Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Moments in Time: A Star Wars Fanfiction chapter 2
So sorry for taking so long to publish this chapter; I've just been really busy with life and writing my book series that my fanfictions get put on the back burner.
In no way do I own Star Wars or any of the characters, places, or plots. All of those belong to George Lucas(though some of what I've put in here is from Jude Watson's Jedi Apprentice series". Remember, review are always appreciated and I'd love to hear what you think. I apologize for any mistakes in the narrative. And if you want to know, ** represents a segment break.
Hope you enjoy and pay the Force be with you..Always
Time never seems to move yet one day we look back and see how far we've come. We see footprints in the sand and we wonder, was that me or somebody else long gone? And our worst fear is that we won't like what we see.
Jedi Padawan(Part 1): A Jedi Padawan, or Apprentice, is someone who has been accepted by a Master to be trained by until they are old enough to shed their braid and step into the light and into the responsibility of Knighthood. They may not yet understand who they are or what their purpose is, but one thing is for certain; they will forever be remembered among the stars.
**They were on their first mission together. Obi-Wan could hardly contain his excitement. He was to be a Jedi after all! And, while they waited for the ship that would take them on their first mission Qui-Gon gave him a present; for his thirteenth birthday but also as a gift from teacher to student. His Master took his hand and placed a smooth stone into his palm, where it gently rests against his skin. "I found it years ago, when I was no older than you are now." He stared at it, disappointment leaking into him. It wasn't what he'd expected. "I found it in the River of Light on my home planet." his Master continued. He looked at the stone again, gazing deep into the stone's dark depths. He doused his disappointment and met his Master's gaze. "Thanks you, Master. I will treasure it."**
**He is captured. The mission has gone awry. Their pilot took them to the wrong world and they have found that this planet is tied with their previous mission. But now he is connected to a machine which they will try to extract his memories. He can feel the machine throb against his skull, feel as it tries to suck his memories from him. But he won't let it happen. Because he will make them stay. He gathers the Force, building a barrier block by block, around his mind, repeating every memory that he can draw from his subconscious; both the good and the bad. He body feels weak, but with the Force he will succeed. The stone, the stone Qui-Gon gave him, burns against his heart, and he feels the Force radiate from it, giving him strength. He hears Yoda's words in his head "Strength you have, Obi-Wan. Patience you have as well, but find it, you must. It is there within you. Search you will, until you find it and hold it. Learn to use it, you must. Learn that it will save you, you will." And with all of his strength he blocked the machine until it stopped.
That was when he realized the rock Qui-Gon had given him was Force-sensitive. Qui-Gon never confirmed it but Obi-Wan knew, deep down, it was true.**
**He stands with his Master in a dark passage; shadowy but not so inky that he can't see his surroundings. They were on Illum; the planet which, for thousands of years, is where young Jedi go to build their first lightsaber. Excitement fills him at the thought, thrumming through him like bolts of electricity. 'This is it! I'm taking the next step onto becoming a Jedi.' He glances at his Master and, through the gloom, he can see a somber, almost painful, gleam. 'Xanatos,' Obi-Wan thinks, remembering Qui-Gon's apprentice before him. 'He must be remembering him.' He takes in the walls around him. They are covered in paintings; deeply colorful images of the past, of Jedi. He can see images of the two Old Sith wars, the New Sith Wars; even as far back as the Great Hyperspace war and beyond. It was theier history; a long, detailed tapestry, unfolding along as it went and leading up to him now, at this very moment, going to build his first lightsaber. Up ahead, he sees a gaping opening; leading deeper into the catacombs of the cave. Obi-Wan again glances up at his Master and as he does he hears a voice; high-pitched and chilling, striking him in the spine.
"Go back. Here is what you fear." He shivers, curling his suddenly sweating hands into fists at his sides. Fear. He knows he will see visions while inside the cave; images brought by the Force to tempt his, to trick him, and to scare him. They will show him his greatest fears and maybe even things to come. They reach the opening and, when Obi-Wan feels his Master's large hand settle on his shoulder, he comes to a stop. "You must continue on alone, Obi-Wan. I cannot go any farther." Obi-Wan nods and takes a step towards the yawning opening when, suddenly, a man appears before him. He stops, body rigid, staring up into the hot, sparking eyes of the man; a Jedi he realizes. "The Jedi Path is hard and full of denial, its full of sacrifice and discipline. Why follow that path when you could enjoy life, do what you liked, get married, have a family. Why would any fool choose the life of the Jedi?" The man leaned down into Obi-Wan's face and whispered. "Can you do it, child, can you?" Yes, he's come too far now; he almost didn't become a Jedi. 'I won't let that happen again.' "Yes," he says "I can." and he strides quickly passed the man and into the mouth of the inner caves.
The cold prickles his skin, his boots clicking ominously off the stone underneath him, as he walks; muscles tight, senses stretched out, waiting to catch even the smallest of movement. He doesn't want to be surprised. Especially not down here, in the dark, and all alone.
"I will kill your spirit." Obi-Wan freezes, his muscles going taut, his body breaking into a sweat. He turns his head ever so slightly and he sees it, the monster. It stares at him with hideous, acid eyes, its skin bloody with splotches of black. It smiles at him; a evil, terrifying smile that proves its words from a moment ago. "What do you want?" Obi-Wan whispers, his words a line of iciness spreading between the two of them. The monster approaches him, a cowl shimmering around its face, growing larger, his smile stretching into a horrifying sneer. Obi-Wan can feel his legs shaking, threatening to give way beneath him as the monster leered above him. Obi-Wan glares into its eyes, fists tight as it sides. Suddenly he feels something rough and calloused slide down the side of his face. A hand.
"Poor, poor boy," it hisses, the hand on his face pinching into his skin, a vice trying to push him down.
"Come to the dark." The darkness around him deepens, crowding around him, stabbing down into his lunges, suffocating him. Obi-Wan shakes his head, nausea rising up in his throat, heat and iciness fighting for dominance on his crawling skin. He grabs the arm of the monster and howls, jerking free. He takes off at a run, heaving, shaking, and fighting back tears. He comes to a stop and doubles over, arms gripping his stomach, face pinched, lips pressed tight to hold back the screams buzzing in his chest "Obi-Wan..." he looks up through bleary eyes and sees a figure leaning against the wall of the cavern, long black hair springing around dark wild eyes. "Why hello, Obi-Wan." A wicked smile spreads across his face, his already wild eyes lighting up with a livid madness. "Qui-Gon doesn't want you, Obi-Wan. You're just a go between; something to satisfy him until someone better comes along. You're nothing." Pain erupts inside Obi-Wan's chest. 'No...no. You're just a vision, you're not real!' Xanatos steps out of the shadows and leers forward. "He wants me back, Obi-Wan. If he had the choice he'd take me back without a second thought." Obi-Wan shakes his head vehemently. "No, Xanatos. Qui-Gon doesn't want you anymore. You are nothing to him now." Xanatos' face twists into rage-full sneer. "I'm not nothing. I'm only just the beginning." Then the man starts to laugh, a raucous sound, ripping through the air. Xanatos locks eyes with Obi-Wan and disappears into the ground. "Its only starting, Obi-Wan. Its only just beginning." A smoky mist begins to roll in; thick and smoggy around him.
"Xanatos?" Obi-Wan whispers into into the mist as it curls around him, like a huge serpent ready to squeeze him to death. Then a cowled figure appears out of the gloom, steadily coming towards him like a phantom in a nightmare. "Who, who are you?" Obi-Wan asks, his voice cracking.
The figure doesn't answer at first, just keeps coming. It stops two feet from him and speaks.
"I'm in your future. I'm the source of all your pain." Obi-Wan's face twists in confusion. "What?"
"I will tear you down. I will cut open your chest and slice you up." The hidden face leans forward, so close that the edges of the cowl brush Obi-Wan's cheeks. "I will crush you." His heart stops, fear choking him. Then he hears a child scream. "Who was that?" he asks, his voice cracking again as panic sets in. 'Someones in danger!' The hooded man just laughs, grabbing the front of Obi-Wan's tunic and flinging him down the passage. He uses the Force to cushion his fall, which sends him rolling across the uneven ground. He pushes himself to his feet, the raspy dry laugh of the cruel man echoing in his ears. Then he hears the scream again; high-pitched and terrified. 'I must find this person. They're in danger.' He starts off at a run, his skin throbbing with pain from where he'd landed. His feet scuff across the floor as he stumbles through the passages, searching with his feelings. Then he sees light. The crystal cave. He sprints up to it, almost falling through the opening. All around him are crystals glowing contentedly; blue, green, even purple and yellow. Inside the room, he can hear crying. He looks around, hand on the hilt he'd built which he has hanging on his belt. No one's is in the room.
'Close your eyes. Meditate. Then the visions will show you your crystal. And will show you what you seek.' Lowering himself to the ground, Obi-Wan takes his hilt off his belt and holds it in his palms, the metal cool against his skin. 'I'll find you.' He thinks as the whimpering grows softer. He shuts his eyes.
"Obi-Wan." He stands. The cave seems larger; the edges almost transparent like its not really there. Then he hears the crying again, so soft it could be just his imagination. He turns his head to the side and sees a small form crumpled on the ground. Something suddenly hits Obi-Wan in the stomach and he feels tears clot his eyes. He stumbles over to the form and bends down. Its a boy, perhaps around nine, with sandy hair and a thin frame. Obi-Wan slips his arms under the little boy, lifting him into his lap. The boy's head flops towards him, the eyes open to slits, the bleary irises staring at him with a deadness that chills Obi-Wan. "Do you-do you hate me?" Obi-Wan shakes his head, confusion and for some reason, a strange grief, surging through him. "No. Why would I hate you? I have no reason too." The boy nodded, tucking his face against Obi-Wan's chest. "Good. I don't want you to hate me, Obi-Wan." Then the boy seemed to see something behind Obi-Wan and his lids flashed open, the boy's blue eyes wide. His loose and floppy body suddenly tightens in Obi-Wan's arms. "HELP! NO!" The boy begins to scream, grabbing onto Obi-Wan's arms, hands tight with desperation and panic. "HELP! SAVE ME!" Obi-Wan looks behind him but sees nothing. "From what? What is it?" Obi-Wan asks. "HIM! THE MAN IN THE MASK. HE WANTS ME! HE WANTS TO KILL ME, OBI-WAN! HE WANTS TO PULL ME INTO THE BLACK! HE WANTS ME! HELP ME! PLEASE. I DON'T WANT HIM TO DESTORY ME! SAVE ME!" The boy's arms are squeezing around Obi-Wan's chest, taking the breath right out of him. Then the boy looked at Obi-Wan, tears running over his young face. "He wants to me to become him. But I don't want to, Obi-Wan. I don't want to." "Its okay, I'll take care of you." Then the boy tightens again, his body jerking so hard Obi-Wan has to grab onto him to keep him from bashing into the crystals that line the walls. The boy screams again, hands grappling, grabbing onto Obi-Wan's robe with a death grip, the tight fingers shaking so badly that Obi-Wan thought the boy would die from fright. Then he hears something; a terrifying sound. A rough inhale and a sighing exhale. He lifts his face and sees a menacing figure standing over him and the boy; a monster with a horrible mask looming. "Give me the boy, Obi-Wan. Now." the voice is deep, cruel. The boy screams even louder now, the thin body pressing into Obi-Wan so roughly it hurts. Obi-Wan pulls the boy's hands from his tunic and stands, gently pushing the boy behind him. Without thinking he takes the hilt of the unfinished lightsaber and presses the ignition button. A blade of azure flames to life before him, lighting up the gloom like a beam of the light side. "You shouldn't have come back, old man. Now I'll have to kill you." Obi-Wan shakes his head, confused slightly by being called an old man. He looks at his hands clenching the hilt of his weapon. They are still the same; soft, young, smooth. "You will not harm the boy. I won't allow it," he hisses, sliding his feet into the proper placement, holding the lightsaber out before him, ready to block encase the the masked phantom decided to strike. "You ruin your life and all those around you, Obi-Wan. And I will kill you for it." A red beam of light suddenly flares to light and comes swinging down at his head. Obi-Wan parried the blow, the strength of his opponent's blow shuddering through his arms. "Save, me Obi-Wan. Save me from me." Obi-Wan lifted his eyes, glaring into the hollow eye goggles in the mask. "You won't harm the boy. I won't let you." The monster growled. "Always so justifiable, always so honorable. You make me sick." The blade of flame slashed at him and Obi-Wan parried again, the Force burning brightly in his chest. His blade sang as it flashes before him, a perfect pure beam of blue, the smell of ozone creating a shield around him and the child huddling against the back of his legs. Then he closed his eyes and the Force spoke to him. 'You have what it takes young one. Save the boy and save yourself. He is only a vision.' Obi-Wan's eyes flashed open; so calm, so clear-headed he couldn't believe it. He lifted his blade, swinging it high, the blade crashing into the hilt of his opponent, the blood-red blade flickering out. And with a swish and spun the blade around and drove it home through the monster. The mark looked up at him, the eyes goggles burning into him as the mask cracked apart and the figure vanished in a flash of darkness. Obi-Wan stares in silence at the blade in his hands, watches as it thrums. Taking a deep breath he turns to the boy behind him. But it isn't the same boy, or at least its an older version of the boy. His hair is shorter and darker, his apparel is tighter fitting and black. He looks about Obi-Wan's age and his head is bowed in sorrow. The boy lifts his face to him, his blue eyes so filled with grief they appeared torn. The boy's lips tremble and Obi-Wan can see tears sliding down the boy's face. "I'm so sorry, Obi-Wan." The boy stood, his height several inches above Obi-Wan's. His face crumples and he dissolves into tears, falling forward into Obi-Wan, shaking and sobbing as if his heart was breaking. "I'm so sorry. I'm so ashamed." His arms are tight against Obi-Wan's back. He feels tears prickle his eyes and something fills his heart. 'What is this? Who is this boy? Its like we're connected somehow.' Then the boy pulls back, hands around Obi-Wan's lower arms, and stares at him, his eyes haunted, the smallest of smiles showing on his face; almost like an echo from somewhere. Then the boy vanishes but Obi-Wan can still feel a ghostly imprint of the boy's hands on his arms, as if he hadn't really left him standing alone in the cavern.
And he's sitting where he sat earlier, a new lightsaber hilt shimmering in his palms.
Confusion fills him and for a moment he feels lost as if he'd took a wrong turn in a maze. What had happened? What did it all mean?
'I'll have to speak with my Master about it.'
He stands, slipping the new lightsaber onto his belt; the weight of it a lot heavier then it had been before.
And as he leaves, he feels something warm stir against him, as if he'd walked through a desert breeze. He returns to find his Master standing where he said he would. He forgets the the face of the masked horror but remembers what happened in the cave. Its scares him; so much in fact that afterwords he lies awake in the bedroom he shares with his Master, processing everything he'd seen in the caves. The images begin to blur; the memories becoming slippery and elusive, but still he remembers the boy crying. Even though in several months he can no longer recall the boy's face he can recall the desperation and the grief. What the cave was trying tell him escapes him. All he knows is that something will happen to him in the future. But what he doesn't know.**
**They have been traveling for weeks. Obi-Wan glances into the sky, watching as spirals of fleecy white clouds tumble overhead in the sapphire expansion. "Hey, dolly day dream, pay attention!" Obi-Wan sighs, shifting his gaze to the protuberant boy beside him. The boy is none other than Prince Reitin, the heir to the Throne of Liona; and its his and his Master's duty to protect the boy and his body guard until they reach the palace- and to stop any assassination attempts that might be made against the him. That was why they were traveling on foot- to escape unwanted attention. Forcing his face into a blank mask, Obi-Wan turns away from the smirking prince and continues trudging forward, grass whipping against his shins in the cold air. "Hey, Braid-Boy, I'm talking to you!" Irritation snaps through Obi-Wan then and a sharp glare manages to push its way through his defenses. Then he sees the look on the body guard's face and he begins to mentally chastise himself for his slip-up. The body guard, known to Obi-Wan only as Seekim, is a strongly built man with arms as thick around as Obi-Wan's torso and a face so mean it sent small tremors of fear lacing through him. "Watch it, Jedi," the body guard hisses, stepping close for a brief moment before stalking away.
Soon they arrive at a place to stay the night, a small, abandoned shack several meters away from a rustic looking village. The Prince, constantly complaining about the hard floor and how a person his station shouldn't have to go through this, lies down on a thick mattress. Obi-Wan can hear his moans from the door where he and his Master stand, looking out into the fading twilight. "I'll walk the perimeter, Obi-Wan. You stay here with Seekim and protect the Prince, do you understand?" Obi-Wan nods "Yes, Master" Qui-Gon smiles at him, pressing his hand gently into his shoulder before lighting outside and into the quickly descending shadows. Obi-Wan sits by the entrance, crossing his legs, hands resting lightly on the sides of his knees, relishing the cool air as it brushes passed him. Closing his eyes, he lets himself drift into the folds of the Force; surrounding himself with it. Then, suddenly in the warmth and light that he floats in he feels something...off. A sickening pounding tugs at his stomach, like the claws of some hideous beast. A shuddering pulse races up his spine painfully, the uneasiness and sickening tug entering his mind. Then he hears a sound and a jolt runs through him; his eyes snapping open in alarm.
He sees Seekim slowly approaching the entrance, a strange, twisted smile on his face. "Where are you going?" Obi-Wan asks carefully, keeping his tone level. The man turns to him and grins.
"Just going for a walk, little tyke. I'll be back later." Something definitely didn't feel right and Obi-Wan became even more sure when the man ruffles his hair; the sweating, hot hands chaffing his scalp. He swallows. 'I have a bad feeling about this...' He watches as the man strides out through the ocean of shadows, wading through them like the murky depths of some filth-laden sea. 'The man is heading towards the village...why?' He feels a tremor start inside the flesh of his hands, a hot sweat breaking out across his forehead. 'I have a very, very bad feeling about this.' That's when he hears the screams; so full of terror they crash against his hearing like a thousand pointed spears. He bolts to his feet, sprinting towards the sound; the screaming gouging into his brain, peeling it open and slicing it to ribbons. Stretching out with his feelings, he finds it; pure terror, bubbling like fiery lava, scorching him. Its coming from a small hut, exploding from it like a bomb of massive destruction. He forces his feet to go faster, his heart screaming in his chest. The door is slightly ajar and Obi-Wan thrusts it aside with ease, stumbling into the dark space to the source, terror washing him like a wall of fire. He can see Seekim, a looming leering beast standing over a small, scrawny looking woman; Seekim's thick hands crushing her wrists. He is shaking roughly her and roaring obscenely, horrors spewing from his mouth in a torrent; terrible things that bite down on his stomach and crunch it. The man slams her into the ground repeatedly, howling "YOU WILL OBEY ME! YOU WILL, YOU WILL YOU DAMN WENCH!" The woman continues screaming, her eyes screwed shut, jerking at the man's hold, but her efforts are feeble. Fury rises up in Obi-Wan then, so bright and red hot that it inflames his limbs. He springs forward, screaming, grasping the muscled shoulders and, even though the man was heavier than he, and even though the man is stronger, because of his rage, his terror, his training, and the Force, he is able to fling the man across the hovel, causing him to slam into the far wall. He glances at the woman crumpled on the ground; blood clotted across her face, clothes torn to shreds, dark, twisted bruises rising across her lower arms, cheeks, and neck. And he knows what almost happened to her. Chocking on a scream-infused sob, Obi-Wan turns back around to face the man getting to his feet, his face twisted into a monstrous rage. Something rears its ugly head inside him, crashing through his chest; hate. A shudder runs through him at the thought. Hate leads to the darkside...Taking a shuddering breath, he lifts his fists, sliding his feet into their proper placement and staring at the man straight in the eye, his breath coming in and out in ragged gasps. 'How could he? HOW COULD HE? He is SICK!'
"Get away from her," Obi-Wan whispers, his voice laced with a deathly calm, his arm muscles quaking as he watches the man. "You foolish boy," the man spits in fury, hand flashing to his belt where he drew a blaster from seemingly out of nowhere. Obi-Wan moves, crossing the space faster than an eye-blink, tearing the gun from the man's hands and tossing it across the room. The man howls his fury and slams into Obi-Wan, knocking him to the floor; his muscular bulk crushing him. "I-will-take-what-I-want-you-filthy-Jedi-spawn," the man pants to Obi-Wan; his breathing that of a monster. "Now-I will-take-what-is-rightfully-MINE!" "NOOOOOOO!" Obi-Wan howls, punching his knees as hard as he can into the man's stomach, using the Force in a billowing explosion to throw the man off him. He stands and the man rushes at the woman; who still lies, semi-conscious on the ground. Drawing his lightsaber, the blade humming vigorously to life, he leaps forward, thrusting himself between the woman and the monster of a man, lightsaber reared back. "Stay away from her!" Obi-Wan shouts, his feet landing softly on the dirt flooring of the hut. "GIVE HER TO ME! NOW!" the man's eyes are those of a mad thing, a mindless beast...almost Sith-like. "Get back!" Obi-Wan shouts, lightsaber pulled back, the light of the sapphire blade throwing everything into stark relief. "NOO!" Seekim's voice no longer sounds human as he rushes forward, recklessly, madly. And as his huge frame looms above Obi-Wan he swings his blade in an arc, and out of fear, anger, and panic, plunges it deep into the man's strong chest. Suddenly time slows, the seconds stretching out as he watches Seekim look down in shocked, horrified surprise at the blade shimmering through him and at the small hands clutching the handle. Obi-Wan raises his face to the man, watches as the eyes, wild, deadly, connect with his; watches as they film over, feeling the man's blood splatter his hands. Then the life inside the man is gone.
Pain. It rips into him. He can feel the man's life force ripped from him, can feel the void in the Force where there once was life; growing larger and larger, looming up like a shadow, bearing down on him. The blood on his hands burns his skin as the void closes in around him; the lifeless eyes staring out at him from the corpse and the life ripped away rampaging through his insides. Supernovas go off inside of him; the emptiness crushing him as an accusing voice shrieks in his ears. He's killed. One hand lets go of his lightsaber, sticky with blood, and presses it to the chest, vainly searching for life. None. He's killed. He slowly falls to his knees, the body thudding to the floor beside him. Everything is cloudy around him; the walls of the hovel swaying before him; smearing into a seamless blur of browns and grays. He's killed. He raises his hands before his eyes, the flesh stained red, one still clutching the handle of his lightsaber; the blade throwing a film of eerie blue on the corpse. He's killed. He hears a voice and looks to the source. Its the woman; her lips are moving but he can't tell what she's saying. He tries to answer but instead he screams.
'I killed! Oh, Force, I killed!' Agony devours him, guilt so thick it squashes his stomach and he throws up. He lies huddled against the dirt, eyes squeezed tight. 'Qui-Gon! Qui-Gon! Qui-Gon!'
He's drowning; he can't breath. The smell of blood is everywhere; congesting his lunges, choking him, smothering him. And he can't see, can't see anything but the dead man before him. He's killed.
Then he sees Qui-Gon in the doorway; emerald lightsaber drawn, face a grim mask. His eyes meet Obi-Wan's and his face changes as he rushes to his Padawan's side. Obi-Wan feels his Master's strong arms lift him and Obi-Wan presses his face into his Master's chest. Sobs crack his chest as he heaves; his face wet with tears; his throat raw from screaming. He feels his Master stroking his face as he weeps.
"Please forgive me," Obi-Wan sobs, gripping the front of his Master's tunic before falling into unconsciousness...
He awakes to soft sheets spread across his thin frame; a thick, feathery cushion beneath him, a cool breeze tingling across his face. Opening his eyes, he sees, in a blurry mesh across his vision, his Master leaning over him, a large hand against his forehead. "How are you feeling Padawan?" his Master asks softly. 'How am I feeling?' A vile shock of pain shoots in a small beam through his insides and he moans. Then he remembers something. "The woman...is she all right?" Obi-Wan asks breathlessly; a gigantic pounding erupting through his skull. Then he spies his hands; still coated with blood. 'I need to clean them. I need to GET UP!' Pushing his filthy hands into the soft fabric beneath him, he struggles to sit up. His Master lies a hand across his chest and gently pushes him back onto the pallet. Obi-Wan pushes against his Master but Qui-Gon is too strong. "No, Master...I need to..I need to.." "Here, Obi-Wan. Let me clean your hands for you." He feels a cool wet cloth scrub against the flesh of his hands and then the worst comes to his mind. Panic flying through him, Obi-Wan launches from where he lies, scrabbling across the mattress, but his Master catches him yet again.
"Obi-Wan..." His head falls forward and he begins to sob. Blood staining his hands, life leaving; sucked out of the Force like a candle going out. And the insistent, cruel voice screaming how its all his fault. "Since when did Jedi cry?" Obi-Wan doesn't even look up; doesn't care that the Prince Reitin is seeing him so broken. He just wants the pain to go away. "Prince Reitin, will you please leave us?" He hears the Prince scoff. "You'll never make a Jedi Knight if you act like a crybaby girl all the time." Obi-Wan still doesn't look up but whispers. "There is nothing wrong with being a girl, Prince. Nor is there anything wrong with weeping."
The Prince scoffs again and Obi-Wan hears as his footsteps recede and he remembers one last thing; a small shadow compared to everything else raging in his brain. "I left him. I forgot my mission. I'm sorry Master," Obi-Wan mutters, a shuddering sob an echo behind his words.
"Obi-Wan, its okay. You did the right thing, saving that woman. I'm sure she agrees with you."
"I do." Obi-Wan lifts his head, his gaze meeting the woman; clean; dressed in a clean white blouse and pants. Suddenly she runs to him; pulling him into a tight embrace. "You saved me, young Jedi," she whispers into his hair and he can feel her body shaking. She pulls back, touching his cheek with the palm of her hand. "I'll never forget what you did for me." Swallowing, he nods; taking her hand in his and giving it a squeeze. Her eyes fill with tears and she leans forward, kissing his forehead. And then she is gone. Blinking in confusion, Obi-Wan lets out an exhausted breath, and slumps against his Master. His Master is holding him now and even though Obi-Wan typically find physical contact awkward; there is no place he'd rather be. "I'm glad you're safe, Obi-Wan." Closing his eyes, Obi-Wan fights the urge to weep once again. "Cry Obi-Wan. There is no wrong in that." He does. And, in his Master's arms, he realizes something. 'He seems...he seems almost like...a father.'**
**After he returns from the mission, Obi-Wan spends a lot of time alone; meditating on his action and debating on whether or not it was the right course of action. He keeps as far away from Bruck Chun as he can; hiding in secluded areas of the Room of a Thousand Fountains, the spray cooling his feverish skin and mind. When he's not alone, he's in the small living quarters he shares with his Master; sitting on a chair and staring into space. But everyday, the burden he carries grows heavier. He can feel it in his bones; a sag that pulls him down. When he looks in the mirror he sees something different in himself; something-wrong. He's started to constantly rub his hands and sometimes, in the deep of night when he's curled into a ball all alone, he can't stop. But his Master is with him through it all. And he begins to feel that Qui-Gon actually wants him.**
**He's always wanted to be a Jedi. From the moment he heard that he had it in him to become one, it has been his goal. He's trained and practiced all his life; honing his skills until they come second nature to him. And the Temple is his home; he'd never wanted to leave.
Now, however, everything is a jumble. He and his Master are on a mission to the world Melida/Daan to rescue his Master's friend Tahl who had been captured during a mission there.
The planet is in a desperate vice- Civil War. The two factions, the Melida and the Daan, are slaughtering each other and no one remembers why anymore. But the worst is what its done to the families. They are staying with the Young- children from both sides who want to stop the fighting. Watching the thin, desperate, determined children and teens stirs something in Obi-Wan's chest; he wants to help them...he MUST help them. Then there's Cerasi; one of the two leaders of the group.
He's...drawn to her somehow. He can see how much she is hurting; behind the thick walls she's built around herself. But, Qui-Gon, he can tell is concerned about Tahl and leaving; he doesn't seem to care. Obi-Wan can't understand it; why doesn't his Master want to help these people. Its a Jedi's duty! But all his Master can focus on is saving his friend; who is now blinded. He wants to help Tahl too, but the Young need them. Otherwise the planet will fall into an abyss; and the youth will face death all too soon. What can he do? He calls to the Force, asking it, begging it, to help him. But all he gets are the words. 'You must make your own decisions.'**
**And he has. He has seen the atrocity the Melida and the Daan have recked on this world. He's seen them mow down their own children without a care. And he can't, can't let that happen. He stands before his Master now; standing at the crossroads. He must make a choice; will he stay or go. "You must choose, Obi-Wan. You can go with me now, or stay. Know that if you stay, you are no longer a Jedi." Something cracks in his chest then. No longer a Jedi. He's given up so much to become one. Can he throw his training away that easily? Should he? He glances at the hilt in his hands. Then he remembers Cerasi and Nield, the limp, bloodied corpses of the Young scattered about like stones, the hate that had curdled into the planet's people for so long that it remained there. It hurts him so much that feels as if his heart would break. And he realizes that fixing this wrong is more important to him then being a Jedi Knight is.
Resolve flows through him as he stares into his Master's grief-torn eyes.
He remembers what the Force told him. Swallowing, he tightens his hands. 'I must do this. I must save this world.' "I have found something here more important than the Jedi Code. Something not only worth fighting for, but worth dying for." Numbly, he raises his hands and relinquishes his lightsaber to his Master. "You may go, Qui-Gon Jinn. But I will stay here." He sees a spasm cross his Master's features. A shudder runs between the two of them. Anguish. So raw that Obi-Wan can feel it bite into his mind. His Master stares at him a moment; with eyes so wounded Obi-Wan nearly takes back his words. But, he clenches his jaws; images of the dead springing up. His Master turns then; entering his ship; his back so rigid it could be made out of stone. He watches as the ship takes off; his eyes burning. 'I'm sorry, father. I'm sorry.' Then, wiping his eyes, he turns and runs forward into his new life; head held high.**
**Everything is over. Both sides face each other; a burning inferno between the two. But Cerasi runs in-between this fire; speeds through it, shouting denial; no weapon on her. And she falls, crumbling slowly; wounds smoking. All Obi-Wan feels is panic as he runs to his friend; catching her just as she fall the last bit, landing in his arms. She stares up at him, eyes unfocused; film rising through the irises. He's in a haze; the moment pulling into a long, agonizing span of time. He shouts, screams, though what is words are he doesn't know. All he knows is that he must save Cerasi. She can't die. He raises his hand and she tries to do the same but before her hand can brush his she gives a jerk and lies still. He checks her pulse; nothing. A burst of denial rips from his throat; howling around him like a storm. Does he scream, does he cry? Is he silent. He can't tell because all he can feel is pain. It ruptures him; tears him apart piece by piece before piercing his chest with a final, agonizing blow. He hugs her corpse. And he is alone.**
**Words echo in his mind. Words by Nield; whom he'd considered his friend. Nield, who is storming away. "You're nobody, you're nowhere,and you nothing to me." What can he do? Where can he go. He can't go home, he can't return to Qui-Gon, he can't return to the Jedi Temple, the Young don't want him. 'Nield is right. I am nothing. I belong nowhere.' He feels so numb; so lost. All he wants to do is curl up in a ball and die; let the skies overhead crush him. He bowed his head and as he did he heard words from his childhood; repeated like an overlapping echo to Nield's words. "Always here, you may come, when lost you are..." Then the Force speaks to him. 'You were meant to be a Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Remember that. Always remember that.' He lifts his face to the sky overhead. Breathing in, he reaches for the Force, calling it to him and he realizes what he's known all along.**
**His hands tremble as he contacts the Jedi Temple. He knows Qui-Gon won't accept him back; he's hurt his Master too much for that. But maybe they can help him fix this broken world. He owes that to Cerasi. And maybe, just maybe, they will accept him back. When Yoda answers he tells him he would like to speak with Qui-Gon. Master Yoda is kind and a small grain of hope kindles inside of Obi-Wan. His Master appears on the screen then and Obi-Wan sees his agitation even through the pixel hologram. "I don't have time-" his Master begins and Obi-Wan's already bleeding heart gushes even more. "Cerasi is dead," he says softly and sees the effect his words have on Qui-Gon. The hard ridges in his face soften, a flash of sadness crossing his eyes. He takes a shuddering breath, for a moment remembering the feel of Cerasi in his arms as she died. And agony rips into him. Swallowing, he continues "She was caught in a crossfire between Elder and Young forces." The numbness of his tone surprises him. Blinking away stinging tears he forces himself to continue, his hands shaking. "Now each side blames the other for her death. Even Nield is ready for battle. Wehutti's forces have rearmed. My squad has been disbanded. I have no command, no way to convince the others to disarm." His words come out clipped, brief. He sounds like a soldier. Bitterness fills his mouth at the thought.
His Master-no, not his Master- steps forward and a deep hopelessness fills Obi-Wan's soul. "I don't know what to do. I am no longer a Jedi. Yet I know what a Jedi can do." He inhales and sees the sadness in Qui-Gon's gaze. He wishes he could reach through the pixels and embrace Qui-Gon. But instead he continues, forcing the rawness from his tone. "Qui-Gon, I realize I have done harm to us. But will you help me now?" his breath catches in his throat. He has no way of knowing how Qui-Gon will react. After a moment he cuts the signal, his eyes eternally locked with his former Master's.**
**Qui-Gon does come. But things aren't the same. His Master isn't mean to him but things seem...broken. He know sees he erred. He has broken Qui-Gon's trust. He wants to be a Jedi again; the desire for his old life growing inside his chest. And not only that, but he wants Qui-Gon as his Master. He remembers the connection they once had and his heart hurts with longing. But he knows that things will never be the same. Even as he and Qui-Gon save Melida/Daan, even when he is given back his lightsaber, even though he is accepted back into the Temple, even though Nield and him make up, he knows he faces a rough road ahead.
He and Qui-Gon hurriedly rush onto their ship to fly to Coruscant after a message telling them someone had tried to assassinate Yoda. And as they ship leaves Melida/Daan, Obi-Wan stares at the receding world; hand to the plasma. 'May angels lead you home, Cerasi,' Obi-Wan thinks, leaning his forehead into the cool window, watching as the planet, along with Cerasi, vanish from sight.**
**The Jedi Council doesn't trust him, Qui-Gon doesn't trust him. Even the other children his age don't trust him. The only people that still trust him are his best friends Bant, Garen, and Reeft. He wants to help investigate the assassin and his helper, who might be Bruck Chun, but the Council doesn't want him helping.
Well too bad, he was going to investigate; starting with some of Bruck Chun's friends. He begins to walk down the passage, searching for someone to question. He'll help the Jedi and prove his worth. He clenches his hands into fists. He has to.
Then he sees a figure striding from the opposite direction. Siri Tachi. Before he'd become Qui-Gon's Padawan he'd seen her with Bruck; they'd appeared to be friends. 'She might know something.' "Siri!" he calls out and she turns. They've spoken briefly before but never had a true conversation. When her gaze meets his something funny sizzles in the pit of his stomach. Biting his lip, he shakes away the strange feeling. Then he sees her face change; guarded, cold. She approaches him, eating a fruit, and staring at him with her striking blue eyes. "Obi-Wan Kenobi. I heard you were back." Her tone is flat and for a moment he wishes she would smile. Mentally kicking himself he speaks. "Siri, you were a friend of Bruck's. Did you notice any signs of anger or rebellion in the past few months? Or anything out of the ordinary?" She doesn't answer; just stares at him with her eyes; hard like sapphires. He realizes he's made a mistake; being Bruck's friend might not be a good thing to be at the moment. His mouth is dry as he opens his mouth to speak, but before he can fix his blunder, Siri starts talking. "What's it to you?" Irritation flashes in him; flaring up against his ribcage like a wall of fire. And that stupid feeling in his stomach won't leave him alone. Forcing himself not to snap back, he begins "I want to help Qui-Gon find Bruck and the intruder-" "Wait a second!" Siri interrupts "I thought Qui-Gon dumped you. And you dumped the Jedi." Agitation creeps into the base of his skull; pounding through to behind his eyes. "I didn't 'dump' the Jedi. And as for Qui-Gon we..." pain spurts in his chest. He shakes his head. "You shouldn't listen to gossip." She raises an eyebrow towards him. "So why do you want me to gossip about Bruck?" He sucks in air, rubbing a hand across his face. "The Temple is under siege. I'd think you'd want to help." Her cheeks flush red with anger. Mentally wincing, he knows he's hit a nerve. "I don't have to help you, Obi-Wan. You're not even a Jedi. But for your information, I wasn't a friend of Bruck's. He just used to hang around, trying to copy my lightsaber moves. He knew I was a better fighter than he was. So does the rest of the class. I thought he was a bore. He was always trying to impress me. That about sums up our supposed 'friendship', all right?" Obi-Wan nods, forcing away the thought of Bruck trying to impress Siri; the idea makes him...angry. "All right. But if you think of anything-" "And another thing," Siri interrupts again, still munching her fruit. "I do care about the Temple. You're the one who left the Jedi. When you did that, you cast doubts on the commitments of all Padawans, present and future. You made all Jedi Knights question whether we're as committed as we should be. You're almost as bad as Bruck!" A sickening, burning feeling slaps him. 'You don't understand!' he wants to howl. 'You weren't there. You didn't see all those dead children. You didn't have your friend die in your arms.' He can feel his cheeks flame up and rage hits him at the thought. They stand there a moment, eye-to-eye, glaring. Then Siri's face turns red like his and her eyes slightly widen. "If you can think of anything that might help, please see Qui-Gon," he says, forcing his words to come out. "I will," Siri mutters quietly, looking away. She looks sad. And he can't bear that. "Obi-Wan-" No. He can't hear her apologize. She meant every word she said. Something inside him sinks as he says "I have to go," and hurries away.**
**It is all Xanatos's doing. And Bruck; that mean, stubborn boy whom had once seemed to terrible to Obi-Wan, had helped. Now, Bruck is grinning a sneer; mocking him. Much like he had in the past. Except this time something besides Obi-Wan's feelings are at stake. Behind Bruck, in the large swimming pool she'd loved so much, is Bant- chained to the bottom.
They fight. It is almost like a training session except for the raw fury in his opponents eyes. Its blood-lust. 'Bruck wants me dead...'
He can see Bant in the water; her eyes open and seem to look at him but he can't be sure. 'Hold on, Bant! I'll save you.' He can't let another friend die. He can't. But her live force is draining slowly away.
'She'll die if I don't hurry!' Panic is eating its way through him, now and he blocks Bruck's blows, fighting the impulse to give in to his anger. "That's right, Obi-Wan. Bant is dying. I won't have to do a thing. I'll just make you watch." He can feel wrath building in him now but he forces it away. He can't let it cloud his judgment. "We would have freed her if we got the treasure. But another person will die because of you." Pain grips him, strangling him. "Right in front of your eyes. Just like your friend Cerasi." 'No...No.' "I overheard the other Jedi talk about how you failed her." Wrath erupts in him; her name snapping every bit of self control he possess. How dare he speak of her. How dare he.
He fights this boy, attacking wildly; passion working up into a whirlwind inside his chest. And he's loosing. Loosing because he can't control his emotions. 'Bruck will kill me...' But...he sees Bant. And he hears the Jedi Masters in his head "This is the moment. The very worst time is the time you must follow the Code. Cast away your doubt, Padawan. Let the Force enter you." He inhales, his anger, guilt, grief, and pain spiraling inside him. Then, with a harsh exhale, they are gone. He lifts his saber.
And fights Bruck as a Jedi.
Farther into the battle they go, plunging deeper then Obi-Wan ever thought possible, into the Force. Their blades fly, ozone crackling in the moist air.
And water rushes out from the pipes, showering Bruck with water.
And Bruck's lightsaber sizzles out...
Obi-Wan shouts at him to give up, but he refuses; denial, his sword of rage. He moves to pick a stone to hurl.
And the water pulls at him, and his feet slide on the stones beneath him.
Obi-Wan sees the panic in his rival's eyes as he flails at the brink. Dead eyes are staring at him.
And without thinking, he leaps towards the boy who has tried to kill him and his best friend. In slow motion he watches as Bruck tumbles back. 'No! I can't be the cause of another death!' With a burst of speed he reaches for the boy, the tips of his fingers brushing his rival's as Bruck tumbles.
And bounces off the walls before rolling to a stop on the ground below.
His head is turned at an obscene angle; the neck already swelling.
Film buzzes in Obi-Wan's vision as he springs down to the broken body stretched out on the rocky ground. 'I killed him.' His stomach clenches as he drops to the ground beside Bruck's form. Bruck's eyes stare at him; cruel eyes now empty and foggy. Eyes of the dead. Numbly he touches the pink, swollen flesh of Bruck's neck, pressing down, feeling for a pulse. There is none. His hand falls away.
Here lies the boy who had tormented him as a child, tried to kill his best friend and all he can feel is grief. He had disliked the boy, maybe even hated him, but he'd never actually wanted him dead. He remembers the ghost of the boy's fingers against his. He is too late. A stone drops into his heart as he takes the key from Bruck's corpse and stands; stumbling blindly towards the water where Bant lies. And he dives into the water of the pool to save his friend.**
**They have finally caught up with him. Xanatos stands before them; face twisted in a sneer, wild, black hair flashing before his eyes. All is silent between them. Obi-Wan watches as Xanatos looks at the two of them; Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan's stomach is tight with dread. Something bad is going to happen. Then Xanatos speaks; his voice a mixture of hysteria and loathing. "I am your biggest failure. Live with that. And live with this." Obi-Wan senses his Master's emotion erupt; an explosion of pain so vivid he feels it slice into his skin. And before either of them can do a thing, Xanatos leaps, performing a masterful back-flip, laughing the whole time, his body spinning in mid air.
And landing in a pit of black acid. Obi-Wan's breath leaves him as he watches Xanatos's contorted face stares up at them; eyes flashing hatred, the unbroken circle screaming from his skin even as he burns. He can't look away; not even as Xanatos's face melts, the scar stretching out until it dissolved. A cloak drifts to the top of the acid. Obi-Wan wants to scream, wants to throw up, wants to bury his head in his Master's robe. 'NO!' Nausea rising, he turns away; the ghost of Xanatos's laugh echoing in his ears- imprinting itself in his mind forever.**
**His nightmares are worse now. When he isn't dreaming about the man he killed he's dreaming about Cerasi dying in his arms, his hands almost saving Bruck but not soon enough, or of Xanatos burning to death in the acid, his laugh screeching through up to the heavens. He wakes up in the middle of the night; sweating, his shirt sticking to his flesh, a suppressed scream buzzing in his throat. When this happens he meditates; releasing his fears, anger, guilt, and grief into the Force. Sometimes, even though he is certain his Master isn't over his leaving the Order, Qui-Gon will come sit on his bed; resting his hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder until the boy falls asleep. Obi-Wan always feels better when his Master comes to him during those times when the nightmares are so real he can't release them; it makes him feel more secure. And, as he stares into the darkness, the comforting weight of his Master's hand on his shoulder keeping the memories at bay, he begins to hope that there relationship might mend.**
**But in the light of day, where his fears and pain recoil from the harsh brightness, he pulls back. He MUST be the perfect Padawan. He must never show any weakness, none of any kind, to his Master. If he slips up, if he fails, his Master might throw him away again and he will be alone.
"Padawan, you look exhausted. Why don't we rest?"
"Padawan, its been nearly two days. Are you hungry?"
And even though every muscle in his body feels as if it wants to fall off and his body wants nothing more than to fall to the ground; and no matter how much the hollowness spreads through his stomach, he always answers "I'm fine, Master." He has too. He knows, deep down, that this is putting even more distance between the two of them but right now, its all he can do to cling to his Master. He must make him proud.**
**One day, while meditating beside his Master in the Room of a Thousand Fountains, while mist sprinkles him with cool spray, he realizes he loves Qui-Gon. It doesn't surprise him, however, because he always has; ever since his Master tried to stop him from dying on Bandomeer...maybe even before.
He opens his eyes and looks up at his Master's tall form. Qui-Gon's eyes are closed and his large hands rest lightly on his knees; almost appearing to float. The feeling is strange to him; its different than how he feels for Bant, Garen, Reeft, Cerasi, or Si-. But it is just as strong. Is it attachment? Attachment is wrong for a Jedi to feel but to him it doesn't feel that way. 'Its not attachment. Its love. There's a difference.' "Apprentice, your thoughts are wandering again," his Master says, eyes still shut. Before, he would have felt chastised, felt angered, felt hurt but things are different now. Steadily, they have grown back together and now, after being broken, their bond is more strong than it ever was. Now, he hears the slight hint of amusement in his Master's tone, and he knows, in that instant, that his Master loves him too. Smiling, Obi-Wan closes his eyes and joins his Master in the endless flow of the Force.**
**One day, whilst on a mission, Obi-Wan notices something odd as he and his Master stride through a walkway congested with people around his age. All the girls seem to be watching him. Something is almost predatory about them; the way they giggle and whisper when he passes, their eyes never leaving his figure. Girls at the Temple never do this nor have any he has ever met or worked with. 'What do they want? Are they in on something?' He finds himself suddenly pulling near his Master, their tunic sleeves brushing. Obi-Wan waits until they've passed the adolescents before he speaks. "Master...why were those girls staring at me? Do you think it has something to do with our mission?" His Master gives an amused snort which only perplexes Obi-Wan further. "Well, my young apprentice you are a good looking boy and you are also a teenager." Obi-Wan gapes at his Master's, his cheeks flaming. "So-so you mean that they were staring at me because they think I look nice?"
"Precisely, my young Padawan." 'My Master appears to be enjoying this a bit TOO much.' Obi-Wan thinks as he hurries to keep in step with his long-legged Master.**
**Obi-Wan plows through the hallways of the Temple, a fire in his skin, arms crossed vehemently over his chest. He and his Master have fought; about what is already fading from his mind. All he can think of is the harshness of his words and it sickens him. 'How could I have spoken so hotly? It was wrong if me. But I still feel like I was right...' Through the heat surrounding him, he finds himself in front of the door leading to the star room. It seems right, he knows it. He reaches out, fingers splayed, and pushes the door open. The light inside is dimmed, a swirl of stars cartwheeling around the space inside. He steps inside, closing the door behind him. Ahead, he sees a slim figure standing amongst the stars, her short dark hair prickling out from the sides of her face like grass wisps. "What is it, Padawan Kenobi?" Tahl. Breathing in, cool air rushing through him, he steps forward. She turns around, her sightless eyes surveying him. "You had a fight." It isn't a question. Averting his gaze, he gives a nod.
He hears her booted feet clatter across the floor and feels her strong hand on his shoulder. He lifts his head and feels tears sting his eyes. He blinks, dashing them away. "He still cares about you, Obi-Wan. He always will care about you." "B-but I stormed out." "Were you right?" He nods. "Well, explain to him what you think and come to a conclusion." He nods and sighs, collapsing into a chair, head in his hands. "I just want him to be proud of me." She bends down, running a hand through his hair. "He does Obi-Wan. Trust me, he does." Then a smirk comes into her voice. "He's put up with me since we were children. I'm more of a handful then you Obi-Wan. You're doing fine." And he is.**
**Siri Tachi. He doesn't know what to think about her. She's infuriating; so much in fact that he looses control of his agitation and lashes out. She sometimes can make him feel like emotional toddler; all the hard work he has put into his self-control gone in a blink of an eye. And, to make things worse, when ever she glared at him, or gave him that disapproving glance with her bright blue eyes he is filled with a strange emotion he can't name. She makes him want to scream and sometimes she makes him want to laugh. Before they were rivals but now he doesn't know what to call her- is she a friend? He doesn't feel the same thing for her that he feels for his other friends.
When they work together on a mission, they work together quite well but something is between them- something that crackles and snaps like the agitation he feels burning in his chest when he's around her. He lies on his back, staring at the dark ceiling of the room he shares with his Master and questions what is going on. It scares him, his mind being this chaotic. But soon he pushes whatever it is that is filling him away and pretends it is not there at all. It's the best he can do.**
**Obi-Wan walks from the stifling debating room, having been excused by his Master to take a break and stretch his legs. Sunlight shimmers before him, peering through the crisscrossing limbs that knit over his head. He enters the garden, the thick, tangled boughs of trees blocking most of the heat from his head. Obi-Wan smiles; he and his Master have been on many missions to warring worlds where hopelessness and desperation reined and it had been weighing on him greatly. It was nice to be in peaceful, calm surroundings; even if he had to sit through long talks about things he didn't quite understand. He comes to a clearing, liquid golden sunlight glowing like a manifestation of Ashla itself, in the air. He stepped from the cover of branches and into the light, warmth soaking through his light tunic and onto his skin. Sighing contentedly, he lowers himself to the ground, the grass warm and soft against his palms. Then he senses a presence and hears the whisper of boots on grass. He turns his head to see a small girl of about nine peering at him from behind a swath of plant fronds. "You're a Jedi." Her voice is so serious, so pointed, that Obi-Wan has to smile. "Not yet. I'm just an apprentice." She points at his belt. "You have a laser sword." He nods, tapping the hilt with his fingers. "A lightsaber. And yes, I do. All apprentices do." She steps passed the fronds and stares at him with her piercing green eyes, brow pinched. "Jedi don't have mommies or daddies. My friend, Cara, told me that Jedi don't have any family at all." A strange feeling enters Obi-Wan's chest, one he doesn't have a name for.
"Jedi have family. Otherwise we wouldn't exist. But we don't grow up with our parents like normal people do, we are raised in the Temple. The Jedi are our family." The girl stares at him, little brow still wrinkled. "But don't you remember your parents at all?" "I remember them but I don't know them," Obi-Wan answers patiently. "But who takes care of you?" "My Master," Obi-Wan responds immediately. It is true; the creche minders and his teachers have always taken care of him but it's his Master who has helped make him who he is today. "I saw him earlier. He gave me this," she says, pulling out a small piece of twined string, shaped sort of like his Padawan braid. She smiles at him. "Is he like your father?" Obi-Wan sees his Master then, waving at him; it was time for him to go back to the debate. He looks at the girl and nods. "Yes, he is my father." He stands then and strides away.**
**There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force.
Obi-Wan thinks he finally understands what the Code is trying to tell him. That emotion does exists but a Jedi must confront them, accept them, then move on so they can find peace. 'I have sorrow. I have anger. I have impatience. I have them, I accept that I have emotions, but I will let myself feel peace.'
Ignorance exists, but one must not diss a being because he or she thinks them foolish; even the fools can be wise. 'I must not just trust my rational mind. I must trust my intuition, my instincts, and my heart.' Passion exists but a Jedi must check, lest the they act rashly and lose objectivity.
'I will learn to master emotions and not let passion for power to corrupt me.'
Chaos is real, very real, but -'A Jedi must not let it overwhelm them. A Jedi must understand that everything has a place; that chaos and harmony are two sides of the same coin.'
The last one, however, Obi-Wan isn't sure he understands completely- all he knows is that the death is the next step of a journey into the mystery of the Force.**
**Obi-Wan races across the ground, wet slush from last night's rain splattering his tunic and pants as he tries to slow time with the Force. It had been a trap and he hadn't seen it coming, hadn't even thought of it occurring.
He can here their voices now, murmuring in a steady babble, not suspecting the danger, not anticipating their likely demise. His chest burns, his legs cramping and threatening to break under him as he continues his desperate gait. He crests the hill, tearing his lightsaber hilt from his belt as he plunges through the banks of thick mud towards the huddled group below. For a moment his heart rises in hope. He's made it. Then a dark rush of foreboding slams into his chest and he nearly falls face first in the mire. He calls on the Force and leaps forward but it's too late. Shots ring out, rising in a cacophony of thunder that knifes into his gut, causing him to slip, a shower of filth raining down on him. 'NOOOOOO!' He howls in his mind as he thrusts himself to his feet and runs to the site where they lay- the people he's sworn to protect, who he'd sworn to take to safety.
The bodies are scattered in mounds, blood soaking patches of their clothing, their faces twisted in shock and horror. He is shaking now. How could this have happened? He is a Jedi; it was his duty to protect these people. He has failed them. Falling to his knees to a shot-to-rags man, he feels as if his body is collapsing in on it's self. I failed. He feels sick and all he wants to do is to sob into the dirt like he did as a small child. But he can't.
"Hey, look! It's one of them Jedi." He raises his head and sees the scattering of men and women who have done this barbaric deed; their faces hid by vizors. His stomach knots and his vision swims briefly with shreds of scarlet.
"What should we do with him?" a man asks the leader who is a woman dressed completely in armor. Her helmeted head slowly turns towards his mire-streaked, tear-clotted face and stares. Obi-Wan wants to knock her to the ground and scream at her, demand how she could so casually take so many innocent lives. But that would dirty those who died today's memory. He stands; a bar of cyan flashes from the hilt in his right hand. He hears their taunts but the meaning escapes him as he slowly marches forward, stepping tenderly over the dead. At last he reaches her, the wind blowing the bitter scent of death through his hair and over his face.
"Surrender." he says tightly, staring into the black holes that are part of the woman's mask.
A low, guttural laugh whispers from behind the cruel, faceless helmet.
"You think you can make me surrender? Your nothing but an insignificant child."
"You killed all those people and you will face charges from the local government," he says to the statue before him. Because that's what she is; a statue without a heart, without a soul.
"I will not face any such thing. What makes you think you, a boy with a weapon he can barely wield, do against us great Mandalorians?" A flash of understanding ripples through Obi-Wan's shuddering mind. Mandos.
He's heard of these so-called warriors; beings sometimes hire out to become bounty hunters or mercenaries. Beings who hate Jedi like himself.
"Now, child, stand aside," the woman says, sending a sharp front snapping kick towards his groin.
He slams his arm out and blocks her leg, hand latching onto the muscled calf and shoving, causing the armored woman to stumble to the ground. Obi-Wan lowers his cerulean to the woman's masked face, his lips trembling.
"Surrender," he says again.
"I don't have to hurt you. Stand down." The woman gives a metallic sounding laugh which rattles from beneath her mask like the dying giggle of some insane Hutt.
"You think that puny little YOU has any chance against the honorable sisters and brothers of Mandalore?"
"I don't know if I do, but I will stop you." The woman stands and the others with her quickly flank her.
"Or die trying," she says and he can hear the smirk in her tone. He raises his blade and he can feel his lungs burning with a flaming inferno he knows will take a long time to abate.
"Jedi do not try. We do or we do not." The woman launches herself at him and the others fall suit, descending on him like ravaged bird of prey. His lightsaber flies from his hands but he doesn't fall; somehow, miraculously he manages to keep them off him. The Force swells and swirls about him and as soon as he submerges himself in its tide, they can no longer touch him. A loud slap punches through the air and the beings all fall to the ground, helmets gone, armor streaked with wet sludge, and head bows. He reaches out a hand and calls his blade to him. The woman raises her head and gives him a scorching look with eyes of gray.
"What ya going to do, boy? Kill me?" He deactivates his blade and shakes his head.
"No. But you will all be brought to justice for the many crimes you have done.: He hears the sound of walking and as he turns he sees his Master crest the hill. And finally he allows his heart to cry with sorrow**