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Before the Saga My Fallen Apprentice- Qui-Gon, Xanatos- First Sentence Challenge

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by NobodyIX, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Feb 19, 2018

    Title: My Fallen Apprentice
    Author: NobodyIX
    Characters: Qui-Gon, Xanatos
    Genre: AU, drama.
    Summary: Qui-Gon receives an unexpected message from his former Apprentice.

    Notes: This is for the First Sentence Challenge

    My first sentence was from Nobody's Boy by Hector Malot (love the title Chyntuck!)

    "I was a foundling, but until I was eight years of age I thought I had a mother, like other children."

    Special thanks to Ewok Poet for the beta read! [face_love] I've made changes since she saw it though, so all errors are my own.

    My Fallen Apprentice

    I was a foundling, but until I was eight years of age I thought I had a mother, like other children. The early days of training as a young Padawan were eased, knowing I had someone even far away that loved me. But after I became an initiate I had inquired briefly about my birth mother. "Don't concentrate on the past, Qui-Gon.. That leads to suffering." Jedi Master Tonshu offered this advice as we gazed up at the stars. But I could never take no for an answer.

    Deep under the cover of night I infiltrated the archives and found that truth only leads to more questions. I had been given to the Jedi not from my birth mother, but by the most repulsive of traders in Coruscant. I had buried the truth deep down, mentioning it once in a moment of folly. The only person who knew my secret was my fallen apprentice Xanatos.

    The datacard I received was a just a few words but they hit me with the force of a vibroblade. 'I know who she is.' . Those words could only come from Xanatos. Coordinates and a date set for three standard days were included below. It had been months since Xanatos' fall to the dark side. And now, after all this time, he beckoned me.

    I had no doubt that Xanatos hated me and would do anything to exact revenge. I blamed myself for his fall, for killing his father, and not making things right. The hatred in my apprentice's eyes, the absolute anger as he knelt beside his father could never be erased from my mind. Xanatos changed at that moment into something I didn't recognize.

    'Forever lost, he is,' Yoda said sadly, hunched over his stick as he walked away from me. Xanatos must go before the Jedi Council and be punished. I was reprimanded by the Council for refusing to go after him. Perhaps my greatest weakness is seeing hope where clearly there is none.


    None of my fellow Jedi knew my intent as I chartered a freighter. I would be chastised, or worse, expelled. The right thing to do was give the information to the Council. I hesitated as I set the coordinates. It may well be the last thing I ever do.

    I watched as Coruscant disappeared beneath me, and my ship locked into hyperspace. My course and my destiny were set and my mind soon wandered to my Padawan. Despite all that had happened, there was a bond between myself and Xanatos that I never fully grasped. He had been an outsider in the early days as a youngling. Kept mostly to himself, and his own thoughts. But when he stepped out onto the floor in combat, he became different: focused and decisive. Sabaac was never the same. He could anticipate my moves far beyond anyone I'd challenged. And I soon realized that his quiet nature hid an analytical mind, absorbing everything, and bringing it back to his advantage. Sometimes I feel he knows me better than I know myself.

    I gazed out the windows as I left hyperspace and watched the world of Bandomeer loomed on my main screen. As I dropped into the atmosphere, I saw the harsh winter had buried the mining industry under a layer of deep ice and snow. The terrain was inhospitable save for the main city and an icy landing platform that I touched down upon. An odd insignia was plastered along a wall of the landing strip and among the tallest skyscrapers in town.. It was the logo for Telos Mining. The same company Xanatos' father had run. My apprentice had done well after his father's death.

    I hesitated before departing the ship. I could sense Xanatos now... There was no hatred, and I could sense no danger but he excelled at shielding his emotions. I stepped out into the bitter cold, seeing my breath in the air as I waited below my ship. If he was going to kill me it would be soon and I willed myself to stop shivering. I sensed his presence behind me but I did not turn around. I was not expecting the warm blanket he placed over my shoulders.

    The gesture touched me beyond words. I turned to face him, and felt a profound sense of loss. He had embraced the dark and there was little left of the young Padawan I once knew. "Qui-Gon," he said at last with no hint of emotion. "You came."

    Xanatos had aged since I last saw him. Hair was longer and tied in the back, and those dark unreadable eyes had seen sleepless nights.. The scar from our last days together had healed into a broken circle on his cheekbone. I nodded as I watched him closely. "I only wish Xan," I paused, "I could undo what has been done."

    Xanatos stepped closer to me and I did not move. "I don't fault you for my father's death, Qui-Gon. Not any more. It took me some time, but I've found my peace."

    His words were sincere. I only wished that I could come to the same understanding. I regarded his ship, it was a Corellian Starship, sleek in design, and worth more credits that I could ever imagine. "It looks as though you have done well for yourself. Your father would be proud."

    Xanatos straightened at my words and motioned to his ship. "Come inside." He inclined his head. "It's cold out here."

    I no more wanted to go onto Xanatos' ship, than be thrown in the Bandomeer ocean. "I can't do that, Xan. We can talk in my ship." I nodded to my humble freighter behind me.

    He suppressed a chuckle and shook his head. "So you can shackle me and bring me back to your Jedi?"

    "No Xan. Your worries are unfounded. I'm not bringing you back." The words hung in the air. We were at an impasse.

    Xanatos looked back at his ship. His voice lowered to a whisper. "Your mother, Qui-Gon. I found her." He watched as I tried to hide my emotions. He spoke again. “You have a choice. You can leave now,” he nodded to my ship, “or you can come with me.."

    And there was the shiv. The one piece of information that I could never let go. Xanatos knew very well I couldn't walk away. He extended a gloved hand.

    I watched him for a moment and accepted his hand. He helped me over the ice, to his ship, where the hatch hissed open and a plank lowered. Two uniformed men saluted him and gazed at me with hands on their blasters. Xanatos motioned to them and they stood at ease as I passed. The ship was up to date with the most current technology and many devices I had never seen before. I followed Xanatos into a large holding room with a table and holo-screen and he motioned me to a chair...

    The screen lit up as Xanatos sat beside me. An unknown planet loomed on the screen, then focused down towards green pastures and a stone house settled between two towering trees. An elderly woman with short gray hair stepped out and called out, several younglings came at her beckoning. I stood and stepped closer to the picture and resisted the urge to touch the screen. I had seen her face many times in dreams. All these years I had wondered about her presence, but never sought her out. "Stop," I ordered Xanatos. I turned away.from the screen, longing to be in the solitude of my ship. My voice was no longer even.. "How long ago was this?"

    "Several standard years," Xanatos replied. "Their planet is in trouble."

    I now felt a sense of urgency as I turned to leave his ship.. Xanatos spoke the truth. ."I will bring it to the attention of the Jedi Council," I said hastily. My head throbbed. I shut the door to my past years ago, and now that it was open, I felt truly lost.

    "And tell them what?" Xanatos called after me. "That you saw your birth mother? The Jedi are well aware of the problems on Terran VI. They've kept a blind eye for years."

    I stopped and shook my head. The Jedi Council would do nothing. They had their hands full with other matters.

    Xanatos stood and came to my side. "I'm offering to help, Qui-Gon. I have acquired the means to do so." He motioned to his ship. "I am offering to go with you."

    "Why?" I asked.

    Xanatos turned to face me.. "Because it's the right thing to do. Come with me,” he paused and stepped in front of the hatch, “ for a few days. That's all I ask."

    "A few days," I murmured. A few days could do many things. What did I fear? Yes, I feared Xanatos. But perhaps I feared that my loyalty to the Jedi would waver. "Just a few days and then I must return." I heard the words come out of my mouth before I could register them in my mind.

    Xanatos gave me a genuine smile. It was almost infectious. "Excellent," he said, "I will show you to your quarters."

    This, at last was what he planned. To take me away from the Jedi. The fact that I was going with him spoke volumes. Both to myself and obviously to Xanatos.

  2. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    I don’t know all the backstory between Qui-Gon and Xanatos, but you’ve set up a really intriguing situation here.

    Qui-Gon’s interest in his background is quite understandable; it’s a natural human tendency to want to belong and to be part of a family. How painful it must have been for him to find out he’d been given away not by a loving mother who wanted the best for him but by traders who viewed him as merchandise. The knowledge no doubt raised more questions than it answered.

    And then the answer comes from his fallen apprentice. Again, I don’t know all the details and whether it’s fair of Qui-Gon to blame himself for Xanatos’s fall, but it seems like he has excellent reasons not to trust him. It doesn’t surprise me, though, that he goes to meet with Xanatos anyway. Qui-Gon has always been a bit of a maverick and determined to do what he believes is right, even when it goes against the Council’s wishes. That he skirts the non-attachment doctrine doesn’t surprise me. Yet he’s still enough of a Jedi not to want to take action without the Council’s knowledge.

    You’ve done a really nice job portraying Qui-Gon’s conflicting emotions at seeing his mother’s image and learning she and her planet are in trouble. I love how he has to stop himself from touching the holoimage of her. He wants to help, not just because the planet is in trouble, but because it’s his mother, and he knows the Council will do nothing. Can he trust Xanatos when he says “it’s th right thing to do”?

    You’ve set up some interesting conundrums here; excellent start! =D=
    Findswoman, Ewok Poet and NobodyIX like this.
  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Just a very quick note to say that I was here, I read it and I'm loving it! I added your story to the challenge index and yes, with that book title, the quote was definitely meant for you :)

    It's late Friday night after a long week here and my brain is mush, but I'll be back in the next few days with a proper review!
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb response to the first sentence challenge. What makes it even more oomphy is the first person. You have great insights into Qui's and Xanatos' characters, motives, strengths, and vulnerable spots. =D=
    Findswoman, Ewok Poet and NobodyIX like this.
  5. NobodyIX

    NobodyIX Jedi Padawan star 1

    Feb 19, 2018
    Raissa Baiard- Thank you so much! I wasn't sure how much back story I should put into Xanatos, but I think Qui-Gon was in a position where he had to kill Xanatos' father to save others. I do think he would blame himself. I also think Xanatos is a manipulative person at baseline, but Qui-Gon was blind to his faults. It would be so much fun to write these two having a battle of wills. I really appreciate your response![face_love]

    Chyntuck- I know you created that part of the challenge just for me! haha! Thanks for stopping by and reading.[:D]

    WarmNyota- I haven't written in first person for awhile and it was definitely a challenge. Qui-Gon is such a maverick and interesting to write. But right now in Xanatos' hands he is definitely in trouble. Thanks for reading!:D
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Jul 31, 2014
    The curse of the beta who comes in late hit me, as you have probably figured out by now. :p But I'm ready to beta more and see where this story goes.

    I was not familiar with the character of Xanatos, I only knew of him because his name is fairly similar to my last name (!) and from what I know about any word related to that, it was pretty easy to guess what kind of a character he would have been like. Looks like fallen Jedi are pretty common in that line - Qui-Gon's master failed, his first apprentice failed, the apprentice of his apprentice failed...need I go on? The man had an unique way with the Force and made some unexpected decisions, but he didn't exactly dance with the dark. It takes a very special person to be amidst all of that, yet not to get caught up in it.

    The idea of the legendary Jedi Master having a family that he would like to get to know is pretty plausible as well. Once again, Qui-Gon thinks outside the box and I could see him twist the rules a bit, give a different interpretation of them, but nothing to an enormous extent. But the fact that it comes from nobody other than his fallen apprentice is, well, alarming to say the least!

    Everything in this part of the story is ambiguous and cold lead pretty much anywhere. A trap? A dark side manipulation? A sincere attempt to reconcile. Or...a mix of two or more of those? Gulp! The way Xanatos' eyes look like and his insisting that the Jedi Council should not be contacted regarding of what is going on on Terran VI make me think there is something shady going on...

    Eagerly awaiting to beta whatever comes next. :)
  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    It took me more than the "few days" I'd promised to come back for a proper review [face_blush] but I did come back and that's gotta count for something, right?

    And because I've read the right books, I know that Xan isn't to be trusted so I'm a bit worried for Qui-Gon here. In his own words:
    I may be wrong here, but my sense from this first chapter is that this sentence is key. Qui-Gon knows that Xanatos is up to no good, he knows that Xanatos's plans is wheels within wheels within wheels and he knows that Xanatos has probably anticipated his reactions at every step. And yet he still chooses to go with him in order to find out about his mother but also, most probably, to try and turn Xanatos away from the dark. And meanwhile, Xanatos...
    ... if this is an accurate description of his intentions, it's going to make for a very interesting disputation between the two throughout the story.

    Meanwhile, I can completely picture Qui-Gon being curious about his mother. I would expect that all Jedi younglings go through this phase of curiosity at one point or another, but in Qui-Gon's case there are two extra layers. One is that he took action and tried to look up his parents in the archives – in a way, we see his maverick streak here from an early age – and two is the idea that he transited through a trader on Coruscant (possibly a slave trader?) before reaching the Jedi Order. The question thus goes from "who is my mother" to "what happened to my mother", and this is a question that Qui-Gon would want an answer to. And now I wonder if that has anything to do with the troubles on Terran VI. [face_thinking]

    Looking forward to more!
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 27, 2014
    This is off to a very compelling start (as I think I can say, given that this looks like a first chapter rather than the whole of the story—right?). I too am not fully up on the canon background of Qui-Gon and Xanatos, but your characterization of both of them is so clear here that I can follow everything. As others have said, Qui-Gon’s overwhelming curiosity about his mother is very believable, and the fact that he acts on it, even in potential defiance of the Council, is very much in character for him. But add to that the fact that it’s his fallen apprentice, of all people, who comes forward with the means of satisfying that curiosity, and that adds an extra dimension of complication. I don’t blame Qui-Gon for not quite trusting him; there’s definitely something off about his unexpected kindness (!), his claim to claim to have put his father’s death behind him that’s followed immediately by a refusal to act on anyone’s terms but his own... even the way he offers Qui-Gon the chance to come with him to Terran VI screams “ulterior motives” somehow. I sense a certain amount of Maul-like manipulativeness all around—and it’s apparently working, because of how he’s playing on Qui-Gon’s feelings of concern for his mother and his sense of “what’s right.” A whole lot can happen in “just a few days,” and I have a feeling that will be the case here. Watch out, Qui-Gon, and keep a steady head on your shoulders! [face_worried]

    Very intriguing beginning (and spot on for the prompt sentence)—very much looking forward to seeing where this will go! :)
    NobodyIX and Ewok Poet like this.