Saga Woosh, Woosh Obi-Wan, Mace, Hondo. A dramady short. Completed 120412

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Valairy Scot, Oct 27, 2012.

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  1. Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 6
    Title: Woosh, Woosh
    Author(s): Valairy Scot
    Timeframe: Clone Wars
    Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hondo Ohnako, Mace Windu, Anakin Skywalker with a dose of Ahsoka
    Genre: Drama, comedy, mainly a character sketch in several parts. Short story.
    Keywords: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Hondo Ohnako, Mace Windu, Anakin SKywalker, pirates, clone wars, TCW,
    Summary: Obi-Wan swooshes, Anakin grumbles, Hondo gleefully narrates
    Notes: A character sketch based on the episode Revival in the show The Clone Wars, told in alternating POV's. A couple of sentences came from Ruth Baulding: thanks Ruth!

    Woosh, Woosh

    "She's...she's dead."

    And Kenobi's voice breaks, just a little as he reports to his Council. By my dear sainted mother’s pyre, how’s a law-skirting pirate who’s supposed to laugh “ha ha” at death supposed to tip a drink and wipe his hand across his lips after that? “Ha. Ha ha.” Ha…I think not as my glass settles, untouched, on the table before me.

    Those horny headed crazies did this, on my planet, to one of my dearest enemies, welcome here anytime and of course welcome to leave unaccosted as well – one I would and have thrown an arm around whilst the other rifled his pocket. And what did Kenobi do then? Mind trick, me, Honda Ohnaka, planetary head – okay, pirate boss. No, no, no. Threaten me with his woosh woosh? Not Kenobi. He treats me as I treat him, ho hah, I am so honored, with disdain and tricks, not his super-duper wave-his-fingers Jedi powers. No, not Kenobi. He did the honorable thing, the sneaky thing: he stole back what I had appropriated from him in a game of chance, all without batting an eye and matching me drink for drink.

    Fine fellow, Kenobi.

    You gotta admire a man you snore side by side with, slumped on a sticky table, pretending to be equally drunk. Or maybe he was: hard to tell with a Jedi, although I suppose that normally he wouldn’t be wiping his mouth with his sleeve or slurring his words. A trickster, no? But yes? Sneaky and devious as they come: Kenobi fits right in with this motley, rowdy gang – can’t trust a one of them but you can drink and wench right along with them – well, except Kenobi, of course. The wenches, I mean.

    Hoo ha, such a gentleman he is. In a pirates’ den, still a gentleman, no pinching, no slaps, no stolen kisses. On his part. Not that the wenches didn’t try to get into his lap.

    “Thank you, but no.”

    Ho ha. No fondling of his lightsword thingie allowed. Ha. I don’t think it was his woosh woosh weapon they wanted to get their hands on. Just his woosh woosh.

    But I digress. My base is in shambles; shambles I tell you, courtesy of General Grevious. Tables overturned, chairs crushed – my liquor stores empty. How did I know it was trashed? A fine thing to ask; a man knows his shambles from another’s. It may look the same to an outsider, but to me, Hondo, it is an affront.

    It will take forever to clean up. Ha ha. A wet slap of a dirty rag and I’ll call it clean.

    But again I digress.

    Kenobi; I was speaking of Kenobi. A good man, I, Hondo Ohnaka, proclaim to my sorry band of reprobates and bandits. Men after my own heart; hah, too true this is, I have the scars to prove it. Not the dirty scoundrel, though; I sent him to me mother’s metaphysical side where he’ll be slapped to death for all eternity. Mother was one hell of a pirate with a backhand second to none.

    Ah, Kenobi, yes. Take the goody-goody “one must do the right thing, Hondo” attitude, take the fastidiousness, fill him full of liquor and I’d claim him right enough. Maybe tone down the honor, too, too much of that and a pirate one can’t be. He’s a fighting fool, though; I’ve seen him woosh woosh wooshing with my own eyes.

    Not just once, either. Just earlier this day. Imagine my surprise at uninvited company dropping in. Only Kenobi was welcome.

    Repel the invaders! Ha ha, I always wanted to say that, even if I didn’t think of it ‘til now.

    The two horny-skulls who co-opted some of my men – may their deceiving hearts burst in their chests – tore off after what I soon learned was Kenobi and another Jedi. My men and those who once were mine exchange “I’ll conquer you’s” and “The hell you will not’s.” It’s a grand melee, a frantic cacophony of blaster bolts and insults. Mayhem, my favorite sport, abounds.

    Woosh woosh and blades of light dance above on the rocks, then down amongst us. Grunts and groans, screams and shouts, it’s a symphony of unholy violence. I give ground; a trap, not a retreat. “Kenobi,” I call. And he comes with a mighty leap, not one hair out of place and not a wrinkle in his tunics. I am impressed. And confused.

    “Where’s the other Jedi?” I see her not.

    Kenobi pauses; hangs his head. “She’s, she’s dead.”

    “Dead? She’s dead? They’re too powerful even for you!” I am aghast; I am semi-speechless. These horny-headed seducers of my men are not good men, they are bad men – okay, they’re not men, technically, but Zabraks. Maniacs. Bearing whoosh whooshs in red. Jedi gone rogue? Pirate-stealing thieves! And stronger than Kenobi? This is not good; Kenobi needs to be good, better than them. He needs to kick their sorry horny spikes right off my planet, these horned crazies who stole my men before I stole them back.

    Yes, yes, and killed Kenobi’s companion. That, too, is not good.

    “You should lead your men away.” Kenobi’s voice is clipped. He is on his honorable high steed, I tell you. Too honorable, perhaps, risking his own life for others when retreat is the prudent option – the survivor’s option. “I’ll take the brothers, Hondo,” he tells me, shooing me and mine back into a cross corridor from the laser-wielding maniacs who dare oppose me, me, Hondo Ohnako, in my own home.

    “Okay,” I shrug. I don’t want those maniac crazies; Kenobi can have them for free. Off he leads them; I hear “woosh, woosh” and the clash, such a clash. Thump, woosh. Thump, thump. Woosh, woosh. Then I hear no more, for it is time to face my traitorous scum and gather them back into my bosom with a cannon aimed up their – ahem.

    But it worked. I am so proud; my traitorous men are my loyal men once more.

    Reunited, our numbers large once more, we seek riches – riches used to bribe my men. Ha. I bribe them right back; we will plunder the horned maniacs’ ship. Out we run from the tunnels, out into –

    Them. Those painted spawn, tattooed menaces.

    And they dare – dare – to think my men are again theirs to command. Again. My men. I think not; I swagger up and look into those crazy yellow eyes. Hah. My cannon pointed up my men’s’ pleasure zones assures my men’s loyalty for now.

    “They flee from Kenobi,” I inform the red-tattooed maniac as Kenobi erupts from my caves, his woosh woosh wooshing in his hand.

    It’s a scary sight all right. The two maniacs take off like a – a – Kenobi is after them. Ha ha, what a sight. I laugh, hands on my knees. Kenobi owes me; I don’t hand out endorsements for free, now do I? He glances at me and grins, okay, smirks a bit like he knows what I’m thinking before he’s all back to business, whoosh whoosh whooshing away in hot pursuit.

    Have I said I like that man? He makes me proud, I, Honda Ohnako, proud to fight at his back, at his side, or get-the-heck-out-of-Kenobi’s-way if so ordered. My dear departed mother would smack his rear, kiss his cheek, and slip her hand where I think Kenobi has never had any woman’s hand, or man’s either – maybe try to sneak a peek at his woosh woosh as well. Mother, bless her soul, was a saint, but a woman with a good feel for the finer things in manhood. Kenobi wouldn’t stand a chance unless he unleashed his woosh woosh, the weapon that is.

    My men swarm like a lovesick hoocha alpha male in the midst of rut; the air is thick with bolts, zing zing, and with swoosh swoosh swooshing and the rumble and crash of – that’s a fine trick, call Hondo Ohnaka taken by surprise – Kenobi’s ship comes tumbling down.

    Boom, boom and boom. Splat, thud.

    If it wasn’t a heap of junk before, it is now.

    Perhaps – but no. Kenobi won’t stay. Disdains violence, he says, although he’s left more bodies in his wake than I. The liquor won’t do it, either.

    The crazies are hobbling, one minus an arm – I salute Kenobi for that – the other, yes, that’s it, hobbled by the loss of one of those mechanical legs. And what’s this: green mist? They escape into their ship, but escape – hah! “Bring the cannon,” I call.

    Down goes the ship, spiraling in smoke, thump onto the desert floor. “Riches falling from the sky,” I exalt. It is a good day. I lost some men, pfft. I have gained a fortune. I celebrate.

    But Kenobi does not.

    He reports to his Council. I am disconsolate. ‘Tis a day of betrayal, reconciliation, and death. Of death, deceit and destruction, or as my dear departed mother would say, “Hondo, time to lift a glass and drain it dry. Then laugh and count the coins, not the bodies.”

    Instead, I count the beat between syllables.


    That’s Baldy in the hologram, staring at Kenobi with astonishment evident in the voice. I don’t even think of making a pitch to sell hair tonic to him until later.

    My eyes roam over these Jedi, curious. So this is the vaunted Jedi Council: short, tall, hairy, bald. Green, one even, sleepy-eyed and solemn. Open-mouthed with shock despite the firm lips. Eyes, yes I, Hondo, has eyes to see what they wish not to be seen. Sleepy blinks, Baldy glances down, Pointy-head flicks his eyes sideways. Mask-face stirs.

    I’ve lost men, too, some today. My men. They’ve been at my side and my throat for a long time; my traitorous bunch of senseless drunkards splayed over the long tables, worn out from betrayal and reconciliation with visions of coins dancing in their heads.

    Mine, all mine to bribe, coerce and dominate.

    Oh, I’m not fooled. They’re my men; mine as long as I promise them more than the next man. Then - Hondo, they’ll slur while sticking a shiv in my ribs. So I make sure I’m “Boss” and purchase their loyalty with love: love of booze, love of riches, love of the wenches.

    My discipline is strict, but fair: I pass them a bottle, they pass out. End of rebellion.

    You can’t buy Kenobi. But even he can be sucker-punched; the rest of them Jedi, too.

    "Dead? Master Gallia?" Baldy scowls at Kenobi. Oh my, my, my, my. With a look like that, Baldy would make a good pirate; that look could kill. Probably has, too.

    Kenobi's partner, Skywalker speaks up; his voice hard and taut. “I should have been with you!” Kenobi is stung – his lips tighten.

    “You were on assignment, Anakin. You cannot be everywhere.”

    “If I’d been there –“

    Kenobi’s shoulders droop a fraction. I scowl on Kenobi’s behalf and thrust a tankard at him. Drown his sorrow, at least, since we can’t drown Skywalker. He waves it away. Waste not, want not. I swallow, but it is bitter in my throat. I spit it out.

    Kenobi’s fingers tighten on his knee, then relaxes. By the horny six-sexed god, can’t the man – boy, really – see he is sticking his own shiv into the man? I should be so proud; just like one of my men. But Kenobi is not, nor is Skywalker.

    As my dear departed mother always said, no one can stick it to you like someone who loves you, so keep a careful eye on your pop and me, sonny boy. If only she’d taken her own advice, hah.

    But I digress. I intercede, because this is Kenobi; I throw an arm around his shoulders, friendly like. I can be touchy-feely, sometimes; it is a useful tool, enabling one to slip a shiv in the ribs or establish solidarity. “Listen here, Kenobi fought like a horny he-devil spurned by his mate –“

    Kenobi turns slowly, raises an eyebrow at me. “Hondo, you’re not helping.”

    “Obi-Wan…?” Skywalker stirs, an apology of sorts in the name.

    “My ship is trashed.” He brushes aside Skywalker’s words; he’s in no mind to hear whatever he meant to say. Ha. I don’t blame him. Ha, as well, for the comment: Kenobi’s ship is flying scrap metal, well, scrap metal.

    “With the Council’s permission, I’ll pick you up.”

    “No need, Anakin. Hondo is loaning me a ship.” Kenobi waves a hand at me; I am?

    “You mean you’re appropriating one of his ships.” A grin teases Skywalker’s lips as his padawan speaks.

    “Mmm, borrowing,” Kenobi concedes with a wry grin at me. Steal; he is going to steal one of my ships? I am offended; I am proud. I am vexed and affronted, as well. But a trade? Kenobi’s junk for – ah ha. Kenobi’s ship won’t fly without some heavy repairs. But it is worth more than the junker I’ll let him steal. That’s a fair swindle, right, one that all parties benefit from – Kenobi gets to leave; I get to make a profit.

    Win win for all.

    I hide my pleasure with a sniff and a hearty slap on the back. "If you ever need anything, Kenobi, remember – don’t you dare call me."

    And later, as he leaves, our little adventure complete: “Bring my ship back in one piece, Kenobi,” I shout. “Keep yourself the same – oh, and next time you drop in, come alone will you. No horned maniacs.”

    “I shall do my best, Hondo.”

    And, pfft, like that, he was gone.
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Dec 4, 2012
    Veloz likes this.
  2. serendipityaey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Ah! So fun :D I loved that he thought Obi would fit right in with his pirates :) And the convo at the end with them and Anakin and Mace was so good *can't drown Skywalker* lol

    But Hondo sticks up for his 'friend' and he's proud, just love :D As always I could hear Obi's voice *perfectly*
  3. hlc88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    That was very good! I loved Hondo's thought processes! You've got him down very well! Hondo's description of the other Jedi - hilarious! Brilliant!
  4. Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Oh, this was so hilarious I had to run to the bathroom (should have gone before I started reading :p ).

    This part: Ho ha. No fondling of his lightsword thingie allowed. Ha. I don’t think it was his woosh woosh weapon they wanted to get their hands on. Just his woosh woosh.

    Yeah, I can relate. =P~
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Oct 27, 2012
    Veloz likes this.
  5. Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 6
    Serendipityaey: Honda and Obi-Wan, they make quite a pair. I think Obi-Wan is both horrified by and strangely cheered by Hondo.
    HIC88: It took a few drafts to get Hondo down - glad I got it to your satisfaction.
    Alexis_Wingstar: Ah,thanks - that was the comedy in the dramaday - not so much in these later POVs. And you've got plenty of competition for the whoosh whoosh.

    Any fanakins out there: Anakin is still smarting from Rako Hardeen, so he's in a more - ah - unforgiving mood at the moment, but struggling...I know it's not his best face forward.

    ~~ Anakin Skywalker POV

    Master’s gotten himself into trouble again. At least he’s not dead, nor hurt, nor faking his death. The casualty is Adi Gallia.

    I frown. Normally Obi-Wan is pretty good at watching others’ backs; it’s his own he tends to ignore. That’s why he needs me. To protect him. This time he and Master Gallia watched each other’s back and, well –

    I should have been there.

    But no, I stand here in a drafty hangar, listening to the wind keening a dirge for the one who has fallen. It is always others who fall – Qui-Gon, Siri, now Adi – no, I shouldn’t think that. It is not Obi-Wan’s fault, even though he was with them when they fell – no, supposedly with them, yet separated, always, by something, the Chancellor has often noted…

    This is pointless; there is no blame…he kept you from your mother

    I should be glad, I am glad he is returning in one piece, no worse for wear.

    Qui-Gon fell. Siri fell. Adi Gallia fell.

    Back to back, side by side is how Jedi fight. But a lapse in concentration, a momentary distraction – and the murderer of Qui-Gon Jinn has to be the largest distraction Obi-Wan has faced in years.

    I should have been there.

    “Master Obi-Wan is okay, isn’t he, Master?”

    Ahsoka must have seen my frown and mistaken it. “Obi-Wan is just fine, Snips, I’ve told you.”

    “But…Master Gallia…”

    “Obi-Wan can separate himself from any emotion, Padawan; you’ve heard his lectures on ‘releasing one’s emotions’,” I mock-flick them, poof, away, and at Ahsoka’s “but, Master” look of impending correction, scowl her into silence; “often enough, and you know Obi-Wan keeps himself as tidy within as without. No doubt he has already consoled himself that Master Gallia’s essence has returned to the Force and is already contemplating who would make a fine replacement for her on the Council.” If my tone is bitter, my words acidic and not entirely true, well, one only needs to refer back to the events of a few weeks ago.

    I never want to hear of Rako Hardeen again.

    Fierfek, I still resent that little charade even while I await my master’s return with a measure of relief. It will be good to see him, notwithstanding the issues between us. That he has lied to me is – must be - of inconsequence for the moment, our shared past. I have not really conversed with him for a while. That a foul stench once thought long gone in the Force has returned; that is what is of consequence now. Obi-Wan was knighted for removing said stench; a stench’s existence which now needs an explanation.

    I have been given none.

    I know Obi-Wan; I know he has not lied. Not about that. He was easier to read in those days. When he halved Maul, he was also halving himself – from an impatient, untested padawan to a knight held in high esteem. But that barrier was soft and pervious, for a time.

    Now, I wonder how well I know him; I wonder if instead it was a case of my not then knowing him well enough.

    But he was once my master and is always my friend. And in truth I am too quick to condemn him. He is not without emotion no matter how my resentment tries to twist it so. I know without doubt he will arrive bruised in both body and mind for he returns with the body of Adi Gallia for whom he has professed some fondness. She has always been kind to me, Anakin. What memories prompted these words I am not privy to; the memory his own and one not pleasant if one goes by the faraway look, the sadness creasing his brow. Obi-Wan would not call it luck that he survives without me there to save him. But luck it must surely be and for that I am grateful.

    My irritation with him does not override my affection. Both seethe within me.
    As does the truth: two went to confront those butchers and only one returns.

    My hand clenches into a fist. She, too, would be alive; I know it, had I been there. I should have been there.


    Snips is too perceptive. I force a lop-sided grin on my face. She knows things have been a bit tense between Obi-Wan and I lately. He’s been keeping things from me; his only confidents his fellow Council members. He kept his survival a secret so I would openly mourn his death, so he could thwart a plot against the Chancellor’s life.

    And I cannot forget.

    He let Ahsoka and I cradle his dead body in our arms. I could not slash out my pain, annihilate the guilty, not as I had once before – no, all I had was the silent roar of his name in my ears and instead of the fire of that time, only ice in my veins. Screams of denial occasionally still ring in my sleep. No plea for forgiveness can erase that memory. Ever.

    The ploy worked. It worked, but the cost has not yet been tallied. Padmé thinks I should forgive him. I have. I have, I think. But I cannot forget. Obi-Wan lied to me once. What will be the second lie, and when? The third, and why?

    I hate the price we’re paying in this war. We pay in death, in despair, and in destruction.

    Adi Gallia is the latest to pay the price. Which of us is next? Will I mourn, when Obi-Wan falls or will I laugh, believing it a deceit once more – but no, I truly don’t wish to find out. I don’t want there to be any more death.

    No more.

    Please, no more.

    Which is precisely why I should have been there, at Obi-Wan’s side. I would have prevented it. I know I could have. I would have finished what Obi-Wan left undone: he left Qui-Gon’s murderer free to murder again. He bisected Maul in two. I don’t doubt that, I can’t doubt that: I’ve seen the hologram of this butcher Maul as he is now. Half a man, from a job left half done by Obi-Wan.

    I would do better. I will do better.

    Maul will maraud and murder no more – I will see to that. There will be no more mothers mourning their young; no more young mourning their mothers.

    On Qui-Gon’s memory, on my mother’s memory I swear this.

    To the side, I sense a stir. The Council is arranging themselves, solemn and serene and then – that is quite some ship in which Obi-Wan returns. For a moment, I presuppose he’s lost his, a victim like the cloaks marking the paths we trod in the past. It is his lightsaber he retains at all cost. It is, after all, his life. The ship is pockmarked and scorched, shabby and ill worn, but the engine purrs like an over-petted pitten and I remember: it’s the ship that Obi-Wan “appropriated” from Hondo. Like Obi-Wan, it is finely crafted, hiding power and purpose under a humble façade. How fitting.

    What a fine joke on Hondo’s part, as pointed an exclamation of character as I’ve seen.

    The ship settles with a small bump I would have never allowed. While far short of my lofty expertise – hey, why be humble when it’s the truth - Obi-Wan is one of the better pilots within the Order, but he cannot land, not without a bit of a “flourish” as he terms it. He also terms my landings “controlled crashes”: I am grateful he appends the word “controlled” to all, even those undeserving.

    Yes, Anakin Skywalker crashes. Purposefully. When necessary. When, ahem, shot down although now that I think about it, I may be able to claim it is due to Obi-Wan’s lack of accuracy in gunning down those who would gun us down.

    And I almost smile at the memory, that is, until the hatch opens and Obi-Wan emerges, expressionless, of course, a draped body in his arms, the cloth like diaphanous shimmersilk…


    I flinch, for in my mind it is Padmé draped in my arms, crossing the threshold into our wedded bliss. Draped in lace and shimmersilk, an angel, smiling up at me, my angel forever as I claim her as my wife, weeping tears and exulting in silent cheers as our bond is consecrated in flesh. Padme: my angel, my wife, mine, henceforth and forevermore.

    Nothing, no one, will ever take Padmé from me. No war, no Sith, no Jedi. She is mine and mine she will remain. No harm will come to her as long as Anakin Skywalker lives.

    And then the veil of illusion lifts; this is not my wife, my love, whom Obi-Wan so gently settles on the waiting hoverstretcher. It is not my angel, my Padmé, whom he graces with the brush of a thumb across what must be Adi’s cheek before stepping back and allowing the Council their moment of respect before the healers take possession.

    She will be accorded all respect in some few hours; the preparations are all but made. I will attend out of respect, but I will be haunted by the flames of long ago: of Qui-Gon, the father I deserved and who was taken long before his time and of the Tusken village roasting in a Jedi’s unleashed fury and grief – or, if the pyre is to be forsaken as is more common now, I will be haunted by the memory of my master’s shrouded form sealed beneath stone.

    But I cannot escape death: in either dealing it or dealing in the aftermath.

    And, I suppose, it is time to deal with The Miraculous Master: like the Sith-Slayer he is not, the dead man he is not as well, the miracles all powder and smoke, a twist in a funhouse House of Horror mirror. For, with one duty done, the next yet to come, Obi-Wan glances up, a leap of pleasure sparking in his eyes. With a murmur he excuses himself and comes to my side.

    We take each other’s measure; his eyes a bit wary and mine probing. I am glad to see him, truly I am, glad to see that he is uninjured and whole. He is, however, weary and bowed by the weight of this mission, so perhaps I should say uninjured in body, if not in soul.

    His Jedi façade of serenity cracks more easily these days; the breaches only patched and never truly healed. There is no emotion, there is only serenity seems a dream, an aspiration for him now, not the anchor it once was – or perhaps still is, the life ring dangling out of reach but not impossibly so, something still to reach for – am I the only one to see this? I, who am the closest to him?

    Not so long ago, I would sit him down in his quarters, remove his boots, bring him a cup of tea but I know now such are just empty gestures, not the solace he deserves although never want.

    “Anakin.” His hand is heavy on my shoulder; a tired smile flits across his face. “Ahsoka,” he nods to my apprentice, who greets him back.

    I open my mouth to welcome him, instead, “I’m glad to see you in one piece, Master,” comes out. Not exactly what I intended to say under the circumstances, not exactly what he wanted to hear. Sorry, Obi-Wan.

    His fingers tighten on my shoulder before releasing it. “Yes, well…when you’re not flying …”

    The banter is old and worn, an echo of the past and dredged for the moment, a deflection of pain into a pained attempt at humor. Master’s humor is like him, dry and contradictory, a weapon and a shield. However, I am most skilled in evasive maneuvers, more so than he, so I barrel-roll and aim a missile with deadly accuracy, though such is not my intention – or perhaps in hindsight, it is. I know Obi-Wan well as a Jedi, a master, my master, but I’ve always wanted more, wanted what he would not willingly give. So I must take what I want: the inner man, the man who never openly cried at the loss of his surrogate father and hid the pain away, who set aside his wounds to tend mine.

    I won’t allow Obi-Wan to hide; is it payback for Rako Hardeen? A desire to even the score? Surely I would not be so petty. It is for him as much as it is for me, that I must see him mourn. To affirm that we are not so unlike one another: under the skin we are brothers.

    “I should have been there, Master.”

    “Anakin.” He rubs his neck and looks away, back to me. “You would not have saved her, Anakin.”

    I bristle, stung. We both know different, but the stubborn barve cannot admit it. “Why would you wish me to believe that? Because you couldn’t –“

    Ahsoka tugs on my arm, appalled, before I spit out the condemnation I meant never to voice. It is not Obi-Wan’s fault; it is only his failure.

    “You look tired, Master Kenobi. We’ll leave you be for now, won’t we, Master?”

    Obi-Wan dips his head at my apprentice, a faint light in his eyes that might be gratitude, or relief. Fierfek. This really was not the time, nor the place. I’m sorry, Obi-Wan… It is not MY place to say truth, although it may be my duty. But - another time, another place…

    I am sorry, Master.

    “Yes, yes, that might be best. It was a – sobering trip.” Obi-Wan closes his eyes and sighs; a hand rubs his chin. Yup, even now, his beard is neat and trim, his tunics brushed clean of the scars of battle.

    No, if he bears scars at all, they are inside, hoarded and hidden.

    “Anakin.” He again rests a hand on my shoulder and peers up into my eyes. I am forgiven, for as large as that hidden hoard of guilt and self-recrimination, his heart is far larger, his compassion boundless and his capacity to forgive far greater than my own. It is humbling. “For what it’s worth – I do understand.”

    Force forgive me, for when he trudges off, the wound of “insufficiency” hurtled at him sinking deep into spirit, bowing his shoulders, I do not move to join him. I cannot.

    Sometimes, sometimes one sees too much. Beware what one wants, because it may not be what one needs. That glimpse inside has unsettled me. He is unsettled and that cannot be. He is my rock, my anchor. I need him to be strong, to be stoic, to be calm – to be all that I am not, so that in tandem we are a restrained storm of the Force. He is my center, the eye of the storm, the master of Soresu, one and indivisible, whilst I am the battering winds howling in righteous fury shrieking fury and defiance, a tamed threat that yearns for and yet fears to be unleashed.

    And it is Obi-Wan, not the Force, that leashes the boiling potential and the wrath of the righteous, the fury that could easily sweep aside all those in its path, innocent and guilty alike. He cannot weaken; he cannot break; he cannot bend because he is both chain and life line, resented and appreciated, for if he does – what then shall become of me?

    And so this day we now walk separate paths now where once we walked side by side.

    I might weep, but I cannot. I will not. Not even for all the silences that separate us, for all the words not spoken that might have closed the distance. For what could be and will not be.

    For the “Hero Without Fear” is a fraud at heart: I fear that our bond is not strong enough to sustain us. I fear that hidden deeds will flare to life and sever fondness by the sharp blade of duty should we seek and find mutual understanding. I will not stand for judgment by any man; not even him.

    Especially him.

    “I could have saved her,” I murmur, my voice unheard and unheeded, meant only for the Force.

    “I know, Master, I know.”

    It is cool comfort to know the solace an apprentice offers is mine to receive, a gift made with no strings attached. There are too many tugs on the string between Obi-Wan and I now for such gifts.

    “Will Master Kenobi be all right?”

    I stare after his disappearing form. I hope so. I hope we will be, in time.

    I square my shoulders and face away, face my apprentice instead.

    “Master Kenobi is always all right.”

    And for a moment I believe it. I will believe it. I do believe it. Because, for Master Kenobi, the Force’s comfort is always there, not just near at hand, a wish away, or in an apprentice’s presence but there, wrapping him within its embrace.

    Someday, perhaps, it will do the same for me.
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Oct 30, 2012
    Veloz likes this.
  6. anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 9
    You got inside both of their heads pretty well. Hondo was both hilarious but sad for Obi-Wan at the same time, and it was obvious. Loved him thinking that Mace would be a good pirate, and giving Obi-Wan the beer to drown his sorrows in when they both knew he'd rather drown Anakin for his thoughtless comment.

    And no, Anakin, you can't save everyone, nor should you assume that you're supposed to. And that apology to Obi-Wan needs to be done out loud. Sadly, knowing their communication issues, it won't be.

    "Master Kenobi is always all right." Oh, Anakin, what you miss by not paying attention... :(

    Great job. :)
  7. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
  8. hlc88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Some very good introspective there from Anakin. I think you've really got him down pat, and its a good choice to have him still smarting from Rako Hardeen. I don't think its something he'd get over easily and I'm glad its been brought up here. Great job!
  9. Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Very well done. =D=

    Two parts stand out for me:

    Sometimes, sometimes one sees too much. Beware what one wants, because it may not be what one needs. That glimpse inside has unsettled me. He is unsettled and that cannot be. He is my rock, my anchor. I need him to be strong, to be stoic, to be calm – to be all that I am not, so that in tandem we are a restrained storm of the Force. He is my center, the eye of the storm, the master of Soresu, one and indivisible, whilst I am the battering winds howling in righteous fury shrieking fury and defiance, a tamed threat that yearns for and yet fears to be unleashed.

    And it is Obi-Wan, not the Force, that leashes the boiling potential and the wrath of the righteous, the fury that could easily sweep aside all those in its path, innocent and guilty alike. He cannot weaken; he cannot break; he cannot bend because he is both chain and life line, resented and appreciated, for if he does – what then shall become of me?

    And that is Anakin's biggest failure. He relies on those around him to anchor him He needs to find the center within himself.

    “Master Kenobi is always all right.”

    And for a moment I believe it. I will believe it. I do believe it. Because, for Master Kenobi, the Force’s comfort is always there, not just near at hand, a wish away, or in an apprentice’s presence but there, wrapping him within its embrace.

    Someday, perhaps, it will do the same for me.

    Perhaps if Anakin wasn't so much the storm, the Force would wrap him in its embrace. It's hard to have a blankie when you blow it away.
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Nov 1, 2012
  10. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Enjoyed Hondo's voice in here, but really liked Anakin's introspection. Makes RotS make so much more sense. I love your descriptions of them both and how back and forth Anakin can be. Great set of vignettes!
  11. Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 6
    Unfortunately, Anakin has this deep-seated need and belief that he DOES need to save everyone and his

    Edited: stupid board wiped out my other comments - Earlybird-Obi-Wan, HIC88, Alexis Wingstar, Luna Nightshade - I had specifically responded to you individually but the board "ate" my words when I actually posted. My apologies.

    ~~Mace Windu:

    I stand where I cannot be seen, my presence veiled in the Force. Adi will be memorialized soon enough; my concern at the moment is for the living. I observe, without judgment I hope. All is not well between Kenobi and his tempestuous now-knighted padawan. It is not the tension between a too-gifted apprentice and his mentor, a mentor I might add that is almost as gifted and far wiser, dare I say, a better Jedi as well.

    No, this is a tension born of unresolved personal feelings. Emotions. It has tainted the air between them for the last few weeks, the fall-out of an undercover mission.

    Kenobi was right. It was necessary to deceive Skywalker. It was also ill-advised. A conundrum, a contradiction: a consequence of this war we find ourselves in. Do we fight for right or do we fight for the least objectionable? The Force gives different answers to us all; truly blinded we are by the dark, fumbling for the certainty no longer within our reach.

    The only certainty we have left is the Force. And death. And the fear of wrong choices; but fear is to be defeated, and so we make our choices and do not look back, or too far ahead.

    Now we have lost yet another: Adi Gallia, a trusted confidante, dare I say a friend.

    She is not the first and she will not be the last. I do not mourn; she is with us still, in the Force that infuses our very being. But there is I have to admit an emptiness not yet filled by the Force.

    But my concern must be for the living. And so I watch as Obi-Wan is accosted, yes, I do not exaggerate, accosted by his former padawan. I know what Anakin Skywalker thinks; one cannot help but know what that man thinks, for he thinks it his right and his duty to tell us what we already know from his scowls and his smirks, his words and his silences.

    I could have saved her.

    It is Anakin Skywalker’s personal mantra, his deepest belief. He has inflicted it on his master since the first day they were teamed; I know this not from Obi-Wan but from Skywalker’s very demeanor.

    I would have saved Qui-Gon.
    I would have saved my mother.
    I would have saved that civilian, or that clone, or that Jedi.
    I would have saved Adi…
    ..if only I had been there.

    First as “Master Windu,” then as “Mace,” as Kenobi grew from untested knight to master to Councilman, I would counsel him to break Skywalker of this belief. It is not healthy nor is it possible to save everyone, not even for the Chosen One.

    “I cannot,” is Kenobi’s invariable answer. “I have tried, and tried again. It is asking the clouds to clear on Kamino or asking a Hutt,” his mouth twitches, “to free a slave.”

    I have long known why I had been deputized to have this conversation and not Yoda: he would not wish to break his gimer stick with one too many whacks against an unyielding shin. One cannot merely “try” with the old troll; one only “does.” But Skywalker is a law unto himself. One tries…but only Skywalker can do, and only if he so chooses.

    He does not.

    So Yoda spares young Kenobi’s limb and his beloved gimer stick both. And himself the aggravation of – trying.

    Skywalker is gifted, beyond measure, I grant him that. He does miracles almost every engagement, but even a Jedi filled to overflowing with the Force’s miracles can be wrung dry. He has been wrung many times in this war already. He is due to be wrung through and through, soon.

    I do not doubt that the Force called Adi home on its timetable, not young Skywalker’s. But he does not see that.

    Nor, I fear, does Kenobi.

    He passes me by, now, alone and weary. Skywalker does not accompany him, but stands with arms crossed, lost in his dreams of what he believes he alone can accomplish, his padawan at his side. Such beliefs are arrogant, such are – dangerous.

    I fear for him, and us.

    I whirl on my heel and clap a hand on Kenobi’s shoulder. “I’ll walk you to quarters,” I say gently.

    “I’m fine, Mace.”

    He will be, but he is not yet. But I’ve a hankering for a nice cup of tea, prepared as only he can. It may be an excuse, but it is the truth as well. He has been alone with his thoughts, no doubt brooding, long enough. If his padawan does not see fit to be with him, a poor substitute for a long dead mentor can be.

    And maybe, just maybe, I don’t wish to be alone right now either.

    “And you?”

    I don’t pretend to misunderstand. “Like you, soon.”

    We lapse into silence, a shared silence. Serenity, acceptance – these will follow, in time, for us both.

    It will start, I’ve decided, with a shared pot of tea.
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Nov 11, 2012
  12. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Love the last line. I like Mace's take on Obi-Wan and Anakin's relationship, especially Anakin's struggle with being able to change things. Strong vignette.
  13. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Nice piece showing the friendship between Mace and Obi-Wan
  14. Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    "Edited: stupid board wiped out my other comments - Earlybird-Obi-Wan, HIC88, Alexis Wingstar, Luna Nightshade - I had specifically responded to you individually but the board "ate" my words when I actually posted. My apologies."

    No need to apologize, these things do happen. Such is life. [:D]

    “I’m fine, Mace.”

    He will be, but he is not yet. But I’ve a hankering for a nice cup of tea, prepared as only he can. It may be an excuse, but it is the truth as well. He has been alone with his thoughts, no doubt brooding, long enough. If his padawan does not see fit to be with him, a poor substitute for a long dead mentor can be.

    And maybe, just maybe, I don’t wish to be alone right now either.

    ^ That is my favorite part. For all his stoicism and fierce looks, Mace is very human/humane and compassionate. Though he calls himself a "poor substitute" for Qui-Gon, he is a good friend.

    Oh, btw, though I doubt I'll miss this when you post a new installment, could you tag me when you do?
    Last edited by Alexis_Wingstar, Nov 12, 2012
  15. hlc88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Interesting post! I like Mace's thoughts on Anakin. He's got him down to a tee! This was a nice showing of how close fellow Councilmen can be, even if they don't appear like that in public. Good job! :)
  16. serendipityaey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Anakin's pov: So many great lines, again you capture the dichotomy in Anakin, and we just know these thoughts are probably always pervasive in his conflicted mind.

    **My irritation with him does not override my affection. Both seethe within me.**

    So very Anakin, and

    **But I cannot forget. Obi-Wan lied to me once. What will be the second lie, and when? The third, and why? **

    This doubt, will always gnaw at him, and for nothing... it will crumble Anakin from the inside out. You've captured this so well =D=
  17. Valairy Scot Backpacking One Pack a Day Mod of New Films

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 6
    Well, it's not truly a vignette, rather a vignette in four parts. But thanks for reading.

    The two are really somewhat alike, I think.

    He is a friend indeed, and I hope this method of tagging (within a quote) works.

    Well, Mace was a bit unfair to Anakin - but he does see him fairly well - focused more on his flaws, though.

    Anakin is a very conflicted young man; it is no accident that I have him recall Palp's words, those subtle seeds of doubt that will sprout over time. Yes, the ground was ready to receive the seeds, but the seeds and fertilization came from outside.

    Well, trying to tie in bits and pieces of this as I worked on had me a bit over the drum. I hope it's not too over the top emotional for Obi-Wan; I did try to rein it back but I do imagine after recent events (Rako Hardeen, being worked over by Maul and Savage, Adi's death) he's feeling a bit low and vulnerable. Even the greatest of Jedi can have an emotional dip from time to time (and we know it'll be worse - much, much worse. I'd love to craft THAT story but I bet Ruth will beat me to it.)

    ~~ Obi-Wan:

    When I was very young, I dreamed. The future could not arrive soon enough; a day would come when I would serve the Force as its devoted servant, settling disputes, bringing peace, improving the galaxy – I did not want the glory of being a hero, only the wish to do a hero’s job. All things were possible.

    When I was young, I despaired. Dreams evaporated into reality: I am not good enough, I am unwanted, I am being shipped out to Agri-Corps – I knew myself then to be a failure. Not all things were possible.

    When I was a bit older, I again dreamed. I would prove myself worthy to my master and in so doing prove myself worthy of the Force. Despair would not be unknown, but it would be defeated by self-knowledge – I would learn to be the Jedi the Force wished me to be. With hard work and dedication, many things would be possible and those that were no longer were never meant to be.

    When I became a knight, I knew: dreams and despair were intermingled; neither could be avoided nor sought; each came as it would and one dealt with it and moved on – I would not worry about such things as how or why, but merely do as the Force would have me do. I stopped worrying about the possible and impossible and sought only the Force’s guidance. Who are we to judge what is possible or not?

    Then I became a Master and then a Master of the Council and the former master of Anakin Skywalker and I knew only that what I knew, what I dreamed, what I hoped had nothing whatsoever to do with the Force, only with me. I belong, mind and spirit, to it, my heart, alas, is more fickle. It still bruises, though it heals. It still wishes for dreams of a future without strife and free of conflict. All too often I stifle that hope, those dreams because they belong to an innocence I will never recover, for life is ever changing, never idyllic, and true, everlasting peace never achievable.

    Is this the wisdom of the old, or the cynicism of the no longer young?

    Anakin still dreams; he has yet to learn that dreams pass in time. They become not the goal that they once were, but an incentive - the reason we strive for that perfect future which does and will not ever exist.

    Ah, I am a foolish man, a weary man to wander the path of despair, born of sorrow: unworthy of a Jedi, of a Master, of a Councilman. It is merely the musings of a man stumbling to regain his personal balance, the balance between a man and a Jedi, a dreamer and a realist, master and former padawan.

    Anakin, the child I raised to a man, the Jedi I have knighted, the Master who raises his own padawan. I have harmed him by preventing harm to another; I have hurt him not by dying, but being shown not to have died at all. In all honesty, I was not unaware of the consequences: I held my master’s body in my arms as he died. How could I not know how Anakin might feel, holding his master’s body in his? I weighed the benefit and the consequence and I chose the good of the many over the one. It was a Jedi’s decision, but a man’s regret.

    And I am still paying the price: in silence, in aloofness, in anger. Anakin does not forgive, not easily; I am still paying the price for Qui-Gon, for Shmi Skywalker, for Rako Hardeen.

    And now, for Adi.

    Because every loss, especially of life, is a slight to Anakin, a betrayal of what he believes his divine duty. Ah, Qui-Gon, what a burden you put on youthful shoulders: the weight of destiny no young man should ever know he bears. It has warped him in ways unimaginable: for him, the unattainable should always be attainable and the impossible, possible. Destiny is in his hands, he believes, not that of the Force and that is the greatest tragedy. Each twist of fate – or the Force – becomes a personal failure.

    Not even the Force itself can convince him otherwise.

    “I should have” and “I could have” shackle him far more than any chains of slavery ever could.

    So I should not walk off…my steps falter…for though it would do little good I feel I should perhaps console my padawan now, at least try to make him see that he bears no responsibility. It was not his decision that Adi and I faced Maul without him.

    It was mine. Foolish or not, it was my argument that persuaded the Council. Anakin was far too emotionally compromised: Maul had stolen what he still feels was his “rightful master,” and Maul had harmed “his real master” when I had gone to confront him and found instead Maul and Savage.

    I was not in good shape when Republic forces found me; Ventress had long since fled the site of our emergency landing. Still angry at “Rako Hardeen,” upset at my injuries, and relieved at my survival – no, I would not risk him like that. His own volatile emotions are his own worst enemy yet.

    And they currently seethe within him, it is all too clear. He hears no words of mine when he is so unsettled; no, now is not the time to accept responsibility and do what I can to lift that burden from him.

    Yes, the responsibility is mine. There have been many trials in my life, each serving to strengthen my shoulders for each succeeding trial, each mistake and each misjudgment, each failure in thought or action.

    And there have been so very many…I daresay most Jedi feel this, especially at such times as this.

    It would be easy to fancy myself one who earns enmity – earns, because there is no such thing as luck, good or bad. Maul, who devastated the padawan I once was, detests me with the whole of his body, that portion which I left to him. He demands recompense by slaughtering innocents: seeking to pillage my spirit before annihilating my body. Anakin demands recompense by hoarding sullen resentment; he all but demands I prostrate myself upon an alter of contrition, guilt, and self-condemnation: I do not think it a conscious wish, but his words, those spoken and those not, are rocket-fueled lances liberally soaked in the poison of scorn and disdain. How is he to know – and yet should he not know – that a lifetime’s accumulation of grief and regret is near to spilling over?

    I have done my best; always my best and though my best is often not enough – Qui-Gon, Siri, Adi - I console myself that the Force has shaped and guided us; that a life is measured by both its failures as well as its successes and that is not ours to know what is to be reckoned on which side of the equation until we are one with the Force.

    But such wisdom comes late, on the heels of self-doubt and deep meditation. For a Jedi of my rank, it comes fairly quickly. For a man such as Anakin, the Chosen One - ah, such wisdom surely comes not at all, for self-doubt has never plagued him. He is secure in his wisdom, he is sheltered in his certainty, and he is protected in his blithe belief of his own invincibility. Neither the Force nor I have punctured his self-belief: battered and dented it, yes, with the death of his mother, but no more.

    My fault, my failure, Anakin believes that to be. Not his, no matter his mutterings. In the depths of his mind it was he who failed to save her, but in the depths of his heart it is I who condemned her and I who bear the weight of both her death and his failure. Shmi Skywalker, Qui-Gon Jinn, Adi Gallia: I am the accursed wretch responsible for Anakin’s pain.

    And – oh, blast it! Have I not just proven the truth of my padawan’s many unspoken accusations, that I am little more than a droid wrapped in the skin of a man, all cogs and circuits within? Such a thought is unworthy and unjust; it is heartless indeed to deflect blame to the blameless, for Anakin deserves none of this – he who is the Chosen of the Force. He is so much more capable than I as both a man and as a Jedi.

    I could have saved her.

    Who am I to say he could not? The Force is silent on that, no matter how vehement my padawan, how strong my conviction. It is his truth. I must honor that as I must honor him.

    Adi Gallia is dead. And I did not save her.

    It is more than his truth, it is the truth.

    And the truth hurts. Sorrow and grief weigh heavy on my heart, not yet absorbed, accepted and then as it will be, released to the Force as it should have been on the journey home. Unbefitting of a Jedi, that is, of one who sits on the Council, but totally befitting the man I sometimes forget to acknowledge I am. Master Qui-Gon would be proud, perhaps. He - and Anakin as well - have changed me. I can be both, Jedi and man, for a short while, in the privacy of self; the one thing and the only thing I have not given to my padawan. In all other things I have not spared myself.

    I am grateful to be alone for yet a while longer. I will again shoulder the burden of being strong when I must, when we consecrate the mortal remains of a wise and gentle woman to the Force to join her immortal spirit.

    “You must not despair, Obi-Wan. You will be a Jedi, a fine Jedi, I wager. Don’t let this folly of youth persuade you otherwise.”

    Anakin does not understand how much I owe her. He has never known me as a young man, certain of his path but uncertain on how best to trod it. I was young and foolish, once, although my padawan might argue otherwise. I have gained in maturity what I have lost in youth, a fair trade I might add.

    To my padawan, I have lost a colleague, but Adi was so much more.

    Not just a calm voice of reason on the Council; not just the master of a close friend. She was a woman who treated me kindly when I deserved it the least.

    A friend.

    I will admit her memory into the solemn sanctity of my heart where the memory of one man already resides. Therein dwells the Force; therein they dwell as well. That truth swells within me. There is indeed no death, only the Force. So I will not mourn for long; I shall free my grief to lift into the ether with the soft drift of warm ashes and flickering flames as we free her from the bounds of decaying flesh into the everlasting warmth that awaits us all.

    She will be, as will we all, one with the Force. It settles around me, now, smoothing a heart’s ache into something far more profound.

    The first faint and tentative flickers of peace steal in, wisps and tendrils drifting and floating like seeds sailing on the winds, seeking the fertile soil of acceptance in which to take root and blossom. It is a stray thought, a novel thought on which to meditate: it seems I have not escaped the lessons of Agri-Corps though I have long since escaped its physical clutches. I need seek nothing; I need only to accept.

    My sorrow need not be shunned or ashamed of. It is only a passing emotion, an emotion to accept before casting it off and moving beyond it: a lesson learned anew as the Force reminds me of its truths. I only yet fear, if I am to be honest with myself, the need to mourn for another, then yet another, each succeeding the other in slow and stately procession, each ache and each grief lovingly tended and lovingly released, only to be replaced again and yet again.

    I have seen more death in my thirty-some years than I could have ever dreamed, yet no less than so many others. Friends and colleagues, Jedi and clones, civilians and the innocent…it matters not how; there is no why – there is only the Force. And even when everything becomes nothing, when there is only ashes and dust, the Force itself will remain.

    I slowly inhale. There is no death.

    I slowly exhale. There is only the Force.

    It fills my lungs; it wraps my weary mind. It is solace and it is comfort. It is the breath of air that banishes despair and pain and sorrow. It is the warmth that promises death is not an end, but a beginning: fear not, not now, and not when it comes for you. Death is only coming home.

    It is the way of life and not without its reward, in a manner of speaking, but it is also the way of life to grieve; I have learned that lesson in the past and yet forgotten it.

    In I slowly inhale: out, I slowly exhale. In: the stirrings of peace; out: the emptying of grief.

    Adi is not the first and she will not be the last. I accept that now.

    Her light shines on: a benediction and an indictment both. I believed Maul dead. He was dead; I killed him on Theed. I fought him with the dark nipping at my heels, seeking to ally me to its cause; I allied instead with the light and survived – but the dark had its victory.
    Somehow Maul survived.

    Mace’s hand settles on my shoulder and for a moment I imagine it to be Qui-Gon’s, the gesture a treasured resurrection from the past and all but forgotten. “I’ll walk you to quarters,” he decides, his voice brisk as always, but there is warmth there, if one cares to know. He and I are not unlike; our surfaces a tranquil pool that many even amongst our fellow Jedi imagine springs from an equally serene core; a belief that we have set aside our humanity to immerse ourselves into little but conduits for the Force. But there is outer reality as well as inner truth within us all. Our internal fires are banked, constrained by training and choice into mere embers, slumbering rather than fanned into raging infernos by the harsh realities and painful truths that litter a Jedi’s life.

    War and its necessary and requisite deaths, its collective and singular tragedies, are merely the latest and the worst of those; a burden we accept because to do otherwise is to abdicate our guardianship of the innocent.

    And so we, all of the Jedi and of the Council especially, harden our exteriors to protect our own inner cores. To do otherwise is to harden the heart of a Jedi and without a heart, a Jedi is not worthy of the name. Few are more worthy than Mace Windu with his exterior of tempered durasteel and in his interior a heart soft enough to offer consolation to a colleague amidst his own grief. It is a side of Mace that too few are willing to believe exists, even amongst the Order.

    It is that touch and it is that warmth that assures me I have still have the heart of a man and the resolve of a Jedi within this weary body.

    Like the Force, it is strength to lift my flagging spirits and restore my purpose.

    And it reminds me of the bonds between master and padawan, those severed and those unofficial: of Master Qui-Gon with the padawan I had once been; of Mace who became almost a surrogate master after Qui-Gon’s death. Gestures, small in scope but large in meaning, there were many over the years. A tug of the braid, a squeeze of the shoulder, the laughing raise of an eyebrow coupled with a twinkle in the eyes: the caress of a tear dampened cheek on a bitterly chill floor in Naboo.

    I had resigned myself to loss: no longer recipient but bestower of the same. Anakin tolerated what I had so gladly accepted; my hand was not the maternal one he desired.

    Then, most unexpectedly, Mace quietly stepped forward. What he could not give a bereaved padawan and uncertain new master in time and attention he made up for in reassuring squeezes of the shoulder, small gestures of wordless encouragement that yes I could and would make Qui-Gon proud. When they had all but ceased, I thought little of it.

    I suppose he had decided I had grown beyond them, or perhaps assumed that whatever comfort I might need might come from Anakin as our relationship eased. But now when he asks for tea it strikes me that perhaps he, too, is in need of companionship. Adi was friend to all and I not the only one to mourn.

    We will each help the other on the path to healing, in partnership with the Force. We will speak of Adi’s life, not her death.

    And, of course, we will speak of Maul.

    Maul has sent too many to their pyres…too many and a part of me still whispers: is it my fault?

    I would have saved her.

    I killed him once. Will I be granted a second chance to save others, or is salvation to be in Anakin’s hands and not mine? I see no answers yet but hear just one: I could have saved them, Obi-Wan, had I been there.

    And I wonder as I sip my tea: was Anakin right?
    Last edited by Valairy Scot, Dec 4, 2012
    serendipityaey and Veloz like this.
  18. earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Touching insight in Obi-Wan's thoughts. He is so human in this.
  19. Gkilkenny Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    Oh how sad, A tear jerker of the most beautiful kind. He truely believes he is unworthy of any peace. What a sad life the Jedi must lead, keeping pain and suffering buried deep
    within. I read this slowly and went over it piece by piece, you did a wonderful job of his POV.=D=
  20. Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Wonderfully done as always. =D=

    Obi-Wan the man gets a [:D] Obi-Wan the Jedi, a ^:)^
  21. ruth baulding Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 3
    Ah, Val. The last part outshines even Hondo. Such a weight of pain and guilt - enough to last twenty years on Tatooine but not enough to break this man. And a terrible, lovely ending, on a note of unresolved doubt. It doesn't get any better...
    My favorite part was "when I was young I dreamed." and then, "When I was young I despaired." Brillinat combined with the subsequent resolution of the two in wisdom.
  22. Veloz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2004
    star 6
    Hadnt commented yet, but read it a couple of days ago. Great writing as usual, Val. Loved how you wrote Hondo [face_laugh], and of course, Obi-Wan's emotions... beautiful stuff [face_love] =D=
  23. serendipityaey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Mace's pov: I just loved this! Sometimes I feel Mace is portrayed far too coldly or just plain mean, which I don't always get. Many of his scenes on screen we've seen him dealing with Anakin so I think he's showing his most strict side - but that doesn't mean that's who he is.

    This was perfect, I thought - it displayed so well the peace, as much as he can have in war, of a mind of a Jedi who has been a Master for a very long time. I loved every thought about Anakin - so right on and the crux of the problem - that he thinks he can save everyone and that there's no way for Obi to break that... Would it be like breaking Anakin's very spirit?

    Poor Obi, I love that Mace recognizes his brooding and perceived failings and wants to be there as a friend. So so nice to read. Just lovely!
  24. hlc88 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 4
    Oh this was brilliant!

    You've done such a good job at digging into Obi-Wan's mind here and what he may be thinking at this crucial time! And his own doubts in his ability to end Maul, and wondering if Anakin should have been there to help. Lovely introspective. Well done! =D=
  25. serendipityaey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2004
    star 4
    Ahhhh, just so, so beautiful and so Obi-Wan, everything that is him, I love this. [face_love] He is so hard on himself, and like you say this is a low point, a specific vulnerable moment for him and you captured it beautifully. I can feel his sadness through the screen, the weight he carries, but his sentiments are still beautiful and filled with the heart and love that is his brand. And yet he doubts... because he's honest and analytical in a way, and Anakin so opposite. Among many, many, loved the lines about the still waters on the surface, but embers controlled beneath. =D= Very nice, and I'm glad you completed this! [:D] Yay! I want more, when's more?!
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