Saga Gateways Into Time (Belated Christmas present to all: Anakin, Obi-Wan, Ahsoka) Completed 2/21/13

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Alexis_Wingstar, Dec 27, 2012.

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  1. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Title: Gateways Into Time
    Author: Alexis_Wingstar
    Genre: Mixed drama and humor.
    Timeframe: During the Clone Wars sometime after "Brain Invaders" and before "Overlords".
    Characters: The main characters are Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka, but Admiral Yularen and Jinx as well as a few OC's are in there as well.
    Plot: Anakin, Obi-Wan and Ahsoka are invited to a mysterious planet where the Chosen One learns some important lessons. Whether or not these lessons will lead to a better future will be revealed within the flow of time.
    Disclaimer: Star Wars is the creation of the Great Flanneled One and owned by Disney. I'm just tipping the hourglass. [face_whistling]

    ~~~


    Gateways into Time
    Chapter 1: Disturbance


    On board the Resolute, Admiral Yularen addressed the three Jedi who had just completed another mission. “We just received orders from command. We are to head to Nexus Ortai to secure the hyperlanes there... again.”

    “There will be no rest for the weary,” Obi-Wan commented dryly.

    Anakin shrugged. “At least we have time for a meal.”

    “That’s my master,” Ahsoka grinned as she rolled her eyes, “always thinking with his stomach.”

    “Hey, I can’t be the only one who’s hungry, none of us were able to catch breakfast this...” The brash Jedi General’s words were suddenly cut off as he sank to his knees and put his hands to his temple. The other two Jedi were holding their heads as well, but remained standing.

    “What is it,” the admiral asked in alarm, “are you ill?”

    “No,” Obi-Wan answered as he withdrew his hands from the sides of his head, “but, there is a strong disturbance in the Force.”

    As he spoke, Anakin rose to his feet and shook his head. “For a moment there, it was like I was having a very vivid flashback to when I crashed a podracer as a kid!”

    “Mine wasn’t so vivid, but I saw a flash of something when I was growing up in the Temple... it came and went so fast, I couldn’t even tell what it was,” the young Togruta Padawan supplied.

    “Yes, mine was a flashback to when I was a youngling, but it too was vague,” Obi-Wan said as he thoughtfully stroked his beard.

    “I didn’t see anything,” the Admiral said doubtfully. “This must be another one of those Jedi things.”

    “Perhaps that is because you aren...” General Kenobi winced as he put his hands to his head again, as did his fellow Jedi. Anakin collapsed to the floor with a moan.

    The Admiral cursed under his breath. “Get a medic up here,” he ordered the officer manning the communications station.

    “That won’t be necessary,” Obi-Wan said. “A medic would not be able to do anything about this.” He and Ahsoka seemed to have recovered from the second wave of the Force disturbance, but Anakin was still crumpled on the floor.

    “Master,” the Padawan anxiously exclaimed as she knelt beside him, “are you alright?”

    Pushing himself up to a seated position, he answered slowly, “I think so.” Looking up at Obi-Wan, he added, “That was one heck of a disturbance! What’s going on?”

    “I’m not sure.” The older Jedi pondered as he stroked his beard. “I think we should contact the Jedi Council to see if this was felt by others, or if it is something that is contained in this area of space.”

    “Good idea,” General Skywalker agreed as he slowly stood. When Ahsoka put a hand on his elbow to help steady him, he waved her off. “I’m fine, Padawan. Thanks.”

    The youngest Jedi bit her bottom lip, still looking at her Master with concern. “Are you sure? You look rather pale.”

    “Trust me,” he said lightly, “have I ever lied to you?”

    “Well, there was that one time on...”

    “I’m fine, really!”

    The Togruta grinned as she crossed her arms across her chest. “Then there was...”

    “Ahsoka,” Anakin growled in warning.

    “Admiral, could you please put us in contact with the Jedi Council,” Obi-Wan asked as he shook his head at the continued banter between the two younger Jedi. Really, he thought, those two are more like squabbling siblings than Master and Padawan.

    “I’d be glad to, General.”

    ~~~

    A few minutes later, the three Jedi were standing before the hologram images of the four Jedi Council Members, Grandmaster Yoda and Masters Mace Windu, Ki-Adi-Mundi and Adi Galia.

    “Felt this disturbance, we have not,” Yoda stated. “A localized phenomenon this must be.”

    Mace Windu frowned. “Do you sense anything dark about this?”

    “No, but it is highly unusual, and it almost made Anakin pass out,” Obi-Wan informed them.

    “I didn’t nearly pass out,” the younger Jedi protested. “I just became dizzy and fell. The images I saw were... disorienting.”

    “Interesting,” Adi Galia commented, “it seems the effect had more of an impact on the one among you who is the most Force sensitive.”

    “Since it is only based in that area, and there is no malice detected from the disturbance, I think we are safe to investigate it at a later date when the war is over,” Mace concluded.

    “Disagree, I do. I sense this disruption will play a significant role. Investigate, it you must.”

    “Very well, then,” Obi-Wan agreed, “I’ll take a shuttle while Anakin and Ahsoka stays with the fleet. If all goes well, I can rendezvous at Nexus Ortai in time to help.”

    “If Anakin was more affected by this than the rest of you, it may be wise for him to take part in the investigation,” Ki-Adi-Mundi speculated.

    Yoda nodded, “All three of you must go.”

    “Then who will lead the mission to secure the spacelanes,” Anakin wondered.

    “Jedi aren’t needed for that,” Admiral Yularen interjected. “We non-Force users are quite capable of carrying out missions on our own, thank you.”

    Master Windu lowered his head once in a nod towards the Admiral. “It is decided then. The three of you will investigate while the rest of the fleet proceeds to Nexus Ortai. Once you discover if this disturbance is something of concern and contain it if needed, then you can rejoin the fleet and help if necessary. May the Force be with you.”

    Once the communications link was ended, Anakin turned to the Admiral. “I didn’t mean to imply you or anyone in your command was incompetent.”

    “I’m sure you didn’t, General Skywalker,” Wullf Yularen replied. “It was just your usual arrogance speaking for you.”

    Before before his brash companion could further escalate the tension between himself and the Admiral, Obi-Wan stepped in. “May we borrow a pilot for our mission, sir?”

    “Hey, I’m quite capable of piloting us to wherever the source of this Force anomaly is,” was the Jedi Knight’s protest.

    “You’re also quite capable of crashing us into the source of said anomaly,” the Master contended dryly. “Besides, if whatever affected us and made you almost pass out occurs while you are piloting, the possible crash landing will most likely become a certainty.”

    “Point taken,” Anakin conceded. “Jinx would be a good choice.” He looked over at the Admiral while adding, “That is, if you approve, sir.”

    “That will be fine. Now, the sooner you leave, the sooner I can get on with my mission.”

    As they left the bridge, the Admiral overheard General Skywalker ask his Padawan, “Do you think I’m arrogant?”

    “Of course not, Master.” Wullf Yularen frowned at Ahsoka’s answer, but grinned when he heard her add as the door closed, “You’re just overbearingly cocky.”

    ~~~

    The clone pilot steered the shuttle where the Jedi directed him to go. “Sirs, there are no habitable planets in this system,” he informed them.

    “We aren’t necessarily looking for a planet with a breathable atmosphere, Jinx,” Anakin said as he stared out the cockpit’s viewport. I hate being a passenger, he thought as his hands itched to take control of the spacecraft.

    “Nor are we specifically looking for a planet,” Obi-Wan added. “The disruption in the Force may have come from anything. An asteroid or ship, perhaps.”

    “If it were a ship,” Ahsoka chimed in, “the source may no longer be anywhere near here.”

    “Oh, it’s around here somewhere, Snips, I can feel it.”

    The young Padawan was assured by the confidence in her Master’s voice. Then her eyes narrowed as she glanced out the viewport. “There!” She pointed to a small, blueish-white dot.

    “Yes, it’s coming from that planet,” Anakin’s face brightened as he sat up straighter.

    “Strange,” Obi-Wan said as he stroked his beard, “we haven’t had any of those... disturbing episodes since we decided to pursue the source.”

    “Yeah, I noticed that,” Ahsoka acknowledged. She frowned. “What do you suppose that means?”

    Anakin shrugged as he offered his hypothesis, “Perhaps whatever caused it did it to catch our attention.”

    “That would be if there were intelligence behind it, which would mean someone triggered the disruptions to lure us to them,” the oldest of the Jedi commented.

    “Why not just contact you using a more conventional method then,” Jinx asked.

    “Maybe they don’t have the technology,” Ahsoka theorized.

    Anakin brushed a stray lock of hair away from his eyes. “One thing's for sure, they must be Force-sensitive. Were any Jedi assigned on a mission around here?”

    “I don’t know.” Obi-Wan stopped stroking his beard as he continued, “In any case, a Jedi wouldn’t use time disruption to communicate. Whoever did this is no Jedi.”

    Ahsoka chewed on her bottom lip. “A Sith, perhaps? If it is, we could be going into a trap.”

    “I don’t sense anything dark about this, young Padawan,” Master Kenobi said as he laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder. “There are other groups than Jedi and Sith who use the Force. My own master, Qui-Gon Jinn, mentioned he studied under at least one of them for a while.”

    “Well, we won’t know either way until we get there, will we,” Anakin asked testily. “Jinx, could you put a little thrust into it?”

    “And you say I need to learn patience, Master?” Ahsoka smirked.

    ~~~

    They had just completed a full orbit around the class-M planet, and found only one area which was inhabited by what appeared to be a pre-industrial society when Jinx shook his head. “I’m telling you, this planet should not be here! There are only four planets that orbit this star, and none of them with atmospheres breathable for humans.”

    “Just because a planet isn’t in the navigation system does not mean it doesn’t exist,” Obi-wan reasoned. “After all, Kamino was erased from the files at the Jedi temple, but it obviously exists. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

    The clone only shrugged in response. “So, where shall we land, General?”

    Master Kenobi was about to instruct the pilot to set down in a clearing five kilometers away from the native settlement so that they could approach on foot without making a scene, when an elderly man suddenly appeared before him. His former Padawan’s immediate response was to draw and ignite his lightsaber in one swift movement. Ahsoka followed suit so quickly that it was as though his two Jedi companions moved as one. “Put away your weapons!”

    Anakin narrowed his eyes at the intruder, ignoring the older Jedi’s instruction. His Padawan quickly glanced over at her master, then at Obi-Wan, and back at the newcomer, unsure of what to do.

    “I assure you,” the old man spoke in a gentle, wobbly voice as he held his hands out in a conciliatory gesture, “I am unarmed and intend no harm.” Brown eyes that seemed to hold wisdom and innocence as well as humor and solemnity within their depths gazed at each Jedi in turn. He was a centimeter taller than Anakin, but his frame was much slighter, making him appear frail in comparison. He wore a simple long sleeved, blue-gray tunic over tan trousers tucked into leather boots. A battered brown hat sat catawampus upon his head and came to a point thirty centimeters above his crown.

    Though still suspicious, General Skywalker turned off his lightsaber and returned the hilt to his belt. He heard Ahsoka breath a sigh of relief as she followed his example. “Who are you,” he asked, “and why have you come here?”

    “You may call me Myrlen. I am the Keeper, and have come to welcome you to our abode. You need not fear landing in our city, as you are our expected guests.”

    Before anyone could reply, Myrlen disappeared as abruptly as he appeared.

    “Well, that was unexpected,” Obi-Wan commented dryly.

    “Should we do as he said, Master Kenobi?” Ahsoka was still staring at the place the self-proclaimed Keeper had stood a moment before.

    “It could be a trap,” Anakin said wearily.

    “What are you talking about,” Jinx wondered. “The three of you are acting rather strangely even for Jedi.”

    “You mean you didn’t see that old guy with the funny hat which practically touched the ceiling?” Ahsoka brought her hand above her head to indicate said hat.

    “No,” the pilot said as he peered at the three Jedi as though they were growing a third eye in the middle of their foreheads.

    “Perhaps our visitor wasn’t physically here,” Obi-Wan said as he brought his hand up to stroke his beard once more.

    “He looked real enough to me,” Anakin shrugged. “He even had that old-person smell.”

    “Yeah, now that you mention it, he did smell funny. Kind of like Master Nu.”

    “Yes, quite,” Master Kenobi replied dryly before curtailing the conversation. “Jinx, land in the town square.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    ~~~

    A little later, the three Jedi walked toward what appeared to be a temple, leaving the clone pilot to guard the shuttle. No sooner had Obi-Wan, who was slightly in the lead, placed one foot on the first step, than the double doors slowly opened. Out stepped the same elderly man who had appeared to them on the shuttle a half hour before.

    “Welcome to Jyzaria,” Myrlen greeted them with a bow.

    Obi-Wan, Anakin and Ahsoka each gave an answering bow. The eldest of them asked, “Thank you, sir. May I ask why you invited us here in such an unorthodox manner?”

    “Forgive us. We have no other way of communicating at a long distance than the method we used. I hope the effects were not too unsettling?”

    General Skywalker was about to speak up when Obi-Wan quickly said while giving the younger Jedi a warning glance, “We’ll get over it. Your planet is quite lovely, and your city seems to compliment its environment,” he observed.

    “Thank you, Master Kenobi. Please, come inside,” he said as he turned to go back into the temple. As the Jedi followed, he expounded, “We, the Jyzaria, are followers of what you call the Force. We have the ability to guide people through time to see things they need to see in order for them to grow in the way of enlightenment. We appear to those who need such guidance whenever we can sense them.” Myrlen stopped in front of a small wooden door and turned to face them.

    “So, you sensed we are in need,” inquired Obi-Wan.

    “One of you in particular,” the elderly man said as he looked over the shoulders of the Jedi Master to make direct eye contact with the Knight. “You are burdened with the title of ‘The Chosen One,’ young Skywalker.”

    Anakin’s eyes widened with surprise at first, then he shrugged, “Yeah, well, I can handle it.” He straightened his shoulders back in a show of bravado.

    “We cannot force you to take our guidance, of course,” the old man bowed to him. “It must be accepted of your own free will.”

    Trying not to show his uncertainty in front of his padawan and former master, Anakin shrugged once more. “Okay, what can it hurt?”

    “Very well.” Myrlen turned and opened the door. He bowed as he gestured for them to enter. “Your companions are welcome to accompany you.”

    The three Jedi looked at each other briefly, each of them nodding slightly to the other. Anakin took the lead, and the other two followed him through the portal. When they heard the door close behind them, they stopped to look back and saw the elderly man was no longer with them.

    “Welcome to the chamber of years passed.”
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Feb 22, 2013
  2. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    So they could view the past.

    It makes sense that certain things involving the Force would bother Anakin more than the other Jedi.

    Could you tag me when you update?
  3. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Alexis!!!!! LOL I love time travelly stories. Woot! Your Myrlen's getup made me chuckle out loud. Ooh, this reminds me of a PonyTricks tale no lie! [face_dancing] Please tag me too when you update, my prolific wonder. [face_love]
  4. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Well, this sounds interesting - a fun ride I'll be along on - tag me, would you?
  5. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    @Lady_Misty thank you, I'm glad you like it.

    @Jade_eyes Which tale of PonyTricks are you speaking about? LOL Myrlen... don't know if anyone caught the King Arthur's wizard nod there or not. :p Prolific wonder, eh? [face_thinking] Thanks. :D

    @Valairy Scot Your wish is my command. ^:)^

    Chapter 2: Mother

    The melodious voice floated through the air, and the three Jedi turned to see an elderly woman sitting on a pillow in the middle of the room. Three similar pillows were sprawled out in front of her, and she smiled as she indicated them. “I am called Sava. I am the oracle of, and guardian to the gates to the past. Please, sit with me.”

    They did as she bid, Anakin sitting on the cushion directly in front of her, Obi-Wan to his left, and Ahsoka to his right. Something about this woman’s gaze seemed strange to the young knight, and once he had settled on the pillow, he thought he realized what it was. To prove his theory, he waved his hand in front of her eyes.

    There was no reaction.

    “You’re blind,” Ahsoka gasped. Then blushed, embarrassed at her own outburst. “Sorry.”

    The woman’s laughter came out as a soft purr. “No need for apologies, little one. One does not need eyes to be gifted with sight. What do you see when you look at me?” Her head was turned toward the padawan.

    “Um...” the young Togruta bit her bottom lip before stating honestly, “you’re old, but beautiful. You have a nice smile.”

    “Thank you.” Sava bowed her head slightly to the girl then turned to Obi-Wan with a tilt of her head. “What do you see?”

    “A woman who has seen much good and evil. You’re strong, yet gentle and very wise.” The older Jedi then paused. With a slight gleam in his eyes, he added, “And you are rather amused by us.”

    “Indeed,” the word came out with bubbly laughter. She quickly sobered as she turned her attention to Anakin. “And what does the Chosen One see?”

    Though the woman’s eyes were sightless, he gazed into them as though hypnotized. His heart beat quicker as he tried to look away. What he saw was something he had lost long ago. “A mother,” he rasped hoarsely as he fought to keep tears from forming. He closed his eyes as he lowered his head. Silence reigned for a few moments as he sensed both his padawan and former master looking at him. Taking a deep breath, he looked back up at the woman, studiously ignoring his companions.

    “There, you see? Each of you just demonstrated three different ways of seeing things. Ahsoka, with her eyes, Obi-Wan with the Force, and Anakin with his heart. Each gave part of the truth. Put those together, you still do not see the whole.”

    “How do you know our names,” the young padawan inquired.

    “We have been watching you. Now,” her voice changed suddenly as she intoned, “it is time.”

    Anakin felt a strange detachment at her intense gaze. Though she spoke softly, her voice seemed to reverberate within his head. At first, she spoke to his companions. “While he walks with me through the veils of time, the two of you shall be his anchor. If something happens, you must call him back to himself.” He could barely hear their words of assent.

    “Now, my child.” As the oracle spoke, he felt as though his spirit was in another place. He was standing in front of the woman as he faced her. She reached out a hand as she said, “Take it, and do not let go for any reason or you may be lost beyond time. We shall only observe, do not try to interfere. Any disturbance in what was can damage what is and shall be. Do you understand?”

    He obediently took her hand, feeling as though he were once more a small child. “Yes, ma’am.” At least I think so.

    Sava gently smiled. “Just don’t let go,” she said as she led him towards a filmy curtain. As she reached out with her free hand, she added, “Do not interfere with what you see.”

    At the touch of her fingers, the thin veil shimmered then dissipated. The air suddenly became hot. They were standing on a rocky outcropping above the sandy floor of a desert, where sat what appeared to be a temporary encampment. Anakin shook his head as dread filled him. “No...” his voice broke. He saw Tusken Raiders walking around. A female carrying an infant in a sling over her back was throwing tubers in a boiling cauldron. His free hand balled into a fist as he heard the guttural voices of these people laughing and conversing with each other. As he watched, the suns were setting, and the air rapidly began to cool.

    Looking around, he realized this was not just a Tusken tribe, but the tribe.

    The one tribe he slaughtered.

    He turned to Sava. “Why did you bring me here?” He realized he was shouting, and swallowed before continuing in a quieter voice, though the tone was still one mixed with anger and anguish, “I already know what happened. I know it was wrong. Why bring me here if I can’t stop it? What is the purpose?”

    “Just wait and watch, young one,” she instructed softly in a sad voice.

    The twilight darkened into night, and the Jedi heard light footsteps behind him. He turned to see himself just a few years younger. A determined expression was upon his younger self’s face as he passed through himself, unseeing. Damn, that’s creepy! The present Anakin turned in time to see the past Anakin jump off the outcropping and head toward the encampment.

    “Please, I don’t want to watch this! I’ve relived this thousands of times in my dreams, I don’t need to see it again.”

    “This time, you may actually learn something if you are open to it.”

    He wanted to close his eyes, but made himself watch. His younger self came out of the tent which now held his deceased mother and swiftly put an end to the two Tusken guards who sat outside it. Suddenly, he saw a shimmering blue light at the edge of his vision, and turned his attention to a transparent man-shaped figure.

    “Anakin! Anakin, no!”

    The voice sounded familiar. “Who... who is that?”

    Anakin pulled Sava with him as he jumped off the rocky outcropping and ran toward the figure. Even as he approached, he noticed his younger self continue to slaughter the Tusken men, women and children.

    The shimmering blue image of the man fell to his knees, and in an anguished voice cried, “I’m sorry I failed you, Anakin.”

    Realization hit the young Jedi.

    “No, it is I who failed you, Master Jinn.” The ghostly image of the man who freed him from a life of slavery stood and turned to face him in one fluid motion. The tears streaming down the spectre’s cheeks triggered a swell of moistness in Anakin’s eyes. “I am so sorry.”

    Qui-Gon reached a hand up and placed it on the young Jedi’s shoulder. “Anakin.”

    Unconditional love and acceptance coursed through the Force at the Master’s utterance of his name, and he knew he was forgiven.

    “You must release your fear of death so this does not happen again,” the ghost instructed.

    “I’m not afraid to die,” Anakin replied. From the corner of his eye, he saw himself go back into the tent, but did not turn his head away from his mentor.

    “I wasn’t talking about your own death. You fear losing those you love.”

    “You don’t know how it feels to love. You never had a family!”

    “I know. I loved her too, you know. Your mother was very beautiful.”

    “Huh?” Anakin looked horrified at the slight smile on Qui-Gon’s face. “Oh no...” he shook his head in denial. “She was my mother!

    “And a desirable woman.”

    “Oh, gross!”

    Qui-Gon glanced over at Sava who began to chuckle. “You’ll show him?”

    The woman nodded.

    “No way, I don’t need to see that,” Anakin protested, not getting the fact that there was another, deeper meaning to the exchange between Oracle and the Jedi Master.

    “Heed the lessons shown you in your walk, Anakin,” was Qui-Gon’s quiet plea as his ghostly image faded.

    Just as he saw his younger self leave with the still form of his mother wrapped in sackcloth, Sava said, “Come, you have more to see.”

    A shimmering curtain appeared before them, and at the woman’s light touch, it disappeared. To Anakin’s relief, the scene that unveiled itself was not one of his mother enjoying the amorous attentions of Master Jinn. Instead, Shmi Skywalker was preparing a meal as she hummed the tune he remembered hearing so often as a child. Even as he wondered what song that was, he saw his younger self, this time about nine years of age dragging his feet in, head lowered, and shoulders slumped.

    “Welcome home, Ani,” his mother sang cheerfully until she turned and saw the manner in which her son walked by her. “What’s wrong, son?” She placed a slender-fingered hand on his shoulder, stopping him in his tracks. She then reached her other hand out to gently lift the boy’s chin and gasped as she saw his nose bleeding. “Oh, Ani, another fight?”

    When he only nodded and lowered his gaze back to the floor, she sighed.

    “Come,” she said as she gently led him to the refresher. “So,” she asked as she administered the proper treatment, “what happened this time?”

    “Greedo called me a... a... a bastard.”

    Shmi’s eyes widened in shock, then her shoulders slumped slightly.

    “What’s a bastard, mom?”

    One eyebrow lifted up. “You don’t know what it means, but you fought Greedo anyway?”

    “Well, I know it wasn’t a nice word the way he said it.”

    Shmi shook her head with a slight smile.

    “What’s it mean, mom?”

    The smile faded, and the adult Anakin saw the deep sorrow on his mother’s face as she explained the definition.

    “Oh. Well, who was my father, anyway? Why did he leave?”

    Shmi took a deep breath and slowly let it out. “I don’t know, Ani.”

    The boy frowned. “What do you mean? You don’t know who my father is, or you don’t know why he left?”

    “When I found out I was pregnant with you, I had not been with a man for many years, Ani. I don’t know how it happened.” She reached a hand up to cup her son’s face in her palm. “You are a gift to me. The most precious gift ever conceived.”

    “Then... who did you name me after?”

    The woman took both her son’s hands in hers. “When I was a little girl, younger than you, I was a lonely slavegirl, lost and afraid. A man came to me and was very kind. This stranger comforted me. His name was Anakin. Though I only met him that one time, and it was only for maybe five minutes, I never forgot him. He came out of nowhere when I needed an anchor. He gave it to me. So when I had you, I named you after him because like him, you came out of nowhere and gave me another anchor to hold onto.”

    “I love you, mom.”

    Shmi took her son into her arms in a big hug. “I love you too, Ani.”

    Knight Skywalker whispered, “She is beautiful, isn’t she?”
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Dec 30, 2012
  6. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Aug 31, 2004
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  7. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    I have a suspicion that Anakin is named after himself.

    Either way a good chapter and Anakin not wanting to see his dark deed or hear that his mother and Qui-Gon had been together and then the touching moment with mother and son.
  8. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Loved the "oh, ew" moment there. [face_laugh] Something to lighten the overall mood of the chapter, which as usual is excellent. Loved also the "different ways of seeing."
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  9. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes Thank you. :)
    @Lady_Misty LOL you got me on that one.
    @Valairy Scot I was hoping the humor wasn't misplaced at that part, but I just couldn't resist the temptation of insinuating Qui/Shmi.

    Okay, I took a little liberty here with the Jedi Apprentice series. I couldn't find the books at the library to get the exact quotes, but I hope what I have doesn't go too far from what was written.

    Chapter 3: Broken Chains

    Sava smiled gently and nodded to Anakin as she reached out to the familiar curtain and touched it. As happened the previous times, the partition vanished and they were somewhere/when else. Just two meters in front of them were two Jedi. The tall male was familiar, and was gazing tenderly at the female facing him.

    The dark-honey skinned woman’s voice was husky as she intoned, “I pledge my life to you, Qui-Gon.”

    “Tahl,” the Jedi Master responded, and Anakin could sense the deep love they shared ripple through the Force, “my life is yours.”

    The young Knight saw a light ripple and and Sava’s fingers reaching toward it. Even as he pleaded, “Wait,” she touched it, and they were elsewhere in less than a blink of the eye.

    Qui-Gon was now kneeling on the floor with a lifeless Tahl in his arms. “No,” he wept, his head bowed low.

    Anakin could feel the Master’s grief pour over him, then as the large Jedi’s head rose, rage. A rage the young Knight knew too well. “Oh, no. Qui-Gon, you can’t!” He started to step toward his mentor, but Sava’s hand tightened on his. He looked over at her and saw the curtain form over her shoulder, and he nodded.

    Once more they were transported to another time and place. This time was different.

    It was as though this time, Qui-Gon and his rage followed them.

    Though Sava was still on Anakin’s left, a stranger was to the right of him. The Jedi could almost smell the fear emanating from the man as Master Jinn came at him with his green lightsaber held high above his head. The expression upon Qui-Gon’s face was so fierce, Skywalker was glad he was not the focus of his furor.

    “Qui-Gon, no!”

    On the other side of the helpless man who was about to be sliced in half, was a ghostly Tahl. The blue aura shimmered around her as she exclaimed, “Don’t you dare give into the dark side on my account!”

    The green blade stopped just a hair’s width from the man’s nose, then quickly disappeared as Qui-Gon thumbed a switch on his lightsaber hilt. “You are under arrest,” Master Jinn announced in a raspy voice as he not too gently applied stun cuffs to the man’s wrists.

    Anakin forcefully expelled a breath he had not realized he was holding just before he felt the telltale shift which indicated that he and his enigmatic companion were travelling once more. He looked around to see blank nothingness surround them. Confused, he glanced at Sava. “Where are we?”

    “We are in between destinations. You require a moment of rest.”

    He nodded in agreement. “Thank you.” He closed his eyes as he thought about how Qui-Gon’s love for Tahl so mirrored his own devotion to Padme. “If someone murdered my wife,” Anakin began slowly and shook his head, “I wouldn't be able to hold back.” He knew this to be true. Even though he held great remorse for the carnage he visited upon the Tusken raider camp upon his mother’s demise, he would ruthlessly cut down an unarmed man who killed his beloved.

    Yet, he did not doubt his former mentor’s devotion to Tahl. He had sensed Qui-Gon’s feelings were just as strong, if not stronger, than his own. “I’ve been unfair to Obi-Wan,” he suddenly realized as he thought about how Master Kenobi had refrained from killing Siri’s murderer. He took a deep breath and let it out. “He’s a better Jedi than I can hope to aspire to.”

    As he looked over at Sava, the wise woman’s gentle smile comforted him. “There is one more place we must visit.”

    He nodded. “I’m ready.”

    With a wave of her hand, they were standing in a dank, fetid alleyway. The only light was from a garish neon sign from an unsavory establishment across the road the alley intersected with. Anakin did not recognize the place, and just as he wondered why they were there, a door opened, and a youngling came out, dragging a large bag behind her. The little girl could not have been over seven years of age, and was dressed in a raggedy beige dress which draped on her small frame more like a tent than actual clothing. She grunted as she pulled her heavy load toward a dumpster. Looking up at the gaping hole in the large steel waste receptacle, her shoulders slumped.

    “Just how am I supposed to get this in there when I can’t lift it?” Silent tears began to roll down her cheeks.

    The Jedi Knight felt a nudge from the Force, and without thinking twice, let go of Sava’s hand and stepped toward the girl. “Let me take that, little one,” he said as he lifted the trash bag from her tiny hands.

    He vaguely heard Sava saying, “No,” even as the youngling screamed and ran to hide behind the dirty, steel dumpster. After heaving the load that was not remotely heavy to him into the receptacle’s maw, he brushed his hands together. He was grinning lopsidedly as he turned his head toward where the girl had disappeared, and saw her peering around the corner at him.

    She gasped when she saw him looking at her, and pulled her head back.

    Chuckling lightly, Anakin shook his head. “If I’d wished to harm you, I would have already done so instead of offering to help.”

    Once more, the youngling’s head emerged from behind the dumpster. Wide, frightened eyes peered at him as the girl stammered, “Who... who are you?”

    “My name is Anakin,” he replied as he knelt down on one knee so he would not be so intimidating. “What’s yours?”

    “Shmi,” she timidly said as she slowly took a step out from behind the large receptacle.

    “It can’t be, he muttered in astonishment. At the same time he said it though, he thought, Well why not?

    “Why would I lie?” The girl frowned at him with an adorable little pout, and he could not help but smile.

    “Oh, I don’t think you’re lying,” he said as he shook his head. “It’s just that my...” he stopped in mid-sentence as the strangeness of speaking to the girl who would be his mother in the future about herself hit him. “I knew someone with that name a long time ago.”

    He tore his gaze away from those big brown eyes that were so familiar, yet so strange framed in such a youthful face. He heard shuffling footsteps come near. “She was important to you, wasn’t she?”

    Anakin nodded, closing his eyes to fight back tears. He quickly reopened them, however, when he felt a small hand on his shoulder.

    “My mommy says that when someone close to us dies, they stay with us not only in our memories but in the things we do to honor them.”

    He gently took the girl’s hand in his and gave her a trembling smile. “She sounds like my mom.”

    Little Shmi heaved a sad sight. “I wish I could see her again.”

    He swallowed before asking, “Did she die?”

    “Yes... no... I don’t know!” She fell to her knees as she began to weep.

    “Hey there, little one, please don’t cry!” He picked her up in a hug to comfort her. “Everything will be okay.”

    “Let go of me!” She shouted as she struggled from his hold, and he quickly let her go. “How can it be okay? I’m a slave! I haven’t seen my mommy or daddy since they grabbed us from our ship. They could be dead. I’m all alone and no one gives a flying gundark’s nest what happens to me!”

    “I care.”

    Mollified, she lowered her voice. “Why should you? You don’t know me.”

    “I was like you, once.”

    She shot him a mistrustful glare.

    “I was born a slave. I was fortunate enough to have my mother with me though.” He looked down at his fingernails as he continued speaking, his voice sounding wistful, “She tried to give me as normal a life as she could. She made me learn to read and write and taught me how to use math... not that I ever used it while I was a slave.”

    “You’re not a slave now, though?”

    He shook his head. “Someone came and freed me, but was unable to free my mother. She died about ten years later.”

    Little Shmi put a hand on Anakin’s shoulders. “I’m sorry.”


    “It’s alright. It’s not your fault.”

    “I know.” She paused before adding, “I... I’m sorry for yelling at you.”

    He smiled and reached up to wipe her tears with the pad of his thumb. “That’s okay. I know how scared and angry I used to be... still am, many times.”

    She gasped. “Even though you're so big and strong and no longer a slave?”

    “I wish it weren’t so. But, don’t tell anyone, okay? Everyone else thinks I’m ‘The Hero with no Fear’.” He rolled his eyes. “If only they knew.”

    Shmi suddenly giggled.

    “Huh... what’s so funny?”

    “It’s just how you rolled your eyes... it reminded me of how my daddy always did that, and mommy always told him that someday those eyes would roll out of his head.”

    “My mom said that to me, too,” he chuckled. Then he looked intently into Shmi’s eyes as he gently took her hands in his. “Another thing she told me was that no matter how bad things are, there is always someone else in need. If you can find a way to help them, it will make you feel better about your life.” He squeezed her fingers as he added, “Thank you for helping me.”

    “But... it was you who helped me! You threw away that trash when I couldn’t lift it.”

    “True, but you came to comfort me even though you were afraid of me.”

    “Girl! What’s takin’ you so long? Get in here now, or there’ll be a beatin’!”

    Shmi’s eyes widened with fear and she gasped as she looked back at the door she had come out of. Looking back at Anakin, she said, “I have to go.”

    “Farewell, Shmi.” He stood as she scampered into the building.

    Turning around, he was surprised to see he was alone. “Sava?”

    Master, please wake up! He heard his Padawan’s voice in his head.

    “But, I am awake. Where are you?” He looked around in confusion.

    “Anakin!” Obi-Wan’s voice was in his ear, “Concentrate, you must come back to the present!”

    The Jedi Knight closed his eyes, and felt a dizzy spell come on. He raised his hand to his temple. Next thing he knew, he was laying on his back and someone was shaking his shoulder. Anakin sat up, “What!” He looked around, still confused, to see the concerned faces of both Obi-Wan and Ahsoka on either side of him.

    “Master, are you alright?”

    He gave his Padawan a shaky smile as he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Yes, Ahsoka, I’m fine. Thanks to you and Master Kenobi.”

    “You’re welcome,” Obi-Wan responded dryly. “We just can’t take you anywhere, can we?”

    “You foolish child!” The angry voice of Sava drew the attention of all three Jedi. “I told you not to let go of my hand. Do you realize how close you came to being lost?”

    Anakin bowed his head low as he apologized. “It was foolish, I know.”

    “There is no telling how much damage your interference has caused,” she scolded, though her voice was much calmer.

    The young Jedi tilted his head. “I, um... think I was supposed to do what I did.” At the silent raise of Sava’s eyebrow, he quickly asked, “Do you remember the part in our walk when my mother told me about the kind stranger she named me after?”

    “Yes...” She narrowed her eyes in suspicion.

    “Well, when we went to that alleyway, I was nudged by the Force. I think if I didn’t interfere, things may have turned out different.”

    “Do you mean the little girl you went to help was your mother?”

    Anakin silently nodded.

    Sava shook her head as she chuckled. “Well, we were lucky this time. It seems we encountered a loop instead of a snag.”

    “So what all happened on your walk, Master?”

    “I...” Suddenly feeling exhausted, he shook his head. “I can’t really talk about it right now. I need time to think.”

    “You need some sleep, young Skywalker.” Sava stood. “My husband will show you to your room. You can go on your second journey tomorrow.”

    The three Jedi stood. Anakin bowed to the woman before they left the room. “Thank you.”
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Jan 2, 2013
  10. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    =D= Wonderful - loved the "mom lessons" taught again:
  11. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Bravo on the weaving together of the various scenes and the loop was cool.
  12. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    I knew it!

    Anakin helped his mother. :)
  13. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot Thank you. I find sometimes teaching a lesson sometimes helps a person learn that lesson better.

    @Jade_eyes I found that while writing it, it seemed to flow easily. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was my inspiration for that.

    @Lady_Misty Yep, time loops are a wonderous thing. [face_tee_hee]

    ~~~

    Chapter 4: Now

    Myrlen greeted the three Jedi as they exited the chamber, “I hear you had an eventful trip.” His voice was light and his eyes held a mischievous glint. “Would you care for something to eat before I show you to your room?”

    Anakin’s stomach replied with a voracious rumble before either of the three companions could speak and Ahsoka smothered her laughter behind her hand.

    “We could use some nourishment, thank you,” Obi-Wan said with a polite bow of his head.

    ~~~

    Nearly an hour and a half later, Anakin lay wide awake in spite of almost nodding off with his face in his dinner. He stared blankly at the ceiling, unable to get his mind to settle. He could sense Ahsoka was sleeping peacefully in the next room, and Obi-Wan was lightly meditating in a seated position near the window. Sitting up, he faced the other man, addressing him softly, “Master?”

    His companion’s eyes opened, their light blue iris’ glowing eerily in the dark. He could sense the older man’s surprise at the formality in which he had been addressed. “You couldn’t sleep, Anakin?” His voice held concern.

    “I need to talk to you first.” The young knight swallowed. He had been thinking about everything he saw during the walk into the past. Though none of it was directly related to his former Master, many of the thoughts kept coming back to him and their bond.

    “Yes, of course.”

    Anakin smiled when he felt Obi-Wan reaching out with the Force. He recognized it as an unspoken wish on the other’s part to not only communicate, but listen fully. “Master,” he began again, but paused before rephrasing, “Obi-Wan, I’m sorry I wasn’t a very good student, nor have I been a good friend.”

    The Jedi Master stood and walked over to the other bed, and sat down so that they could face each other on an even level. The light from the window made their faces equally halved in light and shadow. “What is it, Anakin? What’s troubling you?”

    “I... can’t go into it fully just yet... but I want you to know... I understand now. You really did love Siri... and I’m sorry for your loss.” He looked down at his hands that were folded in his lap. “I’m sorry I was so callous.”

    Silence reigned between them, though the younger man could feel sorrow grab the heart of the other, and just as quickly let go to dissipate into the Force. He detected the gratitude before Obi-Wan nodded slightly and said, “Thank you.”

    A warmth surrounded the two Jedi, and Anakin longed to tell Obi-Wan more. There was a big lie that stood in the way like a duracrete wall, blocking them from being as close as they should be. I can’t tell him the truth yet. Padme needs to agree first. Instead, Anakin stood, and when his friend did the same, he put a hand on the man’s shoulder. “I hope you know, that even though I have been a willful, whining, resentful jerk, I consider you to be a great teacher, an excellent Jedi, and most importantly, a true friend.” He grinned at the older man’s astonishment. A lopsided smile quivered on his lips as embarrassment at the sentimentality made his cheeks grow hot. He forced himself not to say anything stupid and remained quiet.

    Obi-Wan took a deep breath as he patted the taller man’s shoulder. “You are a good friend, in spite of yourself,” there was a gleam of humor in his eyes as he said it, and Anakin chuckled in response even as the two men pulled each other into a hug. Pulling back, the older Jedi looked up into his former Padawan’s eyes as he continued in a more serious tone, “I sense there is more you need to say, but I think it should wait. You need to rest.”

    Anakin nodded. Without another word, the two men lie down on their beds. The young knight was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow.

    ~~~

    Anakin woke up feeling rather disoriented. Sitting up, he looked around. He saw master Kenobi sleeping peacefully. He rose as quietly as he could, mindful not to disturb the other man’s slumber. He wasn’t quite sure why he woke up. For the first time in years, he wasn’t woken by nightmares or a sense of impending danger. Looking out the window, he saw the sun had not risen. A large, full moon cast an silvery glow on the small settlement. Yet, he sensed there was a purpose for him to be awake. He shook his head at the absurd thought that he came out of repose simply because it was time.

    After slipping on his boots and pulling on his tunic over his trousers, he silently left the room.

    “It is time,” a deep voice floated to him from Anakin’s right, and he instinctively placed his hand on his lightsaber hilt as he looked in that direction. About ten meters down the hall, a tall, broad shouldered figure stood. From the dimly lit lanterns that hung at regular intervals along the walls, he could tell the man was wearing brown trousers tucked into tan suede boots. A tan poncho covered his torso and a hood obscured the features of the man’s face. The man silently beckoned him with a wave of his hand, then turned to walk away.

    Curious, Anakin followed. Though he sensed nothing threatening about this strange man, he kept a weary hand upon his weapon’s hilt. He was led outside to the back of the temple. Unlike the front of the building, this side was more rural in appearance. Instead of stone pillars and marble steps that lead up to the entrance of large double doors, there was a wooden porch with a swing on it. Wooden, plank-like steps led down to a grassy yard in which various colored fowl were clucking and scrounging for feed. Beyond a fence, some sort of animal herd was grazing on tall, golden grains. A boy of about ten was walking around with a large basket, occasionally bending over to retrieve eggs hidden in the plush lawn. He briefly stopped to look over at them, then smiled and waved without a word. The man waved back before drawing back his hood.

    Long brown hair and neatly trimmed beard and mustache framed a face that somehow looked familiar to the young knight. Blue eyes glinted in the moonlight as the man asked, “Did you sleep well?”

    Recognition pierced Anakin’s psyche, and all he could do was stare at the taller man with his jaw dropped in mute shock for a solid minute. Then he shook his head. This man was too young to be him. He was about Master Kenobi’s age. Yet, the name sprang from the young knight’s mouth, “Qui-Gon, sir?”

    The man chuckled as he shook his head. “No, but I take this guise out of respect to the man you mentioned because while he was here, we learned from him even as he sought knowledge. I am Tam, the ever present, guardian of what is now.” He sketched a graceful bow.

    “So, he was here?” Awe filled Anakin’s voice. “How long ago?”

    Humor rippled through the Force as the man grinned. “It matters not. I concentrate on the present.”

    “Okay, so what now?”

    “Now,” Tam winked as he answered, “we walk.”

    “I’m not going to hold your hand,” Anakin stated flatly.

    The taller man laughed. “Just take a hold of my sleeve. Don’t let go, and don’t interfere. However, it won’t really hurt anything if you do the first. You’ll just have to find your way back here, and that may be rather time consuming depending on where we travel. The second part, however, I must insist you obey this time. Because in the present, here is where you need to be, and others can take care of where you aren’t. Understand?”

    “Um, I think so.”

    “Don’t think, just do.”

    “Now you sound like Master Yoda,” Anakin muttered as he took a hold of the man’s sleeve.

    Tam threw back his head in laughter as they left the porch and strolled across the verdant lawn. “Where do you think he got the saying, ‘Do or do not, there is no try?’”

    Anakin narrowed his eyes as he stared at the jovial man. Before he could reply, however, they went through the gate. The young knight was astonished when, instead of entering the pasture he had clearly seen just a moment before, they were now in the fountain room of the Jedi Temple. Raising an eyebrow, he said, “Hm, no shimmering curtains?”

    “Not my style,” Tam shrugged. As they continued to walk, they heard youthful voices coming from somewhere in the maze of fountains and flora. “Ephemeral elegance is the Mother of Memories’ forte.”

    “So is her appearance an affectation as well?” At the man’s nod, he asked further, “What do you really look like?”

    “Does it matter?”

    Before Anakin could answer, Tam placed a finger on his own lips then pointed toward three initiates about ten years of age. Two, a male Togruta and a female human, were sitting on the edge of a fountain with their boots behind them. They were splashing their bare feet in the cool water. The third, a male Balosar, was leaning against a tree, quietly listening, his antennapalps fully extended.

    “Yeah, but Anakin Skywalker is a better fighter. With the war, we need to be warriors like him!”

    “It’s because of this war we need more negotiators like Master Kenobi,” the Togruta countered. “The killing will never end if we fight like mindless beasts at the behest of the Great Warmonger we have for Chancellor.”

    “Be careful what you say, Zeev,” the other hissed in alarm.

    “What, do you think I’ll be arrested for treason? We need to get rid of Palpatine. He’s extended his welcome and this war, Brenna. I don’t want to have to kill or die for a Republic that no longer cares for the lives of its citizens.”

    “Your wants have nothing to do with it. Jedi must do their duty, and I’ll do what must be done,” vowed Brenna.

    Zeev looked over at the Balosar and observed, “You’ve been quiet, Ezri. Which would you rather be like: Master Obi-Wan or General Skywalker?”

    “Both and neither,” the third initiate stated quietly as he pushed away from the tree and sat between his two friends with his legs crossed. He tossed a scrap of bark into the fountain as he added, “I’ll be me.”

    Tam chuckled. “I like that one,” he stated as he lead Anakin towards the trio.

    He hesitated slightly when it appeared that they were going to bump into the fountain and the three youth, but seeing he had to either continue walking or let go of his guide’s sleeve, he continued. To his surprise, they passed through both and were now in another part of the Temple. This time, he recognized the small room Yoda used to counsel other Jedi when they were troubled. He looked down at his boots, half expecting them to be wet from the fountain, but found them dry.

    Master Windu sat facing the wizened Grandmaster. The two were a study in contrasts: The former fierce in appearance, the latter exuded peace.

    “Not only is this war dwindling the Jedi population, Master, but I fear even when it’s over, those left will no longer know what being a Jedi means.”

    “Losing the Way, you think we are?”

    “To win this war, we must push the boundaries of the Way and perhaps go beyond.”

    Yoda laughed, but it didn’t sound all that gleeful. “So if we we lose we lose and if we win we lose?” He jumped down off his chair and hobbled over to the window with the slow rhythmic clumping of his staff. Staring through the slits of the shades which covered the portal, he inquired, “To win or lose, our only options are?”

    “What do you mean, Master?”

    The diminutive being’s ears sagged then rose as he turned to the Korun Jedi. “A stalemate may save lives.”

    “True, but,” Mace shook his head as he spoke, “I doubt either side will settle for that. Both want to win. Too many care for their hold on power to care about the lives they trample to stay on top.”

    “Bitter, you have become, my friend.”

    Anakin could sense as well as hear the concern Yoda held toward his fellow Council member, even as he identified with what Master Windu was voicing.

    “Yes, and angry.” He bowed his head and sighed. “I fear I am losing my own way, Master. The dark is surrounding my soul.”

    The elder master took the few steps he needed to come to Mace’s side. Reaching his hand up and placing it on the other’s forearm, Yoda spoke words of encouragement, “Light shining through that darkness, I still see. Care you do, for all life. Hope still exists.”

    The corners of the Korun’s mouth turned up in a slight smile as he put his free hand on top of Yoda’s. “Thank you, my friend.”

    Tam started walking toward the window, and Anakin followed. This time it was no surprise to the latter when they walked through into another place.
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Jan 11, 2013
  14. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    The present is an interesting place. :)
  15. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Great scenes and I like tam. :)
  16. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5

    Awww. [face_love] Loved this - the recognition on Anakin's part that Obi-Wan was really listening to him, the wry "confession" and the low key acceptance of same. Brothers, indeed.

    Hmmm, interesting to see how Anakin reacts to Yoda and Mace.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  17. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    @Lady_Misty That's good because that's where we all have to live... in the present. It'd be a shame if it was boring :p

    @Jade_eyes Tam's a cool guy.

    @Valairy Scot Anakin's reactions to what is shown in this walk will be shown in the chapter after this one. Tam doesn't really give him time to contemplate.

    ~~~

    Chapter 5: Questions

    As Anakin strolled beside Tam, he recognized the streets they travelled along as the cobblestoned lanes of the village outside the temple he and his companions had arrived at the day before. “Are we at the end of our journey, then?”

    “Not yet. Keep a hold of my sleeve for just awhile longer,” the Guardian of the Present cautioned. He then guided the Jedi Knight onto the porch of a building. “Please, remove your boots,” he said as he removed his own.

    Anakin did as instructed, mindful to keep one hand on the man’s garment. He noticed other pairs of footwear, on the wooden rack Tam had put his boots on. A bright yellow ball sat next to the shoe rack. The middle-aged man then opened the door. A pleasing aroma wafted through the aperture, and the young man’s mouth began to water even as his stomach growled. “Smells like breakfast time,” he commented.

    They walked in, and Anakin immediately spotted Ahsoka and Obi-Wan sitting at a round table with Sava and Myrlen, whose cap was tilted at an impossibly awkward angle. How does he keep that thing on? Also at the table, sitting between the elderly couple, was the youth he saw gathering eggs earlier that morning.

    “So, do you know when Anakin will come back from his walk, Mr. Myrlen?”

    “When it is time,” the elder said lightly then took a bite of a flaky roll. He then chuckled as he added, “He should present himself presently.

    The Togruta shook her head and looked over at Obi-Wan. “I don’t like it, Master Kenobi. What if he gets lost again?”

    “Then we’ll find him, Ahsoka,” the older Jedi replied serenely. He took a picked up a thin strip of meat from the his plate and put it too his mouth. It crunched loudly as he chewed, and the man obviously enjoyed the taste as he quickly shoved the rest of the strip in.

    “He’ll be fine, young one,” Myrlen assured her. The old man’s eyes were focused directly upon Tam’s. Ahsoka looked to where the elder gazed, but obviously did not see either the Qui-Gon-look-alike or her Master.

    “Why are we playing this game, Tam? It’s not very funny.”

    “It isn’t a game, Anakin. There is something which you must hear before you reveal yourself.”

    “Okay, but stop the mind games on Ahsoka,” the young Knight said sharply.

    “Sorry, we aren’t playing with her mind, nor are we trying to be cruel.” Tam put a finger to his lips, then nodded toward the table.

    “They do not understand our humor, my husband,” Sava placed a hand on Myrlen’s arm. She then turned her head toward Ahsoka. “You care for Skywalker very much.”

    The young Togruta shrugged as she took a sip of milk. “Well, of course! He’s my master.”

    “Is that all he is to you?” Myrlen tilted his head to one side.

    “He’s my friend. I trust him with my life, and give mine to save his if I had to.”

    Sava turned her head towards Obi-Wan. “You were Skywalker’s Master, what is he to you now?”

    The older Jedi tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. “I’m curious why you wish to know.”

    “’Tis but idle conversation,” Myrlen chuckled. “Forgive us if we are too nosy. You need not feel obliged to answer any questions you are uncomfortable answering.”

    “Oh, I’m not uncomfortable, but it just seems you have a reason for asking these specific questions. Anakin is my brother, and like Ahsoka, I would give my life for his if needed.”

    Sava lowered her voice as she asked, “What would you do if your brother fell to the dark side and become a Sith?”

    “He wouldn’t!” Ahsoka pounded the table with tightened fists and pushed herself up to stand. “He’s a good man. He’d never betray us like that!”

    Still seated, Obi-Wan gently placed a hand over one of her fists. “Sit down, young Padawan. Calm yourself.” He then fastened his cerulean eyes on Sava’s. “I pray it never comes to that. If he cannot be turned back, then he would have to be killed.”

    “Would you kill him?” Myrlen asked.

    The usually placid features of the Master contorted, and he closed his eyes. Anakin could sense Obi-Wan’s pain. Opening them once more, the man who raised The Chosen one from Padawan to Knighthood looked down at the remaining food on his plate. “I’m not sure I could.”

    It was Ahsoka’s turn to put a hand upon her fellow Jedi’s. “You won’t ever have to, Master Kenobi. It’ll never happen.” She turned narrowed eyes to the two elders. “Why are you asking these questions?”

    Anakin was touched by his Padawan’s faith in him, but at the same time saddened. I’ve already taken steps down the dark path. I hope I don’t give her reason to ever doubt me. It was Obi-Wan’s reaction that concerned him more. The sorrow he sensed from his mentor was intense. He knows it’s possible, and it grieves him. It’s not that he doesn’t think he’s physically able to do his duty if I fall, but he’s not sure he would. “I hope he’ll never have to,” he whispered.

    Obi-Wan looked up at Sava and Myrlen as though something just occurred to him. “He’s here, isn’t he? He’s listening to this conversation.”

    Anakin let go of Tam’s sleeve. “Yes I am, and I refuse to stand by and watch my friends being hurt by your questions!” He glared at each the three Guardians.

    “Master,” Ahsoka gasped and quickly stood, wrapping her arms around the Knight’s waist in a relieved hug. She just as swiftly let go with an embarrassed blush. “I’m glad you’re safe.”

    Anakin gently placed a hand on his Padawan’s shoulder and gave her a lopsided smile. “Why wouldn’t I be safe?” His tone was soft and tender though, with no hint of his usual cocky attitude.

    Noting the two extra chairs at the table, Obi-Wan entreated his former Padawan to join them. “Or did you break your fast before going on the second leg of your journey?”

    When the young knight’s stomach rumbled, Ahsoka grinned as she sat back down. “Well, Master Kenobi, there’s your answer.”

    “I wouldn’t mind a bite to eat.” Anakin sat down between Obi-Wan and Myrlen while Tam sat between Ahsoka and Sava. “It looks like you were expecting us,” he commented as he noticed the empty plate and flatware in front of him.

    Tam proceeded to shovel food upon his plate as he replied, “They’re good like that. Nothing surprises them any more.”

    “We’re sorry our conversation upset you,” Sava said softly as Anakin filled his dish as well.

    “So, do you know the future? Is that why you asked what would happen if I fall? You know I will?” The young Jedi kept his voice controlled.

    “It is a possible future,” Tam replied as he chewed on a crunchy meat strip.

    “There are many paths still before you. Some lead to darkness, some to light,” Sava expounded.

    “It’s up to you which road to take,” Myrlen said.

    “Why do you all sound like Master Yoda without the backwards syntax,” Ahsoka wondered. Obi-Wan, who was in mid-swallow, struggled momentarily not to choke, and Anakin almost did a spit-take with his juice.

    Myrlen chuckled, “Sounds like us, young Yoda does, because with us he did travel.”

    Master Kenobi glanced over at Tam with a raised eyebrow. “Did Master Jinn look like you for the same reason?”

    “Actually, it’s the other way around. I take his appearance at the time he visited us.”

    “Qui-Gon and our son are kindred spirits.” Sava glanced fondly at Tam.

    The boy who had remained silent the entire time since Anakin had come in put down his fork. “I’m full,” he announced and looked up at Myrlen. “May I go play, now?”

    The older man ruffled the boy’s hair. “Yes, have fun.”

    The youth rose from the table and went over to Tam and gave him a hug. “I’ll see you later, father.”

    “Don’t forget your ball, Caine.” The Qui-Gon-look-alike smiled as he returned the embrace.

    “I won’t!” The boy pulled away and looked over at Anakin. “Perhaps we can play later.”

    “Um, yeah, sure.”

    Caine’s eyes danced in merriment before he turned and skipped to the door. After he exited the premises, those at the table could hear rhythmic thumping sounds accompanying the boy’s shuffling footsteps slowly fade away.
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Jan 28, 2013
  18. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Oooh, what an experience. To hear what others really think, quite a leap of vulnerability, but in Anakin's case he hears of people's caring and confidence. :) Hee! So that's where Yoda-speak came from [face_rofl] ;)
  19. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Painful questions but they needed to be asked anyway. They reveal things about themselves that they didn't realize.
  20. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes Well, not the backwards part LOL that's all Yoda :p

    @Lady_Misty Yes, Anakin isn't the only one who have lessons to learn.

    Okay, this chapter isn't as long as the others, but I believe there is quite a bit of emotional impact that makes up for the brevity.

    @Valairy Scot

    ~~

    Chapter 6: Child’s Play

    Anakin walked alone down the cobblestone roads, lost in thought and with no destination in mind. Villagers were quietly attending to their gardens or talking to each other as they strolled together, briefly nodding to the tall Jedi with warm smiles as they continued on their way.

    He felt unsettled as he thought about the conversation the initiates were having in the room of a thousand fountains. He never thought about the fact that he wasn’t just a role model for Ahsoka, but for the ones who hoped to become Padawans. I’m not the one these younglings should be looking up to. I’m not perfect.

    What disturbed him more was the talk by one of the initiates about the Chancellor, describing him as a warmonger, and the similar sentiments of Master Windu... though the Korun Jedi hadn’t said it in those terms, the fact that he included the leaders of both sides as not caring about their citizens spoke volumes. Palpatine is a good man! He cares, but what choice has he had? We can’t let the Separatists win. Not after all the atrocities they’ve committed! Anakin’s fists tightened, and he looked down at them as he stopped walking.

    Master Windu is right about one thing, though... we have to end this before we lose the way.

    His thoughts were interrupted when he felt something hit against his calf. A small, yellow ball slowly rolled away from him, and he quickly scooped it up with a frown.

    “Hey!”

    Anakin looked in the direction the young voice to see the youngling who was at the breakfast table earlier. The boy was on the other side of a waist-high fence, and other children were behind him on what looked like some sort of playing field.

    “Could you throw the ball back to us, sir?”

    “Sure.” As he said it, he drew back his arm and threw it.

    The ball soared over the heads of the younglings who all laughed as they jumped in vain attempts to catch it. All but the curly-haired youth ran after it. The dark brown eyes seemed to look through the Jedi, and Anakin had the feeling this was no ordinary child. Then Cain laughed, “Nice arm! Do you want to play?”

    “Sorry, I don’t have time right now.”

    “There’s always time,” the youngling replied.

    He hangs out with his dad and grandparents too much.

    “Please?” The boy’s eyes begged.

    “Okay,” Anakin relented as he made his way over to the gate, “just for a little while.” What can it hurt?

    “Yippee!”

    The tall Jedi laughed as the boy jumped up and down in uncontained excitement. For the next half hour, he played with the younglings, kicking the ball back and forth. There didn’t seem to be a goal of any kind. It was just children living in the moment, enjoying the exhilaration of kicking the ball... sometimes high in the air, then another would headbutt it. The only rule was to keep it moving. No catching it in your hands. Anakin found himself laughing and giggling along with the other players.

    That was until he caught the ball.

    “Aw!”

    “Oh, no!”

    “Quick, drop it!”

    Anakin stared at the yellow orb. The dust on it appeared to swirl in concentric circles, and he felt a strange fascination grip him. Cain’s face appeared on the ball, and the youngling’s voice was in his head. There’s always time... time... time...

    ~~~

    Anakin is on a ship. He sees Obi-Wan lying unconscious on the hard floor. He senses the danger behind him and instinctively twirls to block the hissing red blade with his bright blue one. It is Count Dooku.

    ... time...

    Dooku is on his knees. Anakin is holding both his own blade and that of the Count’s.

    “Kill him,” Chancellor Palpatine orders.

    Anakin protests.

    “Do it!”

    He did it.

    No, this is wrong!

    ... time...

    Anakin is having a nightmare: Padme screaming in pain and dying in childbirth. He sits up, looks briefly at his wife, then gets out of bed.

    ... time...

    It was dark, and the voice he heard was garbled as though it were being strained then twisted so the speaker could not be recognized.

    “Darth Plaguies was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”

    “Is it possible to learn this power,” it was Anakin’s own voice which asked the question.

    “Not from a Jedi.”

    ... time...

    Mace Windu was standing by a large panoramic window, his purple lightsaber blocking lightening which came from a dark figure. Anakin could not see who the other man was. It was as though his vision was being blurred when he tried to focus on the source of the terrible energy which threatened the Korun Jedi Master.

    It is the Sith Lord, I know it! But who is he?

    Then to his horror, he stops Master Windu from defeating the Sith. In fact, he helps the Dark Lord to defeat his fellow Jedi. Anakin stumbles backwards and sits down as he drops his lightsaber.

    “What have I done?”

    ... time...

    He is in the Jedi Temple now. His blue blade relentlessly cuts down his fellow Jedi, and he can feel dark power flowing through himself.

    No, he shouts to himself. This is wrong!

    ... time...

    He’s in the Jedi Council Chamber. A youngling comes up to him, staring at him with innocent, trusting eyes. “Master Skywalker, there are too many of them. What are we going to do?”

    Anakin ignites his lightsaber.

    NOOOOOO!

    He cuts down the youngling... and all the others in the room.

    ... time...

    Anakin is in Padme’s apartment, telling her about the Jedi turning against the Republic.

    No, this isn’t happening! It cannot happen!

    He tells her he’s going to Mustafar, then leaves...

    Yet he stays there in the apartment. For the first time, he sees his body leaving, but his spirit stays where it is.

    Soon, he sees Obi-Wan arrive. His former Master tells Padme of the dark deeds Anakin has done. His wife refuses to believe. She doesn’t tell him where her husband is going.

    Anakin watches Obi-Wan leave and the young knight’s spirit follows Padme to her skiff.

    He sees Master Kenobi hide on board.

    ... time...

    Anakin is on Mustafar. He sees Padme’s skiff land and goes to her. It is like he is observing the conversation even as he is a part of it.

    Obi-Wan appears.

    He can sense his own anger, and the feelings of betrayal well up inside him.

    No, no NO! This is all wrong!

    He sees himself turn on Padme and choke her.

    Oh FORCE STOP THIS VISION!

    His spirit weeps as he releases his wife. He knows she’s still alive.

    Obi-Wan confronts him.

    ... time...

    He watches as Padme gives birth. Obi-Wan is there, showing her the newborn...

    Twins? She’s having twins?

    Luke and Leia, she names them.

    He weeps as she tells Obi-Wan that there is still good in Anakin... then takes her last breath.

    ... TIME...

    He was holding the yellow ball.

    Briefly, he saw Padme’s eyes staring out at him. Deep sadness and love flowed to him before the eyes faded.

    Anakin dropped the ball, and as he fell to the ground, consciousness fled.
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Feb 17, 2013
  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Wow! =D= Intense. =D= Loved the pacing and the synopses of ROTS. @};-

    Glad he's getting these foregleams of events before they happen, so they might be averted. O:)
    Last edited by Jade_eyes, Feb 17, 2013
  22. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    I don't know how he's going to handle all of this. [face_worried] He didn't take the vision on Mortis well at all.

    Hopefully he will be strong,
  23. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Actually, this story takes place before the events on Mortis. I've added a little more specific reference of when this takes place in the "Timeframe" part at the beginning of the first post (after "Brain Invaders" and before "Overlords").
  24. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Ah, alright.


    Sent from my iPod touch using Tapatalk
  25. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    @Valairy Scot, @Lady_Misty

    @Jade_eyes Well, this is the final chapter. I deliberately left the ending open... I may do a sequel.

    LOL this was supposed to be a short story done as a kind of take off of Dicken's Christmas Carol as a present for a co-worker in a gift exchange. That co-worker has since left the company I work for and I've no idea how to get in contact with him. :oops:

    ~~~


    Chapter 7: Endgame

    Anakin moaned when someone gently turned him over and lifted his shoulders. “Anakin, wake up!”

    The voice was Obi-Wan’s. The young Jedi’s eyes fluttered open to see his friend’s blue orbs hovering over him. The rest of the Jedi Master’s face slowly came into focus with an expression of deep concern. Cain was kneeling on the other side of him with a pensive expression that made his youthful face look old. The yellow ball was under the boy’s arm.

    “Kill me,” Anakin whispered hoarsely.

    The man stared at him with incredulity. “What?”

    “Kill me before I turn into that monster,” he begged in a stronger voice as he sat up and rubbed his head.

    “Anakin, no one is going to kill you! What’s going on? What happened to you?”

    “He looked into the future,” Cain said. “I guess I should have warned you. I never had anyone react that way before, though.” The boy looked as though he were about to cry. “I’m really sorry!”

    “That’s alright, kid.” Anakin waved off Obi-Wan’s help as he stood up. “I’m fine... it was just a... shock.”

    “Master!” Ahsoka came running to them as the older Jedi also rose. “What’s wrong?” She looked from Obi-Wan to Anakin, confused. “I sensed you were in pain.”

    The young Knight put a hand on his padawan’s shoulder. “I’m okay. I... just found out how evil I am... or can become.” He placed his other hand on her other shoulder as he looked into her eyes. “I need to talk to Obi-Wan alone for awhile.”

    “O-ok,” she stammered. The look of concern not leaving her face.

    Anakin smiled down at her as he lightly squeezed her shoulders before removing his hands. “Don’t worry about me, Snips. I’ll be fine.”

    “Go to the ship, Ahsoka,” Obi-Wan instructed her. “Tell Jinx we’ll be there in an hour.”

    “Yes, sir.” The Togruta walked slowly at first, peering back over her shoulder every few steps before she straightened her back and proceeded at a regular pace.

    “Sirs,” the young boy informed the two Jedi in a subdued voice, “my grandfather wishes you to meet him, grandmother and father at the temple when you’re ready.”

    “We’ll be there,” Obi-Wan said dryly, “in time.”

    The youth nodded, then began to walk away.

    “Cain...” Anakin waited for the lad to look back, then bowed his head to him. “Thank you for the lesson. It is what I needed.”

    The boy’s shoulders straightened then, and he turned and bowed before turning away once more. He shifted the ball from under his arm and started dribbling it as he ran down the street.

    Obi-Wan looked up at Anakin with his head tilted in curiosity. “So, what did the boy show you that has you so rattled?”

    Taking a deep breath then slowly releasing it, the young knight shook his head. “First, I must confess something.” At the raised eyebrow of his former Master, Anakin put a hand on the older man’s shoulder. “Come, let’s walk while we talk.”

    The two Jedi walked side by side down the lane as the taller one divulged, “Padme and I are married.” When Obi-Wan looked up at him with his cerulean eyes widened in obvious surprise, he elaborated, “It was at the beginning of the war. I had taken her back to Naboo after the first battle on Geonosis. We kept it secret because we both have duties... me to the Jedi, and she’s needed in the Senate. I wanted to tell you... after the ‘walk’ I had with Sava... but I wanted to consult with Padme first.”

    When the older man remained silent after a time, Anakin looked over at him. “I’m sorry I failed you, Master.”

    “No, Anakin,” he replied as he stopped and faced the Knight, “it is I who failed you.” When the younger man started to protest, he put up a hand and shook his head. “When I took you as my Padawan, I wasn’t prepared to take on that responsibility. I was arrogant, and I failed to listen to you. I tried so hard to teach you, that I forgot one of the most important lessons my own Master taught me - to be heard, you must be willing to listen. When I was captured on Geonosis, I felt your pain when your mother passed... I meant to talk to you about it, but I never took the time.”

    “To be fair, the war didn’t give much time for talk,” Anakin put a hand on Obi-Wan’s shoulder.

    “Still, you needed me, and I wasn’t there for you. But Padme was.”

    “You’re here now.”

    Their eyes met, then they both smiled in understanding and mutual forgiveness.

    “I knew you and Padme were close, but, I never guessed you were married. What is it that makes you confess now, before first consulting her?”

    Unable to look the Jedi Master in the eyes as he spoke, he looked down at the ground. “The vision the boy gave me... of the future... I do some terrible things to get the power to save her because of I dream I have that she’ll die in childbirth.” He closed his eyes tight to keep the tears he felt about to come from flowing. “I betray you and the Jedi... kill younglings...” He looked up at Obi-Wan, and as the tears begin to make their way down his cheeks, he continued, “I turn on Padme, thinking she led you to me, and she dies after giving birth to our babies.” He began to pace back and forth in agitation. “She dies because of what I did to save her! I become a Sith, and destroy everything I love.”

    Anakin stopped his frantic pacing as he ran his fingers through his hair. He looked over at Obi-Wan who appeared calm within the storm that was the young Knight’s emotions. “I don’t want to become that monster,” he declared, hoarsely. “Please help me, Master.”

    “You won’t become that monster, Anakin,” the older Jedi spoke softly. “You have the knowledge that the actions you take to become that person will take you in the opposite direction of the goals you wished to gain by doing so.”

    “It doesn’t bother you that I have the potential to betray you?”

    “Anakin. Please. For once, listen to me.” The ginger-haired Master smiled slightly. Their eyes met once more, and when the younger man’s lips curled up in an answering grin, Obi-Wan added as he placed a hand on his friend’s shoulder, “You are my brother. I love you. I have faith in you.”

    The young Knight winced at his former Master’s profession of confidence in his integrity. Lowering his eyes, he shook his head. “I don’t deserve your trust. I’ve done so many evil things already...” he looked once more as he continued his confession, “... marrying Padme wasn’t the only secret I kept from you. Before then, just before we joined you on Geonosis, I slaughtered a whole tribe of Tusken Raiders when my mom died in my arms... all of them, including the women and children.”

    “Anakin...” The shock in the older Jedi’s voice was unmistakable.

    “That’s not all! I tortured Poggle, strangling him with the Force, while I interrogated him to get the information to save Ahsoka from the brain worms.” He shook his head. “I’ve been walking a dark path for quite awhile, Master. I... I’m not fit to be a Knight, let alone take on the responsibility of training a Padawan.” Taking a deep breath, Anakin turned away from Obi-Wan as he concluded with, “I hereby resign.” He removed his lightsaber from his belt and dropped it. Walking away, he said, “Take care of Ahsoka.”

    “Anakin, wait!” Master Kenobi picked up the abandoned hilt and rushed to the younger man’s side. “You’re being rash, as usual.” He held out his friend’s lightsaber as he grabbed Anakin’s arm and stopped walking. “I refuse to accept your resignation. If you wish to quit the Jedi Order, you’ll have to do so in front of the whole counsel.”

    General Skywalker turned to face Obi-Wan. “And you’re being pedantic, as usual!”

    “Perhaps I am, Anakin, but can’t you see, your actions will not help the situation. You’re running away, and that’s not like you. You’ve had a shock. Think this over. If you still wish to leave the Jedi Order in a week’s time, fine. I’ll accept it.” He shoved the lightsaber hilt in the taller Jedi’s chest.

    With a heavy sigh, Anakin took the hilt. As he returned it to his belt, he said, “Fine, I’ll give it a week. I doubt I’ll change my mind though.”

    “We shall see.”

    ~~~

    “Your walk with us is complete,” Myrlen announced. “We hope your time here was enlightening, if not altogether pleasant.”

    Anakin sat on the floor opposite the wizened man in a circle with Obi-Wan and Ahsoka on either side of him, and Cain, Tam, and Sava completing the circumference. “There was much I learned,” the young Knight answered. “I’m not sure I’ve absorbed it all just yet, but what you showed me will not be forgotten.”

    Tam smiled gently as he said, “Though the Jedi frown upon attachments, don’t turn your back on the support of those who care for you.”

    The young Knight looked first at Obi-Wan, and then Ahsoka. He nodded in silent agreement before looking at the four Guardians. “Thank you all for what you showed me.”

    “You are welcome, young Skywalker,” Sava said in her gentle voice which reminded Anakin of the shimmering curtains which lead to each of the points on his walk with her.

    “It is time to say farewell now,” the grace which Myrlen rose from his seated position belied his advanced years. “May the Force forever be your ally, and vice versa.”

    “Thank you, and may the Force be with you, always,” Obi-Wan replied before the three Jedi made their way back to the shuttle.

    ~~~

    Five hours later, their shuttle came out of hyperspace at Nexus Ortai.

    “Well, that was quick,” Admiral Yularen commented once they were onboard the Resolute. “You were only an hour behind us.”

    “But... we spent two full days on the planet,” Ahsoka exclaimed.

    “Which planet was that?”

    “We’ll make out our full report shortly,” Obi-Wan interjected as he pointed at the viewscreen. Three Separatist battle cruisers were converging on the Resolute.

    “Yes,”Anakin agreed as alarm klaxons sounded, “it appears we’re just in time for some fun.”

    The End
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