Before All I Am is Emptiness. Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon. Update 1205. Testing for updates post-move

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Valairy Scot, Oct 19, 2011.

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  1. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    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 Tears of the Force. 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.
    Last edited by Valairy_Scot, Sep 7, 2012
  2. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Great start! Great imagery (poor young Obi) and I love the parallels between the mind wipe being akin to death (either true death, or slavery, a living death) and the hole his mind wipe left in the Force because essentially his essence was gone. So sad :_| So interested to see everything you've come up with!
  3. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    How horrible it would be, not to know anything how scarey and to be lost in a world that was foreign to you.

    I'm going to enjoy this.=D=
  4. Shira_Adola Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2011
    star 4
    *grins* Wonderful start. I'm excited already! *rubs hands in anticipation*

    =D= Well done!
  5. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    You started posting it!! :eek: [face_dancing]

    So heartrending, your descriptions inspiring pictures of a totally awesome young man being reduced in his mind to an infant. That's just not right...[face_worried]:D

    I'm so excited. Can't wait for more...=D=

    And yes, PM please...

  6. dimyavie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2006
    star 1
    Sounds like a great start! I love the descriptions and Qui's reaction was great to read as well. I look forward to reading more! :)
  7. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Serendipityaey: The soul remains, the mind is gone - but how gone?

    Gkilkenny: I'm playing this a bit different than you have in the past with Obi-Wan's "amnesia." The shock and wipe combine initially to regress Obi-Wan to infancy, though once the shock wears off, he'll go through the various mental stages of growing up (or so I've planned, you've sparked a tiny thought).

    Shira_Adola: Glad you like it. It's been niggling at my mind for over 4 years but it never quite jelled.

    Obimom: I'm not going to set up a PM list on this story. Too few folks on the list ever bother to advise if they are still reading, and it's hard for stuff to get lost in Before. Just look for the date of updating in the title.

    dimyavie: We have a few chapters of Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon to set up the dynamics of their relationship before Obi-Wan disappears from both their lives.




    Chapter 1. Self Betrayal is the Worst Betrayal of All


    Qui-Gon knelt on the wet pavement, speaking quietly and softly to one of the vacant-eyed lost.

    I stood mortified, my face scarlet.

    Self-betrayal is a terrible thing to realize. One of the things that had always driven me to excel, to do good, to honor the gifts granted me by the Force by being a Jedi knight who served the light was a desire to make things better, even right, if possible. The pragmatic side of my nature understood that leaving the best outcome possible in our wake was fine; the idealistic side wanted to wipe away evil. Perhaps it made more sense to say my mind warred too often with my heart.

    This moment proved I was a fraud. My actions were not consistent with my beliefs.

    Oh, how I had burned with indignation upon discovering this ? this unconscionable assault upon innocents that was being perpetuated around us ? and it was my master who saw past the outrage and saw the victims, this victim; it was my master who stopped to lend a hand while it was I who charged forward, impatient to get to dry shelter.

    Around us, sentient beings of all kinds parted as if we were an obstacle in their paths, eyes turned aside as if by not looking, they could not see. It was a phenomenon seen across the galaxy, a sense that what one did not see one did not have to acknowledge ? much like the monsters under the bed or the Sith in the basement.

    To my shame, I understood them.

    My reasons were different, but no less shameful. Mine was not fear of understanding, but fear of being led astray. Of letting my heart dictate my duty when it should be the Force and the Force alone that should guide me.

    So I saw only injustice - and my master saw those who were trampled by it.

    My master was truly the epitome of what I aspired to be and yet fell far short of emulating. Qui-Gon Jinn allowed both his heart and the Force to guide him and was both a better man and a better Jedi for it. It is true I have sometimes thought his compassion is the only thing keeping him from being a truly exceptional Jedi without peer and I?m sure he thought I would change him if I only could.

    I would not.

    He has his faults, certainly. He is stubborn beyond simple stubbornness, and convinced that his ear to the Force is truer than that of other Jedi. The ?will of the Force? guides him, even if in opposition to the Council?s interpretation of the Force?s will, and often I have felt stuck in the middle seeing truth in both.

    Detours, delays and distractions all too often interrupt our missions as the Council and I too often remind him due to his focusing on the smaller picture when it should be on the larger - the trees, as it were, while the Order and the Force command our attention on the forest in need.

    My master lives in the moment, almost to the exclusion of the future, and I am sure he would happily sacrifice some possible future, even if horrible, to any perceived need of the present. While my connection is far lesser than the knights and masters attuned to the Unifying Force, I, as they, see the need to look forward to the
  8. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    NO PM huh? Fine...:D

    anyway...Obi-Wan is so hard on himself, has such doubts about himself. He examines himself so closely..I'm glad Qui-Gon is able to coax him out of some of that.

    Love their relationship in this.
  9. Shira_Adola Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2011
    star 4
    *huffs* apparently I'm not important enough for a PM. Ah well *tragic sigh*

    I loved the explanation of how Obi-Wan dealt with his self-doubt. And I adored the banter between the two at the end. I rather like the term 'bratling'. That made me laugh[face_laugh]

    I request a PM for your next chapter, yes?
  10. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    Yes Obi-Wan will grow into his heart but Qui-Gon he will grow into yours too.[face_love]

    There is always a way around PMs, just check the active topic notifications to see which story your watching has been updated or posted on. I do that all the time now that we don't get emails from this site.

    That is how I found out that Val had updated.:cool:
  11. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    I like your train of thought and Force philosophy. Please put me on your up-date list!

    @};-
  12. dimyavie Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2006
    star 1
    Thanks so much for the update! I love how you've written Qui and Obi's dialogue - it's great! I can't wait to read more! :)
  13. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Beautiful sentiments from Qui to Obi and I loved their light-hearted banter [face_love]
  14. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Obimom: In a 1st Person POV we are able to examine the internal self-doubts to really flesh out a character. Obi-Wan?s still young, learning how to grow into himself and into a Jedi and this is important as well for what follows.

    Shira_Adola: Everyone is important enough for a PM. I?m just not doing PMs because in general after a while 2/3 of those PM?d never respond and in Before, no story really gets lost.

    Gkilkenny: And Qui-Gon?s heart will be shattered when Obi-Wan?s mind is.

    AzureAngel2: I?m glad you like my ?Force philosophy.? I work hard to make it work for me.

    Dimyavie: Thanks. I rather pride myself on my Qui-Obi (and Obi-Ani) banter, though sadly that is (deliberately) missing in EJC in Saga.

    Serendipityaey: Banter is so much fun to write. The trick with Qui-Gon is to infuse him with the wisdom of maturity without going overboard into super-perfect being. He?s not always going to have the right words or do the right thing, but experience IS a wonderful teacher.



    Chapter 2. Nightmares of Nothing


    I dreamed that night ? empty dreams, absent of sensation or vision ? filled only with pure and utter helplessness. I knew the Force would save me but I did not know what it was and so I wandered in a graveyard of all my hopes and dreams.

    I surfaced with a gasp, my fingers clutching the bed covers as my eyes feverishly identified everything around me ? timepiece, pillow, bed, curtains shifting in the breeze of an open window ? familiar things and oh so dear to me. My ears identified the soft puttering sounds of my master ? Qui-Gon, yes, yes, my master Qui-Gon, and I smiled as his name rolled off my tongue ? fixing first meal and I was oh-so-famished and the galaxy was a wonderful place to be alive in ? I smacked myself in the head for all the mental babbling I was doing, rolled out of bed and almost danced to the fresher and then to the small kitchen of our temporary abode.

    ?Good morning, Master!? I chirped, with the emphasis on good.

    ?Are you well, Obi-Wan?? Qui-Gon stared at me, his hand frozen in the task of dishing out first meal.

    ?Yup, yes, starving,? I almost sang.

    ?You are not well.? He narrowed his eyes at me, plopped a heaping plate in front of me, and laid the back of his hand on my forehead. ?Either that or you are not my padawan. My Obi-Wan trails in half asleep, grumpy, and unable to articulate more than a few grunts until after he finishes his meal.?

    I blew that off with a shrug and a smile. I dug into my meal and was half way through when I faltered. After a deep breath, I set my utensil down and affixed serious eyes on my master. ?Is this what being drunk feels like??

    Surprise and dismay - my Obi-Wan, drinking? - blossomed in my master?s eyes, to be quickly discarded. Swallowing whatever he had been about to say, Qui-Gon reached across the table and rested one of his hands upon mine, his eyes searching my face but allowing me time to gather my thoughts and speak.

    ?I had the most horrific dream last night.? I creased my brow at the memory, wondering how a dream about nothing could be so terrible. I shook my head, unable to answer my own question. ?I think it spilled over into ? that.?

    ?Elation??

    ?Not very Jedi-like, was it, Master?? He grunted, apparently not committing to words. I took a deep breath. ?I think ? my imagination,? I winced, imagination was not something Jedi were encouraged to cultivate, ?created a mental state like those mind-wiped people experience.?

    ?Empathy can be taken too far.?

    My head shot up. ?Empathy, me? I?ve been accused of too much detachment, but empathy??

    ?You prefer over-active imagination??

    ?Well, um, no.? We finished our meal in silence and I cleaned up before bringing a cup of tea to my master and settling by his seat. I needed his guidance as well as that of the Force.

    ?Master.? I swallowed and tried again, finding my thoughts hard to put into words. ?I ? seek balance within myself. I don?t ? touc
  15. Shira_Adola Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2011
    star 4
    Yes! Another post! And I'm the first to respond! *maniacal laughter*

    My friend, that was very well done. The depth of emotion poor Obi-Wan was feeling was so real and based off of real worries and self doubts. I felt so bad for him. And I love the flashback. That was so sweet. I love your Qui-Gon. He's almost like mine, but I need to copy some of your banter *runs away with copywritten material*

    *Bows*
    I look forward to your new post
  16. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    The fear of that vision of losing his memories haunts him, and it is effecting his sanity I think. I love Qui-Gon in this he is so concerned and he is the master he should be to Obi-Wan.

    Well done.=D=
  17. serendipityaey Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    ?Ah, but you?re my idiot, Padawan.?

    :D Sweet and funny at the same time, I love it. And I loved the lesson on perfection, very nice. Poor Obi, perfect, but still he felt he failed, so sad and powerful! And Anakin, so imperfect, but could still prevail in the end. Love it :_|

    This Obi-Wan is very sweet and I'm enjoying reading [face_love] But what's to come?
  18. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Ah...how did I miss this, Val?

    This was brilliantly written...the depth of feeling in Obi-Wan, in self examination, and I love Qui-Gon's compassionate understanding and gentle tutelage filled with wisdom. He is just what Obi-Wan needs in this story.

    I love their relationship in this, which will make the latter part of the story all the more heartbreaking...[face_worried]

    So very well done. You make my stories look like elementary scribblings, but I am learning..I hope...
  19. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Shira_Adola: The depth of emotion poor Obi-Wan was feeling was so real and based off of real worries and self doubts. I felt so bad for him. And I love the flashback. That was so sweet. I love your Qui-Gon. He's almost like mine, but I need to copy some of your banter *runs away with copywritten material* It?s free?


    Gkilkenny: Yup, this is good and caring master Qui-Gon.


    Serendipityaey: Ah, but you?re my idiot, Padawan.? :D I loved that line, too.

    Obi-mom:Many thanks...yes, this is the good relationship between a young(er) Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon.


    Anyway, I thought I?d send us off to the new boards with a past-due thanks for reading. I had some feedback on the next chapter which has made me rethink it - or in other words, step back, rethink and reflect and eventually - rewrite.

    One more post (after this one) and I?ll be at 6262 before the move!
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