"What are we going to learn today, Master?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Patience, my Padawan," Qui-Gon said glancing down at the blond haired boy.
Patience, Obi-Wan thought, always patience. He was growing to hate that word. Qui-Gon seemed to be telling Obi-Wan, a lot lately, to be patient. He just wanted to know what his lesson would be as so to prepare himself mentally for it. Obi-Wan suddenly remembered his past lesson. Qui-Gon had him standing in the middle of a room holding a small orb by using the Force. He couldn't move from the circle till he was told. He stood there nearly all day.
Obi-Wan sighed heavily as he looked up and realized he had slowed down. He had to run slightly to catch up to his Master's long stides. He followed Qui-Gon into one of the large rooms that was used for acrobatic training. He looked up at the large columns and bars that decorated the room. Obi-Wan hated acrobatic training, it always made him feel clumsy.
Qui-Gon moved to the center of the room. He looked up, then glanced at the boy who stood in wonder, "Come here, Obi-Wan," he said motioning the boy over.
Obi-Wan walked over, looking up at what his Master was viewing. Attached to the ceiling was the small orb he had been holding the previous day. "What is it, Master?"
"Your lesson," Qui-Gon smiled slightly as he heard a sigh come from his Padawan's lips, "You must traverse the columns and bars to reach the orb and retrieve it safely."
Obi-Wan looked up at the dizzying heights of the large columns, "But..."
Qui-Gon held up his hand as he continued, "These pillars move. You will need to use your speed, skill and most importantly, your patience."
There was that word again, patience. So his Master did tell him his lesson. He looked at Qui-Gon, sighing again.
Qui-Gon patted the boy's shoulder, "You can do this, Obi-Wan. I have faith that you can. All you need to do is concentrate and use the Force. It will guide you."
"Yes, Master," Obi-Wan responded without thinking as he watched Qui-Gon walk away. He turned looking up for his first way up. As he moved about, he saw one of the columns move. He ran and jumped onto it. He didn't realize how quickly he had to move as it started to topple. He jumped up grabbing the bar above him and swung himself to another column. He looked at his target knowing he still had a ways to go. He saw another bar extend and he proceeded to make his way to the orb.
Qui-Gon stood watching. Obi-Wan was moving much to fast and wasn't waiting for the right moves. The boy needed to think of his task like a chess game, choose his moves carefully and think ahead to the next. If Obi-Wan didn't do this, Qui-Gon feared his young apprentice would have a long way to fall. Qui-Gon could sense the boy was using the Force. However, the boy's impatience was taking over. "Wait for it Obi-Wan," he whispered. Just then, he watched as Obi-Wan reached for another pole and missed it as it retracted out of his reach. His small body fell and landed square on the mat below. Qui-Gon's heart skipped a beat as the young boy didn't move. He quickly ran over to his protege, fear causing his heart to beat wildly. He kneeled beside him, afraid to even touch the boy. Suddenly, Obi-Wan opened his eyes and inhaled deeply. Relief spread over Qui-Gon as he helped the boy into a sitting position. "Patience, Obi-Wan, that is the key."
"Yes Master, I understand that now," Obi-Wan whispered. His young body ached as he stood.
Qui-Gon studied his apprentice more closely. The boy was moving slowly and this worried him, "How do you feel?"
Obi-Wan looked at him. His master was worried, he could see it in the man's eyes, "I'm fine, Master." Obi-Wan wasn't sure though, he felt strange.
Qui-Gon studied him and could see the determination in Obi-Wan's blue eyes, "Shall we try again then," he said stepping back.
Obi-Wan simply nodded and went back to work on the columns and bars. He moved again from pillar to pillar, but more slowly. As he landed on one of the columns, his vision suddenly blurred. He shook his head, trying to clear it, but it stayed blurred. He didn't want to stop, he couldn't fail again.
Qui-Gon sensed something was wrong and moved towards Obi-Wan. "Obi-Wan..." he called out but stopped as he saw the young boy somersault to another column. Qui-Gon watched, as if in slow motion, as Obi-Wan's foot landed to close to the edge and slipped off. The boy lost his balance and Qui-Gon watched at his protege fell towards the mat again. This time, however, Qui-Gon caught him.
Obi-Wan looked shocked. He was surprised he didn't hit the floor. He glanced at his Master but couldn't make the tall man out. He only knew it was Qui-gon because of his large hands and strong arms under him. He felt Qui-Gon place him down carefully. "Obi-Wan look at me," he ordered.
Obi-Wan obeyed as he turned his blue eyes up towards his master.
Qui-Gon sighed, the boy had a concussion. "Why didn't you tell me, Obi-Wan?" he asked.
Obi-Wan had expected his master's voice to be stern and angry, but it wasn't. It was calm and soft, worried, "It didn't happen till I was already up there, Master," he said looking down.
Qui-Gon tilted Obi-Wan's head back up. Obi-Wan had the look of failure on his face, "I don't want to see you hurt, my Padawan," he said tenderly, "Come on, you need to rest."
"But..." Obi-Wan started to protest.
"We will do this some other time," Qui-Gon said leading Obi-Wan out. He slowed his pace to match his young apprentice. He was worried about the boy. Perhaps Obi-Wan wasn't ready for this. He had misjudged his previous Padawan, Xanatos, could he have misjudged Obi-Wan as well. He observed Obi-Wan carefully as the boy walked in their room and headed straight for the bathroom. Qui-Gon walked over and pulled the blanket back on his sleeping couch. He heard Obi-Wan relieve himself of his lunch causing Qui-Gon to shake his head. The fall must have been worse than he thought. He looked up when he heard Obi-Wan exit.
"I'm sorry, Master," the young boy said softly.
"There is no need to be sorry, my Padawan," he said helping Obi-Wan into bed.
"But I failed. I was to impatient," he wined slightly in disappointment.
"It will come in time," he said touching the boy softly, "be patient with the test. You can not pass it the first time, I didn't. It took me several tries before I did." He saw a slight smile appear on the boy's face and returned it, "Yes, your master is human too. Now rest. I'll check on you later." He turned off the light and stood at the door, watching Obi-Wan rest. He remembered his Master Kurisuti-na tell him the same thing he had just told Obi-Wan. He turned away sadly and left the boy to rest in peace.
"Do you truly think it is wise to send them, Master Yoda?" Mace Windu asked.
"The best for the job, they are," the elder Jedi said looking out the Temple windows. "The Living Force, Master Jinn understands, better than we."
"But his apprentice," Mace said shaking his head, "He is too headstrong and impatient. He is not ready for this mission. This is much to important."
"Ready he is. You must look deeper, faith you must have in the young one," Yoda pointed out.
"I hope you are right about this, Master Yoda. Many lives depend on it," Mace Windu said looking out.
Qui-Gon sat on his bed looking at the small screen. Why them? He looked at it again, hoping it would change. He sat it down as he looked over at Obi-Wan when it didn't. The boy was resting peacefully. He walked over and touched him lightly. He wondered if this mission was going to be a test for them both.
The tall, elegant woman stood watching as the ship landed. She closed her eyes as the two hooded figures approached, "Master Jinn and young Kenobi," her voice sang out like music.
Qui-Gon bowed to her as did Obi-Wan, "Lady Corina."
Obi-Wan wondered how the woman knew their names. He had never met her before. As he looked at her, she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her long flowing white hair wrapped around her protectively. She gracefully pushed it away with her long slender fingers. Her eyes were such a light blue they almost looked gray. When she approached them, Obi-Wan could have sworn she was walking on air. She gently touched Qui-Gon then turned to Obi-Wan.
"This one is strong, Master Jinn," Corina said as she pulled Obi-Wan's hood back. She touched his chin tenderly and pulled it up to look at her. She was a tall woman, taller than his Master.
Obi-Wan felt a surge of energy travel through him. It didn't hurt him, only calmed him.
"You have chosen well," she said turning away.
"I did not choose him," Qui-Gon said glancing at Obi-Wan with a slight smile, "We chose one another."
"Then it was fate that you two were sent to me," Corina said walking over to a white hooded figure. She took a box from the figure and turned back to them.
The box was covered in gold with ornate decorations carved into it. Resting on the top were two crystal cherub like creatures that appeared to be glowing softly.
Corina approached, "As you know Master Jinn, you must not open the box till the time you reach Iego. There, the angels will know what to do."
Qui-Gon reached for the box but she turned away and handed it to Obi-Wan. He was surprised at her actions..., as was Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan glanced at his Master as he took the box. "Guard this with your life, young one. A great deal of lives depend upon it," Corina instructed.
"What is it?" Obi-Wan asked, starring at the box. It seemed to glow brighter in his hands.
"Something so small but yet bigger than us all. You will understand when you see it." She touched him tenderly then turned to Qui-Gon. Her eyes grew sad as she held Qui-Gon's chin in her hands. She locked eyes with him, "I shall never see you again, my friend," she smiled slightly, "You have become much like your Master. He would have been proud." She saw the sadness suddenly appear in Qui-Gon's eyes.
Qui-Gon looked down. Still, his heart ached for his former Master. He looked back at her as they started to leave, "We must be leaving," he bowed and motioned for Obi-Wan to lead the way. As the boy stepped onto the ramp, Qui-Gon felt a hand touch his. He turned to tall woman, "Is there something else, Corina?"
"Be careful Master Jinn. I do not wish to see the same sadness in your apprentices eyes the next time I see him."
He looked at her confused then simply nodded.
Obi-Wan sat in his room looking at the box. He could feel the same calming energy emit from it that he felt from Corina. He wanted to open it but thought better. He glanced over at his Master who stood by the window. He was silent and looked sad. Obi-Wan walked over and stood beside him.
"Is there something you want, my Padawan?" Qui-Gon asked still looking at the stars.
"Corina said she would not see you again, Master. She also said she didn't want to see the same sadness in my eyes that she saw in yours." He couldn't continue on as he looked down at his hands.
Qui-Gon turned to him, sensing the boy's fear, "Obi-Wan," he said touching him lightly, "I have no intention on leaving you... not yet, my Padawan."
"But Master, I did the reading assignment you gave me. It said Corina can see our future lives..., with a single touch. When we die..., our injuries..., our times of happiness. She saw something for you."
Qui-Gon looked at him and saw the fear in his young eyes, "Yes she can, but you must understand, not all is written in stone. Our destinies will play out the way the Force has meant them to. We can do nothing to change that. The Force is vast and pervasive. Sometimes not all things in the Force are clear. Yes, her kind can do those things, but they are only one of many paths in the Force. Do you understand?"
Obi-Wan simply nodded. He understood the words his Master was telling him but he couldn't get grid of the feeling that was still left inside him. The feeling of dread.
Qui-Gon watched as Obi-Wan turned and walked back to the box. He could see he didn't calm the boy's fears but it had to be enough, for now.
Obi-Wan laid on his bed tossing and turning. He was dreaming he was in a large room. He could hear his Master's voice in the distance as his lightsabre blocked another laser bolt.
"Don't move Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon shouted.
It sounded so faint, distant even. He looked about trying to get his bearings, but darkness surrounded him. He felt his body wobble as a laser bolt soared past. He wanted to turn to see where it had come from, however, his body would not obey. Slowly though, he looked down at his hands and saw a small glowing ball. The light from it grew brighter till it engulfed him.
He sat up quickly, looking around in the darkness. He saw Qui-Gon sleeping peacefully and sighed with relief. It was a dream. But why was he drenched in sweat. Across the room, he saw the box glowing softly. The light seemed to be call him, drawing him to it. He walked over slowly. What was inside? Why was it so important? He reached out to touch it when he felt a hand touch his. He looked up to see his Master, "I only wanted..."
"I know, my Padawan," Qui-Gon said kneeling beside him. "Have patience. In time your questions will be answered."
"I had a dream, Master," Obi-Wan whispered.
"It was only a dream," he said soothed.
"But that's not what Master Yoda taught me. He told me they are a window to our future. That we should not ignore them," Obi-Wan said, turning his innocent eyes to the older Jedi.
"They are one of many windows, many possibilities. Like the Force, they are vast and hold many paths. You can either choose to believe them or change them. You must look deeper. Be mindful of the Living Force," he instructed.
"Yes, Master," he said, looking at the box again.
Obi-Wan fell out of bed and hit the floor hard as the ship jolted. He grabbed his lightsabre and spotted his Master running from the room. He started to follow.
"Stay here, Obi-Wan," he ordered.
Obi-Wan watched as the tall Jedi raced from the room quickly. He looked at the box as it started to glow brighter and a strange humming sound emitted from it. He felt uneasy about what was transpiring.
"What is it?" Qui-Gon shouted as he reached the bridge.
"Pirates, Sir," the pilot shouted back, "They're boarding."
Qui-Gon ran from the bridge. He felt the ship rock again as he hit the wall. Explosions could be heard throughout. As he turned one of the corners, he skidded to a holt as his body felt danger ahead. A vibro-ax fell before him nearly missing him, only striking the floor. He spun abruptly and saw a huge pirate snarling at him. The man was swift and Qui-Gon barley had time to fend off his on slaught of blows. The pirate was strong and skilled at welding the ax.
Qui-Gon managed to drive the big man back but lost his footing as the ship rocked again. As he fell, the blade raked across his chest sending searing pain through him as he fell to the floor. His head struck a piece of debris and he felt darkness start to engulf him. Before his vision blurred, he sensed it. Danger was near but not to him as he saw the pirate standing over him laughing. The danger was to Obi-Wan and there was nothing he could do. His eyes fluttered closed and a sickness came over him for fear of his Padawan.
Obi-Wan fell as the ship jolted again. He rolled quickly to his feet and activated his lightsabre. He stood between the box and the door, waiting.
Just then the room filled with light. He turned slowly to the box and had to cover his eyes from the intense light. He heard the low hum grow louder. He lowered his sabre unexpectedly and walked towards it, as if being called to it. He didn't hear or sense the door open behind him as several pirates entered. He reached for the box but didn't touch it as a bolt hit him square in the back. He fell, face forward, hitting his head on the small box.
Obi-Wan woke dazed and confused. He was lying on the cold floor of a cell in the pirates stronghold. He sat up slowly, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness. He spotted his Master and crawled over to him quickly, "Master," he said hoping Qui-Gon was awake.
Qui-Gon didn't move. Obi-Wan felt fear leap into his chest. He touched the man gently and felt moisture on his hand. It was blood. He gasped as he saw the long cut across his master's chest. At least it wasn't deep and his Master was still alive. He could hear the steady breathing coming from his Qui-Gon's lips.
"Master," he whispered again.
Qui-Gon moaned as he opened his eyes, "Obi-Wan," he said turning his head towards the boy. He was glad to see his apprentice still alive.
"I'm here, Master," Obi-Wan answered
"The box," he murmured as he tried to sit up. Pain shot through him, however, he pushed it aside.
"I'm afraid I failed, Master," Obi-Wan said looking down.
Qui-Gon touched his protege, "You have not failed. There is still hope as long as we are alive."
"What do we do?" the boy asked.
"We wait... and heal," he said looking down at his chest.
The pirate, Togor, looked at the box. It intrigued him greatly. He walked around it but was to scared to touch it. It didn't glow like his companions claimed it did when they captured the young Jedi. He wondered what caused it to glow and what was truly inside. He reached for it slowly.
"I wouldn't do that, my friend," Moff Tarkin said walking in.
Togor spun quickly to see the tall slender man in uniform approach. "Do you have the credits?"
"Togor, my friend, patience, all in good time." Tarkin walked over to the box. It was more stunning than he expected, "The power contained within this small box, is more than anyone can fathom."
Togor eyed it, "I care not what it does, only the credits."
Tarkin smiled. He had such a simple mind. If only powerful man could understand what power was within this simple little box, "Very well, Togor," he motioned for one of the troopers behind him to come forward.
The trooper carried another box and sat it down.
"Here is your credits. Count them if you like, it is all there," Tarkin said comfindently.
Togor opened the lid and smiled. "What of the Jedi?"
"Dispose of them as you wish." Tarkin picked up the box, smiling even more.
Qui-Gon opened his eyes again as he felt his body being dragged. He looked about cautiously. They were in a large room lite only by torches. He could feel the wind whip at his clothing and it chilled him. He spotted Obi-Wan, unconscious and strapped to a pillar. The columns rose high into the air and were very slender. He could see their sabres resting close to the lead pirate. He had to wait for Obi-Wan to regain consciousness. He felt them drop him and he grunted slightly.
Tarkin walked over and looked down at the large Jedi. He was holding the box. "You have failed in your mission Jedi. I'm sure the council will not be please. It will not matter though, you'll soon be dead and the galaxy will know the power I hold. The power that will soon destroy planets, even stars."
Obi-Wan opened his eyes. He heard the vain man's words and he felt a sudden anger build in him. He glanced at Qui-Gon and could sense he was waiting for the right time.
The time was now. Qui-Gon sprung to his feet as he sent the guards from him. He called his lightsabre to him and quickly kicked Tarkin away. The box flew from the man's hands and landed on one of the columns as it rose high into the air. It rocked there on the edge threating to fall into the emptiness below. Qui-Gon ran to Obi-Wan and freed him with one swift wave of his sabre.
"Kill them," Tarkin screamed as he searched for the box.
Obi-Wan grabbed his sabre and somersaulted over Tarkin and kicked him again.
"Get the box!" Qui-Gon shouted.
Obi-Wan nodded as he deflected a blast. He turned to where the box laid. The room was much like the acrobatic room he was in a few days ago. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes as he allowed the Force to guide him. His body moved gracefully to the first column as he landed in the center of it. It was only wide enough for one foot and he fought to keep his balance.
Qui-Gon fought the on slaught of pirates that raced towards him. He caught a glimpse of Obi-Wan as he moved carefully and patiently from column to column. Patience, my Padawan, patience, he thought. Wait for the right move. He blocked another blast and directed it at Tarkin.
Tarkin aimed at Obi-Wan but felt the blast from Qui-Gon as it struck him in the arm. He screamed as his weapon flew from his hand. The blast he managed to send off, struck the box just as the young Jedi reached for it.
The box glowed as Obi-Wan reached for it but before he could claim it, the box was hit and broke apart. Obi-Wan felt himself fall and spun quickly, jabbing his sabre into the stone. He turned the power down on his sword and felt himself stop with a jolt. He barely hung on as his other hand caught a small orb fall next to him. He felt a sudden surge of power shoot through this small body, however, it didn't hurt.
Qui-Gon spun and gasped as he saw Obi-Wan fall. To his amazement, the boy stopped and called on all his strength and flipped to the top of another column. He watched as the boy wobbled slightly then stilled himself.
"Don't move Obi-Wan!" he shouted.
Obi-Wan couldn't. There was nowhere to go. The closet column to him crumbled away and he was alone with the orb in the center of the room. He looked about as he heard Qui-Gon's voice. It was faint and distant to him, just like in his dream. A laser bolt seared past him causing him to wobble.
Tarkin swore, "If I can't have it, no one will!" But as he went to fire again, he felt the searing heat as he spun away in time from Qui-Gon's sabre. He glared at the large Jedi and bolted away. He stopped at the door and shouted, "You haven't seen the last of me Jedi!"
Qui-Gon felt his body calm as the Force told him all the danger was gone. He glanced over at Obi-Wan and was relieved to see him still standing. He looked like an angel for he was bathed in a beautiful white light. Qui-Gon stood astonished by the sight.
Obi-Wan felt strange, but yet calm. He felt the Force encircle him in a stronger way. He looked up as he heard a voice speak, "Do not be afraid, little one."
He blinked as a long black haired image with black eyes appeared before him, smiling, "Let the Force flow freely through you. Do not try to control it. Let it blend with the power in your hands."
Obi-Wan simply nodded as he closed his eyes.
Qui-Gon looked about feverishly for a way to get to Obi-Wan. He spotted a rope and a crossbow. He tied them together and fired the arrow over to the column Obi-Wan was on. "Obi-Wan!" he shouted. The boy didn't respond. He started to worry, "Obi-Wan!"
Obi-Wan turned gracefully as he looked into the dark eyes of the man before him. The orb in his hand shimmered brighter and he could hear voices in his head. They sounded like they were singing. He stepped onto the rope unconsciously, his eyes not wavering from the man before him.
Qui-Gon watched as the boy moved slowly, with grace and skill.How the boy knew the rope was there, he did not know, nor did he care, as long as the boy used it. Qui-Gon could feel his own impatience brewing as he wanted Obi-Wan to cross more quickly to him. To his amazement, the boy didn't wobble once. He was half way across and Qui-Gon could see a strange glow in his young eyes.
"Good, little one," The man said, "You are doing well. Your Master will be proud."
Obi-Wan smiled, "I hear voices."
"They are the voices of many, the voices of the Force. Listen to them carefully and you will have a new understanding, little one. The Living Force is strong inside you, just like in your Master. Only the strong and devoted can truly hold the power that flows through you. Your faith in the Force is very strong, perhaps stronger than your master's."
"I do not think so. He is the strongest Jedi I have known. He is more understanding of the Living Force than I," Obi-Wan said as he took another step.
"In time you will see that what I say is true. You have a great future ahead of you, little one. Do not forget this. There are many aspects of the Force we as Jedi do not understand. But as time goes on you will see and understand these things. Have faith in your Master and in yourself."
The figure faded and Obi-Wan found himself before Qui-Gon. "Master?"
Qui-Gon sighed heavily in relief. The glow about Obi-Wan and in his eyes slowly faded and his innocent blue color returned. Qui-Gon touched him tenderly, "You did well."
Qui-Gon stood by the airlock, "Place it inside, Obi-Wan."
Obi-Wan obeyed and released the orb into the small hatch. He closed the door and went quickly to the window near by. He glanced at Qui-Gon as the man pushed the release and sent the orb into space.
Qui-Gon came and stood beside Obi-Wan, as what looked like two winged figures, took the orb and in a flash of light were gone. "It is over, my Padawan."
"Where did it go?" he asked
"Only the Force knows," Qui-Gon said glancing down at him. "Perhaps it rejoined it again." Qui-Gon looked out at the stars, feeling a surge of energy in the Force. He knew Obi-Wan could feel it too. "There is something I have been meaning to ask you."
Obi-Wan looked at him confused, "What Master?"
"You showed great patience back there. That was good," he said, walking with Obi-Wan down the hall, "but as you were coming across the rope, you were speaking to someone, who?"
Obi-Wan thought for a moment, "I don't know, Master. He told me to let the Force guide me, and that it was talking to me."
Qui-Gon tilted his head, "He? What did he look like?"
"He wore Jedi garb, much like you, and had long black hair that was pinned back like yours, with black eyes," the boy reported with slight confusion.
Qui-Gon stopped, "What did he tell you?" he whispered.
"That the Force was speaking to me and that I should listen and not be afraid. He also said the Force was strong in me, perhaps stronger than yours. He said I would have a great future and in time I would fully come to understand the Force." He saw the sadness in his Master eyes, "Do you know him Master?"
Qui-Gon smiled as a memory of Kurisuti-na flickered across him mind. He could still feel his former master's warmth and love. As Qui-Gon placed an arm around the boy, leading him down the hall again, he spoke softly, "Yes I do. And I believe his is correct about you, little one."
The End :)