Sunday, September 25, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Moments in Time: A Star Wars Fan-fiction.
In no way do I own Star Wars. I'm just a huge fan who loves to delve into this amazing story and try to write what I see and feel about this story.
This isn't in my typical writing style but I hope you enjoy the story anyway. Reviews are always appreciated so if you could take the time to write one that would be great. This story is about the life of Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi from birth to death and beyond.
Time. An elusive thing. Flow, it does, along a river, heading to where nobody knows. Moments passing like leaves fluttering away in the wind. It is as mysterious as the Force itself. And just like the Force, it works in ways unforeseen. For us all. So hold on; hold on to your moment in time because you won't know until its too late how precious it was.
Jedi Initiate: A Force-sensitive child who is undergoing the early stages of Jedi Training. They are the light because they hold the flames for the future. They will be the ones who hold back the darkness.
**A woman cradles a small baby in her arms, his soft, pink face scrunched up against the light that blasts into his eyes. The woman's husband kneels at the her bedside, reaching a hand out to stroke across the baby's tiny, hairless, head. "I have a perfect name for him," the woman whispers, a slight smile on her face. Her husband smiles up at her. "What is that?" The woman gently kisses the little boy's forehead. "Obi-Wan," she answers, pulling the blanket tighter around the child who has now fallen into a peaceful sleep. "His name is Obi-Wan Kenobi," **
** The little boy, Obi-Wan, is now two years old. He is silently watching, with his wide-eyed stare, the little baby in his mother's arms; his new brother, Owen. His mother has just brought the little baby home and introduced him to Obi-Wan. Thoughts and feeling now reel through the boy. 'I want to give him something,' the little boy thinks then smiles, knowing exactly what to do. He looks over at his pile of toys in the corner of his room and sees the small stuffed animal he's had since birth. He holds out his right hand, a warmth spreads through his arm, running soothingly over his mind, and the toy lifts from its perch and floats over to his brother. Obi-Wan laughs and smiles, clapping his small hands together in joy. His mother, though, looks at him strangely, her blue-gray eyes, just the same as his, seem almost sad. Obi-Wan goes to her, wrapping his short around around her, resting his head on her knee, feeling the rough, sweet-smelling fabric against his cheek. "What's wrong, Mommy?" he asks. Her hand strokes his reddish brown hair and says "Nothing, my little one." But Obi-Wan knows she is lying, he can feel it in him somehow; a slight tremor in his breast. 'Is something wrong with me?' Obi-Wan worries, reaching up to touch his old toy, taking comfort in its soft feel.**
**He is out in a field with his brother; now a three-year old. He and Owen, who is one now, are running through the grass while their parents watch them. The grass is soft and spongy beneath the soles of his feet and Obi-Wan laughs, the sound carrying in the wind. The sun glows on him, surrounding him like a halo of pure light. He sees a yellow, winged insect fluttering just a few feet from him and a chase ensues, the shard of sunlight made manifest leading him farther and farther through the meadow and towards the gnarled trunks of the purple-barked trees. Then he realizes he can't see Owen or his mommy and daddy anymore. He spins in a circle; he can sense them but he can't see them. Utterly confused, Obi-Wan crumples to the ground, drawing his knees to his chest, tears sliding down his cheeks. Then he hears footsteps on dry leaves and two figures emerge from the foliage, a middle-aged man and a young girl; both hooded. The man, seeing him, weeping and alone, bends down before him. "Are you lost, little one?" Obi-Wan shakes his head then nods. Something seems, familiar about these people and somehow he knows he can trust them. "Come on little one, my Padawan and I will take you back to your guardians." 'Padawan?' A strange word, not one Obi-Wan has ever heard. The man picks him up, but not before he sees a shimmery bar of silver. A lightsaber hilt.**
**Obi-Wan is playing with Owen on the floor in the living room of his home when his mommy steps into the room. He can feel something emanating off of her; worry, repressed grief, joy- an odd mixture. He turns and sees that she is smiling, but her eyes are sad. He stands. "Mommy, what's wrong?" he asks. His mommy rushes to him and sweeps him into her arms, hugging him tightly.
"You have been given a great gift, my son and you need to learn how to use it." He can feel her tears on his neck, his shoulder. 'Gift?' Did she mean how he can lift things without touching them, how he can sense things? Didn't everyone have that? Did he have to leave? What did all this mean?**
**The man and the girl who had found him in the woods stand with his mommy and daddy, hands clasped before them. "You have the Force, young one," the man says kindly, looking directly at Obi-Wan, his brown eyes happy, yet sad somehow.
"You have the powers of a Jedi," the girl says. She's a bit older than his cousin Jael, and her blue eyes stare at him with excitement and joy. A lightsaber hangs at her hip, slightly longer than the man's. "What does that mean?" Obi-Wan asks, his gaze flitting between the man, the girl and his parents. "It means you can be trained as a Jedi." Trained as a Jedi? The thought sends a reel of images spiraling through Obi-Wan's mind. Blades of colorful energy, defending the galaxy from the bad people, Coruscant; so far away from Stewjon. "Do you want to go?" This is his mommy, her soft voice husky with suppressed tears. He looks over at her. "What do you want me to do?" he asks. "We want you to decide," his daddy says, a rough edge in his voice.
He looks to the man and girl. "You can decide. Its your choice, Obi-Wan," the man says.
An image appears in his mind, of himself; older, a vivid blade of blue in his hands. Its not a piece of his imagination, its a vision. He can tell with every bit of his being.
'Obi-Wan, your are destined for greatness. The galaxy needs you.' The words in his mind came out of no where, a mixture of billions of voices speaking at once. Something surges in Obi-Wan, a warm, calming presence, like the hands of his parents.
"I want to do it. I want to be trained as a Jedi," he answers, but to himself, his voice doesn't sound like his; not exactly anyway. It sounded like two other boys we're speaking with him.**
**The man and girl, the Jedi, take him to Coruscant, a huge city, with no green grass, no lakes, and no forests. Just city. Endless city. A knot forms in the pit of him stomach, growing and spreading like a virus in his insides. The girl touches his shoulder and points. "There's the Jedi Temple." He looks where she is pointing and sees a tall square building with five towers, four at the corners and the last in the center. He then feels that same surge of warm, calming energy, except this time it is a thousand times more powerful. He felt fear thrum through him and he swallows back tears. He misses his parents and Owen already. He sniffs and wipes his nose with his sleeve, a stray tear straggling down his cheek. "Hey, hey, its okay," the girl says, giving him a small side-hug and patting his back reassuringly. "You'll love it here."**
**The two Jedi lead him through the huge doors of the Temple. All around him swarm beings, some he knows, some he doesn't. They are, for the most part, dressed the same as the man and girl; in a tunic, pants and cloak. Then amidst the chaos he sees a small, green-skinned figure with long drooping ears. He looks the same size as Obi-Wan but the Jedi seemed old, very old, and a wave of calm and wisdom seems to radiate off him. The man and girl immediately bow to the small figure and after a moment Obi-Wan does as well. The Jedi returns it and gives him a small smile. "Obi-Wan Kenobi, meet Master Yoda." Obi-Wan locks eyes with Master Yoda and he feels something like hands running over his brain, soothing him. Then he sees something click in Master Yoda's gaze and a feeling flows between the two of them. "Far to come, far to go it is. Cold and warm, it is. Seek what you are looking for, you will. Find it here, you shall. Listen." 'What do those words mean?' Obi-Wan wonders in confusion. The Jedi Master's words create a jumbled mess in his mind as Obi-Wan tries to decipher the meaning. Then he snaps out of his thought when Yoda clicks the bottom of his walking stick against the ground, gives him a smile, and hobbles off. "Come, young one, its time for your orientation." Obi-Wan nods and follows the man and girl**
**He lies in his bed in the creche with the other younglings of his clan. His legs are curled to his chest and he quietly cries into his pillow, images of his mother, father, and brother coursing through him. He misses them, misses them so much he felt like his heart was splitting in his chest. Than he feels a warm hand on his arm. "You miss your family don't you young one?" came the velvety voice of the Jedi Minder. Obi-Wan nods, rubbing his arm over his wet face. The woman strokes his forehead, brushing the hair off his forehead, almost like his mother. 'But she's not mommy She never will be.' "Want to go for a walk, Obi-Wan?" And he nods, because she uses his name, because she seems kind and nice, like his mommy. She takes him into her arms and whispers to the other minder, a man around her age, that she would be back soon. He nods and the woman takes him from the room, silently striding passed all the sleeping children. She takes him down the passages, beautifully lit by glowing blue bulbs. She takes him through a large room, filled with fountains, where he listens to the sound of the water spraying up in a geyser before splashing down into the basin below. They pass a window and Obi-Wan can see a river making its way behind the Temple. "I'm hungry and thirsty," Obi-Wan murmurs into the Minder's shoulder. And she takes him there, giving him a glass of water and a piece of bread. While he eats and drinks she takes him through the kitchen gardens, passed all the flowers and bushes and trees. Then he hears a sweet, delicate sound ding through the air. He glances at a nearby tree and sees chimes hanging from a branch; chimes that the cook must have hung. Then the knot that has been in him since he'd arrived dissolves. 'I could feel at home here.' The thought catches him by surprise but never the less, it makes him smile.**
**He has many teachers at the Temple. He trains under Master Yoda and Master Docent Vant who teach him about the Force, about the Jedi Code, and about the Rules of Attachment. Obi-Wan doesn't fully understand why attachment is wrong or what the Jedi Code means but he knows he will find out eventually. Then one day, he learns that him and his clan will get to begin using the lighsaber; and their instructors are to be Cin Drallig and Anoon Bondara. Obi-Wan is so excited he can't eat and his food is quickly consumed by a Dressellian named Reeft. Before he knows it he is standing with his fellow younglings, each holding the deactivated hilt of a training saber. "Ignite your blades, younglings." He presses the ignition button and the blade flares into life in his hands. It hums before him, a steady glow of blue shimmering before his eyes. And it felt...right; like he'd been using it his whole life. Like it was a part of him. His heart soared and he knew, he knew, that he belonged.**
**One day he hears crying coming from one of the bathrooms. He goes inside and sees, in one of the stalls, a small, female Mon Calmarian huddled and sobbing into her robe. He approaches her. He recognizes her from his clan. She'd been with him on the day he'd first ignited a lightsaber. She'd been nervous and nearly dropped the weapon but after that she'd seemed quite adept. "What's wrong?" he asks, peering at her from around the half-shut door. She looks at him, wiping her face and her eyes met his. Eyes of silver. She tells him what happened; about a boy, named Bruck Chun, who likes to make fun of her because she isn't human and because she's small. Obi-Wan takes a seat beside her and wraps an arm around her thin frame. "Its okay. I'll be your friend." That was the day he met Bant.**
**He dreams of being a pilot sometimes; when he lies awake at night, staring out the window at the crisscrossing lines of space traffic that zoom past the temple in an array of flashing light. 'I want to travel the galaxy, see everything. Visit every world. Help everyone.'
He likes to sit in the hangar, watching the Jedi come and go on missions, watching the ships as they take off and land. Sometimes the Jedi let him help fix the ships that return faulty. They like having him around. They call him a Jedi Ace in the making. And this makes Obi-Wan smile.
And when he plays with his small ship models, swooping them through the air over his head, he hopes that, when the times comes, his Master will love ships as much as he does.**
**He now has friends at the Temple: Besides Bant Eerin he is friends with a human boy named Garen Muln, a Dressellian boy named Reeft, and a Kiffar boy named Quinlan Vos. But he also has enemies. There are two mean boys in his clan and their names are Bruck Chun and Aalto. They like to torment Obi-Wan and his friends, calling them names, trying to make them trip and loose their balance in lightsaber practice, and attempting to goad them into anger; make them disobey the Code in front of Yoda. Sometimes Obi-Wan would grow so angry he would strike at Bruck and a fight would ensue only to be broken by Yoda's piercing voice and stare. And Obi-Wan would stand, head bowed, his cheeks colored with shame, and apologize for his rash, aggressive behavior. Bruck never apologized.**
**Obi-Wan does well in his training and is soon at the top of his classes. And sometimes, in the darkest corners of his thoughts, he tells himself that he is better than Bruck Chun and Aalto. Sometimes he feels shameful at these thoughts but they persist, filling his mind until he begins to believe them.
He is better than Bruck and Aalto. He can block the beams from the remotes and wield the Force better than anyone else in his clan, except for Siri Tachi, a girl two years younger than himself. Sometimes things don't work out how he wants, or he has to wait for things. This annoyance, this impatience eats away at him until one day, during Meditation, when he'd much rather be using his lightsaber, he stands up and runs to the door. "Young Kenobi, sit you must." Anger boils in him then, surging and rising, pulsing against his temples. "No," he says hotly, his tone defiant. Yoda's eyes lock on his and for the first time the Obi-Wan does not feel sorry. "Youngling Kenobi, come with me, you shall." Swallowing, fear creeping up into his throat, he follows Master Yoda out into the hallway and down many other halls, until they end up in Master Yoda's quarters. Candles flicker all around them, casting beams of light and and streaks of shadows across the furnishings. "Sit," Yoda says, gesturing with his gimer stick. Obi-Wan sits, crossing his now-longer legs. Yoda stares at him for a long time, his eyes somber and stern. "Young one," he says at last "Arrogance, impatience, the way of the Jedi they are not. Learn to control these emotions you must. No Jedi is better than the other. Understand this you must, if a Jedi you want to be." Obi-Wan nods, bowing his head. Now he feels bad. Really bad. "Young one, look at me." Obi-Wan raises his young, innocent blue-gray gaze to the ancient brown of the diminutive Master. Something stirs in him, then. He would try his hardest to live up to Master Yoda's teachings. He would do his hardest and never, ever give up. He would follow the Code till the end.**
** The Jedi Code. A mystery. Five simple lines that hold a ocean-full of meaning. To sift through it can take years.
It sometimes feels that way to Obi-Wan, like wading in a tumultuous sea. The Miscellaneous Tenants he understands, for the most part; things like "The Jedi are the guardians of civilization, yet do not allow civilization to destroy needlessly", "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for aggression or personal gain", and rules on attachment, especially those concerning marriage and romance. But those five mysterious lines, refined by Jedi Master Odan-Urr, are a confusing web that tangles itself around his now eight-year-old mind. How can there be no emotion? He sees it every day, feels it everyday. He sees the smug haughtiness in Bruck's eyes, the kindness in Bant's, and he feels in himself frustration, anger, happiness, joy, all mixed and flowing, in his heart. How can there be no ignorance? There is always something to learn, even Master Yoda says that. Does that make him a hypocrite? With regards to passion, isn't that the same as emotion? And when does joy and excitement become passion? How can there be no chaos? Isn't that the reason the Jedi exist, to keep the chaos at bay? And finally, the last and most confusing. How can there be no death? During his years at the Temple he has attended many funerals for deceased Jedi. Watching as their dead bodies burn into soft mounds of ash which are then scattered throughout their homeworld. Is the Force more powerful than death? He hopes so, but he doesn't know. He doesn't know.**
**A training exercise; something he has struggled to do for the last few years. He is supposed stand beneath a waterfall and gather the Force around himself so that the water droplets do not strike him. He has tried many times, but each time, his concentration breaks and he is soaked to the core. And Bruck laughs and laughs. Finally, the day after he turned six, he does it. He is standing alone near the base of the falls, Yoda watching him, smiling his crooked smile for encouragement. He stares into the distance, locking his gaze on one of the fountains far away and lifts his hands up, gathering the Force within him, creating a shield of energy around himself. And a sereneness fills him, swirls in him like a warm breeze on Stewjon. Then he steps back onto the rim of the basin, settling down on it lightly, watching as the water falls all around him. It creats a veil, a globe, surrounding him on all sides, flashing like mini-lights. He looks through the water droplets to Yoda, who nods his head and smiles. And Obi-Wan smiles back.
He has done it.**
**The Sith. A dark order of beings, formed from a group of those who were once Jedi.
Obi-Wan has known about the Sith for years, he learned all about them in History Class; about how they use Bogan, the darkside, to cause harm for others and how they build themselves up as epitomes of power. But he never though about them much until that one night.
The creche masters have been called out to a special meeting with the Council and had left the nurse droids to look after all of the younglings in the large room shared by the youngest initiates. When they returned, the children over age five were to be escorted back to their rooms. After several minutes, Bruck Chun leaps from the cot he was perched on to Aalto's, his face livid with wildness. "Does everyone want to hear a story?" Some of the rowdier children say yes, but Obi-Wan just rolls onto his side, and pretends to sleep. But in reality, he trains his ears on Bruck's words, hoping to catch every single one of them. "You all know about the Sith, right? Well, did you ever hear of one known as Darth Malgus?" Obi-Wan has heard the name, but beyond that, he has no idea who this Sith is. "No!" many of the children answer, excitement filling their voices, causing the air to crackle with their anticipation. "Well, one day he just walked into the Temple; just him and a Twi'Lek. Of course he killed three guards, but really, that doesn't matter." Obi-Wan squeezed his eyes shut. 'Of course they matter! Everyone matters!' Bruck continues, lowering his voice to a husky whisper. "Well, all the Jedi in the Temple were confused. What was this hooded man doing in the Temple? One of the Masters, a Jedi named Ven Zallow stood before the Sith and stared at him. After several moments a ship crashed in through one of the walls...and. a. whole. Legion. of. Siths came out." "What did they do?" a little boy's scared voice asks. Obi-Wan knows that, at that moment, Bruck is smiling; that smug, cruel smile he exhibits after bullying one of the students. "They killed almost every Jedi inside, including Master Zallow and destroyed the Jedi Temple..." Obi-Wan hears gasps and feels his insides tighten up with fear. They destroyed the Temple? Theykilled everyone inside? That would have to include the children, the babies...Sickness overwhelms Obi-Wan then, revulsion pumping through his body like a blood-infecting virus. 'How could anyone do such a thing?' But of course, the Sith are extinct. Obi-Wan thinks of this as he takes deep calming breaths. He hopes to never face a Sith. They're much too evil and scary and full of rage and darkness. And in the shadows of his mind he worries that he might become one. 'The Sith are extinct.' He tells himself over and over. But, that night, as he drifts into the folds of sleep he dreams; dreams of a red and black faced demon with a blood-red double-bladed lightsaber, a menacing hooded figure and the Temple in flames.**
**Dance class? Why in the galaxy do Jedi need to learn dancing? Obi-Wan, now eleven, thinks as he stands with his fellow initiates, watching two Jedi, a male and a female, give instructions on how to ballroom dance. Holding in a moan, he glances at the other kids around him. All have an expression that mirror his thoughts; uncertainty. Except for Bruck Chun and Aalto; they both have looks of pure disgust on their faces. 'Please let me be paired with Bant.' He thinks. Dancing with her wouldn't be that difficult since she's his best friend. But they pair her up with Reeft. And he finds himself face-to-face with Siri Tachi. He has never exactly spoken to her but he knows her prowess with the Force and the Lightsaber. She's beaten Bruck Chun many times, though strangely, Bruck didn't seem to hate her. Instead, Obi-Wan has noticed Bruck watching her, his gaze following her across the room and for some reason it infuriates him. He looks at her and meets her piercing blue eyes which seem to see right into his very core. He suddenly realizes why Bruck stares at her- its because she's striking; with her close, cropped blond hair and sharp, azure gaze. "Are you just going to stand there staring or are you going to work with me so we can get this over with?" Siri demands, her lips forming a hard line after she speaks. "Y-yes" Obi-Wan says. She roughly grabs his hand, slams the other into her waist, and clamps her free hand on his shoulder. She glares at him the whole time and he averts his gaze. She finds this just as awkward as he does.**
**He likes to go swimming with Bant in the large pool in the Room of a Thousand Fountains. They pull themselves through the water, Bant's thin form slipping with ease through the water. Obi-Wan struggles to keep up, his growing limbs causing him to lack the grace of his friend. Sometimes this makes him jealous and he almost doesn't do it anymore. But its so much fun he can't resist splashing into the water and diving under the waterfall. One day he and Bant lie side-by-side on the bank, staring up at the bright ceiling, the light so natural it seems like they're outside. "Obi-Wan, you're nearing the age of being accepted as a Padawan...Who do you have in mind of being your Master?" Obi-Wan closes his eyes and lets his thoughts drift to the Masters he's seen. He wants one that's powerful, wise, and kind; one that will teach him well. Than he remembers what happens to Jedi hopefuls who aren't chosen...those sent to the Corps. His stomach tightens. "I'm not sure just yet, Bant. I just hope I get chosen." Bant takes his hand. "I know you will."**
**One day, when he was walking to lightsaber practice, he somehow managed to get his legs tangled together, causing him to stumble-straight into Bruck. The boy falls, his body slamming into the floor with a loud smack. Obi-Wan stares, horror-struck at the undignified sprawl Bruck now found himself in. Laughter sounds around the two boys, growing louder and louder. "I'm sorry," Obi-Wan manages to spit out as Bruck thrust himself to his feet. Bruck's face is livid, his eyes smoldering with rage and and hurt dignity. "YOU DID THAT ON PURPOSE! You fool! You big, lumbering oaf!" He stares at Obi-Wan for a moment, his breathing heavy, his face flushed crimson. Then a wicked smile lights the boy's face and Obi-Wan's insides curled into knots. "I know! Why don't we just change your name? How do you like...Oafy-Wan? That's it!" "It was an accident!" Obi-Wan shouts, his voice cracking, sounding almost like a wail. "Oh dear. Poor, poor, Oafy-Wan!" Bruck taunts and everyone around them laughs again- this time at Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan feels his cheeks redden, his skin heating up with suppressed rage. Bruck steps forward and grabs the front of his tunic, his hand balling into a fist within the folds of cloth as he pulls him close. "Teach you to embarrass me," the boy whispers. Obi-Wan pushes Bruck away and stormes off, fighting back tears of fury.**
**After the incident, Bruck's torments worsen. He and Aalto throws bits of food at Obi-Wan with the Force during meal times and not just soft mushy things like they used to- now its hard nuts or fruits that slam into his skull, sending his mind spinning. Other times, during training he will egg Obi-Wan, taunt him, try to make him slip up and fail. And sometimes it works. Yoda and the other Masters get onto Bruck but nothing works. Bruck is like a wind; uncontrollable.**
**Obi-Wan and all the human and humanoid younglings his age are having a 'special' class. Something about puberty. What ever that is. The boys go into one class while the girls go into another. In there Obi-Wan learns about what will happen to him and the other boys over the next few years. His fingers grip the table in horror. 'What? No! No!' But that's not the worst. The two groups switch, and Obi-Wan sees what will happen to the girls. Its awful. His face burns. He grips the front of his desk so hard his hands go numb. 'How horrible! I feel so bad for them.' After the horrifying revelation all the human and humanoid girls in his clan refuse to speak to him. He can understand why they're angry but doesn't get why they're angry at him. If it was up to him, they wouldn't have to go through those terrible things. No one would.**
**On the day he turns twelve his family contacts him on the Temple's Com. He stands before them, older, taller, his Jedi Robes clean and pressed for the occasion. His mother, father, and brother are all crowded before him, small shimmering blue figures. "Happy Birthday, dear. How are you?" his mother asks. It was sort of strange to hear it know. He knew them by sight but he didn't exactly know them. He'd been back for a visit but his mother had requested they converse from com only now. Obi-Wan understands why. She didn't want to have to be separated from him again. "Thanks, I'm fine." Obi-Wan replies, clasping his hands before him. "Hey Obi-Wan, have you become a Padawan yet?" his brother Owen asks, his face so much like Obi-Wan's breaking into a cheeky grin. Obi-Wan flinches at his brother words. He knows his brother means well and is just curious but it still stings.
"Owen..." his father intones in a gentle, but warning, tone. "I'm sorry," Owen mumbles, looking at his feet. "Its alright," Obi-Wan says, smiling ruefully. "I still have another year to be chosen." "Obi-Wan..." Obi-Wan turns his gaze to his mother whose gaze looks somber. He swallows "Yes?"
"Obi-Wan, we won't be able to call anymore?" Something twinges in his chest, growing larger by the moment. "Why?" he asks. "There is anti-Jedi sentiment flying around on Stewjon at the moment. Its been growing steadily over the years and we're worried that they will find out about you and...hurt you." His throat begins to burn at the words. 'Why does this have to happen?' "So. Will I ever see you again?" his voice sounds small, like it did when he was little and scared. "Yes. One day we will," his mother whispered. He can see the tears on her face, shimmering white against the projected image. "Goodbye my son. I know you will become a fine Jedi." Then she cut the connection. Obi-Wan's eyes fill as he stares at the empty space his family had once filled. "Goodbye," He whispers and turns off the light.**
**Over the year, as he comes ever closer to turning thirteen, Bruck's taunting grows even worse. He will taunt and prod Obi-Wan relentlessly then stop for several weeks so that Obi-Wan thinks that Bruck has given up. But of course Bruck cracked down on him again, even more terrible then before. One day, several weeks before Obi-Wan's thirteenth birthday, Bruck comes up behind Obi-Wan and pushes his fingers against the small of his back. "Hey, Oafy-Wan, practiced your racking and hoeing lately. You'll need them when you head off the Corps." Obi-Wan clenches his fists at his sides, firms his lips, and remains silent. Bruck slaps his shoulder "Hey, Oafy, I'm talking to you. You need to respect your superiors." "All Jedi are equal, Bruck," Obi-Wan replies tightly, desperately trying to control his rising anger."Do or do not, there is no try." Master Yoda's words come to him and he takes a deep breath, shoving the anger from him as he exhales. He starts to walk away. "Good luck at farming, Oafy. That's all you'll ever be good at. You will never be a Jedi Knight." Tears spring to his eyes at the thought. Never holding a lightsaber, never making Master Yoda proud, never saving the galaxy from the evil doers. Never use the Force except to help plants grow. That isn't the life for him. He needs to be out, active in the galaxy. Hoping to hide his tears from Bruck, whom he know would exploit them, he strides off as quickly as he can.**
**Four weeks before his thirteenth birthday, Yoda plans for him to fight another initiate- blindfolded. He waits in a chamber, training saber cradled in his sweating palms. Then the door opens and his one of his instructors, Docent Vant enters. "It is time, Initiate Kenobi." She takes a strip of cloth from a pocket in her robe and wrappes it around his eyes. As darkness descends upon him, he clenches his hand into a tight vice around the hilt of the training saber. He feels Master Vant take his arm and gently lead him from the room and into the sparring room. He feels the stone flooring give way to the spongy mat as he walks carefully forward. He uses the Force to sense his surroundings, picking out Master Yoda, his presence giving off a pure flame of the light-side. He can also sense blocks strewn across the floor, obstacles to add difficulty to the challenge. He also senses another student before him but due to Master Yoda's intervention, he does not know who it is. He waits until Master Yoda gives him the signal, then he ignites his blade; he can feel it shudder against his palms with a steady, reassuring thrum. His opponents lightsaber blazes to life, crackling out like a strike of lightning. "Begin!" Yoda commands and the two initiates leap forward. Obi-Wan's feet land millimeters from from a stack of blocks; he hears one clatter to the floor behind him. He plants his feet and slams his blade forward to intercept his opponents. Suddenly the blade pulls away and Obi-Wan nearly topples forward but using the Force, he manages to steady himself and back-flip several feet away, landing in a crouch, lightsaber raised. He listens intently, tracking the crackling sound of the blade as his opponent stalks forward, feet moving quickly across the ground between them. Then he hears a hiss, smells the blade zinging towards him and ducks, the blade sweeping just a hairbreadth from his scalp. "Good!" he hears Yoda call "Let go. Let your feelings guide you." Hearing these words fill him and energy explodes into his being like a firecracker. He leaps up and strikes at his opponent, their blades tangling together. The battle continues, their blades crashing together, their legs and the Force springing them over the piles of blocks as they battle around the arena. Obi-Wan wonders who is opponent is. Its someone his age and size; he can tell by the way their feet land on the ground and the brief descriptions he gleans with the Force. He imagines himself a Knight then, fighting a Togorian in battle on some far off world. The image becomes real to him; so real in fact he can smell vile fumes wafting towards him, almost taste the malice of his enemy. He attacks more strongly then before, his weapon moving effortlessly, his body and mind in-tune with the Force. He strikes with his blade meeting his opponents, who whirls it down and out. Calling on the Force, he flips over his opponents head and stabs with his blade; the hiss and smell of burning telling him he has stricken flesh. He hears his opponent howl; though in rage, not pain, strangely, and Obi-Wan can tell from the voice its a boy. "That was a lucky blow!" the other apprentice shouts and with a sinking feeling he knows who the boy is; Bruck Chun. His stomach clenches just as elation busts through him. He beat Bruck Chun. He's done it before, they both are evenly matched, but the fact that he has beaten his rival makes his mind swim. "Bruck, leave your blindfold on. A Jedi needs not his eyes to see." he hears Yoda say just as he he hears the smack of Bruck's blindfold hitting the ground. "You clumsy oaf!" he hears Bruck shout and Obi-Wan's heart burns; even as he hears Yoda's reprimand.**
**They duel again and once again, Obi-Wan does well. This time, they are both exhausted; Obi-Wan can tell from the weakening swings Bruck lashes out at him. Soon Obi-Wan decides to take the defensive and just blocks the blows until Bruck gives up. Yoda praises him and tells him he is learning which makes Obi-Wan's heart sing with happiness. Than, after he wipes his sweating face with the blindfold and bows to the Grand Master, Master Yoda tells them something. A Jedi Knight is coming to the Temple tomorrow; seeking a Padawan. The Knight's name is Qui-Gon Jinn. Hope fills Obi-Wan. Maybe he will be a Padawan after all.**
**After Yoda leaves, Bruck taunts Obi-Wan relentlessly. At first Obi-Wan tries to leave but after Bruck throws one of the circular training remotes at the back of his head, he loses all control of himself and confronts Bruck. Bruck keeps at it until Obi-Wan has enough and lashes out, shouting an insult which leads to a fight between the two. Both beat each other soundly and Obi-Wan, sick, exhausted and ashamed, runs to his room.**
**Master Vant comes and tells him he will be leaving to join the Agricultural Corps. How could this be? He still had four weeks left! His dreams, once so bright and brilliant, crash, the embers dying, folding in on themselves as they tumble, turning to dust at his feet. He feels empty. But that isn't the worst. The worst is he is accused of beating up Bruck Chun when is was Bruck who started it. All his hopes burn around him as he packs his bags, every image, every hope, every whisper from the Force; gone with a flash. He would never be a Jedi Knight. Never.**
**He is given another chance. Hope, a small flame he kindles in his heart, begins to shine brightly as he begins his fourth duel that day with Bruck; before Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn. Bruck has fought more ferociously today then he ever has and Obi-Wan matches it with is own. He can hear the spectators in the audience but he muffles it, focusing his mind; it was only him, Bruck, their lightsabers and the Force. Their duel is an intense one; fueled by both their rage. Typically Obi-Wan falls on the defensive and he has in all his other duels today but now he lashes out, striking with powerful, strong strokes, sending Bruck stumbling back in surprise. Then he strikes Bruck between the eyes and the match is over. He has won. He has won. He glances over at Qui-Gon and the Knight gives him a nod. His hopes soar up, through the ceiling of the Temple, and into the sky.**
**His hopes are dashed once again. Qui-Gon is disappointed at the rage Obi-Wan used in his duel; says it would lead him to the darkside. Obi-Wan begs Qui-Gon to take him as his apprentice but the cold, aloof Master is firm. He will not. His heart falls as the Knight walks away. He feels tears burn his behind eyes but he lifts his chin. If he can't become a Jedi Knight, he will leave like one; with dignity. He walks away, sorrow corroding his every particle, his every limb until it consumes him. He tries to shove away the grief that is pushing him into the ground but...his burden won't lift. It's too heavy. He cannot do it. And that is when the tears come.**
**On the ship taking him to Bandomeer he finds out two things: Qui-Gon is also on board and there is a hostility going on between the Miners and the criminal run organization called "Offworld".
Problems seem to follow him every where he goes; on his first day he is attacked and beaten by a Hutt and Qui-Gon still won't take him as an apprentice- even though a grudging respect does seem to be growing in the cold, stoic Master But still he refuses.**
**Pirates are attacking the ship. Obi-Wan can here them banging against the ship, sense of dark foreboding surging towards him like a tidal wave. "Obi-Wan!" he hears Qui-Gon call to him and Obi-Wan goes to him, telling himself to remain calm, that everything will be fine. Qui-Gon tells him that the pirates are getting ready to board and that while he fights them, he wants Obi-Wan to see if the crew is alive and if they aren't, then to pilot the ship. At first he protests, he can't leave Qui-Gon and the others on board, but then he goes with it, swallowing hard, telling Qui-Gon that he won't let him down. 'Can I do it?' he wonders as he and his friend Si Treemba sprint to the bridge.**
**The doors are sealed shut which means the bridge has been hit. They manage to open it and plug the hole from which air is being sucked. Obi-Wan checks the two men, pressing his fingers against their wrists and feeling the flutter of a pulse. 'Their alive, thank the Force.'
Sighing with relief, Obi-Wan quickly moves them and sits in the chair. Through the view-port he can see several pirate vessels, weathered and clunky; all thrown together haphazardly. 'I hope they won't shoot us.' Si Treemba asks what he will do and in answer he he aims and fires. 'You will not harm anyone else on this ship. Not if I can help it.' He loads the cannons again but doesn't fire, instead grabbing the controls and jerking hard, jerking the ship free from its captors. He knew damage had been wrought on the vessel, he could hear it as he pulled free 'Please be safe,' his mind whispers as one of the pirate ship fires. His stomach plummets, nausea ripping him apart, as he feels the ship shudder underneath him as it misses the bridge but still hits. He feels the death of beings strike him, lancing through his stomach with a sharp viciousness. He tightens his perspiring hands around the controls and fires the torpedoes. The pirate ship bursts apart, flames rippling briefly through the black before dying away. Nearby, in the fog that surrounds him, he can sense Si Treemba sending out a distress signal. Then the remaining pirate ship, which is clinging onto their ship's hull, peels away and blasts into hyperspace. He feels himself beginning to shake. He'd destroyed several vessels; he'd taken their lives. He hadn't seen it but he knew he'd done it. He wants to scream. So badly. He can feel it building up inside the pit of his stomach, rising up into his throat. Then he feels the ship give an unhealthy sounding shudder beneath him. And even though he doesn't want to, he knows he'll have to land as fast as possible. And the only planet nearby is a watery world which he knows nothing about. He guides the ship over the silvery water, his gaze tearing the water for land. He travels from day to night to day, the ship's rattling growing worse. His whole body is numb and sweat drenches him and he begins to loose all hope. Then he sees it, a rocky outcropping; solitary and alone. He aims for it and tries to keep the ship from hitting the ground to hard, face taut, groaning. Fear; not for himself, but the others, thrumming through him.
Afterwords he hopes Qui-Gon will reconsider his decision and take him on. But once again he refuses. But maybe, he realizes, he wasn't meant to be a Jedi. And if he can't be a Jedi, he'll do his best to be a good person and help the miners on board. He will protect them against Offworld.**
**His friend his dying. But its not just his Si Treemba, its all the Arconans. Offworld stole all the dactyl, which the Arconans need to survive, and won't tell them where it is. Qui-Gon has went to look for it but he hasn't come back. He presses his face into his knees, chest burning with desperation and anger. What can he do? His friend and countless others are slowly reaching the precipice of death and nothing in his Jedi training can save them. He clenches his fists, his stomach tightening. Then he remembers something, something Yoda once told him when he asked about limits. He had said that, when all hope seemed lost, that he could call another Jedi. He could call Qui-Gon. He closed his eyes, reaching for the Force, grasping it like a thick ribbon in his mind, flattening it into a disc, calling out for Qui-Gon with his all, the Force surging around him, a warmth filling him. Hope.
Then he hears a laugh; a deep, terrible laugh that only comes from a Hutt. He raises his face, fury spiking him in with such vehemence he can almost feel it tingling in his skin. How could someone sit there and laugh while around him, beings were slowly, agonizingly sliding towards death.
Then he realizes something. Bruck was nothing. Bruck was just a mean, cruel little boy but this Hutt- this...Hut named Jemba – is evil. Pure evil. Like the Sith he remembers hearing about in class and in hushed whispers traveling through the darkness when all the younglings were supposed to be asleep. He sees Arconans crawling, dragging themselves feebly across the ground towards the Hutt; so desperate. So desperate. Horror and disgust flood him. He has to stop this. Even if he never becomes a Jedi he will at least honor the Order and stand up for the helpless. "Stop this!" he shouts, igniting the lightsaber the temple had let him take, and leaps forward, landing before Jemba; the lightsaber throwing the ugly Hutt and his minions in stark relief. "Well, well, I'm glad to see that you are brave, even when your Master is not at your back." His rage explodes into his throat then. "Leave Jemba," he says, fury rippling through it even as his voice gives a crack. But he is so angry he doesn't even feel embarrassment. He and a woman named Clat'ha try to reason with the Hutt, try to get him to leave and at least give the dactyl to the Arconans. But Jemba just laughs at him, saying "Isn't this amusing? He is no Force user this one. It's in the ships records. He is nothing more than a farmer, a reject from the Jedi Temple." Anger and pain rips through him so hard he nearly stabs the Hutt through with his blade. Then words come to him. Words from Qui-Gon. 'Jemba isn't my enemy, anger is.' Suddenly he senses something. 'Qui-Gon. Danger' Fear floods him. "Jemba, get out of my way! Qui-Gon's in danger!" But the Hutt laughs "Hah, Hah! Why does that not surprise me? Maybe its because I sent my men to kill him!" But the Hutt is wrong. He can feel it; like millions of insects running over his flesh 'That's not it. Its danger for all of us. And its coming.' "I mean it, Jemba. We're all in trouble." but the Hutt wouldn't listen. And Obi-Wan flips over the Hutt's head and races for the mouth of the cave where he knows Qui-Gon awaits.**
**Overhead the sky is filled with monsters. Now he knows what the danger he'd sensed was. Qui-Gon is there; he has the dactyl, the Arconans will not die. "Go, Qui-Gon. I'll hold the mouth of the cave." He expects a sharp negative retort. He expects the Jedi to rebuke him and send him back into the cave with the dactyl but instead Qui-Gon just looks at him and nods. "I will return," the Master says and sprints into the cave. Obi-Wan held his lightsaber before him and watches as the monsters – draigons, they are called – spirit down towards him, screeching.**
**He will die here. He knows he will die here; even as his lightsaber flashes, even as he flips, dodges, and strikes. Blood splatters him; the draigons and his own, mingling into dark smears across his tunic. The Force is with him. He's never felt it this close, this intimate, this deep. He can see every single attack before it happens. The dead creatures are heaped up around him, their bleeding corpses seeming to drown him. He backs up to the entrance, hoping to block it with the bulk of the birds. 'You won't pass. I won't let you.' Yet strangely he doesn't feel hate for these creatures, just like he felt no fear. If he dies, so be it. At least the Arconans will be safe. Then, through the screeches of the draigons, through the currents of the Force, through the buzzing of his blade and the buzzing in his mind, he hears a voice. "Well done, little one." Obi-Wan can see Jemba through the haze and the sweat that clots his eyes. The Hutt has a blaster and he can help him. "Help me!" Obi-Wan shouts as three draigons attack him at once, his blade swinging up, his muscles burning slightly. "Of course I'll help you- to death." Then he feels the blaster raise towards him. But before the Hutt can shoot Obi-Wan feels something, a single pinpoint of danger shooting towards him, a beam of death. Obi-Wan dodges, feeling a bolt of energy graze his hair. Then he hears a soft grunt of surprise. He turned to see a nasty, smoking gash in the middle of the Hutt's disgusting, muscled flesh. "Oh, Ha!" the Hutt says and expires, slumping forward against his bulk. Obi-Wan continues to fight and soon Qui-Gon appears. So do the miners and Offworld. And together they protect the opening.**
**The finally are able to leave. Qui-Gon comes to see him and Obi-Wan tells him of his experience with the Force. This time he does not ask, does not beg. Because he knows that what lies ahead of him was his destiny and, as a Jedi, he will embrace it. But still, he secretly hopes Qui-Gon will take him as an apprentice.**
**One Bandomeer he finds out that Qui-Gon has a secret. At first he doesn't know exactly what it is; all he knows is a name- Xanatos. It had been on a short note given to Qui-Gon. He asks but Qui-Gon has told him it was just an acquaintance. Obi-Wan doesn't believe him. He can feel something dark and jagged within the Master's chest, something rumbling and dark that scares him somehow.
Then he found out. Xanatos was Qui-Gon's former apprentice. An apprentice that had left the Order. The thought that someone under Qui-Gon's tutelage could have left the Order; turned bad, makes a coldness enter him. Whose fault was it? The teacher or the pupil. He didn't know the answer.**
**It is over. He had been captured and with Qui-Gon's help he's free but now they and all the miners with him on this island are doomed. Xanatos has planted a bomb and soon everyone inside, including Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon will die. After trying multiple times to escape the room they had been locked in, Obi-Wan realizes what he must do. He feels fear eat into his stomach because he knows that he will die. But maybe he can save everyone. He can save Qui-Gon. "There is only one thing to do, I can get us out of here." he swallows, a ringing entering his ears. "I'm the only one who can." Qui-Gon stares at him and Obi-Wan knows that the Jedi will protest. But he will do this. He has to. He bolsters his courage, thinks of his friends back home at the Temple and here in the facility. "What do you mean ?" Qui-Gon asks, an edge to his tone."I have the transmitter. I can reactivate it. If I push myself up against the door, the explosion should open it. You might have time to evacuate the mine." His face is drenched with sweat, dripping into his eyes, as he hears Qui-Gon protest "But you'll never survive the blast." He knows. He knows as he reaches into his tunic pocket and pulls out the transmitter, placing it against the collar around his neck. "Stand back as far as you can," he says to Qui-Gon; meeting the Jedi's light blue gaze which blazed with denial. "No, Padawan. There has to be another way." 'Padawan.' He could have been Qui-Gon's Padawan; had things been different. A gentle sadness enters his stomach, swelling inside him but instead of burning him it hardens his resolve. Not only will he be saving Qui-Gon, he will be saving his Master. "There is no other way, and you know it," he whispers steadily, "Now, stand back." He saw grief rip into Qui-Gon's face. "No! I will not! And I order you not to do this!" 'Qui-Gon, please don't argue. We need to save everyone. Its the Jedi way.' "Qui-Gon, think of the many who will loose their lives, think of what Xanatos will win. Think of Bandomeer. Our mission was to protect it. If I don't do this, we fail." Qui-Gon shakes his head "This is not the way." Obi-Wan shakes his head in return. 'This is the only way.' "Yes, Qui-Gon. I can do it. I will do it." He can see Qui-Gon's face hardening into resolve. "I won't allow it. I'll use the Force to neutralize the collar." All fear has left him now. All that that fills him is determination and a calming peace. He will die but everyone else will be saved. He smiles, shaking his head. "You won't be able to. I know I can fight you and win. Maybe just this one time. But this time I am right and your are not." He presses himself against the door, steeling himself for what he must do, his body shuddering slightly, tears threatening to break through his defenses. He breathes in and the slight emotion inside him leaves him. He thinks of his family, of Bant, Garen, Reeft, Qui-Gon, Yoda. He presses the transmitter to the collar. He locks eyes with Qui-Gon, fully ready. The Force has brought him to the Order, has brought him here, for this. "Let me go, Qui-Gon. Its my time." He closes his eyes and waits. But he didn't die. Instead the door opened. And they escaped.**
**Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are back in their quarters, gathering their belongings; everything settled; the damage Xanatos had wrought at least partly resolved. "Yoda has another mission for us," he hears Qui-Gon say as he shoulders his pack. Hope soars into his chest, filling the emptiness that has eaten through him ever since he left the Temple. He knows Xanatos is still out there; in fact Xanatos has left a note in their room. Yet, Qui-Gon is no longer angry. "You called me Padawan in the mine," Obi-Wan says after a moment, trying to keep the eagerness from his voice and failing miserably. Qui-Gon stares at him, his eyes swimming with emotion. "You would have died for me. Your courage was extraordinary, even for a Jedi. I would be honored to accept you as my Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi." The Force swirls in him and a warmth fills him, snaking through him like the river that runs behind the Temple. He swallows. "I accept, Master Qui-Gon Jinn." His Master nods, smiling slightly "Of course, you would not have succeeded with your plan. I would have stopped you from dying for me." Obi-Wan nearly burst out laughing but, keeping a straight face, he says as serenely as he can "You would not have been able to, Master." They stare at each other and Obi-Wan knows with a feeling deep within his being, that, even after everything that had happened, his journey to becoming a Jedi Knight were just beginning.**