Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ZaraValinor, Jan 31, 2012.
Thanks for reading, jacen200015.
Oh oh oh oh oh. Oh.
Ten years later, wow... I was not expecting that!! But it worked amazingly. I loved being thrown into the thick of the story! It was exciting and drew me right in. I loved how you wrote Anakin, I loved Antares, loved, loved and her friendship with Anakin and how she was pining over someone, the hint of it (please let it be Ben! Please let there be lots of yummy tension, please let them get together!) lol Loved that you brought Bail into it. Loved what you did with Xan and Anakin's cheek with him was PERFECT! Oh I want to see Ben and Antares together, interact and I only just met her! That takes talent. The League? Intriguing! Love what you've done with Ben... Just perfect and awesome. I cannot stress how much I love this chapter, the hint of where things are going and where they've been...
Just loved it. Please more soon! Fantastic job! Wow!
Sorry it took me awhile, the tag didn't come through. But feel free to tag, message me, call me, knock on my door... Anything!! Loved it!
I'm so glad you like Antares. It was a little scary introducing her. You make me feel giddy. Thank you so much!
We all must make choices. If I believed in luck, I’d say you’d be lucky if all your decisions were good versus bad. But in my experience, I’ve often been stuck between a rock and a hard place. A bad choice against a very bad choice. It is a wise man who can distinguish between the two. I have not always been a wise man.
Padme watched Ben’s brow furrow than unfurrow, the familiar line that seemed to threaten to bisect his forehead flashed in and out of existence. She’d seen him like this before, his mind working and then reworking as he tried to see the smaller parts of the bigger picture. Ben always knew what he had to do, he sometimes stumbled on the best way to do it. They were all feeling their way on hands and knees in the increasing darkness.
“Bail’s settled. He’s got questions, but he’s agreed to hold them off until we get back to the Chu’unther. I contacted Mon Mothma, she’s ordering a security team to watch Brea on Alderaan,” Padme said.
“That’s good,” He said. “That takes care of one problem.”
“And the other?”
“I don’t want to get Anakin out of the Temple too soon. He needs time to get the information we need. But the longer Antares is there, the more she’s in danger. If the Jedi learn of her ability, I’m not sure what they’ll do with her. She could be turned into a weapon against us.”
Against you, Padme thought tightly. She held her tongue. She hadn’t exactly been in the limelight of politics lately, but she’d learned when and where to press an issue. Ben was already pressed as it was. Adding to his dilemma wouldn’t help matters.
Instead, she sat at his work table, took the hand that had two fingers pressed against his eyes. “So what do we do?”
Things had changed greatly between them since the day he’d come to possibly assassinate her. Naboo had fallen under separatist control, the galaxy was at war, and they had been slowly, systematically gathering those to their cause. Ten years ago, when Ben had seen the collapse of the Republic and civility, they’d known that their little group, their League would be one of the bastions of a society. A beacon until the Republic could begin again. And in those ten years, away from her parents, her sister and nieces, Ben Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker had become her family.
He smiled at her and she saw the youthfulness under his strained features. He was only thirty-seven years old, but for the last ten years he’d had the wait of a worlds on his shoulders. No one quite understanding the load he carried.
“It’s time we visited an old friend.”
Xanatos couldn’t remain in the Temple with Anakin Skywalker here. Although he had come a long way from Naboo and the pain of Obi-Wan’s death. The boy was a major reminder that he did not want to deal with. He’d planned on hiding out in his quarters until the Council made a decision regarding Anakin and his friend.
He’d been on his way to do just that, when he’d crossed paths with Enilee. It had been a painful decision, but Xanatos had decided that continuing his forbidden relationship with his fellow Jedi was too dangerous a path to continue to follow. If Obi-Wan, who had always followed the rules, could have diverged so radically to willfully killing in cold blood – what would Xanatos’ rebellion bring him to?
Although, their exchange was easier than it had been in years past, Xanatos had come to a difficult realization. He still loved her. Despite the distance, despite forcing himself to end their relationships, love still remained.
That and Skywalker had brought him to the Council’s door. He’d ask them for a mission and he’d be safely away from the past, with only the present to affect him.
Qui-Gon had yet to be granted access to Anakin Skywalker. With the boy once again under the shelter of the Temple, the Council was anxious to learn where he’d been. However, the girl that had accompanied Anakin was being all but ignored. If he couldn’t get the answers he wanted from Anakin, he’d go to this girl – Antares.
They had kept her in a sealed cell since Anakin had said that she carried some sort of illness. From watching the real-time feed of her cell, he’d already seen her pacing back and forth, tugging and then re-tugging on her long gloves. The girl was more than nervous, she was afraid.
When Qui-Gon entered, Antares backed into the furthest wall away from him. He would have believed she was cowed, if it weren’t for the fire sparking in her blue eyes. “Who are you?” she demanded, her voice sharp. She wasn’t just afraid, she was angry.
Deliberately, he moved further into the room. He had the feeling that he was confronting a caged Sathela cat. If he blinked at the wrong time, he could find himself clenched in her unyielding jaws. “I’m Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn. I’ve come to ask you some questions, if that’s all right?”
At his name, something softened in her eyes and her desperate need to be as far away from him as possible eased. She leaned against the wall, her muscles deflating. Her mouth opened as though she wanted to say something, but it shut only a minute later. Qui-Gon felt he could almost see her mind turning. If he hadn’t been standing right in front of her, seeing her with his own eyes, he may not have known she was there at all. Her thoughts were so quiet in the Force.
“You’re Anakin’s friend,” she eventually said. “He said we could trust you.”
“You and Anakin are in no danger here,” he assured her.
She cocked an ebony brow at him. “Then why am I being held prisoner? Why were we picked up in the first place?”
“The Jedi have been looking for Anakin.”
“Is it illegal to leave the Jedi?” she snapped.
“No, but Anakin’s guardianship was with the Jedi. He was given to us for protection as well as to learn the Jedi way. It was a promise made to his mother. He was born under unfavorable circumstances.”
“Does he seem damaged to you?”
“No,” Qui-Gon said slowly. “But some problems aren’t readily seen.”
“You think he’s been subverted. A traitor to the Jedi, to the Republic? That other Jedi, Xanatos, thought he was a separatist.”
Qui-Gon eyed her. “We believe he’s in league with Ben Kenobi.”
She made another unnecessary adjustment to the cuff of her gloves. “This bothers you? Why?”
“He’s evoking a memory of a man I held dear.” This was not how he expected this interview to go. He was answering more questions than he was asking. “And I’m afraid he sounds like an anarchist. Not someone I want my very powerful, very young and impressionable friend to be associated with.”
“But you don’t believe that,” she said, her dark blues eyes boring into him, more knowing than they had any right to be. “Not entirely. You know somewhere deep down inside that Ben Kenobi is more than he appears. You know that there is something wrong in this galaxy. More than the Sith, more than senate squabbling. You believe Kenobi might be the answer.”
“What makes you say that?’
“There’s hope in your voice.”
“Do you know him? There’s fondness in yours”
“I don’t think anyone really knows him. Maybe Anakin, but even then Ben’s focus is keeping him protected, teaching him, making him the best Jedi he can be. He’s not opening up his fears to him. I think he’s been living in the shadows too long.”
Siri knew as soon as she entered her quarters she was not alone. She slipped her lightsaber into the palm of her hand, but didn’t ignite it. After a moment, she breathed a sigh of relief and called the lights on. “Kenobi, really? There are better ways to ask for my help.”
Obi-Wan stood with Padme Amidala, the politician that had become a spy. They unfolded from the wall like they had been born from the shadows. She’d met up with Padme on Chandrilia when she’d been sent to find Ben Kenobi’s organization and infiltrate it. Instead of Ben Kenobi, she’d found Padme Amidala. Carefully, Padme had subverted all her attempts to learn more of the organization while seemingly nothing but friendly. Eventually, the girl had decided to show her the truth.
And she learned the hero of Naboo, the destroyer of the Sith, hadn’t really died, he’d been fighting a secret war. Now she was their go-to person when they needed information or something regarding the Jedi and the Temple.
Siri accepted Padme’s hug, while Obi-Wan circled her quarters. It still threw her every time she saw them. Padme’s warmth so un-Jedi-like but welcomed and Obi-Wan’s familiar detachment. “What would you have me do, Siri?”
“You could leave a note. Leave a message with Dex. “
“I’m afraid there was no time, Siri. I need a diversion.”
She glared at him before turning back to the younger woman. “Padme, can you translate? He so loves being cryptic.”
“Anakin and Antares were taken by the Council. We need a diversion so that we can get Antares out of the Temple before they learn she is an empath.”
“Oh, I see,” she muttered grudgingly. “Why are we always rescuing her again?”
“We’ve rescued her once,” Obi-Wan countered. “Besides, I thought you two were getting along better. I will never understand the animosity between you.”
Siri cocked a questioning brow at Padme. “He’s being serious?”
The younger woman gave a knowing laugh. “He’s being serious.”
“What?” Obi-Wan asked, pausing his perusal of her room to look at them.
“Don’t worry about it,” Padme said placating. She showed a rare display of familiarity, patting his cheek with. Obi-Wan’s façade often seemed impenetrable, but Padme had been able to break through it.
“So what were you thinking?” Siri said, bringing their attention back to the matter at hand. “There’s not much I can do in the Temple without throwing off a major alarm.”
Obi-Wan shot her a smirk, the one that played upon his lips when he was holding back a laugh. “You’re going to tell them the truth. You’ve had an intruder.”
Anakin looked up and offered Master Windu a smile as he walked in. The Jedi Master seemed to not have changed in the least in the ten years he and Obi-Wan had been absent from the Jedi. He was still as bald as ever, tall and domineering. As a child, he’d been intimidated even afraid of Windu. Now he only had pity for the man. He’d given up his ideals for security and it had slowly been twisting the Jedi Order to something that would one day lead them down the same path as the Sith.
Yet, it had been a twist of fate that had allowed Anakin to escape slavery on Tatooine because the Jedi had been looking in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’d been saved because the Jedi were being destroyed.
Windu didn’t even know what was happening. As the Jedi regarded him, Anakin could only feel pity and frustration at their position. He had a feeling they would have always been at odds no matter the circumstances.
“Anakin Skywalker. We’ve been searching for you for a very long time,” Windu started. “Where have you been hiding yourself?”
The question was more on a lighter air, but Anakin could hear the sharp undertone. “Here and there. After Obi-Wan died, I wasn’t exactly sure what to do.”
“You could have returned to the Temple,” Windu pointed out.
“I was confused, scared. Knight Cyell had killed Obi-Wan. I wasn’t sure if it was safe to return.”
“Now? Well, I’m not actively trying to hide, Master. I used my old Jedi passcode because I lost the one the docking bay gave us. I didn’t know the Jedi would still be monitoring so closely. As you said, it’s been a very long time and the time to return to the Jedi has long since passed.”
“Not necessarily,” Mace muttered.
“Master?” Anakin hoped he wasn’t laying it on a little too thick. He wanted Windu to believe that he was not only a threat but also eager to be an ally.
“Of course, I cannot speak for the entire Council, Skywalker, but if we can get their approval and if you are willing to break previous ties, I’m sure we can welcome you with open arms.”
Anakin had no doubt that ‘breaking previous ties’ was meant to mean his rumored connection to Ben Kenobi. He had a feeling that it also entailed telling all of Ben Kenobi’s secrets. Maybe even act as a double agent. Of course, this all took into account that he would ever betray Obi-Wan. And that was out of the question.
“Master, I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t even hope for this.”
“Think about it,” Windu interrupted his babbling. “In the meantime, if there’s anything you can tell us abou…”
A siren broke into the room, a whirling monotone note that rose and fell in volume. Lockdown procedures snapped into place. Anakin heard the magnetic lock cycle on. Obi-Wan was working faster than he had expected.
“Master is everything all right?’
“Fine,” Windu assured him. He stood up and went to the comm station. He read the flashing warning, than turned to the door keypad. He typed in his override code and started through the door. “Stay here.”
“Of course, Master.”
Anakin waited a moment to make sure that Windu had left then he rushed to the comm unit. All comm units were patched into the system mainframe. So that all unrestricted information, mainly anything but captured Sith history, could be accessed at any time. With the right passcode. Anakin didn’t need the passcode. The league had several very talented splicers. They had created for Anakin a device that would rewrite the part of the mainframes operating system.
He pulled what looked like a holo disc from his belt and slapped it onto the comm unit’s stand. He pressed the activation switch and waited while it did its magic. He could build a processor, he could make a protocol droid, but he could never understand the subtleties of programming. As the tech did its work, Anakin glanced between the screen and the camera.
Whatever the emergency was that Obi-Wan and Padme had created, he would only have a few minutes before he was detected. Thankfully, the comm unit opened up to him like a cheap holonovel. He just needed a name. One name.
When Antares heard the siren, she knew that it was her moment. Casually, she began to peel away at the gloves protecting her arms and hands. She hadn’t done this in a while, was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to control her power. There was always the chance that she would overwhelm Master Jinn, crack that fragile balance that maintains sanity.
“What’s that sound?” she asked.
“That’s the intruder claxon. Don’t worry, we’re quite safe here.”
She rubbed her hands together, the flesh feeling strange. For so long there had been nothing but cloth against her skin. “Is that unusual?”
“Yes. I will have to leave and help secure the floor. But first…first I must ask you a question.”
“Was Ben Kenobi once Obi-Wan Kenobi?”
“Obi-Wan Kenobi died on Naboo,” she declared. With that, she reached out and grasped his hand. She felt the devastation renewed, the loss of hope, flood through her. She imagined herself as a mirror, turning those emotions back onto him.
It was an inexorable time later, when he slumped to the table in exhaustion. She slid her hands back into her gloves. Swallowing down the memory of his emotion, she fought to build her shields. She leaned over the Jedi Master, whispered in his ear. “Obi-Wan Kenobi died, but he didn’t need to stay that way.”
Just read the prev. chapter...wow...ten years!!
A lot has happened since then...and it appears many Jedi are now assassins now?
The Order seems to have really gone downhill...so glad Obi-Wan (Ben), Anakin, Padme and company have formed a league to stop it.
Obi-Wan is quick and has taught Anakin well. Its cool seeing Siri being able to help Obi-Wan out
Yep, the Jedi Order is still tending to slant down hill. Their still not as bad as the Sith. Thanks for reading!
They're pretty smart and used to this by now. They have plans and plans and contingent plans for their plans.
Great to see that they are building in numbers, Obi-Wan is leading them to a great battle. I wonder will any of the council be saved?
Wow...just read the chapter in the temple....Siri is secretly helping them!!!
And I wonder why she hasn't gotten along very well with Antares...could it be because she loves Obi-Wan and she knows that Antares does also? (or am I misreading ) Anyway..Obi-Wan is so clueless...how adorable.
So many great things in this chapter! Loved it and so looking forward to more, I just absolutely love the intrigue and mystery, the adventure and the hint of something between Ben and Antares and I can't wait to see what comes of it all Loved the appearance of Siri and the interplay between the three of them - somehow I don't think it's because Siri 'loves' Obi-Wan, and is jealous...that doesn't seem very Jedi-like, and I do like to think of Siri as a consummate, great Jedi despite emotions (which we all have!) Oh I just can't wait to see more and more of Ben You're doing a really great job with this!
Absolutely love this part:
Liking Antares more and more and love her last line at the end too. More!!
Yeah, they are building in numbers. But things are getting more intense.
Really its very complicated.
Obi-Wan's gotten used to keeping things very close to the chest. And for anyone to break through that, they will have to fight for him.
I felt the weight of my destiny. I didn’t know that others saw it and felt it with me.
Obi-Wan sat inside the darkest corner of Dex’s diner with a cup of Jawa juice. Once Siri had given the alarm that there was an intruder inside the Temple, he’d given the Masters something to chase after. He never could stay in the Temple over long anyway. There was always the chance that someone would see him and recognize him. And he was very careful who he let into the League and when they entered.
He’d waited until Bail’s life was in absolute danger before he even made a move. Once you left your normal life behind, there was no turning back. There would be times he could contact Breha, to let her know he was still safe, but they would be living a life apart. And like the rest in the League, Bail would now be looking over his shoulder, until the galaxy broke into chaos and they Republic could begin again.
Glancing at the door, he couldn’t help imagine Padme, Anakin and Antares walk through and greet him with harried but relieved smiles. Anakin would have the information they needed and they could possibly stop a war.
The other reason he’d been loathed to take Bail out of the Senate. They needed reasonable heads for as long as possible. There was a war brewing. Peace accords were harder and harder for the Jedi to broker. And when they failed, more and more assassins were being sent out. Obi-Wan knew how subtle that line was, how easy and difficult it was to cross all in the name of duty. He’d been in Garen’s place, he couldn’t condemn his old friend. Yet it worried him. How long would it be before he ran into Qui-Gon or Xanatos?
He’d liked to think that his former Master was far too clever to be so manipulated. That after Naboo, Xanatos would rather impale himself on a lightsaber than to cross that line. But the Force was clouded by the Dark Side, muddying clean waters that had once been so easy to traverse.
He put his hand on his sternum, where Cyell’s lightsaber had impaled him, felt the round disk of gnarled flesh underneath his flight suit. It still ached off and on, he could feel the weather in his ribs. It was also a reminder – that there was a Light Side to the Force and it had wanted him alive.
It was a great and terrible burden. One he worried he wouldn’t be able to live up to.
“I know that look, old buddy,” Dex said, slumping into bench across the booth. “You’re worried about the kids, but they’ll be fine.” The bulbous eyes narrowed on him. “You’ve lost weight.”
Obi-Wan grinned to deflect the truth. “You say that every time I come in here. If that was true, I would be transparent.”
“Ah, but you are my friend. But you are. They’ll be fine. Don’t worry. I’ll bring you a Bantha steak and a basket of fried tubers.”
The Besalisk headed to his kitchen. Even if Obi-Wan protested, Dex wouldn’t listen. He never had. One of the first things he and Anakin had done after he had healed from Cyell’s blow, was to go back to Naboo and rescue Dex. Once they got out of the atmosphere, the big Besalisk had taken them to task. Dex had been furious that they’d risked a rescue. But Obi-Wan couldn’t allow his old friend to rot in a Separatist prison.
Obi-Wan was toying with his food, trying to make it look like he was eating when Anakin came into the diner. Worry again, made his stomach gnarl. The women should have beaten him here. He caught sight of Obi-Wan and made straight to his booth. He slide next to him and grabbed a fried tuber stuffing it into his mouth.
The older man watched him with amusement as Anakin popped another tuber. “Hungry?”
“You have no idea,” Anakin answered around the food. He smuggled a bit of Obi-Wan’s juice.
“Where are the others?”
“There were still Masters hunting through the corridors. Siri stashed them in her quarters, until it was safer for them to break away. They shouldn’t be too far behind me.”
“Did you get the information?”
Anakin held up the disk of a copied memory. “I saw Master Sifo-Dyas’ name. He has something to do with it. But he was dead before we left, wasn’t he?”
“Yes,” Obi-Wan mused softly, taking the disk from Anakin. Had Sifo-Dyas been assassinated because he’d learned something or had he moved without the Council’s knowledge? When everything was secreted, kept in shadows, it was difficult to plot your next move. How many had tried to save the Jedi in their own way? “Anything else?”
“They’re worried about you. Ben Kenobi you. Windu tried to bribe me with entry back into the Jedi, almost fawning. It was hard to keep a straight face through that one.” Anakin paused to breath, eating and talking. “What are you thinking?”
“Dooku is connected to it somehow. I sense a trap.”
“And the Jedi are about to spring it,” Anakin agreed.
“But Sifo-Dyas was an honorable man. He couldn’t be a part of the set up. Something is out of place.”
“What isn’t? And honorable men can be deceived,” he said, giving Obi-Wan a pointed look. It was a point of contention between them. Anakin believed Obi-Wan needed to forgive his past mistakes and Obi-Wan felt he couldn’t afford to forget.
He gave his apprentice a smirk. “Dooku is adept at making your actions seem praiseworthy.”
“So what do we do next?”
“Follow the threads of our investigation, see which ones meet. In the meantime, we have Bail safe and secure on the cruiser. He’s awaiting answers.”
“For a man who doesn’t like politicians, you certainly have a lot of them hanging around you,” Anakin teased.
Obi-Wan snatched a tuber of his own before Anakin inhaled them all. “Padme and Bail don’t count.”
“And Mon Mothma?”
“A necessity for the future. I’m not trying to save the Republic only to rule it under a dictatorship.”
“Are you sure you can keep her cloaked?” Padme asked Siri, watching Antares fidget in the corner.
The Jedi nodded. “They’re more concerned about Anakin’s disappearance than hers. She’s incidental, helpful, but not really important.”
“So they say.”
“She’s dangerous, Padme,” Siri agreed quietly. “What she can do…,” Siri drew off, shaking her head. “I know Kenobi thinks it’s better to keep her close, keep her safe.”
“What other alternative do we have, Siri?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted.
They watched as Antares folded in on herself. In the Jedi Temple, thoughts were controlled, actions were controlled, emotions were controlled, but that didn’t keep the Jedi from having them. And here, where the emotion was given no outlet save the Force, Antares was constantly being bombarded. Padme often wondered how Anakin and Ben had managed to piece her back together after Dooku had shattered her. On her darker days, she wondered if there wasn’t something they missed.
“She cares about us,” Padme interrupted their shared thoughts. “She loves Anakin like a brother.”
“Love is dangerous,” Siri countered.
“And denying it has proven so useful to your order?” Padme asked with a raised brow.
“We better get her out of here before her mind snaps.”
“At least we know that Obi-Wan Kenobi is truly dead,” Mace announced to the Council. “The Skywalker boy displayed no deception when he spoke of Kenobi’s death.”
“But that gets us no closer to discerning the identity of this Ben Kenobi,” Ki-Adi-Mundi interjected.
“Doesn’t it. We know that it isn’t Obi-Wan, but it could be another Kenobi. Someone who would take issue with the way he died,” Mace said. “Another disillusioned soul. Much like Master Dooku.”
“And Dooku remains, like Ben Kenobi, impossible to eliminate,” Adi Gallia reminded. “Could there be a connection there?”
“Possibly, but I still believe we should send a party to Kenobi’s home planet. Perhaps, there is more we can learn there,” Windu insisted.
“And what of the separatists?” Master Gallia continued. “Chancellor Palpatine has agreed to negotiations, but they have had control of his home planet for the last ten years. I don’t see an end to this conflict in the near future.”
“Then we need to send someone to Kamino,” Shaak Ti said.
“Xanatos Deastil has asked for an assignment,” Ki-Adi-Mundi pointed out.
“As a friend to Kenobi, the family might respond more to his questioning, than another from the Jedi,” Gallia said.
“But Stewjon is held by the Separatists,” Shaak Ti countered.
Mace held up a hand. “They are accepting refugees. The best way for Xanatos to travel.”
“Send who we will to Kamino?” Yoda spoke up for the first time.
“Garen Muln managed to silence the opposition to the creation of an army. Let him inspect to the troop,” Ki-Adi-Mundi said.
“Then we’re agreed.”
So they were.
Anakin breathed a silent sigh of relief when Padme and Antares entered the diner. It had been a lot longer for the two women to make their rendezvous, Dex had already brought him a plate of food and Obi-Wan a refill, before the two had come. Padme looked as calm, and Anakin thought as beautiful, as ever, but Antares was pale and shaking.
He immediately stood up to help the older woman, but felt his Master brush past him. Obi-Wan stopped short and suddenly looked unsure of what to do. The man had faced down a Sith Lord coolly and calmly, but if he actually cared about someone, he staggered around as though he were inebriated.
“Nothing,” Padme assured him. “It just took a little longer than we anticipated.”
“Why are you trembling?” Obi-Wan demanded, raising a hand to take Antares shoulder. He dropped a moment later when the she stepped away. Lately her fear of being touched, especially by Obi-Wan, had increased.
“Tired, hungry,” Antares answered. She gave him a tentative smile. “Any chance I can get some of Dex’s bantha steak?”
“There’s already one waiting for you,” Anakin assured her, taking Padme’s hand. He saw Obi-Wan’s eyes narrow at Antares obvious lie, but the last thing they needed right now was to make a scene and have a patron call security. “Ben?”
It was a subtle reminder, but enough to get Obi-Wan to wait until they were back at the booth before demanding answers. Anakin wasn’t sure what had happened between his Master and the woman who was his closest friend, but it had occurred a little over a season ago. Ever since then, they had been short with each other, awkward, and sometimes even angry.
He wasn’t used to his Master keeping secrets, nor Antares being less than fully open with him. But whatever it was, he had been told in no uncertain terms to stay out of it. Even now, sitting on the same bench, they were as far away from each other as they could possibly get.
“I see Siri managed to keep you intact,” Obi-Wan stated leadingly.
Antares forked into Anakin’s steak. “The Temple is a little more overwhelming than I had anticipated. But I’m fine.” She sent a glance his way. “It would have been nice to know that Anakin had a side mission.”
Obi-Wan stiffened. “It’s a long standing contingent mission in the event that he is ever brought into the Jedi.”
“And considering we were using an old Jedi code, it didn’t cross your mind that I might need to know about this contingent mission?” she countered evenly.
“Not if you had followed your orders.”
“Or if I was trusted.”
“I never said I didn’t trust you.”
“No, but I wonder.”
“That works both ways, Antares,” he ground out. Anakin watched as reached up to rub his old scar.
“Is it hurting you?” Antares asked, changing the subject abruptly.
Obi-Wan shook his head. “Not really, it twinges a bit. Nothing to concern yourself with.”
“Perhaps we should focus on the mission at hand,” Padme said softly. “Bail still is waiting for answers.”
“Everything went well?” Antares asked, true concern in her voice. And just like that the tension between them evaporated. Anakin new that eventually it would cloud over to rain down on them once again. He was grateful for the respite. It pained him to know that something was amiss and he couldn’t fix it. There was a time he hoped their friendship would blossom into something more.
“The mission itself wasn’t difficult. But I grow weary in fighting friends.”
“I know Ben, I know,” Antares whispered softly.
Qui-Gon’s eyes looked at the message hastily scrawled on a piece of flimsiplast and left inside his robe pocket for the eighth time in the last hour. He had no doubt that the strange woman, Antares, had left it. There were coordinates for a designation in open space, he’d doubled checked the star map. Written next to the coordinates was, ‘Come if you want to know the truth of Ben Kenobi.’
I wonder if Qui-Gon will go alone, I hope he uses his Force powers and realises that he should go. Interesting developments. Obi-Wan is gathering some very important allies.
Definitely, Qui-Gon is going to investigate.
Hmm, now did Antares write that in the spur of the moment or is that another plan? We'll have to wait and find out.
Antares has her own plans.
Good intentions…I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.
A veritable floating city. Bail had heard of such things before. People who become disenchanted with Republic rule or with their own planetary system, would take off on their own to live in the deep of space. He’d never seen it so up close and personal before. And now he was one of their citizens. Except he still believed in the Republic, still believed the galaxy could be saved.
According to Obi-Wan, that was an aspiration a long time away.
And he could no longer think of him as Obi-Wan Kenobi, his Jedi friend. He was Ben Kenobi, reborn out of the ashes of his own death. A man who had saved his life, only to tell him to wait and exist on this city/ship.
Ben was leading him now through the ship, pointing out weapon supplies, the shipyard that Anakin Skywalker oversaw, the briefing rooms, the assembly hall – where they all met and decided the fate of the League, the housing levels, it was more than he could take in. Padme, the lost queen of Naboo, stood beside him and added comments as Obi-Wan, Ben, went along. Apparently, where Kenobi was concerned, no one really ever died.
Despite the fact that the ceilings rose high above them and the air was fresh with potted flowers and trees, he felt the walls closing in on him.
“Don’t worry,” Antares San assured him. “You’ll get used to it.”
“How long have you been here?”
“A little over six seasons. I didn’t get the crash course you are, but even now I sometimes feel like I can’t breathe. It does get stifling, but the alternative isn’t better. I’ll give you my com number and directions to my quarters. If you need help, I’m usually imprisoned…,” she stopped gave a smile. “I mean, kept here for my safety.”
“You weren’t a Jedi, too?” Bail asked.
“No,” she said shortly.
Bail knew better than to continue that line of conversation. But it was nice to know there was someone he could go to for help.
“We’ll have to wait awhile, probably until after your funeral, before you can contact Breha,” Obi-Wan continued his explanations. Bail felt his heart drop. He couldn’t imagine what his wife was going through, believing him dead and not only dead but murdered. “I’m sorry, Bail, but the
Council will be monitoring her.”
It was another shock to his system, the slow poisoning and degradation of the Jedi. That Obi-Wan – he gave a mental sigh – Ben, had been able to break away and fight against that corruption was another surprise. There were many venerable things about Ben, but he had always known him to be one who followed the course plotted for him. Something terrible must have happened to have turned his loyalty away.
And the truth was, Obi-Wan had changed. More than the physical growth and the beard, he’d always had confidence, but now he commanded wherever he went. Several times, they’d paused in their tour for Ben to speak with someone or other on the running of the Chu’unther. Sometimes he deliberated with Padme or Skywalker or spoke quickly with someone on his comlink, but his decisions were swift and final.
“Now you have a choice, my friend,” Ben said, stopping the group outside of the main assembly hall. “It’s already been agreed to invite you into the League. But I won’t force you. There may be a way for us to reconstruct your life, send you to another planet. And of course, once the waiting period is over, we will be willing to let Breha know if this is the life you wish to make. But I’m afraid, for the time being, Bail Organa is as dead as Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
“What would I do here?” Bail asked. He’d seen that it took a lot of bodies to keep this floating city running. But he was no mechanic, hadn’t cooked anything in years, and wasn’t sure if being a senator was redundant in the current atmosphere.
“We all take shifts for dining and cleaning. Sometimes it is necessary to sit in the nursery with the children. But these are all cycling tasks that everyone takes on for the good of the League. What we’ll eventually need from you is your legitimacy? You were the elected senator. If anyone has rightful jurisdiction it’s you. In the meantime, we’re always needing information. Those people you know, absolutely know, you can trust. Because once you come into this life, it’s near impossible to leave it.”
“But I have a choice?” Bail said sardonically.
“Not much of one, Bail,” Padme assured him. “But for the time being, you can join with us or we can help you disappear.”
“Do I have to make my decision now?”
“No,” Ben hedged. “But by the time you contact Breha, we’ll need to know.”
“That’s acceptable.” He was about to ask further questions, when Skywalker’s comlink chirped.
“Um, Anakin, we’ve got a situation here.”
The young Jedi held up a finger. “What is it, Gennalyn?”
“We have a Jedi Master named Qui-Gon Jinn here asking for Antares. He’s got all the right coordinates and not many know about her, even here. But she isn’t in her quarters.”
Bail felt all four of his companions stiffen.
“She’s here with us. What is he asking?”
“He wants the truth of Ben Kenobi?”
Anakin looked questioningly at his Master, who was looking at Antares San with such a glare of hurt and disapproval that Bail nearly took a step back to get distance from it. He’d never seen Obi-Wan so angry before.
“Please tell me you didn’t?” the older Jedi said, through clenched teeth.
Antares met his gaze evenly. “He’s here now. Anakin, would you please give him clearance?”
“Master?” Skywalker asked.
“So that’s why you gave up our argument so easily back at the diner, you had already betrayed me?” Obi-Wan accused.
“This is not a betrayal,” she cried. Her arms folded around herself and she took a step back from Obi-Wan. Surely, she knew that she had nothing to fear from him. Apparently, it was the wrong thing to do, for Obi-Wan’s face screwed up in more painful disapproval.
“Master,” Skywalker said. “You know he won’t let this go.”
“Were you in on this?” Obi-Wan snapped.
“No, he wasn’t. Don’t get angry with him. I made this decision on my own,” Antares countered.
“Give him clearance, Anakin, but everything remains the same. Obi-Wan Kenobi is still dead.”
“Yes, Master,” Skywalker said. He turned to his comlink. “Let him through, Gennalyn. I’ll meet him in landing dock.”
“Padme, will you take Bail to his quarters? Antares and I have much to discuss.”
“Come on, Bail. We may believe in diplomacy, but we do not want to get into the middle of this war.”
Obi-Wan reached for Antares arm, but the woman stepped away from his grasp.
“Don’t touch me,” she said softly. “We don’t want past mistakes to remake themselves do we?”
He paused, his anger at her not diminishing, but it was growing cold rather than hot. “Will you then come with me please? I don’t think it wise for us to be discussing the situation out in the open.”
She nodded. Obi-Wan didn’t look back as he made way to the nearest conference room. He couldn’t look at her without feeling the anger cool or try to bubble with rage. How could she have brought his Master here?
He placed his palm on the reader plate of the conference room, let her through the door, and then made sure they wouldn’t be disturbed. He took a deep breath, trying to extinguish his raising ire. If he couldn’t trust her…
“Go ahead and yell, if you want to,” she said quietly behind him. He turned in time to catch her throw her arms up in the air. “I know you’re angry and you have every right to be.”
“What in the blazes were you thinking?” he said. He leaned against the conference room table. “How dare you make this decision without me?”
“You weren’t ever going to make that decision. You need help, Ben. You’ve been at this for ten years and its starting to take a toll on you. You don’t sleep. You don’t eat. You’re constantly forced to fight and to plot against people you think of as family. Lately, you’ve been keeping secrets. You won’t talk to me or Padme or Anakin. I thought maybe you could talk to him. You’re starting to fray and splinter along the edges and I…,” she stuttered to a halt and swallowed. “We can’t afford to lose you. Things with the Jedi and Sith are only going to get worse before they get better.”
“And you think going against my wishes, helps me?”
“I know this feels like a betrayal, but I meant it as a gift.”
“You know why I don’t want him here,” he said tightly. Out of everyone on this ship, she was the only one who understood how he felt. She was the only one with the power to know exactly how he felt and she’d thrown that in his face.
“I do,” she was quick to agree. “But you are doing him and yourself a great disservice if you think he will listen to your story and still label you a murderer.” She tentatively stepped up to him, reached out a hand and stopped short of his cheek. Trust. She still did not trust him. “It’s fear, Ben, and as you know, it’s never rational.”
He closed his eyes against her pleading gaze. The heat of her hand nearly touched his face. “Since we’re helping each other face our fears, should I contact Serenno and let your mother and brothers know you’re safe.”
The shielding he’d taught her slipped and he felt frustrated hurt, so similar to his own, flair. “Low blow, Ben.”
“We both seem to be striking where it counts.”
“I’m not trying to hurt you.” She sighed, stepping back from him. He watched as she folded in on herself, strengthening that barrier between them.
“It’s not my intention either.”
“For two people who know each other so well, we seem to be constantly drifting apart.” She gave an empty laugh. “But if it gets you to talk to Master Jinn, I’ll go home to Serenno and I’ll put my family at risk. Because I don’t want them living under tyranny and you’re the solution. It doesn’t work if you start to crack.”
“Your faith in me is overwhelming.”
She growled under her breath. Her dark eyes going nearly black in her anger. “You’re only one man. An exceptional, extraordinary man, but just one. And you’ve diversified responsibility for the running of the Chu’unther, but ultimately all military, all espionage tactics fall on you. No one, no matter how special, should shoulder that alone.”
Of its own accord, his hand reached to massage the scar tissue at his chest. “It’s my duty, my responsibility.”
“Fine. Next mission, I’ll be on the transport and I’ll find my own passage home.”
He knew he had won the argument but he felt no joy in the victory. “If that is what you wish, I won’t stop you. I will not force your hand.”
“I used to think we were at least friends, Ben. Now I don’t know what to think. I’ll never be able to repay you and Anakin for what you’ve done for me. I’ll always remember that. Maybe it is best if we part ways now. While we can still think of each other fondly. But please, for all our sakes, talk to him, Ben.” She was out the door before he could take it all back. Did he even want to?
He ran a hand down his face, fingering his beard. Sitting on the edge of the conference table, he studied the door Antares had closed behind her. Like half the mechanics on the ship it glitched, it hitched in its floor track several times before sliding into place. He’d have to talk to Anakin about getting his team to do another run through of the ship.
Anakin. Force, what would he tell his apprentice to do? Lie? Tell the truth? He knew he couldn’t hide from Qui-Gon forever. Especially now that Antares had given him the scent he’d been sniffing around the galaxy for the last ten years.
Meditation would help. Antares hadn’t lied. He was busy. He hadn’t meditated in several days, couldn’t remember the last full meal he’d had, and sleep seemed a distant memory. His connection with the Force was upset by the lack of care.
With this thought, he felt his anger dissipate. Instead of overreacting, engaging in another argument and driving the wedge between them even further, he should have consulted the Force and let meditation clear his thoughts.
He rested his head in his hands, rubbing the ache between his brows. With a sight, he thumbed his comlink on. “Anakin.”
“Yes, Master,” his apprentice answered quickly.
“Please see to Qui-Gon’s comfort. I’ll be in my quarters meditating. Can you make sure I’m not disturbed?”
“Yes, Master.” He felt Anakin pause, as if the boy was about to ask questions Obi-Wan wasn’t ready to answer.
“Oh, and have a team with R2 units come down the conference room level. The doors are glitching again.” He signed off.
Qui-Gon lowered the shuttle into the docking bay. He’d been surprised when the hyperdrive ring had pulled him out of hyperspace to see the ship take up all his forward viewport. Instantly, he’d been hailed and told to present the coordinates and who had given them to him or be destroyed. He’d been plotting an escape route in case they decided to open fire on him when they’d granted him clearance.
Waiting for him, standing tall in a black flightsuit, was Anakin Skywalker. The young man was a far cry to the 11-year-old boy he remembered, but his essence in the Force was nearly the same. Gone was all the wild, untamed Force energy and in its place hummed a Force connection he’d never felt before. Whatever or whoever Ben Kenobi was, he’d taught Anakin Skywalker well.
With a flick of his wrist, he cycled the loading ramp down. Anakin made a gesture and young girl, no more than twelve, with light brown pigtails, raced forward. “Master Jinn, I hope you don’t mind Gennalyn powering down your ship?”
Long established instincts told him he did mind very much. But he had come here for answers, not to be contradictory. “Of course.”
Anakin gave her a nod and the young girl ran off. Anakin turned a smile to him. “I don’t know if you remember me, Master…,”
“Anakin, I heard you were at the Temple recently.”
The boy’s smile brightened. “Yes. I’m sorry I had to leave so abruptly. I appreciated the hospitality though. First time off I’ve had in a long time.”
“Yet, you were still industrious,” Qui-Gon hinted.
Anakin’s smile grew shy. Qui-Gon half expected him to toe the ground with his boot as he had as a young initiate. “My master taught me to never miss an opportunity.”
Qui-Gon allowed his gaze to pass over to the docking bay. “And where is he, your Master?”
“Unavailable right now,” Anakin answered smoothly. “But I’ve been instructed to treat you with anything you need.”
“And if I need answers?”
“I will answer as best as I can, but I tell you now it will not be the whole truth. Only one man can give you that.”
Qui-Gon had expected nothing less. “That is agreeable.”
“Then I suggest you ask questions while we head to the commissary,” Anakin said. “I don’t know about you, but I’m hungry.”
“Where have you been, Anakin?” Qui-Gon started, following the younger man through the gigantic ship.
“For the first few years after Obi-Wan died, Ben and I were on Dathomir, getting the Chu’unther ready to fly and to continue Obi-Wan’s work.”
“And what was Obi-Wan working towards?” Qui-Gon had wanted to ask this question for over a decade.
“Freedom. He’d learned about the Sith and was finding the Council’s approach to defending against them dangerous. He was about to break off on his own when Naboo happened. He was fearful for the Republic.”
Qui-Gon dipped his chin to his chest, thinking. “Is that why you were on Naboo?”
“Yes. Obi-Wan had agreed to take me as his Padawan and I refused to be left behind.”
“Nothing about that last year Obi-Wan was alive makes sense,” Qui-Gon mused. “He changed so rapidly. What made him question the Council?”
“I think I’ll leave Ben to answer that one.”
“Did Obi-Wan know this Ben Kenobi before he was killed?”
“From my understanding, yes.”
“Do you trust him, Anakin?”
“He’s the greatest man I know.”
“Your coms man seemed surprised by my arrival. Kenobi didn’t invite me, did he?” Somehow this made him sad.
“Not exactly,” Anakin hedged.
“And your friend, Antares.”
“She may have accelerated Master Ben’s plans, but you were always on our list to approach, Master Qui-Gon.”
Anakin chuckled. “We like rebels.”
Ah, maybe the truth will come out and both Ben and Qui-Gon will be surprised at the outcome.
Priceless. I can picture Qui-Gon's expression on his face perfectly. I loved the whole conversation.
Love the message at the end, Antares is a woman of action, even if she has so much to work through. You captured Obi-Wan wonderfully at the beginning - the weight of the responsibility he carries, and just how much he *cares* translated from the movie to this story beautifully, so very him. And I really liked the interactions between Anakin and Obi and also Siri and Padme - very interesting. Good on Padme for calling out Siri's argument about love. It's really nice seeing this affectionate side to Anakin as he thinks about those he loves, love seeing that.
The obvious tension between Obi and Antares is stifling and so obvious, so well written. It's so painful to imagine what they might have been through....and it makes me so sad Obi always has so much to worry about, I so want to see someone that can take care of him.
Great job, as always
Almost caught up again...and I wonder if Qui-Gon will follow that note...but of course he will - he cares too much for Obi-wan not to.
There is a past with Obi-Wan and Antares....I can only imagine what happened...
Great chapter - will read more when able .
Ahhhhhhh....so much... So much good! I have to admit I was worried by reading their disagreement, I so hate seeing Obi hurt but read I did and I still have hope.
Love Anakin's last line!! That is fantastic and I am glad Qui is there, this could be good... Love the part about Obi being so commanding, I can absolutely picture that and I love it!! Love that confidence any him, very sexy. But he's so burdened too... Oh that argument between him and Antares just hurts my heart! Please don't make her leave! I want them to make up so badly
I really liked her obvious care for him with his not eating and sleeping and how he realized at the end that he had overreacted with her. That gives me a little hope for them! I love that they were able to interact! But I hope someday to read something positive between them too. And morbidly curious and scared to wonder what happened between them in the past. Sighhh
More soon I hope, great writing!
I think you might possibly be right.
Me too. It was nice to write something with Anakin where he's protective of Obi-Wan..
Yes, Antares really isn't cowed by Obi-Wan. She cares too much for him not to take this risk. Padme I think is very humanizing for the two Jedi she's working with. She and Anakin are in love and she's like a sister to Obi-Wan. So she's working on Siri now.
Thank you so much. .
Qui-Gon will definitely venture out. Thank you for reading.
I was so nervous about this chapter. I was worried that the argument would be too one sided. And Obi-Wan would come off seeming to harsh. But I think it worked out. Yes, Antares will fight with Obi-Wan for his own good. She does know exactly how he feels and they're very good at pushing each others buttons.
I will eventually reveal what happened between them. I'm just waiting for the right moment.
I'm nervous and anxious to find out! I almost don't want to read it at all, lol, oh please don't make me cry!! I hope whatever it is its fixable... Ack! I am majorly stressed out about this!
I've totally fallen in love with Obi and Antares...if they manage to have a happy ending this is one I'll be reading over and over. And them being good at pushing each others buttons is a very good thing!
I think the argument came off exceptionally well - I know it's always a difficult balance between good characters you love in showing their faults but not making them look bad. Obi did not seem harsh to me just tired and strained and in a tough position he often finds himself in - over burdened and unable to successfully reach the troubled people he loves. S awesome job with characterization!
I'm ashamed to admit this but i have a bad habit of skimming a chapter when it's released - because I can never stem my curiosity and I have a great habit of never reading without leaving a review, most of the time. So I knew their was an argument here and I was pretty nervous to read it - it makes me so irrationally upset to see Obi upset - but again, I think you did a great job - the touches of positive thoughts like how much Antares truly cares and Obi realizing that he overreacted helped to balance the prose well and make it real instead of angsty. I can't stand angst!
So really great job with this chapter More. Now.
Oh I was also going to say that when writing ff like this, always remember your audience - most of *us* are probably going to be prone to automatically taking Obi-Wan's side so I think it would be difficult to make him seem harsh in a way we would take offense to. More than likely we're going to be very forgiving of his bad moods The trouble of course is with the oc - but you've done a fantastic job fleshing her out and making her relatable, so I do think it all came off really well!