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Mod!Challenge A Change is Gonna Come- The "We're Moving"/ Guess the Author Challenge Stories

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by mavjade , Sep 15, 2012.

  1. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    In this thread are the stories for the "We're moving!" challenge hosted by the mods. You can find the thread about it, HERE in Fanfic resource. If you didn't write a story, you can still win 24 hours of colors by guessing which authors wrote what.See the thread for details on submitting your answers/winning.

    Please feel free to comment on the stories in this thread, but please no guessing in this thread and no sharing of your guesses.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -​

    #1:

    Dark Revelation (Before the Saga)

    The former Jedi Master shivered in the darkness, his head lolling forward with beads of sweat and desperation slowly trickling from his brow and temples as he hung from the wall by his wrists, stretching his old limbs painfully until they had gone numb from the lack of circulation. The cell he was in was as black as a Coruscanti, starless night, with the only illumination being a tiny red glow from the door panel across the chamber but far too weak to give his dark eyes enough light to see in the darkness. The cell was as dark as it had felt the moment he had awoken inside it, alone and cut off from the sweet and familiar embrace of the Force.

    Oh he could still feel the luminous power lingering at the back of his mind, like an elusive word just on the tip of his tongue, but he could not grasp onto it no matter how hard he tried. It was there and yet it also was not. The loss of that blessed feeling frustrated him, angered him even and his attempts to suppress those feelings lest they get the best of him became more and more difficult to accomplish. It was as if the very air of the cell was feeding on his emotions, stroking his pride and ire and whispering to him that he could rectify his humiliation and loss of control.

    All he had to do was give in to his emotions.

    But giving in is what had placed him in this situation in the first place. If he had not allowed his pride to be affronted again at the thought of being deceived once more by someone he had thought had been a friend, he would not have lashed out irrationally to the situation. The irony of finding out that the very man who he had thought had been a friend, a man of like mind and dreams, had been, all along, the sinister being who had orchestrated the murder of his Padawan and trained the beast that had been used to slay him.

    Now he hung limply with little to no idea as to how long he had been there prior to him awakening or how much time had passed since then either. It felt like days had transpired in the dark as the Darkness whispered to him false promises and lies, even though he knew that it could only have been a matter of hours since the second betrayal in his life.

    He had been such a fool to think that the Sith intended to weed out the corruption in the Republic, to help the galaxy to find peace and order to the imbalance that infected everything, including his own family whom he once had believed was infallible and righteous but now he knew better than to believe that any more. His naivety had been cleansed away with the revelation that even the Darkness and corruption it sowed could reach even the most staunch heart of the Light and turn them against everything they stood for, blinding them to the very evil they were suppose to guard against.

    They had become so blind that they had become servants of that evil without their knowledge. He had been right to leave them, what felt like only yesterday but in actuality had been months ago. His master had warned them, he had warned them, even his Padawan had warned them and none of his former brothers and sisters had listened. Even now with the death of his Padawan at the hands of one of their ancient rivals, they still did not believe.

    A part of him wanted to go back and tell them “Look here! You serve one, do you believe me now?” but it would have been futile to even try. They would not believe him, just like every other time he had tried to persuade them that the Sith had indeed returned and that they were insidiously working their way into power. He had seen the signs, his Padawan had seen them too but had not associated them with that ancient dark order until his last mission.

    The Jedi Council could not admit to themselves that they were wrong and he had lost a good friend to their blindness and he, himself, was now a prisoner of the very Sith he had long since warned against.

    A defeated sigh escaped his lips and he shifted onto his feet to ease the pain in his shoulders after having spent hours, days perhaps, allowing gravity to pull against his aging body and straining his limbs. The metallic binders clanked against the equally metallic wall that they were soldered into, the only sound, aside from his own breathing, he has heard in the cell since he had awoken. It was deafening to his ears after having spent so long in silence and he began to wonder if the Sith Master would return soon to finish him off or persuade him to join him.

    A small bark of laughter involuntarily escaped him at the latter. He remembered months before, shortly after his Padawan had fallen, how he had spoken to the man he had thought was a friend, that he believed the Sith were trying to fight the corruption and that he had been considering seeking out the Master to join him. The irony did not escape him that he had been in that being's presence all along, slowly being led to a conclusion that the Sith wanted him to come to before revealing himself to the former Jedi.

    However, he had reacted negatively to that revelation and now here he was, doubting himself, his family and friends, and the Sith Master's intentions. Especially the part about why he was still alive instead of dead like he had expected when he refused to agree to help the man cleanse the galaxy of the corrupt Jedi Order and the Republic Senate. Why was he still alive? Surely the Sith Master could not believe that he would condone the extermination of his people and bring about the fall of an establishment that had stood for twenty-five thousand years?

    He knew there had to be a better way to achieve the same goals, did he not?

    Or perhaps that was why the Master had kept him alive, to understand that there was no other way to bring peace and order and balance to the galaxy. The Jedi Order had become stagnant by allowing themselves to become corrupt and blind to the Darkside of the Force and the Galactic Republic was such an old entity that it had become set in its ways and too stubborn to change and confront that which was killing it.

    Neither entity could be fixed, only cleansed, and what better way to cleanse something than through a baptism of fire.

    Yes, perhaps the Sith Master was right after all. Perhaps the only way to change the Jedi was to destroy them and restart the Order. Perhaps the only way to weed out the corruption in the Senate was to tear apart the Republic and rebuild something new. If the Jedi could not see the Darkness right in front of them, perhaps it was indeed time for them to be swept aside and replaced with an Order that was not so blind and who better to lead that new Order than himself? After all he had not been blind, he had seen and felt the Darkness rising and had tried to do something about it.

    Yes, he would bring change to the Order by destroying it and while he helped the Sith Master exterminate his former family, he would help tear down the Republic and rebuild it into something that could and would maintain the peace and order in the galaxy and not succumb to the greed and corruption that it suffered now.

    The former Jedi Master scowled into the darkness and lifted his head up as he heard something else in his cell that he had not heard before. There had been a whisper of a pleased sigh to his right and he turned his gaze in the direction, squinting into the darkness and doing his best to feel with the Force that he had been denied of. He did not need the Force to know who it was that stood in the dark inside his cell. He did not need the Force to feel the Darkside permeating throughout the room and into his very bones, causing him to shiver once more at the cold sensation of power.

    The Jedi raised his chin proudly and straightened to a stand as he spoke to the entity he could not see nor sense, “I will help you, Chancellor.”

    A shadow blacker than the darkness of the cell moved forward and closer to him. He swore he saw the whites of the man's teeth in the dark as he smiled. “Good, good, my friend.”



    ~*~*~*~*~

    #2

    Title: One Planet, One People
    Timeframe: End of JA #6
    Characters: Nield, Wehutti, Gueni, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon
    Summary: After the peace treaty ending the hostilities on Melida/Daan is signed, Nield, Wehutti, and Gueni announce it to the public.
    Author's Notes: For the "We're Moving" Challenge
    Disclaimer: Star Wars is, of course, the property of Lucasfilm, and no profit is being made from this fan fiction. The book on which this is based was created by Jude Watson.

    Nield watched as citizens young and old streamed into the plaza. The distrust between the two age groups was instantly obvious, as the Elders gathered on Nield's left and the Young on his right, with a couple dozen meters of empty space between them. An Elder began shouting at the Young, but Qui-Gon stepped in and calmed her down before the situation could escalate.

    When all were present, the governor began. "Citizens of Melida/Daan, both Young and Elders, I come before you today for the last time as governor. Four weeks ago, the Young set out to bring peace to this planet. Although we achieved our goal, it was temporary at best. Now, with the help of the Jedi, we have a new peace, one that I hope will be permanent. Wehutti, representing the Melida Elders, Gueni, representing the Daan Elders, and I, representing the Young, have today signed a peace treaty to end the fighting once and for all."

    A cheer went up from the assembled, louder on the Young side than on the Elders'; many of the latter looked suspicious. Nield took a step back and waited for the crowd to quiet down. When they did, he continued. "From this point forward, the Young, the Melida, and the Daan will all share power." Nield looked directly at the gathered Elders. "I see the suspicion on your faces, Elders. That is why Wehutti and Gueni are also here to speak as well. At this time, I would like to turn the podium over to Gueni."

    ---

    Gueni walked to the front of the makeshift stage, offering Nield a handshake as they passed each other. Upon reaching the podium, he took a few breaths to gather his thoughts before speaking. "Citizens, and especially my fellow Daan Elders, what this young man said is not a trick. It took a war against our own children and the intervention of two Jedi to make me realize the horrors of what the centuries of fighting have done to this planet. We have already wiped out almost an entire generation of citizens. Our own children were, for a long time, forced to fight for us before they were old enough to do so. We can't continue this way.

    "The Young had the right idea when they tried to bring peace to Melida/Daan, but any peace effort was doomed to fail without the support of all factions. A planet divided against itself cannot stand. Now we have a stronger peace, one based on agreement and compromise between the Melida, Daan, and Young. I urge all of you to embrace this agreement and begin a new era on this planet." Many of those gathered in the plaza applauded at this. When they quieted, the Daan leader finished. "I would now like to welcome Wehutti to the podium."

    ----

    Wehutti stood and made his way to the front, shaking hands with Gueni as he passed him. He looked out over the assembled, making eye contact with people from all factions, then began. "Citizens, Young, Daan, and especially Melida, the two speakers before me speak the truth. We cannot continue the fighting. How many more lives must be lost before we realize that this path will only lead us to ruin? Many of you have lost relatives to the fighting, family members that will never be seen again because of petty disagreements."

    The Melida leader began to shed tears as he prepared for his next statement. "I, myself, lost my only daughter just last week. Cerasi was willing to do anything to bring peace to this planet, even..." He became overcome with emotion, and both Nield and Gueni came forward to help him. As he felt the comforting touch of their hands on his shoulders, he somehow found the strength to continue through the tears. "...even lay down her life, if that's what it took. And although she will never know it, it was her words, from beyond the grave, that ended what will hopefully be the last battle ever fought on Melida/Daan. Let's honor her last request and end this pointless fighting once and for all."

    Wehutti took a step back, and suddenly was overcome with tears again. He accepted Gueni's help in making his way back to his seat as Nield took the podium again.

    ---

    Obi-Wan watched from the back corner of the platform as Nield cleared his throat and spoke. "Beginning today, citizens, a triumvirate will be formed to lead this planet. Initially this will consist of myself, Wehutti, and Gueni, but we will open all three seats to free elections as soon as we can." Nield went into more detail on what would happen next, such as disarmament, before turning to Obi-Wan. "Although he is not one of us and will soon be leaving this planet to return to Coruscant, he was largely responsible for helping to bring us to this point, and so I would like to ask Obi-Wan Kenobi to say a few words."

    The former Padawan nodded at Nield as he took the podium. He had not wanted to speak, but Nield had convinced him to at least say something. Obi-Wan looked at the crowd and drew a deep breath. "Although I will now be returning to the Jedi, I hope that each and every one of you, regardless of your age or tribe, can put your differences aside and live among each other as one people. The people of this planet have hopefully learned many lessons over the past few weeks. I urge you to not forget those lessons. Work out your problems peacefully, and know that if you ever feel that war may break out once again, you can always contact the Jedi Temple for a keeper of the peace."

    Obi-Wan stepped back, and was surprised when Nield pointed at Qui-Gon and motioned for him to come up to the podium. The Jedi Master wormed his way through the crowd and climbed up onto the stage to speak. "My former apprentice is right. There is no need for fighting. You need to find nonviolent solutions to your problems. Although I helped in negotiating the treaty, and Obi-Wan here assisted you in getting to the point of being willing to discuss a treaty, our role is over. It is up to you, the citizens of this planet, whether young or old, Melida or Daan, to create a new beginning for your society. While it may be a rough process, you must never forget the lessons you have learned. If ever you have a problem that you cannot work out yourself, if you have exhausted all possible avenues to resolve the issue, and if that issue threatens to bring war back to this planet, the Jedi will be happy to send a peacekeeper to mediate the dispute. Know that you have our support in that regard."

    Qui-Gon stepped back, and Nield took the podium again. "Finally, I would like to unveil our new flag, agreed on Wehutti, Nield, and myself." He motioned to the back of the platform, where Wehutti and Gueni removed the veil, revealing the new flag. On a white background was the galactic peace symbol, an upside down High Galactic letter "Y" inside a circle, dividing the circle into three parts, in blue. In the bottom section was the logo of the Young, while the Melida and Daan logos were positioned in the left and right sections of the circle respectively. Written around the edge of the circle in Aurebesh was "ONE PLANET" above it and "ONE PEOPLE" below it. Obi-Wan applauded with the crowd; he had helped design the flag and thought it was a perfect symbol of the new peace.

    Wehutti and Gueni took up positions on each side of Nield, while Obi-Wan and his former Master stood behind and to either side of them as Nield concluded the treaty announcement. "Ladies and gentlebeings, boys and girls, this is a new beginning for this planet. We will no longer be divided by age or tribe. We will go forward from this point as one unified people. Let's hear it for PEACE!"

    Everyone in the crowd, whether Young, Melida, or Daan, took up the cry. "PEACE! PEACE! PEACE!" As the chant continued, Obi-Wan thought about his own life. He, too, would soon be getting a new beginning. Hopefully the Council would be willing to take him back, and he would become a Jedi again. Right now, though, he relaxed as the citizens of Melida/Daan embraced the peace. It was indeed a new beginning for the people of the planet. Obi-Wan only hoped it would last.


    ~*~*~*~*~*~


    #3:


    "Changing of the Gand."
    — — —
    A heavy fog had dimmed the cobblestones as Gand walked the streets. He could see the torchmen as they lit the gaslights, forms pronounced by bright pinpricks that illuminated the gray vapors and stretched the shadows to trailing ribbons. Gand could see others lining the streets of the colony, and then he heard it:

    The rhythmic march of hard-soled boots against the stones.

    Their white-clad forms stabbed through the mists and Gand could see that each one of those statuesque beings carried an angular black rifle of a design that he was not familiar with. Soldiers of the Empire, he knew. Those tall, armored beings had become a regular presence in the colonies. He knew when they had come; he had been in the colony on that day, on a simple errand to retrieve supplies for his temple, just as he was doing today. He was there when he caught a fleeting glimpse of the commander who led that punitive sweep of the colony; Darth Vader, a puppet of the Emperor.

    Gand's hand clenched into a tight fist. The Empire invaded his home, brought with them technology that outperformed the findsmen who first clamored for a chance to aid the newcomers, even as their very livelihood was snatched away from them. Rumors haunted the temple corridors; the Empire had no need for the findsmen. Their duties were taken away. Runaways were captured with ease after a soldier employed a full sensor sweep.

    Not long ago, Gand was in the colony and he had seen two findsmen on the street, sitting stock still in a meditative posture. Gand could smell an acrid and pungent stench that stung his sinuses and he could feel the heat from their bodies; their carapaces blackened and charred, their clothes ash, and a strange, foul-smelling liquid oozed between the heat-curled plates as Gand realized, with a sickened feeling in his stomach, that those findsmen had self-immolated in protest to the Empire's presence.

    And several days ago, Gand happened upon an entire nest, secreted in one of the temple's meeting halls. "We are no longer needed, our lives have ceased," the Elder proclaimed to his followers, "The findsmen are dead. We shall walk a new path through the mists, the path of our forefathers, as we rejoin them within the swirling haze." Gand watched as they all drank. Several doubled over in agony as a number simply dropped to the stones. One closest to him had a change of heart and staggered for the door. He pleaded for help, then collapsed, a thick foam rimming his mandibles, dead at Gand's feet.

    They are evil. The Empire is killing us. They are murderers.

    Gand's attention was drawn to the middle of the procession. There walked a tall, thin Human in stately gray, his face enclosed in a breath mask. Some type of commander, Gand surmised.

    He is a bad man. He is the leader of the killers.

    Gand watched the man walk passed him, head held high, with that infuriating air of superiority that was almost palpable.

    He is a bad man. He is a murderer. He is the leader of the killers. Stop him. Only you can stop the killing.

    Gand took a step forward, then another, and another, until he kept pace with the throng of white-armored soldiers.

    Stop him. He is the leader of the killers. Only you can stop the killing. Do something!

    "Murderers!"

    Gand's voice pierced through the thick fog and he could see the parade halt as several turned to face him. "Murderers! You are killing us!"

    They are evil. You must stop them. Force them to face their crimes.

    "We burned by your hands! You are killing us! You are an empire of killers!"

    The tall, uniformed Human pushed his way to the front of the formation. "What is the meaning of this nonsense?"

    He is a bad man. One of the Empire's puppets. Just like Darth Vader.

    "Murderers! You killed an entire nest! Darth Vader killed the findsmen! The Emperor killed us! You took our lives away, you should be punished! Held responsible for your slaughter!"

    "Is that a threat, you little insect?" The man planted his hands firmly on his hips. "You are so naive. Your little cult was already dead. You're a fool." He turned to face the troops. "Just ignore it. That thing can't do anything to us."

    Gand felt the rage boil inside and in one swift motion, he yanked off his shoe and threw it at the man. The firm sole smacked the man square in the back of the head, and Gand saw the soldiers raise their weapons. A bright flash stung his eyes and a deep, ripping burn slashed across the top of his head and sent him falling backward onto the stone street. Within seconds, several soldiers were upon him as he was forced onto his face, his arms wrenched behind his back and his wrists bound.
    — — —

    His Elders had appealed for his release. Immediately, Gand was brought before them and he stood there in silence as he awaited their word.

    "The Empire has you on record as an insurgent. Your behavior was appalling. You had no place to make such a scene."

    Gand bowed his head. But, what are they to gain if they allow the Empire to kill the findsmen? He could see no benefit; their interference will leave his world a gutted husk.

    "Such outbursts are unbecoming of a findsman, and to make a show of violence against an Imperial Moff! Such flagrant insubordination, such... individual ideals... they only bring misfortune and your wounds are a testament. We should have left you to rot!"

    Those words echoed through the antechamber and stung the burns on his head. Gand remained quiet. How could they not see that he was acting in the interest of the whole?

    "It was difficult, but we have made our determination. We strip you of your identity within the Gand. You are no longer a findsman. You are no longer Gand. You are to leave the planet immediately; you are no longer welcome here. Discard us as we discard you. And if you dare to return, it will cost you your life. Begone."
    — — —

    Discard us as we discard you.

    Thrown away like rubbish.

    You are no longer Gand.

    He lost everything.

    You are no longer Gand.

    Everything.

    He laid there on his back, eyes blank, the ceiling of a dingy hotel room above him. Surrounded by debris, he lay in an unwashed robe amid the filth. He had not moved in days. He was nothing. He lost everything.

    They can't take your name.

    There was a broken glass at his foot and he kicked at it, the shards crunched and crinkled. He lost everything.

    They can't take your name. You are no longer Gand. You can use your name.

    There was something sticky under his arm and the grubby robe clung to it as he moved. He blinked and focused on the ceiling. They can't take his name. He is no longer Gand. He can be an individual. He can make his own identity.

    His throat felt dry and his mouth clicked as he said the first words he had spoken in weeks.

    "My name is Zuckuss."


    ~*~*~*~*~*~

    # 4:

    Adamant (Beyond the Saga)​

    Captain Gilad Pellaeon stared dully around at the gleaming bulkheads, the spotless decks, the ready and alert crew standing ramrod straight and perspiring lightly under the nervous pressure of the Grand Admiral’s inspection.

    The Grand Admiral in question completed his tour around the bridge, exchanging a last salute with the bridge commander, and then strolled in precisely measured paces back to the aft viewport where the captain stood observing his crew.

    “What do you think, Captain?”

    He paused, choosing his words extremely carefully. “It’s, ah… shiny. Sir.”

    A dark brow over a glowing red eye quirked curiously. “Shiny, Captain?”

    “Yes, Admiral. New… pristine… pure. Shiny.”

    “The Chimaera has been outfitted with state-of-the-art technology. All systems have been upgraded to the fastest, largest servers by the finest technicians to be found in the known galaxy, and the ship has been manned by the absolute best crew the Empire has to offer.” Pellaeon held the admiral’s gaze steadfastly, though those red eyes seemed to burn into him. “And all you have to say is… shiny?”

    He swallowed uneasily. “I…trust the tech crew has alerted you to the system shortcomings?”

    “Not shortcomings,” Thrawn rebuked. “Formatting complications to be updated in due course.”

    “Our personnel files are still missing entries,” Pellaeon pointed out. “And the Intelligence files are being randomly truncated which could prove disastrous in the wrong situation… sir.”

    “Come now, Captain, do not be so morose. I was of the impression that you did not particularly enjoy our extended stay aboard the Adamant.”

    “I admit the delays did become tedious.”

    Thrawn considered him closely. “Hm; yet you feel our return to the Chimaera was premature?”

    “No, sir!” he protested quickly. “It merely feels… strange and new. Nothing like the old Chimaera.”

    “Shiny?”

    “Sir.”

    “Yes, well- you will adjust quickly enough, Captain. The Adamant may have come to feel like home, but it was only a temporary one.”

    “Of course, Admiral.”

    Apparently satisfied, Thrawn turned to the navigation station. “Lieutenant, lay in a course correction. To assuage Captain Pellaeon’s concerns, we will need to fully uplink a connection to the Intelligence files from the Ubiqtorate base at Yaga Minor.”

    “Yes, Admiral.” The lieutenant stood, however, and approached the Comm station.

    Thrawn cleared his throat lightly. The young officer turned around and went pink, finding himself under the admiral’s scrutiny. “A problem, Lieutenant?”

    “Ah… we actually can’t adjust the course from here.”

    “We set the initial course from here,” the admiral pointed out mildly.

    His blush was now full-force. “Yes, sir. Glitch in the system. The auxiliary bridge will have to handle course changes until it gets fixed.”

    “And you cannot relay this information to the auxiliary bridge from your own console because…?”

    “My system is not registering new communication codes yet, Admiral.”

    From the corner of his eye, Pellaeon could just barely catch the twitching of a muscle in the admiral’s jaw. “Very well, Lieutenant- carry on.” With a mumbled acknowledgement, the young man hurried off. Thrawn turned to face the viewport, hands clasped behind his back as he stared into the dark oblivion of space beyond. “Captain?”

    “Sir?”

    “Not a word.”
     
  2. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    # 5

    MOMENT OF CHANGE

    "Okay, I need a noun."

    "Dress."

    "Dress. Okay. Now your turn. I need an adjective."

    "Green."

    "Now, you again, I need a noun. A plural noun."

    "Deck plates."

    "Hmmm, deck plates. Hmmm, well, all right. Deck plates. Now, your turn again; I need an adverb."

    "An adverb?"

    "Yes, an adverb. I'm sure you use them every day."

    "Ummm, uuu-uuuh, slowly."

    "Slowly, hmmmm. Okay. Now, you again, I need a verb."

    "Sit."

    "Sssssit. That's your verb?"

    "Yes. Sit."

    "Mmmmm, all right. So, now I need an adjective, something interesting this time."

    "Umm, gray."

    "Grraaaaaaaayyy. You can't give me gray. That's boring!"

    "Uh, black?"

    "Noooooooo! Obi-Wan, you're just picking things that are in this cabin with us! You can't do that. It's not any fun that way. It won't be funny when I put the words in."

    "Sorry. I've never played this game before."

    "I can tell. Have you ever played any games before?"

    "Oh yes. But . . . you might not think of them as games. They're certainly not like this."

    "Ugh. They're probably all boring. I'll take gray. Now, Master Qui-Gon I need a noun. A plural noun. Something interesting."

    "Chairs."

    "Chaaaaiiiirs! You're not even trying! What's interesting about chairs?"

    "We would all be sitting on the deck plates if we did not have them."

    "Oh, that's not interesting at all! I though you said you wanted to play."

    "We did not say that we wanted to play. We simply agreed to while we wait to come out of hyperspace."

    "Well, if you don't want to play, then why are you doing it?"

    "I have no objection to playing and you said you were bored. And this does not interfere with our duty to keep you safe."

    "That's not a good reason . . . . . Okay, I need a noun, but this time it can't be anything here in the cabin, or anything else on the ship."

    "Hyperspace."

    "Oooooh! Not anything around the ship either! . . . . All right 'hyperspace'. Now, Master Qui-Gon, I want a verb. But not something we're doing right now. Pick something that Jedi do, something interesting, something you do on Coruscant; that's the center of the whole galaxy; you must do all kinds of interesting stuff there all the time."

    "Meditate."

    "Meditate! That's not interesting!"

    "It is when Jedi do it."

    "It – it – it – it's not interesting at all! How could somebody just sitting there thinking be interesting?"

    "Introspection can be very enlightening. You should try it. You may discover many things about yourself."

    "Not likely. Now, Obi-Wan, I need another verb. Something interesting. Something that isn't sitting or meditating."

    "Run."

    "Run. Weeeeelll, that's a little better. Now, Master Qui-Gon, I need another verb."

    "Flee."

    "Flee? That the same thing as his! Can't you think of anything else?"

    "It seems appropriate."

    "Oh, what's that supposed to mean?"

    "It seems appropriate to our current situation."

    "We are not fleeing. Especially not my father."

    "Not yet. Your father demanded assurances of your safety before he would abdicate. As soon as we are out of hyperspace we will communicate back to your world that we have arrived at your new home."

    "Oh, he's not going to step down. He'll never leave Troshisn. He's held back a-hundred-and-fifteen-thousand special droid troops just waiting for Beekis and those other cowardly negotiators to turn their backs."

    "Really? I shall pass that on to Beekis as soon as we leave hyperspace."

    "What?! What?! No! You can't! That's a secret!"

    "A secret is only a secret as long as it remains unspoken."

    "But you can't! You Jedi are supposed to protect me!"

    "My apprentice and I are here to escort you off-world and keep you safe during the transition. And we will do that to the best of our abilities."

    "But – but – but - - - "

    "Do you need any more words?"

    "What?"

    "Do you require any more words from us? Is the game finished?"

    "Oh, uh, um . . . . No, uh . . . uh, I need another verb."

    "Stutter."

    "Um, stutter . . . . all right. Now, your turn."

    "What do you need?"

    "Oh, um, a noun. The next one's a noun."

    "Screen."

    "Screen . . . . . um, the next one's an adjective."

    "Polished."

    "Oh, you're giving me things that are in this cabin again. I want things that aren't here. Obi-wan give me an adjective that is not something here with us."

    "Oh, um . . . ah, green."

    "You've already said green. You have to pick something different."

    "Oh, ah . . . glowing."

    "Glowing. Hmm. Well, okay. . . . now you. I need an adverb."

    "Swiftly."

    "Swiftly. All right. That will work. And my father is only leaving because that pack of cowards on the Council caved in and stabbed him in the back. Everything he did was justified to keep order. You can't have a decent world without order. People say it's ugly but things would just run wild without keeping a firm grip on people who just want to change things."

    "That is up to the Republic courts to decide. Do you need another word from my apprentice?"

    "I need a verb, past tense."

    "Um . . . fought."

    "Fought. An adjective."

    "Disciplined."

    "And another adjective."

    "Shining."

    "That's almost the same thing as your last word, Obi-Wan! Can't you think of anything else?"

    "Sorry."

    "Ugh, 'shining', then. Master Qui-Gon, I need a verb."

    "Change."

    "'Change' . . . . Master Qui-Gon, why don't you like me? I've been civil, done everything you've asked, I hardly complained when you jettisoned all my luggage, my possessions. I let you drag me practically by the hair through my own home. I'm accepting this – this – exile. I know better than anyone that hard choices have to be made. And sometimes hard things have to be done, even if the rest of the galaxy doesn't approve. Is that why you hate me?"

    "I disagree with you. That is a very different thing from hate."

    "But you make fun of me with your words."

    "My words are chosen in the moment. Nothing more. I realize the moment is very difficult for you now. But it will change. With time. For you and your father . . . . . do you require another word?"

    "I need an adjective. And it can't be anything like 'glowing' or 'shining'. Pick something the opposite of that."

    "Dark?"

    "That'll do. All right, I need a verb."

    "Travel."

    "'Travel'. All right. But you Jedi don't have any imagination at all. Obi-Wan, you have the last one. I need a noun."

    "Temple."

    "Hmmf, 'temple'. All right. Let's see what we've got . . . .

    "The Grand Vizier surveyed his _dress_ and pronounced it _green_. The _deck plates_ all _slowly_ _sit_ together and made their planet _gray_. But there were a few _chairs_ who stirred up the _hyperspace_ and caused them to _meditate_ the Vizier's fine works, forcing him to _run_ and _flee_ them. To protect his _dress_ he created laws to _stutter_ the _screen_. But the _polished_ _chairs_ were still _glowing_. They _swiftly_ _fought_ everything until the whole _dress_ was _disciplined_, so the _shining_ Vizier finally _changed_, leaving the _dark_ _chairs_ to _travel_ in their own _temple_.

    "Ugh. Well, you've ruined it completely, Master Qui-Gon; that's not funny."

    "No, I suppose it is not funny at all."


    o*V*o*V*o END o*V*o*V*o


    Disclaimer: All characters and the Star Wars universe belong to George and Lucasfilm; I am just playing in their sandbox.


    ~*~*~*~*~


    # 6

    Title: The Color Of Her Eyes
    Era: The Saga
    Character: Ben Kenobi
    Genre: songfic; angst ( based on the lyrics to "Savior" by Rise Against )
    Timeframe: between the sagas
    -------------------------------

    It kills me not to know this
    But I've all but just forgotten
    What the color of her eyes were
    Her scars or how she got them

    There’s a blank in my mind. Like a blind spot I can’t shake. For some reason I just can’t focus on her eyes enough to recall what color they were. I can picture every detail of her face, and the way her hair fell on her slender shoulders. I can even see the shape of her eyes, how they were framed by long eyelashes, but still the color eludes me.

    I notice I am running my right thumb over the scar on the back of my left hand, as I often do when I am thinking hard. I remember the day I got the scar well, despite my efforts to forget. But I would much rather think of her, so I compromise and try to think if she had any scars. I’m sure she did, she was a fighter just as I was. Probably even more so. But for some reason I can’t recall her having any specific scars. Perhaps my mind does not want to envision a mar on her perfect flesh, it prefers to picture her pristine and unscathed.


    There is no reconciliation that will put me in my place
    And there is no time like the present to drink these draining seconds
    But seldom do these words ring true when I'm constantly failing you
    Like walls that we just can't break through until we disappear

    I thought of her often, at the end. I would have given anything to have had her at my side when everything fell apart. Yet at the same time I was glad she wasn’t there. She didn’t have to see her friends fall, the Order come to an end.

    Who am I kidding? I was glad she didn’t see me when I failed.

    I sigh deeply. I’ve gone down this road too many times. I’m too tired to walk it again.
    I’d rather think of the moments, the perfect moments. They were few and far between, but they were there.

    When her lips met mine . . . Was it once? Or twice? Or only in my dreams?

    When we were alone in the darkness. I could hear nothing but her breathing. We were so close, so close her breath was my breath.

    Or was it my breath all along?


    So tell me now
    If this ain't love then how do we get out?
    Because I don't know
    That's when she said I don't hate you boy
    I just want to save you while there's still something left to save
    That's when I told her I love you girl
    But I'm not the answer for the questions that you still have
    “I don’t hate you. I just want to save you.”

    That was how she said goodbye.

    “I love you. But I’m not the answer.”

    That was how I let her go.

    Wrong again. I’d never said such things to her, nor her to me. We were Jedi, and Jedi didn’t fall in love. It was against the rules. Obi-Wan Kenobi never broke a rule in his life. Instead the rules broke him.


    As the telling signs of age rain down
    A single tear is dropping
    Through the valleys of an aging face
    That this world has forgotten

    I begin to pace, kicking through the sand that has gathered in the entryway. I used to sweep the sand away. Then I remembered that the desert is my closest companion. No sense in throwing out the only acquaintance that came to visit.

    She died in my arms. Yes, we are back to her. She and the sand are all I have. And she is far less irritating than the sand. I know she was young, so very young. I suppose I was too. Strange to think that I was once quick and limber, that there was a time before the Tatooine sun had bleached and burned my body until it was that of an old man.


    One thousand miles away
    There's nothing left to say
    But so much left that I don't know
    We never had a choice
    This world is too much noise
    We could never have been together. I know that. If we’d tried, if we’d let ourselves express our feelings, it would have ended in disaster.

    And what do I call what happened?

    Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered at all. We could have gotten married, had children, and it wouldn’t have made one bit of difference. Marriage and children—that’s what Anakin had . . .

    Time to change the subject—thoughts of Anakin are worse than deathsticks, I’m sure each one shaves a year off my life.

    There is only one thing about Anakin that doesn’t feel like a knife in my chest. Luke. Anakin’s son, and my only reason for living.

    Will it be different for Luke? The idea that he could feel what I felt and not have to hide it, not have to deny it, is the happiest thought I’ve had in a long time.

    I smile, my heart filled with warmth that feels as alien as a rainstorm in the Tatooine desert. And as welcome. In this moment I can picture her eyes as clearly as if she stood before me. They are the same color as young Luke’s.

    The color of hope.


    ~*~*~*~*~

    #7

    Era: Beyond
    Title: Need For Contact
    Word Count: 710


    It was quiet in the bedroom as he packed clothes into a bag in preparation for his mission. He knew she wanted to speak to him, but about what was still unclear. They'd been in the middle of breakfast when he'd gotten orders to report for a mission, and that had been that. Finally closing the bag and unable to delay departure any longer, he turned to her. "Guess I'm off, then."

    She simply looked at him for a long moment, as if to drink in the sight of him, before nodding once. "I guess you are."

    That was an odd response if there ever was one. "Is something wrong, Jaina?"

    "Why would anything be wrong, Jag?" She crossed the room to his side and embraced him. "Nothing is. I just don't think this mission is necessary. And you haven't been home that long."

    He stared down at the woman in his arms. Something was different, but he couldn't put his finger on what that might be, nor did he think she'd tell him right this minute. "I'll be back in two weeks."

    "Promise?"

    "Yes, Jaina. I promise."

    She kissed him soundly on the lips, then smiled demurely up at him. "I'll be holding you to that. So will your son."

    That brought up another concern. Their son, who wasn't even a year old yet. Who had uttered his first word, "Da-flee!", only yesterday. "I..."

    She put a finger to his lips, silencing him. "Like you said... two weeks."

    Only with her subtle encouragement was he able to leave the apartment in moderately good spirits.

    ----

    Three weeks had come and gone, and now she held in her hands a piece of flimsy. Three weeks, a week longer than he was supposed to be gone. Slowly, she leaned against the wall and sank to the floor, still holding the flimsy.

    On it was a message relayed to Coruscant across the holonet which had used a secured encryption code. She stared at it, almost unable to read it, but lacking the motivation to throw it as far away from her person as possible.

    The longer she sat there, the more Jaina refused to believe that the love of her life was dead. She'd have felt it, if that were the case. Right?

    ---

    She wasn't sure how long she sat there on the floor, clutching a piece of flimsy, but all of a sudden the door a couple feet to her right opened and all three of her cousins came in. Jaina stared up at them. "What...?

    Ben pursed his lips tightly as his sisters hauled Jaina up off the floor. "We just heard."

    Jaina blinked in confusion at the three of them as the flimsy was taken out of her hand. "But..."

    "No buts, Jaina." Soon enough, she was seated on the couch. "And you shouldn't be alone."

    "Ben, I'm..." one of her cousins cleared their throat, effectively cutting her off. "What, Ri-Ri?"

    "Say you're fine, and I'll actually let Ben give you a physical here and now." Startled silence greeted that statement and Jaina could only stare at her. "Tally? Go find her something to eat and check on the munchkin." The youngest of her three concerned cousins simply nodded and left to do as requested while Ri-Ri sat down next to Jaina. "And now you listen to me. We'll find him."

    Jaina looked to the flimsy in Ben's hand. "We will?"

    "Yes," Ben told her as he sat down on her other side. "We will. They know the general area where he went missing."

    Jaina rolled her eyes. "Right. Like that helps!"

    Ri-Ri's eyes went distant for a moment. "Everything helps, Jaina. Everything."

    Jaina gestured for the flimsy, but Ben did not hand it back to her. "Please?"

    "No." Then his eyes widened as he sensed something... "Oh. Did he know before he left?" At Jaina's blank expression, Ben sighed. "That you're...?"

    Getting what he meant, finally, Jaina shook her head. "No. I didn't want to distract him, and it was only supposed to be a short mission. He was supposed to be back a week ago."

    Ben nodded slowly, then took her in his arms and hugged her. A moment later, Ri-Ri joined them in the hug.

    ~*~*~*~

    #8

    Time for a Change... or Two:
    An AU Vignette

    Beru and Owen each held one of the twins as they went back inside. The later glanced down at the squirming bundle in his arms and was charmed when the cherubic face smiled brightly up at him... that was until he felt a certain movement in the diaper region followed shortly thereafter by an undeniable stench.

    “Um, Beru!” Owen’s voice sounded panicked.

    Beru turned to look at him as she anxiously asked, “What’s wrong?”

    “Could you take care of this?” He held his charge out to her.

    She frowned in disapproval. “Her name is Leia, not ‘This’.”

    “Yeah, yeah, I know, but could you take care of her?”

    Realization dawned on her of what was wrong when the reek of a dirty diaper reached her nose. She chuckled as she said, “Okay. Here, take Luke.”

    The two awkwardly exchanged twins.

    “Hi, buddy,” Owen greeted the infant boy who looked up at him with big, innocent blue eyes. “You wouldn’t drop a load on me like your sister did, will you? No, you won’t, because we’re men.”

    While he was speaking, Beru was already removing Leia’s diaper at the changing table. She smirked when she heard Owen gasp.

    “Oh no you didn’t... Beru!”

    Laughing, she replied, “Looks like you get to do some more male bonding.”
    The End of this Story:
    The Beginning of a Beautiful Relationship