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Beyond - Legends Saga - PT Repercussions of Time - The Repost

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ZaraValinor, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    I promise more Obi-Wan and Siri later. Ben's very blunt and not afraid to say what he feels or the truth the way he sees it

    Chapter 12

    He thought Obi-Wan would never let him go, he kept a hand on the back of his tunic and guided him through the bass corridors as though Ben were a three-year-old child with a proclivity for wandering off. It did not help matters that as a three-year-old, he’d taken his fair share of unparented jaunts. The few cuts and bruises he’d attained from his fight with Anakin flamed as their hurried pace whipped over them. For the first time, in a long time, he felt tired and beaten in a good way.

    Not the desperate struggle he’d lived through with the Yuuzhan Vong, the battle with Anakin might have been one of the training exercises he’d taken part in with his mother when shed been teaching him hand to hand. Minor cuts were expected when teaching a child to defend itself against a race that would hold nothing back from a child. This was the first time that he could practice as he once had and not worry about his life.

    Youthful hubris kept him from believing that Anakin would kill him, that the goodness his father had sensed, was still in the younger man. And he’d been right. He’d offered the choice to his grandfather and Anakin had hesitated. Despite the Emperor’s orders, he’d hesitated.

    Then Obi-Wan and Padme burst in, disturbing that moment of confusion, that moment of testing thought. Perhaps that was the most painful of all his wounds. That he’d been so close and that it all had been shattered by the good intentions of those who cared for Anakin more than Ben could ever.

    Obi-Wan took him to the quarters they shared with Master Yoda and tossed him into the nearest conforming chair. Sinking into the fabric, the plush under him eased some of the aches. He’d gone soft with Anakin, but the battle had still taken its toll on his weakened body. Ben looked up as the older Jedi began to pace. He wondered if this certain build up to lecture was a Jedi thing, or if Obi-Wan had somehow passed it on to Luke Skywalker.

    “I know things looked bad when you and Padme came in,” Ben started to explain.

    “Looked bad? Looked bad?” Obi-Wan echoed in disbelief. “I cannot believe you have the nerve to utter such an inept statement.”

    Closing his eyes, Ben sighed. His fatigue was keeping him from forming the perfect speech that would explain his reasons to the man who had been mentor to his father. How could he explain that emotions had been building, that if they did not have this face off now, it would come at a less opportune time, and that it had caused Anakin a moment of deliberation he might not have had otherwise? Would Obi-Wan understand even if he found those words?

    “Are all Skywalkers capable of ignoring me as I rant or is this an ability shared between you and Anakin alone,” Obi-Wan questioned heatedly.

    Ben forced his eyes open. “I...”

    “You came through time to just beat him into submission?” Obi-Wan asked. “What makes you think that this fight of yours would have delivered any different an outcome then the one you broke into? You were reckless, thoughtless, and ignorant to the power that Anakin holds. The very characteristics that lead about his downfall. Did you come here only to be swayed to his way of thinking?”

    With an internal groan, Ben wished had to admit Obi-Wan was partially correct. He had not thought through his actions, had not thought what memories would stir in Obi-Wan as another battled raged, very similar to his own with Anakin on Mustafar.

    “Palpatine ordered him to kill me, Obi-Wan,” Ben admitted. “I had no way out of the fight.”

    “Did you know this before you brought him to Padme?” Obi-Wan asked, suddenly frowning.

    Forcing his voice to be steady, he answered, “Yes.”

    “I do not know if I can trust you with him now. Palpatine is good at deception Ben, he is a Master of it as well as the Dark Side. Can you tell me with certainty that your battle with Anakin, your physical evidence of grievance, was not what the Sith wanted from the start? To bring those ill emotions to the forefront?” Obi-Wan stopped his pacing and looked at Ben head on with such a look of disappointment, Ben could not help but wince. “You will not see Anakin again, until I know it is safe.”

    Ben leaped from his chair. He’d been willingly sympathetic to Obi-Wan for too long. “Is that an order Master Kenobi? Because I don’t take orders from anyone. He is my family. Which is more than you can say.” He wondered at his words even as they came from his lips.

    Stricken, Obi-Wan looked as though Ben had impaled him with his own lightsaber. “That’s the dividing mark with this family. Those who are bound by blood and those who are not.”

    “Obi-Wan that wasn’t what I meant,” Ben tried to smooth over, but knew that his words had hit harder than perhaps even the older Jedi had anticipated.

    “Yes, it was,” Obi-Wan said softly. He stilled himself, giving his head a quick shake. “I am not his father, nor his brother. I raised him, loved him, despite what I had been taught. Came to the point that I even convinced myself that we had passed over those bad patches in his youth. My blindness has cleared, has yours?”

    “I’m not blind,” Ben assured him. “But you cannot take this from me. He is my purpose in the Force. And...” The words stuck in his throat.

    Eyebrows hiked up on Obi-Wans forehead. “And?”

    “And I cannot let down those I loved. Nor can I let you and the rest of the Jedi fall to isolation and near extinction,” Ben admitted. He hated having to say this next part, but it was something both his parents had tried to drill into him. “And I know I cannot do that alone. I am not all powerful. There is no dividing line, Obi-Wan. Or should I call you Ben?”

    Surprise flamed on the older Jedi’s face. “How did you know?”

    Rolling his eyes, Ben smiled with an edge of embellished sarcasm. “Who did you think I was named after, Ben Kenobi? That was what you called yourself before you revealed your identity to my father. I figured there was an import to the name.”

    “It was mine from before I was brought to the Temple,” Obi-Wan said. “It is a name I have not used in long time.”

    “Which is why you would use it as a decoy,” Ben deduced. “We are family, Obi-Wan. In so many ways I can see my father in you. Or you in him and even in Anakin. My words were not only unfair but knowingly wrong.” Gritting his teeth, Ben managed to get the last part out. “And I ask your forgiveness.”

    A wry smile turned the lips of his older companion. “You do not ask such very often do you, my young friend?”

    “Well, I don’t like to make it a habit,” Ben murmured grudgingly.

    “Something I’m sure your life has not lent to correction,” Obi-Wan agreed kindly. “Therefore, knowing what it is costing you, I will accept.”

    “And about Anakin?” Ben asked, knowing he was being far too acquiescent.

    Obi-Wan did not deliberate for long. “Promise to inform me of any other orders Palpatine gives, that you overhear, and we will figure the best way to deal with them together. No more singular strategies. You are still young and need the observations of a Master.”

    Horror filled Ben at that moment. “Does Master Yoda know about my little production with Anakin?”

    A genuine chuckle escaped Obi-Wan. “I should probably give him the full detail of it. But I think it will be a much more fitting punishment if I have you do it yourself.”

    “Are you sure you aren’t a father?” Ben said with a feigned glare. “I’ll just have to make sure I do it when he isn’t carrying that blasted walking stick.”

    “Oh, we should probably talk about Padme,” Obi-Wan introduced a new subject.

    Ben groaned as he sat back down into the chair he’d relinquished in his anger. “How’s that?”

    “She thinks you’re Anakin’s brother,” Obi-Wan said this with an inordinate amount of pleasure. There was certainly something sadistic about the Jedi Master.

    Turning to lock glances with him, Ben asked, “And you encouraged this belief?”

    “What else was I to do? She pointed out things that I would have seemed a complete dolt not to have noticed and... well, it was better that than explain the fact that you are from the future,” Obi-Wan explained. “At least now we have a reasonable explanation for your existence.”

    “Except she knows that I am dying,” Ben released.

    “You told her?”

    “I needed her to spirit my blood away from the healers,” he explained with an air that suggested Obi-Wan should have done that himself. “That poison is highly contagious and could have killed a number of the medical staff if they had not known to be careful of it.”

    “But you disposed of it,” Obi-Wan asked.

    “Burnt it,” Ben said. “Completely incinerated.”

    Quelee Zhan held up a vial of blood from the patient Ben Jade. She was sure she had never heard of a Jedi Apprentice by his name and there was something suspicious about the Padawan. Her suspicions had only risen when she’d seen Senator Amidala - or was it Skywalker now? - sneak the vials of his blood not being tested out of the medical lab.

    It seemed a number of questions rose in accordance with Padawan Jade. One of them was his high midi-chlorian count. She was sure it was on par with Anakin Skywalker’s and the anomaly in his blood that she could not identify against any known toxin. But…it was frightening.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Intense update =D=

    I think Kenobi's cautions about confrontations are well-spoken and definitely Ben needs to consult with those who are wiser & have experiences with Sith. [face_thinking]
    Enjoyed the moments of lighter mood/snark. ;)
    ZaraValinor likes this.
  3. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Yeah, I probably do need to add a little more levity to this story. As I've been rereading it and adding stuff to the original, it is very intense.


    It was about a week after the fight between Anakin and Ben that Obi-Wan contrived to get the governing body of the Jedi into conference about the first strike against Palpatine. Ben and Obi-Wan had discussed long and in great detail the advance of such a plot. To Ben’s surprise, the Wayland system was well known, it was just as relieving to know that the planet that his mother had helped his father infiltrate was still literally undiscovered. It was small enough to have been missed by the initial Wayland expedition and like so many government run facilities of the day, officials could be bought to avoid what the Emperor wanted secret.

    The number one question was who would comprise the strike team. Obi-Wan had fought strongly for Anakin to come along, arguing that if Anakin was ever to come back, he would have to remember the type of work he’d once done for the light. Ben had been less apt to involve him in such a vulnerable operation. The Emperor should not suspect such a strike, but that did not mean he could not have heavy security, and Ben wanted to protect Anakin from the Emperor not parade him in front of the Sith Lord.

    Eventually, he had given away to the fact that Obi-Wan knew his grandfather better than he did, and that perhaps there was hope in giving Anakin a chance to find the light he once encompassed. That made three of them, Obi-Wan, Ben, and Anakin. Both Ben and Obi-Wan agreed that if they were to survive this operation intact, they would need at least four others with specified skills to infiltrate the base.

    This time they wouldn’t be moving in on the base to destroy it. They wanted to empty out its contents. Slave circuitry was at the bare minimal during this time, but Obi-Wan was sure that Anakin and another technician could pull it off. It was readily agreed to that the cloning facilities would be destroyed, but all other materials would be used towards the war.

    Yoda had called a council of all Jedi who would be willing to make a run and who weren’t currently needed to watch the incredible amount of Jedi children. If any wondered why Ben Jade, a relatively unknown Jedi apprentice, sat in on this council, no one verbalized it. The group consisted of twenty Jedi of varying age and species. For some strange reason, it all made Ben very homesick.

    “Master Kenobi, with all due respect, I do not understand why you would trust Skywalker’s information about this secret storehouse?” a female Jedi asked sharply, her deep blue eyes sizing up Ben who was beside him.

    “There is still a chance we can save him, Siri, I will not give that up,” Obi-Wan answered, and Ben instantly saw the kinship between the two.

    The Jedi rolled her eyes. “You aren’t Qui-Gon Jinn and this isn’t some former slave boy who needs guidance. He had his chance.”

    “I would have to side with Master Tachi on this,” a Calamarian Jedi said, her soft voice almost reluctant in stating her worries. “The Sith have played with us for far too long and I feel that you are too emotionally connected Obi-Wan.”

    “Of course, I am emotionally connected. But when has that ever stopped me from doing my duty?” Obi-Wan countered a little too heatedly. “Anakin may be our only hope of defeating Palpatine.”

    “Then what? We welcome him back with open arms,” a tall, dark haired, Vespian snapped into the conversation. “He has killed our people, his own people, Master Kenobi. You ask much of us to push this aside and trust him to a mission that you have stated is of great import.”

    “I wonder if this isn’t a personal vendetta rather than your concerns for the fate of the galaxy,” Ben broke into the conversation. “Have you missed the fact that Skywalker tried to kill Master Kenobi, that the betrayal to him is as great as it is to you, if not more so.”

    Under the table, Ben felt something smack into his leg. “Silent you should be, my young Padawan.”

    “Who are you anyway?” the blond Jedi, Siri, Obi-Wan had called her, demanded.

    “Ben Jade,” the young apprentice replied in a deliberate tone. “You wanna keep up, sweetheart.” This time Obi-Wan and Yoda sighed in tandem. “Or do you want me to write it down for you?”

    Siri looked as though she might attack Ben right there. “Master Yoda do you allow such insolence?”

    “Does he allow?” Ben questioned. “What am I his slave?”

    “Ben you are not helping,” Obi-Wan muttered from his left.

    A dark skinned Corellian woman turned to Siri. “He reminds me quite a lot of you, when you were that age.”

    Ben smiled cheekily at her. “See we have something in common.”

    “I don’t believe this,” Siri breathed.

    “Is she always this incredulous?” Ben asked to no one in particular.

    Yoda’s stick came up to slam against the wooden table, interrupting any further commentary from the assembled Jedi. “Enough that is. Get back to the matter at hand, should we? Four more we need in company with Master Obi-Wan.”

    Siri glared at Ben, to which he responded with a large grin. “I’m in.”

    “We’ll need another starship technician. We plan to slave the ships together as quick as possible,” Obi-Wan introduced into conversation.

    “I guess that means I’m in too,” a long limbed Respir answered, his limber digits looking fully competent to negotiate tight engine parts.

    Ben’s gaze swept to the rest of the crowd and found a red head with green eyes. She was perhaps three or four years older than himself, and by the braid running down her right shoulder, still an apprentice. Her signature in the Force was not strong, he would have thought she’d be on level with Tionne, one of his father’s first apprentices, and one of the Jedi who had cared for him as a child. She had not been incredibly strong in the Force, nor had she had an average level, but Tionne had seen things no one else had. She’d kept an infant Ben safe from the Yuuzhan Vong and Ben felt strongly that this red-head woman needed to be a part of this mission.

    During his musing another Jedi, a tall Cerulean had joined the mission. He had to speak up or miss his chance. “How about you?” he spoke into the resigned silence, pointing at the woman he’d noticed.

    Her eyes widened and she looked as though she wished to hide. Obviously, no one else saw what he saw. “You want me?”

    Obi-Wan was watching him but didn’t object. “Yes. I think your talents will be most helpful.”

    Those green eyes looked around, searching for something, perhaps a way out, when Master Yoda cleared his throat. “Padawan Deirs, what say you? Agree do you?”

    “Yes, Master Yoda, I agree,” the woman said, stiffening in resolution.

    “Excuse me, Padawan Jade,” Padawan Deirs said from behind him as Ben made his way back to his quarters. He paused and turned to face her.


    She paused a space away from him, watching as the rest of the Jedi filed past them. He sent Obi-Wan ahead with an almost imperceptible nod of his head. Once they had all left, she seemed to regain the courage that had caused her to call out his name. “I was wondering why you choose me to be a member of this mission?”

    Well, she certainly doesn’t beat around the berry patch does she? “I felt you were important to the cause,” he answered

    “But why?” she insisted.

    Slightly confused, Ben’s forehead wrinkled in concern. “Do you have a problem of coming along? Does Skywalker worry you?”

    “No, I mean, yes, a little. It’s just my abilities are often found lacking,” she said in a stutter.

    Unreasonable anger flared inside Ben. “Then too many have missed your true purpose.”

    He had hoped these words would sooth her but she was angered by them. “You are just a Padawan yourself, what would you know. I can feel your power, it licks out even to me. At least the others don’t patronize me.”

    “Have you ever been in a Kamino rainstorm, Padawan Deirs?” he changed the subject suddenly.

    “No,” she admitted, her own confusion mounting.

    “Well the Force to me is like that, thousands upon thousands of rain drops slapping into me, roaring in my ear, and dazzling my senses,” he began to explain. “Now, I can’t sense the individual rain drop, I can’t hear that one pivotal cry that would save a galaxy. But you can and you will.” He sighed, feeling the weight of his purpose in the Force. “In many ways, I envy you that.”
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Siri is full of pointed observations and Ben of snippy rejoinders. Fascinating mission & I like his reasons for including Padawan Deirs, whom it looks like is used to having her talents overlooked. [face_thinking]
    ZaraValinor likes this.
  5. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Ben certainly likes to get on the bad side of people, until he doesn't.

    Chapter 14

    “You know a Sith Lord won’t go to the good side if you’re watching him,” Siri said, as she came up behind Obi-Wan.

    Anakin had not spoken, had not seemed to move, when Obi-Wan had told him to be ready for the Wayland offense. Anakin could not see him through the tinted glass, probably couldn’t even sense him in the swirl of agitated Force-signatures. Yet Siri had sought him out with seeming ease.

    “Yes, but an unwatched Padawan can slip into darkness quite easily,” he replied, not turning back to see her. “What brings you to this side of the prison wing?”

    “I want to know why you and the green midget are playing with the little Padawan? Who is he and how is he connected to Anakin? And before you start giving me the same shav you’ve been telling Padme, I’ve already spoken to her. She seems to think that Ben Jade is Anakin’s brother. Is this true?”

    He knew better then to lie to her, she’d catch him in it, and he’d only have to dodge her wrath further. “No, he isn’t Anakin’s brother.”

    She gave a heavy sigh and he was surprised to feel the heat of her breath on his neck. “I guess I should take it as a good sign that you aren’t lying to me. What can you tell me about him? Certainly, you aren’t keeping company with him because of his sparkling personality.”

    “Because I already have one sarcastic friend,” a light smile touched his lips as he said this. “He’s important to the course of the future, Siri. He has information that might change what Palpatine has been setting up for decades. So I would hope you understand my caution.”

    “No, not exactly. But I’ve grown to trust you and, frankly, I don’t have any better ideas. I just ask you to help me from strangling the boy.” He had no doubt that her patience would strain in Ben’s company. The boy would have to be reminded that he wasn’t the sole survivor of a dying Order. “And Jade wasn’t the only reason I came.”

    “Oh?” It was remarkable how calm he was.

    “I wanted to see how you were?” Her tone was flat, which told him how much emotion she was holding back. “Are you going to turn around and face me or do you hope to save Skywalker with the sheer power of boredom.”

    Slowly, he came around to face her, tucking his arms around him. “I’m fine, and the terse reply sounded lame even to him.” You were always an amazingly terrible lair, Kenobi.

    “Yes, because I’ve always liked you worn and haggard,[/i] returned Siri sardonically.

    “You never like me, Siri,” Obi-Wan countered, but lightened his tone to take the stings form his words. “Now that we’ve established that I’m fine, worn, and haggard. What did you really come here to talk to me about?”

    Dancing from foot to foot, displaying her natural itch to take on problems with her lightsaber, Siri growled. “Why is it you always suspect an ulterior motive when I come to talk to you, Kenobi?”

    “Maybe because it takes the course of several subjects before you come to what you really wanted to speak about. You think that I have to be thrown off-balance before you hit me with the attack. It’s the way you fight, it’s the way you approach everything.” He stabbed her with a pointed glare. “As you mentioned, I’m tired. We’ve got a dangerous mission to prepare for.”

    Indignant, Siri took an advancing step towards him. “Excuse me from interrupting your wallow in self pity. I hope you and your pretended guilt are really happy together.” With that she spun to leave.

    With lightning speed, Obi-Wan reached for her arm and spun her around. Their gazes locked on one another almost immediately. “Must we always bicker when left to our own devices? Can we not just be friends?”

    She twisted out of his grasp and backed away from his entreating eyes. “We tried know how well that worked.”

    “Things are changing, Siri. The order is changing. We need not be enemies,” he told her gently, with great purpose. “What has been denied us, has now been released by necessity.”

    A jaded chuckle erupted from the blonde Jedi, carrying a hard bit. You have a lot of nerve. “What makes you think I have any necessity of you?”

    He reclaimed her hand and was surprised that she did not react violently, instead she remained as still and frozen as a statue as he brought her close to him. He treated her as though a skittish animal, no sudden movements that would frighten her off. With infinite tenderness he traced the side of her face, raised the clasped hand to his lips. Peering up from her hand, he whispered, “Maybe it is I who have need of you.”

    There was a squeak of rubber against the plates of the floor, Siri jumped about a meter away from him. Ben Skywalker stood frozen, a knowing and embarrassed smile on his face. “Um, I hate to interrupt, but Padme’s gone into labor.”

    There’s an argument going on, Anakin can feel it. Just as he felt a spike in Padme’s pain and new that it came and went, timed in intervals. Contractions. He’d read what to expect on the holonet when Padme told him. Before the dreams, before his desperation and the Dark Side. Before he’d sent Master Windu to his death.

    Before he’d let himself become a monster in the name of saving his family.

    He should have known then, should have seen what the Dark Side had done to Dooku, to Maul. But what exactly had the light done for Yoda, for Obi-Wan. At the end, everyone leaves you, to be a Sith or a Jedi is to be alone. No matter how hard Anakin Skywalker or Darth Vader worked at it, he was not wired to be alone.

    Still, he spared them the argument and refused to go to Padme’s side. Monster’s don’t have families and if they do, they leave their children, their wife broken and shattered. A gear in a machine that does not work, ruins an entire function. You can make it work, you can makeshift the materials, but only if that broken piece is removed.

    Perhaps it is a revelation, perhaps it doesn’t matter if he is a Sith or a Jedi, but Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader are both willing to admit they have long since been broken. It wasn’t being a slave that did it, but the lessons that one inherently learns when they cannot choose the course their life takes from moment to moment, day to day. He’d learned to hold onto that anger, the unfairness in the world, even if he tried to smooth things out. He’d never tried to heal. If broken things aren’t mended, well…they do not fix themselves.

    Perhaps, he never knew any different. Obi-Wan and the Jedi’s way of thinking had been so foreign, so lofty and abstract, that it was difficult to think how he could apply to his life. And when he might have understood, he was already set on his path. Already so sure he had everything they needed the Chosen One to be.

    He chose a course of action and did threw everything that he could at it. Keep Obi-Wan alive; done. Fight an impossible war; check. Kill Dooku; check. He’d never considered the cost, the repercussions of his actions. Just as long as he did, what needed to be done. Save Padme; sell your soul to the Dark Side.

    His life had been a chaotic down spiral since the moment he left his mother’s hut on Tatooine. And now it was too late. If once you set down the Dark Path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

    That’s a bunch of shav, if I ever heard it, Ben’s mental voice interrupts his musings, the arguments he’s already given. Do you think I’d be working this hard if you were beyond it all.

    Ben’s been monitoring him. Because the birth of Anakin’s child is near, the birth of Ben’s father. Luke, or so Padme will name him. He has no right to weigh in on the name now. And he finds he can’t make any arguments. Luke Skywalker. It seems so right. But at the same time, he feels as though there’s something missing, something hanging on the edge.

    The birth of their child, the end of Padme’s life. Funny how he hadn’t had the visions since Mustafar. Did Ben’s presence alone turn the tide of the future. Was Padme no longer destined for death because their grandson showed up to stop him from becoming a mechanical monster instead of a flesh and bone one?

    He felt Padme concentrate, felt her sense of purpose, and then it was like a bell sang through the air. In the Force, he felt blasted by a wave of warmth, like the radiation after a sun collapses. A nebula of light. Just as he was beginning to recover from the announcement of his son, it was followed by a second wave. This one just as light, but different.

    A daughter.

    Anakin pressed a hand to his eyes, not wanting to feel anything more, but unable to shut off the mass of images being sent to him. His children instinctively reaching out to him. Children. Obi-Wan had set that at the beginning. Anakin had been too lost in his anger, his utter frustration having been saved and damned by a teenager.

    Ben had only spoken of his father. Another lie, another deception.

    Tears seeped through the fingers of his hand. He was so tired of it all, so tired of the betrayals, the secrets, the half-truths. The gears of his mechanical hand whirred and strained as he clenched his fist. He gave a laugh that was as wet as a sob. Twins. Binaries, circling one another.

    He knew it, now he was the black hole that would swallow them up.
  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Loved Anakin's reactions to the birth of his children. Very natural that he'd ponder his own choices. The Obi/Siri scene! SQUEEEEEEE! So many tangled undertones! Only Siri would call Yoda the "green midget". [face_rofl] Only Mara Jade is snarkier. ^:)^ [face_mischief]
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  7. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    That's our Siri, but this time Obi-Wan turned her on her head.

    Chapter 15

    “It's a venom of some sort,” Quelee explained to her Master, showing him the holo's she'd taken of the cell deterioration. “The biological print is similar to many of our reptilian species, but it has a molecular structure that I've never seen before.”

    Master Healer Tore’ere frowned at her exhibit, not showing any of his thoughts on his angular face. “You say you took this blood sample from Master Yoda's new Padawan, Ben Jade.”

    She leaned against the operating table and sighed, her eyes turning heavenward. “Master, I don't know how he's even alive now. It was clear that he wanted to keep this from the Jedi at large and I doubt Master Yoda is unaware of it, but if he were to infect one of us with this disease he'd destroy every Jedi in this facility.”

    “That's why Master Kenobi was so adamant about having Skywalker scrubbed down so thoroughly after his attempt on Padawan Jade,” her Master mused. “There must be a reason they are keeping it a secret, but why?”

    “To stave off hysteria,” Quelee ventured. “The need for vengeance against Skywalker is already high, if our people found out about Jade's disease threatening their existence would they call for his blood as well?”

    “Why is it so dangerous to us?” he asked, gazing up at her as he viewed the replay of her holo. “What properties does this venom hold?” Methodical questions posed in an even tone, but Quelee still heard his fear for it. It shimmered in the Force, commingling with that of all the other Jedi who had suddenly become hunted.

    She straightened from the table and folded her arms. “It's better if you see it.”

    Silently they crossed the small laboratory that Quelee had taken over the moment she begun inspecting Jade's blood. It was a sterile environment with ample precautions should she inadvertently become infected.

    The lab itself was imprisoned in treated transparasteel, guarding against the possibility of microorganisms seeping through the tiniest porous opening. As Quelee and her Master stepped through the threshold from operating room to laboratory, their skin was coated with an epoxy that kept any obstructive elements from breaking through the fragile protective barrier. They could not safely stay inside the barrier for over a few minutes, their skin requiring the oxygen and moisture in the air.

    These precautions only allowed them into the outer chamber of the laboratory. In the inner chamber was a vicious-looking creature on stubby legs and wielding a wicked club-like tail. Vonskrs were inherently Force-sensitive and had proven infinitely valuable to Quelee in her test of Ben Jade's blood.

    She used the bio-scanner to pull up a reading of the vonskrs physiology and then walked over to the call box that linked the inner and outer chambers of the laboratory. “MD8, apply the sample,” Quelee ordered the medical droid.

    A mechanical appendage dropped from the ceiling and dribbled several drops of the viscous blood on the roughened hide of the rapacious creature. Almost instantly the heat scanner flared red. “What does that indicate?” her master asked, gesturing the reddening area.

    “It has almost an acidic nature, it will heat the skin until it can drop through the pours and slide into the bloodstream,” Quelee answered.

    They waited in silence for some time, minute upon minute until an hour had passed. Quelee pointed out the first sign that the venom had passed through the layers of protective skin and had entered the blood stream. “Take a look at the midi-chlorian count.”

    On the viewscreen was the collective number of midi-chlorian's running through the creature in front of them. Tore’ere's eyes widened as the numbers slowly began to tick down. “This isn't possible,” he breathed.

    “I thought the same, I did the test a number of times, all on living flesh. The midi-cholorian count always decreased. Frankly, Ben Jade should be dead or at least cut off from the Force, but his strength I can only compare to Skywalker's,” Quelee explained. “Perhaps he has found someway to contain this venom inside himself and I was always able to draw it because he was unconscious when I took the blood.”

    “That would explain why Skywalker was free of it,” he mused. “And why Master Yoda is allowing it to remain a secret. For now, we will leave it at that, but I want you to continue researching this. See if you can't find a counteragent to it.”

    “And what of Jade?” she questioned. “Surely, he won't be able to hold this disease off forever.”

    “Make a report of your findings to Master Yoda, he will decide what will be done with our young friend. What troubles me is the virulence of this venom. I've never seen it's like,” he said, his pale eyes avid on the screen before them. “I would hate to have an epidemic on our hands.”

    Eventually, it was Yoda that led him to Padme’s door. Yoda who told him to see the family that many Jedi had paid their lives for. None of this was done with any more than the Master’s usual taciturn and tactless personality. He’d expected more from the old Master, more talk of attachments, the Dark Side and more...something.

    Instead they walked through the halls of the Nathanea compound as they had walked through the halls of the Temple many times before. Anakin wasn’t even bound. Where was this faith coming from now that he was a Sith, when it had never been present as a Jedi?

    Yoda leaned heavily on his walking stick outside of Padme’s quarters. “Privacy, I will give you.”

    Anakin pressed the annunciator and waited for Padme to answer the door. She paused as the door spurted open and revealed her husband.

    “Anakin,” she greeted quietly. Her hand dropped to where her blaster might have been, and Anakin winced. She may still love him but there was fear. Fear he had well and truly earned and it made him ache all the more, and that anger at himself, the Jedi, and the universe in general that more refined. “What are you doing here?”

    “I hear my children were born. I’d like to see them,” he said between gritted teeth. He was still bitter that Ben had hid the knowledge of another child from him. Maybe, the younger Skywalker knew that and that was why Yoda had come instead of Ben.

    “Oh, yes…come in,” she backed away from the door, pulling her robe tighter around her.

    Medical advances had made recovery from childbirth a matter of days instead of the weeks and months it had once been. Still, she displayed all the customary signs of an exhausted Padme. It couldn’t be easy raising twin newborns by yourself, especially in the middle of what was essentially a safehouse for the Jedi. She’d wanted to give birth on Naboo, at the lake house on Varykino. The place they’d married.

    She led him to the crib where one of the twins was sleeping, and the other was waving his arms and legs in an attempt of self-amusement. But the eyes, baby blue eyes, centered on him. “My son,” he whispered.

    It was different than with Ben. Ben was nearly his age, nearly an adult by some standards. Hell, Padme had ruled a world at fourteen. His son reached out a hand to him and he slipped a finger into the small palm. “What did you name them?”

    “I was thinking Luke and Leia,” she said. “I wanted to check with you first.”

    “Why?” he asked, still entranced by the fact that his son hadn’t pulled away from him.

    “They’re your children, too, Anakin.” Every word seemed slouched towards her underlying exhaustion.

    Unlatching his finger from Luke, he ran it quickly down Leia’s soft check. He took a step toward her and she backed away by instinct. “Still want to run away with me?”

    She pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. She stilled herself and regained her steps. “That depends on which side you’re on.”

    “Sides? Why does there have to be sides? Light and Dark, Republic and Separatists. It’s all the same, Padme. It’s all the same.”

    “No, it isn’t. Because now, we have an Emperor. The rule of the people is gone. There’s a line, Anakin. We draw them in the sand to keep us on moral high ground. And you’ve blown through it, many times over.”

    “I blew over three years ago, every Jedi in this galaxy did.”

    “A war, you’re precious Emperor created to lure you into his trap.”

    “I have control now, he ground out, his breathing stuttered in his rage. Why can't you see that?

    Why can't you see the weakness that was in me before?”

    “Weakness?” she scoffed. “I have never seen anything so weak as I do now.”

    “Good. Now you understand!” he snapped.

    “I guess I do. Obi-Wan said you were willing to go on this mission with them. I assumed that meant you were making progress.”

    “Progress to what, Padme? You knew what I was capable of before you married me. If anything, this is the culmination of the journey we started back on Tatooine. You were right,” he gasped. “Is that what you want me to say? That you were right. We should have never fallen in love.”

    She shook her head, tears gather in her dark eyes. Somewhere, distantly, he could recognize that the babies were crying. “You’re right. I knew that this would happen. I knew it, but I…I hoped.”

    “What? Padme?” he growled. “What is there to hope for?”

    She found herself at the door and keyed it open. “Goodbye, Anakin.”

    He went outside and stopped in front of Yoda. They small Jedi Master shook his head. “Always with you, the same problem. Know not when to shut your mouth.”
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Bravo on the medical investigation, I really hope they find a counteragent.
    Oh my! The Padme/Anakin scene! =D= Her heartbreak & his vicious bitterness. He is so utterly torn but continues to push her away. :(
    Yoda's summation: “Always with you, the same problem. Know not when to shut your mouth." [face_laugh] In a nutshell. :p
    ZaraValinor likes this.
  9. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Yeah, as much as I love torturing Ben, I don't want him to die.

    Chapter 16

    “Entrusting your care to Master Obi-Wan, I am,” Yoda said as he hobbled towards his newest apprentice.

    Ben knelt before him, feeling an unexpected weariness flush over him like a sudden heat wave. He rolled his eyes and the formality in the old Master’s voice. “I don't need looking after,” he reminded softly. He'd been alone for so long, there was no one he needed, only the Force.

    Resting a three-clawed hand on his shoulder, Master Yoda humphed indignantly. “Fool me you cannot. The healers spoke with I have. Know what this disease does to you, I do. Dangerous to send you it is, but know I do the importance.”

    It took Ben a moment to decipher the aged Jedi's backward speech. When he did his jaw dropped in surprise. “How? I destroyed all the blood they took from me.”

    “Wanted an analysis of my own, I did,” Yoda elucidated. “Destroys the Force, this illness does, destroys life.”

    “I know, that was the requisite of being able to come back through time. I came here only to do what was necessary. I must be sacrificed for what is necessary,” Ben whispered. “Someone has to die for balance, Master Yoda. The Force chose me this time, instead of my grandfather.”

    An amused expression lined Master Yoda's heavily wrinkled face. “Decide for the Force do you? What know you of its will? Pride, the trappings of youth, it is.” Ben caught the gimmerstick before it could be used to knock the sense into him. “Humility you must learn.”

    Ben had quickly learned not to argue with Master Yoda, but he felt he needed to defend himself. “I have done everything I felt best. And everything that I knew to be right even when I did not wish it to be,” he explained tightly. He turned oceanic eyes, pained as though still a child, to his mentor. “How can you chastise me for that?”

    "Difficult has your path been and lonely, alone you are not now,” Yoda reminded in a gentle mew.

    As truthful as Yoda's words were, Ben still felt wronged by them. “This isn't my time, Master. I don't belong here.”

    “Long for the peace of the Force, do you?” Yoda asked, though it bordered on a statement.

    Ben frowned, creasing the skin between his ruddy brows. “What I long for cannot be. What I've set in motion, if it is to play out as we hope, the life I knew, the people I loved, will forever be changed. Their lives eternally rippled and I wasted away to the Force. Already that has happened. My father and aunt were never to be raised together, yet already their bond is growing.”

    “Things change they do. In motion is the future. In motion is your past.” Yoda rested his chin against the prong of his gimmerstick. Large green-brown, sleep-heavy eyes, watched him. "Frightens you this change does. Cover for it you cannot."

    It was as though Master Yoda's words lifted the floodgates and everything inside him he'd kept locked away under duty and necessity came washing over him. He caught his breath at the stark chill of it and shivered. Since arriving in this time, he'd protected himself in a confidence that had bordered and then crossed the lines of arrogance. Obi-Wan had called him on it after the fight with Anakin and now Master Yoda picked at the recent exposed wound from the lance of truth.

    But as he met Master Yoda's eyes, he only saw the quiet understanding of his father in that heavy gaze. Perhaps his Luke would not be totally changed if he could still capture the silent sympathy of his mentor's eyes.

    “I don't know what I'm doing,” he admitted. “I want to help rebuild the Jedi, but by doing so I might end my own life. I've entered an existence I know only by heresy, with a grandfather I know still carries good in him, but I don't know how to bring out that light. I'm tired and sick and out of place, waiting for my enemy to come out of the shadows. Because the Yuuzhan Vong are here, now, studying their prey, and I can feel the emptiness inside of the Force that they represent. Their proximity pulls at the disease inside of me.”

    “Divided your attention is. One foe you must face before turn to defend against another.” The counsel of his newest Master was hard to ignore. He did have to forget the Yuuzhan Vong now if he were to help save his grandfather and rebuild the Jedi. He wondered if he could, considering that he'd spent his entire life being aware of that cataclysmic void. “Aware you must be, my young Padawan. Speak to Obi-Wan of your sickness you will. Trust this arrogance is gone now.”

    Bowing his head in supplication, Ben agreed, “I will keep him aware of my condition.”

    “Then be prepared you must be,” Yoda ordered

    “Master Kenobi is wondering about you,” Padawan Deirs announced as she walked into the longue.

    They were off, away on a mission that might be the first steps towards a different galaxy. Ben had secluded himself from the rest of the Jedi, having positioned himself before the panoramic display of ebony velvet and twinkling gems. From here, the galaxy didn’t seem so changed, untouched by the terraforming of the Yuuzhan Vong, planets teaming with the life-energy of the Force, and more Jedi than Ben could ever remember sensing in his entire life.

    It was all so foreign, and he had felt terribly alone in this time, but here, where all the changes appeared incredibly superficial, it was as though he had never left his home. The effect was broken as his fellow student had dropped a stone in the pool of his reflection. He closed his eyes, for a moment wishing away the woman he had personally invited on this escapade. But he forced his eyes opened and stilled himself with a deep breath.

    Turning around, he realized for the first time that this girl bore a striking resemblance to his mother. The body of a warrior, the fiery red hair, and the liquid emerald eyes, all reminded him of the mother who had given life and death to him. Had it been that subconscious connection that had propelled him to invite her along, instead of an instinct in the Force? He hoped that he had not put her in a danger she was not prepared for all for his own desire for something familiar. He would never be able to forgive himself for that.

    “I will let him know I’m alright when I change watches with him,” Ben assured her. It was just nice to have a few moments of peace. “I must admit, I’m not used to being in the company of so many beings at once.” He wondered if this was a dangerous lead, he was still so unsure in this time, completely unused to the formality that was shared here.

    She offered him a tentative smile. “You must have been away from the Temple a lot during the war. I was kept home, watching after the children, assisting in their instructionals. Chaos was a certain constant.”

    “It sounds wonderful,” Ben commented. “I’m sorry I dragged you into this. You must miss them.”

    “We go where we are called,” she responded with equanimity.

    He gave a shrewd nod. “Yes, yes, we do. Over any distance, no matter the consequence.”

    “Well, I shall let Master Kenobi know you are alright Padawan Jade,” she said, inching back towards the door, as though sensing his subdued manner.

    “Ben,” he stopped her with his name.

    “Excuse me?”

    “Call me Ben,” he clarified. “I would like us to be friends, Padawan Deirs.”

    She bobbed her head in a sign of acceptance. “Then you must call me Arissa.”

    “That’s a pretty name, Banzintian isn’t it?” he queried, raising a red-gold eyebrow towards her.

    Confusion morphed her usual open expression. “I would not know. Our origins do not determine our present.”

    “No, they do not determine but they do echo. Our pasts resonate through us and they are things we cannot escape,” Ben countered gently. Emotion tightened his chest and gut, making him gasp for air. He pushed it away, turning from those memories that would forever haunt him and facing the hope of the future. “What did...Master Kenobi want?”

    Thrown at the change of subject, Arissa never the less quickly adapted. “I think he was just worried about you. You are young to be included in such a dangerous mission.”

    Ben found this statement as odd. From what Obi-Wan had told him, Padawans started working throughout the galaxy since they were chosen. Albeit, many of them dealt with political machinations, but those could be the most dangerous from what his father had explained. When power over people was involved, the danger to those who sought to disrupt that power shot faster than an ion cannon.

    “We are low on allies at the moment, I’m sure that is the only reason that I was allowed to attend,” Ben altered the truth, using Obi-Wan’s ability to tell it from a certain point of view. “And I can be quite persuasive when I wish to.”

    Folding her arms over her chest, she gave him a questioning look. “You wanted to come on a mission that included a traitor like Skywalker?”

    Restraining the agitation that seemed to be bubbling just below the surface, Ben contrived a nonchalant shrug. “I had an opportunity to get to know Anakin before he went dark. I think...I hope that there is a way to bring him back to the light. That the Chosen One can perform that which he was prophesied for.”

    “I’ve got the feeling that there is more to you then meets the eye, Ben,” Arissa pondered out loud. “Most Jedi around here speak of vengeance.”

    “They have things to cling to, hopes of a brighter day. To them, Anakin is a barrier to what they need What does a Jedi protect when there is no Republic?” Ben knew his words as truth as he spoke them, had seen similar reactions in the few Jedi that had been turned over to the Vong by their own people. Darkness had been a disease that even the Jedi could not be freed from, no matter what Luke tried. “The Sith stole the one thing we have allowed ourselves to become attached to.”

    He could feel Arissa’s emotions rolling off of her and nearly overpowering him. Perhaps she was not as weak as others had believed her to be. Those feelings seemed to echo his words. A part of her also yearned for the revenge that she also detested.

    Swallowing, she looked at him with emerald eyes fighting for control. “Why do...why do you feel differently?”

    “We all deal with loss in our own ways. Anger at injustice is not wrong, it fuels our need to do right. My former Master used to tell me that I needed to understand my feelings first, then search through the Force for the best way to respond to them. And something tells me that Anakin Skywalker does not need to be our enemy.”

    “You’re a better Jedi than I,” she said. “In more ways than this.”

    He shook his head, gave her a wry smile. “Different circumstances, different lessons. I’ve never known peace, you grew up in it.”

    “Is that why you’re so…,” she struggled for words.

    “Sarcastic son of Hutt,” Ben offered.

    She bit back on a laugh. Ben couldn’t help but think he’d like to make her do that again. “I was going to say difficult sometimes.”

    He shrugged. “I spent most of my apprenticeship in the field. And the last year of that alone after my Master died. I’m afraid I’m not used to being around so many other people, let alone other Jedi.”

    “That must have been lonely,” she said.

    “I work better alone. Most of the time anyway.”

    “Then why invite me along?” she asked. She narrowed her gaze at him. “Look, I know I’m not the most powerful Jedi, not even now with our numbers thin. With the war and the implications of the Sith, they didn’t send too many initiates unchosen to the agri-corps. I’m here out of default. You don’t really need me.”

    “To get the job done I expect to do? No, I probably don’t. But that’s not the point. The Force wants you along. Which means, there’s something the rest of us won’t see. The mission that lies beneath the mission, the small things that mean the world to the supposedly insignificant.”

    “But the mission is to save the Republic, yes?” she asked.

    “There is no Republic to save,” Ben countered. “Probably won’t be one for some time. That’s something the Order needs to come to terms with. As of right now, you’re fugitives. Eventually, the senate will come around, the people in general will make them. You’ll rebel.”

    She put a hand on his arm, making him look at her more fully. He felt a thrill at the touch. He and Anakin had fought, Obi-Wan wasn’t very demonstrative in his affection, physically or verbally, and Yoda liked to show his by knocking him senseless with a gimmerstick. Save for Padme, this was the first gentle, friendly touch he’d received.

    “You talk as though you won’t be around to see it all, but you see it so clearly.”

    He tried to laugh, but it sounded forced to his own ears. “You know, young Jedi, full of difficulties,” he said giving her a pointed look. “Dangerous times. And I’m really an idiot sometimes.”

    “I don’t think Master Yoda trust dangerous missions to an idiot. No matter how desperate we are.”

    Ben put a hand over the one she had on his other arm. “See, I told you. You see the small things that mean the world to the insignificant.”
    Lordban likes this.
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Enjoyed both conversations immensely! =D= Full of candor and compassion. :D Ben has Luke's ability to see the value of points that he previously did not or denied when they're pointed out. He also inspires warmth and honesty. [face_thinking] Arissa is a good confidante.
  11. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Ben is his father's son but often sounds like his mother.

    Chapter 17

    There had never been so great a silence between them, an encompassing void that chilled Obi-Wan to the very core. Once there had been dry jokes, quick witticisms, and amiable conversation on the long journeys between systems, occasionally, more frequent than Obi-Wan would have liked there had been arguments, loud refusals, harsh rebuttals. But even then, there had been a sense of friendship, of loyalty to one another that had made the disagreements not so terrible.

    Jedi were not supposed to ponder on 'what ifs' but he could not but wish that he could go back to that time, do something, change something that would have prevented his boy from becoming the one thing that Obi-Wan truly detested. The Sith had taken his Master and Palpatine had now stolen his apprentice away. There had never been a being he could admit to hating, all except the Emperor to the new order.

    The odious man tainted his memories. Kind words spoken in a chocked voice during Qui-Gon's mourning ceremony, now mocked Obi-Wan. Memories of numerous missions with Anakin, each given personally by the Supreme Chancellor. Had the Sith Master been plotting his way to Anakin even then? Had every good and honorable thing that he and Anakin had performed in the name of the Republic been all a part of an elaborate ruse to destroy it? An unknowing pawn in a game of power, Obi-Wan vowed never to let himself be used so horribly again.

    His glance fell back to Anakin, supposedly asleep, and only one thought pierced through all the hatred for the Sith. He wanted his boy back.

    Funny how one event as the fight on Mustafar could change his whole view of things. Just a season ago, he would never have thought to identify Anakin as his. Every Jedi, from Initiate to Master belonged to the Order. He’d been forced to admit many truths he’d kept hidden.

    “I know you're not sleeping,” Obi-Wan whispered into the silence of the darkened room.

    Without pause, Anakin shifted on the bunk to face him. The scare he'd received during a fight with General Grievous stood out red and stark on his still boyish features. “I have to endure your presence, that does not mean I have to confer with it.”

    Patience, Obi-Wan thought, trying his best to squelch the instant rage that filled him. The anger was only a mask for his pain. He knew it and diminished himself by giving into it.

    “I wish I could make things better,” Obi-Wan mused aloud.

    Anakin had been turning back to the metallic wall of their quarters. He stopped, his body propped up on one arm, his elbow crooked as though even his muscles had been shocked by Obi-Wan's words. “Jedi do not wish,” he spat out.

    “I do. Strange isn't it. There is nothing I can do about the past, nothing there is to make everything better again, and yet, I wish I could,” the Jedi Master admitted gently.

    Anakin completed his turn, his mind and body recovering from his temporary shock. “Do not talk of regrets realized too late. I will not be swayed by them. There is nothing that I wish changed. I am what I am finally meant to be.”

    “You didn't always feel this way,” Obi-Wan countered.

    “I've grown wiser,” Anakin replied.

    The door sputtered open, revealing Ben, saving both Obi-Wan and Anakin from further discomfort. He was relieved to see the boy, despite the fact he’d sent Padawan Deirs’ to check on him, he had worried that Ben's illness had ravaged at him once again. He had given Master Yoda his word that he would look after his new apprentice. The description of Ben's disease had not been easy to swallow, something that actually destroyed midi-chlorian's could render the entire Jedi population useless.

    “Am I interrupting something?” Ben asked, instantly picking up on the tension that had become as thick as smog on the lower levels of Coruscant.

    “No,” Obi-Wan said, levering himself out of his own bunk. “I'd like to speak with you.” He glanced at Anakin. “In private.”

    Ben searched his features, those oceanic eyes tossing waves. “Alright.”

    They went right outside the hall, Obi-Wan taking the effort to lock the door behind them. He did not want any possibilities of another fist fight breaking out between Anakin and his future grandson. Ben's worry rolled off of him in stuttered waves. It was disconcerting feeling a presence as powerful as Ben's wink in and out, wavering as though he might disappear entirely. It reminded him of that moment as Qui-Gon’s life slipped away even as Obi-Wan held him in his arms.

    “What’s wrong?” Ben asked anxious behind him.

    “Nothing. I was concerned for you, wanted to make sure you were feeling well,” Obi-Wan dodged the truth.

    Waving a hand down the length of him, Ben said, “Picture of health. Well as close as one can be who is fated to die here. Now will you tell me what’s really wrong?”

    “Be careful with him today, Ben. I’m asking you not to antagonize him, not to force him to face the darkness in him,” Obi-Wan instructed. “Don’t give him any reason to finish what you two started on Nathenea.”

    Incredibly confused, Ben’s frown was far too deep for one so young. “Yeah, okay, but he wouldn’t have killed me.”

    “How can you be so sure?” Obi-Wan asked evenly. Anakin had been so close to nearly killing him on Mustafar, why would he not nearly destroy his future grandson?

    “I offered him a choice. I stood before him and I told him that he could kill me, or he could start to make his own choices. No longer be a slave. He hesitated Obi-Wan,” the boy said this with such hope and youthful enthusiasm that the scars on his face seemed to melt away. The Jedi Master saw the boy as he was meant to be, not the hardened warrior who had lived too long on just survival. “He hesitated when he could have fulfilled the Emperor’s commands. There is still good in him.”

    “I cannot tell you how much I want to believe that, but Ben...there’s no evidence that he’ll come back.” If he’d taken his own lightsaber and had impaled himself on it, it could not have pained him more than these words.

    “There’s the future,” Ben countered hurriedly.

    Obi-Wan shook his head. “We’ve changed the future.”

    “Why are you saying this?” Ben demanded. “Why are you trying to make this impossible? Do you not believe in anything anymore, Obi-Wan?”

    A stillness fell over him. He no longer believed that justice would win out, he no longer believed in right eventually triumphing over evil. Those things he’d lost along the many missions he’d been called upon to serve since he was little more than a young boy on the brink of manhood. But his sense of truth and freedom, those things had been dissolved away, his confidence in purpose had died when Anakin had become Vader.

    “There is only the Force,” he whispered to himself more than to Ben.

    “I know what you’re going through, Obi-Wan, I do. Everything that was precious and right in your world has been stripped from you. I know it, because I’ve been there, and I lost hope. I had resigned myself to the fact that there was nothing to be done about the Vong. But the Force sent me here.” Ben’s voice revealed the desperation of those times. “After my father died, I didn’t know what else to do. I had let him die because I believed there was a purpose. My father did. Please do not tell me he died for nothing?”

    In so many ways, Ben’s own plight after the death of Luke Skywalker reminded Obi-Wan of the time directly after Qui-Gon’s death. He had been thrown in a world he had felt hardly prepared for and had to feel his way around. How had Ben stumbled onto time traveling? How had he survived alone in a world that hunted his kind like nerfs? All because on one whim of the Force.

    He ran a hand over his beard. “You cut me off last time I brought this up, but I need you to hear me. If Anakin will not be turned back, if he is stuck in this half-life, I need you to accept you have in you a bloodline that can destroy Palpatine.”

    “I’m not the Chosen One,” Ben said evenly

    “Neither is he,” Obi-Wan snapped.

    He turned away from the piercing gaze of the young Jedi. He took several ragged breaths, closing his eyes to calm the sudden rage in his heart. Calm, he needed to remember to keep his clam. With time the hurt, pain and anger became easier to restrain.

    “You’ve been too worried about him, too worried about me,” Ben said softly. “Have you talked to anyone about Anakin’s betrayal?”

    “There’s nothing to say,” Obi-Wan replied. “I’m doing my duty, Ben.”

    “Shav, duty, Obi-Wan. We can’t do this, unless you’re right. I thought I had convinced you. Maybe mentally, you know I’m right.” Ben slapped the space on his chest where his heart resided. “But here. I don’t think I’ve reached you. What can I do to help you?”

    Obi-Wan shot him an annoyed look. “I’m supposed to be looking after you.”

    “It doesn’t mean that it can’t go both ways,” Ben said, peering up at him. “I think you’ve been on your own just as much as I have Obi-Wan. Maybe we both need to let go of our pride and reveal our fears to one another.”

    “Fears?” Obi-Wan asked. “You?”

    “Come on,” Ben said. “I’m not exactly one to put my heart out for somebody to stomp on. But I trust you, Obi-Wan. And I hope you can trust me.”

    Obi-Wan wasn't sure if he could do what Ben wanted, but he was willing to try. Notwithstanding Yoda's admonitions on trying, it would at least be a start.
  12. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Nov 9, 2000
    I am definitely going to keep an eye on this.

    Poor Ben.
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb! So poignant! Ben is so balanced and optimistic moreso than not. Obi-Wan is not able to believe in anything, no grand abstractions, included. [face_thinking] But he does raise a valid point as well: if Anakin chooses not to relinquish this path he's begun on, then other undesirable options will have to be dealt with. =D=
  14. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Welcome aboard.

    I always felt Obi-Wan was never rally given a chance to mourn. I know you can't always do everything in a film. So that's the great hing about fan fiction.

    Chapter 18

    A persistent and somewhat erratic banging woke Anakin from his fitful sleep. Thinking it nothing more than just his former Master switching shifts with his future grandson, Anakin tried to tune it out and get back to sleep. After several minutes of the insistent pounding, Anakin growled and pushed off his bunk ready to take off the next head he saw. He discovered quickly that it wasn't from Obi-Wan that the thumping sound was coming, but from Ben.

    His future grandson was twitching violently on the bunk, his head hitting the bulkhead in that repeated and off rhythm manner that he had mistaken for Obi-Wan's insistent knocking. Ben's Force-signature winked in and out, more and more weakly, until Anakin suspected it would disappear entirely.

    The young Sith Lord now had a choice to make. He could just stand by, watch and feel the life slip out of his future grandson, or he could move to help. The Emperor had given him strict orders to rid them of this danger or to turn Ben to their cause. His future grandson had even admitted to him that he felt the pull of the Dark Side, felt it sing to him, and had been desolate when Anakin had joined its dark chorus. As if he feared it was inevitable to become as his grandfather had become.

    He envisioned Ben's life so far, the constant running, never knowing if your life was to be the next one to be stamped out and end the chain of Force wielders that had existed since the energy field had been revealed. The boy was ripe with self-indignant hatred and loathing for those who had come before him, who had failed him and had not been able to protect what was still a child. How easy would it be to prey upon that hatred? What trigger would it take to let that out?

    And what dangers were there to him, if Anakin did manage it? He knew as well as any Jedi, that there would only be one Master and one apprentice amongst the Sith. Would Ben inadvertently usurp him in the Emperor's sight?

    Again, he waged a war with himself, staring down at the boy who was his connected to him by a son who he had only glimpsed once, a boy who was his through blood. Just as he had been his mother's. Desperately he fought to keep the image of her prone form in his arms, the scars and blood that had been inflected upon her by the animals of the desert, but they would not cease to flow through his mind’s eye.

    These memories made him weak, invoked feelings that could be exploited. Buried deep in the nexus of his mind, they needed to be, hidden from all who may use them against him. Yet he had just entered the ranks of the Sith and what he had been easy to dismiss in the heated flames of his anger, could not be vanquished in the lethargy of his current state. Anger could slough off you quickly when there was nothing to do about it.

    Now he had his opening and was paralyzed with indecision. To save, to change, to let die. What was the right choice? And now that the choice fell to him, what would be his decision? He did not know.

    And then Ben spoke. “Dad,” he grunted. “Dad, please. You can't leave me here alone.” Pain tightened the young Jedi's words and despite himself, Anakin reached out to grasp the flailing hand searching for a father who did not quite exist in this time.

    “I'm here,” he said in a whisper.

    Tears had seeped through the tightly clenched eyelids and Ben forced his eyes open, even as his body continued to rock out of control. He smiled crookedly up at Anakin, his eyes dazed by tears. “I wanted you to come, but I doubted that you could. But the Force let me come back. It's going to let me fix things.”

    Tremors vibrated up through their linked hands and Anakin had to fight the need to let go. “What happened to you, my son?” In the darkness of the cabin, the red-gold hair was erased, and he could imagine that it was Luke's hand he was holding right then. That it was the boy's father, the son of the son.

    “Poisoned,” he said on a trite laugh. “The Yuuzhan Vong killed off the last of the Jedi in our time, I am dying slowly. Bit by bit.” Shudders trembled down the length of strong, sturdy, body. “How is Mom? Does she know how much I miss her?”

    He tried to extract his hand then, not comfortable with this shared emotion, but Ben clung to him like a space slug to a rusted hull. All he had to do was let the hand drop, let this boy, who reminded him so much of himself, fall into a sleep from which he would never return, but he could not.

    “She knows,” he said tersely, his throat becoming as clogged as Ben's. He cleared it, trying to force out all the emotions, positive or negative and let the Dark Side fill him. But it would not come, not the in the wake of Ben's waving light. This time he did not think to let go of his future grandson. “You need to rest.”

    “Can't. There is so much to be done. So much. I've met him, Dad. I've met your father,” Ben stumbled over his words, squeezing the Anakin's mechanical right hand, until the recently crowned Sith was sure that he could hear the gears creaking with the strain. But there was no pain. Why could he not block out the more emotional aspect of Ben's private torture, as he did the physical manifestations? “He's hurt, just as I am, and he needs my help.”

    “You must heal yourself first,” Anakin expressed urgently, as Ben's presence disappeared once again.

    Fear screwed up Ben's features further, twisting the restrained pain, into a horrific mask of desolation. “I'm dying too soon,” he cried out. “That's why you came, isn't it? That's why I can feel you?”

    Anakin's live hand, vulnerable flesh and life-giving blood clasped the other side of Ben's own, engulfed in the caricature of wiring and metal. Now he could feel the sweaty heat of his grandson, could feel the void in a system that should have been full of midi-cholorians by the strength of his blood. He had never felt anything like it and realized that the threat that Ben had been trying to convince him of had been evident in his own grandson. Yet Ben had never uttered a word.

    “Heal yourself, Ben. That's why I'm here,” Anakin repeated softly to him. “Heal yourself.”

    Suddenly Ben's Force-essence surged over him, as though a damn had been broken loose and he was caught in the strength of the overflow. He gasped, searching for a breath he did not need. It was as though he were being pulled a part a piece at a time and those pieces were being caught in the grit of a sandstorm. But beyond this overwhelming discomfort, Ben changed. The flickering of his essence slowed and steadied, until he felt as he had always portrayed himself a strong youth in the Force.

    Anakin had expected it to stop then, but Ben's power increased, sucking at him as though Ben were a baby seeking sustenance. The young Sith soon believed that it would never end, when abruptly Ben sighed, his body still, falling back against the cushion of his bunk. Fast asleep or in a healing trance, Anakin could not quite tell.

    His own mind dizzy with the assault, Anakin feel to his knees as he headed towards his own bunk. Cautiously, he placed his head on the bed and let unconsciousness sweep over him.

    Coming back to consciousness, Ben automatically knew something had shifted in the Force and inside himself. His body no longer ached with the constant struggle to withhold the Yuuzhan Vong poison coursing through his blood. In fact, as he searched for the familiar void that had become a constant companion in the last few months and could not find it. He was devoid of the venom of the Vong.

    Forcing his eyes open, he saw that he was not alone in the room. Anakin lay asleep on the bunk opposite, while Obi-Wan had manufactured a makeshift headrest out of a piece of med-monitoring equipment, keeping a wary eye on the both of them. Relief purged the fatigue from his azure eyes as they fell upon the recently conscious Jedi apprentice.

    "How are you feeling?" Obi-Wan asked, his gaze raked over Ben to make sure he had not changed in any way as he had waited.

    Ben smiled happily, feeling a weightlessness in limb and mind. “Better than I have in a long time. I'm healed."

    Confused, Obi-Wan shook his head. "Excuse me?"

    "I'm healed. The Vong poison, it's gone." Ben found it hard not to cheer. But in the next moment he stiffened, as memory and realization dawned. His face fell into shadow and loneliness clenched his heart. "I was supposed to die here," he murmured to himself.

    "Ben. You aren't making any sense. Start from the beginning. What happened?" Obi-Wan ordered gently. "Did Anakin try to hurt you?"

    For a moment Ben felt offended by his words, but quickly realized that after everything Obi-Wan had experienced with his former apprentice, how easy it would be to come to this conclusion. He sat up in the medical bunk, his mind wondering at the ease in which his body moved now.

    "No, he didn't hurt me," Ben assured, wagging his head and delighting in the absence of the accustomed nausea.

    Where his heart soared with the sudden return of health, his mind despaired at the cost of it. He would be stuck in this time, possibly forever now. An outcast in a world he could not quite fit in. And he had done it by inadvertently taking from Anakin what would have been freely given by Luke.

    He pillowed his head in his hands, wishing to blot out the terrible and irreversible crime he had committed. "What have I done?" he moaned, unable to move past the horror of it. What would Anakin think of him now? How could he possibly convince his grandfather that he truly wished to help him now that he had violated him so thoroughly.

    "Ben, stop this. There is no use on dwelling on something you cannot change," the Jedi Master hissed urgently. "Look at me."

    Unable to deny the voice behind the command, a promise he'd made to Master Yoda still fresh in his mind, Ben turned his eyes to Obi-Wan. The confusion had been stolen from the Jedi Master's face and in its place was open acceptance. Running from the Yuuzhan Vong for the past two years, it had been a small effort to hide his feelings, to let them be buried underneath what needed to be done. He doubted he could ever reach the Jedi calm that his father, Obi-Wan, and Master Yoda had exhibited. No wonder they had been so adamant about continuing his training.

    “Now tell me. What’s happened?” Obi-Wan said, once he felt Ben calm down.

    Survival Ben knew, the might of the Force and its limits, he knew as well, but this delicate manipulation of it, he could not dream of. There had been so much his father had had to cut short to make sure his son lived. Here amongst all these people, it was a thousand-fold more difficult. It had never bothered him before, but suddenly with the possibility of a lifetime in a universe that was not his own, he needed to know he could achieve what, Obi-Wan, Master Yoda, and his father had excelled at.

    “I had another fit, I remember waking up with the pain.” He swallowed as remembered agony lodged in his throat. “It was more than I have ever experienced. I couldn’t blot it out, the Vong they must have been close, and I was caught in another seizure.”

    Obi-Wan sighed. “I shouldn’t have left you alone. I thought I felt something was amiss.”

    “No. It was my fault. I was delirious, and I called out for my father. Anakin must have woken up, because I felt a hand take mine, a mechanical hand. Just like my father’s.” Tears threatened to pool and spill over his lids, but he held them at bay. “And he answered my wild pleas, soothed my fears.”

    A battle waged inside Obi-Wan. The Jedi Master so wanted his fallen apprentice to behave as Ben had described, wanted to know the boy he raised was not gone forever, but there was a wary caution to him now. He was as afraid to believe, as he was afraid of the lie.

    “He asked me why I was sick, and I told him. I thought it was my father, even with my eyes wide opened, muddied with tears, I could have sworn it was him. Anakin told me to heal myself,” Ben continued his narration. “He told me that’s why he was here. And I took from him what should have been freely given.”

    “What did you take, Ben?” Obi-Wan asked, his words heavy with portent.

    Luke looked down at his boy, worn to a near skeletal figure by the running, hiding, and surviving for the one purpose of finding a way to end the Yuuzhan Vong occupation and restore the galaxy to life energy it had held before. He knew deep down that they would have to move again, that these few precious hours of sleep for Ben would be disturbed by another Vong agent tracking them down, wishing to destroy the Skywalker and Jedi lines in one swoop.

    He took Ben’s hand, as he sat down on his haunches, feeling the shudder of cold and fatigue against the artificial nerves of his prosthetic hand. He placed the other hand against the heated brow scrunched up in concentrated sleep. Fourteen-years-old and already fighting a war that had long since been deemed a lost cause. The toll was evident on Ben.

    “Ben, my son,” he whispered into the precious ear as the boy was reposed. “You need to heal yourself.”

    “Can’t,” the boy muttered. “Too tired.”

    Luke took his hand away from Ben’s forehead and used it to clasp the exposed flesh of Ben’s captured hand. “Then take from my strength, my son. Take what is needed.”

    “I thought he was my father, with every gesture,” Ben explained on a whisper. “And I took what I needed to heal myself.” With unmeasured sorrow, he looked at Anakin’s prone form. “He couldn’t possibly forgive me for that.”

    Patiently, Obi-Wan had listened to his story and his silence was thoughtful. “I don’t know what to say. You’re healed, Ben. I can feel the difference in you, the power that had been slowly drained from you, restored. If Anakin cannot fulfill his duty, then perhaps you can.” An aggravated hand raked over his tired features. “You have the blood of the Chosen One, the essence of the Force, more than any other Jedi. But you are so young.”

    “It’s has to be him, Obi-Wan. I know you have doubts, I know he has hurt you and those you’ve loved best in ways that are unforgivable, but he is the Chosen One.”

    Obi-Wan gazed heavenward, searching for some divine intervention, something that would give him the path he desired. Ben had seen him do this several times since they had captured Anakin on Mustafar. “You still believe that, don’t you? He destroyed the Temple. He and the Emperor’s troops.” Speech came in a harsh stutter, watered with restrained tears. “He willingly became what I have despised my entire life.” He swallowed, and his voice was only slightly improved. “You think the Chosen One of the Force could do such a thing?”

    “Humanity hasn’t been completely stolen from him,” Ben argued, leaning away from his pillowed back rest. “He may not have expected the healing, but he wanted me healed, Obi-Wan. The Emperor’s order would have been executed without Anakin lifting a finger. And yet he countered it. If he does come around, he’ll need you.”

    Obi-Wan’s eyes widened to the size of a Calamarian’s. “Me?” His laugh was painfully bitter. “I think you overestimate my influence on him. I wonder now if I ever had any to begin with.”

    “The toughest part of turning away from the Dark Side is dealing with the pain of what you have done. Once you start down the dark path, it is easier to tell yourself that it was the only path you had because then you don’t have to deal with the horror of your sins.” There was nothing more important to Ben there in the med bay of the ship, then to convince Obi-Wan of this point. “If and when it happens, Obi-Wan, he’ll want you there. Part of him will push you away, but another part, possibly minute, will need you to ease his pain.” He gave a wearied smile. “All sons want the pride of their fathers.”
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  15. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Nov 9, 2000
    Living with the consequences of what you've done is, indeed, a lot harder than dying in repayment for them...
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    WOW! =D= =D= That was amazing! [face_dancing] I'm not sure Ben actually "took" anything. I think, it feels like, Anakin participated, even if involuntarily. :)
  17. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Oh, yeah, and if Anakin does go to the light, he will feel it.

    It's all from Ben's point of view. Right now, he and Anakin still kind of see each other as being on opposite sides. Not something you'd usually do for an enemy.

    Chapter 19

    He had forgotten how to feel in record time, had pushed away all feelings to the world around him for the power that Palpatine had promised. As quickly as he had risen to the place of infinite denial, he had become comfortable with the numbness of the Dark Side. He had carried no responsibility, nothing to hold him back from the ultimate power of the Force. More a tool than a being bound to the thoughts and actions litigated to those of sentience. It had been the only way for him to slay that which he had hesitantly grown to love.

    The fight with Obi-Wan had punctured a hole in his cold barriers, the sight of his children, a boy and a girl so very much like their parents, and a grandson that would steam from the son that had needed him more than anything the other night, had all caused him to feel the stirrings of weakness that should be denied a Sith Lord. Ben had shattered it the most, for whatever he had done to cause Anakin to pass out, it had also connected him to his grandson on a level he had never felt before.

    Love, dependency, both had radiated off of Ben and had infused Anakin until he could not, or dared not, push it away. It had been the emotions of a son for a father. Something that Luke could not quite reciprocate to him. Now that he had felt it from Ben, he wanted it from his son and from his daughter. As he had once yearned for the touch of his mother's hand, the kindness of her smile. He wanted to bestow those to his children as she had done to him, as Luke would have to Ben.

    He had chosen the path to the Dark Side in a moments decision, to save what he had come to nearly annihilate completely. Now he realized belatedly, that there was no way back to becoming what he he'd once been. That nine-year-old who had left with Qui-Gon Jinn and dreams of being a hero, seemed an entirely different person now. The temptation of power was too overwhelming for him to let go for something as fleeting as love. Power endured.

    These thoughts had plagued him since he had woken from the aftermath of revelation. He now knew that the threat Ben had spoken of, was not some mild threat, nor even the terrible devastation of the Clone Wars. The Yuuzhan Vong would robe the galaxy of the Force, as they had nearly robbed it from Ben. His previous assertion that Palpatine and the power of the Dark Side paled when there was no light or dark to choose from. He'd felt the void inside Ben and could not imagine not having the Force a constant inside of him.

    So where did that leave him now? In between the light and the dark, afraid to move towards one or the other, unsure of which he was meant for, and if any could survive the purging of the Force by the extragalactic travelers that his future grandson spoke of.

    Such was his musings when Ben walked in hesitantly, and expression of utter chagrin and apology on his scarred face. Anakin sensed the changes in his immediately. Where Ben had always looked hard, lean, and fragile, there was a softness to limb, as though his body had been replenished of something long denied, and where his eyes hand pinched with fatigue they were now a cyclic ocean.

    Ben had been healed and was now stronger than before.

    "I'm glad to see you awake," Ben said by way of greeting. "I was beginning to get worried."

    "Were you?" Anakin said blankly. He did not know how to react now. He could not raise the anger inside himself with Ben standing right before him. Nor could he allow weakness to threaten.

    "Anakin, grandfather, I never meant to hurt you," Ben began in a rush. "I would never have stripped healing power from you, unless I thought it was given freely. And I came to apologize for my actions. There is no excuse for what I have done."

    "What do you ask?" the elder Skywalker said.

    Ben frowned, his brow furrowing with the facial gesture. "Nothing. I just wanted to let you know that I'm sorry. I don't expect you to forgive me."

    Not so long ago, Ben would have made some challenging remark about the path Anakin had chosen. Now, he just admitted his fault and expected nothing. Something had passed between them that night, an understanding that both wanted to free, but neither knew quite how. And more and more, Anakin knew he should not feel these emotions and that Ben brought them out in ways he could not block.

    Weaving a barricade around him, he turned away from his future grandson. “You should not apologize. You are the grandson of the Chosen One. Take what you desire.”

    “I would never desire this,” Ben objected defensively. “A Jedi is meant to protect, all I've known is survival. But I would never have hurt you purposely.”

    Anakin snorted. “You didn't.”

    He could feel Ben's confusion, the sense of being put off his equilibrium. Whatever strength it had taken to keep the ailment in Ben contained and was not released, had opened up a number of emotions inside the younger Skywalker that Anakin had been blinded to before. The Force in Ben was like a damn suddenly chinked away to release the tide it'd been holding at bay. Was this how he had felt to Qui-Gon Jinn all those years ago?

    "But I could have," Ben admitted. And even the Chosen One could agree to that. He had been totally tossed asunder in the hurricane of Ben's need. "I also wanted to thank you," continued the young Jedi with some trepidation. There was a twinge in his sense, that told Anakin that Ben was not as grateful as he wanted to be. He feared being healed.

    "We will reach Wayland soon," Ben attempted another avenue to get his future grandfather to open up. "By 0700. Will you be well enough to come along?"

    "That's not the question you want to ask me," Anakin countered. "You want to know if I want to come along. That I won't be a risk to your rebellion."

    "It is important," Ben agreed. "But I can't make you see the light."

    Yes, but you put it inside of me, you made me feel, Anakin wanted to rage at the boy, but then that would mean admitting what Ben had given him, when he had taken healing strength from him. "No you can't." But I still see it in you.

    "I'll be there. What other choice do I have?" Anakin intoned, feeling that somehow the Force was directing him to this point. Still unsure if was to continue his path in darkness or to find the light once again.

    A heavy sigh escaped out of his future grandson. "I wish you wouldn't do that. You always have a choice, Anakin. You are the controller of your own destiny. The good and the bad, you decide how you react to it."

    "How can you say that? After everything that's been done to you." Been done to us.

    He felt rather then saw Ben shrug. "Hope. It's the one thing I've had to cling to in nearly three years. And I hope now, more than ever, that you remember who you are Anakin Skywalker. Or at least discover who you are. Perhaps you were never allowed that opportunity. I hope that my father will get to know you and that you will once again take Padme in your arms. That you might let Obi-Wan ease the pain in you."

    Anakin's jaw clenched at the name of his former Master, whether in angered pain or bitter sorrow, he could not distinguish which it was. He and Obi-Wan could never go back again. They could not erase that soul-shattering battle on Mustafar, could not forgive past wrongs. Ben, perhaps, was too young to see this.

    "I'm eighteen today," Ben stated suddenly. "Or would have been in my time. My father told me that the anniversary of your birth was a chance to start anew. I would give that opportunity to you Anakin. And I hope you take it."

    Arissa hefted one of the supply bags on the hover sled. They were trying to keep a low cover, but the masters weren’t sure how long they’d have to stay on Wayland before they made their strike on Palpatine’s storehouse.

    Ben Jade was next to her, as he’d been most of the time recently. He treated her and her abilities with respect, but his intensity about everything was strange for a Jedi. Then there were the feelings he’d sparked inside of her – warmth, confidence, terror, laughter and a simple joy. Unlike any Jedi she knew, he captivated her and caused her to worry. Though it looked like the Jedi were considering being more lenient when it came to personal relationships, she still had been taught most of her life, that a Jedi could not know authentic love, attachment.

    Perhaps the most frightening thing was that he seemed to share her feelings, though she couldn’t be sure. After all, he was such a bundle of contradictions. A Jedi, who didn’t seem to fear the Dark Side or the Sith. Even she could feel that he had secured himself in the light, but sometimes the things he said were full of dark portents and clouded emotion.

    She clasped her hands together and ran one thumb over the other. It was an old habit, a way to bring her peace and calm when even the Jedi Order didn’t seem very welcoming. That was one thing she shared with Skywalker, an outcast from the peers. She not powerful enough and he too emotional. Not enough to be useful, not tame enough to be worthy.

    A hand touched her arm and she looked startled into Ben’s face. “You okay?” he asked, a line of concern forming between his eyebrows.

    She ignored the electricity his fingers caused on her skin. “Yes,” she said, shooing her previous thoughts away with a laugh. “Just thinking.”

    “If you’re sure,” he said, disbelief heavy in his voice. He didn’t press it though. Another thing she liked about him. He had no problem giving her space if she needed it. “It looks like we’re done here. Just have to wait for the landing and then the mission is away.”

    She backed away from him, rubbing at her arm where he’d touched, as if she could erase her body’s response to him. “I think I’m going to meditate before we land.”

    “Arissa,” he started, his frown deepening. “Have I done something to offend you?”

    “No, no,” she assured him. “Just want to be prepared. You know, be ready to see what you don’t,” she teased with a wry smile.

    “All right. Just find me before we land.”

    “Sure,” she said. Once I’m back in control. She just needed a little time to think, to find her center again, and then she could face Ben Jade and her alarmingly fast developing feelings.
  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    The crossroadness for Anakin is even more pronounced. Ben wants for him what he also secretly wants: a life with Padme and his children. He still feels the relationship with Kenobi is a lost cause. [face_thinking]
    Then this with Arissa:
    "warmth, confidence, terror, laughter and a simple joy" Yummy! I love the almost-there between them. [face_dancing] This mission will be pivotal for more than one reason. =D=
  19. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Nov 9, 2000
    Tsk, tsk. Those feelings, a Jedi desires not.
  20. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Yeah, Anakin's all over the place. And poor Arissa and Ben. Not really prepared for this.

    Silly kidlets.

    Chapter 20

    "So this is the planet that will bring us back our freedom," Siri said, as she approached the forward viewport, gazing at a mottled blue-green world that stood out like a rare jewel against the backdrop of plush velvet and sparkling diamonds. "Doesn't look like much, does it?"

    "Palpatine is a Master of subtlety," Obi-Wan agreed. "This planet has been skipped over many a time, ignored until one man found a use for it. A man with the knack of pulling what he desires from all around him."

    "Obi-Wan, none of us knew what Palpatine was until it was too late," Siri said, for once not baiting him into another argument. "You can't continue to dwell on this."

    How could he explain to her? He had sat in counsel with Palpatine, never fully trusting the man, as he could never bring himself to trust a politician, but never seeing the true darkness that lay behind a grandfatherly demeanor. For that's what he had appeared to be to Anakin. Palpatine had dotted on Anakin, where Obi-Wan had felt he needed to be severe. Had encouraged faults that Obi-Wan had hoped to work out with the passage of missions and quiet confidences.

    As Yoda had been to him, he had assumed that Palpatine had become a guiding influence for Anakin, when the boy needed something other than his Master's advice. In so many ways, in his youth, he had been very much like Anakin Skywalker, in too many others, they could find no common ground.

    "I should have suspected something. His early interest in Anakin, I put down to the fact that he had miraculously saved Naboo almost single-handedly. But I should have known that the Supreme Chancellor should have had more pressing matters then the progress of a young Jedi Padawan."

    "And while you're at it, why didn't you cure the Feiles Plague and stop hunger on Belixe," Siri countered sardonically. "You can't see and do everything. Not even Yoda saw who he was until it was too late."

    "Yoda had not come face to face with a Sith," he objected darkly. "I felt what resonated off of the one that killed Qui-Gon. The sickening twist of his aura. Why didn't I see it in the Supreme Chancellor that I served for twelve years?"

    Siri's frustration was let out on a growl. "Does it matter?"

    Sadly, deflating with the release of this pressure, he said, "No, I suppose it doesn't."

    "Somethings happened hasn't it?" she asked, gazing at him out of the corner of her eyes, as though she did not want to let Wayland out of her sight.

    Only Siri could read him so easily. Once Qui-Gon and Anakin could, but both were lost in their own ways. She had been his one constant. The one thing he had continually denied himself. "The other sleep cycle, Anakin did something...unexpected."

    “Wow. I mean he's always been so steady,” Siri commented with feigned innocence.

    Obi-Wan was not sure whether he should sigh in defeat of Siri's cunning words or smile at them. Of course, she was well aware of the mixed emotions she could invoke in him and took direct pleasure in making him feel very much like a young initiate. “Do you ever take me seriously?”

    “All the time, but you take yourself too seriously. Sometimes I get the feeling, if you could, you'd organize the Force into your patterns,” Siri jibbed with a saccharin sweet smile. “You're going to explode one of these days.”

    He laughed then, allowing the sound to clean his poisoned soul. If there was a way to take what he needed to heal from Anakin as Ben had, the temptation would be greater than anything the Dark Side could prompt him with. Except he would not take from Anakin, he would give him back the truth of the light, give him back time that has regrettably gone past. Gift to him a Master who might have done better by him.

    He suddenly understood what Siri meant. He demanded of himself things that could not come to pass. Would that he was more like his former Master, a man who could bend with the wind and whip back with an unfaltering sturdiness. Why couldn't life be set up in his nice even rows, where evil did not strike so close to home?

    “Kenobi, we're in a bad place, I'm not going to deny that. But the way I see it, things could have been a lot worse,” she said just behind his shoulder.

    Obi-Wan knew that if ben had not come, he and Yoda would have been the last to stand in a galaxy devoid of Jedi. That he would have protected Luke Skywalker above all else and would have given his life to keep the last hope of the galaxy alive. Strangely, he felt more precarious on this unknown path, where the slightest differential could echo along the years. But for now, they were on a path, whether good or bad, and Obi-Wan would rather walk it then be caught unaware in darkness again.

    “Yes, much worse.”

    Going back fifty-nine years into the past had not changed Wayland from Ben's memory. There was still the heavy warmth to the air, the smell of exotic sweet pollen that itched at his nose. As a child, hiding with his father, he had loved Wayland, living amongst the Noghri and experiencing one of the few times in his young life that he felt truly safe. It was hard not to see his father standing amongst the lush jungle growth, not remember some game he had played with the younger warriors of the tribe. Bitter-sweet memories, but Ben took the moment to indulge in them. To feel connected to a time and a place he would never be a part of again.

    “Are you alright?” Arissa asked him, dismounting from the loading ramp.

    “Yeah, I am,” Ben assured her, turning away from memory and facing his fellow apprentice. “Just touching on the past.”

    Above her, he saw Anakin come down bound in a pair of shackles that Ben knew would take little effort to remove with the Force. Behind Anakin, Obi-Wan, with the rest of their small contingent, descended. It made him smile to see how close Siri Tachi stood next to the Jedi Master. He wondered if Obi-Wan was aware of her feelings for him or his own for her. Perhaps they had both put them away for the sake of the Order. He hoped that in time the Order would understand that love need not be an evil to guard against.

    “Padawan Jade and Deirs, I'm entrusting you to guard our captive,” Obi-Wan said as soon as all the team had gathered a small distance from the ship. Ben flinched as he saw the shock in his fellow apprentice's features. Arissa was very afraid of Anakin, Ben knew this from the times they had spoken during the flight over.

    He gave her a warm smile. “It'll be fine. We just make sure he doesn't trip over anything. Remember he gave us this information.” In a strange twisted way, this was true. If it hadn't been for Anakin, Ben would never have been born. Still he was stretching the truth more then he thought prudent.

    “I don't trust him,” she admitted quietly, her green eyes still wide on Anakin.

    “I'm not asking you to. But trust yourself and me,” he stated. Privately, he wished that Obi-Wan had left the assignment to himself alone. He had wanted more time to spend with Anakin before they reached the Mount and with Arissa he could not voice the questions he wanted to ask.

    With that, he took his place next to Anakin and whispered, “Pretend you’re saying something to me.”

    The ice-colored eyes regarded him skeptically. “What is it you want me to say?”

    Ben nodded and then turned to the rest of the group. “He says that we want to head south-east and to be careful of some of the indigenous people.”

    The others nodded and Obi-Wan, with Siri not even a step behind, lead the group in the direction Ben had given them. Arissa screwed up her determination and with a significant look at Ben, made her way to the other side of Anakin.

    Due to the high mineral levels on Wayland their ship would be adequately concealed from whatever sensors the Emperor had decided to implant. Mainly, Ben knew that even those would be askew this far out from Mount Tantiss itself. The real danger would come when they were in proximity to the mountain warehouse.

    After a while, Ben’s mind began to settle into the pace of their trek, his eyes settled on the terrain, his senses extended out to the atmosphere encircling him. He felt old patterns snap to the forefront of his mind, instincts that had atrophied during his time in this different galaxy, flare to life like a sleeping Prisem flower.

    Being here on Wayland, he felt a familiarity he had not known since his father had died. It was a dangerous feeling, because this time was infinitely different from his own and he could not afford

    to slip up when he was sure that he had begun to make head way with Anakin. Those eyes the color of ice, did not hold the usual icy demeanor that he remembered from first stepping into the time. He himself had changed much because of his relationships with Yoda, Obi-Wan, Padme, and Anakin.

    As he changed this time, it changed him in return.

    No matter how hard he tried to escape this fact, he also knew that his home; his father, mother,

    cousins, aunt and uncle were forever lost to him now. By healing himself, he had signed away

    any right to see them again. The only hope he had was that by his sacrifice they would live to see

    happier times.

    “We're stopping for the night,” Obi-Wan told them, avoiding looking at his former apprentice.

    Anakin knew that look, knew that he was trying to keep his distance, to maintain the Jedi decorum. It was one he'd seen often when Obi-Wan was in the presence of Siri Tachi. They did not look at each other, but everything from their body language to their individual stirrings in the Force, told him that they were completely aware of every move the other made. Just as Obi-Wan was now fully aware of him.

    The trek had not been a grueling one, for Anakin had experienced much worse during his years as a Jedi, but after the days of inaction, he was glad for the reprieve. Cold fresh air was something he had not known he missed until he had stepped out of the recycled environment of the ship and into the live smells of the forest.

    “Knight Celise and Knight Torriet,” Obi-Wan addressed the long-limbed Respirian and the Cerulean. “Please do reconnaissance of the area. Only two of us have been on Wayland before, it's better we get a complete analysis of the surrounding area.”

    Each of the Jedi bowed dutifully before the Jedi Master and glared at Anakin as they went to execute

    Obi-Wan's order. Anakin pretended not to notice. He had been in classes with Celise and had always admired the dexterity of his long limbs. Damn, Ben for making him feel this way again, for making him question what had so perfectly been solidified. Why could he not bury these memories now? He wished to dissolve them in his anger, but something held him back.

    “Jade, Deirs, will you start setting up camp,” Obi-Wan turned to Ben and the young female apprentice that had been helping Anakin navigate the treacherous terrain. Padawan Deirs was more than willing to leave his side, but Ben hesitated, looking between this grandfather and Obi-Wan. “Siri and I will watch after Anakin.”

    “I'm not a babysitter, Kenobi,” Siri snapped, levering the pack from her back and dropping it to the marsh below.

    Obi-Wan rolled his eyes exasperated. “Then help with reconnaissance,” he retorted evenly.

    It was a visible strain for Siri to do as he bid, but eventually she headed in a direction different than that of Celise and Torriet. Obi-Wan watched her go before turning back to the young ones who had been guiding the dangerous Sith. “You have your duties,” Obi-Wan said, his gaze pointed on Ben.

    No, stay, Anakin pleaded mentally. Don't leave me alone with my past. But there was a side of him, that side that was fueled with the darkness of the Sith Lord Darth Vader, that silenced the mental plea from being voiced.

    “Right,” Ben said, his voice measuring. “We'll get right to it.”

    What had Obi-Wan passed to the younger Skywalker in that focused gaze? Perhaps they had both decided that Anakin had outlived his usefulness. They seek to destroy you, a dark sinister part of his mind whispered. You cannot even trust the boy. He is Jedi and you are not.

    Obi-Wan shouldered his pack off, slumped to the ground and rested his back against a tree trunk. The pack he kept tucked close to him. His eyes were shut, blocking the forest around them. Too lackadaisical, as though the man standing above him had not tried to kill him only a few weeks ago.

    “Are you going to stand there glowering all night or are you going to rest?” Obi-Wan asked, without bothering to open his shuttered eyes. “You must be freezing in this weather.”

    Only Obi-Wan and Padme would know his proclivity to warm climates, the need to surround himself in the heat he had been raised as a child in. Padme had often teased him how she would roast in the apartment after he'd been there for a few days and had adjusted the thermostat accordingly. Obi-Wan himself had liked to keep their quarters warm when they had lived together inside the Temple, often complaining that Qui-Gon would have thought the temperature pleasant on Hoth.

    He might have smiled but those memories were best forgotten.

    He turned away from the quiet calm of Obi-Wan and watched Ben and Arissa Deirs set up their individual shelters. Ben did not act as he might have with himself or Obi-Wan. He was much more free in some aspects, reserved in others. He was less burdened with the girl, more full of laughers. Arissa was oblivious to the change in the younger apprentice, she was focusing on organizing their food, but there was something in the way that her green eyes flickered at Ben when he was not looking that told Anakin

    there was more there than either wished to know.

    By his very existence, Ben reminded him of what he had been and what he could never be again. He had been much more outright with Padme, but then he had not traveled back nearly six decades in the past.

    “It will not amount to much,” Obi-Wan broke into his thoughts, still reposed in unguarded rest against the tree.

    “What?” Anakin asked, momentarily forgetting that he did not wish to risk a conversation with his former Master.

    Obi-Wan deigned to open his eyes. “The feelings he has for her. He will not act on them.”

    “Because he's a good Jedi,” spat Anakin harshly.

    “No,” Obi-Wan said with a shake of his head. “For him, love is not forbidden. He has grown with a mother and a father that loved and lost and remained Jedi.”

    “Then why?” Anakin snarled, unhappy that even this joy had been taken from his future grandson.

    Obi-Wan sighed and pushed himself up with the flat of his palms. “Because he doesn't belong here. He knows that and that is why he keeps his distance.”

    “Another Skywalker sacrificed to the will of the Force,” he said this as a curse. “Why must he give up everything to an energy field that has only responded with continued pain?”

    “Is it for Ben or for yourself that you ask this?”

    Anger flared and before he knew what was happening, he had taken Obi-Wan by the collar and had thrown him into the trunk of his tree. “Do not play Master games with me? I don't need you analyzing everything I say.” I do that enough myself.

    “Nothing has changed has it Anakin?” his former Master asked. Even then with his tunic bunched

    inside Anakin's mechanical hand and his feet dangling inches away, there was that unspeakable

    calm. “What you did for Ben was a fluke?”

    Anakin loosened his grip and let Obi-Wan go. “He did it himself.”

    With quick tugs, Obi-Wan straightened his mused tunic. He ran a hand over his mustache and beard, a way to take comfort in a simple gesture. “He thought that you were his father. Why is that? His father was old and worn by age when he died, you are young and virile. Luke Skywalker was killed by an enemy too strong for a fledgling order and yet you took his hand. What could have been in that gesture that made him think you were his deceased father?”

    “He was twitching with the pain in his body, delirious with fever,” Anakin explained unconvincingly.

    “Or he relied on the one thing he still had available to him, his feeling in the Force. And just maybe, he felt the love of a father towards his son,” Obi-Wan narrated in a leading manner. “You've never experienced what is to have someone so completely dependent on you, that when you look at him, even if there is something that is strange, amazing, and slightly unnerving about him, that you can't help but need love and protect him. I think Ben gave you that.”

    “Think what you like. I can't change your perception.” Then with bound hands he pulled a blanket from the pack Siri had dropped and sat a distance away from his former Master.
  21. Lordban

    Lordban Chosen One star 6

    Nov 9, 2000
    Perceptive, Obi-Wan. You do, however, need to remember Yoda has faced a Sith Lord in combat, of considerably higher ability than Darth Maul, in the person of Darth Tyrannus. That's how you were rescued.
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Your dialogues continue to be oomphy and full of insights and hard truths. =D= Siri tries to help Kenobi not to take himself too seriously and Obi-Wan tries to break down Anakin's barriers.

    Gracious, but you nailed Palps' secret to success, that grandfatherly demeanor! :p It took everyone off their guard!

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  23. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Obi-Wan's talking more at the beginning. Before Dooku came into the picture. But yeah, ten years later Yoda does have his encounter with Dooku, but that's after spending ten years with Palpatine. And I always felt the Dooku probably was flaunting it more than anything once Yoda shows up. Almost a mature tantrum if that isn't too much of an oxymoron. He's throwing it in Yoda's face. This is what happens when you don't listen to me. I warned you the Senate was corrupt, now this is what I have to do.

    I think a lot of things could have been avoided it these hard conversations had been made. Sidious I think comes from insidious which means to sort of infiltrate slowly and methodically. He'd been doing this for so long that at first no one notices anythings wrong. One step, then a slightly bigger step. And before anyone knows it he's supreme chancellor. So creepy.
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  24. ZaraValinor

    ZaraValinor Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 31, 2002
    Oops, forgot to post the next chapter.

    Chapter 22

    A sense of anticipation shimmered around the tiny group of Jedi and their Sith captive. Ben felt the energy between each of them sing, even Anakin, who had not spoken or done much since that first night, seemed to be waiting for something big to happen.

    They stood together, huddled under the remaining protection of the trees and gazed up at the towering figure of Mount Tantiss. Again, Ben was hit with a feeling of nostalgia, wishing that his father could have been here with him, helping him guide the grandfather that had become so important to him. He knew that Luke would have been a better influence, calmer and patient with Anakin than Ben had been. Perhaps Anakin would have already been brought to the light with the pull of one who would be his son.

    Ben was so unsure of his own existence now. He had looked forward to his death, the absence of pain and the knowledge that he had died for a good cause, just as his parents before him. Could he live in this time that was decades before his own birth?

    If he had been sent back to bring Anakin Skywalker from the clutches of Darth Vader and then to give his life for the balance of the Force, then why heal him when he was still a distance from his goal? He felt like a man who had lived out his purpose and was denied his rest, floating on a sea of uncertainty, with no destination and thus no end.

    He shook his head, dispelling these maudlin thoughts from a mind that drowned in them too often. There were people counting on him now, he wasn't the lone survivor of an Order that had become extinct once again, he was amongst Jedi who had thousands of years of culture behind them.

    “What's our next move?” he asked, as Obi-Wan came to stand next to him, both their gazes tight on the mountain before them.

    “There doesn't appear to be a great amount of security,” Obi-Wan mused. “Are you sure about its importance?”

    Ben nodded. “My mother said that the Emperor had been gathering this storehouse for years before he took over the Republic. It might not have the cloning cylinders inside yet, but it will have other technology, such as cloaking devices, that will be important to the survival of the Rebellion. Some things, I'd just rather destroy.”

    “We cannot afford to linger long,” Obi-Wan reminded.

    “I know. A larger fleet and the cloaking technology are what we need the most,” he agreed, thankful that they were on the same page. “It'll require a lot of search and grab. Especially for the cloaking field.”

    “Night assault is the best option, though I'm worried about thermal sensors.” His voice glazed over

    then, shifting front Jedi to General mode. “You and Arissa should be our stealth, you both move

    well together.”

    A heated blush brought color to Ben's face and he was thankful that the sun was setting, casting a

    rosy hue to the world around him so that Obi-Wan could not see it. “If that's what you think best,”

    he said evenly, despite the fact that he wanted to argue. The more time he spent with Arissa, the

    more time he wanted to spend with her. But he saw the wisdom in Obi-Wan's choice. They had

    been well suited for each other.

    “You have objections?” Obi-Wan asked gently, bringing him away from his chagrin.

    Ben shook his head. “None that are important.”

    Wisely, Obi-Wan nodded. “You know my Master loved another Jedi, very much. I often believed

    if she had lived they would have married.”

    Blinking in stunned shock, Ben didn't answer for a moment. "That's a little more rebellious then I

    expected from a Jedi Master from this time."

    A mixture of emotion warred for dominance on Obi-Wan's face, a bittersweet memory to be sure.

    Eventually a fond smile won the fight. "Qui-Gon was not afraid to be a little rebellious. In fact, he

    excelled at it." Obi-Wan turned away from the mountain, regarding Ben. "Many times, I've thought

    how much you two would have got along together."

    "It used to bother you, didn't it? His rebelliousness," Ben spoke before realizing how personal this

    question was. He had come to think of Obi-Wan as a friend and a part of the family, he did not want

    to overstep his boundaries now, when everything was still so precarious.

    "He could be both maddening and fascinating," Obi-Wan admitted. "I felt more comfortable in the

    rules, I had tried to diverge once, and it had not ended nicely for me. I guess I haven't changed much

    over the years. I want to know what I should do and when I should do it. Ambiguity has never been

    my strong point."

    Ben frowned with concentration. "But you love Siri."

    Obi-Wan was agape for a moment, startled that Ben had read him so clearly. “We do not speak of

    these feelings,” he said, his gaze turning to the marsh below them.

    “But you do love her, I've seen you two together.” Ben could not think otherwise. “In some ways

    you remind me very much of my father and mother.”

    A sly smile quirked the right side of Obi-Wan's mouth. “Is that why you take every opportunity to

    antagonize Siri?”

    Ben shrugged. “It was a game we used to play before she died. My mother wasn't much for showing

    her affection openly, didn't trust others with her heart, and there were still a number of Jedi hiding

    together in my youth. So, she found other ways, ways that would seem silly to those around us, but

    had special meaning to me. She'd poke fun and I knew she loved me.” He coughed to mask the

    sudden need to sob and shook his head. “I fear I will never see her or the father I knew again.”

    “I am sorry, Ben,” Obi-Wan said, resting a comforting hand on his shoulder.

    He shrugged off Obi-Wan's hand, straightening with dignity. “I've got to get over this. Anakin

    healed me, I'm not going to perish inside the Force. This should be a happy thing.” He gave a

    watery laugh, unable to restrain the lump of emotion forming in his throat. “I've still got work to


    Ben registered the fear in Obi-Wan's eyes as he took notice of the younger Jedi's tears. Jedi weren't

    supposed to show emotion and yet Ben couldn't help himself. He'd been holding this in for three

    years now and felt totally vulnerable in this place that held so much history for his family. He spun

    away from the Jedi Master, ashamed of what he had always kept under control.

    “Ben, I'm not very good at this. Too many find me uncaring and that is because I hold my own

    emotions in so tightly. This was perhaps my greatest fault with Anakin, that I didn't allow myself

    to feel what he felt. But I understand losing someone precious to you. The pain that bubbles up

    inside you and has no outlet. Not even the Force can completely diminish it. But you must not let

    it rule you.”

    “There is no pain, only the Force,” Ben repeated the Jedi Code. “There is no death.” He sniffed and

    pulled his back straight, before facing Obi-Wan again. “He's not completely lost,” Ben turned the

    subject, knowing that Obi-Wan was not just speaking of his deceased Jedi Master. “He's not saved

    yet, but I don't think he's as lost as he once was.”

    “From you he will be saved, I believe that now. But I am to him nothing more than terrible

    memories and denied dreams.” Obi-Wan gave a shuttered breath, those boiling emotions coming

    close to the surface. “And how do I look at him and not see all those he has slain?”

    “Because he is needed,” Ben answered simply. Obi-Wan shot his eyes to the heavens, his head

    weaving from side to side. “Look, Obi-Wan, I know I speak of the days of my father as the golden

    years, but it’s my stilted view of a time I wish to return to. There were many who went to the Dark

    Side those first few years of his Order. He was very much alone and fought the darkness in himself

    as well as his growing students. There were many who came against him, many he was forced to

    kill, and others he welcomed back.”

    “Kyp Durron, one of his renegade apprentices, was enchanted by the spirit of a Sith Lord who gave

    him power and caused him to attack my father, he was nearly killed. Instead he went into a sort of

    stasis. Kyp eventually was able to throw off the Dark Side and returned to my father for training,

    but not before he destroyed an entire system.” Laughing lightly, Ben gave a disgusted look. “I never

    did like him much, a little too much of my mother in me I guess, but there was no denying that he

    had the power to save people. My uncle Han and cousin Jaina were very close to him.”

    “An entire system, that’s impossible.”

    “Not important,” Ben countered.

    “They were my family,” came the soft reply.

    “You came for him, you must have believed you could bring him back.”

    Thoughtfully, Obi-Wan tugged at his beard. “I did. But I had no time to think of what I would do


    Ben offered a smile. “Perhaps you should stop thinking and just let go.”

    “Like I said, very much like my Master,” Obi-Wan agreed. He drew a cleansing breath. “I’ve worked hard to forgive Anakin, I believe that I have. Can I trust him, again? I’m not sure. Not like I did before. He was my brother, Ben. Every time I was ready to fly down the mouth of hell, he was the there to pull me out. I have never known anyone to…,” he drew off unsure how to complete that sentence.

    He shook his head at his short-coming. He had to swallow several times before continuing. He never had been one to share his feelings openly. Not even with Qui-Gon. “Now, we can barely look at each other. I placed my trust in him, only to learn he never had any in me.”

    “Maybe share that with him, huh? I’m not going to say I get what you’re feeling. I never had a brother or a sister. My cousins were 15 to 17 years older than I am. They were also fighting a war, one of them died when I was just a baby. I don’t know what it’s like to be that close to someone. But I do know that fear lead Anakin to monumentally stupid choices. And one of those fears was that you wouldn’t understand where he was coming from. That you’d condemn him.”

    “I don’t know where he’s coming from,” Obi-Wan pointed out.

    “Not exactly, no. But you’ve lived in each other’s lives for 13 years. Find common ground. It’s like any other negotiation. For you, it’s the most important negotiation of your life.”

    Obi-Wan nodded but was too caught up in thought to comment. Common ground? They did have over a decade of spending nearly every standard day together. He’d thought he’d voiced his feelings to Anakin. That he had known about Padme, that he’d forgive him, he just needed a hand to reach out, to meet him half way. Maybe he hadn’t been direct enough. Too often, he was used to helping people find the answer without him telling them the truth. Maybe that was the crux of the matter? He’d just assumed that Anakin had found the answer, when equation came out correct.
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb candor and vulnerabilities expressed with a lot of mixed emotions, very understandable, on each side.