Saga What Price, Freedom? (AU, Ani, Xan, Obi, OCs, usual suspects) UPDATED 1/16 Chapter 2

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by BrightFeather, Jan 2, 2006.

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  1. BrightFeather Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2005
    star 3
    What Price, Freedom?
    By BrightFeather


    Disclaimer: If you think any of the canon Star Wars characters belong to me, you're sadly mistaken. I borrowed them, hugged them, squeezed them, called them George, then gave them back like a good girl. All things Star Wars belong to George Lucas.

    Author's Note: I put this in the home for wayward plot bunnies, but it kept nagging me, so I took it back. This is an AU. The events of TPM happened up until right after Qui-Gon's death. :_| After that, well, we'll see. Oh yes, and for Xanatos fans, I've resurrected him and brought him back to the Light, so there are adventures alluded to here that didn't happen in the canon universe? Waqkemé Noori belongs to Ophelia, but she's let me borrow her. Waqkemé's stories are The First Four Days by Ophelia, and she's also found in DarthIshtar's Wayward Beings. I'm planning on updating every other week. My thanks to ladylaurel18 for being so kind as to beta this and listening patiently to wild ideas when I was loopy on benedryl.

    PM List:

    Magenta_Moonshadow
    Dianethx (Bless The Child and What Price, Freedom?)
    MoeTharen
    Stella_Ripple
    Layren
    AP4EVER (Bless The Child only)
    Jedi_Tigris
    Zonoma (Bless The Child only)
    DaenaBenjen42
    BrentusofGath
    Noelie
    Aya-Na_Bashu (For anything involving Hanah)
    iLoveAnakin7
    Mr_Dagobah
    Jaira
    Tatooine_Ghost

    ~*~*~*~
  2. BrightFeather Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2005
    star 3
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter 1:
    Servo Libertas
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    ?You don't get something for nothing
    You can't have freedom for free"
    --Neil Peart


    ~*~*~*~

    Master Qui-Gon was dead. The phrase repeated itself over and over in Anakin's mind. Obi-Wan thought he was dangerous. The Jedi didn't want him. A whimper almost escaped from eight-year-old Anakin's throat, but he squashed it ruthlessly. Crying would not help; tears never helped. Usually, tears earned you another beating.

    He scooted closer into the corner, hidden from causal observers and pulled his bag close to him. What would happen to him now? He was trouble. If he'd never taken the chance at freedom, Qui-Gon would still be alive. He was a problem. He thought they'd most likely send him back home into slavery on Tatooine. "I won't let that happen," he muttered.

    Glancing around furtively, Anakin stood up, slung his bag over one shoulder, and started walking soundlessly towards the door. He'd sneak out of the Palace and go somewhere else. He'd find his own place to belong. If the Jedi didn't want him, well that was fine! He could take care of himself. He wouldn't waste Qui-Gon's gift to him. He would keep his freedom and find a way to survive and give the same gift to his mother. After that, well, he just didn't know. He couldn't see that far ahead.

    Anakin crept through the corridors, finally leaving by a side exit. Slowly, he made his way into the city, making himself as small as possible so as not to be noticed. Experience had taught him that people didn't notice little kids; it was how he'd listened to all the stories that the star pilots swapped on layovers back home.

    His mouth tightened into a hard line. One of the star pilots had told stories about surviving on the streets as a child. That information would be useful now if he couldn't find work fixing things. Somehow, he would survive. Somehow, he would go back to Tatooine and free his mother. Anakin spotted an alley up ahead and hurried into it to discover an old crate. With a flash of brown clothing, he disappeared into it, pulling his bag in with him. The crate even had a lid on hinges. It would do. He'd have to move it further away from the Palace later, but for now, it could be home.

    Carefully, he pulled the crate shut and relaxed. Hiding was good. He half-closed his eyes and remembered everything he'd seen Qui-Gon do over the past few weeks. Before they'd reached the Temple, the Jedi Master had taught him to shield, so he employed the knowledge, hiding his mind from any would-be searchers. Not that there would be. No doubt, they'd be glad to be rid of him. For the first time in his short life, Anakin felt free.

    ~*~*~*~

    Obi-Wan frowned as he searched the Palace. The boy was hiding from everyone. Kemé and Xanatos had arrived with the Council to attend Qui-Gon's funeral, since it had been decided to hold it on Naboo. He would rather be spending some time with them; they understood what he'd lost. But he had to find the boy first. "Anakin?" he called softly.

    There was no response. The rooms they had been assigned were echoingly empty, and the boy's small satchel of belongings was gone. Perhaps he had gone to look for Padmé. Over the past little while, the Queen and the boy had made friends. The Council had not yet given permission for him to be trained, but he owed it to his late master to see that it was done.

    He left the rooms and walked quickly to the Queen's chambers. He knocked on the door. "Come in," a voice said.

    Obi-Wan entered the ornately-carved room, then immediately bowed. "Your Majesty," he began, not caring if it was the Queen or one of her handmaidens.

    "Padawan Kenobi," she inclined her head. The Handmaidens clustered around her, wearing their flame-colored gowns, just as they had been on the ship.

    "Have you seen Anakin?" he asked. "I can't seem to find the boy."

    One of the Handmaidens raised her head. "No, I haven't, Obi-Wan," Padmé said. "He said something on t
  3. Layren Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5
    You already know how much I like this but I'll tell you again anyway.

    =D= Such a great start! You guys are in for a treat!
  4. oqidaun Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2005
    star 5
    Wow! Brightfeather, this is off to a really keen start.
    I like how you're handling this.

    You're bringing out lots of little details about Anakin's childhood--I especially liked the part about the ration bars. Neat character study, there.


    I'm looking forward to seeing more! =D=
  5. Mr_Dagobah Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 2
    Thank you for adding me on your PM list! [:D] This story is already shaping up to be a good one, especially since you have three of Master Qui Gon's padawans walking around in it. Poor Ani. It must be awful to feel so lonely, and yet try to be so strong. Update soon![face_peace]
  6. Jaira Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2005
    star 4
    Hey! Add me to the PM list, please!
  7. iLoveAnakin7 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2005
    star 5
    If only Anakin knew how many people are searching for him and truly care. Padme was a little harsh with Obi-Wan I think, but she does have a point. [face_thinking]

    It's funny how they all pass the crate and just assume that Anakin could never be in there...if they only knew...:p

    thanks for the pm
  8. Stella_Ripple Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2005
    star 3
    A wonderful start on a brilliant new AU! I'm loving it already- especially all the potential interaction between the three ex padawans and ani ! Can't wait to see how this goes on!
  9. MoeTharen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 4
    This is great BrightFeather! Please keep me on your PM list! I can't wait for more! :D



    -Commander Tharen-
  10. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2005
    star 5
    How hard could it be to find an eight-year-old boy, anyway?

    One that doesn't want to be found? Quite hard, actually.

    Good start! Love it! :)
  11. BrentusofGath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2005
    star 4
    Yay! You posted!

    *gets hold of self*

    What I mean is; this is a good story and I'm glad to see it posted!
  12. BrightFeather Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2005
    star 3
    Layren: Thank you, Master!

    Oqidaun: Thank you! When this bunny bit, it occurred to me that I had yet to see a story that really dealt with all the issues of Anakin's past. And little things like hoarding food is something that children who, like Anakin, don't know when or if their next meal will be tend to do. I'm giving Ani full credit for street smarts and trying to give a realistic depiction of an eight-year-old in his situation.

    Mr Dagobah: This story is already shaping up to be a good one, especially since you have three of Master Qui Gon's padawans walking around in it. Poor Ani. It must be awful to feel so lonely, and yet try to be so strong.
    I always wondered why they didn't just ask Qui's first padawan to train Ani. I mean, as a brand-new knight, Obi needed some time on his own before he was really ready for an apprentice. As for Anakin, I think that he really was alone after Qui-Gon died. I mean, being at the Temple must've been like being at a new school, only worse, because the kids there have known each other since infancy. And Obi-Wan was hurting from Qui-Gon's death, so I doubt he was really much support at the time... And then there's the fact that we hardly ever saw Obi touch Anakin; Qui-Gon touched the kid more, and he died in TPM! Anakin also shows all the classic signs of an emotionally neglected child in AOTC and ROTS...

    Jaira: Done.

    iLoveAnakin7: Welcome! And yeah, maybe she was a little. But Padmé thought that, having been an eight-year-old boy himself, Obi should understand better. Young Obi always struck me as a little obtuse.

    Stella_Ripple: The plot bunnies munched at my ankles until I gave in. Vicious little things. ;) They just wouldn't take no for an answer. We'll see what happens with Kemé, Xan, Obi, and Ani... if he's found. [face_devil]

    MoeTharen: Thank you! And will do. :D

    DaenaBenjen42: Yep. I have a feeling that Ani'd be one of those kids who everybody gets mad at during hide-and-seek. You know, the one that nobody can ever find!

    BrentusofGath: LOL. Thanks, Bro. It seemed like something that would be more logical than what happened in canon...

    Thanks for reading, y'all. :) I'm working on the next chapter of Bless the Child. It'll be up next week, and then chapter two of this one the week after that. This is a WIP, so please bear with me. I sort of know where we're going, but because the struggle for freedom and to remain free is ongoing, this will probably end up spanning years. I've always found it rather ironic that Anakin pretty much re-enslaved himself, especially after he said he hated slavery so much. I mean, as a Sith apprentice, he was right back in the slavery he'd sought to escape, and it was only in the end that he was free...

    BrightFeather
  13. Jedi_Tigris Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2005
    star 4
    Ooh, wonderful start! I love how you get into Anakin's head. So sad how he feels that he has to keep himself free for Qui, and that no one wants him. I'm sure he did feel that way, since all his life he's had to survive and everything had a price.

    So nice to see all 3 of Qui's former apprentices looking for Anakin. Love how they think alike too. And so ironic that Xan and Keme both passed by the box where Ani's hiding thinking he couldn't have gotten in. Hope they find him soon, and show him that he's wanted.

    Great job! Thanks for the pm :)
  14. VaderLVR64 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2004
    star 8
    I just found this and it's great! I can't wait for more! :D
  15. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Put me on the PM list for this one, too. Nicely done. I loved that both Jedi bypassed the crate - how often have people overlooked the obvious and later there was tragedy... Poor Ani thinks that he'll be sent back into slavery. Of course, why wouldn't he think that with Obi-Wan saying he was dangerous and the Jedi rejecting him?

    Good job.
  16. BrightFeather Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2005
    star 3
    Jedi_Tigris - Thank you! :D It seemed eminently logical to me, too. And I love irony. ;)

    VaderLVR64 - Glad you found this, then! And there's more coming right up. :D

    dianethx - Done! Ah, but there might not be tragedy this time... maybe. After all, Anakin is now just another street rat in Theed. My thoughts exactly! Anakin is no stranger to death--growing up as a slave would see to that. And he would know that death breaks all bargains. There was no reason for him to hang around at all.

    Thanks for reading, y'all, and I hope you like the update.



    Last time, on What Price, Freedom? --

    Even if it wasn't, she would make sure to be part of his life; her background was probably similar enough that she could help him adjust to his new life. Kemé passed through an alley, continually searching for some sign of a child, but she neither saw nor felt anything. "Anakin," she called softly, hoping that if the boy were hiding nearby, she could entice him out. Her eyes lingered on a crate, but it was closed, and the top looked too heavy for a starveling eight-year-old to lift.

    There was no answer. Kemé folded her hands into her robe and kept going. She had a boy to find so that her Master's last wish would be fulfilled. As she searched, part of her mind lingered on memories of her years spent with Kaigon. Lost in thought, she didn't notice the bright blue eye that peeked through a knothole in the crate she'd dismissed to examine her.

    ~*~*~*~


    And now...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Chapter 2:
    Fugio Supersto
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    "Bit by bit . . . she had claimed herself. Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another."
    --Toni Morrison


    ~*~*~*~

    Yoda leveled Obi-Wan with a stern gaze as he walked into the room. "Late, you are, Padawan Kenobi."

    Obi-Wan bowed deeply. "Master Yoda," he said softly. "I apologize for my tardiness."

    Yoda inclined his head. "Saddened are we by the passing of your Master," the wizened old Jedi said.

    "Thank you," was the soft response.

    "Knighted, you will be. Padawan no longer you are," Yoda paused briefly. "Killing the Sith, serve as your trials it does."

    Obi-Wan bowed his head. Killing the Sith had come with a higher cost than he'd wanted to pay; it had cost him the only father he had ever known. And now the child that his father had entrusted him with was missing. "Thank you, Master Yoda," he murmured, unable to speak louder around the lump in his throat.

    "What about his other request?" He spoke louder this time, determined to fulfill his promise to Qui-Gon. "What about Anakin?"

    Yoda paced slowly in front of him, then stopped and turned to face him. "Trained, he will be. But great danger I fear in his training. Train him you will not, Kenobi. An older, more experienced master, wish we for him."

    Obi-Wan nodded. He had expected something like that, but still, it rankled. He had promised that he would train Anakin. "But Master Yoda," he protested. "I promised my Master that I would do it."

    Master Yoda tapped him on the leg with his gimmer stick. "Breaking your word, you are not," he reproved. "Seeing that trained, he will be. But danger there will be to who trains him. An older, more experienced Master, he must have."

    Obi-Wan inclined his head in acquiesce. "Both Xanatos and Kemé would like to talk to him first," he said. "But Master Yoda, we have a problem."

    "Problem? Granted, your late Master's wish is. What problem could be?"

    Obi-Wan sighed softly as he felt his face and ears get hot. "Anakin is missing," he said finally. "We think he ran away; Kemé and Xanatos are out looking for him now."

    "Think, you do?" Yoda asked. "Know where he is, you do not?"

    "No Master," Obi-Wan answered. By now he knew he had to be bright red. "Anakin has run away."

    Master Yoda gave him a look. "Find him, we will. Tell this news to the Council, I will. Trou/>
  17. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    I think we need to put into the Jedi manual to check all wooden boxes. I loved that Anakin was able to move the box somewhere else and think about what he was going to do. He does have a problem in that he can't get legitimate work, not at his age.

    Loved that the Council was becoming aware that he should be trained as a Jedi and are actually thinking about who best to train him. About darn time.

    Great job.
  18. Stella_Ripple Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 29, 2005
    star 3
    Wow, a lot of stuff happening here!
    he would never truly be gone, for he could not be forgotten.
    Hmm, that does seem to use a wonderful hintling from HP... :D
    Touching, the funeral was. Especially the details of how the three lit the pyre and stood by each other- now if only ani could have been there!
    Good to see obi wan is feeling guilty about ani...poor kid, hope he doesn't get into too much trouble, but the end doesn't promise too much does it?! [face_worried]
  19. Mr_Dagobah Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 2
    Oh, jeez. Now what is Ani going to do, since he can't work due to the law? [face_worried] Poor kid. Everything has to be the hard way for him. :( Come on Obi, Xan, and Keme! Find him already will you? :p Great chapter, Bright![face_peace]
  20. SakuraTsukikage Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 24, 2005
    star 4
    Interesting story you have here. And now I'm really worried. Anakin's quite good at staying out of the reach of the Jedi, and this could get really bad . . . .
  21. Jaira Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2005
    star 4
    Could those three hurry up and find Anakin, already? Sheesh, he doesn't blend in very well.
  22. MoeTharen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 4
    I sure hope poor Anakin will be ok. :)
  23. Fluff-Slayer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 12, 2005
    star 2
    The entire post was very poignant, but this part was my favorite. That last line held such emotion, and it rang so true. Joy in protecting Anakin--ah! It's been such a long time since I've felt any positive feelings for the Council. :p

    Poor Anakin, so confused. Of course he wouldn't understand child labor laws--there weren't many of those on Tatooine, were there?

    Veryyyyy nice, my friend.

    I await the next post with anticipation!
  24. BrentusofGath Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2005
    star 4
    =D=

    Great chapter! Keep up the good work!
  25. Jedi_Tigris Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2005
    star 4
    Oh man, now even Obi-Wan has been by the box. Too bad the Force didn't tell him to look closer.

    Anakin is a real smart kid, to take what he's learned and applied it to other things like moving the box with the Force. He is in trouble, not being able to work because he's too young. Hopefully it'll push him to go to Padme.

    Yay, the Council is actually taking into account what Anakin needs! About time. The funeral was very touching. I love the little details, like how all three apprentices helped to light the fuel, and Obi-Wan had Xan and Keme there supporting him.

    I hope they manage to find Anakin soon. He definitely needs to be protected and shown that they don't hate him and do want to care for him.
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