Before De-Cease -- one-post, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan Angst, continuation of 'Cease'

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ardavenport, Jan 7, 2007.

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  1. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Title: De-Cease
    Author: ardavenport
    Timeframe: pre-Episode I, pre-TPM, JA, AU
    Genre: Drama, Angst
    Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi
    Keywords Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi, madness
    Summary: There's always a way out.
    Notes: This story is a continuation, with the author's permission, of LuvEwan's poetically angst-filled Cease. I thought of the title and I had to try it. A follow-up Saga story, Erase, has been written by LuvEwan.
    Disclaimer: All characters belong to George and Lucasfilm; I?m just playing in their sandbox


    Jedi patience is legendary. Qui-Gon is legendary among Jedi. He has pushed back the despair of uncertainty to wait and watch, his eyes and hands still searching for, still needing the sustenance of recognition.

    His daily routine is that of his Padawan, of bathing and feeding, trimming of hair and nails, massaging limbs out of their clinch only to have them curl up again against the pale torso. Even after the last flurry of tests, Qui-Gon imagines a twitch of hand, a fluttering eyelid, some little peephole out of Obi-Wan's waking nightmare, so that his Master can see inside. Even after so many months, he still probes for any response, a tiny crack in the rigid walls of catatonia that imprison his Padawan's mind. He never finds it.

    He would trade whatever status he has as a Jedi Master for only that.

    He will.

    The patience of the Jedi Council is not legendary. They want him to move on. Go. They gently suggest that he leave his Padawan in the care of doctors and impersonal care-givers and a barren hospital room. Those carefully-worded, formal 'suggestions' tighten in his throat. But his revulsion is not for sensible advice of the distant Council, but for himself because for some fraction of a second he pictures himself accepting it.

    He knows that distance will only initiate his own slow deterioration, a drought of even the trickle of hope that he lives on now. But if he stays, Qui-Gon wonders how long he can hold off that inevitable decay, before the work of the unseen horrors that consumed his apprentice drag him into his own form of depression and madness.

    The door to their hospital cell opens. Footsteps and rustling layers of fabric enter.

    Qui-Gon looks up.

    Dr. Jraye stood before him, a strange look on his wrinkled face. Hope? Was that what it was supposed to look like? Qui-Gon's hand, his fingers, extend toward his Padawan without touching him.

    A tall being stood next to Jraye; he/she/it is mostly humanoid wearing layers of blue veils hanging down from the head and the shoulders of a sexless body. The tattooed face is harsh and grave with fleshy jowls.

    And the eyes. . . . the eyes are perfect and featureless and white.


    OOOOOOOOOIOOOOOOOOO


    The eyes have expanded, become the whole void that he curled up in. It has lost all its edges to press in and smother him with infinite, white distance. The meaning of Master and braids and sleep and one. . . . one. . . .one have faded into wisps of memory that he still grasps for.

    It was creeping into him. The white slowly invaded, replacing him cell by cell. When it was done, there would be no sleep, no shelter, no sweet darkness where the eyes couldn't see. He tried to cover himself with those few remaining rags of words with their fading meaning, but they crumbled into dust, into nothing but more white. He stared down at the marks on his hands; they were scabbing over, frosted with white. What were the cuts for? It was so important, but he couldn't. . . . one one one

    A spot.

    One little black spot marred the terrible, merciless void.

    He gasps with relief. He can't remember how he knows what it is, but some primordial reflex of his body drinks it in, the sensation of knowing that the predator has moved on to a different meal.

    The eyes were looking at something else.

    Not at him.
  2. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Congratulations on taking a truly horrific, creepy story that was perfect as it stood, and writing a sequel that was just as creepy and so satisfying to see that it brought (is bringing?) Obi-Wan back from that white void.

    The way you ended it is also ambiguous in a way... or I'm not just not quite getting it.

    Wonderful job!=D=
  3. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Wow, Anne. I thought you did an excellent job of writing the sequel. You kept the odd, horrifying madness that LE had started and gave it an explanation that made sense. I'm sure that Obi-Wan will be all right... well, as all right as he can be - being almost driven mad by it.

    Great job.
  4. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
    I agree, you certainly did Cease justice with this! Incredibly well done! :eek: =D=

    Jedi patience is legendary. Qui-Gon is legendary among Jedi. He has pushed back the despair of uncertainty to wait and watch, his eyes and hands still searching for, still needing the sustenance of recognition.

    His daily routine is that of his Padawan, of bathing and feeding, trimming of hair and nails, massaging limbs out of their clinch only to have them curl up again against the pale torso. Even after the last flurry of tests, Qui-Gon imagines a twitch of hand, a fluttering eyelid, some little peephole out of Obi-Wan's waking nightmare, so that his Master can see inside. Even after so many months, he still probes for any response, a tiny crack in the rigid walls of catatonia that imprison his Padawan's mind. He never finds it.

    He would trade whatever status he has as a Jedi Master for only that.

    He will.

    The patience of the Jedi Council is not legendary. They want him to move on. Go. They gently suggest that he leave his Padawan in the care of doctors and impersonal care-givers and a barren hospital room. Those carefully-worded, formal 'suggestions' tighten in his throat. But his revulsion is not for sensible advice of the distant Council, but for himself because for some fraction of a second he pictures himself accepting it.


    Stunning. =D=
  5. LuvEwan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2002
    star 4
    Wow, anne. You just totally blew me away with that. You found a way to weave everything together. I've read this several times now, and I'm still finding things that tie into the original story.

    A tall being stood next to Jraye; he/she/it is mostly humanoid wearing layers of blue veils hanging down from the head and the shoulders of a sexless body. The tattooed face is harsh and grave with fleshy jowls.

    And the eyes. . . . the eyes are perfect and featureless and white.


    Oh man that creeped me out. That last line was just the perfect line, the thing that connects it all, that connects Qui-Gon and reality to Obi-Wan, finally, in some way.

    It was creeping into him. The white slowly invaded, replacing him cell by cell. When it was done, there would be no sleep, no shelter, no sweet darkness where the eyes couldn't see. He tried to cover himself with those few remaining rags of words with their fading meaning, but they crumbled into dust, into nothing but more white. He stared down at the marks on his hands; they were scabbing over, frosted with white. What were the cuts for? It was so important, but he couldn't. . . . one one one

    A spot.

    One little black spot marred the terrible, merciless void.

    He gasps with relief. He can't remember how he knows what it is, but some primordial reflex of his body drinks it in, the sensation of knowing that the predator has moved on to a different meal.


    I absolutely loved the descriptions. 'Rags of words' was one that jumped out as being so creative, the right way to explain what those words meant for Obi-Wan. And I loved that he considered himself a kind of prey.

    Obi-Wan tenses and dives into the breach before it can be scrubbed away.

    The white screams.


    The white screaming...fantastic.

    Muddy black fills his mouth and nose, choking him. His body thrashes as the pressure increases on his chest and head from lack of air. His animal instinct struggles to breathe and blood throbs in his temple, one one One ONE. But still his exhilaration howls louder into ecstacy. Free.

    His heartbeat stops.

    He could die.


    Exhilaration howling into ecstasy. It's just so creative, keeping it eerie but also realistic.

    A new head hovered closer to him. Eyes like blue water under a blue sky ignited his memory, almost bled to nothing in a white void.

    A keening sound of pure emotion forced its way out of this throat, around the tube.

    He reached for the face, the beard, the hair.

    The other heads grabbed him, making "No, no" noises, but their hands fell away from him and that was followed by thumping sounds. He wondered if the two things were connected.

    Strands of brown chestnut now twined his fingers while Master touched his arms, gently touching the thin tubes coming out of them. Winding another loop of hair around one finger, he touched its silky smoothness to his lips and breathed in. It smelled washed and fresh, not a greasy, abused braid, a thin lifeline in an infinite white prison. His face was wet and that clean hair brushed his cheek. Drops fell on his forehead and he closed his eyes, blissfully welcoming that salty rain.


    This part broke my heart. Under everything else, Obi-Wan is a human being, who posesses love, who seems to have lost everything but that bare drive. And Qui-Gon isn't much different, in this moment. Really beautiful.

    Stuporous with drugs from the doctors, Obi-Wan lay dozing, though his grip, of both hands, on his Master's arm still retained the strength of madness. Qui-Gon's free hand stroked his hair and shoulder, his fingers sensing that faint, long-awaited response, even through the haze of sedation.

    Those strange featureless eyes watched every motion.


    Even with Obi-Wan beside him, alive and somewhat there, Qui-Gon cannot escape the ramifications of the imprisonment of Obi-Wan's mind. The white is still there. Obi-Wan gripping with both hands is a very telling detail.

    It had only been a minute, less than a minute, when Obi-Wan's
  6. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Valairy_Scot: Thanks! I liked bringing Obi-Wan back from the white void. I guess I had trouble leaving him there. So, his situation is automatically improved, but the question about how well he would do couldn't be answered in the short time of the story, so it's left for the readers to decide. :)

    dianethx: Thanks! :) At the moment, Obi-Wan is much more 'all right' than he was before. It's not a 'happy' ending, but hopeful.

    VaderLVR64: Thank you! I'm glad that this follow-up seems to work well with the original story. :D

    LuvEwan: Thanks much! Your review is extra special, since you wrote the original story. Any descriptive phrases are just my attempt to copy what I read in 'Cease' and in your writing in general.

    'Cease' in general had a 'Twilight Zone' feel to it. So, it really could have stayed as is, but I couldn't help pondering what the follow-up could be, if the Force itself was part of the problem for Obi-Wan. Mysterious, magickal forces like the Force have lots of 'Twilight Zone' potential. From there, it had to be some bad intersection of Obi-Wan as a Force-user with some other Force-use or user. I had trouble with it being a Jedi or Sith, light or dark, because Qui-Gon could have figured it out, so it became some exotic variety of Force. I can't believe that the Jedi and Sith are the only Force users in the GFFA and I have all sorts of theories about why they're hidden or whatever, but this is one of them; they're too crazy and creepy for either Jedi or Sith to ever want to have anything to do with them.

    About the descriptions. . . . well, I suppose it might sound a bit pedestrian to say that I use a formula, but I do to a degree. Starting with the eight parts of speech (in English) - nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and exclamations - I note that nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs have the best potential for emotional impact and description, while pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions have the least. Exclamations are almost always purely emotional, but they're so rare, they're generally not much help.

    With a thesaurus, I can pick out the most emotional terms for what I want people to do; 'walk', 'stroll', 'prance' and 'drag' will all get the character across the room, but they mean different things. The same for nouns. And adjectives and adverbs are often loaded with the most feeling. Then you can mash the parts into phrases to get more feeling into them. 'Sensation of knowing' is three words, but it counts as a single noun in the sentence as a phrase. Plus, 'sensation' and 'knowing' are nouns forms of verbs and that gives you action and description in the same words, and that's generally more emotional in the narrative. And mixing the uses, verbs as nouns, adjectives as nouns, verbs as adjectives, etc. makes the description better without piling in to many words. I think Shakespeare is the first English writer credited with being really proficient with that trick. For example, 'white' is one of the most boring, mundane adjectives around, but as a noun it really means something else.

    About the end. . . . well, it really had to be uncertain about how well Obi-Wan would recover. So, much had been done to him, it just didn't seem possible to predict how he would come out. The only realistic factor that would tell that would be time, and the timeframe I set for the story was too short for that.

    Thanks much for the long review! I got a lot out of writing this.

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