Chapter 11 Coruscant The Jedi Temple Three Years Later In the three years that Tristan Kenobi had spent at the Jedi Temple, he’d grown considerably. All of the physical training had given the young teen the beginnings of a muscular build. He’d grown taller as well, standing at 1.52 meters. When Anakin reached the room where Tristan was practicing, he stood a few feet away from the sparring mat, a small smile of pride lighting his face as he watched thirteen year-old Tristan practice for the annual lightsaber tournament to be held in a few days’ time. He sent a gentle push through the Force to alert Tristan was there, but not enough to startle the boy. “Good, you’re improving,” he complimented moments later as Tristan blocked a series of slashing attacks. “Keep your guard up.” Tristan gave a slight nod of his sandy brown head, ignoring the sweat pouring down his face as he continued parrying his opponent’s attacks. Back and forth the two boys went, their green sabers slashing and striking. Then suddenly, the scene before Tristan changed. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ The room was dark. The only light came from the furious clash of lightsabers clashing together in rapid succession. Tristan pushed his opponent further and further backwards until he was pressed against the wall. His opponent was defenseless. His saber had been knocked away. Tristan grinned in triumph as he swung his lightsaber, instantly decapitating his foe. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ With a gasp of horror, the teen dropped to his knees as the vision ended, his lightsaber clanging to the floor beside him, deactivating on impact. He dropped his head into his hands; tears cascading down his cheeks. Anakin sprang into action. He took several quick strides towards Tristan and lowered himself beside his shaking Padawan. “Tristan?” his opponent called after having switched off his own lightsaber. ”Are you okay?” “I’ll take care of him,” Anakin replied for his apprentice. “Thank you, Liam.” Liam nodded, clipped his lightsaber to his belt and turned to leave. Anakin rubbed Tristan’s back gently. “Tris?” Tristan squeezed his eyes tightly shut, shaking his head from side to side. “Tris, what happened?” Anakin asked gently. ”What did you see, Padawan?” Anakin had spent the last three years dealing with Tristan’s visions. With training, Tristan had learned to control them, but every so often one would hit him unexpectedly and the young man would freeze. Tristan remained silent, tears continuing to stream down his face. “It’s okay,” Anakin soothed. “You can tell me.” He paused, sensing the boy’s terror and sending a wave of comfort through their bond. “I…I…saw…I…killed someone,” Tristan gasped. “You…what?” Anakin questioned, thinking he had heard the boy wrong. “I saw it!” Tristan cried; his terror filled eyes meeting Anakin’s. “I...was fighting…and I killed someone…and I…I…liked it. It was on purpose, Master.” He buried his face in his hands, sobbing harder. Anakin sat back in shock, his mind reeling. Please don’t let this one come true, he thought, hugging Tristan to him tightly until his sobs subsided. “Were you in a battle?” he probed softly. “I…don’t know,” Tristan replied, using the sleeve of his tunic to wipe his tears. “We were just fighting. I don’t want to kill anyone, Master!” Anakin sighed heavily. The time had come to impart the same words to Tristan that Obi-Wan had spoken to him twenty years earlier. “It may be necessary someday Tristan, to save your own life or someone else’s,” he admitted sadly. “Taking a life is never easy.” “But I liked it!” the boy insisted loudly. Anakin frowned. “Are you certain?” Tristan shrugged his shoulders, uncertain of everything but his own name and Anakin’s strong arms around him. Anakin thought silently for a few minutes, wishing he had Yoda’s wisdom when it came to visions. “Not every vision you have will come to fruition, Tris,” he said reassuringly. “Really?” Tristan looked at him hopefully. “Really,” Anakin ensured. “I’m not going to pretend to know everything about visions, but I do know the Force can use them to teach us about our weaknesses and fears. We can use our visions to learn where we need to improve the most.” “Does my vision mean I would enjoy killing?” Tristan asked wistfully. “No,” Anakin replied adamantly. “I can’t give you a definite meaning to your vision, Tristan, but I can tell you the future is not set in stone. Every day you will make decisions and choices that will lead you in different directions. No matter what kind of vision or dream you have, you are in control of your destiny.” ”Always in motion is the future,” Tristan whispered. “Exactly,” Anakin agreed with a smile. “Life is a very fluid situation, Padawan. Things move, change and change again and again. Worrying about the future serves no useful purpose.” Tristan nodded. The last of his tears were dry and he felt a bit better. Anakin stood, pulling Tristan up with him. “Let’s go home for now. You’ve practiced enough for one day.” ******************************************************************* Standing in the middle of the quarters he and Tristan shared within the Temple, Anakin held Obi-Wan’s lightsaber in his hands, the same saber he’d carried since Obi-Wan’s death years earlier. Turning it over in his hands, a flood of precious memories flashed before his eyes as his fingers crossed each ridge. He smiled sadly as he recalled the many times he and his former master practiced their techniques against each other, often times ending the practice out of exhaustion, with no clear cut winner. He remembered every time Obi-Wan said the words this weapon is your life. He recalled every time Obi-Wan used the weapon in his hands to defend his padawan. He remembered the scene in an old, dusty mechanics shop on a distant planet where… He winced, pushing away the images of the last time Obi-Wan used his lightsaber, remembering instead the euphoric feelings they’d both had when they’d each won their bracket in the lightsaber tournament. “Master,” Tristan stuck his head in the room, Luke standing at his side. “We’re ready to go to the tournament.” “Come here for a minute, Tris,” Anakin replied, his voice cracking just a bit. “I have something for you. Luke, can you go out to the front room for me for a few minutes?” ”The tournament starts in ten minutes, Dad,” the eight-year old boy reminded his father. Anakin smiled. “I know it does. Just give us a few minutes and we’ll be right there.” Luke nodded his tousled blonde head as he turned to walk back down the hallway. Tristan eyed Anakin curiously as he entered the room. Anakin smiled down at him as he handed him the lightsaber. “This was your father’s. I think he’d want you to have it.” Tristan’s eyes were lit in wonderment as he ran his fingers along the edges of the lightsaber. For three years he’d seen Anakin wield the weapon with expert accuracy on the missions they’d undertaken together. He knew that Anakin cherished the saber as one of his only remaining connections to Obi-Wan and he was stunned that his master would choose to give the weapon away. “In fact,” Anakin continued, clearing his throat. “This lightsaber is the very same one he used to win the Master’s bracket of the tournament.” “Thank you, Master!” Tristan exclaimed as he threw his arms around Anakin, hugging him tightly. ”You’re quite welcome,” Anakin answered as he hugged the teenager. “It…I’ve carried it with me to remember him. But…” Tristan pulled away and looked up at Anakin. “But?” Anakin smiled and rested his hands on Tristan's shoulders. “But now I have a much better reminder of him than his lightsaber. Besides, I want you to have it too.” They shared a quick smile before exiting the room and leaving with Luke in tow, headed for the annual saber tournament.