Title: All I am is Emptiness/prequel to Tears of the Force Book I Timeframe: pre-TPM WIP Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, others Genre: Drama, h/c, some mush, some angst. Keywords: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, AU Summary: Prequel to [link=http://boards.theforce.net/before_the_saga/b10475/23673415/p1/?4]Tears of the Force[/link]. Obi-Wan disappears after having his mind wiped and Qui-Gon has to deal with his padawan?s loss. So severe was the wipe that Obi-Wan relives his life stages as he struggles to make his way in life. Readers of Tears and its sequel know that in Tears Qui-Gon is reunited with his lost padawan, gone for 5 years and thought dead. Notes: This is LOOSELY based on a reference in JA #3 and the timeline is different, assume Obi-Wan is late teens when he disappears, he is not 13 as in JA. Second note: This deals with slavery. It will not be graphic, but it will not be pretty. Third note: After at least 2 aborted attempts to post this story (starting back in 2006!), I actually have a handle on this ? first 5 chapters are pretty much done. All I Am is Emptiness Prologue Phindar: I knew I was lost?and I would lose everything: who I was, what I knew, and who I loved. Lost?no matter how much I wrapped my memories within barriers, I could feel them leaching away. The times??? and the last thing I remembered?was who I was, I was? I was?. ?.and then?I was gone. The whimper of a child broke the silence, that of one all but still a baby, that knew only food and sleep and comfort and now its absence. The whimper of one lost and alone, and not knowing how else to ask for what it needed. A child now screaming, harsh hiccupping sobs of fear?it had been abandoned. Pleading arms reached out, but there was no one there to cradle the young one and whisper soothing words to calm the trembling body. A young man crouched on the ground, panting in panic, and his eyes were vacant and confused; it was from his throat that the whimpers escaped. He was that child, in all but years, and all his mind knew was that he was alone, all alone, and once, he had not been. He was alone?and the child he was needed comforting. The scream that tore from his throat was heartbreaking. The cry of an abandoned infant. Around him, Phindians cowered and averted their eyes. There was nothing they could do for to help was to accept the same fate. Once a mind was wiped, the being had no way to survive. The being died, or was enslaved. Either fate was death, either in truth, or a living death. No one ever recovered from a mind wipe. No one. Not even one who had once been a Jedi. For now there was nothing but mindless terror. The Jedi was gone. The nearly adult man was gone. Obi-Wan Kenobi was gone. Only a terrified child remained, trapped in the body of a young man. And a bright spot in the Force dimmed and went out. There was sudden silence, too, in the spot where his Force presence had long resided, in the mind of his master, Qui-Gon Jinn. The Jedi suddenly knew, as he had never quite acknowledged before, the comfort that presence had brought him over the long years and how its sudden absence ? hurt. Inexplicably, a warm glow and gentle laugh in the corner of his mind that was his padawan of several years standing ? his friend, his companion, and student ? was gone, snuffed out. Disappeared. The Jedi master stiffened, nose sniffing the air, Force senses outstretched as was one hand ? to touch ? an empty hole in the Force. ?Obi-Wan?? he murmured, as the color drained from his face. Grabbing his cloak, he hurried to find his padawan.