Before Experience - one-post - Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan mission - teaching and learning

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ardavenport, Oct 31, 2009.

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  1. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Title: Experience
    Author: ardavenport
    Timeframe: pre-Episode I, pre-TPM
    Genre: drama, a little mush
    Characters: Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon
    Keywords Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, experience, Jedi
    Summary: Qui-Gon teaches about the limits of compassion.
    And: Typo is my middle name, with missing words and errors that spell checkers don?t catch being my speciality ? if you see any, just post a reply or send a PM with the what and where and I will kill them with no mercy.
    Disclaimer: All characters belong to George and Lucasfilm; I?m just playing in their sandbox


    They were happy.

    Happier than they had been in years.

    Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn stood on the far side of the immense presentation hall. He stood apart from the celebration, in a raised alcove between two white swirl-molded columns. The sights and sounds around him seemed muted as if his focus dimmed the air around him, his own reality subtly shifted, separate from the rest of the hall.

    Hordes of people in shabby, coarse robes bustled and danced under the immense vaulted ceiling. In spite of the bright artificial lighting tubes set high in the walls the people had set up a bonfire in the middle of the room before the old dictator's throne. Music beat and tooted throughout the huge space, improvised flutes and percussions pounded and tapped from stolen plastoid cast-offs and metaloid plates, corroded around the edges and mounted on roughly carved wooden frames.

    Descending the few steps down to the main floor, Qui-Gon passed into the crowd. Some people casually patted him as a comrade as he passed by them, not realizing who he was. Brown, gray, dark blue robes; he blended in easily with the masses. Others, peering under the hood of his dark brown robe, started, eyes wide with awe. The blunt claws at the ends of their elongated fingers respectfully traced his arms, under the loose fabric of his sleeves.

    The dictator's horde had been broken into. There were food and drink containers everywhere. People laughed and danced, spitting food crumbs and dribbling colored liquid down their long chins. The excess was appalling.

    The smell of greasy unwashed bodies, uncleaned wounds and bodily wastes clashed with the sweet and savory of fresh food and drink among the clusters of dancers. The aroma of ignorance, generations of it. The damage of a despotic rule.

    The adult Travidians were mostly his height or taller, so Qui-Gon passed through them with little incident. But as he neared the old dictator's dais a woman thrust her skinny daughter in his path, the girl, about his height had an elegant long face marred by greenish scabs. Her large orange eyes fearful, she clutched the edges of her fraying gray robe, her double knuckles visible under her scabby chin. They wanted a blessing, a mystical gift that he did not have. Qui-Gon genially smiled and nodded to them and pretended not to understand. He did not touch either of them as he passed and he smoothly evaded the mother's outstretched hand.

    The crowd thinned below the steps up to the dais, the pristine white on white patterned floor smeared with grime and littered with broken white furniture and crunched food containers.

    "Obi-Wan."

    He did not speak loudly over the noisy celebration but his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, immediately heard. His head uncovered, robe open, he turned to look down from where he sat perched on the edge of the old dictator's throne. The clan elders and former servants turned as well. They had slightly rounder faces than the liberated populace, their clothes smoother with lines of brighter colors. And they were cleaner.

    Qui-Gon twitched his head to the side, a sign for his eighteen year-old Padawan to follow. With only a brief excusing gesture to their hosts, Obi-Wan hopped down. Turning to his right, Qui-Gon did not acknowledge the look of puzzlement on the young man's face. He went past the edge of the crowd. Xihalu's former overseers had collected on that side of the presentation hall. They fearfully stepped aside for th
  2. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    "Would it not be more compassionate to help them?" Obi-Wan's question drew Qui-Gon's attention.

    "If I thought they only wanted our help, we could give it. But they want us to tell them what to do."

    Obi-Wan shook his own head. "I don't understand."

    "If either one of us gives an order, it will be obeyed by the people. It will done, simply, easily, quickly. There will be no arguments about what it right. In a way, we have inherited Xihalu's power by vanquishing her and her tyranny. But if the elders give orders - - if they can agree on what they want - - some will wonder why they shouldn't do things another way." Qui-Gon sighed. "It will be messy, time-consuming. Possibly violent if some of Xihalu's followers join forces and try to establish their own rule. The assistance they receive from Coruscant will help prevent that."

    Obi-Wan lowered his eyes for a moment at the mention of that prospect before raising his next question. "Then would it not be more compassionate to help them avoid that possibility?"

    "We can only delay it for them, Obi-Wan. Whenever we do leave them, the danger will return. Their best chance of making the change is when change first comes to them. When it is all new. And welcome." He looked toward the curtains and the muffled music and voices. They were all free now. And happy. Tomorrow they would learn how much change they were really prepared for. "For now, they are not looking for compassion. The want righteousness.

    "We will meditate on the difference between the two."

    Obi-Wan visibly sagged at the prospect of an unexpected Jedi vigil. Privately, Qui-Gon would have welcomed a warm bed in a deposed despot's liberated stronghold. Especially after spending a couple of days among the Trividians, preparing for their assault, easily hiding among the populace that the old dictator had for so many years abused and taken for granted. But Qui-Gon felt a weariness beyond the physical. Except for a few worried leaders, the joyous celebrants inside were blissfully unaware of how ill-prepared they were for the dangers of their new freedom. That they could destroy their own freedom even more effectively than Xihalu could have ever attempted. The Force would not reveal their future, but he would find peace with the possibilities. He could feel it now from the life inside. Happy. Free. Even with the possibility of bitter failure later, the moment still tasted sweet.


    You caught so much - for lack of a better word - reality in this. I was reminded of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam - and in this: "best chance of making the change is when change first comes to them. When it is all new. And welcome." I also thought of Obama's victory and the promise of health care reform that so many wanted - and which is now bogged down because the initial rush is past, and change is not welcome by some.
  3. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    So true but so difficult for some people.

    Great writing again from you.=D==D==D=
  4. ratna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2007
    star 4
    Ah she strikes again! Right to the heart of the matter:

    Except for a few worried leaders, the joyous celebrants inside were blissfully unaware of how ill-prepared they were for the dangers of their new freedom. That they could destroy their own freedom even more effectively than Xihalu could have ever attempted. The Force would not reveal their future, but he would find peace with the possibilities. He could feel it now from the life inside. Happy. Free. Even with the possibility of bitter failure later, the moment still tasted sweet.

    And his apprentice could use the experience. Not just with contemplating the limits of compassion and the cruel realities of an uncertain future, but with an unexpected demand to renew his strength when he thought his task was done.


    I love the little surprises you give us, too:

    They were happy.

    Happier than they had been in years.


    This being a Qui-Obi story, I thought 'they' referred to our two beloved Jedi. But reading further I discover you intended it to refer to the Travidians

    All the narrative about the dictator had me assuming the pronoun 'he', but in fact you show us a 'she'. Nice.

    =D= =D=
  5. Raphire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 19, 2008
    star 4
    Really cool story! You do a really good Qui-gon.
  6. littleobiwankenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2009
    star 1
    Really love the story story! Good story about Qui and Ob=D= i
  7. littleobiwankenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 5, 2009
    star 1
    Really love the story story! Good story about Qui and Obi=D=
  8. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Valairy_Scot, earlybird-obi-wan, ratna, Raphire, littleobiwankenobi:

    Thanks to all for reading! This story is mostly about where winning a battle doesn't actually fix the problem that started the battle in the first place. Most problems are like that and Qui-Gon would have learned that even the Force couldn't replace the tedious, time-consuming work that does solve problems. And he would make sure Obi-Wan would learn that lesson, too.
  9. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    Qui-Gon taught Obi-Wan well.:cool:
  10. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    I love Obi-Wan's naivety and Qui-Gon gentle prodding to teach him.
  11. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Gkilkenny: Obi-Wan is a good learner. :) Thanks for reading!

    obimom: Thanks for reading! They make a good team together.
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