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Saga - PT Star Wars: Undiscovered - AU First Post (7/31)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by FORCEBlLADE, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Title: Undiscovered
    Time Period: Prequel trilogy
    Summary: One small moment of an event can set the course of many in one direction, or the other. Any path one with its own series of possibilities. Will be same? Will be different? Only by following the course will one know.

    -----------

    Prologue

    “There’s the blockade!” Captain Olie announced.

    Surely enough, there it was, dead ahead: dozens of Trade Federation control ships standing in their ship’s way of jumping out of Naboo’s system. Every single one ready to fire on them with their full might to prevent them from escaping.

    Qui-Gon Jinn reached out with the Force to Captain Olie. Who gave out a calm sense of determination and confidence in his abilities as a pilot to get this ship past that blockade. So the Jedi would give him his faith. Obi-Wan Kenobi stepped into the bridge to stand beside his Master and witness their charge into the onslaught.

    As expected one of the battleships began firing on them once they came into its range. The cannon fire missed as often as it hit, but the hits shook the ship. It didn’t take long for an alarm to ring out, and a console screen to show the one of the ship’s wings where some substantial damage had been made.

    “Shield generator’s been hit!” Captain Olie reported.

    “What can we do?” Qui-Gon inquired.

    “The ship’s astro droids are already being deployed.” He pointed to a screen where a camera feed came on showing the outside of the ship where the damage had been made. Several astromech droids soon appeared to begin making repairs -

    - only being outside exposed them to the rain of cannon fire, and one by one they were each being blown out into space, in pieces.

    “We’re losing droids, fast,” Obi-Wan stated calmly. Not that Qui-Gon didn’t sense the slightest bit of concern for their lives in his tone.

    Beside them, Captain Panaka bellowed, “If they can’t get the shield generator fixed we’ll be sitting ducks.”

    “The shields are gone,” Captain Olie updated them.

    In the next moment another droid was blown away, and they were down to one - one droid left to produce them a miracle. Qui-Gon would only admit to himself that he wasn’t liking their odds. Especially since they were closing in on the battleship that would soon have them in a tractor beam.

    Another alert from the console then sounded. “Power’s back! That little droid did it. Bypassed the main power drive. Deflector shields up at maximum.”

    Good. Now Qui-Gon could stop holding his breath. They watched as they were able to avoid any further impacts, and speed over the battleship, quickly putting the blockade behind them.

    Before being able to make the jump Captain Olie had to assess the damage to the ship, and what repairs needed to be made.

    “Will we be able to make it to the capital?” Panaka asked.

    “I can’t say . . . yes.” Captain Olie made this announcement in a cheer. “The hyperdrive is holding, so we should be able to make it to Coruscant. We’ll be making the jump in a minute.”

    They all exchanged nods of relief. The hard art was over - for the time being anyways. Once they arrived at Coruscant Queen Amidala would have to convince the Senate to intervene in the Trade Federation’s blockade of Naboo.

    As for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan they would need to report to the Jedi Council, including Qui-Gon’s suspicions of some other forces at play over this blockade. As he had told his apprentice earlier, the Trade Federation both blockading and conducting a full-scale invasion of Naboo was far too bold of a move for them to undertake without the necessary influences of others.

    Their role in this conflict was not over. The Force warned them of that much - as well of something else. A misstep in their journey. Or rather a skipping of a step.

    A step that was of an importance.

    ----------

    Without knowing why, young Anakin Skywalker stopped his work on the stabilizer he was repairing to look up at the sky where he saw - nothing.

    He didn’t know what he was expecting to see, but Anakin had gotten the strangest feeling that it should’ve been something very important. But whatever it was supposed to be seemed to have passed him by instead.

    While still pondering about it, Anakin returned to his work on the stabilizer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2021
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and Kit' like this.
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    BRILLIANT CHANGE! =D= Something momentous missed, indeed!
     
    FORCEBlLADE likes this.
  3. Kit'

    Kit' Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 30, 1999
    I really enjoyed this. A really lovely short read and definitely on point in terms of the characterisations as well - awesome stuff.

    *And the universe was saved and everyone lived happily ever after*

    Love it!
     
  4. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 1

    Once arriving on Coruscant, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan immediately delivered Queen Amidala, and her company, to Senator Palpatine and Chancellor Valorum at a landing point, from which point they proceeded towards the Jedi Temple to debrief with the Council.

    “Now Naboo’s fate is in the hands of the Senate,” Master Mundi stated once they were finished given their report.

    “Unfortunately, we can’t assume that they will side with the Queen,” Master Koth said. “The Trade Federation has a great deal of influence with Bureaucrats, who will no doubt whisper in the Chancellor’s ear for their benefit.”

    While Qui-Gon wished he could believe in the Senate’s unwillingness to stand by and let the Viceroy Gunray to maintain his grip on Naboo he had seen enough of this proceedings to know the games of the political arena always left room for innocents to suffer. “Masters, should the Senate fail to act in Naboo’s well-being, what must we do?”

    “Unless otherwise instructed - nothing,” Master Windu stated.

    And so once more, Qui-Gon was left with a disappointing position with the Jedi Council. It troubled him, of course, to have to be so frustrated with people whom he truly had much respect and admiration for. But what other way could he feel, knowing the necessity of stepping in , but to only have to stand down, in the name of political opinion.

    “Until such time, that will be all,” Windu told them. “May the Force be with you.”

    His apprentice nodded, and proceeded to leave for the door, but Qui-Gon remained at the center of the chamber.

    “Master Qui-Gon? More to say, have you?” Master Yoda asked, without surprised.

    “Yes, Masters, I believe there is an unknown entity operating at the center of all this,” he explained to them.

    “An entity, you say?”

    “It is my opinion that the Trade Federation isn’t acting alone in this invasion.,” he proceeded to suggest. “The Viceroy doesn’t not strike me as one to make such a proactive move on a planet without being emboldened by someone, who perhaps also assured them of avoidance of any legal consequences, through the treaty that Queen Amidala was meant to sign.”

    “If this is the case are you asking for our permission to conduct an investigation?” Mundi asked.

    No, he knew better than to ask the Council for permission to do something he knew they would say no to. “I ask that Obi-Wan and I be allowed to remain by Queen Amidala’s side for the duration of her time here. Perhaps this influence behind the veil will then become visible to us.”

    The Masters all exchanged knowing expressions that told Qui-Gon what they would say. “We will discuss the matter among ourselves,” Windu finally said.

    “Until then, dismissed, you are, Master Jinn.” Yoda gestured a hand to the chamber door. Qui-Gon bowed and met with Obi-Wan at the door to leave with him.

    In the privacy of a turbolift taking them down the Temple’s center tower Obi-Wan hesitated before asking, “What are you planning on doing, Master?’

    As expected, Obi-Wan had already deduced his Master’s intent to go against the Council’s instructions. Something had become a far too increasing habit of Qui-Gon’s through the years, which his apprentice pleaded with him in seizing.

    Like most in the Jedi order, Obi-Wan believed in the code, and that to go against was to be asking for trouble. It would be very hard to find a Jedi who had found as much trouble as Qui-Gon Jinn. Something not even he denied.

    “We will be going to check in on the Queen, and see if there is anything she needs from us.”

    The same disappointment he had for the Jedi Council’s inactive choices Qui-Gon now felt from his padawan. “Do not defy the Council, Master. Not again.”

    The lift door opened, and they started towards the direction of the hangar. “I shall do what I must, Obi-Wan.”

    “If you would just follow the code you would be on the Council,” Obi-Wan pointed out. “They will not go along with you this time.”

    True, but sometimes there were far more important paths for a Jedi to venture into than one of sitting in the Council - especially in these times. This was a truth Obi-Wan had yet to realize, so he gently set a hand on his shoulder, and warmly expressed, “You still have much to learn, my young apprentice.”

    ----------

    Night had just fallen over Galactic City. The last of daylight had just slipped away. On a long-arced balcony, hidden well enough to keep any curious eyes from spotting them, two cloaked men appeared from opposite sides and met in the middle.

    One of them was a young, red and black, zabrak. The other, an aging human.

    “All has proceeded as expected?” the zabrak - Darth Maul - asked, though knowing the answer.

    “Yes. Queen Amidala has done her part.” His Master - Darth Sidious - did nothing to hide his delight in how well the day had turned out for him. “Chancellor Valorum has been removed from office. I should expect the nominations for candidates will be announced any minute now.”

    “And what is to be done about Naboo?”

    “The treaty is to still be signed.” Sidious turned to return back down the balcony. His apprentice followed, not needing to be asked. “You will abduct her tonight, and deliver her back to Naboo immediately. With the Jedi believing their mission a success you should have no problem cutting through her security to take her.”

    “Yes, my Master.”

    “Go, Maul.”

    His apprentice bowed and left back down the balcony. Sidious retreated inside, as his night was not done just yet.

    ----------

    By the time they arrived at Queen Amidala’s guest apartment it was already nighttime, and the two Jedi found her in the living room, only in the company of her handmaidens and Jar Jar Binks, whom Qui-Gon had directed to stay with the Queen and her people.

    The girl looked weary. How could she not? In the last two days her entire planet had been invaded, forcing her to flee and seek help from a governing body that proved unwilling to lift a finger. They had heard the news on the way here of how she called for a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor. While Qui-Gon had sympathy for Valorum he also understood why the Queen did it.

    “Your Highness. I hope we aren’t intruding on you.”

    “Not at all, Master Jedi.” As good as she was at hiding her emotions from sight, she could hide it in the Force.”You risked much to go to Naboo, and bring me here, but now, I would like to ask more of you - if you were so willing.”

    He eyed Obi-Wan, who silently offered the willingness to listen. “Ask us, your Majesty,and we shall decide whether we are willing, or not.”

    “I cannot sit, and wait for a new Chancellor to be elected, and then hope that they are willing to act in my planet’s interests.” She looked outside, to space. “So I’ve decided to go back to Naboo.”

    While what she was telling him didn’t surprise Qui-Gon, it did concern him. What did the young ruler hope to accomplish by returning to her world, where Nute Gunray was waiting for her to reappear, so that he could force her to sign the treaty, legitimizing his invasion of Naboo?

    Was there some factor he wasn’t considering? And if she was intending to ask him and Obi-Wan to accompany her back, there was only so much they could do, and that didn’t include fighting an entire war for her.

    “Your Majesty, if you wish for my apprentice and-”

    Behind them, Captain Panaka rushed into the living room, sealing the door behind him, then stepping beside Queen Amidala’s side. “We need to secure the room ,now!”

    “What is it?” Obi-Wan asked.

    “I’ve lost contact with our security downstairs,” he told them. “They reported an intruder just before going silent.”

    “Ohhh nooo,” Jar Jar bellowed, already in a mad quiver. “Who sur comin’?”

    “I don’t know, but whoever they are, they’re probably here for you, my Queen,” Panaka told Amidala. “We need to get you out of here-”

    From the corridor outside, screams erupted. Screams of terror. A few blaster shots ran out that were then followed by more screams, then the crashing of bodies against the floor, or walls.

    Everyone gathered together in a huddle, remaining calm - except for Jar Jar, who’s legs were now in an uncontrollable shake that was accompanied by his whimpers.

    “Stay here,” Qui-Gon ordered everyone, except for Obi-Wan. “Once we’re out there, reseal the door.”

    Marching towards the corridor, both Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan pulled out their lightsabers, reaching out with the Force to see what they were about to walk into. All either could sense was a shadow. A phantom within the Force clouded by darkness.

    The door opened, and as soon as they stepped across, Panaka closed it back.

    Spread out through the corridor were several of the Queen’s royal security officers, all motions on the floor, or against the walls, their weapons scattered about -

    - then, at the end of the corridor stood a Zabrak, cloaked completely in black. His yellow eyes fixed right on them, knowing that they would be standing in his way of what he came here to do.

    Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan exchanged knowing looks. Dropping their cloaks to the floor, they ignited their blades in unison. Green and blue coming to life, ready to meet with this intruder’s flesh, if need be.

    The Zabrak didn't flinch. He showed no sign of fear, as others in his position might. Instead, he dropped his own cloak, and pulled out his own lightsaber handle, bringing to life a crimson blade from each end.

    So Qui-Gon’s instincts were right. There was more to the invasion of Naboo than the Trade Federation’s agenda, The dark side of the Force was at work here. The Sith had returned.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
  5. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Hmm. I'm liking this. And I somehow get the sneaking suspicion that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan will eventually cross paths with Anakin.
     
    FORCEBlLADE likes this.
  6. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 2

    There was a notion by many that no one stood a chance in a confrontation against a Jedi Knight. That to challenge one is to ensure your immediate death. No one in their right mind would think they could challenge a member of their Order. Yes, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had the advantage of going into this fight two against one, and drawing from years of experience as Jedi and partners in combat -

    -but their opponent was no novice himself. Within the first few moments of their duel his skill with a saber showed to be one of the most sufficient training. Forged with brutality and primal instinct.

    Then, of course, there was the dark side of the Force guiding their opponent’s every step, every thrust, every jump, and every gesture. Even in the presence of their very eyes, this stranger remained a shadow to their greater senses.

    As his obvious target was the Queen of Naboo - whether to assassinate or abduct - Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan moved to force him back down the corridor, away from the sitting quarters, where they left her. Though this task proved to take much effort for them.

    Yet, they were ultimately able to get him pinned at the end of the corridor, against the turbolift door.

    For a moment, all three stopped still, sabers still raised, legs ready to move again, both Jedi’s eyes fixed on him, and vice versa. No one was ready to give up.

    The Zabrak then gave them a menacing glee before pointing an arm out to their side, towards the wall-sized windows next to the turbolift door. The glass shattered, exposing them to the screaming harsh winds. The Zabrak then slid his way towards this new opening, and jumped outside, without any hesitation.

    They stepped to the shattered window, and watched as he scaled down the exterior walls, one level at a time, descending down towards an open balcony some fifteen levels down. Without even debating it, Qui-Gon followed suit, and his apprentice was right behind him.

    Once they landed on the balcony, the Zabrak had already stepped inside to what looked like a grand ball room of some kind, blade already reignited, and that same menacing glee as before still settled on his face.

    They took a second to eye each other. Qui-Gon offered his padawan a confident nod before igniting their lightsabers, once more, and moving inside to engage back with him.

    “You’re here for the Queen,” Qui-Gon proclaimed. “Why?”

    He said nothing. He did nothing but raise his weapon in ready.

    “Fine. No talking,” Obi-Wan said before meeting his blade back with one of his.

    It was clear to Qui-Gon as they reengaged that they would only be able to win this fight with their skills within the Force. The Zabrak was their superior with a lightsaber, without question. If it were either of them alone against him, he would most likely win.

    An opening came in his legs as he raised both his blades, so Obi-Wan made a strike, only to have the Zabrak leap away, over the banister down to the ballroom’s main floor.

    They jumped over and descended down after him, needing to parry an attack before they even landed on the red carpet floor.Moving across the room, the Zabrak managed to bat Obi-Wan’s blade off to the side, leaving him wide open, but since Qui-Gon managed to have him both his blade in defensive maneuver he opted to give his apprentice what must’ve been a Force-assisted kick , as it sent Obi-Wan sliding a bit ways away.

    Knowing he couldn’t be concerned for his apprentice’s wellness, Qui-Gon stayed focused on the fight, now having to double his efforts against this stranger. They moved across the wooden dance floor that a cleaning droid was in the middle of waxing, only to roll away in a squeal of fright once seeing them coming directly towards it.

    The Zabrak jumped up onto the stage, backing into it, his eyes remaining fixed on Qui-Gon, daring him to continue on, which he would have to do.

    They had only knocked blades once before Obi-Wan returned, jumping onto the stage in a long jump - only to have the Zabrak grab him with the Force and send him hurling towards the wall. The momentary distraction was enough to allow Qui-Gon to strike into the extended handle of his blade and slice it off by half.

    He twirled away from Qui-Gon, repositioning his hold on the handle, betraying no sign of lost confidence in the fight, despite losing one of his blades.

    To the wall Obi-Wan pushed himself back up, recalling his lightsaber back to his hand and reigniting it.

    “Surrender, now!” Qui-Gon demanded of the stranger.

    But he only spun his now single blade, challenging them both to continue the fight. So they did so, both Jedi charging onto him. His speed and aggression only intensified now, making up for only having one balde to fight them now. This told them that all they needed was a moment of an advantage. A means to force a misstep on his part.

    Close by, there was a table, and so Qui-Gon allowed Obi-Wan to take the lead in the attack, giving him the clearing to reach out and summon the table towards them. The Zabrak saw it coming, and was able to take control of the coming projectile to divert it away, sending it smashing into several other tables.

    Now that was the opening they needed. Obi-Wan swung to the tip of the handle, slicing it off and killing the blade.

    Now for the first time, the Zabrak expressed an emotion - anger! Dropping his cut-open handle, and In a roaring fury, he unleashed a web of lightning from both hands.

    Obi-Wan was barely able to put his lightsaber up in defense. The force of the lightning’s impact on his blade actually sent him sliding back across the stage floor. The Zabrak continued to furiously scream, taking one hand away from Obi-Wan, so as to direct half his lightning towards Qui-Gon.

    He too absorbed the attack with his blade, and proceeded to move towards their opponent. His apprentice did the same. Without relenting, the Zabrak continued to shoot storms of lightning, refusing to surrender, under any terms. Yet both Jedi continued their approach, one harrowing step at a time.

    Once they closed in enough, the lightning bounced back into its producer, causing him to scream, yet continue to attack, his scream of both fury and agony echoing through the entire ballroom.

    Finally, one of his hands seized the attack - but not in defeat. Only so as to grab Obi-Wan by the neck, in a fast tightening Force choke, causing him to drop his weapon as he gasped for air that was no longer there.

    Now Qui-Gon roared with passion, willing himself to push in further, taking in the lightning, step-by-step, until finally thrusting down his blade into the Zabarak’s shoulder, from where it cut down his chest.

    The screams seized.

    The lightning died.

    Obi-Wan heaved in a new gust of air.

    And the Sith Lord fell dead.
     
  7. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 14, 2017
    Change one: They don't meet Anikin.
    Change Two: Qui Gon lives, Zabrak definitely dies.

    O.K. I am sufficiently hooked.
     
    FORCEBlLADE likes this.
  8. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 3

    At the landing platform Queen Amidala’s ship sat fueled and ready for take off by the time she, her personnel, and the Jedi arrived. Several of the Jedi Council members were already waiting there to meet with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, to receive an account of the Queen’s unnamed attacker.

    “He was well trained in the Jedi arts.” Qui-Gon paused a moment before adding, “My only conclusion can be that it was a Sith Lord.”

    “Impossible, the Sith have been extinct for over a millennium,” Master Mundi pointed out.

    “I do not believe the Sith could return without us knowing,” Master Windu said confidently.

    “Hard to see, the dark side is,” Yoda told him. “For certain, came for the Queen, he did.”

    “Then he must’ve been sent by the Viceroy Gunray,” Master Kloon concluded. “He may have the answers the the identity of this attacker.”

    “All the more reason that you escort Queen Amidala back to Naboo, and help her end this invasion,” Master Windu told Qui-Gon. “Apprehend Nute Gunray, and bring him back to us for questioning.”

    “We will, Masters.”

    Both Jedi bowed to Council members, and turned to meet back with the Queen, who had waited for them before going into her ship, her handmaidens and Captain Panaka by her side.

    “Your Majesty. It is our pleasure to continue to serve, and protect you.”

    “I welcome your help. After tonight’s attack, Senator Palpatine’s fears of the Trade Federation’s desire to destroy has been proven to be true.”

    “We can assure you, we will not allow that to happen.”

    Waiting at the bottom of the ramp was Jar Jar and R2-D2 - the droid who had saved them all when escaping the blockade. “Wesa going home!” he cheered, swinging his arms up.

    ----------

    Many would assume that Queen Amidala was returning to Naboo without any sort of a plan on how to take back her planet from the Federation - but these were obviously people who didn’t know the young Queen.

    Her first move was to make an alliance with Gungans - during which she revealed her ruse as a handmaiden named Padme, while her decoy had been playing the role of Queen, to and from Naboo. A ruse Qui-Gon ahd deduced soon after meeting her.

    Her next move involved putting together as many resistance fighters and pilots as they could find to be part of their team that would infiltrate the capital city.

    While the Gungan army drew the attention of the main droid army away from Theed, they would be able to break into the palace. Once they cleared the hangar their pilots took off to engage the Trade federation ship in space that was controlling the droid army.

    From the hangar, Queen Amidala proceeded towards the throne room, with her people, and her two Jedi protectors by her side.

    Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan led the way, deflecting many of the battle droids’ blaster fire, while the others shot the battle droids down in return. When several droiodekas rolled in to meet them at the corners of the corridor, the Jedi grabbed them with the Force before they had a chance to stand and turn on their deflector shields, and crashed them into each other.

    The grand door to the throne room was sealed shut, so while both the Queen and her forces took care of any battle droid who came to stop them, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan cut a large hole in the doors. Together it took them less than a minute to make it through.

    They jumped through first, immediately meeting with blaster fire from over a handful of battle droids, so they stayed in front of their entrance to provide cover as the others came through. Once the firefight was over all battle droids were on the floor, leaving Viceroy Nute Gunray, and his second in command, Rune, Haako, defenseless.

    Queen Amidala approached them, blaster raised. “Now, Viceroy, we will discuss a new treaty.”

    Obi-Wan came to him from the other side, lightsaber still ignited. “But first, you will order your control ship to shut down your droid forces..”

    He allowed his blade to close enough to the Viceroy’s face that he could feel the blade’s sizzling heat. “Very well! I’ll do as you ask! Just keep that away from me!”

    By the next minute, reports came in that all battle droids in Theed - as well as the army battling the Gungan forces - had gone offline.

    “Congratulations, your Highness,” Qui-Gon remarked. “Your planet is saved.”

    “Much thanks to you, and your apprentice, Master Jedi.”

    Once HoloNet communications were restored Coruscant was contacted and informed of the situation. Irrefutable evidence was given of the Trade Federation’s actions on Naboo, meaning that Viceroy Gunray would be facing some serious charges with the Senate.

    News was also received that Senator Palpatine had been elected the new Supreme Chancellor, and he would be returning to his homeworld for the celebration of Naboo’s liberation, as well as the new allegiance between the planet’s two societies.

    Once the parade ended and official peace was declared at the steps of the palace, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan took their quiet leave, accepting only a thankful goodbye from Queen Amidala, and her court, expressing that they would always be welcomed in Naboo.

    The only difficulty that came in leaving was insisting that Jar Jar remain with his people - for the time being, at least. Since he was now a celebrated hero.

    Once they returned to Coruscant, and the Jedi Temple, their first stop was to the Council chamber.

    “Before anything else is discussed, I recommend my Padawan for the Jedi trials,” Qui-Gon said as soon as they were at the center of the chamber. “He is headstrong, and he still has much to learn about the Living Force, but he is capable. There is little more he can learn from me.”

    “Discussed, it has already been,” Master Yoda informed them.

    “His success in engaging the mysterious warrior tells us his training has come to this point,” Master Mundi said.

    Neither he, nor Obi-Wan, betrayed their feelings to the Council’s decision, but both could sense the other’s joy. Although this would mean their time together, as partners, was coming to an end, it also meant Obi-Wan would be moving onto the next step in his life. For which Qui-Gon was extremely proud of.

    “In regards to Nute Gunray, the Senate has claimed custody of him,” Mundi reported.. “It was expected - but we have put in a request to interrogate him ourselves.”

    “Knowing how this works, they might not give us that chance,” Qui-Gon pointed out. “Perhaps it would’ve been wiser to question him before he was sent back to Coruscant.”

    “Wise? Perhaps. Smart, perhaps not,” Master Koth told him.

    “There is no doubt the mysterious warrior was a Sith,” Master Windu concluded. “After a thousand, they have returned.”

    “My feelings tell me they never, in fact, left,” Qui-Gon expressed.

    “Perhaps, but in any case, we are now left with only questions,” Master Koon said to everyone.

    “Always two, there are,” Yoda explained. “No more. No less. A master, and an apprentice.”

    “So which one did we kill?” Obi-Wan asked. “The master? Or the apprentice?”

    The question hung in the air of the chamber for everyone to ponder.

    ----------

    In a dark room, a light came on from an opening door revealing a single stasis chamber on a hovering gurney. Two service droids rolled in, followed by a cloaked man, who walked up to the stasis chamber.

    Inside, floating in a light blue liquid, was the body of his dead apprentice, As far as anyone else knew, it had been taken into Republic custody for evidence in the attack on a Senate building, and was then proceeded to be cremated.

    Although he was now gone, Darth Sidious still intended to get some more use out of the Zabrak.

    “In death, you both fail and aid me, Maul.”

    Nodding to the droids they took hold of the chamber and carried it out of the room. Sidious followed. Maul’s death was a minor setback. In fact, he already had another potential apprentice in mind. That of a former Jedi Master, whose ideals were akin enough with those of the SIth Order, and was in a position to serve him in the next stage of his plan.

    His path was assured. No matter the course taken. The destination would always be the same.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Chapter 2--great battle with Maul. And wow, the divergence continues! =D= Chapter 3--happy about this particular shift in events as Obi-Wan is approved to go through Jedi trials. :cool:
     
    FORCEBlLADE likes this.
  10. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 14, 2017
    =D= Looking forward to more. I want to see where this goes.
     
  11. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 4

    “Ani, it’s time to come inside’

    From the inside of his podracer, he popped his head out. “Mom, I’m thirteen now. Can you just call me Anakin, now - please?”

    From the doorway to their home, mother, Shmi, shook her head, smiling. “Sorry sweetheart, but you’ll never be grown up enough to not be my Ani. And you’re certainly still not old enough to be staying up all night. You can finish your repairs tomorrow. Right now, it’s time for dinner.”

    Her tone made it clear there was no room for negotiating, so Anakin jumped out of the seat of his podracer, gathered his tools and went inside their home.

    “Oh, Master Anakin, have your repairs been fruitful?” C-3PO asked from the dinner table, where the protocol droid was setting up their meal.

    “I’ll let you know tomorrow, Threepio.”

    He started that way, only to be halted by his mother’s hand to his chest. “Wash up first. You’re not getting any filthy grease on my table.”

    Rolling his eyes. Anakin sprinted to the refresher, taking five minutes to scrub down his entire face, and arms spotless. When he returned to the table, his mother smiled from her seat. “Now that’s much better.”

    “Thank you. You won’t be happy once you see how the sink looks, though.”

    “It won’t be an issue, after you clean it up,” she pointed out.

    Of course, it wouldn’t. Anakin could never win against her. She was his mother, after all. How could he?

    They were halfway through dinner when Anakin decided to tell her, “Watto will be here in the morning to see the podracer,” he told his mother. “If he likes how my repairs look he’ll let me race tomorrow at Boonta Eve.”

    Practically dropping the fork of meat that she had at midair, Shmi gave me a petrified look, as Anakin expected. In all these years since he started podracing, there was never a time where she didn’t hate the announcement of his intent to race.

    “Ani, why do you continue to put me through this?” The dread in her tone made his heart sink. Leave it to her - or any mother - to know how to lay guilt on her child. “I can barely stand to watch anytime you’re in one of these races.”

    “I know, Mom, but it’s not for no reason. With each race I’m getting closer, and closer, to freeing us.” That had always been the goal. Ankin may have been born a slave, but he had no intention of dying one. Nor for his mother. Watto -while a less cruel owner than other slave owners - would never let them go out of whatever spark of affection he might have for them.

    So that meant winning their freedom, and Watto’s biggest weak spot was gambling. So with each race Anakin worked feverishly to improve his skills as a racer, to know his podracer like he knew himself, to all other racers around him, as well as their own pods. He also observed and learned every trick his rival, Sebulba, had up his sleeve when winning required more of him than his racing talents.

    There was no means of cheating that the Dug wasn’t above doing: sabotage, weapons, even outright killing. No matter how many times they raced, and Anakin survived his dirty tricks, Sebulba always promised that his luck would eventually run out.

    But Anakin promised to himself that it would, in fact, be the Dug’s luck that would run out, one day.

    “I would rather remain a slave for the rest of my days, instead of having your life cut short,” his mother proclaimed.

    “Master Anakin, if I may,” 3PO spoke up, sitting across from him. “While your racing abilities have improved through these several years - more than any human should be capable of - by my calculation you still possess a one-millionth-two-hundreth-thousand-seven-hundred-and-fiftieth to one chance at winning.”

    “Well, then my chances have improved by six-hundred-thousand from my last race.”

    “Of course, sir.”

    His mother shot the protocol droid a warning glance to not support her son, in any way, which 3PO noticed, causing him to bow his head down in shame.

    “Mom, I know I can win.” Anakin took her hands in his. “More than that, I know we don’t have to stay slaves the rest of our lives. I just need you to have a little faith in me.”

    She continued to look disappointed in him, but Anakin knew it was not for the same reasons as a moment before.”Ani, what makes you think I have never had faith in you?”

    Caressing his hair, Anakin knew she wanted what was best for him, which included something more than a slave’s life - but that didn’t mean she would ever stop worrying about his well-being.

    “If Watto approves of the pod, he will make you race, no matter how I feel, of course.”

    “Afraid so.”

    She kissed him on the forehead. “Then I will be there to cheer you on.”

    “As will I, Master Anakin,” 3PO promised.

    “Thanks, you guys.”

    “If it doesn’t sound too self-serving, my hope is that should you win, then some of those winning will go into acquiring more efficient coverings for me.” The droid made an absorption of his old and rusted grey plating. “It’s protection is, unfortunately, of minimal success. There’s hardly a day when I don’t feel bits of sand in my gears.”

    Both Skywalkers laughed. “Of course, Threepio. I’ll spoil the both of you.”

    The rest of their dinner continued without fuss, but Anakin knew his mother’s concern had not gone away. She was only hiding them, for his benefit. If everything went his way tomorrow, that worry would be replaced with pride.

    ----------

    Anakin was up at the crack of dawn, as both suns were barely visible on the horizon. Watto promised to arrive within the hour, so that pod needed to be ready. He was putting the finishing touches on it when his friends, Kitster and Wald arrived.

    “So if Watto gives you the okay, you’ll be racing today,” Kitster remarked. “That would be so wizard, Anakin.”

    “My thoughts, exactly."

    “Greedo has already said that he’ll be taking bets on whether you’ll crash in the first lap,” Wald informed him of his fellow Rodian. “Or you’ll die in the third.”

    Anakin found himself wishing Greedo were here, so that he could set the jerk straight. “I haven’t crashed in two years, now.”

    Kitster moaned. “Barely. You know I’m rooting for you, buddy - but the fact is you haven’t actually won a single race, so far.”

    “Every winner has their first,” Anakin reasoned.

    “-And today will be yours, won’t it, Ani?”

    Watto came flying in from around the corner, his eyes already fixed on the podracer. “Any more adjustments before I inspect.”

    “She’s ready, Watto.”

    His Toydarian owner circled the entire pod - from cockpit to engines, eyeing every wire and gear on sight. “Start it.”

    Anakin jumped into the cockpit and turned on the systems. He hesitated momentarily, before flipping the switch for the engines, feeling a shot of unwelcoming worry that they wouldn’t come on - but he ignored the fear and flipped the switch. Thankfully the engines roared to life, lifting off the ground, followed by the cockpit.

    “It’s working!” Anakin yelled. happily over the engine screams “It’s working!”

    After turning the engines off Kitster and Wald rushed over to him at the cockpit to high-five him with cheers. Watto also flew over, seeming slightly pleased with him. “Alright, boy, you can race today.”

    He started away, but then looked back at him. “It’s a shame, though, that Sebulba will leave this in a pile of scraps, right after you’ve put it together.” He then flew away with a heavy laugh.

    “Hey, we want to see you shut that laugh out as badly as you do,” Kitster told him.

    Anakin wasn’t sure about that, since right at this moment his blood was boiling at Watto’s lack of confidence in him. He had given the other racers and spectators -including Watto - reason before to doubt him and laugh him to embarrassment.

    But today would be different. He was sure of it, even without any proof of it.

    He could feel it..
     
  12. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 5

    All stands in the arena were packed with spectators, cheering out as all the racers stepped out onto the track, from the hangar.

    His mother, C-3PO, Kitster, Wald, Amee, and Melee all helped Anakin pull his pod to the starting grid, as well as to cheer him on. Even Seek was, apparently somewhere in the stands - though only so as to be able to say that he was there to see Anakin crash and die, as he always expected him to in every race.

    A few spaces away Anakin could see Sebulba, standing on top of his own pod, arms raised in glee as his name was called by the announcer, responded by a grand cheer from the crowd.

    “And a late entry, young Anakin Skywalker, a local boy.” Anakin raised an arm to wave, and received something of a welcoming applause.

    “Good luck Anakin,” Kitster said once it was time for all non-racers to leave the track.

    “Thanks, buddy.”

    Wald gave him a fist bump on the shoulder, while Amee and Melee both planted quick kisses on either of his cheeks. “Stay safe,” both girls told him.

    “No worries.” He hoped his face wasn’t as red as he felt it to be.

    C-3PO stepped up close to him. “Oh, Master Anakin, while I do hope you finally win, my primary wish is that you end this raise remaining fully functional.”

    “Me too, Threepio.”

    Lastly was his mother, who took him in her arms. “I love you, Ani. Please be safe out there.”

    “I will, Mom. I promise.”

    After a long kiss to his forehead, she reluctantly released her son from her grasp, and followed the girls to a viewing platform that rose up a pillar, giving them a wider sight of the arena.

    Before getting into his pod Anakin quickly circled it, as well as the engines, to make sure everything was in place. He couldn’t put it past some of these racers - especially Sebula to try and make a last-minute sabotage. Especially on him. Nothing looked out of place, thankfully.

    So he jumped into the pod, put his helmet on, and brought the engines to life, along with everyone else’s.

    This would be the race that he was going to finally win. It had to be. Every cell in his body was demanding it to be. Clearing his mind, seizing all sense of thought, he could actually feel the pod. As if it was an extension of his own body. With each race through the years he could feel this unison with the podracer more strongly. Now all he needed to do was trust his instincts.

    As soon as the light on the starting grid signaled them to go, all podracers shot around the track, leaving behind clouds of dust on the track.

    From the side of the track, where all the racing pit crews sat, Kitster blew out a long breath of relief, telling Wald and C-3PO, “I was almost sure Anakin’s pod would stall.”

    ----------

    By the third lap, half the racers had crashed, and of the remaining half five of them were in the lead.

    Including Anakin.

    But Sebulba was still at the lead, and anyone who tried to pass him would only succeed in being “removed” from the race by the merciless Dug.

    No matter. Anakin was at the back of the leading pods, but by the time they came out of the caves, there were only four of them left. Now he had an opening that enabled him to sneak up right beside Sebulba.

    Once he saw him, he let out a huttese curse that Anakin’s mom would wash the inside of his mouth for saying - then came the blaster bolt. Thankfully tilted away enough to avoid it. This was a first for Sebulba. Using a blaster was just about the only underhanded thing he hadn’t pulled, in all these years, to win a race.

    “You really don’t want me to win. Do you?” he shouted. Sebulba answered back by firing again.

    Thankfully, Anakin was quick to avoid the shots, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep this up. Pulling back, though, meant letting Sebulba take the lead, and win. That was something he couldn’t allow.

    So instead of putting distance between them Anakin collided into his pod, repeatedly, until he finally lost hold of his blaster. By this point Their engines were lodged together, putting them neck-to-neck, and they were closing in on the arena, dead ahead.

    So Anakin hit the thrusters for a momentary boost, managing to break away from Sebulba’s engine - as well as causing it to break apart. Behind him, he could hear the crashing of what had to be the Dug’s entire podracer.

    Not that he cared to look back. Because moments later he was coming into the arena track, and crossing the finish line.

    This time, there was an infinite roar of cheers coming from all aisles and rows of the stands. Anakin parked the podracer to where he spotted Kitster, Wald, and C-3PO. A minute later they were joined by his mom and the others - including Seek.

    Jumping out of the pod, helmet in his hands, Anakin was immediately lifted up by his friends.

    “Mom, I did it!” he yelled through the cheers of the surrounding admirers. She clapped and cheered along with everyone else.

    Once they were back in the hangar, Anakin was only in the company of his mother, his droid, and his friends.

    “Way to go Anakin!” Kitster yelled.

    “You’re the first human to ever win a podrace,” Amee proclaimed.

    “It’s official. We actually checked,” Melee reassured.

    “Never doubted you for a second, Ani - uh, Anakin,” Seek insisted.

    “Thanks, pal.”

    “You!”

    From the hangar opening Watto flew in, as displeased as Anakin had ever seen him. “You cheated! I don;t know how, but you cheated! How else could you have won?”

    “BY being better than the rest of them, Watto,” Shmi assured him.

    The Toydarian growled at her. “Sebulba has just been brought to the medcenter. He might not make it. How do you feel about being a murderer, Anakin.”

    “Anakin was the one who was almost murdered out there.” Kitster snapped.

    “Yeah, it was on the droid cameras,” Wald pointed out. “Sebulba didn’t think about that, did he?”

    “They’re right, Watto.” Anakin’s mother stepped towards him, angrily. “Everyone saw it, so if he makes it, Sebulba’s career is most certainly dead. To think he would be that desperate to take my son out of the race.”

    Anakin stepped up next to her. “Considering what was at stake for some, I wouldn’t be surprised if Sebulba was encouraged to do whatever it took to keep me from winning. Right, Watto?”

    Their owner groaned again. “It wasn’t a fair bet. You cheated, so I don’t have to hold my end of the deal.”

    Even when Sebulba was shooting at him out in that track Anakin didn’t feel the boiling hot anger that he was feeling, right now, towards the Toydarian. “We had a deal, I won. So you will hold up your end, Watto. Or else.”

    While he was keeping himself controlled in his mindAnakin could picture himself wrapping his hands around his owner’s throat for trying to back out their agreement. Oddly enough, Watto started pulling at his neck, as if he was starting to have trouble breathing.

    “Alright . . . alright. I will hold my end. I promise.”

    So just like that, Anakin’s temper cooled and Watto seemed to relax out of his momentary discomfort.

    “What deal, Ani?” his mother asked, obviously lost.

    He smiled at his mother. “You’re free, Mom.”
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] More momentous tweaks! =D=
     
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  14. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 14, 2017
    I'm glad I finally had some time, and got to catch up!

    Anakin, as a normal teenager! And he's learning to use The Force, without realizing it, too.... I wonder what will happen when the Jedi Order learns about him, and finds that he can use The Force? What will they do? What will Anakin do?
     
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  15. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 6

    “There, it’s done,” Watto groaned, moving away from Shmi, holding the deactivation device to her transmitter.

    “Are you sure?” Anakin questioned, with warning.

    “Yes . . . I’m sure . . . I promise - okay!”

    “Okay then. Now you can go.”

    The Toydarian’s monetary fear was replaced by anger. “Watch it now, boy! Your mother may be free - but you still belong to me!” Turning back to his mother, he bellowed, “And now that you’re not my problem anymore, you’ll have to find some other place to live!”

    And with that, Watto flew off, leaving mother and son alone now that Kitster and the others had left the hangar to give them some privacy.

    “Ani,I don;’t what to say about this,” she exhaled, still in clear disbelief over what had transpired. “My life has been that of a slave since I was a little girl.”

    Anakin set his hands on her shoulders. “Now it will be the life of a free woman.”

    “But what will I do, Anakin? Where will I go?”

    Good timing that she asked this. As Anakin looked over to the hangar entrance where Kitster was walking back over with two new arrivals. “You have options, Mom.”

    He waved them over to him and his mom, and once Shmi saw who was coming her face dropped. Cleigg Lars, and his son Owen, first arrived in Mos Espa a few months back to do some trading at a few different shops, including Watto’s.

    As soon as Cleigg and Shmi met there was an immediate spark. Anakin remembered her coming home late that night with a wide smile, acting like a teenage girl who had just experienced something new for the first time in her life.

    Ever since, Cleigg made multiple trips from his farm - a long trip from the other side of Mos Eisley - and every time he was around Anakin saw a different side to his mother that he didn’t know existed.

    During his visits Owen would also come along, and the two would hang out, giving their parents some alone time. Since they were the same age they had plenty to talk about and do together, along with Kitster and the others.

    It didn’t take long for them to realize that their parents were madly in love with each other. Cleigg tried to buy Shmi from Watto, but he refused the monster farmer’s offers. So when Anakin was on the verge of finishing his new pod in time for the race, he decided to risk it all for his mother’s freedom.

    “When Owen told me about the race he didn’t tell me about this,” Cleigg told her while in their embrace. “I guess they wanted to surprise the both of us.”

    “It was a good surprise, wasn’t it?” Owen said smiling.

    “Most definitely, son.”

    Shmi pulled away from Cleigg to look at her son. “But what about Anakin?”

    Sighing, Anakin couldn’t look at his mother’s face, because he knew he was no longer smiling.

    “He tried to bet on the both of you,” Kitster told her. “But Watto wouldn’t let him. No pod was worth two slaves.”

    “Then it should’ve been you getting to walk free.”

    That was never going to happen. Between the two, Watto put more value in Anakin for his mechanical skills that came to much use in the shop. Half its inventory wouldn’t be of any use to anyone were it not for Anakin’s skills. Hell, the only reason Watto agreed to this deal was because he didn’t expect a young human to win.

    Shmi walked over to her son, pushing his head up so that they could face each other. “Ani, I can’t just leave you.”

    “You have to, Mom.” Watto had been clear about her no longer getting to live in their quarters. “As hard as this is going to be, you should go with Cleigg and Owen. You deserve this chance.”

    But she shook her head, beginning to cry. “What kind of mother would just abandon her child to a life of a slave?”

    “One who has enough faith in her child to know this isn’t the end,” Anakin told her.

    Owen stepped close to them so he could whisper, “Anakin says he has a plan. This is only goodbye, for now, Shmi. We promise.”

    Now she looked at her soon with worry. “What do you have planned, Ani?”

    “I’m working that out - but, like Owen said, this is only goodbye for now.”

    Before leaving the arena Anakin met with a buyer for his pod whom he had already set to meet with after the race. He gave the money to his mother, after which they returned to Mos Espa so that she could pack her things.

    It was mid afternoon once she was ready to leave with the Larses. Friends came to say goodbye after word got out that Shmi was free and leaving. Of course, the last person she would say goodbye to was her son.

    “You’re asking me to do the impossible, Ani,” she declared after a long embrace.

    So he reminded her, “What have you always told me? That you can’t stop change, anymore than you can stop the sun from setting.”

    “But we will see each other again,” she told him confidently. “That’s what my heart tells me.”

    “That’s what mine tells me, too.”

    “Then it’s settled. We will see each other again.”

    They hugged, for the fifth time, then she kissed him on both cheeks, his nose, and his forehead. Finally, she turned around and walked over to where Cleigg and Owen were waiting on their speeder. Anakin watched her sit down next to Cleigg, tearfully looking back at him.

    Kitsters stepped up beside Anakin, and Wald on the other. C-3PO, Melee, Amee, Seek, and half a dozen of his mother’s friends stood surrounding him, so as to say goodbye - but also to show Shmi that her son wasn’t being left alone.Whatever came next, he would have people who cared about him by his side.

    Once the speeder took off down the street, Anakin watched as it went out into the open desert, taking his mother towards her new life.

    Once he could no longer see the speeder, he finally gave himself permission to cry.

    ----------

    The week that followed was one of adjustment for Anakin. In the mornings he woke up expecting to find his mother in the middle of her early chores, or preparing dinner when he came home after working in the shop - but he always had to remind himself why he didn’t see her.

    C-3PO was now handling most of her duties himself, with much enthusiasm. His meals did not taste the same as his mother’s, though Anakin refrained from saying this so as to not hurt the protocol droid’s feelings.

    Kitster had slept over the first few nights after his mother left, not wanting to leave his best friend’s side, but eventually Anakin insisted he would be okay. Everyone who knew the Skywalkers was dropping by, on a daily basis, just to check in on him. Ask how he was doing. Or if he needed anything, and he would always politely thank them for their concern before sending them on their way.

    His long hours in the shop were passed with Anakin imagining his mother with Cleigg and Owen, at their farm, adjusting happily to ehr new life. Picturing her joyful smile for her newfound life of freedom was all that kept him going.

    “Boy! Sweep out the back room when you’re done with that droid!” Watto yelled from the counter, pulling him away from his mother’s image. “Then you can reconfigure those skyhopper repulsors, lime I told you to, yesterday!’

    “Yes, Watto.”

    Losing a bet to his own slave had left the Toydarian as the sort of butt of many jokes amongst the folks of Mos Espa. Supposedly, even Jabba himself had a few laughs, at his expense. The entire situation had left Watto with a very attitude, that he was channeling completely on Anakin.

    Frankly, it would only be a matter of time before Wato would curse having ever gained ownership over him. Anakin just needed to bide his time.

    The bell to the shop’s front entrance sounded, so thankfully Watto’s attention would be drawn away from him, for a time.

    “What can I do for you?”

    “I was told that this is where I can find the young human who won the race on Boonta Eve a week ago,” the man asked, causing Anakin to seize his work.

    “If you’re some sort of admirer, I’m going to have to disappoint you,” Watto growled. “The boy only won the race by cheating.”

    “I highly doubt that.”

    Anakin turned away from the workbench, where he was repairing the service droid. The stranger was human, tall, weathered, bearded - and there was something about him that he couldn’t quite place.

    A feeling of . . . kinship.

    “Hello there, young man. You must be Anakin Skywalker.”

    “Yeah. Who are you?”

    The stranger stepped over to him, offering his hand. “My name is Qui-Gon Jinn.”
     
  16. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 14, 2017
    Bittersweet... :_|

    And...

    The Jedi finally sensed his presence... [face_nail_biting]
     
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  17. Omniext

    Omniext Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Dec 26, 2020
    huh, I wonder how he got here.
    (i'm enjoying this so far :D keep up the good work!!)
     
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  18. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 7

    Right when meeting him, Anakin knew there was something about this stranger, Qui-Gon, that . . . he couldn’t quite understand. It was as if they shared some kind of immediate kinship.

    “What do you want with the boy?” Watto demanded to know, flying between them. “If you’re interested, he’s not for sale. He owes me a lot of money.”

    Despite Watto’s threatening tone, the man kept a casual demeanor. “I have no desire to disrupt your business. All I wish is some time to speak with the boy about his race.”

    Wattot groaned. “You can speak to him after his work is done for the day.” Turning to face Anakin, while nearly slapping his wings at Qui-Gon’s face. “So back to it, boy!”

    Once he went back to the counter Qui-Gon stepped back towards Anakin. “I will stay nearby until you’re finished here. I’ll see you soon, Anakin.”

    The man left the shop without another word. It would be hours before Watto finally allowed Anakin to leave, by which point both suns were already going down. He didn’t even really expect the stranger to still be around ,like he promised, which made it all the more surprising when Qui-Gon did, in fact reappear as soon as Anakin left the shop.

    “Are you hungry?” was the first thing he asked.

    So they sat down at the outside table of a restaurant near the shop. Once they gave the waitress their orders Anakin finally asked, “What do you want with me?”

    “I was on Malastare two days ago, attending a race when I heard about the winner of the Boonta Eve classic,” Qui-Gon explained. “Barely a teenager - and a human, no less.”

    “Don’t give me too much credit. I’ve barely survived every time.”

    “But survived, nonetheless. I watched a recording of your race. Your reflexes were beyond what a human is supposed to have - unless . . .”

    “Unless . . .”

    It was as if he purposely trailed off to build the suspense.

    “Unless you have the Force.”

    Although Tatooine wasn’t known for its most holy of inhabitants, there were still those who believed in the Force for Anakin to have heard enough about it. Supposedly this all powerful life energy gave the legendary Jedi Knights their powers. Growing up a slave in a wasteland planet, one of his mental retreats from his dismal reality was of pretending that he was one of them.

    Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight. Hero of the galaxy. Liberator of slaves. Star-hopping adventurer.

    Of course, as the years continued on, these fantasies were slowly burned away by the twin suns.

    “Let me ask you Anakin, do you sometimes just know things, without explanation? Dream things before they come to be?”

    He shrugged, a little guarded about how open he should be with this man.

    “When you race, what do you feel? What are your instincts telling you?”

    Anakin didn’t even have to think about it. “I feel like my pod is an extension of me, Like we’re one. I can feel everything around me.The track, the environment, the dangers ahead. Even the other racers, sometimes. What they’re feeling. What they’re going to do.”

    As he said all this, Qui-Gon looked at him with focus, studying him maybe, to see if what Anakin was telling him was the truth - which it was. “It was clear, from the very moment we met, that the Force is strong with you. Had you been born in the Republic we would have identified you at birth

    “We?”

    Their waitress came with their drinks, and once she was back inside, a smiling Qui-Gon put up his hand, gesturing a finger to his mug of caf. To Anakin’s amazement, several drops of the drink lifted themselves off the mug, circling one another in perfect harmony before dropping back down to the mug.

    “You’re one of them?” he asked, a little out of breath.

    “I am a Jedi, yes. Now let me ask you something, Anakin. Are you happy here, with your life?”

    Was that a trick question? “I’m a slave on the planet that is the furthest from the bright center of the universe. What do you think?

    Again smiling, Qui-Gon took a sip of his caf before saying, “Then we have much to discuss.”

    ----------

    “Tatooine? What are you doing there?” Obi-Wan asked the small hologram of his former Master. “Isn’t it controlled by the Hutts?”

    “Yes, so you can imagine the conditions of certain groups here,” Qui-Gon stated.

    “Something tells me that unjust enslavement isn’t what drew you there,” In the last four years, since their encounter with the presumed Sith Lord, as well as Obi-Wan’s confirmation into Knighthood, Qui-Gon had undertaken a personal mission to unravel the mystery of the Sith.

    A mystery that also involved finding the supposed Chosen One. Even before their battle against the still unknown dark side warrior Qui-Gon had always shown a lot of interest in that particular prophecy, that spoke of one who would be conceived by the midi-chlorians themselves, and bring balance to the Force.

    So for four years now, his one and only mission has been to find the Chosen One whom he believed was out there. From one planet to the next, he followed leads on exceptionally gifted individuals. Yet, no such prophesied hero had been found among them.

    “There’s a boy here. Barely thirteen, a human, and a skilled podracer,” Qui-Gon explained.

    “So he has the Force, but that doesn’t mean-”

    “-I have a blood sample that I took from a cut.” Qui-Gon showed him the small vile in his hand. “I need you to give me an analysis.”

    “You want a midi-chlorian count.” Which was why he contacted Obi-Wan from the Jedi Temple’s med bay. “Alright, wait a moment.”

    He linked the comm receiver to the analysis computer, so that the data would be fed into the analysis program instantaneously. As soon as the data was transmitted, it only took a minute for the results to show, and they left Obi-Wan astounded.

    “The readings are off the charts. Over twenty-thousand.” Qui-Gon’s holographic face showed no surprise. “Not even Master Yoda has a midi-chlorian count that high.”

    “No Jedi has.”There was no need to ask what this meant - at least not to Qui-Gon. Could he have truly found who he was looking for? Obi-Wan supposed he would soon find out.

    ----------

    “Anakin, why did you want us all to meet here?” Kitster asked, on behalf of their entire group of friends, who were gathered around Anakin’s table, all holding drinks that C-3PO had passed out. “And who is he?”

    Standing behind Anakin was qui-Gon Jinn, who had remained silent thus far, letting him take the lead. “He’s a Jedi Master - and he’s here to help us.”

    “Help us with what?” Seek asked with suspicion that was on par from everybody.

    “First off, I want all of you to use this.” Anakin placed a small device on the table, for everyone to see. “It’s a scanner that I’ve been working on since I was nine.”

    “A scanner for what?” Kitster asked.

    “For our trackers. The slaves of Mos Espa are revolting.”
     
  19. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 14, 2017
    “The readings are off the charts. Over twenty-thousand.”

    Dragon Ball Z came to mind.

    "It's over 9000!!" [face_laugh]
     
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  20. FORCEBlLADE

    FORCEBlLADE Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 2, 2003
    Chapter 8

    It took several days for Anakin and Qui-Gon to go through every slave in Mos Espa after Kitster and the others spread the word of the intended revolt.

    They all came in groups, two to three at a time. Anakin would use his scanner to find the transmitters in each of them, hand, leg, chest, neck, cheek, tentacle, horn. They were found everywhere.

    Then Qui-Gon would do his Jedi thing to reach out to the transmitter, and render them useless. With each one, Anakin watched in panic, worried that something would go wrong, and the transmitter was triggered.

    But all of them walked out of Anakin’s place alive, and happy at having their chains broken.

    Disabling the transmitters was the first step, of course. The next was escaping.

    The plan was made. The word was spread. Preparations were made.

    Then the time came.

    It was midnight. All was quiet, save for the few all night cantinas that they knew to stay clear from. Their window of opportunity was now.

    Qui-Gon met with Anakin outside of his place, along with C-3PO, Kister and his mom.

    “Do you have everything you need?” Qui-Gon asked.

    “Whatever will fit in one bag each.” Anakin proclaimed, per the Jedi’s instructions.

    “I do feel inclined to point out that to make a stealth-oriented escape would stand a far greater success if no cargo was taken, to speak of,” Threepio suggested.

    “It’s not like we can leave with nothing,” Kitster told the protocol droid. “We’re going to need whatever food and supplies we can take, if we’re going to survive, completely on our own.”

    “But of course, Mister Kitster. I do hope wherever we go there will be access to an oil bath. My circuits do become quite riddled if I go too lo-”

    “Threepio, quiet,” Anakin retorted. “The key word you said about this escape was stealth, after all.”

    “But of course, Master Anakin. I would never be happy to be cause of such dire plans to be ruined by my own-”

    Threepio, shut up.”

    “Shutting up, sir.”

    “Are you okay,” Kitster asked his mother, who seemed a little withdrawn.

    “I’m just scared, sweetheart.”

    “I promise you, Miss, I will do everything in my power to ensure everyone’s escape from here,” Qui-Gon assured with a tone of relaxed confidence.

    “It’s not about escaping, Master Jedi,” she corrected. “But rather about what comes afterwards. Most of us here have been slaves our entire lives. What if we just aren’t able to navigate our way through a life of freedom?”

    As hard as it was to admit to himself, Anakin had the same fears. All the fantasies he had of being a powerful Jedi, or a hot shot pilot, or a famed podracer were always tailed by the shadow of the outside world swallowing him whole, because he was too helpless to fight against it.

    “Strength is not a gift, but a choice,” Qui-Gon told her - as well as Kitster and Anakin. “Everyday, from this point on, you will have to make a choice to face the challenges of freedom. Will you make that choice?”

    The woman took one look at her son, then nodded to Qui-Gon. Kitster took her hand, putting it in a tight grip.

    And so they stood and waited. As the minutes passed, Anakin couldn’t help but feel worried that some would choose to remain out of fear, and that his attempt at liberating the slaves of Mos Espa would amount to nothing but a child’s silly dream.

    But then Melee and her family stepped out of their quarters a few doors down. Others quickly followed suit, and inn a matter of minutes, all slaves were standing outside their homes, ready to seize their chance at freedom.

    Anakin’s group stepped in front of all, and facing them, he shouted, “Let’s move!”

    The march down the empty streets of Mos Espa were steady, silent, and unified. Qui-Gon and Anakin took a lead, directing them to docking bays where they had already picked out a ship large enough to carry them all off planet, which belonged to one of the slave owners.

    Once Anakin saw the entrance to the docking bay where the ship was parked, dead ahead, he could feel himself breathing a little bit easier - only to lose that breathing momentum as soon as half a dozen armed Gamoreans appeared from the entrance. A dozen more then appeared from various corners, surrounding the huddled group of slaves.

    “They were waiting for us,” Kitster noted. “They knew we were aiming to steal a ship. Someone sold us out.”

    That was most likely the case. They couldn’t ponder about that right now, though. They had more pressing matters.

    “What now Qui-Gon?” Anakin asked, unable to hide his panic.

    The Jeid Master’s demeanor remained calm - casual even. “Now, we forget about being stealth - and get their full attention.”

    Reaching under his robe, for the very first time since meeting him, Anakin watched him pull out the handle of his lightsaber. With a snap-hiss, a green blade came to life from the handle. It’s green light pierced out in the dark street, sounding out a soft hum.

    To see the weapon come to life, right before him, momentarily drew Anakin in hypnotically.

    The Gamoreans surrounding them were all taken aback by the ignition of the lightsaber, and Qui-Gon took immediate advantage of their straddled state. Raising a hand towards the ones blocking the docking bay entrance three were suddenly tossed back, against the wall. Near the other three was a parked speeder that he waved to. The speeder shot towards them, knocking them all to the ground.

    “Everyone, go!”

    Anakin led the run towards the docking bay entrance, but then stepped to the side to wave people through. Kitster also hung back to do the same. Since the ship belonged to Amee’s owner, she knew the pass code to get inside, and Wald knew enough about ships to get it started.

    Meanwhile, Qui-Gon continued to telekinetically move the speeder towards the other Gamoroan guards trying to advance towards the fleeing slaves. Those that managed to close in on him had to face the wrath of his blade that their vibroaxes were no match against.

    “No pushing!” Anakin bellowed as one person was shoved to the ground. He helped her back up and waved her inside.

    Suddenly, he got a huge chill up his spine that demanded he turn around/ Just as well he did, because one of the Gamoreans who had been thrown against the wall was back up on his feet, weapon raised.

    With the instincts of any racer, as well as his connection in the Force, Anakin tumbled away over the ground, leaving only clear air for the vibroaxe to cut through. He was back up on his feet for only a breath of a moment as he had to fall, barely avoiding the vibroaxe slicing him apart by the head. Then the Gamorean thrust his weapon, but only pierced the ground as Aanakin managed to roll away.

    His continued misses of Anakin made the guard shout a bellowing squeal of anger. He continued to advance on him, each swing becoming faster and harder to dodge.

    Anakin wasn't sure how long he would be able to keep this up, but thankfully a green beam appeared out of nowhere that cut the vibroaxe off at the hilt. The blade then sliced open the guard’s leg, dropping him down to the ground in screaming pain.

    “Kitster’s waiting for us, Anakin. Let’s go.”

    Leaving behind an assortment of dismembered weapons, unconscious or wailing Gamoreans, and a tipped over speeder, the two raced to emet Kitster at the entrance and all three raced into the docking bay.

    The cruiser inside was prepped for take off, by the sound of the engines, and everybody was already boarded inside.

    Anakin was a few steps away from the ramp when a familiar Toydarian appeared in his way, from the shadows. “Boy! What do you think you’re doing?”

    Not even stopping his run, he thrust a fist right into Watto’s face. His former owner dropped to the ground, moaning. “Goodbye Watto!”

    Kitster closed the ramp behind them, and they raced to the ship’s cockpit.

    “Take us out, Anakin,” Wald cheered, standing beside the pilot’s seat.

    “Happy to.”

    Jumping into the seat, he took the controls and set her off the docking bay. Blaster fire emitted from below., but the shields were at full power, so the blaster fire was easily blocked.

    “Everybody hang on!” he bellowed.

    Hitting the thrusters, the ship shot out into the night sky in a dash rather than a sprint.

    “We’re clear of the planet,” Wald announced from the navigation computer.

    “Coordinates set. Make the jump, Anakin,” Qui-Gon told him.

    With a broad smile, Anakin pulled on the lever to engage the hyperdrive. Space turned into a zooming tunnel of light, and just like that Tatooine was now light years behind them.

    A unified cheer exploded across the ship. Cries of joy, tears of relief, bellows of exuberance. People took turns coming into the cockpit to personally thank Qui-Gon and Anakin for what they had just done for them. Melee and Amee both gave Anakin kisses on the lips that left him a little flustered.

    Once things had calmed, and they were alone in the cockpit, Anakin and Qui-Gon exchanged smiles.

    “Thank you for freeing us.”

    “You all freed yourselves, Anakin.”

    Looking out at the tunnel of hypoerspace, the now former slave pondered what would come next. “So, this planet you set a course for, are you sure they won’t tell us to turn around and get lost?”

    One of the big reasons so many of the slaves were willing to take a risk in revolting was that their Jedi liberator promised them sanctuary on a Republic planet that took in refugees from all over.

    “I’ve already been in contact with its leader,,” Qui-Gon assured him. “You have my word that your friends will have a new home in Naboo.”
     
  21. PlanetSmasher

    PlanetSmasher Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 14, 2017
    Great chapter! Great escape! But that last line made my eyebrows rise. "… a new home on Naboo."

    He might meet Padme... He will be noticed by Senator Palpatine…

    I'm already drooling for the next chapter!
     
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