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Saga Inheritance (Mace, Obi-Wan, Anakin)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ruth baulding, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. ruth baulding

    ruth baulding Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012

    The place was not difficult to find; the Dark Side exudes from it like a seeping black ooze. Kenobi all but balked at the entrance, and even I must admit that it is better not to face such a place alone. A topical vergence in the Force is not a phenomenon entirely unheard of; there have been many reports of such locations in remote areas, on far-flung worlds. But it is a rarity, and not something often encountered in any single Jedi’s life. Ilum is such a place, one where the balance of fundamental principles is delicate, but resolved in favor of Light. There, Light contains and surrounds Darkness. The famous visions that afflict seekers within the Caves are bounded by luminous walls, rooted in wisdom, in self-knowledge. Here, though….

    This place is Dark.

    “Do you need help, master?”

    Kenobi’s clear voice echoes in the chamber beyond, but the overtones do not mask his characteristic hint of mischief. This crevice is narrow, and my shoulders are not. My companion barely fit through, and he is more compactly built in general. But that does not mean I require assistance. “I can manage,” I tell him, making sure to infuse the reassurance with stern authority. Don’t you even dare to think it, my friend.

    And I wriggle through, somehow or another. Force knows I had to fit into many a tight spot as old Yoda’s apprentice. His rule of thumb was this: if he could manage it, so ought his Padawan to be able. If I ever complained of having grown too tall for some exercise or obstacle course, I would always be informed that my own fault, was that.

    Kenobi rubs at the back of his neck, as though massaging away an incipient headache. It will only get worse as we proceed, but forward we must go. “One more cavern, I think,” he says, gazing round the dimly lit vastness. Sparks of light are reflected in the buried crystals. “The last cave had far more ithyll than this… “ He turns a slow circle and then points to a shadow in the back wall. “Over there.”

    We proceed slowly, reluctance dragging at both our footsteps. I raise my mental shields high, aware of the subtle influx of wicked suggestion, of hot passion. Beside me, I feel Kenobi tense, both physically and in the Force. We push onward, resisting the invisible barriers, the prickling mental invasion.

    The second passage is yet narrower. A child, or one of the skinny Feorians, might squeeze through here - but few others.

    “All right,” I sigh. “I surrender.” Peering through the jagged crack, I glimpse the splendor of the chamber behind. Limpid pools glitter beneath a crystal fretted roof. The magnificence of the treasures growing in inverted castles and towers, impossible mineral clouds filling the dome of this subterranean heaven. The price of a small planet is contained herein… and something else.

    I move aside, and Kenobi squints into the murky cavern in his turn. His shoulders twist in revulsion, and he steps back again, inhaling slowly. I can see perspiration beading at his temples.

    How far in did your Padawan go?” I ask, amazed. The Feorians I can understand; they are none of them Force-sensitive. But that a child with little or no training could withstand the sheer intensity of this place… I can hardly believe it.

    “All the way – he was standing inside that last cavern. He showed me, master. I’m sure he was here. He described the feeling it evokes very accurately… though he didn’t convey the strength of the Force here.”

    Impossible. Yet true. That sums up the Skywalker boy nicely. I will meditate on the implications later. For now, we must complete this unpleasant task. “I don’t feel the presence of any particular sentient or other life form, do you?”

    He shakes his head. “The jabuur-weki doesn’t appear to be home,” he remarks, favoring me with a fleeting, wry smile.

    Another indication that the creature doesn’t truly exist? Or simply that it walks by night, and only returns to its lair in daylight hours? “Blast,” I mutter. “I’d like a better look at that inner cavern.”

    Kenobi gathers himself, and then exhales. “I can fit through,” he decides, eyes wandering over the fissure’s uneven length, assessing. “Unfortunately,” he adds.

    I nod. A Jedi does not turn back from a difficult task, and he is a Knight of the Order now. I watch as he sheds his cloak and squirms his way into the crevice, sideways, sucking in a deep breath as the rock presses painfully against his ribs. A minute or two of determined shimmying, and he’s managed to cram himself an impressive distance into the narrow aperture, like a cephalopod squeezing into a bottle. He stops, and unless I’m mistaken, he utters a very colorful phrase under his breath.

    “Well?” It is humorous. From this perspective, at least.

    He grumbles something else – but it ends in master, so I let it slide. He’s going to have some pretty bruises when this is done, anyway. “You could teach a Twi’Lek dancing girl a few moves,” I observe, teasingly. The Force flares with suppressed chagrin, and he writhes his way into freedom, grunting a bit as he escapes the crushing confines of the opening.

    I can hear his boots splashing in the water underfoot as he moves across the cavern.

    “This is the place,” he calls back to me.

    I wait outside the ragged threshold, listening to the drip of moisture, to the soundless growl of menace reverberating in the Force. Product of fantasy or not, the jabuur-weki has indeed chosen a suitable lair. I can see how this place might have worked upon the imaginations of the impressionable young Feorians, how the dark vergence might even have inspired visions of a nightmarish monster…

    “Look for a source,” I call into the echoing chamber beyond. I can just make out the glimmer of Kenobi’s tunics, reflecting the dull light of the ithyll crystal. His skin looks as pale as the blanched cloth. The Dark fills the cave, overflows it. The center of the vergence must be contained therein.

    And then I feel it – like a blast of icy wind in the Force. A presence, a knot of energy without name or form, a shadow coagulated from other clotted shadows.

    My saber’s blade leaps to meet the challenge, Light rising to greet the intruding Dark. And I pivot on the spot, eyes straining through the gloom to see what lurks in the space beyond, descending from the surface back to this secret tabernacle beneath the frozen earth.

    Impossible, yet true. The jabuur-weki has returned.

  2. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    A nice cliffie
  3. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005

    Only Obi-Wan could get Mace into a teasing mode, I think, but then Obi-Wan could charm anyone (except Vader and Sids). Maybe when he's sent to that convocation on where ever he'll get the change to teach those moves, you think?
  4. ruth baulding

    ruth baulding Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012
    Ha! The more pertinent question is always, where did he learn them, hm?
    Couple more chapters up:
  5. ruth baulding

    ruth baulding Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012

    Now this is a distraction.

    And I was totally right about the Feorians’ old junky hover-tram. See? I fixed it without even a decent toolkit, just the micro-drivers I carry everywhere in my belt pouch, mostly ‘cause they’re small enough to fit, and some ol’ scrap circuits I found in Yonso’s house. Sometimes they get donations of old chizzky comm equipment and stuff, but nobody here knows what to do with busted transceivers so they just make jewelry and weird stuff like that with it. I salvaged some of it and I rerouted the repulsor lapse regulator and look! It runs like a podracer now, practically.

    I mean, it’s prob’ly not Galactic safety standard and all… but it goes fast. And that’s all that matters, really.

    Yonso and the other guys think it’s pretty wizard. I don’t think they’ve ever been podracing or anything like that, and they don’t have any real good vehicles here at all. We’ve gone like a bazillion klicks all the way across the tundra plain, and guess what? There actually are hills and stuff here on Gola. If you get north far enough, the land sorts changes and there’s these sharp cliff things made of ice and rock, kinda like the dune sea at home on Tatooine except all frozen. There’s no plants at all up here, and not even any dirt, really. It’s just rocks and slick ice, like maybe it never melts. And its hoocha cold, with the wind and all. We’re gonna have to turn back in a minute, maybe, ‘cause I can’t even feel my fingers or anything.

    Yonso and Lorra and all the guys are really cheering loud and whooping and singing funny songs. This is like a holiday and guess what? They’ve never even heard of Boonta Eve! I mean, even the kids in the Temple knew what Boonta was even though they never get to celebrate it and even if they were kinda snotty about it like it wasn’t proper and all. They knew about it. These Feorians didn’t even know. I guess they have some folk holidays and stuff, but Yonso says that they have to cast off the shackles of tradition, which I guess means he thinks those are stupid or something. I guess he just thinks everything about being Feorian is stupid. He’ll prob’ly learn about Boonta when he goes to universe-city, anyway.

    You can see all the stars here, not like Coruscant. Back at the Temple you can hardly see any stars, cause the buildings and traffic and all drown out the sky with light. Back home you could see ‘em all, though. But guess what? The constellations are different on most every planet you go to. So it’s kinda like every world has its own stars, not all the same. Except out in space they are the same, really. It’s weird. Master says it’s a good metaphor for the disparity of subjective experience and the unification of knowledge in the Force. All I know is that I’m gonna be the first person to visit every single star system. But I better get moving. I mean, I’ve already been a Jedi for like half a year now and we only got to go to a few places. That’s not fast enough. Master Obi-Wan’s sorta holding me back.

    “It’s too cold!” Lorrah complains, and he’s right.

    “We’re gonna turn around!” I yell. You gotta yell cause the cab’s not really enclosed or anything and the adjustments I made to the drive regulator are kinda loud, actually. This thing’s pretty hard to turn around, but I think I did it right. We’re mostly going in the right direction, too… I think.

    So now we’re headed back toward the Feorian village and Master will be pretty pleased ‘cause I distracted these guys like all night long or something. It takes a while to go this far and get back. I really hope there’s a chubazzi big breakfast cooking, too, ‘cause I’m practically starving. Being super distracting is really hard work.

    Whoa! Where did all those come from? There weren’t any animals when we came up this way, but now there’s like a bazillion of them, all spread across the plain as far as you can see. And they look just like banthas! “Banthas!” I shout. They have banthas here, and its like as far from Tatooine as you can get. Isn’t that rugged??

    “What’s a bantha?” Lorra hollers.

    “Those! Those are banthas, you chuba booki!” I mean, here they are right in the middle of his own home world and he doesn’t know what they are.

    “But those are Tadons,” he argues.

    What a chuba. So maybe they have a different word for these guys, but so what! And these ice banthas have tusks like even bigger than the sand ones, and their fur is all white and now that we’re closer I can see they kinda have this long nose thing hanging down too. And whoa! Even one of them could prob’ly knock this tram right over, so we better be kinda careful and…

    Uh oh.

    Yonso or maybe one of his friends is yelling something about a stampede and all of a sudden the ice banthas are all running, making the ground rumble and stuff, and a big ‘ol cloud of white dust sorta rises off the ice and rolls around. You can’t see anything in this, but that’s okay ‘cause I can pretty much still tell where they all are without seeing them, you know, and then it really is like podracing, I mean I’m dodging and swerving and stuff so we don’t run into a bantha and it’s like I’m at the controls of my really good racer, the one I built myself that Master Qui-Gon bet on and all.

    I really love flying.

    The only problem is, this really isn’t a podracer and it’s kinda heavy and now all the bantha things are panicking and running in every direction at once. I think this is what Master meant when he said playing tag in an asteroid field. That’s what he said it was like trying to keep me outta trouble, and I didn’t get what he meant. But I think I sorta get it now, and you know what? He’s really full of poodoo.

    ‘Cause I am way smarter than these banthas. It’s like they want to get hit, and I think…. Maybe… uh oh.


    This is not good….

    Something musta hit us – and the train is slewing around all crazy- I can’t stop it, even with the Force, but I’m trying real hard - and the Feorians are all shrieking and there’s ice and wind and spinning around and flying and --

  6. ruth baulding

    ruth baulding Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012

    This inner cave is Dark, in more than one sense. No sooner did I set foot into it than I felt the oppressive stillness of this chamber – and behind me, where Master Windu waits, the arrival of something else. A presence.

    And with that presence there comes a change; the furled shadows within this vault stir, and rise in response, thunder brewing invisibly in the Force. I stumble as the Balance shifts, as the crystal fretted walls seem to melt into diaphanous curtains, the puppet-theater of dark vision.

    Suddenly, I am both here and – impossibly, horribly – there.

    The shallow film of water splashing beneath my feet reflects the dim light of the crystals embedded above, and yet it is also polished black plasteel, reflecting artificial constellations.

    This cavern is a hollowed dome beneath Outer Gola’s frigid wastes, and yet it is also the sculptured architecture of a generator core, another black cathedral, a different set of walls and buttresses.

    The glint of mineral facets here and there, the drip of water from dangling stalactites is the solemn whisper of nature’s edifice - and yet it is also the gleam of hatred in jaundiced eyes, the ragged pant of breath and pulse as the pitched battle unfolds.

    My footsteps are my own, and also those of two others. The roar of silence in my ears is the warning thrum of four saber blades, a discordant chorus.

    And the Dark… that is here and there at once, everywhere and nowhere, a nauseating chant drumming in soundless cacophony. I seem to make out the syllables, each one shaped by the heavy plop of a chill droplet into the puddle beneath: Kor-ah. Mah-tah. Kor -ah. Rah-tah-mah. The voice seems to well up from a bottomless pit, a shaft descending to the planet’s mantle – but that pit is also a tiny nexus of malice in the cave’s center, a group of misshapen, cancerous crystals standing like a forbidden isle amid the largest of the murky pools. This is the source of Darkness.

    This is a thing I have not yet seen, nor felt, though I know what it is. A vergence in the Force, centered about a place. Here the Dark coils like a serpent about a warm stone, multiplying in every mirrored surface of the ithyll, insinuating itself beneath my skin, into thought and feeling. There is no Light…. And the suffocating absence is palpable, a vortex drawing all things toward a singularity. To think that a chunk of mineral – that maimed twist of crystal, looking like a goiter, its pale milky luminance a poisonous lantern, a false beacon – could be the locus of such power, such undiluted despair.

    I cannot approach it. I cannot.

    Nor can I tell where here ends and there begins, where now bleeds into then, into nightmare without waking. Sensation can be a liar, a deceiver: and yet the Force itself in this warped here, this twisted now, is also a liar. The Dark is a weaver of illusion, of falsehood, and here it has wrought a tapestry as complex and knotty as the blanket the Feorian crones bequeathed to me. I can feel my very breath and life compounded into its sinuous pattern, warp against weft, regret lashed to grief, memory to the weight of promise. It is a braid, too…a chain… a noose.

    There is no emotion; there is peace. There is no passion; there is serenity. There is no ignorance; there is knowledge. There is no –

    Kor-ah. Rah-tah-mah. Yood-ah. Kor -ah.

    The laughter of the Dark takes on a shape and a place… without. In the chamber I have left behind. I struggle back, through the shallow gleaming water, across the slippery stretch of black floor. There – beyond the narrow barrier – it coalesces. A thing. A nothing. A gathering of shadows into substance, a nameless presence. A purple saber flashes into life before it, the violet flame forbidding further egress. And yet it does not stop, nor does it falter. And I know that this is the enemy, the jabuur-weki, the thing which is mere legend from another age.

    As the Sith are mere legend from another age, tales told to make younglings shiver, a haunting echo of some horror long ago vanquished. The Sith are unreal, as the jabuur-weki is unreal, as fear and passion and death are unreal. The Dark laughs, mocking all such fragile boundaries, laying siege to the thin barrier between waking present and primordial nightmare. The jabuur-weki looms, awful, pitted against Light. Yet all I see is the Sith surging forward, leering, hungry for the kill.

    And I am caught- behind the barrier – separated off – trapped.

    The narrow gap through which I passed taunts me, its width seeming to shrink before my eyes to a razor’s edge of red light, a pulsating veil of crimson. My breath ratchets into battle rhythm, memory flooding molten over the brink of awareness, an eruption of forgotten dread. On the other side of the gap, a violet saber spins, defiant. Or is it a green blade twisting and parrying, desperate? The Sith’s murderous stave cuts a blinding swath of fire…the jabuur-weki bristles with blue lightning, a wrathful storm of clawing fingers reaching for its prey.

    Kor-ah. Syahd-ho. Rah-tah-mah. Daan-yah.

    The green blade blocks, feints, lunges, strikes. The purple ‘saber sweeps, arcs, defends. Lightning spatters upon the walls and ceiling. The jabuur-weki shrieks in rage, its voice without place, without body, boiling in our blood, setting the Light afire with its outrage.

    Kor-ah. Kee-lah. Daan-yah.

    No. No. No. It will not be – not again. I stand transfixed when I must act. When I must banish the past and its visions, the Dark’s tempting illusion, the hallucinations of despair.

    Nyo-Hah, Kee-lah, Kor-ah, Rah-tah-mah.

    There is no can or cannot, no try. There is only do. There is only what must be done.

    I turn, away from the battle, away from the barrier, away from memory and present horror, away from the piercing howls of the formless monster.. There, behind me– the center, the source. I face it, though I cannot. My own blade leaps into life, and it is not mine. It is the emerald fire of that place, that time. It is defeat and victory, joy and sorrow, memory and promise. And its song rivals the wicked canticle of the Dark.

    Syahd-ho. Honor. Kee-lah. Truth. Kor-ah. Peace. Rah-Tah-Mah. Light.

    The clot of malformed crystals is a putrescence rotting in the bowels of this cave, of this world. Evil clings to it, turgid, viscous. One strike. One strike at the center, the source. The Dark pushes back, resistant, fearful, enraged – telling me that I cannot, that I should let go and fall into oblivion.

    Kor-ah, Daan-yah, Rah-tah-mah, Kor-ah!

    A soaring leap over the stretch of opaque water, the shallow lake. A single turn in midair, the turn of Fate’s wheel complete on the downswing – there! The blade lands true and straight, driving through the center of the wretched mass, cleaving sickly pale rock to splintering shards, ending the chant, silencing the Dark.

    It is not the first time I have done what I cannot do.
    The jabbuur-weki wails; the saber screams; the cave explodes with light and obliterating fire; and I am slammed backward against unyielding stone, pierced by that merciless fleet lightning, crying out in my turn with pain - and there is no here or there, no present or past… only the Force.
  7. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    This continues to be awesome. Still one of my favorite stories. And I love the sort of twilight zone feel. You're writing sort of reminds me of Greg Bear's in Rogue Planet. I didn't really enjoy his plot, but his characterization was very humanizing. And you bring that out in droves. We see that the Jedi are human and that each side isn't exactly counter-productive of the other.
  8. Luna_Nightshade

    Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jan 25, 2006
    Agreed on the continued awesomeness. Deeply enjoyed all of it, but I was most... amused by Kor-ah. Mah-tah. Kor -ah. Rah-tah-mah..... I love how reading that I instantly had Duel of the Fates going in my head. Brilliant. Wonderful catching up.

    By the way... do you write things anywhere else? This inquiring mind would like to know if you have other things out there to enjoy.
  9. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Love this. The different POV's with each chapter
  10. Valairy Scot

    Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2005
    ruth baulding: Hey, Ruth - you haven't finished this (here)!!!!! And I can't remember if you posted the "clan" a/k/a pantless Obi-Wan here.

    Luna_Nightshade: Ruth is under the same name at ff.n
  11. ruth baulding

    ruth baulding Jedi Knight star 3

    Sep 3, 2012
    Sorry to be so remiss in updating here. I have an extensive fanfic account at ff.n - ruth baulding, same as here. This story is complete on that site, as well as the other sixty some odd others. I'm trying to transition to posting on both sites... but the backlog may never be addressed. thanks so much for reading.