had no idea how she'd even aquired it.

I wonder if Grievous put it on my belt after I had fallen asleep on his ship, she wondered, taking the weapon off her belt and holding it up to look at it. Did he give it to me for protection? She noticed something. This lightsaber looks familiar. Is it mine?

Even though I'm the sacrifice, You won't try for me, not now. Though I'd die to know you love me, I'm all alone. Isn't someone missing me?

Before she could examine it farther she heard a noise in the woods that sounded awful close. Infact a little too close. Quickly she jumped to her feet and fumbled with the activation switch of her blade. If something was in those woods ready to attack she'd be ready.

“Another monster!?” said Lola.

A rod of blue light illuminated the area but the light didn't reach very far. Her hands trembled and she felt a disturbance in the Force. She could feal fear rising up within her. She hoped that if she was attacked she would be able to keep her head long enough to fight. "Whatever you are I'm not scared of you!" she shouted into the dark jungle. "I'm a Jedi Master! I fear nothing! So... so stay where you are!"

Suddenly she felt something cold and metallic wrap around her waist. She hadn't expected that and it totally messed up her plan of action. Courage screamed and Ratchet fainted. Screaming in panic she turned around and raised her blade... only to discover that the monster that had grabbed her was General Grievous.

Please, please forgive me, But I won't be home again. I know what you do to yourself, I breathe deep and cry out, "Isn't something missing? Isn't someone missing me?"

"GENERAL!" she exclaimed lowering her blade.

"Hello," he said as if nothing had happened.

"You shouldn't sneak up on people," she scolded. "I almost killed you."

Grievous let her go. He dropped his arms and so for no apparent reason. "I'm fine too, thank you."

That statement knocked her completely off balance. "What?" she was totally confused. Had he expected her to ask him how he was doing? How could he even have considered that she would have asked him that? What had he ment anyway?

He didn't answer her question when she asked him. All he said was. "Don't worry anymore. There were no dangerous creatures in the area."

“No dangerous creatures?” said Skunk.

Carrie is trying to wake Ratchet up with a stick.

"...and beavers and ducks and walnuts and Grandma..." said Ratchet when he got up & fall down again like a fool.

Only you, she almost said but didn't. Instead she sat back down on the log and stared up at him. "Why did you come up behind me like that?" she demanded.

Even though I'm the sacrifice, You won't try for me, not now. Though I'd die to know you love me, I'm all alone. Isn't someone missing me?

"Like what?" he asked as if he had no idea what she was talking about.

She gave him a sharp look. "You know what I mean, General!" she snapped, in no mood to be nice anymore. "You came up behind me and wrapped your arms around me! What were you thinking!"

"Nothing," he replied his accented voice revealing growing adgitation. Stupid Jedi. "I just felt like doing it."

"Why?" she wanted to know.

He glared at her. "I don't have to tell you," he growled.

"Stop it!"

"Stop what?"

She stood up and faced him, tembling with a strange rage. "Stop acting that way around me!" she said clenching her rose red fists. "You don't have to keep rubbing it in! I know you hate me. I know you hate all Jedi! I know you're happy that the Order fell thanks to Anakin Skywalker and Chancellor Palpatine! You can just go ahead and admit it! But you don't. You want to hold it over me and that's why you haven't kill me yet!"

"Sha-" he started.

"You didn't care!" she cut him off. "You still don't care! The rest of the Jedi are dead so why don't you just kill me as well?" she asked, her fists shaking now. "Why do you keep hesitating? Why do you hold back? Why don't you just do what you are longing to do? Just do it already! End my life if you desire to do so!" she looked right at him and screamed. "WHY ARE YOU HOLDING BACK!"

And if I bleed, I'll bleed, Knowing you don't care. And if I sleep just to dream of you I'll wake without you there, Isn't something missing? Isn't something...

Grievous looked away.

Shaak Ti started crying as she suddenly felt foolish. Her outburst helped bring out her buried emotions. Her Jedi training was failing. She felt despair, fear, anger, grief, and even insanity fighting their way to the surface of her Force shielded apathy.

I'm going mad! I'm going mad just like Depa had! she felt herself falling. I'm going to the darkside. I'm... I can't see the light anymore! I'm dying! Her whole body pitched forward. She opened her eyes and saw the whole world spinning around her. Is this how it looks when one falls? and her eyes closed again.

Suddenly she felt her face, chest, and shoulders smack into something cold and metallic. She opened her eyes again. She'd fallen right into Grievous' armored breastplate. She felt his hands rest on her shoulders. She looked up. His face was close to hers. This time when she looked into his eyes she didn't see hate or rage, she saw... compassion.

"G... General," she stammered.

"Shaak ti," he said slowly, using her name for the first time without added titles. "I'm, not holding back. I don't want to kill you. Not anymore. I can see it... I can finally see that even though you are a Jedi you are still a living creature and you... have emotions just like everyone else. You just try to hide it under false word and actions."

"Grievous..."

"Just forget about it, Jedi. The war is over and you lost. You lost and I was betrayed. We are even. We are in the same situation. We don't have to fight anymore. It is over..."

His arms wrapped around her body. They seemed so... gentle... so unlike the Grievous she was used to. It felt almost like an embrase from a lover... not an enemy.

"So stop fighting," he said looking at her with those deep golden eyes of his. "Just stop fighting."

And right then she did.

“I don’t think the war is over” said Optimus.

Even though I'm the sacrifice, You won't try for me, not now. Though I'd die to know you love me, I'm all alone. Isn't someone missing me?