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Complete Detachment (Star Wars Prequel SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by 9adam4, Feb 1, 2019.

  1. Threadmarks: Ch. 1 - Gunray vs Raygun

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
    Likes Received:
    It had been seven years, and I still couldn’t process the scale of it.

    With the planet Naboo already covering nearly a quarter of the sky, the Federation ship could be seen first as little more than a glimmer. But it grew quickly, very quickly. In a manner of seconds it was already a looming behemoth above us… and kept growing. The scale of these freighters - hastily converted into battleships - was staggering, each a carrier for tons of firepower and thousands of deployable droids, along with the relatively sparse living crews. The blockade included hundreds of them, and yet this was only a minor show of the Federation’s strength.

    While none of the other battleships were visible from my vantage, I could feel each of them. The steel and munitions barely registered relative to the proximity of the ship we were approaching and the overwhelming mass of the planet we were orbiting, but their souls sang loudly in the void, impossible to miss. I could understand why so many with my abilities prefered to stay planet-bound. Being surrounded by the energy of a world and its people was like a sort of warm bath, and leaving it was being plunged into the cold absence of space. Each life in orbit was its own dot of searing heat, taking in and expelling the Force in the rhythm of a giant’s heart.

    My Master activated the coms, his eyes not leaving mine. It was disturbing, how he always seemed to be looking within me rather than at me - and moreso because he genuinely was. “Captain,” Qui-Gon began.

    “Yes sir?” The words came with a spark of feeling from the ship’s cockpit, separated from the cruiser’s passenger compartment by sealed doors.

    “Tell them we wish to board at once,” he said, and removed his hand from the com button without waiting for a response. He turned back to me, “Where were you just now, young one?” he asked. It was a question I had heard from him many times.

    “I was sensing those around us, Master,” I replied simply. “I do not understand why the few… thousand… Federation lives aboard these ships are so much easier to sense than the half billion planetside.” I returned his gaze coolly. “You have told me many times that for the Force, distance is an illusion.”

    “Yes, but it is a very persistent one.” He gave me his trademark smile, that wry look with just a hint of upturned lips. “The arrival of our cruiser is surely the focus of the fleet right now, and so the distance between us and them is small, by the living Force.” He tilted his head downward to emphasize his change in tone. “But that, my Padawan, is a lesson for another time. Be mindful of the present. Focus your energy on the negotiations to come.”

    I shook my head. “There will be no negotiations, Master. Only an attack. The Sith Lord will make sure of it.”

    “So you have said. But the future is not so clear as that, even for the greatest of seers. Keep your control, Obi-Wan.” Qui-Gon extended a hand to my shoulder. “As I have counseled you, the danger of prophecy is that it becomes self-fulfilling. Don’t provoke an attack by expecting one. That way lies the Dark Side. Do you understand?”

    “Yes, Master.” The cruiser had docked, and I stared at the descending door into the massive docking bay. I still couldn’t get used to the size of even something so basic as a cargo area... a room as large as a full industrial warehouse.

    I followed the tall, rangy form of my Master as he stepped down into the bay. I was not in the least surprised to find a protocol droid waiting for us. So far, things were happening as I remembered.

    But hopefully, not for much longer. At my insistence - and after quite a bit of pleading, so much so that I think my Master mainly relented to get me to stop - we were dressed appropriately for senior bureaucrats from Coruscant, our braids and weapons both hidden, nothing visible identifying us with the Jedi Order. We were even able to get our ambassadorial credentials under assumed names, which I found out was surprisingly common among Republic dignitaries.

    Without recalling the exact details, I had a feeling we would be recognized and attacked anyway. But it was important that I try. I remembered that the Nemoidians seeing the ambassadors were Jedi triggered the initial attack in canon. I wanted to see if a more nuanced approach was possible.

    “I'm TC-14 at your service. This way, please.” The droid was a shiney protocol model of the type that was frighteningly expensive to produce, relative to its value. She was as much a status symbol as any of the signs of wealth made visible by the plush conference room we were led to.

    “We are greatly honored by your visit, Ambassadors,” the droid began, standing near the entrance to the room after we entered.

    “Thank you for your hospitality,” I replied immediately. I noticed her head jerk upwards a bit in response. “You’re a TC unit, you said? A Cybot droid?” If I could help it, I wasn’t planning on letting her leave the room.

    “Yes, Ambassador Labeth. Can I get you anything?”

    “I’m okay. Master Rillian?” I asked, and Qui-Gon dismissed the question with a vague hand movement. His presence was expanding into the room a bit, as it often did in preparation for a confrontation or challenge. I returned my attention to the droid. “I was just curious. Do you have the advanced translation module?”

    “Certainly. The TranLang III is what differentiates the TC series from our 3PO series predecessors.”

    “Oh? I thought the main difference was personality?” I asked the question with genuine curiosity. Qui-Gon glanced at me with barely restrained irritation, but didn’t intervene.

    “That is a common understanding, sir, but in fact our personality matrices are exactly the same as the 3PO models.”

    “Oh? How is it you’ve avoided the same reputation, then?”

    “I don’t know, sir. We certainly work hard to please.” She paused for a second before turning back towards the door. “If you’ll excuse me, I will bring my masters here to meet with you…”

    But before the silver droid could leave the room, the doors opened to show the amphibian face and oversized hat of a Nemoidian. Two more Nemoidians stood just behind the first.

    The garb of the first Nemoidian made his identity clear, even before the TC droid spoke. “His excellency, Viceroy Nute Gunray.”

    Fortunately this part, at least, we had been properly prepped for. I stepped back behind Qui-Gon, facing the three. Qui-Gon and I each spread our hands outward, palms up, then closed them into our chests and gave slight inclinations of our heads.

    “Your excellency, may I present Special Ambassador Silmar Rillion, and under-Ambassador Aka Labeth.” (Yes, indulged myself with a reference no one else would get.)

    Gunray nodded. “Welcome to the Federation Trade Fleet. I hope your journey here was pleasant.”

    He took a seat, and as the Nemoidians to either side of him (whose names had not been offered us) also sat, we did the same. I noticed that my Master sat in a posture that would allow him to draw his lightsaber without any interference from the table or chair, and gave him full view of the only door.

    “The journey was uneventful, thankfully,” Qui-Gon said. His tone was smooth, even, as it usually was. I don’t believe I’d ever heard him actually raise his voice, in what I’m sure was a deliberate display of constant control. “We are here on Chancellor Valorum's behalf, and through him on behalf of the Senate. Our question for you, and your Federation, is this…”

    Qui-Gon leaned forward, and I felt his concentration focusing on the mind in front of him. I could feel the push as he said, “What will it take, to End This Blockade.”

    I looked on in anticipation as my Master’s will pushed up against the Viceroy’s… and my eagerness soured as it violently rebounded back on him. The only outward sign that the older Jedi gave to the effect was a slight slumping of his posture, but I could feel a roiling hatred, a burning searing pain enter his mind as his questing will was thrown back in his face. I had only ever seen the like in mental training between experienced knights.

    And now that I had, however indirectly, felt the deep hatred strike out from the Nemoidian, I sensed it in him. Not on the surface, where fear and stress mixed seamlessly with the greed for power. But under it, nestled into a tight clump, somehow pushing outwards on everything else the viceroy did.

    Was this the piece I couldn’t remember? Was it the Nemoidian who was the Sith Lord, the source of the coming galactic war and the deaths of billions? No, it didn’t fit. I remembered Gunray as a patsy, a poorly regarded distraction manipulated by the powers-that-be. A member of the Separatists later, yes, but never a part of the greater plan.

    As Qui-Gon silently reeled from the backlash, Nute Gunray was responding to his question, seemingly oblivious to the psychic altercation he’d just had. No, the viceroy wasn’t a Sith.

    But he was being controlled by one. And that was a enough for me.

    As Qui-Gon composed himself enough to respond at the end of the Viceroy’s speech, I slid the blast pistol from under my tunic. The fourth shot was already echoing by the time my Master turned, surprise on his face.

    We sat at a table, across from three corpses and a smoldering droid chassis.

    “Ben, what -” he asked as I checked the charge on my weapon before replacing it. I met his gaze, completely calm.

    “Master, you felt it more clearly than I did, I’m sure.” I brought out a handheld device as I talked, thumbing my way to a map that would get us to an airlock. “It was as a told you… the Sith are responsible for all of this. The Viceroy was in their thrall. As long as he was in control, there was no possibility whatsoever of preventing an attack on the planet.”

    “Do you genuinely think that justified killing three -”

    Four, Master.”

    Three lives, Ben. This is no time for your ridiculous ‘droid rights’ arguments.” He shook his head. I could imagine how in shock he would be were he… well… almost any normal person. But, of course, he was a Jedi Master. There was no room for anger or distress in his mind. I could see him continuing to calm himself as we spoke.

    “If we’re going to salvage this, there can’t be witnesses.” I put a hand under TC-14 and tugged. “Too heavy for me. I can manage two of the Nemoidians if you can get the other and the droid.” My Master’s expression became even more strained; he made no move towards the bodies.

    Just then, I heard the sound I had been waiting some minutes for, but hoping I had managed to avoid. A shrill hiss. Shaking my head sadly, I pulled my filtration mask out and put it in place, gesturing for Qui-Gon to do the same. No reason not to plan for something I remembered happening, even if the plan was to change it.

    “The hard way it is, then,” I muttered, as I drew my saber and hacked into the locked door.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019
  2. Threadmarks: Ch. 2 - Redirection

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
    Likes Received:
    It was somewhat unclear to what extent I was Obi-Wan, and to what extent I was me.

    I can remember Kenobi having at least some athleticism in the prequel films - jumps and backflips - and despite having his raw strength and physique, I was no closer to pulling off such feats than I had been back on Earth. On the other hand, I had naturally found myself performing certain difficult Force techniques, many of them relating to sense perception, that were unusual for a Padawan of Ben's level. It made me wonder to what extent the direction of one's Force abilities were based on one's intention and training, rather than some function of one's genetics.

    The long and short of it was that while I had a lightsaber, I certainly wasn't aerial summersulting down the corridor with it. Instead, I held a blaster in my other hand, and alternated between bouncing our assailants' shots back at them and adding to the crossfire with my own unerring projectiles. Constantly seeing moments into the future made it very hard to miss.

    When a lull in the fighting happened, I did take a moment to wonder if my change in priorities might prove a liability later, when Master Jinn and I faced off... against... whomever. Against...

    I barely suppressed snarling out loud. No matter how many times I tried to bring up any details of the movies related to the Sith, I could never solidify them in my head. If anything, each attempt seemed to make things worse.

    It wasn't a mystery to me as to what was happening; we were all taught that the Sith conceal themselves by clouding the minds of others. The effect was stronger on Force-sensitives than regular people, because our enhanced perception was based on being open to guidance by the Force, and it was that same guidance that the Sith twisted into a push, drawing us away from seeing their true nature.

    When I had first awoken at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, I had remembered all of it. My early planning involved finding the simplest and easiest ways to fully unmask the Sith Lord plotting to take over the galaxy, or just destroy him. But as time went on, and my Force training progressed, those details became less and less easy to recall. Before I realized what was happening, it was too late to even try to write anything down - a mistake I have not repeated, making both written and holorecord copies of every major clue I have come across since then, and reviewing them frequently looking for gaps in my knowledge.

    But while things touching directly on the Sith have faded from my recollection, the rest of my Star Wars knowledge has not. In fact, Jedi meditation and mindfulness techniques have greatly enhanced my recall; I have often been able to recall factoids that I'm certain I had only read in passing in my previous life. While it made my preparations for this time no less daunting, it certainly facilitated my accuracy in carrying them out.

    I pressed the button on my transponder as we arrived safely at the airlock (yes, the same one I had previously planned to eject Nute Gunray and the other bodies from). The captain had certainly thought my extra precautions were paranoid, but he'd agreed to go along with them, leaving the cargo bay as soon as Qui-Gon and I were clear, and floating unobtrusively nearby until he got the signal to pick us up. He would have returned to the same bay had I contacted him via the ships com system, but he knew the transponder meant "track us to any ship exit point."

    The tip of the transponder turned green just as two droidekas rolled around the corner at the other end of the ship's hallway. I wasted no time in blowing the emergency release on the airlock's inner and outer doors as my Master and I each aimed ourselves at the receiving maw of the cruiser's open landing hatch. Zero-G self-propulsion was quite easy for a Jedi with any training, essentially just requiring a Force pull without the usual automatic counterbalancing.

    Once we were safely inside, the passenger cabin quickly repressurizing, the coms came on. "Ambassador, the Sa'kaak is demanding we stand down and prepare to be boarded, or else they'll open fire."

    Qui-Gon quipped, "Ask them how long the Trade Federation will keep their license if they are known to have attacked a Diplomatic Vessel."

    We had our answer shortly, as the cruiser banked sharply to avoid incoming anti-ship blaster fire.

    "Sir," the captain said over the coms as the ship continued to loop and turn, "the ships have positioned themselves to block us from leaving. Our only option appears to be landing on the planet."

    I leaned over to speak into the com. "Captain, Naboo's Palace should be in your navigational systems. Land there if you can."

    "Roger. Out."

    From the displays available to us in the passenger compartment, I could see we were already exiting the swamp side of the planet and rapidly approaching the palace.

    I briefly reviewed my overall plan and preparations, and checked off my first successful change - no swamp-side landing means no Jar Jar Binks. There were about five ways that not having him along could be a disaster in the future, but I also remembered plenty of times that he was the source of a problem rather than its solution. I had no requirement for merchandising or comic relief, and so no reason to bring him along.

    But to be honest, the main reason I was happy to exclude Jar Jar was that it provided an answer to a larger important question: was I able to change things? I killed Nute Gunray, sure, but then the droid and gas attack happened the same way. If we arrived at the Palace in advance of the droid army rather than behind them, bypassing the Gungans and improbable planetary physics entirely, I would know that an important story element wasn't written in stone. That even though the Force was pushing us to take certain paths (and I was certain it was), we had flexibility as to the shape and results of those paths. I needed that assurance.

    When we safely sat down in the courtyard of the Naboo Palace, I allowed myself a very small smile.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  3. Slayer Anderson

    Slayer Anderson Orthodox Heretic

    Jan 15, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Ah, I sometimes forget that jedi 'negotiations' are just slang for 'mind control.'

    Well, at least this is an interesting start for a story. Hope to see more and determine exactly how much the SI remembers as he finds his way along. Although, if he manages to seduce Padme, he could nix basically all of canon. Or just leave Anakin on Tatooine, but that's probably impossible given Qui-Gon. At least you'll hopefully be able to prevent his death and Dooku's defection.
  4. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    There are three major practices of the Jedi Order under the late Republic that I consider immoral:

    1) Mind control is considered nonviolent. Qui-Gon would consider it immoral to threaten to kill Gunray (or Watto later) but considers it completely moral to override his will.
    My SI has no issue with using coercion when morally necessary, but you need to recognize that pushing someone's will is every bit as violent as physical coercion.

    2) No respect for sentient droids. This is because they don't show up as "minds" or "lives" within the Force. But they clearly have desires and can experience pain. Jedi have come to rely so thoroughly on the Force to drive their empathy, that they have no reflexive empathy for creatures they can't sense. This is sociopathic.

    3) Severing the family bonds of young children. This is, to be honest, the major problem I have with the Jedi order. Human beings need families. The degree of neurosis expected in a monastic order forgoing any deep feeling for parents, siblings, and then later even romantic partners, is very high.
    It's clear that what the Order is doing is diverting these feelings to the Force (a common cult brainwashing technique). And it's not surprising that what they end up with is a cadre of emotionally stunted, telekinetic killers. That is exactly what you'd expect.

    Anyway, I plan to explore each of these ideas further, including giving what I consider to be good and persuasive arguments against each of these positions and in favor of the Jedi's when they come up.
  5. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    Um... she's fourteen.

    I guess that could happen in the AotC time frame?
  6. Threadmarks: Ch. 3 - The Shadow of Invasion

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
    Likes Received:
    For my purposes, Qui-Gon Jinn was an ideal Master. He saw no need to be tied to Jedi Council policies… or any sort of basic ethics, for that matter. As long as I was following the “will of the Living Force,” he essentially made no attempt to control my behavior. And he was an excellent instructor in Force powers and swordsmanship.

    But as an ambassador? I couldn't imagine why you'd sent Qui-Gon into any situation you didn't expect would eventually involve cutting your way out of. I was starting to understand this wasn't unusual among Jedi, either. They really were very much like Earth’s medieval knights, in that the main skill they brought to the table was the implicit threat of force. That could occasionally also use mind control.

    With the Republic having been sending out the Jedi as psychic thugs for centuries, I was starting to understand how the galaxy had ended up with Darth Vader. The eventual use of Anakin Skywalker (by whom? I couldn’t remember) as a galactic bully was really just an extension of the existing process.

    Okay, so obviously Vader was willing to carry out atrocities that no Jedi Knight or Master would consider. But the systems of control were set up well in advance of him, even if he was the first to so egregiously abuse them.

    These thoughts passed through my head in great rapidity as Qui-Gon addressed a holo of Chancellor Valorum in the audience room of the Queen of Naboo. The queen herself (ruler of the human colonists, not the far more numerous and native Gungans) attended to the call, as did numerous handmaidens (decoys, I knew) and an older advisor.

    “You're certain an invasion is imminent?” the Chancellor pressed.

    “Our most recent message from the fleet in orbit promised exactly that, should we not voluntarily submit,” the Queen said, her elaborate outfit ensuring that barely any visible expression accompanied the strong emotional outpourings I felt from her.

    “We saw more than enough evidence of troop deployment ships in orbit,” my Master agreed. “They have a droid army here. There is no question what they intend.”

    “Ah, I see.” I could sense no emotion from the holo, although I knew powerful Masters like Yoda or Windu could do so. “This must be taken to the Senate at once. Queen Amidala, would you -”

    “Excuse me, Chancellor. Your majesty.” I could feel my Master’s irritation as I stepped between the holo and the throne. I waited just a moment to see if anyone would voice their objection.

    “Chancellor, do you remember my request when we met to carry out this mission?”

    “Of course, mister Kenobi.”

    “And would you not agree that the conditions I specified have been met?”

    I felt grudging agreement from Qui-Gon even as the holo responded. “... yes. They have, in fact.”

    “Then, Chancellor, are you willing to appoint the committee and send them immediately?”

    He looked flustered. “I would, of course, but finding agreeable personnel - “

    “That has been seen to. Please contact Master Adi Gallia. She has agreed to accompany the committee. Eight qualified judicial observers from differing planets, including Bool Durd of Nemoidia. They have all been briefed and are standing by for your authorization. Will they have it, sir?”

    “Of… of course.” The Chancellor looked at something nearby that we couldn't see. “But again, Queen Amidala, I must ask you to make haste in personally presenting your plight to the Senate. It can be very difficult to get a consensus on any issue, and someone speaking with the full authority of Naboo might make the difference.”

    “Chancellor, you have my thanks for your help, but it may not be possible for me to leave my people if they will soon face direct attack. We are peaceful; we are not equipped to combat such a massive force as we see mounted before us.” Despite the stiffness in her tone, Amidala’s pronouncement was undeniably regal.

    “Which is why you need the Republic to intervene. My apologies, but I am needed elsewhere. My wishes for your safety.” The image collapsed on itself and was gone.

    “Is this why you have been neglecting your training, young Padawan?” my Master murmured. “Playing at galactic politics?”

    “Not entirely master. The peggats took a lot more time, in fact.”

    “The what?”

    “You'll see,” I whispered.

    “... going into hiding elsewhere while my people are in danger!” the Queen finished responding to her adviser.

    The holo flickered on, showing the upper body of a Nabooan secretary. “Your majesty, Captain Dofine of the Federation Trade Fleet demands to speak with you directly.”

    “A calculated insult,” the adviser replied. “We know Viceroy Gunray himself is with the fleet. You should agree to speak only with him.”

    “That is no longer the case, I’m afraid,” Qui-Gon added, gaining the attention of the court. He managed not to look toward me, for which I was grateful. “The Viceroy and his lieutenant were killed, in the same incident that prompted us to escape to the surface.” He nodded toward the secretary’s image. “Captain Dofine may very well be the ranking man in orbit.”

    “I will certainly wish to hear more of these… negotiations… very soon,” the Queen replied. “Put him through.”

    The image of a Nemoidian, younger and smaller than those we encountered in the meeting room and with a far less impressive hat, appeared in place of the secretary.

    “Captain Dofine, this is Queen Amidala of Naboo,” she began without hesitation. “We protest your unlawful blockade in the strongest terms, and demand you leave our sovereign space immediately.”

    “You are in no position to be making demands, your majesty,” the captain replied, his voice gurgling deeply. “But I will now make one of my own. You have a pair of human assassins in your midst, masquerading as ambassadors. You will turn Silmar Rillion and Aka Labeth over to us at once. Failure to do so will be seen as your tacit acceptance of their heinous crimes - and will be seen as an act of war against the Trade Federation.”

    The holo collapsed as quickly as it started, and all Nabooan eyes in the room turned to my Master, who turned to me.

    Representatives of the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic had, without apparent provocation, killed the Viceroy of the Trade Federation under flag of truce.

    I had given the droid army a legitimate reason to invade.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  7. Slayer Anderson

    Slayer Anderson Orthodox Heretic

    Jan 15, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Well, that's legal in Germany and other parts of Europe.

    But, seriously, I thought Obi-Wan was actually a bit younger. He looks it in the film, at least. Didn't know he was 25.

    In that case, though, I'd still try to start planting thoughts in her while she's young, then when you become her bodyguard, provided nothing changes, you can follow up.
    ...yeah, that's a shame. Still, you're Jedi on official business, so you're free from prosecution.

    And it's not like they weren't going to invade anyway.

    Looking good with the story.
  8. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
    Likes Received:
    So, question for readers.

    Should I try to do more to fill in what Ben has done in preparation for upcoming events? Explain what he is planning and what he has set up to pull it off?

    Or keep on with the way I'm telling it now, where the reader pretty much figures out what Ben prepared and is planning when it is revealed and used?
  9. Kandagger

    Kandagger Getting sticky.

    Jul 22, 2017
    Likes Received:
    My gut reaction is "no" for two reasons.

    1. The story you seem interested in telling requires both a forward thrust, and certain amount of distrust that Ben's plans will actually work as intended. As such if the audience sees the plans, they can start to poke holes in them (in typical Spacebattles fashion). If however you press forward with Ben taking a more "Han Solo" approach to planning, you can show snippets of them as they become relevant. Keep in mind that this advice stops being true the instant episode 1 ends--since now Ben has time to plan for Episode 2, we have a chance to see what he does without breaking the forward motion of this story.

    2. Delving into the past now, means dealing with Ben's storied expanded-universe backstory. As in, "when did young Kenobi have time to set up these plans? Before dealing with Qui-Gon's corrupt former apprentice? Or after meeting Duchess Satine?" That's probably a can of worms you don't want to open. (Although I would KILL for a good Kenobi/Satine story)

    That said, if you have an idea of how to incorporate it without losing your momentum, give it a try. All you lose is however long it took you to write it. See how it turns out...post it if you like it, scrap it if you don't. I'll probably read it at least.
    The End786, AshCrow, Tank man and 7 others like this.
  10. Threadmarks: Ch. 4 - Binary Logic

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
    Likes Received:
    **Data lacking: human, navigation, logistics. Probability low. You are ignorant, conclusions faulty.** The astromech’s response was understandably skeptical. Probably not as harsh as it sounded to my human ears; Binary was a practical language without a lot of room for tact.

    Regardless, I was finding my time talking with him to be extremely enjoyable. Hovering above us was my 3D holoprojection of the major events in the coming timeline, now coming out of the little droid’s projector rather than the small portable one I had already tucked back away with my things.

    “Your reaction makes sense, Artoo, if I was pulling all this out of my… rear data port.” He gave a wordless spray of exclamatory beeps at my phrasing. “Everything here is reconstructed from memories of the future. These are events I have seen happen. Unless I intervene, their probability is one.”

    **Negation. Provisional acceptance of provenance. Hypothetical: one gate change cascades to high magnitude alteration of circuit. You are one gate.**

    This one took me a while to decypher. “You're saying that just knowing, I've already altered the future? So unlikely events are unlikely again?”


    “That makes sense, but I already have a lot of contrary evidence. The Viceroy is dead. Qui-Gon and I didn't meet the leader of the Gungans, and we managed to get Amidala out before Theed was overrun rather than after.”

    **Data is consistent with my statement. High magnitude changes.**

    “And yet, here we are. We left on exactly the same ship, we were attacked in exactly the same way, and exactly the same droid,” I gestured to him and got a happy, preening wail, “saved us. And so now we're going to the same backwater planet to repair the same hyperdrive as before. ”

    **Negation. Initial navigation identical. Attack vectors low variance. Astromech behavior low variance. Outcome consistent across probability space.**

    “Battle involves more chance elements than that.”

    **Negation. Modern space combat is highly automated.**

    “The pilots are still biologicals.”

    **Modern control systems compensate for sources of error.**

    I chuckled at that. “A pilot is just a source of error, huh?”

    **Affirmative. Amusement.**

    The hiss of the door to the hallway opened. Artoo winked out the holo as we both turned to see the handmaiden enter… and immediately hesitate. “My apologies, I wasn’t expecting anyone else to be in here.” She held a small caddy in her hands, with bottles of cleaning solution, brushes, and soft cloths.

    “No, please, come in. Artoo and I were just chatting. Padme, was it?” I stood and moved back, away from both the droid and the door, giving her plenty of room to join us.


    She gave us both a small bow before kneeling in front of the charred astromech. Care radiated from her like a healing balm. “My royal mistress bid me tend to you, brave little droid,” she said, taking a bottle and a cloth, and working from the edge of the char.

    **Unnecessary. No pain receptors on my chassis. I am not in distress.**

    “I think this is more about honor than healing,” I told him.

    “You understand droidspeak?” Padme beamed. “What did it say?”

    “He said that he isn't hurt. But… well…” I turned an amused eye to the droid, who was making contented sounds as Padme continued to work. “Could I join you?”

    When she nodded, I knelt next to her and took a brush and a surface wax. We worked in silence for a few minutes; I was reminded of the work detail given young would-be Jedi at the Temple. Constructive, mindless work helped me learn mental stillness better even than meditation, in my opinion.

    “What’s it like, being a Jedi?” she finally asked me.

    I gave myself a moment to think about how to respond. In the end, I decided the unvarnished truth was best.

    “It’s a constant burden.” I saw her glance up at me when I said that, her hands never resting. “Most people, they deal with the little stuff. Their own lives, maybe a family or a small unit. Me, the Jedi? We’re supposed to deal with conflicts affecting the whole Galaxy. Keep the Republic running, stop planets from annihilating other planets.”

    I sighed, and kept on. “And it’s worse for those few of us who already know that the Sith are back. We don’t even have the luxury of saying that we can just continue on as we have for centuries. We know things are coming to a head, soon.”

    Padme had returned her gaze to the chassis, but her mental attention was still entirely on me. She was starting to wear down one particular spot. “The Sith, the Dark Jedi? You said they’re back?”

    “They’re behind the attack on Naboo. I just wish I knew why.”

    **She is now in distress. You are the cause. Fix it.** Artoo’s tone was somehow accusatory, almost angry.

    “He’s right, I shouldn’t have put this all on you. Forgive me, majesty. You have your own worries.” I replaced the brush and stood to go.

    “No, I… I’m just Padme. Queen Amidala -”

    “It’s okay. I get the need for decoys. But in case it becomes useful for you to know that I know…” I shrug. “Don’t rely on makeup to fool Force sensitives. We can tell the difference between people without looking.”

    “I’ll… keep that in mind. Mister… Kenobi?”


    “What were you and Artoo talking about?”

    “The future. How to change it.”

    **Query: share data?** I was honestly surprised that he bothered to ask, but it was nice to know he respected me at least that much.

    “Go for it.” I made it to the door just as Padme started gesturing to zoom in on different parts of the timeline. “Let me know later if you have any questions.”

    I left an intrigued monarch and a skeptical droid both happily chattering away, and made my way back up to the cockpit.

    “I still think this is much too dangerous,” Captain Panaka said again as the holo of the desert planet Tatooine floated above the navigational console. My Master nodded at my entrance.

    “We’re close enough now, good,” I approved. I pulled a data stick out of my supplies and plugged it into the nav station. Blue-green longitude and latitude lines enveloped the globe, and several tooltips in different colors popped up. “We have two places to get to, which are about six hundred kilometers apart. The first one is out in the desert; the second is this settlement here. Technically a spaceport.”

    The captain turned his incredulous eyes on Qui-Gon, who gave a half-shrug combined with a go ahead gesture.

    The pilot chimed in, “Fuel and sand shouldn’t be a problem for a dirt-side hop. Probably best to just land directly in both places.”

    I nodded. “I was hoping you’d say that. I wasn’t looking forward to trying to get hold of a landrunner, or dodging attention of we decided we had to visit Mos Eisley.” I pointed to the dot on the map representing the largest settlement.

    I confirmed for the pilot what would be a reasonable location to land near the desert site. Qui-Gon pulled me aside into the hallway.

    “So, young Padawan,” he began, “how long, exactly, have you known that we would be visiting Tatooine?”

    I tried to look apologetic. “Seven years, Master,” I admitted.

    “And you apparently prepared for this visit, did you not?” Qui-Gon continued.

    “Extensively, yes, Master.” I couldn’t keep my tone entirely self-effacing for that.

    “Then why not just make sure we had the spare parts we need to repair the ship, and not have to make the stop at all?”

    I shook my head. “I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have worked, Master.”

    Qui-Gon’s posture was closed at this point, one foot forward, piercing me with that powerful gaze. He said nothing, but I felt him willing me to continue.

    “No matter what I did, we would not have been able to escape meeting Anakin Skywalker.”

    “The boy you’ve told me about? The one that will become a powerful Sith Lord?” His presence intensified; he pushed at me even harder.

    “Darth Vader, yes Master.” Even now I disliked saying the name out loud. I knew the Sith could redirect and influence thoughts from light years away; why not across time? But I was unwilling to cower before a mere name.

    “And so, while the fate of a world hangs in the balance, and its queen is under our protection, we take a detour to a remote planet to confront and kill a young boy?” If I didn’t know him to be incapable of it, I would think he was angry; but no, his expression seemed more like amused frustration. As though he was coming near the end of his patience, humoring his delusional pupil.

    “Kill? No, of course not.” I said, allowing myself a confident smile that I did not feel. “I am not so arrogant as to believe I could kill an entity of prophecy and of the Force, even at the dawn of his life.”

    This at least earned me an approving nod.

    “No, Master,” I pressed. “I’m not going to kill Anakin Skywalker. I’m going to save him.”
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  11. Rathmun

    Rathmun Is kink-shaming someone's shame-kink still wrong?

    Nov 21, 2014
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    Bring enough money to buy him and Shmi and repair the hyperdrive. Remarkably simple fix for a whole shit ton of future problems.
    Cryptic, ThinkingSlowly, srg and 41 others like this.
  12. Oh I am slain!

    Oh I am slain! ?

    Dec 2, 2016
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    He shared info about future timeline events from what he remembers?! Wouldn't this be a blatant info security risk with Palpatine as a trusted advisor to her? I don't know if that wasn't considered, or Obi-adam already accounted for that issue somehow.

    Oh, I see, this is probably part of the 'mental memories of Sith-related details became clouded and forgotten'. He still remembered at least something about Anakin and Darth Vader, it seems. And that the Sith were behind the prequel events in general, and the Naboo invasion in specific.
    srg, Trek, NotASnorkack and 5 others like this.
  13. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    Sheev Palpatine, the Senator from Naboo? Sorry, was he important?
    srg, Horvus, The End786 and 25 others like this.
  14. MasterOfDragonsGod

    MasterOfDragonsGod Connoisseur.

    Jul 13, 2018
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    Interesting story keep it up
  15. hwjumeau

    hwjumeau Fascinated but cautious

    Apr 2, 2018
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    Palpy is darth sidious, the jack-ass behind the galaxy going to shit.
  16. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    ... and that is a big part of what SI!Ben can't remember.
  17. Threadmarks: Ch. 5 - Rural Investment

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I can only imagine what Lef and Gedda Lars thought when they saw the dust cloud kicked up by the limping, half-scrap Naboo starship barely a klick from their homestead. Whatever they thought, by the time the ground team (myself, Qui-Gon, Commander Olie the pilot, and Padme at “the queen’s” insistence) had equipped ourselves and exited the ship, a large land craft floated toward us less than a meter above the sand.

    Lars was a broad weather-worn human with greying hair and bushy beard; his wife was similarly sturdy if a head taller and about twenty years younger. Our features weren’t easily visible in our dust cloaks, and the moisture farmer spoke as soon as we were within earshot.

    “Anyone injured!” the bellow was deep but scratchy, like the desert itself had made its way into him.

    “No!” my Master called in a shout that nonetheless sounded calm. “No injuries! Ship is damaged though!”

    The ground crawler decelerated rapidly as it approached, setting down a few yards away. Qui-Gon raised a hand in greeting, and stepped toward the older couple. They seemed content to exchange waves and beckon us toward their craft.

    “Our home is over the dunes thataway,” Gedda said through a scarf covering most of her face. “Come join us out of the sand and we’ll talk.”

    It was clear they hadn’t recognized me through my travel cloak, but they were willing to show us hospitality anyway. It was a rare enough attitude in the dangerous galaxy that it warmed my heart… even if it also made me a bit homesick.

    We exchanged no more words on the quick trip back. The crawler was designed to transport industrial droids and large equipment; six people didn’t weigh it down.

    When we arrived at the homestead, a younger man (obviously Lef’s son) waited by the door, and a young boy waited just inside it. I hadn’t understood the timeline well enough to know that Cliegg and Owen Lars had already returned from the Core Worlds after the loss of Owen’s mother. Two years ago, that event had not yet happened. I let myself dwell just briefly on whether I might have made some effort to stop her death.

    Then again, hundreds of millions died daily throughout the galaxy. Why care more about Cliegg's’ wife; because her husband was named in the movies?

    Seeing us coming, Cliegg had gone inside to place additional chairs around the dining table. As soon as we were out of the wind, I uncovered my face and greeted our hosts.

    “Hello there!” I held my arms out, and was gratified when Lef took my invitation immediately.

    “Ben!” the old man said, enveloping me in a back-slapping embrace. “Has it really been two years already?”

    “I'm afraid so, sir. How is the family? I see your son is visiting.”

    This sobered Lef up. With a nod, he headed back into the house, calling “Boy, with me!” as he went. I expected young Owen to respond, but it was Cliegg that went.

    The sturdy Gedda wrapped me in a hug next, tighter than her husband’s. I stifled a gasp. She said, low but loud enough that the four of us could hear, “Cliegg's not visiting, he's moved home. Lost Aika last year to xenophage.”

    “I'm so sorry,” Padme said as Gedda moved back, and this spurred the older woman into action.

    “Where is my head today! Gedda Lars,” she held her hand out to Padme, who took it warmly.

    “Gedda, let me introduce my Jedi teacher, Qui-Gon Jinn. And these are Padme and Ric from Naboo.”

    Two Jedi in the house,” the woman teased. "Should I go put on a dress?”

    “Thank you for your hospitality,” my Master said as he took the woman’s proffered hand.

    “Hardly that, but we make do,” she said. “Let me fix y’all a drink. Padme, want to join me?”

    The women drifted toward the kitchen while the two men returned carrying a small chest between them. It was no wider than their shoulders, but weighed too much to be easily carried by one human. The chest also had a number of nasty surprises for anyone trying to open or move it without the electronic key, including a field dampener that disrupted antigravity. Decent security on a planet where the banks were under the whims of a crime lord. My Master raised his eyebrows at me, and Olie openly gawked.

    “Did you open the chest while I was gone?” I asked. Lef had the second key, an encrypted circuit, and I had shown him the numerical code to the chest before I left. I made it clear that he should take from the chest if he needed to, although he assured me he would not.

    “Twice,” he admitted. “Gedda asked to see what was in it, and insisted we bring two coins into town and confirm they were genuine.” His eyes shifted away from me at the embarrassing account.

    “I did at that.” Gedda came out carrying a tray with tumblers of a blue liquid and a plate of shortbread cookies and put them on the table. “Counterfeit peggats will get you fed to the Sarlacc in these parts. Needed to know what we were holding.” The young lady and undercover queen following her set down a second tray with the rest of the glasses.

    I nodded. “So, just taking the coins out, and putting them back?” Producing my own key, I placed it in the slot and quickly typed across the holoprojected buttons that appeared on the chest lid. It came open with a click, revealing row after row of gold coins, each the size of an egg.

    “No, ah, three times, then,” he corrected, looking toward his son. “When Cliegg came back, I showed him how to open it, just in case.”

    I nodded and took out my portable holo unit, quickly linking to the internal transmitter. Yes, three openings. And a running tally: 1207 coins, 1205, 1207, 1207. “No problems, then. Ric?” The pilot unslung an empty pack from over his shoulder and opened it. I started moving shrink-wrapped sleeves of fifty coins each from the internal shelves of the chest into the pack.

    “I… don't entirely understand,” I heard Padme ask Gedda, who had stayed well back from the chest after delivering the (untouched) refreshments. “Are those coins worth a lot?”

    Gedda nodded. “Gold peggats, each worth sixty-four of the local currency, or about fifty Republic credits,” she explained.

    “Forty,” Cliegg corrected. “As of last week, anyway.”

    Gedda continued, “Your friend Ben’s got enough there to buy you a whole new ship. Maybe two.”

    Twenty sleeves of peggats went in the bag: 1000 altogether. I pulled the odd 7 out and stacked them on the table, then closed the chest after verifying the even 200 left inside.

    I asked the elder Lars, “Can you change me one?” He clomped out of the room, and was back a minute later with a small box that reminded me of a cigarrette case. He traded me three truguts and sixteen wapiupi, smaller lumpy coins that nonetheless had real weight. I put them in a small purse, along with one more peggat.

    Five peggats and a chest of 200 laid on the table. I looked at Lef, and pushed the five to him.

    The old man shook his head. “Too much,” he insisted.

    Qui-Gon, who had looked impassively on this whole spectacle, chimed in. “Trust is rare in this part of the galaxy. Your integrity should be rewarded.”

    He exchanged a look with his wife, before shrugging and adding the five coins to his case.

    “So here’s the deal,” I announced. “I'll pay you five a year out of the chest to keep the rest here, until I need it again or… well, it runs out. I don't have any particular plan to return.” That got a thoughtful look from Lef.

    “As for my investment,” I continued, and Qui-Gon showed his surprise again, “you have my permission to increase it as much as you like with what's in the chest, at the same terms as before. Buy what you need; keep the condensers running at capacity. Send me an update every year or so.” Nods all around.

    “Now,” I gestured my friends to seats and took one myself, sampling the blue beverage. It reminded me of eggnog. “That's business out of the way. So tell me really - how have you two been?”
  18. Threadmarks: Ch. 6 - The Easy Way

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    Moving through the streets of Mos Espa, secure pack on my back, I was strongly reminded that 600 ounces of gold… was still just 600 ounces. It felt like it should be more.

    Partially due to CGI and partially just due to the escapist nature of the cinema, I was unprepared for just how dingy everything looked. The inescapable truth (bad dialog aside) is that, on a desert planet, sand really is going to get everywhere. Every building and every surface was scoured of color and character, every possession and landmark worn down. It wasn’t hard to be reserved and wary in Mos Espa; you wanted to be.

    Of our traveling group of five, it was the fifth member whose indomitable spirit and bold colors pushed against the settlement’s immersive drabness. The droid rolled along cheerily, his sensory suite pivoting every which way as he chirped exclamations, most of them just naming people, beasts, and vehicles as we passed them.

    **Past navigation limited: ships, shipyards, hangars,** he said to me at one point. **Preference for variable input. Query: R2D2 accompanies OB1 planetary navigations?**

    “The wheels are could be a problem,” I replied, “but I’d love to have you along as often as possible.”

    “Don’t make promises to the droid, young Kenobi,” my Master admonished, but I caught a flash of amusement more than irritation from him.

    I hadn’t looked up the precise location of Watto’s business, and I made a point not to lead… but Qui-Gon showed no hesitation at all in zeroing in on a particular junkshop. Following him in, my gaze immediately found the scowling Toydarian behind the counter.

    ~Good day to you,~ Watto greeted in Huttese, his bulk lifting up above the counter as he buzzed over to us and hovered on impossibly rapid wings. ~What is it you want?~ His snout protruded out towards us just slightly as he talked… and then his attention centered on me. Or, rather, on my pack.

    “I need parts for a J-type 327 Nubian,” Qui-Gon replied, forcing the man to focus on him rather than me.

    “Ah, yes! Nubian. We have lots of that,” he replied. His accent was thick when speaking Standard. ~Larva, come here now!~

    I couldn’t take my eyes from the boy when he appeared. To my senses, he seemed like a new center of gravity. As though instead of “up” and “down,” there was just turning towards him or turning away. He was dressed like a slave, and grubby in the way of someone who worked on machines for days without cleaning.

    He spared me only a single glance; his eyes were for the queen.

    I left them to their banter and caught up to my Master.

    “... to pay for all this, eh?” I heard the Toydarian say as I rounded the corner in the yard.

    Qui-Gon nodded at me. “My associate will deal with the money situation. We have more than enough for our purchases.”

    “Republic credits are no good here,” Watto began, but his eyes were on my pack again.

    I pulled out my single loose peggat and threw it underhand; Watto caught it deftly and ran his snout over it. He made an approving grunt. “You'll need a lot more of those,” he offered. “The parts you want… a hundred would cover it.”

    “I saw something else in your shop that I want,” I said. “Let’s not waste time haggling more than once.”

    He brightened at that. “You know good work when you see it! Was it the Cayton brushless motor? It’s fully restored, I could let-”

    The boy,” I said, not even realizing the will behind my words until I spoke them. “And his mother. How much?”

    Watto scratched below his tusk, looking away. “My slaves? I doubt you can afford… two Class 1 slaves…”

    “They're Class 3 and you know it,” I replied.

    “Maybe to you, but uh, they're like family to-”

    “You beat them. Enough dissembling. The parts, a woman slave, and her son. How much?”

    “Four hundred gold peggats.” He was fully engaged now.

    “Two hundred,” I countered. I kept the relief off my face.

    “Three hundred and twenty-five. Or you can keep your gold, and I will keep my slaves.”

    “Deal.” We shook, and he flitted off to the yard to gather parts. Qui-Gon and Artoo followed him to make sure he got them all.

    I felt a triumphant thrill as I returned to the shop, where Anakin was enraptured by commander Olie telling one of his inexhaustible piloting tales. Padme's gaze mostly lingered on the boy; he had clearly intrigued her.

    “Anakin? Could you help me count out my money, please?”

    He turned to me as I opened my pack out on the counter. “Oh, no, sir. I'm not allowed to touch the money. But don't worry, Watto will be here soon to count it, I'm sure!”

    “What does…” I swallowed, calmed myself. “What would Watto do, if you…?”

    I didn't have to finish my question. I felt the pain as sharply as though Anakin was freshly experiencing it, his fear at being so much smaller than the Toydarian, having no way to stop the beating. It didn't linger as pain usually did, though, but cut off abruptly as Anakin's attention turned away from his memory and onto something else. It seemed that for Anakin, remembering an experience was as vivid as reliving it.

    I directed my attention to the gold coins, placing six unopened sleeves on the counter and opening the seventh. Those coins I stacked neatly into four piles of five and a fifth pile of four. (Yes, I had noticed that the coin Watto had examined never made it back to me.)

    Anakin was called away during my counting and returned hauling a small pallet of surprisingly serviceable parts. Olie immediately jumped up to assist him, and they were soon joined by Qui-Gon and Artoo taking inventory.

    That left Padme and I looking over the sizeable supply of gold when Watto flew over to us holding two small metal boxes.

    “This is the mother’s, and this is the boy’s. Keep them well hidden so they don't find them and run off,” he advised. The moment the boxes were on the counter, he was swiping at the gold coins, happy to examine each one with equal interest.

    “What are those?” Padme asked, picking up one of the boxes, examining a switch on one side and a latch on the other.

    “Slave transponder units,” I explained. “Each slave is implanted with a transponder chip in an unknown location, shielded from detection. If you leave the range of your transponder unit, the chip detonates.”

    Watto didn't look up to see Padme shudder. He added, “Those are good units, too. Very reliable. Hardly ever go off by mistake. And they offer a very good warrantee, almost cover the cost of a new slave if it malfunctions.”

    “Why would anyone do that to another person?” Padme whispered, but it was more to herself than anyone else.

    “What are you doing with those?” the boy peeked up over the lip of the counter. I couldn't read or sense his expression, other than genuine curiosity.

    I smiled at him. “We bought you, young man. You and your mother.”

    “Really? Does that mean I get to fly on your spaceship? With Ric? And Padme?”

    “It’s the queen’s spaceship. But, yes - you’ll be coming with us once the repairs are made.” I picked up both the transponders and headed for the shop door. “Why don’t you tell us where your mother is?”

    The boy was full of energy, quickly running ahead of us in his excitement. “We live just over here. Oh, wait till Mom hears! We get to explore the stars! YIPPEE!”

    I hoped Shmi was half as enthusiastic as her son.
  19. Threadmarks: Ch. 7 - The Hard Way

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Shmi and I looked out from the ground crawler at the spectacle of two children and a flustered man trying to cart an inert pod racer into the royal craft's cargo hold. I had the much easier task of transporting the meager Skywalker household goods, and pleasant company in doing it.

    Shmi Skywalker was something of a surprise. She wasn't featured much in movies or the fiction I had read; my impression of her had been as a passive figure for Anakin to imprint on and then outgrow. But I should have known that anyone who could survive and protect her son through decades of servitude on a savage world would be made of sterner stuff.

    Rather than celebration, she had responded to the news of her purchase with a calm acceptance, and under the surface, more than a little wariness toward me. It was clear she gave no weight to my words about being “free” and saw this as just another transfer of ownership; I wasn't the first to speak this way to her.

    But one of the few things the real Ben and I had in common, was the ability to make friends. Once Qui-Gon had joined us that their home and took the boy off to see his racer, Shmi, Padme, and I, had worked together to package up their lives into something that could fit in the cruiser.

    “How much will I be allowed to see him,” Shmi asked me as we moved her last container into the hold, “once he begins his training? Families are discouraged from visiting the Temples, I am told.”

    “Who told you that?” I hadn't mentioned anything about Anakin becoming a Jedi, not to either if them.

    “It’s why you bought him, isn't it?” The steel in her voice was harsh to my ears. “Don't mistake my meaning: I am happy for it. A better life than I could give him. I am surprised you bought me, too, though.” Closing the hatch, we stepped back on the crawler and began the trip back into town. “A foolish expense, if you mean to take me from him anyway.”

    “You don't think you're worth anything on your own?” I quipped. She shrunk back at that; and I tried to figure out why. Her thoughts had turned to… oh.

    “I am happy for it, I said,” she looked at the distant desert, not at me. “I would… rather… with you, if that's what is needed…”

    “I didn’t buy you because I intend to use you, Shmi,” the words came out quick, maybe a bit harsher than I intended.

    She looked at me then, eyes hurting. “Why not?” There was more ego in it than I expected from her.

    “Because I don't own you, for one thing. The transponder chip is coming out as soon as we get to Coruscant, and then we will be getting you Republic citizenship papers for whatever planet you decide to move to.”

    She shook her head, and sighed, but said nothing.

    “As for your earlier question, Anakin isn’t going to be trained at the Temple. The Council won't allow it.” I banked the crawler around a sand dune.

    “Your Master said that Anakin would be trained as a Jedi. That he would be a powerful Knight one day.”

    I nodded. “Both true. But not at the Temple.” I looked sharply at her. “And certainly not away from his mother. More pain and loss is not what this boy needs in his life.”

    A few minutes passed while we parked the crawler in its place and I retrieved the truguts I had put down for a deposit. That done, we headed in the direction of the Skywalkers’ hovel. It was one last chance to check for anything she might have missed. Once we left Tatooine, I doubted she would ever return.

    Moving between two squat buildings, huddled together against the wind, I felt it. A predatory presence in the shadows up ahead. “Shmi, hide in that building there. We have company.” She looked sideways at me as I pulled my saber and blaster, but did as I asked.

    My blaster was primed and my sword on as I broke into a run, bounding around the corner at full speed. The five large creatures were each of a different nonhuman species, but only two bothered to carry weapons. Those took blaster bolts to the chest.

    The largest of the five, a reptilian with sharp claws, lost one arm to my sword as I spun around to force them to keep their distance. I followed up with a headshot to a different thug before stabbing the one-armed reptilian center-body, then slicing upwards to free my blade.

    The fifth alien, a squat creature with quills, had his back to me in full retreat. I started to change my blaster over to stun when I sensed a malevolent presence hiding in a nook nearby. No need to spare the runner, then. A lethal shot caught it in the back, and I rounded on their small companion.

    The Rodian was less than half my size. Dropping my blaster, I lifted him with relative ease. ~I won't tell you anything!~ he squeaked as I held him by his tunic at arm’s length.

    “Did Watto hire you?” was all I asked. I didn’t wait for a verbal answer, as his mind immediately confirmed it. That was all I needed from him. Two halves of Rodian hit the ground as I thumbed my saber off, then bent to pick up my gun.

    I remembered reading about some supplemental story where Watto had hired thugs to get Qui-Gon to return Anakin, but only after he won the pod race (which wasn't until tomorrow). My plan to avoid any of that mess by leaving today.

    Shmi met me at the mouth of the alley, looking over my shoulder at the carnage behind me. “Watto?” she asked.

    I nodded. “Do you mind making your final house-check alone? I suddenly have one more piece of business to attend to.”

    She gave her own nod and moved away quickly. Trekking by myself to Watto’s, I took a moment to radio my Master.

    “Yes? Is everything all right?”

    “Shmi and I were attacked. It looks like our Toydarian friend has seller's remorse.”

    “I see. Do we need to pay him a visit?”

    “I believe I can handle this, Master. Is everyone else ready to go?”

    “Captain Panaka says we can launch as soon as everyone is on board. Obiwan?”

    “Yes, Master?”

    “Don't let anger cloud your judgment.”

    “Never, Master. We will be back shortly.” I ended the call. There was no wind to speak of, but I wrapped my sand guard around my lower face. Better not to be clearly seen.

    The shop wasn’t empty; a Pa’lowick bent over the counter across from Watto, who was micro-welding some outdated part. I placed one hand on the bulbous shoulder of the frog-man. When he turned to face me, my other hand opened to reveal a half dozen small coins.

    “You weren't here,” I said simply. The man took the coins with one pass of his long webbed hand, and waddled toward the door.

    Still hovering jerkily, Watto backed almost to the wall as he addressed me. “Hello again. Everything is good? With, eh, the drive?”

    I nodded.

    “Good!” He tried a smile but it faltered. “What, ah, can I-”

    “Why did you send them after us?” I was still on the opposite side of the counter. I slowly drew my blaster, making sure it stayed below his line of sight.

    “What? S-send who?” he lied.

    “Why, Watto?” I asked again. “Why didn't you leave our deal alone?”

    He flew forward enough to examine the part on the counter again, looked at it from different angles. “You knew something about the boy that I didn't. Once I found out what it was….” He glanced at me. “I fed and housed them for six years! I didn't deserve to get cheated, you understand.” He shook his head. “But you got me, I know when I'm beat. I won't bother you again.”

    “No, you won't,” I agreed.

    The first two blaster bolts to the chest knocked him back against his wall shelves, but Toydarians are tough. He peeled himself off the wall and prepared to plead. I put the next three shots squarely into his head; they charred enough flesh and bone away to make him unrecognizable. I left his body there and started my search of his shop.

    Watto’s nest, tucked away in the corner of the yard, was a pungent mass of soiled linens and dried mucus. The large metal container was solidly anchored to the ground and fully covered by the stuff; the smell was the worst part.

    Fortunately his strongbox was nowhere near as sophisticated as mine. His own microwelder cut the lock with ease, and I examined a much larger collection of valuables than I had originally brought to Tatooine. I had some more packing to do, after all.

    An hour later, when I guided Shmi to Watto's landspeeder outside the slave quarters, she gave me an approving look. “You must have really frightened him, to get Watto to loan you this,” she said, climbing in. I didn’t respond.

    Later, when she helped me unload the containers of valuables into the ship's hold, she didn't repeat her comments. She must have figured out what had happened. Her glances at me were laced with fear again.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  20. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    How are we doing? Things are going to get pretty philosophical in the next few chapters. Are things making sense so far?
  21. MrHam31

    MrHam31 Getting sticky.

    May 19, 2017
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    Keep going, I'm enjoying myself. I'd really like to see how he handles himself in a scrap. With Maul if he's available.
    Ohoho, what is this? Explore this if you will.
  22. Slayer Anderson

    Slayer Anderson Orthodox Heretic

    Jan 15, 2014
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    Going Green, huh? Or possibly some other sect I guess, but the Correllians are probably best-known that would allow them to stay together.
    Yep, that's the Jedi way. Absolute detachment means not giving a shit when you have to kill someone.
  23. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    Hence the title of the fic.

    I will be diving more deeply into this in the coming chapters. So far I am trying to "show" rather than "tell."
  24. Extras: Archived: Old Ch. 8

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    [Author note: This chapter was rewritten with assistance from Kandagger, below, and can be skipped over.]

    After confirming with the captain that there were no immediate issues with our route, my Master pulled me aside to a small diagnostic chamber and secured the door. He knelt on the ground and invited me to do the same.

    “Obiwan, give a full accounting of your actions on Tatooine.” His tone was no different than ever, but his demeanor made the intent clear. This was formal training - Master to Padawan.

    I centered myself and reflected on the past two days. “I re-established my personal and business relationship with the Lars family, collecting the money needed for my plan to rescue the Skywalkers.”

    “What is that relationship?”

    “I sought Lef Lars out two years ago. I gave him the capital to upgrade his equipment and get the most out of his land. I see a fifty percent return after ten years.”

    “Why did you invest in a moisture farm?”

    “He was the only person I knew of on Tatooine that would be trustworthy enough to leave the money with.”

    “How did you come to know of him in the first place?”

    I considered evading the question, but the matter was past now. “If I had not intervened, Cliegg - Lef’s son, the widower - would have eventually bought Shmi and married her.”

    This perplexed my Master further. “Did he harm her?”

    “Not intentionally. But in ten years she would have been killed by Tusken raiders, prompting Anakin to slaughter an entire Tusken camp in revenge.”

    Qui-Gon inclined his head at me. “You disapprove of that? I am surprised.”

    I regarded my Master. “Why are you surprised that I would disapprove of revenge, Master?” I heightened my focus on his mind, trying to understand his thoughts more clearly.

    “You did not hesitate in killing Viceroy Gunray, or his aides. You killed seven men on Tatooine, and the last you sought out and killed in cold blood. Was that not revenge?”

    I shook my head, and then opened myself up to him as much as I was able. “Master, look at me. Feel me.” I could sense his mind brushing against mine. “Do you feel any anger in me as I remember these acts? Any hatred? Any desire for vengeance, any craving for another’s pain?”

    Qui-Gon’s whole focus, the Force abilities of a Master Jedi, were bent to detecting any hint. But I already knew he would not.

    “I did not kill those men for pleasure, or out of anger. I killed them because they sought to harm others, and the Galaxy was better off without them.”

    “You would presume to know this?”

    “I would, Master. The Galaxy itself flows through us, in the form of the Force. Who better?”

    The larger man leaned his weight backwards, settling into a seated position on the floor. I mirrored him, waiting as he contemplated my words.

    “I cannot deny, Obiwan,” he said, “that I feel no malice in you. The Dark Side, it seems, was not driving you to these acts. And yet… the way you justify your actions, is exactly what a Sith would say.”

    “Forgive me, Master, but, how would you know that? Have you ever spoken to a Sith?”

    He smiled at that, but without warmth. “No, of course not. No living Jedi has, since the last Sith were killed a thousand years ago.”

    “And… since it’s been a thousand years since the Jedi have fought them, or even seen them, how would you recognize one?”

    “A powerful Force user, harnessing the Dark Side? Hard to miss, young one.”

    I shrugged. “And yet, Jedi alive today… maybe even you or I… have spoken with them and not known. But in any event, it was Anakin’s turn to the Dark Side that made the Tusken incident a problem.”

    “And it happened because he lost his mother?”

    “Yes. Fear of loss was… will be… would have been his path to the Dark Side.”

    “How do you know you have changed that?”

    “What do you mean? Shmi is here; she won't be tortured and killed on Tatooine.”

    “Which in no way assures that she won't meet some other fatal end.” He shook his head. “Padawan, death and danger are certainties in the galaxy. If you allow yourself attachment, you allow yourself fear. Every youngling is taught this.”

    “We must teach Anakin something else.”

    Qui-Gon's face did not quite form into a scowl. “You sweep aside hundreds of years of tradition as though it were nothing. You and I were brought up in the Temple. But you claim Anakin cannot?”

    “Should not. Nor should we have been.”

    “Have you no loyalty to the Order?” His tone was bewildered.

    I knew that I needed to tread carefully, but… I couldn’t resist. “How would you respond, my Master, if I said that the Order itself was corrupt. That for the good of the Jedi, and the Galaxy, the Order needed to be dismantled and the Code rewritten?”

    I felt the spark within him as it ignited. “Then I would believe you to be a Sith Lord in truth, or seduced by their philosophy.”

    “Fear, my Master. I sense fear in you.”

    “It is not wrong to fear the Sith,” Qui-Gon responded immediately.

    The trap was sprung. “And that is the problem. Do you not see? You fear the loss of the Order. You are attached to it.” I persisted as he simply looked at me. “The Order should be preserved, but its central hypocrisy must be addressed. We claim that all attachment leads to fear and suffering, but then we foster in all Jedi from childhood an instinctual attachment to each other, to our Masters, to the Jedi Order as a whole.” I shook my head. “Their practices give the lie to what they preach.”

    Qui-Gon continued to look at me placidly. “Do not mistake our love for the Order as though it were familial affection, Obiwan. We love the Order because we see what good it brings, and we fear the evil and destruction if it falls. This is compassion, not merely passion. It is guided by reason and the Force, not emotion.”

    “And yet, when I speak of dismantling it for the good of the Jedi, you do not consider it for a moment. You dismiss the very notion out of hand.”

    His expression did not waiver. “I will think on this. But in the meantime… you discovered and rescued the boy. What do you plan for him?”

    “We will teach him. I will complete the Trials, and take him as my Padawan learner. And you will take him as yours.”

    “A Padawan cannot have two teachers.”

    “Why not?” I challenged. “Anakin is the strongest natural Force user in history. And he lost the formative training we received as younglings. I genuinely believe he would benefit from both our instructions.”

    Qui-Gon nodded. “I will think on it.” He stood, but when I went to join him he waved me back down. “Stay put. I am not the only one who wished to speak with you.”

    As my Master unbarred the door and left, the space was immediately filled by Padme and R2D2. She joined me sitting on the ground, and the droid immediately projected my 3D timeline into the air… with, I could see, two new colors of additional notes.

    “You said if we had any questions,” she began eagerly, “we should ask.”
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  25. Oh I am slain!

    Oh I am slain! ?

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Hehe. Someday, probably:

    "Did you ever hear the tragedy of Obi-Wan Kenobi the Detached? I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. Because after the events he set off, the Jedi are all dead."
  26. Kandagger

    Kandagger Getting sticky.

    Jul 22, 2017
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    I approve of the idea of this conversation. I like the idea of this conversation. However I am not sure if the results of this conversation are the correct one.

    This is a complex feeling I am trying to communicate over the notoriously obtuse means that is internet correspondence, so I apologize in advance if I do not sound particularly helpful. I am trying to be. But can understand if it does not sound so.

    In my understanding of the canon characters: Qui-Gon is something of a minor heretic in the Jedi Order. He focuses on what he calls the "Living Force"--the minor actions between individuals and creatures right in front of him--as opposed to the more conventional Cosmic Force--the great clash of light and dark on the universal scale--that the Order supports. Ultimately this lofty viewpoint is what undid the jedi "never their minds on where they were, what they were doing" etc... Which makes Qui-gon philosophically, in the right.

    Now, the self-insert Obi-wan is obviously a deconstruction of the Cosmic Force Philosophy--so detached from the world around him and its struggles and so focused on the grand plan in his head that he is willing to commit atrocities in service of said plan. Which puts him in direct philosophical conflict with his mentor and (hopefully) friend, Qui-gon. In that sense this conversation should shake Obi-Wan a little bit. "Did I actually do the right thing? Will this grand scheme of mine actually help the galaxy? Or did I just kill a living being for no other reason than daring to interfere with my grand scheme?" Stuff like that...also perhaps a bit of "why doesn't my singular friend trust me?" for addition conflict-y goodness.

    All of this is to say that Obi-Wan "winning" this argument--by citing attachment to the Jedi Order as a sin of all things--rubs me the wrong way for several reasons.
    1. Ultimately Obi-wan's scheme leads to the preservation of the status quo...the Jedi Order will remain in some form the institution it was before the conflict because of his plans. Presumably he should consider that a net positive or his plans would not take the form they have.

    2. Qui-Gon, again, is philosophically in the right in this instance, and presumably has trained Obi-Wan to be "mindful of the living force" for years. That Obi-Wan has apparently thrown all that teaching in the garbage should color his arguments more.
    2a. Qui-Gon has every reason to incorporate emotion into his argument, and he does not. This seems off.

    3. Obi-Wan winning this argument is presumptive. Does he--padawan aged Obi-wan self-insert--know more about The Force than Master Qui-Gon Jinn? My gut reaction is "no" but him winning this argument seems to imply you think "yes." I would argue that we, the audience, have not experienced enough of Obi-Wan's "story" to fall in line with that idea--he hasn't "learned" anything yet in the narrative sense, therefore he should not know more than his "master." The self-insert being wiser than his mentor without any self-inflection is how you get saddled with "Mary Sue" labels.

    4. Alternatively if Obi-Wan loses this argument, there can be a scene of him convincing himself that he is in fact on the right path and Qui-Gon "just can't see it yet." This would solidify authorial intent toward the tragic (in the greek sense) culmination you seem to be building toward, show the Self-Insert to be both fallible and human and add a different flavor of scene to the outward focused action scenes you've been writing until this point.

    Now if you were intending another reaction with this scene and argument, than I apologize for misinterpreting. However this was my reaction and I hope you take it in the spirit it was intended.
  27. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

    Jan 27, 2019
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    I appreciate your criticism a great deal. All I can say is... I did not intend to imply that Obiwan "won the argument."

    I did mean to imply that Obiwan sees it that way, but the audience is intended to look at Qui-Gon's responses and see "this didn't really convince him, but he is patient enough not to press where he doesn't see an opening."

    Since this isn't what the text actually conveys, I may rewrite it. Please feel free to provide any other thoughts or ideas, particularly the sort of things you think Qui-Gon might say in this situation.
  28. Kandagger

    Kandagger Getting sticky.

    Jul 22, 2017
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    Okay, since you asked...

    After going over the argument a second time, I think I've figured out my issue. It's not so much what is said, per se (although there are a few minor problems there), but the lack of reaction from each of the participants. Without going to far into the theory behind this (it's usually like a chapter in one of those "how to write" books--usually called "sequels") the basic premise is every action produces a reaction. In the macro sense a "scene" of action produces a "sequel" of emotion/logic/planning before they make a choice and venture into the next scene. But this is also true in the micro. Every word of the argument should produce an emotional response--the same way getting punched in the face knocks your head back (and makes your teeth sting, and eyes water etc...). And while, as a Master Jedi Philosopher, and a Burgeoning Psychopath trained by said Master Philosopher, these two should be very good arguers--we should still see the "hits" as they land. Subtle twinges at the lips, furrowed brows, changes in tone, breaths taken to center themselves etc.

    What really would help matters is clarity in victory. Qui-Gon physically "leaves" the room, implying that he wishes to stop arguing (and therefore "loses")...if you want to show Obi-wan "losing," have him dismiss Qui-Gon--even something like "you have given me much to think about master...please allow me some time to do so" etc... Or perhaps better, have him storm off and run into Padme elsewhere on the ship. That would definitely help both delineate the argument from whatever Padme wants and make it clear what Obi-Wan is thinking.about the whole ordeal.

    I hope that helps.
  29. varoksa

    varoksa Getting sticky.

    Feb 13, 2017
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    Needs more flavour and prose in scenes, describe tastes, sight, smells, facial expressions more.
    9adam4 likes this.
  30. Tovidius

    Tovidius Getting out there.

    Feb 25, 2018
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    I tend to disagree. The description can be sparse, but I find the utilitarian style of writing in this story much preferrable to most fics that take their time going through the scenes. Rare is the fanfiction author who is both prolific and doesn't write in a way that either insults the reader's intelligence or wastes their time, or both. Frankly, a large problem with most fiction is that you can read half a sentence per paragraph, and not miss anything of substance.
    9adam4 likes this.