Title: The Day Must Follow Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure Timeframe: Starts ten years before The Phantom Menace, and continue to at least the end of Revenge of the Sith. Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Master Dooku, and eventually Anakin. Summary: Jedi Master Yan Dooku decides to take young Obi-Wan Kenobi as his apprentice. The Day Must Follow This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. —Hamlet, William Shakespeare Act I: Midnight, Scene 1 Chapter One “The situation has become dire. War is likely to break out. I cannot return to Coruscant. I will attempt to stay in contact. However, transmissions will presumably be jammed in the coming weeks.” Jedi Master Dooku stared at the blurry image of his former padawan and tried to quell the rising anxiety had felt upon hearing the terse message. His feelings were obviously a sign of attachment, and attachment was not befitting of a Jedi Master. He quickly released the surge of bitterness that had tainted his thoughts. “Troubling news this is,” said Master Yoda, his ears drooping. “Appeared, more conflict has.” “Indeed,” replied Master Dooku, eyes still on the currently silent holo-transmitter. Yoda peered at the younger man. “Worried about Qui-Gon, I sense you are. More faith you should have in your former Padawan, hmm?” Master Yoda turned and walked out of the chamber, and Yan Dooku followed dutifully. Master Yoda continued to impart his words of wisdom. “Skilled, he is. Your training he remembers. Now a master he is, and no longer your student.” “I know.” “Know you do, believe you do not.” The two masters walked in silence for several minutes. “Changed, the future has,” Yoda said suddenly. “Why is that?” “Clouded, it has become.” Yoda’s ears drooped. “Darkness, there is.” Dooku resisted the urge to sigh. Recently, Master Yoda’s statements had become more cryptic than usual. Master Dooku briefly wondered if it was senility finally coming upon the diminutive green master, but decided that Master Yoda had lost his sanity years ago. “Your thoughts I sense. More mindful you must be. Relative, sanity is.” Yoda paused. “Know of Initiate Kenobi, do you?” “No, I do not,” Dooku responded, by now used to Yoda’s random shifts in topics. “Great potential he has. Expected Master Jinn to train him I did. No longer possible, that is.” “Why not? Qui-Gon said that he would be delayed for a few more weeks. Surely this initiate should be able to wait that long.” Dooku tried to ignore the panic that returned. “Qui-Gon will be returning, correct?” “Fine Qui-Gon will be. But turning thirteen in two weeks Initiate Kenobi is. Before then, take him a master must.” “He hasn’t been chosen yet? Even after the Tournament? Perhaps Initiate Kenobi is not meant to become a Jedi Knight,” said Dooku tartly. Yoda retorted by hitting his former student’s shins with the infamous wicker stick. Dooku bore the pain wordlessly, calling upon his near sixty years of experience. “Like your tone, I do not. And a great role Initiate Kenobi has to play.” “If you wish so dearly for Kenobi to become a Padawan, then why do you not pick him as your apprentice?” questioned Dooku, puzzled with Master Yoda’s interest in the initiate. “Not my place it is,” Master Yoda said. “But yours it could be.” Dooku stopped, stunned. “What? You want me to take Initiate Kenobi as my apprentice?” Yoda hummed and continued walking. “I see no reason in taking an apprentice at this time,” said the younger master, hurrying to catch up with the surprisingly quick older one. “See little reason you do,” agreed Yoda. “But see Obi-Wan Kenobi, you should.” Master Yoda stopped and gestured at the large panes of glass. Dooku looked and smiled wryly. They were at the Academy’s training grounds, and a group of initiates were sparring. “Which one is Obi-Wan Kenobi?” Dooku asked, curious about the special initiate. Dooku allowed his eyes to wander across the room. They finally rested on a ginger-haired human who was sparring with a larger blonde one. He watched with mild interest as the smaller Initiate struggled to fend off the stronger attacks of the bigger boy. Then, in a surprising show of skills, the red-headed child suddenly disarmed his opponent. “Watching him you are.” Yoda tapped the glass and pointed a crooked finger at the shorter one. That also got the initiates’ attention. All of them stared at the two and started whispering, shocked. Dooku noticed the glares that Obi-Wan and his sparring partner exchanged, and the emotion on both of their faces was not lost on him. “He has anger within him,” he remarked. “Anger, all of us do have. Act on it, we must not.” “Hmph.” Master Dooku was no longer a Padawan to be lectured. He frowned and turned to leave. He had much better things to do than watching some initiate spar. ***** “Did you see that?” bragged Bruck Chun. “Master Yoda and Master Dooku came looking for me. Both of them must want me to be their apprentice.” Garen Muln scoffed. “I’m sure that they’re real impressed by the way you were beat by Obi-Wan.” Bruck scowled. “Shut up, Garen.” “How do you know they weren’t here to just watch? They could be here for anyone of us. Who knows? They could’ve come here for Obi-Wan,” said Garen. Obi-Wan Kenobi blinked, startled. “They wouldn’t come here to watch me,” protested Obi-Wan. “You got that right! No one would ever want to take poor little Oafy-Wan as their apprentice!” The three boys glowered at each other. A mild-mannered voice interrupted their staring contest. “Am I interrupting something?” The three boys looked up to see the clan master Docent Vant watching them. The Twi’lek Master’s expression was deceitfully placid. All the initiates knew that durasteel lay behind the calm face. “Nothing, master.” Obi-Wan gave his most winning smile. “Garen and I were just about to leave to the mess hall with everyone else.” Obi-Wan quickly bowed and ran off with his friend to the hall. After grabbing something to eat, they sat down at one of the tables. “I just don’t understand,” grumbled Garen. “Why does Bruck dislike you so much? It’s not like you’ve done anything to him.” Obi-Wan shrugged. Bruck had never liked him. Recently, though, Bruck had become more confrontational. “I don’t know either,” sighed Obi-Wan. He wished Bruck would just stop. Obi-Wan had enough worries already. “Hi Bruck! Hi Obi-Wan!” Bant, their Mon Calamari friend, joined them. “How did sparring practice go?” “Terrible, since you weren't there,” said Obi-Wan. He gave her a small grin, but his voice sounded rather flat. “What happened?” she asked. “Nothing much. So, how was it with Master Tahl?” Obi-Wan deflected the question. Bant’s eyes shone. She began to talk about her experience with Master Tahl, describing everything in great detail. Obi-Wan smiled, but inwardly, he worried. It was clear that Master Tahl planned to take Bant as her apprentice. Bant was two years younger than him, and she practically had a master. Dread twisted his stomach. What if no one decided to take him as an apprentice? Would he really have to tend to sick crops in the Agricorps? Obi-Wan glanced at Garen, who was half-listening to Bant chatter on. Garen was a few months younger than him, so he still had time. Hopefully, Gant would also find a master soon. That way, he wouldn’t have to worry like Obi-Wan did. Bant seemed to realize that she had lost the attention of both the boys. She huffed good-naturedly. “So, what happened during sparring practice? Don’t try to hide anything. I can tell when you’re lying!” Garen snorted in disbelief. “I doubt that. But I’m sure you’ll never guess what you missed!” Bant’s eyes shone with curiousity. “So tell me. What happened?” Garen leaned in closer. “Master Dooku and Master Yoda came to watch us!” Bant gasped. “No way! You’re joking, right?” Garen shook his head, smirking at her reaction. She looked at Obi-Wan for reassurance. “Did Masters Dooku and Yoda really come?” Obi-Wan nodded. Bant studied their faces. Her expressive eyes widened with astonishment. “You aren’t lying,” she said with wonder. “It really happened!” “Of course it did,” said Garen, pretending to be offended. “Why didn’t you believe me?” “I can understand Master Yoda coming. He visits all the clans every once in a while. And Master Yoda really likes Obi-Wan,” mused Bant. Obi-Wan tried to disagree, but he was promptly ignored. Bant persisted in speaking. “But why did Master Dooku visit?” “Maybe he’s looking for a Padawan,” offered Garen. “But who?” interjected Obi-Wan. “Most the older kids were chosen after the tournament. Do you think Master Dooku wants to take on a younger child?” “I don’t know. It’s possible,” Garen replied. “He could have simply been accompanying Master Yoda. That’s probably all there is to it,” said Obi-Wan confidently. The other two Initiates exchanged looks, unconvinced, but their conversation soon turned to other matters. ***** AN: The Day Must Come is a story of three acts. Each act has three scenes, and an undetermined number of chapters. The first act, Midnight, focuses on Obi-Wan's apprenticeship to Dooku. Anakin will not feature in the first act, but he will feature heavily in the second and third. All comments and criticism are welcome.