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Complete Detachment (Star Wars Prequel SI)

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

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  1. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    Kandagger has been helping me with a rewrite of the last scene, above. I'll post the revised scene next, and leave the earlier scene there for posterity (but take the threadmark off).
     
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  2. Threadmarks: Ch. 8 - Upbraided
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I was speaking with Shmi, talking about how to make her and Anakin comfortable in the several hours before we landed at the Galactic Capitol, when Qui-Gon appeared. His shoulders were squared, as I often saw him before or during a battle.

    "Obi-wan? A word please." He used his 'teacher' voice--perhaps a shade or two deeper than his usual candor, and several degrees more formal. He led me to the ship's small diagnostic chamber and gestured to sit: me on the patients' bed, and him in the only chair.

    "Give me a full accounting of your actions on Tatooine." He began, careful to keep his edges soft, "I want to hear what happened from your point of view."

    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.”

    Qui-Gon kept his voice neutral, “What is that relationship?”

    I responded in kind. “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 expect to see a fifty percent return in three years.”

    “And what led you to invest in a moisture farm?” On this point, at least, he seemed more curious than concerned.

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

    I could see the confusion on his face--I hadn't exactly told him about that trip. “How did you come to know of him in the first place?” he said in that same even tone.

    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.”

    Qui-Gon frowned, "Those visions of yours are that precise?"

    I nodded, my mind moving through different scenes, and finally deciding to describe two. "Yes, Master. As clear and precise as though I am standing there, seeing and hearing the events unfold. I watched Shmi Skywalker take her dying breath in her son's arms. And I saw Anakin weep as, later, he confessed to the vengeful slaughter of the Tusken raiders that had killed her."

    Qui-Gon's frown started taking over his face. I had seen him so concerned before, on occasion... but hardly ever regarding me. "How far in the future is this event? This slaughter that you've described?"

    My mind retreated further, dates and scenes moving through it. "Ten years. Shortly before his secret marriage to Padme Amidala." I mused, almost to myself, "Both events handled entirely wrong by the Jedi, and both entirely correctable."

    "Padme Amidala..." Qui-Gon repeated, "the same Padme Amidala we are currently guarding? The Padme Amidala he would never have spoken with more than once had you not purchased him?"

    My attention returned to the present as I heard the implied accusation in my Master's voice. "When I first saw these events seven years ago, you won him in a bet, so you could take him to the Jedi Council. All I did was bring Shmi along as well."

    Qui-Gon's frown softened, "Did I?" he asked quietly. "All I see is a boy strong in the Force, and my padawan insisting - with cases full of money I didn't know he had and blaster bolts that killed seven living beings - that said boy is the most important person in the galaxy. Whatever I saw in the boy in your visions, I haven't be given the chance to see now."

    "Is that all you see, Master? All you sense?" I replied with some eagerness. "You don't feel his pull? Nor have taken his count, for that matter? I do not exaggerate when I call him unique."

    "No, you don't exaggerate." Qui-Gon conceded. "The flow of the Force around him is like nothing I've ever seen. He has the potential to be a truly great Jedi." He sighed, "But the price of obtaining him... You said I won him in a game of chance, yes? Did anyone lose their life because of me?"

    I shook my head, "No, Master, at least not directly." I looked at him sharply. "Is that what this is really about? If I had let Watto and the rest of those criminal killers live, and taken Anakin bloodlessly as I originally intended, you would not have faulted me?"

    Qui-Gon looked stricken a moment. "I do not fault you for defending yourself, Obi." his voice took on a tender note, "Those men tried to kill you, that was their choice. Watto hired those men wishing you dead, that was his choice as well." Another breath.

    "What I fault you for is taking choice," he stated plainly. "From Watto, from me...and especially from Anakin."

    "Taking..." my stomach churned, a sensation I had seldom felt since coming to master this new body. "Taking choice? I do not understand."

    Qui-Gon looked tired all of a sudden, "Obi-wan...I am not a perfect man. Force knows I have made mistakes in my day...many mistakes. People have died because of me: people who depended on me, people who opposed me, and even people who were just standing in the wrong place at the wrong time."

    His eyes took on a certain intensity. "But those choices were mine. I made them with all the knowledge I possessed at the time, I suffered their consequences, and I learned many hard and painful lessons in the process. I am who I am today because of those choices. And changing or removing even a single one of them would alter me completely."

    He breathed carefully, forcing himself to keep centered. "And if your visions are true, you have robbed me of one of those choices. I may have made the choices you have seen, I may have not. But we'll never know, will we? You decided what would be best for Anakin - best for me - years before I could even wrap my head around the choices I could make."

    I shook my head. This was a trying conversation - I felt every bit as exerted by it as my Master looked. "I do not think that is a fair assessment. In the future I saw, you made decisions based on what you knew, and that altered the actions of others. It changed the course of the Skywalkers' lives, and Watto's, and mine. But it didn't stop us from being able to make our own choices alongside yours.
    "The only difference in what I did here is having far more information about what might happen, and therefore a far greater responsibility to make my own choices. I no more decided for you in choosing to act, Master, than I would have been deciding for you had I known what I knew and done nothing. Your choices were and are still yours. Except now we are in a better position to make good ones, because we have Anakin without taking him from his mother. And the boy can make his own choices without that fear controlling him."

    "But do you even intend to allow that to happen?" Qui-Gon probed, and my guts churned further. "You've planned all of our lives out years ahead. Did you leave any room for our own choices in it? Any place for the flow of the Force between us, life playing out in our interactions and assertions of will? Or is the dance laid out, with you as the only choreographer?"

    I shook my head. "There is so much... so many things I know, that I cannot and should not share with you. The consequences -"

    At this my Master stood up. With his usually relaxed posture and unassuming presence, it was easy to forget how tall and imposing a man he really was. "The consequences are for us all to bear, my Padawan. And so the choices need to be as well. You need to tell us." I stood to join him as he continued. "Me, Padme, Shmi... and especially Anakin. Today."

    "Now, Master?"

    He nodded. I could see the apprehension in his gaze, but his will was also strong. "And tomorrow, you will tell it all again to the Council." He put his arm on mine. "You do not know better than the rest of the Galaxy, my young friend. Let us help you."

    Just outside the diagnostic chamber, Padme and Artoo waited for us. With a nod from my Master, I went to invite the Skywalkers to join us as well.

    All I could think as I collected them, is how thankful I was to have Qui-Gon on my side in the trials to come.
     
  3. Kandagger

    Kandagger Making the rounds.

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    I think there's a way to threadmark the old scene as "apocrypha" just in case someone wants to see it without going through the whole thread.

    As I mentioned in the conversation thread, nice job on the improvements.
     
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  4. Bellcross

    Bellcross Getting sticky.

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    Don't agree, you know there's a Sith somewhere...
     
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  5. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I don't know what the etiquette is for this. Would publishing erotic chapters in the NSFW section turn people off the main story?
     
  6. MrHam31

    MrHam31 Getting sticky.

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    Hm, I didn't mean a relationship with SI and Shmi, though it's welcome if it evolves naturally. Rather, why would Shmi react this way.

    Though I believe it would enhance the story, a separate thread to post and discuss only the smut? If you feel like it, I'm down for only SFW content.

    I like the revised chapter better. SI is not arrogant enough to know the best for everyone.
     
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  7. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    Thanks for the clarification. I had read it as prurient interest.
     
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  8. Thrackerzod

    Thrackerzod Just a regular, magical unicorn

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    That would be great!

    For that matter, there have been plenty of stories on SB/SV that have had NSFW chapters published on QQ.

    Also entirely up to you as to whether such NSFW chapters are cannon-but-optional to the main story, an alternate timeline, omakes, or something else.
     
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  9. Threadmarks: Ch. 9 - Lessons of the Future
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    The same chamber housing the droids, where Padme, Artoo, and I had talked before, ended up being the meeting place for Qui-Gon’s ordered debriefing. Anakin had fallen asleep in his launch seat, and after a hurried conference about childhood and parental responsibilities, Qui-Gon had agreed to let us exclude him for now. It was therefore a group of five - me, Qui-Gon, Shmi, Padme, and R2D2 - that met in the closed room to discuss the future.

    “Let’s start at the beginning,” the disguised queen said as she poked at holoprojection that the droid deployed into the air. “You’ve sorted things into three major lines. Vader, the Clone Army, and the Empire.” She waited for my assent. “Vader is Anakin. And… Senator Amidala is who, exactly?”

    “You,” I said simply.

    “Marriage?” she objected.

    “In ten years,” I pointed out.

    “To Anakin,” she clarified, looking to Shmi for her reaction. She blinked, not quite keeping up with the subject yet.

    **High reproductive compatibility at projected ages,** Artoo offered.

    The other humans looked to the droid, and then to me to translate.

    “He said that when you're twenty-four and he’s nineteen, you'd probably be able to have children.”

    “Twins, if I’m reading this right,” she observed. That was three years later (the length of time between Episodes Two and Three), but I didn't point that out. “And that’s the end of it. They die too?”

    I shook my head. “No. But the point of this record is the lead up to the creation of Vader. I’m outlining the events that push and cement his fall. Your children grow up to do great things in my future visions, but they are fighting their father every step of the way.”

    “Now, wait,” Shmi finally spoke up. “This is about what happens to my Annie? On whose say?”

    “These are Obi-wan’s visions,” Qui-Gon explained. “Nobody is saying that they want these things to happen, or even that they should happen. The Force has shown these things to him, for whatever purpose.” He looked around the room, seeing that he had captured each of our attention. “We are not bound to the visions, nor do they control us. But we should at least understand them as a cautionary tale, if nothing else.”

    “Okay, but…” Shmi continued to have difficulty articulating her concerns, “... in these dreams, Anakin dies? In ten years?”

    “No, you die in ten years,” I corrected. My Master shot a scolding glance at me, but I pressed on. “Padme dies in childbirth thirteen years from now, which is also when Anakin becomes a Sith Lord.”

    “Darth Vader.” Padme shuddered as she pronounced the name. It had its own power.

    “H-how… do I die?” Shmi’s voice was faint.

    “I’m… not sure that’s important anymore,” I began, looking to Qui-Gon. “In the visions, we weren’t able to bring you with us when we left Tatooine, and you died there. So we’ve already changed -”

    “Tusken raiders; that makes sense.” Shmi wasn’t interested in my skirting around the issue; she was now up with Padme, scrutinizing my visual representation of the text.

    “So, next question,” Padme inhaled deeply, as Shmi continued to read. “What happens if I just… don't? What if I choose not to marry the man who kills me and becomes the galaxy’s biggest monster?”

    I exchanged a glance with Qui-Gon, then shook my head. “I really don’t know. My visions don't update based on the changes we make; I know the one possible future and that's it.”

    “You're not going to tell me that I must love him? The Republic is at stake? Or that it's inevitable?” She was genuinely surprised.

    “I don’t have any reason to believe that is the case. In fact, for all I know, rebuffing his advances might be the best way to sidestep this whole mess.” I caught her eyes. “But I do need you to understand something important.

    “What is it?”

    “In this future, you did love him. He cherished you. And if he hadn't been driven to the Dark Side, I don't see any reason to doubt that you would have been happy.”

    She blushed. It was an overwhelming thing to tell a fourteen-year-old girl; to claim foreknowledge of a romance of just the sort they dream about. But this was not a flailing teenager; this was an elected representative of a planetary culture. She deserved to know.

    “All these threads between Annie and the Clone Army,” Shmi said. “A Republic military group?”

    “Yes, and then an Imperial one. Artoo, move to the Kamino line, please.” I gestured as the projection shifted. “Master Sifo-Diyas was ejected from the Jedi Council for insisting, based on his own future visions, that the Republic needs to build an army to handle what is coming. Sometime soon, he’s going to commission millions of clones from the Kaminoans.”

    “The Council would not stand for that,” Qui-Gon insisted.

    “They aren't told,” I explained. “Sifo-Diyas vanishes, and I discover the full-grown army just in time for the Republic to use them in the war.”

    “So,” Shmi asked, “what were you planning to do? Stop the clones from being grown?”

    I looked to Qui-Gon as I answered. “My plan was, believe it or not, to bring the Jedi Masters I trust to Kamino to decide what to do.”

    “Who, exactly?” my Master asked wryly.

    “Yoda, Windu, Dooku, Fisto. And you, of course.”

    Qui-Gon nodded and didn't offer any comment; I inferred that he agreed with my list. This seemed as good a time as any to bring up my counterpoint to his other order.

    “There's a reason I wanted to deal with these issues using a small group of trusted Masters and Knights, and not the full Council,” I began. “The Sith are among us, and well hidden.”

    “The Dark Jedi?” from Shmi again.

    “You believe they may be on the Council,” Qui-Gon asked, but it wasn’t a question. “Your visions didn’t include them? Their identities?”

    “No, they did,” I insisted. “But I can’t remember those events. My mind draws a blank when I try to access them, which is why I strongly believe the Sith are already active.”

    “This is another reason to go to the Council,” Qui-Gon pointed out. “If it’s true that you have this knowledge but it has been blocked, there are experts in matters of the mind that may be able to help you.”

    “If you are being blocked from matters having to do with the Sith, how is it that you remember Darth Vader?” Padme asked.

    I sighed, frustrated at how many of my answers were just guesses. “I don’t think Anakin is currently part of their plan. His rise and eventual fall was unplanned - except maybe by the Force itself.” I stroked at my beard again. “Or maybe he is so much a part of the Force that he can’t effectively be hidden.” I gestured to the holo. “Concern that I might lose more of what I have learned, is the main reason I created an external record of it. If I ever review this, and find pieces I don’t remember putting in, there’s a good chance that the mind clouding influence has expanded to cover them.”

    Shmi continued to shift through different parts of the projection. “The gaps in your memory seem to be particularly bad over here in this section on the Galactic Empire. What are these three structures here?”

    “My best ideas for how the Republic could transition into an Empire.” I took control of the holo and displayed each of the three in sequence. “These are based on historical precedent as much as anything else: how individual planetary republics have fallen in the past. The first is that Chancellor Valorum or his successor is voted emergency powers and keeps them. The second is a coup by the Jedi Council, abolishing the Senate and ruling either directly or through a figurehead. The third is a military coup, if the military ends up under the control of someone other than the Jedi or the Chancellor.”

    “None of these are feasible,” Padme pointed out. “Most Republic worlds, including Naboo, don’t want to see a strong centralized government. Any posturing in that direction would be political suicide.”

    Qui-Gon disagreed. “That may be true today, but when planets are embroiled in war, many forego freedom for security.” His gaze turned to me, thoughtful. “The Sith always thrived in an atmosphere of fear and suspicion, we are taught.”

    “If it’s all guesswork,” Padme pressed, “what's your plan?”

    “Oppose anything that looks like a power grab, and investigate anyone who pushes for one.” I faced Padme more directly. “Your own Senator, Sheev Palpatine, has been extremely helpful in this. Also Senator Organa from Alderaan, who became the adoptive father to your daughter in my visions. He helped me put together the committee sent to inspect the blockade.”

    “Focusing on the immediate future,” Qui-Gon said, “what happens to us next, as you remember it?”

    “Amidala pleads her case in the Senate, while you introduce Anakin to the Council. They refuse him training -”

    “Wait,” Shmi interrupted. “The Jedi Council wouldn't train Anakin?”

    “He was overwhelmed by fear for you, left on Tatooine.”

    “A nine-year-old newly separated from his mother… that disqualified him?” She was indignant on behalf of her boy.

    Qui-Gon admitted, “Their approval was always a long-shot. The Council is, by definition, the most long-standing and orthodox of the Order, and Anakin is older than is usually permitted.” His eyes were on the projection, but his sight was elsewhere. “Still, I was confident they would see what I see, until Obi-wan explained otherwise.”

    Shmi pushed, “What is it that you see?”

    “A legend,” there was an undercurrent of pride and wonder in his voice. “The fulfillment of a prophecy. The restoration of balance.” He glanced sideways at me. “I am less certain, now.”

    “He is all those things,” I assured my Master. “But first and foremost? He is a boy. In need of love, guidance, protection, support.” I nodded to Shmi. “And of opportunities to grow and learn.” I nodded to Qui-Gon.

    “After that, Anakin and I return to Naboo and defeat the droid army, freeing the planet.” Padme announced. “Without you two?” The question was skeptical.

    “Unclear. I think we accompany you, but our role in the battle…” My mind strained, and I could see scenes before and after that included us, but nothing during the altercation itself. “We may have been doing something else. Uncovering some part of the plots hidden to me, perhaps.”

    Shmi squinted at the holo. “Anakin… and R2D2…” an acknowledging chirp from the droid “... steal a fighter and destroy the droid control ship.” She glared at me. “He’s nine.

    I shrugged. “He has superhuman reflexes, and more time in a cockpit than many fighter pilots.”

    **R2D2 qualifications exceed requirements for combat operation of skirmish vehicle. Sufficient compensation: low-skill, not mature biological component.**

    I translated, “Artoo says he can keep Anakin safe.”

    **Negation. Poor translation.**

    “If you want to tell them yourself, we’ll get you a voice module.”

    **Negation. Biological-type speech adaptation modifies logical processing. Efficiency reduction. Do not want.**

    I nodded.

    “So what happens,” Shmi asked, “if Anakin doesn’t go to Naboo? Things have already changed, yes? There’s no guarantee he’d survive taking part in a space battle again.”

    They looked to me for the answer, and yet again, all I could do is shrug. “As long as Padme manages to recruit the Gungans, I think the outcome will be the same.”

    “That reminds me. Who is Jar Jar Binks?” Padme inquired.

    “A Gungan. In my vision, he accompanied us on this trip, and then showed you the location of the hiding Gungan population when you returned to Naboo.” At her concerned gaze, I added, “The coordinates of the Gungan sacred swamp site, and a written description of exactly what you said and did in the vision to earn the Gungans’ cooperation, are both recorded in the data.”

    “Is this another example,” Qui-Gon asked, “of an entity whose choices you have taken, Obi-wan? A living being from whom we have no chance to learn, and to whom we cannot extend our own presence or experiences?”

    “I… yes, Master.” It felt like a good time to just admit what I had done, rather than try to justify it.

    Qui-Gon stood. “That was… even more than I had anticipated, and I recognize there is much more. But perhaps we should take some time to contemplate what has been said so far.” He placed a hand fondly on the top of Artoo’s chassis. “You will supply us each with a copy of this recording?” When I nodded, he responded with a nod of his own, to the whole room, and unsealed the door. He turned and headed for the pilot’s cabin.

    Shmi and Padme were still looking over the timelines, discussing details of upcoming events, when I left the room for the passenger’s cabin.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  10. MisplacedReader

    MisplacedReader Not too sore, are you?

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    What I truely appreciate about this story is how Forthright and open Obi-Wan is being. He isn’t attempting to change everything by himself without confining in anyone. He has given his information forward to people it directly affects, and tries to help them understand the importance of his visions, as well at the importance of the people he speaking with. He isn’t perfect at it and he has had some missteps so far. But all in all he seems to be doing a decent job.

    Hope you keep up the good work and I look forward to the next chapter.
     
  11. Slayer Anderson

    Slayer Anderson Orthodox Heretic

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    Oh yeah, Windu's on the Council. You just named him... or is everyone still buying the fiction that Windu doesn't use the dark side of the force and isn't, therefore, by textbook definition, a Dark Jedi.
    That word, Jedi. It does not mean what you think it means.
    "No, master, he's just a living incarnation of the abstract concept known as 'annoyance.' I feared I might stab him with my lightsaber if I were forced to suffer through long-term interaction with him."

    Also, this portion makes me sad. You missed an awesome opportunity...
     
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  12. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I genuinely considered having him sing the song, because I actually am a trained vocalist.

    It may still happen at a lighter moment; I just decided it would be too flippant for this scene.

    But that song has been stuck in my head for three days now while I write these scenes.
     
  13. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    This may end up being awful. I guess we'll see.
     
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  14. Oh I am slain!

    Oh I am slain! ?

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    The dramatic irony and horror of every Sheev Palpatine mention is delicious. To a lesser degree, same for Dooku. ^_^
     
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  15. Zentari2238

    Zentari2238 I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Ah, yes. The all-pervasive Sith technique that somehow scrubbed the knowledge from your head that would completely derail the plot while leaving other information about the Sith in, like a video editing software. Convenient, that.

    I know that this is so the whole plot isn't instantly bombed but the explanation leaves something to be desired.
    No. Here's the thing, you're applying 'our' logic and drawing a conclusion here. There are clear differences between 'something in the force' and something that is, flat out, artificial in-universe. This can range to the point of heavy implications, such as force ghosts.

    "X is just like Y" falls apart when there is real, quantifiable difference between them.

    Yes, though human beings need social contact and/or family 'units'. A minor distinction, but an important one non-the-less.
    Feels kinda 'bashy' to me, though it does have a point.
     
  16. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    The "real, quantifiable difference" between biological and mechanical life forms is that the former's emotions and consciousnesses are reflected in the Force, while the latter's are not. Upon what basis do you therefore include that mechanicals don't think or feel? All other evidence indicates that they do.

    In-universe, I see no basis to conclude "mechanicals aren't conscious" rather than "mechanicals are a form of consciousness not reflected in the Force." Which means they deserve the same consideration as any other conscous beings.
     
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  17. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how Sidious' mind clouding should work on Ben. Apologies that I haven't described it very well in the story. It will keep coming up; hopefully I will do better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  18. Threadmarks: Ch. 10 - Annie and Me
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    “You're not a Jedi yet.” The boy's voice was steady, but I could feel the roiling energy underneath it. I had felt him wake up almost ten minutes ago, shivering despite the blanket he had been tucked in with, and work up the courage to address me.

    In my launch seat, I turned away from the streaking iridescence of hyperspace and smiled at him. “Not a Knight, yet, but already a Jedi. Padawan learners are considered Jedi, although we don't yet have the full authority of the Order.”

    “But you're already so old. Does it have to take that long to be a Jedi Knight?” His eager, positive energy was infectious; just being near him made it difficult to stay still.

    “Not at all. You are a learner as long as you need to be, to gain the wisdom and skill needed to be a Knight. A month or a hundred years, whatever it takes.”

    “Why is it taking you so long?”

    I couldn’t stifle my broad grin. “Because when I take the Trials, I will no longer be entitled to travel with Qui-Gon. And he is the man I have needed to learn from.”

    Anakin’s face was a caricature of seriousness. “Are the Trials hard?”

    “For some,” I leaned in conspiratorially, “but not for us.”

    “How d'you know? About me, I mean.” Not only did Anakin make no move to back off, but I could tell he was resisting the urge to get closer, to lay a hand on me - a natural act for a boy his age, and one I suspected had been beaten out of him. I could sense that underlying wariness in the back of his mind, that concern that a fist or foot (or webbed claw) might head his direction at any time. But his Force senses were already well-honed, if instinctual, and he felt no threat from me.

    “C'mere, buddy,” I said, laying back in the seat and opening my arms. He didn't hesitate; he climbed up onto my left leg and wrapped an arm behind my shoulder. I gave him a quick hug and left one arm wrapped around him. I could feel his heart thrill at the positive, comforting human touch - something that he usually would have felt from his mother only.

    I knew that this little tableau was all Adam, rather than Ben. Seven years wasn't long enough to forget the unique joys of being a father, and it was still a difficult loss, knowing that I would never see my boys grow up. My youngest - the one who always wanted Daddy, day or night, joy or pain - would be the same age that Anakin is now.

    But a moment was all I could spend on that, because the boy in front of me was not him, and what he needed from me was different.

    “I'm what the Jedi call a seer,” I spoke kindly, my eyes mere inches from his. “I see visions of a possible future.”

    “I'm in them?” He wiggled a bit, getting comfortable; I had a lot less padding to offer him than I used to.

    “Yes. You become a powerful Jedi knight in my visions. I’m sure Qui-Gon has already told you how strong you are with the Force.”

    “He says I will be a great Jedi! The best!” He squeaked in his excitement.

    “Yes, if that's what you choose to do.” I pulled him back a bit with my arm to make sure he could see my face. “You will not have to train hard to be powerful, but you will have to train hard to use your power wisely.”

    Anakin nodded, and then cocked his head to the side. “You freed me and Momma. Why didn't you free the other slaves?” The question came with a wave of anger and frustration, directed not at me, but at things in his memory.

    “I’m not powerful enough to do that,” I explained simply.

    “Sure you are!” He slid down off my leg and stepped back, bouncing and swinging his arms. “You killed Watto. You could have gone and killed the Hutts, too, and then their slaves would have been freed! Jedi can do anything!”

    I kept the welcoming smile on my face but recentered my emotions to clear and neutral as I answered. “I could have killed Jabba and the local members of the Desilijic clan, yes. Probably even freed many of the current slaves,” the boy nodded enthusiastically at this, “but the Hutts have vast resources, and would have quickly arrived in force to retaliate. If they bothered to leave Tatooine habitable, it would only be to take a hundred times as many slaves.” I felt Anakin's confusion and anger at this.

    “No, if you want to free the slaves on Tatooine, you need to either put the planet under control of a syndicate that prohibits it, or restore Republic influence to the Outer Rim.” I looked at him. “Or maybe you'll come up with a third solution.”

    “Jedi fight for the Republic, right? So that’s a good solution. Restore Republic influence,” he offered.

    I shook my head. “Jedi fight for what is right. Not for any name or group. Not even for ‘the law,’ or ‘the people.’”

    Anakin frowned. “No, Jedi fight for the Republic. Everybody says so. That’s why the Republic always wins.”

    “The Order serves the Republic because they believe it to be right, but their highest loyalty is to the Force and the good of the Galaxy,” I countered.

    “How do you know what that is? If it's not the law, then what is it?”

    I nodded. “That’s one of the hard questions. Often, what is good is the law. But not always. And knowing what that is… that’s what wisdom is for.”

    Anakin looked sombre. He eyed my knee. I slapped it and spread my arms again.

    This time, when he climbed up on me, I scooped his legs up so he fell across me, and hugged his head to my shoulder. He squirmed for a minute, then sighed as he settled in.

    “Let me tell you a story,” I began, “about a man named Vader.”
     
  19. Funeral-Pyre

    Funeral-Pyre I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Did you ever hear the tragedy story of Darth Plagueis Vader the Wise ?
     
  20. Belenus

    Belenus Know what you're doing yet?

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    This is really good.
     
  21. MudkipSage

    MudkipSage Not too sore, are you?

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    This is a very fresh SI, Taking action long in advanced, and not hording their knowledge untill all the people they know and trust have every reason to hate them for lying to their faces for so long.
     
  22. Belenus

    Belenus Know what you're doing yet?

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    Also the opposition isn't holding the idiot ball, and people are having reasonable, in character reactions to changes.
     
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  23. Hypervane

    Hypervane If lost, return to Hypervene.

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    Hopefully Anakin is just as close to Obi-Wan is this fic as he is in Canon. I mean, I can tell Qui-Jon cares and the story is called complete detachment but seeing people care warms my heart and the SI's behaviour kinda forces him onto his lonesome.

    It's why I like the spin off to this fic, Catch and Release. Ol' Ben seems a lot more connected and less isolated in that one.
     
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  24. philonten

    philonten In desperate times and dim light...

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    Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Vader the Mighty?

    I thought not. It's no story the Sith would tell you. It's a Jedi legend.

    Darth Vader was once a Jedi Knight, so powerful that his vision pierced the veil of the future itself. He had such a knowledge of the future he could even attempt to keep the ones he cared about... From dying.

    But the Light Side of the Force had few of such abilities, which many considered to be... Unnatural. So he turned to the Dark Side, and became so powerful that even he was overwhelmed, and lashed out against those he loved. Unfortunately, after seeing his rage and knowing the horrors such a Sith Lord would unleash, his own family choose death rather to live under a monster.

    Ironic. In spite of all his power, that his own strength was what failed him and cost him his family in the end... And as the Jedi, his former companions, smote his ruin upon a mountainside, he could not even save himself. The rest of his days were spent crippled and alone, doomed to a slow death and slave to the whims of an uncaring Master.
     
  25. Threadmarks: Ch. 11 - Remembrance
    9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    “Your Highness, I must assure you that these actions were not sanctioned by the Trade Monarch or the Inner Circle in any way. The invasion is unambiguously illegal, and the Trade Federation must answer for it.” The holo showed the head and shoulders of Bool Durd, a prominent Nemoidian trade delegate with enough pull (read: wealth) to back up his promise.

    “I thank you, Chairman, on behalf of my people. I am certain the actions of the Trade Federation can be seen as separate from that of the Nemoidian Worlds, for all our sakes,” Queen Amidala replied. She sat at one end of the conference table with her Senator, Palpatine, seated to her right, and me directly to her left. Sabe and Ertai stood just behind her. At the other end of the table, Chancellor Valorum sat, his face a fierce mask of concern. Seated next to the chancellor was one of his aides, manipulating the holo for all of our benefit, and Senator Bail Organa from Alderaan.

    “Yes, thank you very much, Esteemed Chairman,” Valorum echoed. “Do you have an estimate as to when the delegation will arrive back here on Coruscant?”

    The holo shifted to display a striking female face wreathed in Tholothian tentacles. “The retrofit and refueling will be complete within the hour, Your Excellency. Unless we encounter further delays, our ship should arrive in just under thirty-one hours.”

    As she spoke, I felt a sudden uneasiness, a lengthening in the shading of the hologram. The unexpected refuel, while useful for our planning, seemed too convenient of an opportunity to be mere chance.

    “Master Gallia, this is Obi-wan Kenobi,” I spoke up. Padme looked in my direction with slight frustration, but made no attempt to stop me.

    “Obi-wan, how are things on Coruscant?” she asked lightly.

    “Complicated, Master. I am sure they will appreciate your return.” That got a quick nod from her as I continued. “As you know when I requested your help, I am concerned for the safety of the delegates. Have you sensed anything?”

    “I have, yes,” she nodded warily. “A strong disturbance in the Force, and with no immediately discernible cause. All three of us are on alert, here.” She turned and, by some trick of the holo, seemed to be looking right into my eyes. “Whatever it is, our own lives will be forfeit before the delegates come to any harm.”

    “I would expect no less,” I agreed, “but I hope for your safe return. May the Force guide you, Master.”

    “And you, Padawan. Chancellor, is there anything else?” There was a slight strain in her voice that only now became audible to me.

    “Thank you, Master Adi. We all await your arrival.”

    Valorum addressed the room as the holo clicked off. “I understand there is some further coordination regarding how to take this matter before the Senate?”

    “Indeed,” Palpatine spoke, clearly but not loudly. “The young Jedi here has brought forward a fascinating idea for political theater, and I am pleased to take the lead in it.”

    I smiled. The soft-spoken Nabooan man was easily one of the kindest and most genuine politicians I had ever met. He was also a natural strategist, immediately catching onto and improving each idea I brought to him on managing the Senate bureaucracy. I wondered what became of him in the original timeline after he vanished from the movie scripts like so many secondary characters, his job given to Padme herself.

    Once we confirmed the specifics, Valorum was as intrigued by the ploy as Palpatine, and agreed to do his part. The meeting ended with a little over two hours left until the Senate would reconvene.

    I intercepted Padme on the way out the door. “Practice?” I asked.

    She nodded. “Set us up. I’ll change and grab Ric.”

    “No need,” I pointed toward the range. “He’s already there.”

    By the time commoner-clad Padme joined us, I was on my belly next to the Nabooan pilot. Each of us looked down the scope of a DC-15x sniper blaster at erratically moving targets over a hundred meters away: a chaotic mix of blue devices and red, with only the red ones counting as a hit. She tapped my shoulder and replaced me at the second rifle’s site, and I moved over to the sword training area.

    Training with my new equipment was an uphill battle. Without Qui-Gon or another proficient sparring partner, the best I could do was work on the basic forms and how to balance my one-handed bladework with the heavy weight on my opposite arm. Form 3 had been the easiest to adapt with its conservation of motion and emphasis on responsive defense. On the other hand, none of my Form 2 beats were hitting right, and my momentum for Form 4 bound and rebound was entirely overbalanced.

    Even in traditional lightsaber combat, I had already fallen well behind the original Obi-wan: one of the most resilient and skillful swords in the whole of the Republic. Many hours he had invested in perfected technique and retrod footwork, I had repurposed for mental exercises or practical research. A more optimal use of our talents, I felt, but not without risks. I couldn't help anyone if I died.

    At least, not yet.

    I checked the training targets’ records before Padme and I left for the Senate session. Padme was improving rapidly, but Ric’s accuracy had passed 96%. The pilot promised to lock everything up when he was done. These training spaces were rented on a weekly basis to security forces and other groups visiting the planet; renting one was my best real option for training with those not permitted in the Temple.

    The overwhelming size of the Grand Convocation Chamber was bad enough, but what really made it difficult for me was the press of minds. In this space, delegates from thousands of worlds focused their wills on bending the most powerful body in the Galaxy. Decisions made in this chamber would affect hundreds of billions of people, and so some of the most driven and strong-willed leaders from a hundred different species found their way here. It tested my control to stay centered on myself, standing behind Amidala in Naboo’s repulsorpod.

    On the podium in the center of the chamber, Chancellor Valorum made his address. “Honored delegates, this session is opened to discuss the issue of the ongoing blockade of Naboo by the Trade Federation. Representatives from Naboo and neighboring worlds have expressed concern that the blockade was a pretext for an unlawful invasion of the planet. The matter has now come to a head.”

    “This is outrageous!” the Nemoidian voice sounded over the transmission system as the Trade Federation pod floated out into the center of the Chamber. “We object to the Chancellor’s characterization of this matter.”

    “The Chair does not recognize the Senator from the Trade Federation at this time. Please return to your station,” Volorum admonished. “The Trade Federation will be given the floor to dispute the allegations, after they are made.” There was an increase in volume in the chamber as a variety of delegates reacted to the outburst. “The Chair first recognizes the Senator from Naboo.”

    “To state our allegations...” Palpatine began, introducing the queen. As our pod floated up, I cast my senses out into the room. The collective emotions threatened to overwhelm me, but I managed to stay above them, focusing just on the awareness of the other delegates. It took very little time to find a delegate who wasn’t really paying attention - one who simply had no interest in the Naboo matter. I pushed him - very gently - in the direction of sympathy, and felt a flash of emotion as he ever so briefly connected Queen Amidala with a young girl he knew - maybe his daughter? His emotions tied into the matter, the words of the queen held his attention.

    “...As we sit here, discussing this matter, the capital city of Theed is already overrun with battle droids…” As Padme spoke, I repeated my actions, again and again, each discovered delegate taking a handful of seconds to subtly draw into the narrative. In a chamber of over a thousand, I reached barely thirty in a short minutes I had, but those at least would give Naboo a fair hearing.

    “I strongly object to these accusations! They are unfounded, completely without proof!” The Trade Federation pod had joined us in the center of the chamber, again, and male Nemoidian Lott Dod made his outrage clear. “A commission must be sent to Naboo to ascertain the truth of the matter.”

    The murmurs in several corners of the room increased at this, and I sensed anger and frustration from many. Senators recognized this as a delaying tactic. Which was why I and my allies had anticipated the tactic in advance.

    “The Congress of Malastare concurs with the honorable delegate. A commission must be appointed.” A three-eyed Gran looked defiantly out into the chamber as he spoke, staying near to the Federation pod in symbolic support.
    Chancellor Valorum nodded. “Queen Amidala, will you defer your motion to allow a commission to explore the validity of your accusations?”

    The queen spoke forcefully, “Chancellor, I speak these accusations with personal knowledge, and stand on my own testimony. A commission is not necessary.”

    “Your personal testimony,” Dod bellowed, “is rejected by the Federation! We have committed no illegal act, and this will be demonstrated by the commission.”

    Primed for this, the Chancellor replied, “Does the delegation from Naboo offer surety to the Federation delegation?”

    “What is this?” Lott Dod asked, confused.

    Senator Palpatine spoke up, hitting a button on his pod as he did. “We do, your excellency.” An enlarged number, with accompanying formal language, floated in front of the podium, visible to the whole room. “Seven hundred fifty million credits. This exceeds the Trade Federation’s revenue in the Naboo sector over the last decade.”

    Chancellor Valorum turned to Dod. “Is the Trade Federation willing to accept this testimony under surety? Or does it offer its own surety that the allegations are unfounded?”

    Dod was in frantic conference with the two others on his pod. After a minute, he answered. “What nonsense is this? Matters of the Republic are not decided by offers of payment.”

    Valorum explained, “Surety has been permitted in the Senate for millennia.” (And fell out of favor 300 years ago, he didn’t mention.) “In situations of factual dispute to the personal knowledge of one or both parties, a delegation can offer surety, to be forfeit to the other party if the testimony proves false. We can then proceed to vote on the original motion.”

    The noise level in the chamber raised again;

    “No! This is unjust, we do not accept surety!” The Nemoidian insisted.

    “The Chair will allow the Trade Federation to offer its own surety. Seven hundred fifty million credits, held in escrow until a determination as to whether an army under the control of the Federation has attacked Naboo.” An aide had been working on the console at the podium. With a nod from Valorum, a second holo display appeared beside the first, the same large number and similar accompanying text, but with the Federation and Dod’s information filled in.

    “This is an outrage! The Trade Federation will not concede to this extortion!”

    “It’s hardly extortion.” Queen Amidala’s voice rang regally within the chamber. “If Senator Dod knows the Trade Federation has not invaded, there would be no risk. If he does not know, he can merely accept my testimony, and will be generously compensated if we are wrong.” Her glare seemed to bore into the Federation delegates. “Senator Dod objects because he knows that I speak the truth.” Her claim resounded, stirring up the delegates further.

    “I have a question,” The high-pitched nasal voice came from the elongated mouth of a blue-skinned Rodian, whose pod slowly advanced toward the podium.

    “The Chair recognizes the delegation from the Free World of Rodia,” Valorum nodded.

    “This… surety thing. That covers the Federation if things go sideways. But what about the rest of us?” He looked around, the suction cups on his blue fingers visible as he motioned with his hands. “If we vote for the Republic to intervene at Naboo, we’re all committing resources to this. And, no offense to the queen - she reminds me of my sister - but if she’s mistaken, who eats the bill?”

    “Naboo is under attack!” The queen insisted, the fear clear in her voice. “That is why it is critical that the Republic intervene.”

    “The Congress of Malastare concurs with the honorable delegate from Rodia,” Grad added, oddly echoing his earlier announcement. “The motion should be revised, making Naboo liable for the costs of intervention.”

    “Seconded!” “Yes!” “Exactly right!” Loud exclamations of agreement were made throughout the room.

    Palpatine turned away from the pick-ups to speak just to me and Padme. “That would be disastrous. The Republic’s accounting practices are legendary; if they charge us for the intervention, the debt will destroy the economy.”

    “These are matters in need of serious consideration,” Valorum finally said as the ambient noise level returned to its normal dull roar. “The Chair calls a recess of one hour, during which the delegation from Naboo will revise its motion to reflect its position on bearing the costs of a Republic Intervention, and delegation from the Trade Federation will determine whether it will match surety or accede to Queen Amidala’s personal testimony. This Chamber is in recess.”


    Two aides joined us in Palpatine's working office as we considered how to respond. Amidala exuded tension, while her Senator held frustration with the proceedings under a surface layer of diplomatic composure.

    “People are dying,” the queen spat, “and their concern is payment.”

    I cleared my throat. “If it makes it more morally palatable to you, we can contextualize the monetary question in terms of deaths, too. A million credits spent on an unnecessary military expedition weren’t spent on humanitarian aid, or food relief, or medical research. We can put a number of lives on that.”

    Padme shook her head. “No, I realize that the money matters. Senator, I am gratified you were able to pledge such a large sum on short notice.

    Palpatine shook his head. “Not that short, highness. Mister Kenobi came to me with this plan some months ago.” He stroked his chin in thought. “Obviously, I leveraged everything I could; we won't have ready access to resources until this is resolved.”

    The aides had already put together some sample wordings for the motion, and we quickly agreed on the substantive compromise: Naboo would be fully liable for costs incurred by military intervention, only if the allegations were shown to be spurious. Otherwise, the Republic and any parties required to assist would recover from the Trade Federation.

    The recess was half-over when I felt the pull. It was weak, a sudden tugging ache, fear and loss more imagined than real. But I recognized the source.

    Should I have anticipated this? Buul Durd and the other delegates were obvious targets. Although there had been no committee sent to investigate in the movie, just Amidala and our entourage coming to Coruscant, that was enough of a draw for Darth Maul to try to…

    … oh no. “Something’s happened; I have to go,” I announced. Padme shot me a worried look, but I nodded reassurance, and she returned to the task at hand.

    The Jedi Council chambers weren’t far from where the Senate met. I moved with deliberate speed, and met my Master moving in the same direction while still two halls and a flight of stairs away.

    “The Council called you as well?” Qui-Gon asked as we moved towards the chamber.

    “No, Master. But I felt it.” It was easier to focus, now, with my Master close beside me. He was small, still island within the calamitous sea.

    “As did I.”

    We reached the chamber and were immediately admitted by its Guards. Within, a holo of a human female in Jedi robes addressed the Council, her face a mask of grief.

    “... a replacement crew. We will leave immediately,” she said.

    “Meditate during the journey,” Mace Windu ordered. “I know it’s hard, but we will need you to recount every detail of the fight, everything you saw and heard… and felt.” He looked around at rest of the Council. “We need to know what we’re up against.”

    “His name is Darth Maul,” I said, loud enough to be heard throughout the chamber.

    The holographic figure perked up at the sound of my voice, although she couldn’t see me. “Obi? Are you there?”

    “Yes, Siri.” I moved closer, until the holo pickup could switch to my image. She looked back at me, her clear eyes straining to hold back unshed tears. “I’m here.”

    She swallowed, getting herself under enough control to speak. “Adi’s dead. I don’t know if you heard that part.”

    “I’m sorry,” I offered, but she shook her head.

    “Let Qui-Gon know. I should do it, but it’s too much.”

    I turned and met my Master’s eyes. “He’s here; he knows.” Qui-Gon’s grief harmonized with that from other Masters in the room, and made it hard to separate out my own.

    Siri turned to look at something near her, and I stepped back. “Masters, I am sorry that we failed our mission. I will return at once.” She gave a forceful nod, and the holo shut off.

    With that, all the eyes in the Council chamber turned to me.

    “Young Kenobi, remembered something, have you?” Grandmaster Yoda asked.

    I did my best to keep my center as I responded. “Yes, I have remembered quite a bit.” I took another step back and angled myself so as to include Qui-Gon in my delivery. “Darth Maul is a Sith assassin. He’s an expert wielder of the double lightsaber, using Form VII dark techniques. He’s Dathomiri, a hybrid human-Zabrak bred for Force sensitivity.”

    “Are your visions that specific?” asked Ki-Adi-Mundi. “And if so, can you tell us what this assassin is planning?”

    I hesitated. “I don’t know what he is planning, because I don’t… think he is. He takes orders from the Sith… I think. I still can’t see…” I closed my eyes briefly, but to no avail. “In my visions, Master Qui-Gon and I fight and kill Darth Maul on Naboo, during the battle with the Federation’s droid army.” Swallowing, I added, “Qui-Gon dies in that battle, as well.”

    This earned me surprised looks from several Council members, and chagrin from my Master. But after a moment’s pause, Qui-Gon stepped forward. “Perhaps, considering what has just occurred, we should ask Obi-Wan to recount his visions from the beginning.”

    The only response was nods from the Council members, and even more of the room’s attention focused solely on me.

    “This… is going to take a while.”
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
  26. Hypervane

    Hypervane If lost, return to Hypervene.

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    "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..."
     
  27. 9adam4

    9adam4 No emotion, only "peace"

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    A long long time ago,
    In a galaxy far away,
    Naboo was under an attack.
    And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn,
    Could talk the Federation in
    To maybe cutting them a little slack.
    But I saw Gunray was a villain,
    Took out my blaster and started killin'.
    We escaped and got far,
    And even bypassed Jar Jar,
    Our cruiser took us to the scene
    Of Naboo's palace and its queen
    We all wound up on Tatooine.
    That's where... I bought... this boy.

    And I was telling 'em,
    "My, my, this here Anakin guy,
    Might be Vader some day later so we all have to try,
    To let him know his loved ones don't have to die,
    And some day soon he's gonna be a Jedi,
    Soon he's gonna be a Jedi."

    Did you know that moisture farms aren't a great place to avoid Tusken harms,
    But you can store your money there?
    And are you okay if I hit on Shmi?
    Yeah, she's a little old for me,
    But I might just write a spin-off, if you care.
    And I know I speak Binary now,
    Yeah, I learned it; no, don't ask me how.
    I'm gonna buy these two,
    And, oh yeah, those ship parts, too.
    I'll take this prepubescent Jedi recruit
    (At nine his outbursts are still cute)
    And his former owner, I had to shoot.
    Oh, well. We got our boy.

    We were sayin',
    "My, my, this here Anakin guy,
    Might be Vader some day later so we all have to try,
    To let him know his loved ones don't have to die,
    And some day soon he's gonna be a Jedi,
    Soon he's gonna be a Jedi."

    [to be completed later]
     
  28. Hypervane

    Hypervane If lost, return to Hypervene.

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    [​IMG]

    Didn't actually recognize it was American Pie until the second chorus. Thought it was a really tortured limerick at first.
     
  29. The Froggy Ninja

    The Froggy Ninja Experienced.

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    Arguably, that was a restructuring of Weird Al’s Star Wars parody of American Pie instead of a parody of the original song.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  30. Belenus

    Belenus Know what you're doing yet?

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    Probably meant Siri here
     
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