"This is the New Brutalism. I think it will be all the rage if these Clone Wars don't end soon."
"Master Yoda!" Obi-Wan said, running across the hallway as the old one came down the great curving staircase. "Are you all right?"
"Sad am I, but unhurt." The old Jedi sighed. "So close, I was!"
"Did you almost kill Dooku?" Anakin said sympathetically. "How frustrating!"
Yoda gave him an odd look-almost angry. Anakin didn't notice.
"Perhaps we can still catch him-he must be around here somewhere. I thought we were going to get Ventress once and for all, but she gave us the slip. This place is crazy-honeycombed with secret passages."
"And battle droids behind every wall," Obi-Wan added.
The familiar rumbling sound of a starship engine coming to life started up in the distance. Obi-Wan headed for the front door.
"Masters!" Anakin hissed.
He put a finger over his lips, signaling the others to keep quiet, and edged along the wall of the entry hall until he came to a doorway that led into the mansion's interior. Touching his lightsaber to life, he leapt into the corridor with a bloodcurdling yell-at exactly the same moment that Scout and Whie leapt from the other direction.
For a long, comical instant the three of them were frozen in battle stance, lightsabers glowing, screaming at one another. Yoda doubled over, wheezing with laughter.
Anakin was the first to recover.
"Hey-it's the small fry!"
"Glad to see you, am I!" Yoda said. "But hurt you are," he added, his long ear tips furled with worry.
Whie's robes were scorched and slashed by stray fire from Solis's death throes, and Scout's hair was clotted with blood.
"It's nothing," Scout said, grinning. "We couldn't be better."
Whie laughed and threw his arms around Anakin in sheer joy.