The Long and Winding Road---Link to Sequel NOW up! 5/11

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by JediKnight-Obi-Wan, Nov 22, 2000.

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  1. JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 5
  2. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Yes, UP! Good post. Let the healing begin.....
  3. Calamity Jinn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2000
    star 4

    Poor, poor Meri. :(

    To have the person she cares most about not even know who she is, and to lie there and here his words about not being ready for a padawan...

    A wonderful post though JKOW. More!!!
  4. JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 5
    Here's the next post guys. Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to start back on the sequel here in a few days so by the time this one is finished I'll hopefully have something to begin posting.



    |=========|--------------------------------->

    Several Days Later:

    An-Paj?s thoughts were elsewhere when he entered his patient?s room that morning, but he was quickly brought to focus by the sight of the knight sitting in the bed, cradling his head in his hands.

    ?Are you doing alright, Alex?? he questioned evenly. The last few days had been strenuous on the younger man as he fought to balance the reality of his situation with what he recalled.

    Alex slowly lifted his head, giving the healer a clear view of the uncertainty filling his bright blue eyes. ?I?m not sure,? he returned hesitantly.

    ?Well, tell me how you?re feeling.? It was obvious to An-Paj that something more was bothering the knight then just his current situation and the following question didn?t come as a surprise.

    ?Do you know very much about the bond between a master and apprentice??

    An-Paj smiled in encouragement and nodded. ?Some.?

    ?Well I?,? the knight began somewhat haltingly, pausing to run a hand through his hair.

    An-Paj had to hold back a smile at the well-known gesture that usually signaled how uncertain or nervous Alex was.

    ?I, well I just feel as though something is missing. Or?it?s not, it is just veiled by a blank wall and I can?t reach through it.?

    ?You can?t rush this, Alex. Remember what Reis-An told you. You won?t recover everything over night and some things might take years to recover if at all. You must have patience.?

    Alex relaxed back against the pillows behind him, his expression confused. ?It just all feels so wrong?as though I?m missing something that I should be able to see clearly! Is it my bond with my Master??? he trailed off uncertainly.

    Any amusement faded at the question and the healer thought quietly for a moment. He knew Alex was not referring to the bond he had held with Meri, but to the bond he had long ago held with his own Master.

    ?Alex,? he began gently. ?Before this incident occurred you had been a knight and Master to a padawan for five years. The bond you held with your Master was dissolved when you became a knight.

    Now while what has just happened has reopened you to feeling that loss, it is not what is dominating these feelings of yours.? He paused to see if Alex was following what he was saying but was met only with a blank look.

    ?The loss you feel is caused by the bond that was broken between you and your apprentice. Not your Master.?

    A look of understanding crossed the younger Jedi?s face and An-Paj felt his heart, already heavy, become more leaden at the thought of Meri. Shortly after she had been placed in the room with Alex she had managed to sneak out. No one knew where she was and no one could find her, despite the fact a few small searches that had been done. She was either shielding heavily in a good hiding place or had actually left the Jedi Temple. The latter was a sobering thought for everyone. Meri had still been somewhat under the influence of sedatives when she left the infirmary and he wouldn?t have called her mental state entirely stable. Combined there wasn?t much of a chance for her in the darkness of Coruscant.

    ?Then she feels this way as well??

    An-Paj looked up at the question, trying hard to control any expressions that would give away just how much she felt and how serious it was. ?Yes, Alex,? he said simply, deciding against mentioning she probably felt it one hundred times more than he because of her past.

    ?Is she?? he began as his eyes actively searched out the stranger that was his apprentice. Finding the room empty, the gaze turned back to the healer.

    An-Paj laced his fingers together. ?She?s having some trouble dealing with all this. It seems she thought she needed time to be alone and think.?

    ?I understand.? While the words were sincere, An-Paj could see that the
  5. jags_gurl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
    :_| Meri! you have to talk to him! you have to! [face_Cry] excellente postie, JKOW! really really good! lookin forward to more! :D
  6. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    As sad as it is, Meri's right that if she confessed her feelings.. confessed what had transpired between herself and Alex he would find it revolting.... *sigh* but I hate that she believes his injuries and loss of memories are her punishment for loving him.

    I can't help but think should the Jedi live their lives as Meri's now thinking then they're dead inside.

    Aawesome posts JKOW!!
  7. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
    //wail//


    this is SOOOO sad!
  8. Healer Apprentice Lina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 4
    I guess this is redundant but...

    CRY!

    Understandable, but so not the right choice, Meri!!!
  9. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    There could be a bright side to this: best to forget love than have loved at all........or something like that. ;)

    Nevermind me. MOVE ALONG! MOVE ALONG! :p
  10. padawan lunetta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 6
    Hey! *frowns at boards* The boards ate me post! Anywho... I loved Alex's concern for Meri...and even fear when speaking with An Paj. Meri defintely needed some time alone...but she came to all the wrong conclusions dang it! Obi was a sweetheart though :) I don;t know whether to hug Meri or slap her in the end though... she IS Meant to love Alex!
  11. JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 5
    Okay here's the next post. Thank you all for your replies, they are much appreciated!

    This next post was pulled directly from usjs, so all of it was written by Derisa. :)

    |========|-------------------------------->

    The pale form on the gurney bore only the slightest resemblance to the Master she?d grown up with, and Rani felt a sudden surge of anguish. The cool hand of the Mind-Healer on her shoulder helped her focus, and release that violent emotion to the Force, cleansing her of the indecision and pain it caused her.

    An Paj finished his examination of the comatose Jedi, and then carefully reviewed the data they had from the rescuers. ?He has been in a hibernation kind of trance, but he is yet beyond our reach. There is little we can do for him.? He looked to Rani, his antenna swirling through the air above his forehead, and she bit her lip before replying.

    ?I can see that, Master An Paj,? Rani said quietly. ?It is a question of time??

    An Paj lowered his gaze to the stricken Master before him. ?Rani, no amount of time will save your Master. His essence has fled. He is tied to his body by only the thinnest of threads, and it is not enough to keep him here.?

    Rani stood taller as she eyed the Healer. ?You mean I?m to lose him, even now? After all that we?ve been through? An Paj, he?s *here*! Is there nothing you can do? Or is it *will* do? Why won?t you even try??

    The Padawan?s accusations hit hard at the healer, and he shook his head sadly. ?Rani, I cannot heal what does not wish to be healed. It has been too long. He has been kept to his body by a force outside of himself. The body will die the moment that force ceases.? The Master Healer paused, but he had to make her understand there would be no happy homecoming for her Master. "Rani, the state of sympathetic trance we found you in, in your quarters after the Solstice... you must have been reaching out to him all this time. We can only assume that it is your action over these past several weeks, your unconscious support of his life-signs that has been keeping him alive.?

    Rani stood trembling at her Master?s bedside, unable to answer. She looked down at his pale face, his eye-sockets so deeply sunken that she knew he would never look out at her again. Tears began to flow, silently, as she realised what she had done. ?I did this?? she asked, her voice breaking. ?I tied him to a body that can?t live??

    The Mind Healer spoke for the first time. ?Rani, you have kept him alive, over great distance, and in a way that is only ever spoken of as legend. Your Master wanted you to reach him, or he?d not have tied himself to you so.?

    ?But... But that means I have to untie him. Doesn?t it? I have to sever the bond!?

    The two healers exchanged heavy glances, and then An Paj nodded. ?It is up to you Rani. You will have release him.?

    Rani shook her head, and dashed at her tears with her hand. ?I cannot!? She bent over the frail body of her master and a cry wrenched out of her, colored by the depth of her grief and anguish: ?I cannot do it! I just got him back. There has to be some hope...? her words dissolved into tears. An Paj would have reached for her, but the Mind Healer shook her head, and ushered him from the room. With a gesture, she threw up some powerful shields around the small cubicle, to prevent the others resident in the Infirmary from being disturbed by Rani?s powerful flood of feelings.

    ?Leave her be, An Paj. She will come around on her own,? Reis-An reassured the healer. He looked at her, his doubt shimmering through the Force between them.

    ?You don?t know Rani Veko as well as I do,? he replied. ?She is-? he was cut off by the arrival of a straight-backed blonde Knight, whose robes swirled about her like mist. She bore a look of sharp determination on her eagle-eyed face, and moved past the pair of them to enter Master Kern?s room without a word.

    ?Who was that?? Reis-An asked with a rare show of surprise. The young woman had not spoken a single word, yet she?d known exactly where she wanted t
  12. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
  13. padawan lunetta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 6
    NIce post...but poor Alex...! (I seem to remember this from USJS I think ;))
  14. jags_gurl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
    really interesting post! you had me scared for a moment there when Rani was falling, and before when Alex hurt himself, but it was really really good! :D i liked it lots- looking forward to more! *cough Meri needs to talk to Alex!!! cough* sorry, it seems i had something stuck in my throat... ;) 8-}
  15. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Rani pulls a Stallone Cliffhanger. ;)

    Can't Alex get a break? And where is Meri?

    But there is more, I know...... :D
  16. JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 5
    Ahh only one more post to go after this. Imagine that? The remaining material is, however pulled from UsJs...just don't kill me when I leave it where I do. And remember...there IS a sequel if you chose to read it. :D

    Thanks for all the replies everyone. I love reading yalls replies. :) And now, the next post.


    |======|-------------------------------->

    Standing at the top of the precipice, Alex Arieh felt a brisk rush of elation that quickly turned into trepidation. He had always loved heights, but this wasn?t a pinnacle overlooking some spectacular vista. It was a sheer, dangerous cliff that plunged down a high precipice into a chasm of unknowable depth.

    It felt like nothing so much as a trap.

    Looking over the cliff with him, Rani drew his attention to a small projection. ?There?s a ledge down there, Alex,? she told him, ?Easily in reach of the ropes.? Alex retrieved the map from her belt pouch and consulted it.

    ?Yes, it?s marked here,? he replied, ?And there?s a tunnel leading off it. We have to go down there.? Rani gave him a calm smile, and he responded in kind as she began to uncoil the rope from her belt. Since she had told him as they walked across the plateau of her injurious fall, that had left her paralyzed and suffering a long slow recovery, he'd been appalled that she had suffered so much. Now facing another steep climbing challenge, he watched her for any signs that she was uncomfortable, but she seemed cool and competent as she unreeled their line and tied the pulley rig for them to rappel down the cliff.

    Alex rolled his shoulder, controlling the urge to wince in pain. Rani gave him a sharp glance, and Alex responded with a wry grimace. There?s no keeping secrets from her, is there? he found himself wondering when she had learned to use her natural empathy so well. The Rani he knew... is five years older now, Alex, he reminded himself firmly, She?s sure to have picked up a few tricks in that time. But this was his physical Trial too, and it would be counter-productive to allow the two younger Jedi to do all the work. He tested his shoulder again, but it felt strong enough for the rappelling.

    It was the work of a few short minutes to anchor the pulley rig to the top of the cliff overlooking the ledge and tunnel entrance, and then Alex led the way down the rockface to the tunnel, with Rani following shortly thereafter. They left their rope in case they needed it to get back to the top of the bluff for their pick-up and the end of the Trial. As the two proceeded down the tunnel, Alex felt again that sense that they were heading into danger, and he gestured for Rani to stay back a bit while he scouted up ahead.

    The air was close and hard to breathe, and a gaseous fog clung to the floor of the tunnel, swirling sluggishly as they moved forward into the dimness. Alex consciously slowed his breathing and inhaled more deeply. He didn?t remember these careful controls coming so easily before, but they were. Perhaps that was another mark of the time that had passed.

    Ahead in the gloom, around a long arc of the tunnel, he could make out a bright beam of light, coming down through the mass of the mountain overhead, to illuminate a small circular area of the passageway. The light gave the fog that crept along the floor of the tunnel a greenish cast, and Alex squinted, niggled by an inaccessible memory. He shook his head to clear it, and frowned again at the bright spot in the distance. That?s where it will come, he realized, When we?re half-blinded by the glare. With a mental flash, he showed Rani what lay ahead, and continued on without waiting for her.

    This time it was an effort of will to slow his biorhythms to better utilize the dearth of oxygen. A faint aftertaste from the stale air tickled again at his memory, but when he tried to follow it back to its origin, it stopped dead at that blank wall that blocked off a part of him. All his probing had failed to find any gap in it, and he bit back his frustration. It was cl
  17. JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 5
  18. padawan lunetta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 6
    Sorry I'm late! Good post JKOW... kind of tough seeing Alex a bit more attached to Rani than Meri *mutters incoherently* I like how Alex is told that Meri needs her Master back, and how An-Paj gave him the reason why he'd taken on a padawan so young.

    Excellent work :)
  19. jags_gurl Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 4
    up! and oh, boy! i can't wait to see what he has to say to Meri! and i'm glad someone finally told him he already was her Master, and didn't really have the choice if he was ready or not! very interesting portion of the Trial- a great postie, as always! i'm looking forward to more1 :D
  20. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
    well done.


    where's the sequel!?!? ;)
  21. JediKnight-Obi-Wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 5
    Okay folks, this is it! The last post. I can hardly believe it! This story has been going on for so long.

    Thank you SOOO much everyone for hanging with me until the end...it has been a blast! I really appreciate everyone who has read and replied to my story and I hope to see you in the Sequel thread!


    |======|--------------------------->


    The door hissed open and at the other end of the hall, Meri froze, her eyes wide with sudden trepidation. She turned her head and peered down the hall, and caught sight of a familiar silhouette stepping gracefully through the door. ?Meri?? came her Master?s voice. Her heart frozen in her chest, the young woman couldn?t breathe... was it really him? Did he remember her? Did he remember... everything?

    When he stepped into the light, her breath shuddered from her audibly, and her knees nearly gave way. She could see something in his clear blue eyes, something she recognized...

    ?Meri!? He was at her side, catching her as she sagged back, fighting the feelings that roiled through her. She was safe. He was there, at last.

    **

    Alex gently lowered the unconscious girl to the floor, and shaped her limp form into a recovery position, whipping off his robe to pillow her head. He checked her pulse, it was a little fast, but fairly strong: she would be alright. She hasn?t been eating, he noted, and didn?t question how he could tell, It?s low blood sugar, and an emotional shock... I should have commed before I came up...

    He settled onto his haunches, waiting for her to come around. He smoothed a tendril of hair back from her brow, a habitual gesture he didn?t care to trace back, knowing he?d only find that same blank wall. His hand tucked the tress behind her ear and encountered the thin pattern of her Padawan braid. He pulled it free from where it had become trapped in her collar and laid it flat against the fabric of her tunic, smoothing it with a careful thumb. He could tell by the few escaping curly wisps that some of his own coarser sable was tied in with her own straighter, finer dark hair.

    His apprentice. His student, his responsibility. Meri. As he sounded her name in his mind there was a deep twinge of... something, a sense of many layers of feeling and meaning to her simple name. He searched after it, but shook his head when no answers came.

    After a relatively short pause, her eyelids fluttered and opened, and he was staring into deep, mossy brown pools. ?Alex?? she asked, her voice soft and questioning.

    He bent his head towards her as he answered her. ?Padawan.?

    She struggled upright and bowed her head in a semblance of a proper gesture of respect, but her eyes were pinched shut, tight, as though she were blocking out a sight that gave her intense pain. ?M... Master,? she acknowledged, but the word seemed wrenched out of her. She wouldn?t meet his eyes again.

    Alex sucked in a breath, and felt the wind of the Force at his back, buoying him up. ?Meri. I... we have much to talk on.? He rose in a fluid motion and held a hand out to her to help her to her feet. Her eyes flashed to his in surprise, but as quickly, she turned away and pushed herself off the floor. Alex felt his forehead lower into a frown as he felt her rejection, but he schooled his thoughts and stepped away from her. He headed back down the hall to the entry to the lounge.

    He paused in the doorway, and surveyed the room. The couches were a soft blue, and looked very comfortable, high seats deep with cushioning. The walls bore a few flat holos, one a seascape with high clouds scudding serenely past, and the other a more abstract rendering, sweeps of deep dark blues accented by a sharp slice of a vibrant yellow. They gave the room a tranquil but open feeling, an unseen current of movement underlying the whole. He wasn?t sure if he liked it.

    Turning to his Padawan, Alex gestured to the nearest seat in a clear invitation. Meri moved past him and perched nervously on the farthest piece of furniture, and Alex cocked his head,
  22. padawan lunetta Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 1999
    star 6
    Nooo.. Alex! You stupid boy! *wants to hit his head* Poor Meri! Excellent post though, very angsty way to end the story..Ugh... I'm almost afraid of your sequel! ;)
  23. Healer Apprentice Lina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 1, 2000
    star 4
    You know, sometimes I just get so tired of all this angst....


    HA! Made you flinch! :D


    Lovely ending (or pseudo-ending) JKOW! I can't wait for the sequel!
  24. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Nice ending, and a good story JKOW. Someone should take the Ugly Stick of Common Sense and beat Alex with it; on every spare inch of flesh on his body. ;)

    Meri will have to use as much Jedi patience as possible on him. Alex will probably come around; the heart is not so easily made empty as everyone may think. There is attachment there; too rich and too emcompassing, and not even the Force can eliminate it.

    Whenever you're ready to post the sequel let me know; I, the red headed step poster will be there. ;)

    FORWARD!
  25. juwannajedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 23, 2000
    star 4
    please pardon my brain lapse. i thought the post before was the last one. boy am i glad it wasn't.

    //drums fingers//

    and you'll start the next story.... when?

    ;)
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