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Obi-Wan Kenobi

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Cast Them Into Positions [09 Jul 2005|11:22pm]
[ mood | disturbed ]

"Cast them into positions from which there is nowhere to go and they will die without retreating. If there is no escape from death, the officers and soldiers will fully exhaust their strength." Sun-Tzu

Anakin regulated his breathing. A few feet from him, Master Yoda did the same. Together they entered a deeper phase of meditation.
They were blank slates, mindful only of the moment, existing purely as vessels of the Force. They could feel its most subtle movements. They were part of it. And then, there no longer was a they.

Yoda's mouth dropped slightly, a ragged wheeze escaping. Anakin was motionless.

A robed figure rolled out from beneath the undercarriage of a starfighter in the Main Temple Hanger. His hood obscured his face as he made his way quickly past the rows of technicians and droids, none of which acknowledged his presence.
The Force-vision stayed with the starfighter, a standard Delta-7 Aethersprite. Outwardly nothing about it had changed but nonetheless, it seemed to grow dark and ominous. It had become a thing of death. A trap.
A few moments later a figure entered the scene. A Jedi--Obi-Wan Kenobi. He circled the ship twice before climbing into the cockpit and running a subsystem diagnostic...

Anakin dropped from the trance first. "Master..."
Yoda remained relaxed. A thin strand of saliva was hanging from his lip. Slowly he opened his eyes which stared unfocused in the dark of the Temple chamber.
"Master Yoda, I saw Obi-Wan off hours ago. If someone has sabotaged his ship we must warn him!"
Yoda nodded. "Great danger is Master Obi-Wan in. Text him I will."

Obi-Wan studied the readout from his astromech droid. It confirmed his suspicions. If there was any civilization on Jona it must be of the most primitive variety. No urban or industrialized centers could be observed from orbit. No cities, dams, large scale irrigation systems.
Of course, this might account for its presence on the list of interdicted planets. Often times the Republic would forbid travel to certain low-level worlds in an attempt to preserve cultures or species that might easily be lost to intergalactic cross-pollination.
Jona had been visited though. A group of Jedi had been here some thirty years before. What they found then and why all trace of their research was destroyed was one of the reasons Obi-Wan had come to this backwater world, despite Republic prohibitions.
And then there was the Marcite Arms Consortium. One of the galaxy's most powerful weapons dealers had taken up quite an interest in Jona in the last few months. Obviously they knew something about its worth that the Jedi didn't. Obi-Wan didn't think it had to do with the planet's potential as a day spa.

"Take us in, R3." The Aethersprite and its truncated astromech copilot handled admirably. He had never used this particular starfighter before, but his new Eta-2 was still being prepared for service along with his usual astromech R4-P17.
Obi-Wan planned to enter the atmosphere in a smooth arc, replicating the trajectory of a piece of space debris of meteorite. As soon as he could he would dive down to sea-level and try to ride close to the surface and hopefully under enemy detection for as long as possible.

The HUD suddenly began to flash red. Warning and malfunction boxes began to appear and spread across his controls.
"What's happening, R3?"

The shielding that would have normally protected the starfighter on reentry into an atmosphere seemed to be faulting in several key areas of the undercarriage. In an instant a jet of flame roared from underneath the Aethersprite and flagged behind it like the tail of a comet.
Obi-Wan grimaced. He had wanted to present the illusion of a piece of space trash firing down from the heavens but he had never expected his ship to be so methodical in its dramatics.
"R3, can we escape the atmosphere? Well, then, can you stabilize the shielding? Yes, try anything. Reroute as much coolant as possible to the exposed areas."

A chime drew Obi-Wan's attention to his left display. A bouncing graphic informed him, "An incoming transmission from y0da_mstr requires your attention." The harried Jedi master groaned--why hadn't he programmed an away message?

"R3, find us a landing site, now!"
The little droid's dome-like head swiveled back and forth frantically, searching one sensor array after another before they, or the circuits connecting them to the ship, burned out.
"A beacon?! Where? Give me the coordinates." Under normal circumstances the last place Obi-Wan would have wished to land while on a covert and illegal mission was anywhere near a nav-beacon. But...these were less than normal circumstances.

The ship was surrounded by a ever-brighteneing red glow. Molten flecks of the hull began to spatter across the transparisteel of the cockpit.
"R3, can you..."
The droid whistled plaintively before it burst into flame.
Obi-Wan regretted not having released a distress beacon at the first sign of danger, but still he would not issue the emergency call for assistance.
Though certain Council members had knowledge of his mission to Jona, it was not officially sanctioned by the Order. If word of his violation of Republic law became known, the Masters on Coruscant would have no choice but to brand him a renegade and distance themselves from him. Such a thing could only lead to embarrassment all around.
More importantly, Obi-Wan was sure that if Anakin learned of the danger his Master faced, he would not hesitate to break every law on the books in an attempt to bring him home.
No, Obi-Wan could not bear to ruin two lives by his own foolishness. He would be alone this time.

The Aethersprite's flight pattern became erratic. Obi-Wan closed his eyes and drew the Force to him as he never had before. The controls jumped and bucked in his hands but he managed to guide the self-immolating ship towards the beacon. Perspiration poured down his face, some from the exertion, but most from the rapidly increasing cockpit temperature.
A mini-bank of screens on his right shorted and began to smoke. A moment later his skin was blistering as flames licked that side of the canopy. An emergency extinguisher attempted ineffectively to suppress the fire. Obi-Wan knew that he was only minutes away from being burned alive.

He brought the Aethersprite in low. He visualized the beacon in his mind, willing his little ship closer. Without realizing it consciously, he manipulated the S-foils with the Force, stabilizing his mad dash across the landscape. Treetops swept by only meters beneath him. Only a little farther...

The beacon loomed large in his mind--a flashing cool blue light. Peace.
A little more...

A great shadow, an aura of pain and horror, a ghost blossomed in the Force before him like a black flower. Spectral hands reached forth through the veil of worlds and held Obi-Wan in an icy grip; a skeletal face with a familiar head of tribal hair and ritual markings howled in his mind. He opened his eyes and screamed.

This was his first contact with the inhabitants of Jona.

He Does Not Understand [02 Jul 2005|11:22pm]
[ mood | sour ]

"He does not understand the Three Armies' military affairs but directs them in the same way as his civil administration. Then the officers will become confused." Sun-Tzu

Anakin shoveled another mouthful of fried sogi into his mouth and chewed contemplatively. "How goes your investigation?" he asked after swallowing.
"The whole thing is very frustrating. But I'll crack it." A passing droid refilled Obi-Wan's glass.
"Were you able to get any more information? Or have the bans lifted?"
"No. The Council decided to continue to suppress whatever went on thirty years ago. On the one hand, they want me to protect the Republic from some as yet unknown danger; on the other, they block my attempts to seek out the truth at every turn. It's--"
"Difficult." Obi-Wan sighed.
"Master, there is a disconnect between the Council and the Republic now, you must feel this."
"No, please, hear me out.

"The goals of the Council and the goals of the Republic are no longer in sync. The Council, almost to a man, has been against the Supreme Chancellor since the war began but outside the Temple he is beloved. The Republic will stand behind him but we won't? How is that upholding the will of the people?"
"The Council members are not politicians, Anakin. And they do not meet so they can kowtow to elected officials. We are the watchdogs of the Republic, not its cheerleaders."

"The Council wouldn't be fit to guard a junk dealer's yard! You know as well as I that the real power of the Council rests with two beings. The others are just window dressing. Stay inoffensive and alive and you'll make it on the Council eventually."
Obi-Wan raised a wry eyebrow.
"I don't mean you, Master. The others! They go through life as if in a hibernation trance. The only thing they need to think about is which ass they'll kiss today - black or green."
"That's enough, Anakin. You go too far. The Jedi Council has led the Order for countless generations. They're the best and brightest of our ranks. Or can you think of someone more capable of leading?"

The question hung in the air between them for a few seconds.
"Spare me your pamphlet blurbs, Master. I am no longer a Padawan. I can see what the Council has become. You yourself have admitted they never supported Qui-Gon and I'll tell you he was worth the dozen of them put together."
Obi-Wan put down his fork. "Qui-Gon walked his own path."
"And so can you, Master! You're too close to the Council to see it as it really is. You could lead it rather than be its lapdog."
Anakin regretted the words the moment they were out.
"Lapdog?" laughed Obi-Wan. The Jedi smiled, but Anakin could see a coldness creeping into his eyes. He decided to press his advantage.
"You don't know that's what they all call you? The other Jedi? That idiot Plod almost spat it in your face. Everyone thinks of you as the Council's tool, the killer on their payroll. Haven't you wondered why they call you The Negotiator?"
"I hoped it had to do with my diplomatic skill."

"Master, it's a dark joke. How many times have your "negotiations" ended in the death of the other party? Your reputation precedes you everywhere you go - half the Jedi hate you and the other half are terrified of you. Step out of line and expect a visit from Master Kenobi!"
"I noticed I was receiving less Boonta Eve cards."

"It pains me to see you like this."
"And what would you have me do, Anakin? Defy the Council? Walk away from the order?"
"No. Stay in the Council but be ready for change - be accepting of it. Your loyalty should be to the Order, not two domineering Jedi. Especially not two who make you wage their own secret war."
"I will do my duty to the Order, Anakin, and the Republic. If I were you I would spend less time speculating on the future of the Council and more on the here and now. You've let your sogi dry up."
Anakin shook his head in wonder. "Nothing I've said has gotten through to you. You'd do anything they asked you to. If they asked you to kill me you would."

Obi-Wan pushed his plate away. "Anakin, if you don't let me finish my lunch in peace, I will kill you with or without the Council's permission." He gestured to the wait-droid.
"How may I help you, sir?"
"I would like a brownie sundae. Would you like anything, Anakin?"
The droid interrupted. "I'm sorry, Master Kenobi, but you have already exceeded your carb limit for today. You may not have a brownie sundae."
Anakin smiled. "Just the check, please."

Obi-Wan folded his napkin. "Heartless things, droids."

For This Reason [20 Jun 2005|11:34pm]
[ mood | fluid ]

"For this reason on the day the government mobilizes the army close the passes, destroy all tallies, and do not allow their emissaries to pass through. Hold intense strategic discussions in the upper hall of the temple in order to bring about the execution of affairs." Sun Tzu

A smiling Jedi patted a laughing child on his mop of curls. The two pointed towards another Jedi leaving a simple hut, a mob of native children following behind him.

"Is there sound?"
"Not that survived, Master Windu."

The flickering holo figures opened their mouths and gestured happily. Poor ghosts, thought Obi-Wan, forced to relive the empty motions of a now-meaningless joy for eternity.
The holo looped and began again with the Jedi showing his lightsaber to the assembled village elders.

The windows of the Council room opened and light began to flood in. The holo faded slowly until it was barely perceptible. Obi-Wan blinked as his eyes readjusted.

"Is that all we have?" asked Master Windu.
"Yes, Master. It seems great pains were taken to obliterate all traces of the Jedi mission to Jona."
Obi-Wan rose to his feet and approached the phantom image. "I found this in the personal effects of one of the healers, Mosubi Bo. It is the only holographic evidence still extant." He peered into the smiling face of the Jonian boy. What went wrong?

"But Master Morn can give us an eyewitness account. What need we have of these...technologies?" asked Ki-Adi-Mundi, uttering the final word with distaste.
"Speak of it he will not." Yoda's holopresence occupied his usual seat at the head of the Council. "Researched this I have. On their return, sworn to secrecy these Jedi were. An emergency council meeting was called. Decided it was that the information discovered was too sensitive to be shared. Even within our order. Classified it was."

Mace Windu frowned. "Master Yoda, you were the only one of us on the Council in those days. Can you shed any light on the nature of this incident?"
"Present for the emergency session I was not. As now, on a mission I was."
"Can we not just countermand the order that silences Master Morn?" wondered Master Unduli.
"Overturning a Council edict is not something to be done lightly. In favor of this I am not."
"I agree," added Master Windu. "It sets a dangerous precedent."

Obi-Wan held up his hands. "Masters, I am left with a witness who cannot speak, evidence that has been tampered with, and a planet that it is forbidden to visit under Republic law. How am I expected to continue such an investigation?"
"Continue it you must. Much interest in this planet the Marcite Arms consortium has, much invested. Endangered the Republic may well be. Discover the truth you will, Master Kenobi.
Mace Windu exchanged a meaningful glance with Yoda, who nodded.
"Master Yoda is right. You will continue the investigation, Master Kenobi. The Force will be your guide."

Obi-Wan bowed and returned to his seat. "The Force will be your guide" was a code phrase employed by the highest echelon of the council, the two who truly controlled the Jedi Order, when they wished Obi-Wan to achieve a result without regard to or in spite of Republic law.

Obi-Wan spent the rest of the meeting marveling at how much power Yoda and Mace Windu had over the rest of the Council, many of whom were too interested in what they would have for lunch to spare a thought over how many levels of deniability it took to keep the hands of the Jedi clean.
Formally or not, Obi-Wan had his orders now. He would learn what happened on Jona a generation ago and what Chairman Junker and Marcite Arms thought they would find there.

Anakin was waiting outside the Council chamber. Since becoming a Jedi Knight, he had taken to wearing his hair long. To be different, Obi-Wan had decided to cut his short. When he caught sight of Anakin's near-mullet towering above the usual Council-petitioners, he smiled at the wisdom of this sartorial switch.

"What brings you here, Anakin?"
"I came to warn you. Master Plod has returned for Si Wan's funeral. He's not happy. I think he blames you for her death."

Obi-Wan frowned. Si Wan-Da had been a promising Padawan. She was killed when an assassin's missile, intended for Obi-Wan, had destroyed his chambers where she was waiting.
"Anakin, thank you. I'm sure Master Plod understands..."
"You bastard!" A bear of a man forced himself through a cordon of petitioners and stepped in front of Obi-Wan.

"Master Plod." Obi-Wan looked up into the eyes of the fuming Jedi Master. "Let me extend my deepest sympathy for--"
"Silence, Kenobi." Plod's hairy knuckles collided with Obi-Wan's face in a backhanded slap that sent the smaller Jedi spinning.

Anakin reached for his lightsaber, but Obi-Wan placed a warning hand on his arm.
"Master, don't let him insult you like this," Anakin pleaded.
Obi-Wan wiped the blood from his mouth. Feeling the old rage he had battled with since his childhood rise again, he took a moment to calm himself.

"Master Plod, I know you are angry and hurt. The loss of your Padawan must be a pain unimaginable. But if you ever lay a hand on me again, I will be forced to defend myself. Do you understand me?"
Plod sneered. "I understand, Master Kenobi. I can see the rumors both of your womanizing and sideline as the council's assassin are true. Yes, I see the killer in you! Why her? Why my little girl? Why did you drag her into your web of murder?!" Plod sobbed and clenched his fists.
"Come, Anakin. Let us go."
"Do your masters' bidding well, Kenobi! One day soon the wind will change!"
Anakin and Obi-Wan walked quickly down the corridor and left Master Plod to his grief.
The ranks of petitioners closed again as they scanned the halls for someone in power to address their grievances.

If I Dare Ask [16 Jun 2005|01:15am]
[ mood | investigative ]

"If I dare ask, if the enemy is numerous, disciplined, and about to advance, how should we respond to them? I would say, first seize something they love" Sun Tzu

Obi-Wan sat at a terminal in the archives of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Hunting-and-pecking the name of a planetary system into his search engine, he sighed as pop-up advertisements began to crowd his screen.

A soft chime from the monitor told him he had received another instant transmission.

y0da_mstr: going well ur investig8ion is???
obiwancodered: As well as might be expected. Junker and Marcite Arms seem to have been focusing a great deal of attention on the planet Jona for some time. I can find little information on it though, in either the archives or Republic database.
y0da_mstr: sending u this from my belt transponder i am

Obi-Wan wasn't sure how to respond to this revelation so instead he opened another file on the mysterious planet, Jona. Expecting no great result, he was shocked to read the opening paragraphs of a mission log, written by a Jedi Master, no less!
"My, my. What have we here?"

y0da_mstr: songs can i store on it 2
obiwancodered: Master Yoda, what do you know of a Jedi Knight named Swebe Mann-Te? It seems he led a research expedition to Jona many years ago.
y0da_mstr: a great jedi mstr mann-te was died when u were but an infant killed he was when his stellar transport exploded 3 aides with him
obiwancodered: Much of the information in the log seems to have been purged. Of the five other Jedi who made up the expedition, four are listed in the registry as having perished in action. Only one remains, a healer, Master Morn.
y0da_mstr: speak with him you must but b on guard o b-wan dangerous times these r may the force b with u DX

Obi-Wan puzzled for a few moments over Yoda's instant transmission, until he finally realized it was the syntacticly-challenged Jedi master's attempt at an emoticon.
He closed the small window on the enigmatic transmission and exhaled.
It was strange that a scientific expedition would have generated so little traceable information. Surely there must be intact back-up copies of the log and data somewhere. It was definitely suspicious. Far from being able to glean any information about the planet, Obi-Wan found himself unsure of even what the expedition might have been studying.

The monitor chimed again. Obi-Wan reluctantly accepted the transmission, half expecting another questionable hyperlink from Master Yoda.

padawanda: what are you looking so serious about?

Obi-Wan's sensitivity to the Force led him to peer over the top of his cubicle -- across from him sat an attractive young Padawan. Her blue/green hair was a frightful mop of braids, somewhere in which was the ritual plait which marked her as a learner. She winked and began to type again.

padawanda: I need more practice with those advanced breathing exercises :P same place as last time?
Obi-Wan smiled.
obiwancodered: Shouldn't you discuss that with your Master?
padawanda: he's on a diplomatic mission to the sticks. and i'm bored :(
obiwancodered: Jedi are never bored... and only sometimes boring. Same place. Give me two standard hours. And I like what you've done with your hair.

He could feel her reaction through the Force and congratulated himself.
padawanda: cya then <3

Obi-Wan stroked his beard -- what would Marcite Arms want with a backwater planet that even the scientific community had lost interest in?
His puzzlement was quickly replaced with anticipation as the Padawan, Si Wan-Da, sashayed by his cubicle and out of the archives leaving the scent of fresh Murri fruits behind her.
Obi-Wan contemplated the rhythmic swaying of her nubile hips, the flash of light blue skin between her pants and cropped tunic, and mentally categorized her using an old mnemonic trick for storing data: Alternative/Artistic/Athletic. Well-rounded...

He heard the voice of his departed Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, in his head. Obi-Wan, keep your concentration here and now where it belongs.
"Oh but I am, Master. I am."

The door hissed as its hermetic seal cracked for the first time in many months. Obi-Wan drew his robe tightly round his body to protect against the buffeting winds. He walked slowly across the footbridge connecting the main Temple to this specially created garden -- the only one of its kind, forever recreating the violence of a windstorm.
The air lashed at his hair and clothes. Seeds spun round him an the tornado-like current. The air was dry -- desert air, he thought.
"Master Morn!" he shouted. A figure tending to a hardy little shrub froze and turned slowly towards him.

"Master Morn," Obi-Wan called again, "I am Obi-Wan Kenobi. I have come to speak with you."
The figure gestured for him to follow and shuffled quickly to a makeshift sandstone shelter. They stood silently for a moment, the roar of the wind just a few feet from them.
Morn dropped the hood of his robe and undid the scarf that protected his face. Obi-Wan was shocked at how blue the man's eyes were. They hung bright and watery in his old and parched face.
"I'm...sorry, Master Kenobi. It has been a very long time since I have spoken with anyone...or even heard another's voice. I have spent most of these last few years tending the plants and in silent meditation." The Jedi's voice was little more than a whisper.
"I am impressed with the atmospherics in here. I've never seen such an environment in a garden before."
"It is unique!" Morn's voice trembled as he became excited. Spittle appeared on his lips. "The Temple dedicated this wind-garden over a century ago. It was thought at the time that some of the desert plants found on Undini-9 were aids to Force concentration. This garden recreates that planet's climate exactly. Master Twino...But I don't suppose you came her for a lesson in horticulture. How can I help you, Master Kenobi?"

"I am looking for information on the planet Jona. I know you were part of a scientific research team that spent some time there and was wondering what you might be able to tell me?"
Morn blanched. "Is this an investigation?"
Obi-Wan could feel extreme nervousness exuding from the frail Jedi.
"Should there be an investigation, Master Morn?"

Morn collapsed suddenly dropping to the sand as if all the life had left his body. Obi-Wan crouched down to assist him but was pushed away.
"I am not allowed to speak of it!" Morn cried. "The Healers will not allow me. The Council has forbidden it! Do not ask me again. That planet is under the interdict."
Obi-Wan sat in silence for a few moments and watched as the sand drank up the old man's tears.

"Master Morn, I will learn what happened on Jona. The truth cannot be hidden forever. Here is my personal transponder code. You may contact me at any time."

After entering the code into Morn's comm, Obi-Wan turned to go. He had only walked a few steps when he heard his name being called. He stood and waited as Morn limped to him.
"Master Kenobi." Morn reached out and pulled a small seed with prickly roots from the fabric of Obi-Wan's robe. "I am sorry but I can't bear to lose a single one."

Two men in a hovercar waited patiently a few blocks from the Jedi Temple.
"Affirmative on life sign. Target is in the box."
One lifted a Marcite Arms rocket mortar to his shoulder.
"We have lock-on."
The missile sped across town preceded by a mini-force screen which enabled it to safely pass through the Temple laser defenses.

Mace Windu had been sitting in quiet meditation when he suddenly opened his eyes. Just then an explosion rocked the Temple, shattering windows on the surrounding buildings.
The security dispatch came almost instantly.
"Master Windu, Orange team here. We have just suffered a rocket attack. Impact centered on Master Kenobi's chambers. Damage minimal. Casualties light."

Mace clipped his lightsaber to his belt.
"You are mistaken, team leader. One of ours has just been killed."

In General [15 May 2005|09:12pm]
[ mood | active ]

"In general, as for the armies you want to strike, the cities you want to attack, and the men you want to assassinate, you must first know the names of the defensive commander, his assistants, staff, door guards, and attendants. You must have our spies search out and learn them all." Sun Tzu

The Coruscant sky was drawing nearer the boundary between deep night and early morning. Yoda waited in his chambers. The diminutive master's nose itched. He scratched it.
Obi-Wan entered, bowing.
"Late you are."
"I apologize, Master Yoda. I had difficulties disentangling myself from certain parties." Obi-Wan rubbed his wrist, where the Pure Florinate's vine tendrils had ensnared him. Some species are insatiable, he decided.

"Matters not. Pleasant you smell. Some cologne you are wearing?"
"No, Master. I have but paused to sniff a flower and found myself wet with its dew."
Yoda yawned at this cryptic response.
"Your mission?"
"Our sources are correct. Chairman Junker is definitely planning something - what it might be and whether it has the full support of Marcite Arms, I cannot tell."

Yoda observed Obi-Wan through half-closed eyes, then nodded for him to continue.
"I baited him, as you instructed, and he rose to it. He is consumed by a powerful combination of pride and rage. I believe if I offered him a more direct challenge he could not help but accept."
"Our last resort the challenge will be. So much gossip in the capital. Know what he plans we must. Thoroughly investigate this you will."
Yoda looked to the window.
"Dawn it will be soon."

"I shall go at once." Bowing again, Obi-Wan turned to leave.
"Master Kenobi."
"Yes, Master Yoda."
"Fear not the dew of the flower, but its thorn. This you will remember."
Yoda closed his eyes and sank into a meditative nap.

The perimeter of the Marcite Arms Consortium compound was peaceful. It was generally this way in the hours before dawn.
The heart of the security machine observed and recorded as security teams and droids made their silent circuits along preordained paths. The Machine often used these times to slip into an almost trancelike state akin to dreaming.
Even at this extreme level of cybernization the central organic components needed time to rest and contemplate. And so the Machine dreamt, as it always did, of farms on far-off worlds, limited water supplies, animal husbandry, crop rotation and fertilizer prices.

It was almost a nanosecond before the disappearance of a security drone pushed itself up through this revelry and was acknowledged, questioned, verified and certified in countless permutations thereby automatically raising the compound's defense level to a heightened Yellow.
The Machine then watched with some distress as a squad of security men hurrying toward the drone's last known location, inexplicably took a wrong turning and marched double-time in the opposite direction.
Quickly, the Machine issued counter-orders in several languages, fired off a brief but pointed report to the night's duty officer and proceeded to make back-up and hard copies of all related files should any of these actions result in the termination of contract for one of Marcite Arms' employees.

The security level had reached Orange when another surveillance droid caught sight of a figure dressed in a dark blue modified ARC trooper uniform an instant before it malfunctioned and went permanently off-line. The intruder's suit obviously incorporated some stealth technology as it failed to show up on any of the systems sensor arrays. The Machine reluctantly raised the security level to Red, the first time this had occurred in the compound's history.

Rapidly the trail of deactivated droids, confused guards and inexplicably deactivated forcefields grew, driving, it seemed, in a direct path towards the most secure sublevel of the compound - the chairman's personal archives.

The Machine opened a new channel between itself and an offsite terminal. After a series of cross-encrypted passwords and counterchecks it received permission to move to its final security threat level procedure. It closed its eyes...

Life began to trickle into the maimed and ravaged body that had been Shiria Sunwo. Her desiccated lips trembled in the tank of preservative broth that had been her body's home for over three decades. The wetware that honeycombed her head directed her thoughts down a dark corridor along a holographic blueprint. Images of a destroyed security drone caught her attention. A door opened with a hiss. She followed a shadowy figure down into the turbolift.
The more energy the system diverted into Shiria's body, the clearer her imaginings of the intruder became. He was a man. Average height. Athletic build.
At the same time she found herself dreaming again, or more accurately remembering - recalling a life in the Jedi Temple, her failure to be taken as a Padawn, her shameful exile to the farming world of Probstion, the abduction, the torture, the mangling of her body and the cybernetic slavery which was now her world.
Her senses, the senses of a Jedi reached out, bloomed and took in everything at once - she recognized the intruder, she recognized herself.

The intruder, with the instincts of a predatory animal froze, aware that he had been observed he raised a gloved hand - and the Security Machine's mind, the fallen Jedi Shiria Sunwo, went off-line, permanently.

One final word flickered across Chairman Junker's screen as he watched the final transmission from the compound. Jedi.

There Is a Plant [06 Apr 2005|04:42pm]
[ mood | artistic ]

"There is a plant in the western regions called the blackberry lily. Its stem is four inches long, but because it grows atop tall mountains, it looks down into a thousand-foot abyss." Sun Tzu

Fine white sand swept over the floor and the shoots of a small sturdy grass rose up here and there.
The guests sat or lounged, murmuring to one another as they ritually passed the meal and drink bowls from hand to hand.
Her Most Revered Highness, the Pure Florinate, smiled at the success of her Coruscant coming-out party and in so doing released pollen and a pleasing odor from her buds.

"I believe, General Kenobi, that you know Chairman Junker of the Marcite Arms Consortium," she said, turning to her two nearest guests.
Obi-Wan smiled pleasantly.
"By reputation, Highness."
Junker sneered. His rock-hewn features and grey-flecked hair gave his face a hardened appearance which seemed to make all pretense at social nicety absurd.
"General Kenobi and I are both artists in the same medium. In our field, it is necessarily by reputation that we are known." He grinned, exposing teeth that any self-respecting patrician would have had replaced long ago.

The High Florinate was disconcerted by Junker's tone but remained unsure of his meaning.
"And what art do you practice, Chairman?"
General Kenobi answered for him, eyes only visible over the rim of a waterbowl. "War."

Junker nodded. "It is a broad canvas."
"And one which we approach differently."
The High Florinate shifted uncomfortably. Several of her petals closed hesitantly.

Obi-Wan passed the bowl of sweet-water to Junker, who received it with the appropriate words of thanks.
"Indeed, there seems to be a movement in our community," the Jedi began jovially, "towards the acceptance of the 'Ready-made.' I prefer the older hand-turned approach. It seems to me when we feel the artist's own presence in the work, it is rendered somehow...nobler. I wonder what thoughts Chairman Junker might have on the subject."
The Chairman bristled, "Are you implying that I won't get my hands dirty?"
Obi-Wan looked on Junker affably, as if no answer was required.

"My friend," whispered the High Florinate, holding one green-tinged hand placatingly towards Junker, "have you not recently returned from a trip to the Rim? It must have been very exciting. Pray, entertain us with your observations."
Junker grunted at this ploy to diffuse the confrontation but allowed himself to be drawn out. He gave the company two anecdotes highlighting the eccentricities and rusticism of those inhabitants of the Outer Rim as were sure to appeal to the sophisticated and cosmopolitan of the galactic capital.

"'Wouldn't it be easier if you got into the pod?' I asked him. 'Mercy, yes. But then who would watch the Tentadrulla?!!!'"
As the laughter died down, Junker's eyes sought out the Jedi's.
"Of course, my travels were a walk in the Arborium compared with General Kenobi's. Why, everywhere he goes there seems to be a catastrophe."

Obi-Wan looked down into the dessert bowl that had just come his way and said nothing.
"What do you mean?" asked a young socialite, who, this being her third party of the evening, was already feeling the effects of the seed-wine.
"Only that poor General Kenobi's visits are invariably occasioned by some calamity. Remember that union strike on the manufacturing world of Akoalas? The one that was holding up production on the Republic's latest star cruiser design? Master Kenobi hadn't been there two days before the ringleaders were found decapitated in their boardroom. The murderers were never captured."
Obi-Wan coughed quietly and dabbed his mouth with a moss-napkin.
"Or Dentoponie-9? That religious movement. Order of the Sons of Light, or whatnot. Claimed they were immersed in the Force, a nonviolent alternative to the Jedi. Well," Junker chuckled unpleasantly, "they must have had some power - they slaughtered each other, if reports are true. Used Force powers to destroy themselves. Only left traces behind." He addressed Obi-Wan directly. "You were there vacationing, Master Kenobi. Perhaps you can shed some light on their gruesome demise."

"Are you not afraid, Chairman Junker, that this chain of unfortunate occurrences might follow me here? I would loathe to be thought the cause, no matter how remote, of any further disappearances."
Junker licked his lips. "I promise you, Master Jedi, I have no intention of disappearing."

"General Kenobi," interrupted the High Florinate in an over-bright voice, "I am told that you are also a master of the Monian lute. Is this so?"
"But a humble student, Highness," Obi-Wan bowed.
"I beg you will give us a demonstration."

The lute was quickly presented to Obi-Wan and as he tuned its pegs a silence stole over the room.
He struck softly with his plectrum, alternating between the nine strings as his hand slid over the instrument's fretless neck.

I can't understand it, why you want to hurt me.
After all the things I've done for you.
I buy you champagne and roses, put diamonds on your finger -
Diamonds on your finger -
Still, you hang out all night.
What am I to do?
My girl wants to party all the time.
Party all the time.
Party all the time.
She parties all the time - party all the time.
She likes to party all the time - party all the time.
Party all the time.

Obi-Wan winked imperceptibly to the High Florinate, who regarded him with dark and thoughtful eyes. Her supple limbs stretched gracefully over the soft white sand.

Of all his studies: diplomacy, the art of war, the Monian lute, it was xenobiology that was just then at the top of his mind.

***Begin Transmission*** [05 Apr 2005|06:18pm]
[ mood | respectful ]

Airing History of obi_wan Episode I:

1. Moon Light
2. Reflecting on Water
3. In the Hands
4. Of a Man
5. Dying of Thirst
6. Is as Near to
7. Heaven
8. As We Might Dream
9. To Be

Schedule of postings for obi_wan Episode II to be announced.

***End Transmission***

COMING SOON! [19 May 2004|08:05pm]

To Be [24 May 2002|06:55pm]
[ mood | relieved ]

"Are you ready?"
Anakin knelt near the receding tide on a rocky beach. As the water pulled back, it left froth and seaweed and millions of microorganisms behind to dry and die in the sun.
"Master, do you believe this is where we came from?"
The sun began to melt into the sea.

There was so much I hadn't told him. After I had dealt with the other guards in the Citadel I had returned to the Chamber of Power. The work of destroying all of the machinery Alric had brought with him to awaken the Chamber took only minutes.
When I reached Anakin, he was up to his neck in water and not very happy.

He asked me what had happened and I informed him that Alric and I had fought and that I had killed the Korps Kommandant. I did not explain that the machinery had worked and given him Force powers unrivaled by any Jedi I have ever encountered.

We had been preparing for our departure all afternoon. The porters were most pleased to be leaving.

Now I too looked over the waves and the algae, rich in Midi-Chlorians, that had given Alric, and perhaps all Jedi, a special connection to the Force.
Were we indeed nothing more than byproducts of an ancient science project?

"My young friend, it does not matter where we came from. What is important is that we are."

Anakin lifted his pack to his shoulders, and we set out.

As We Might Dream [23 May 2002|07:35pm]
[ mood | recovering ]

Alric stood patiently by as a technician ran an instrument over his chest.
"Sir, your Midi-Chlorians are well over the red zone."

I readjusted my perch on the windowsill. My body ached from its recent exertions, but I knew that I would have to be in top form for what was about to come. I drew the Force to me and let it flow through my limbs, my muscles, my blood.

Meanwhile, Alric contented himself with games.
"Throw another!"
The commando tossed an egg into the air, and Alric tensed. As the fragile sphere moved midway through its arc, it exploded as if smashed by invisible hands.
"Damn! I can feel it, but I haven't gotten control yet."
Silently, I thanked him for an admittance of his weakness. But this would mean I must move quickly.

The commando threw another egg, and this time it slowed and began to hover in the air. Alric was frozen in concentration. I slipped through the window and into the room, walking carefully up to the nearest guard.

The commando's neck snapped with an unpleasant pop. Alric spun towards me, and the egg hit the ground.
Fast as my Jedi reflexes were, my opponents were no slouches either. They were products of the best lethal training money could buy.
Not a moment was wasted with surprise at my appearance or sadness at the death of their friend. As soon as my presence was detected the guns were trained on me.

My body was a blur of speed as I launched myself towards another guard and, locking one arm around his throat, spun him around. Instantly I felt the impact of blaster fire shudder through him as his colleagues began shooting a fraction of a second too late. I snatched the blaster rifle out of his spasming hand and returned fire as I ducked quickly behind one of the large metal cylinders.

"Don't shoot the machines!" insisted Alric. I could feel his Force power growing. His location was revealed to me by an ever-widening disturbance in the very fabric of the Force.
I sensed the commandos tense and then slowly and stealthily begin to fan out through the room in an attempt to pin me down. What they didn't know was that I had been moving too.

Two guards walked past me, their eyes focused on the cover I had last hidden behind. I slid out of the mass of cables and wiring I had draped over myself like vines and, grabbing one helmeted head in each hand, smashed their skulls together. They weren't dead, but they would be if they didn't receive medical aid. I couldn't worry about that just now.
Another commando lunged at me with a long vibro-blade. I caught his wrist and, spinning, twisted his arm around his back until it snapped. I dropped him to a ground with a kick that hit his knee at an angle, crippling him permanently, but also putting him out of the fight without killing him.

"Kill the hostages!"
A group of soldiers and technicians broke for the door. The first flew forward onto the ground as my jump kick terminated between his shoulder blades. Using his body as a push-off point, I launched a spin kick which took down two more. The others hesitated, unsure whether they should run or attack. It was all the time I needed.
A jab to the nose bridge of a technician put him quickly out of the fight. A commando saw this as an opening in my defense and threw a vicious punch aimed at my throat. I dodged and, grabbing his arm, dislocated it at the shoulder. For added effectiveness, I headbutted him. It didn't do my head much good, but I had the Force and he didn't. The shock sent him into unconsciousness.

More blaster fire splattered around me. Bits of molten rock burned my skin and bolts singed my clothing. Alric had forced me to show my hand by threatening the hostages. I was right where he wanted me.

While leaping and spinning in the air to escape the brunt of the fire, I spotted something. Before my mind even had time to acknowledge the new information, my body, which was now working solely on instinct and the guidance of the Force, had reached out and snatched a small object off a table of equipment.

I landed on my feet and my lightsaber snapped to life with a crack. Before I knew what I was doing, I had deflected three blaster shots and moved to the attack.
I could feel the surprise and fear burst out of the first commando as I brought the humming blade up through his torso, splitting him into two unequal parts.
The stroke continued into a sideway slice that beheaded the next unfortunate mercenary.
As he fell, I shot out with a reverse kick that caught the assailant who had rushed up behind me squarely in the midriff. He bent double as the breath rushed out of him, and I spun the lightsaber around, catching him just above the knees and dropping him permanently to the ground.

I sensed danger and my acute ears picked up the snapping of a metal pin above the din of screams and gunfire. Using the Force, I stopped the grenade just as it neared me, and I just as quickly shot it right back across the room back into the waiting arms of the commando who had thrown it. When it exploded, there was nothing left of him, and only pieces of his two friends.

"So, that's how it is done," observed Alric wryly.
He and I were all that were left in the room who might ever hope to fight again.
His skin was still bluish - the Midi-Chlorian-laced concoction had seemingly dyed it. His dark eyes were now a bright gold. Though he wore no armor more protective than a bathrobe and carried no weapons it was obvious that he posed more of a threat to me than I to him.

"Ahhhhh, Kenobi! I see now why your order has guarded its secrets so closely. I can feel so much. Do such wonderful things. I can hear your heart beat and feel the wind displaced by a hunting hawk circling above the citadel. I have become one with everything.
"Do you know why I left Giga Secondus? Most assume it was because of the coup. What a joke. I was behind the coup! Had I wanted, I could have been dictator there years ago. No, I was forced to leave, by this!"
He indicated his own body. I circled around him, lightsaber in hand, waiting for any sort of opening in his defenses.
"You see," he continued, "I have been recently diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease. I am doomed to watch as my body slowly degenerates and collapses until I become nothing more than a breathing husk. I have been betrayed by my own body!
"For months I have watched the gradual slowing of my reflexes and faculties. I have felt my organs atrophy and my muscles die.
"But now! Oh, noble Jedi! I can sense every cell, every diseased, corrupt, dying cell, begin to fight back. They grow, they repair themselves. I am coming back to life.
It seems a shame to taint my recovery with your murder, but..."

He threw himself at me. I felt an iron grip on my wrist pinning my lightsaber. He brought his upturned palm into my chest, instantly staggering me and forcing me backwards. I never even had a chance to prepare myself for the sweep kick that sent me crashing to the ground.
"How exhilarating. I was never this good in the old days! Perhaps I should create an army of Midi-Chlorian-saturated soldiers. Or do you Jedi have a monopoly on such things?"

All the weariness that I had been fighting off had returned. I was wracked with pain and fatigue. He had returned to his position on the other side of the room, and for a moment, I wasn't sure that he had been punching and kicking me at all. He was just so far away. I realized I was beginning to lose consciousness.

"Master Jedi, let us try this Force of yours out and see just what we can do."
I fought to get to my knees.

Alric sighed, and his look took on an appearance of extreme concentration. I began to feel the Force around me coalesce and then constrict.
In my chest my left lung was paralyzed; it was as though someone was squeezing all the air out of it. My ribcage came under intense pressure. I could feel and hear my heart beating furiously as it was crushed. A rib snapped.
Alric was sweating. His eyes were closed. I knew that in a matter of seconds, all the organs contained in the left side of my torso would be crushed into a pulpy mess, resulting in my immediate death. As it was, I was sure I was about to have a heart attack.

My lightsaber lay limp in my hand. So close.

"Prepare to die, Obi-Wan Kenobi," he spat through gritted teeth.

One of the earliest abilities we learn as Padawans is the ability to project our voices, to increase its range and volume. Being diplomats as well as a police force, such an ability is highly important. Negotiations in a hostile environment often times rely on the ability to be heard, and when mechanical means of voice enhancement are unavailable, a Jedi must rely on his own abilities.

I drew to myself all the energy I could. I thought of my mission, the Council and my calling as a Jedi Knight. I concentrated on Qui-Gon Jinn, my master, and Anakin, my Padawan.
I felt the Force swell just above my stomach and I harnessed it and pushed it upwards and outwards.
"No!" I cried.

The sound, a pure manifestation of the Force, echoed thunderously in the chamber. Machinery shattered, gauges exploded, and rocks crumbled. Alric lost his concentration and stumbled backwards.
In retrospect, I assume he was still using the Force to boost his hearing as well as his other senses, and being untrained, he was probably not able to protect himself from the noise.

He grabbed his head and screamed soundlessly. I charged him and with a stroke my lightsaber sent his head tumbling across the floor. His body tottered on its feet and sank to the ground.

Strong in the Force, you were.

It was time to find Anakin.

"Clearly Midi-Chlorians aren't everything."

Heaven [23 May 2002|04:33am]
[ mood | diligent ]

"Are we going to die?"
"No, Anakin. That would be foolish, and would not help us achieve our goal."

I sank back into my meditations.
We were imprisoned in a large tidal chamber. One of the many that formed the foundation of the Citadel. Our lightsabers had been taken and our wrists were bound behind our backs.
Now there was only the Force, and waiting...

"I'm sure I could open the lock on the door with the Force, Master! We could be out in a minute!"
I opened my eyes again, thankful for the darkness surrounding us. Sometimes I fear my facial expressions give too much away.
"Wait, I can feel the guard on the other side. Maybe I can get him to open the door!"
"Please, Anakin, calm yourself and think for a moment."
The Padawan held his tongue, but his mind was in a state of barely-controlled excitement.

"If you were our captors and had imprisoned two Jedi, what would you expect them to do?"
"Probably to break out of my prison and bitchslap me with a lightsaber."
"Exactly. And that door behind us would be a captive's most probable means of egress. So?"
"So...we go through it really fast?"
"No, we don't go through it at all."

I stood up and stretched my legs. I would have felt more comfortable with more time to meditate, but I suppose we can't have everything we want.

"What are you doing?" Poor Anakin, so lost without his lightsaber.
"I am going to find where this cave meets the sea and then I will swim out, climb up the mountain, and return to release you."
"But your hands are tied," he protested.
"Well, yes, one is at any rate. While you were cursing the guards, I used a small Force trick to make sure that the restraint cuff only sealed around one of my wrists. If you were to ask the commando who sealed it, I'm sure he would remember distinctly the lock 'clicking.'"
"Thank you. Stay here."

It was difficult finding the edge of the cave without any light source, but I let my hearing guide me and the gentle sounds of the waves lapping against the stone was more than enough to lead me to the water's edge.
I practiced my breathing and braced myself for the shock of cold liquid contact.

"You're coming back for me, right?"
"Of course, Anakin. Have faith."

And hope that the tide doesn't reach you before I do.

The water was freezing. It was night on the surface, and an even deeper black beneath the waves. My Jedi training allowed me to hold my breath while exercising, and it was this ability that I was basing my chances of survival on as I swam through flooded tunnels towards the sea, unsure of direction.
When I reached the submerged cave mouth, my lungs were burning and my head throbbed. But even as I rose rapidly towards the surface, I paused to examine a large bioluminescent jellyfish as it hovered placidly in the water. It seemed to recognize my presence and for a second I was almost sure that it reached out to me with the Force, but its attention was quickly turned to a smaller cuttlefish which it puffed off in pursuit of.

There are few experiences as pleasurable as taking an unrestricted breath of air after having been deprived of it almost to the point of unconsciousness.
I spent the next few minutes regulating my air intake and relaxing my body. Looking up at the side of the cliff that I was about to scale, I realized I was nowhere near finished with my ordeal. It was then that my spirit joined my body in the state of exhaustion.

The freezing wind buffeted me as I sought foot and handholds where there were none, and torturously pulled myself up the sheer cliff face. After what seemed like an eternity, my numb fingers came to rest on a man-made ledge, a window. And from the light pouring out from it, I knew the room upon which it looked was occupied.
I dragged my body onto it, making sure that I made no unnecessary noise.

My calculations had been correct, and I was able to peer undetected into the laboratory known as the Chamber of Power.

Alric was nowhere to be seen, but his men ran between machines frantically. A field medic analyzed data given him by a standard issue computer someone had jury-rigged to the far-older alien technology.

Suddenly, with a hiss, one of the large cylinders split open, releasing gas and steam into the air. I felt him before I saw him. Alric.

He stepped out of the machine, covered in a thin blue liquid. Immediately he turned to a row of storage boxes and extended his hand towards them. Nothing happened, and then the boxes began to shake. When they launched themselves across the room, commandos leapt out of their paths and Alric, laughing, lowered his hand.

"I have become a god!"

Is as Near to [22 May 2002|11:31pm]
[ mood | pensive ]

"I'm sure if we attacked now, we could slay them all and suffer only 30% casualties among the hostages." Anakin still had his lightsaber in his hand.
"A Jedi knows when it is right to act, and when it is right to shut the hell up." Alric, who was leading our little group glanced back at me over his shoulder. I gave him a smile.
"When it is time," I assured my impatient Padawan, "we shall act. We should consider ourselves fortunate. Not only are we able to explore this Citadel, but we now have a guide who seems better informed of its history than ourselves."

The commandos who surrounded us kept a stony silence. Alric signaled for a halt, and consulted a datacard.
"Ah...the Chamber of Power should be...left, which will be my right, so...here!"
We followed him into a darkened room.
"Lights!" two of his mercenaries ran forward and kneeling set up two battery powered field lamps.

The chamber was much larger than I had first assumed, it stretched back a great distance and its walls were frequently interrupted by alcoves and niches. The stone blended flawlessly with steel and antiquated machinery. Everywhere were cylindrical containers, each sending out a myriad of cables from its base, like roots in search of sustenance.

"You two, bring in the generators.
"I am really so glad you will be here for this, my esteemed Jedi guests. Of course, it is only fitting as this room is part of your history, perhaps the basis of your history. Would you care for me to explain?"

Alric would have made a fine, if annoying, professor somewhere. It was a shame he had instead aligned himself with a corrupt regime and taken over the ruthless operation of the secret police. I assumed his appearance here, with his men, confirmed the rumor that a coup had dislodged the tyrannic government of Giga Secondus.

"If I asked you not to tell us, I doubt you would honor my request."
"There is no need to be snippy, Master Kenobi."
"A Jedi is never snippy. Though we are sometimes bored." I stifled a yawn. Beside me, I felt Anakin giggle.

"Well, you'll just have to put up with it, won't you? Remember who is in charge here. You live at my mercy and for my amusement!" Alric's anger swelled in him, and through the Force I could feel the struggle inside him, between rage and rational thought.

"I apologize for my flippancy. Please, continue your explanation."

He collected himself, and striking a pedagogic pose, began his narration.
"You may have noticed that Cerocan Alpha-7 is almost entirely covered by water. I doubt you bothered running any diagnostic tests on the ocean - too busy polishing your lightsabers." He giggled at his own joke, and when he realized no one was joining him, he resumed. "Had you done your homework instead, you would have found that at the heart of ocean life here is a blue algae. This unique species of algae has over the millennia developed a symbiotic relationship with the organisms you call Midi-Chlorians."

This was indeed surprising news.

"The very same Midi-Chlorians that thrive in your bodies and give you your Jedi abilities are the same as exist on this planet. In fact, were I a gambling man, I would wager that this ocean is the birthplace of the Jedi.
"After a time, a race, now long dead, must have realized the importance of this symbiosis, because they came to this backward world and established this--" He waved his arms encompassingly. "--a scientific research station!
"And what was the product of this research?"

"Sea monkeys?" asked Anakin, honestly perplexed.
"No! These scientists devised a means of merging the Midi-Chlorians with organisms more complex than algae. I can only imagine that they began with fish - indeed, in the deep waters I am told there are Force-sensitive Ichthoids of various sizes!
"At some point the procedure was refined enough to allow the Midi-Chlorians to be introduced to a humanoid host."

"Thus the Chamber of Power," I concluded for him. It was an impressive thought. Had these containers produced the universe's original Jedi? Was the order to which I devoted my life nothing more than a science experiment?
The provenance of an item is not as important as what the item does, I decided.
What Alric was showing us was a footnote to history, nothing more.

"I thought you'd be surprised," he mused.

The guardsman had finally set up the portable generators, and they now began to power them up.
"Lesson over, Master Kenobi. I'm afraid you must leave us now."
He pointed to a row of commandos. "Take them to one of the tidal chambers and lock them in. Leave your commlinks on while you go.
"And I don't need to tell you, Jedi, that if anything untoward happens, I will have all the hostages killed.
"Take them away!"

"Wouldn't you like to torture us first?" I asked, hoping to buy some time.
Alric smiled.
"No. You're not my type."

Dying of Thirst [22 May 2002|09:18pm]
[ mood | thoughtful ]

We left the porters outside and entered the abandoned citadel. They did not complain. The natives of the planet had a healthy fear of the place. The ascent to the plateau had taken days. Both Anakin and I were unaccustomed to traveling over such harsh and rocky terrain, and it had been quite exhausting. If not for our Force abilities, I doubt we should reached our goal.

The planet was only known to us as Cerocan Alpha-7. The locals had their own name for it, but much of their language consisted only of released pheromones, consequently we were unable to engage in any serious conversations with them. Also I think our scents were offensive to them.
Much of the planet's surface was covered in ocean, but this resource had not been adequately cultivated to allow for any real civilization. The planet's population was spread out across many hundreds of islands and subcontinents which dotted the surface of the immense waters. The technological level of the societies we had encountered was certainly more primitive than we were used to. They had not even begun to fly in their own atmosphere, let alone travel in space.

The citadel had obviously been built here by alien hands, but to what purpose we could only guess. It was constructed from a light-colored veined stone. It was defensively located at the top of a plateau with its back to a cliff. The seaward side had experienced some moderate erosion but the rest of the structure was remarkably intact. I could not gauge accurately how long it had been here, but judging by the seemingly symbiotic relationship it had established with the surrounding vegetation, I would have thought a guess of centuries was not far off.

"Do you feel it, master?" Anakin stood a few steps behind me. The citadel was whispering to us. Whether it recognized us as Jedi or existed in a constant state of telepathic communication, I could not tell.
We had encountered such phenomena before. Our understanding of the ways of the Force was still greatly limited.
The citadel's voice was indistinct, but it seemed to be waiting for someone. I doubted it was us.

We entered the main hall. The walls were covered in stone carved reliefs depicting...
"Something is wrong." Anakin nodded silently in agreement. We both unhooked our lightsabers. I reached out with the Force.

Our porters were terrified.

"I see you've found my...salvation." The voice echoed down the corridor.
A tall man strode in through the archway. He wore a heavy black long coat and military-style boots. His dark hair was windblown, which made an interesting contrast to his neatly clipped beard. He smiled again, but his eyes betrayed him.

Anakin ignited his lightsaber and was about to rush the stranger. I brought up my hand to signal him to stop, but I saw the stranger had beaten me to it. Anakin lowered his blade towards the floor.
"I have your porters. Or, to be more exact, my men have them. They will all be killed should anything unpleasant happen to me. Please," he nodded towards Anakin. The lightsaber hissed as it disappeared.
"I expected company, but not Jedi." His laugh was mirthless. "Please, what may I do for you?"

Anakin was about to speak, but I silenced him with a glance.
"We are students with a thirst for knowledge. We have come to this place to learn."
"Indeed." He saw through my dissembling with ease. Of course, when you're evil, it is easiest to assume that when a Jedi Knight pops up on your porch, he is there to kill you.
"So, you've come to this place to learn its secrets? I will be happy to share them with you...but not yet. Let me introduce myself. I am Korps Kommandant Alric." He clicked his heels smartly.

"The same Alric who ran the murder squads on Giga Secondus?" blurted Anakin.
I rolled my eyes at my Padawan's ineptitude.
"No, the Korps Kommandant Alric who sold droids for half-price on Coruscant. Do shut up, Anakin," I whispered.

Alric raised an eyebrow and coughed. "Guards!" Two lines of commandos in full battle gear ran double-time into the room and came to a simultaneous halt. Their guns were pointing at us.

Of a Man [10 May 2002|10:35pm]
[ mood | content ]

The snow crunched beneath my boots as I dismounted from the Tauntaun. The hut of the "Snow Witch", as she was known to the local population, was half-covered by the recent blizzard. Whisps of smoke poured from an invisible chimney in the roof.

I was tired after our trip and I did not look forward to dealing with a sweaty, unwashed old woman and her senile ramblings. But it was not my choice to make. Anakin's obvious impatience with the situation did give me some small satisfaction, though.

I knocked once on the door and, hearing an answer, pushed my way into the hovel. She was sitting with her back to the fire, dressed in loose fur pelts. It was true her hair was unwashed, but apart from that the Snow Witch departed pleasantly from my expectations.

I felt Anakin's gaze search her dress for the many holes that revealed a youthful golden skin. Her body looked warm, except for her eyes, which were a very cold winter grey.

"What do you want, Jedi?" she asked. I was not surprised that she had guessed our identity. She had strength in the Force but her skills were undirected, untutored. And she must have known that the Temple would have sent someone here, sooner or later.
"It is our understanding that not long ago, another man and his apprentice came to you seeking information..."
"Many come to me seeking...information." she interrupted, playing with her long dark hair. I felt a tendril of Force energy extend from her and begin caressing my own aura.
"Information," I continued, "about an abandoned fortress on a primitive planet."

The boy must leave.
I was impressed. I had not expected telepathy. I smiled at her and she would not meet my gaze.
"Anakin, see that the Tauntauns are fed," I ordered.
"But Master!" he complained. I waved my hand at him and, without taking my eyes off the Witch, I felt for his exit. He was soundless, and had it not been for a rush of frigid air, I might not have known he had left.

"Perhaps now, we can discuss the fortress."
"After," she whispered.
I began removing my gloves.
A Jedi must give of himself wholly.

In the Hands [03 May 2002|01:52am]
[ mood | sedate ]

From all appearances, Anakin was having another bad dream. He suffered frequent nightmares stemming from his bondage on Tatooine and his perceived abandonment of his mother. He tossed fitfully in his bed.

It did not take long for the Force to confirm my suspicions. Anakin was not really asleep. I sat down on my bed across the cabin. This was not the first time he had tried this. He writhed beneath his sheets, clothed only in the translucent fabric. I examined my fingernails. Ignoring the blatant come-on caused him to push away his sheets all together and moan quietly.

These ridiculous episodes were becoming more and more predictable. It never seemed to occur to Anakin that I might not be attracted to him. Indeed, there is only one man's body I have any interest in exploring and it's my own. Sometimes I wonder exactly what sort of servitude old Watto had him employed in back on Tatooine. He was certainly more sexually aware then most of the other apprentices when he came to the Temple.

I wondered what Qui-Gon would have made of it all. Perhaps he would have encouraged it. Stories were often passed around the corridors of Coruscant about Masters teaching their students more than the way of the Force. Poor Anakin, I thought, you are too unrefined for anyone of taste to enjoy. You would do well to remember that.

I stood up. "I believe you will find that the Jedi Council has generously paid for our use of all the premium channels. I suggest you find something on one of them to alleviate your need. I must now go and check our landing arrangements. I will return in one standard hour."

As I left the cabin I felt his rage seethe behind me. A bit too close to the Dark Side, that one.

Reflecting on Water [02 May 2002|11:11pm]
[ mood | exercised ]

The pleasure liner hurtled through space at mindboggling speed, encountering orbital debris and pebble-sized asteroids which were incinerated on contact by the hull's many deflector shield batteries. And yet despite all of this external chaos, swimming on the Recreation/Spa Level, I experienced no sense of greater movement as I completed my 25th lap.
Clearing my mind, I allowed the water to cool my body. I stilled myself, content to float peacefully while I went over my mission for the thousandth time.

I had answered the Council's summons and appeared punctually at the Jedi Temple. Master Windu awaited me. Master Yoda was nowhere to be seen, which was a secret relief. Sometimes I find it difficult to understand anything he is saying.
"Yes, Master Windu," I greeted. He contemplated me in silence for a moment. I took this time to notice the exact boundary between his baldness and the rest of his head which he shaved. Honing my senses, I could see the telltale stubble of one Jedi's vanity.
"If you are quite finished looking at my head, Obi-Wan Kenobi, I should like to discuss with you a growing situation which has imperiled our noble order, and perhaps even the Republic."
"Certainly, Master Windu."

Remembering his gentle censure, I blushed, and my mind returned to its present situation. My briefing was but a memory; my mission was still unfolding.
I felt my Padawan, Anakin, call to me through the Force.
I dove beneath the water's surface and opened my senses to the overwhelming feelings of sound, touch, and sight.
The pool had been placed on the liner's lowest level and it was one of the ship's more famous features. It had been designed with a transparisteel floor so that one might view the stars and passing planets while enjoying a swim. For me, it provided the short-lived illusion that it was cold and empty space that I was floating in rather than a common liquid medium. I found these thoughts to be strangely calming.

Harnessing the omnipresent power of the Force, I burst forth from the water's surface and landed wetly on the stone floor surrounding the pool.
A protocol droid, shocked by my sudden eruption, cursed in some language of the Outer Rim. I suppose it had never before seen almost 2 meters of pure, uncut, Jedi Knight.

Drawn by the Force, a towel flew to my hand. It was time that I saw what Anakin wanted. Drying off, I walked towards the turbolift.

"Size matters not!" I told the protocol droid.
But it is nice to be large, I added to myself silently.

Moon Light [30 Apr 2002|11:49pm]
[ mood | satisfied ]

I awoke from my dreams with a lingering sense of disturbance. For some nights now members of the Jedi Council and I have felt a burgeoning ripple in the fabric of the Force.

I slid quietly out of bed and found my boots and pants in the sodium glow of the Coruscant night. Stretching out with the Force, I could feel the throbbing life of the frenetic city. I was being silently and wordlessly summoned to the Council chamber. The apartment's artificially-cooled air against my bare chest made me long for the warmth of the bed I had just abandoned. The downside of being a Force-sensitive Jedi Knight in the employ of near-omnipotent masters is that you can never call in sick.

I finished dressing and looked at myself in the mirror. No obvious signs of age. Yet. But I was no longer the young Padawan who had accompanied Qui-Gon Jinn on that fatal diplomatic mission to Naboo ten years ago.
I had grown both physically and in my mastery of the Force. I saw in the mirror a young, powerful and dangerous man. Which was it, I wondered, that made me irresistible to the ladies?

A soft moan came from the bed as the girl rolled over and dragged the light Neosilk sheets over her naked body.
"I have to go. I've been summoned," I whispered, standing above her. I felt her consciousness fight its way to the surface of muddled thoughts and then sink once more into the safety of sleep.
Hooking my lightsaber to my belt, I keyed the code for the door-lock and stepped out into the corridor.
"A Jedi knows not love."

You've got that right.

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