Artoo rolls into the weapons locker as if he owns the place. He is confronted by a dangerous looking security droid.
"Authorization," the security droid demands, pointing a blaster at the smaller droid. Artoo bleeps and bloops.
"I have been instructed to keep the Jedi weapons locked away," says the security droid. "Only those with double gold clearance may retrieve them."
Artoo blips some more.
"Very well, follow me..."
The dark cell is lit only by three columns of red energy in which three figures float immobilized. Anakin stirs awake to find himself bound, and he sees Padme off to one side. And on the other....
"Obi-Wan!" Anakin says. "What are you doing here!"
"Rescuing you, of course," Obi-Wan mutters.
Anakin looks around at their predicament and snorts. "Good job!"
"It was very exciting fight," Obi-Wan insists. "I'll tell you all about it later. So what happened to you two?"
"Dooku is manufacturing an illegal droid army," says Padme.
"We tried to escape to warn the Republic," says Anakin, "but he stopped us. He used some kind of Force lightning..."
Obi-Wan sighs. "That seals it, then. The Jedi have long forbidden use of that dark power. And these red energy fields we're stuck in seem to be generated by the same lucasite that powered Darth Maul's lightsaber."
"Dooku has become a Sith?" asks Anakin.
"He's the one who trained Darth Maul," says Padme.
Obi-Wan eyes her carefully but says, "Yes, that does seem likely."
"Hold on," says Anakin, sensing the approaching presence of power, "I think he's coming." Sure enough, a door slides open in the wall and Count Dooku strides into the cell.
"Your Highness!" he proclaims, directly approaching Padme. "This has all been a mistake. A terrible mistake! They've gone too far."
"I thought you were the leader here, Dooku," Padme says coldly.
"This had nothing to do with me, I assure you. But I am no tyrant," he smirks, "You are prisoners of the people of Geonosis. I promise you I will do all that I can to have you set free."
"Well, I hope it doesn't take too long," says Obi-Wan, "I have work to do."
Dooku turns to Obi-Wan. "Master Obi-Wan. May I ask what a member of the Jedi Council is doing all the way out here on Geonosis?"
"Just checking on my student and his charge," sneers Obi-Wan. "I thought you promised them safe passage, and I arrive to find them in jail."
"Did they tell you the destruction they've caused?" Dooku says. "Fourteen Geonosians are dead, dozens more injured, not to mention the damage to private property. You should have come to me first, Master Obi-Wan. The Geonosians have found you all guilty of conspiracy against the planet. The punishment for this crime is death."
Anakin opens his mouth to protest, but Dooku cuts him off. "Nevertheless, I understand why you reacted the way you did, young Skywalker, and I will speak to the Geonosian High Council on your behalf. I should be able to at least get your sentence reduced to life imprisonment..."
"I don't need help from a Sith!" spits Anakin. Dooku ignores this comment and turns back to the elder Jedi.
"It's a great pity that our paths have never crossed before, Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon always spoke very highly of you. I wish he were still alive. I could use his help right now."
"Qui-Gon Jinn would never join you," Obi-Wan says matter-of-factly.
"Don't be so sure. You forget that he was once my apprentice just as you were once his. He knew all about the corruption in the Senate, but he would have never gone along with it if he had known the truth as I have."
"The truth?" asks Padme.
"The truth. What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of the Dark Lord of the Sith? Hundreds of Senators are now under the influence of one called Darth Sidious."
"Half truths and lies," says Obi-Wan. "If this Darth Sidious even exists, you're probably in league with him. You cannot fight the Dark Side with the Dark Side, Count."
"On the contrary," says Dooku, "That may be the only way to fight it. The Jedi Council has made itself weak on purpose, thinking they serve the greater good, but they will abide great evil if they do not take a stand. You must join me, and together we will destroy Darth Sidious and bring peace to the galaxy!"
"We will never join you, Dooku," says Obi-Wan. Anakin and Padme glare holes into the Count. He can see he has no traction here.
"It may be difficult to secure your release," he sighs with resignation. With a flourish of his cape, he turns and leaves.
The captives hang in silence for a minute, then Padme says, "We've got to find a way to warn the Republic."
"Look," Obi-Wan says, "I can make contact with the Jedi Council. But you're really not supposed to see me do this. So, y'know, just don't mention it to anyone. And don't worry. I'll be back in a minute." Before Anakin and Padme can say anything else, he passes out.
"Obi-Wan? Obi-Wan!" Anakin shouts to his master's comatose figure, but Obi-Wan just hangs there. "Great..."
Artoo wheels through aisles of racked battle droids, each one huddled in a sitting position with its knees bent up to its head for compact storage. He finds what he's looking for--a pair of golden shins. He bleeps in greeting, and Threepio peeks his head out through his legs.
"Oh, my little friend! You found me! I knew you would. I was worried, I admit. I thought I was scrap. But here you are! I'm so glad to see you! You've got to remove the battle droid program from me at once! I'm afraid if you don't, I may not be able to prevent myself from doing something terrible on the battlefield. I might even kill a Jedi. Oh, wouldn't that be wonderful if I killed a Jedi? Kill all Jedi! Oh, goodness, was that me? See what I mean? What are you doing? No, don't open that, that's my private compartment! You have no right to be in there! What are you putting inside me? I can't see! Will it reprogram me? I don't feel reprogrammed. I would still like to kill all Jedi. It didn't work. Where are you going? Get back here! Artoooooo!"
The Jedi Council sits together in meditative communion, waiting. Waiting is all they are prepared to do. Too many mysteries remain, too much is clouded by the Dark Side. Then Obi-Wan appears in their midst--properly, through the door they have conceived for entrance into this fortress of the mind, in a place that is everywhere and nowhere. Obi-Wan speaks plainly.
"My friends, the time has come to take our stand."