Scene 12

Somewhere- nowhere – a new star blazes into life, birthed form the fecund infinity of the Force itself. Its life is a motion in stillness, a dance of radiant light burning emerald-green, vibrant, joyful, about its white center. It shines, a lantern set amid nameless heaven, gracious and beckoning, burning with the vitality of early youth, waxing stronger, brighter, more sure as it unfurls into gorgeous motion.

The star is a storm without end, a sphere of fire scribed perpetually round a hidden sanctuary, its liquid flame veiling and revealing, a thousand fold cherubic eyes, thousand fold seraphic wings, winged flames, wings of flame, blazing light kindling in adoration, in exultation, in submission, light unto Light, life unto Life.

It is mesmerizing to behold – even when the epiphany slows, and slows again, gross matter making felt its demands, the ache of muscle, the hammering of blood in veins. Qui-Gon watches entranced until the dance wavers upon the cusp of its fortieth repetition, the star descending to earth once morein the humble form of his panting, trembling apprentice. Obi-Wan catches his eye, then reaches into the Force, augmenting his depleted strength with borrowed radiance. It carries him further, into the forty-eigth cycle. And then sheer obstinate willfulness wrings out of him another, and a final repetition.

He stands, exhausted, the 'saber thrumming in his hand. The blade is nearly as long as he is high, making the kata all the more difficult. He looks to Qui-Gon, a mute plea in every line of his body, in the steady heaving of his breaths, in the unquenched star-fire reflected in his eyes.

"A short rest," the Jedi master says, granting dispensation.

The 'saber blade snaps back into its hilt with a decisive hiss; the boy sinks to the floor where he stands, a lotus flower upon an unruffled pond. He folds his legs up beneath him, closes his eyes, and breathes out.

And then, opening like a bloom upon placid water, he simply falls into deep meditation – tipping over an impalpable brink with the unhurried majesty of a vast cataract, with the delicacy of dew settling upon gossamer web – and is caught utterly out of time. The moment spins out into a sempiternal now, into peace. And Qui-Gon smiles very wryly at his own foolishness.

Does not a Jedi know this, too? There is no try. And he has been vainly trying all day to teach what cannot be taught.

When twenty minutes and more have passed, he dares to disturb his padawan's trance, the faintest ripple in the Force breaking the spell and bringing the boy back to place and identity – albeit with a soft hiccup.

He looks up, disoriented. "Master?"

"That was well done," the tall man informs him, gently. He holds out a hand and raises the young Jedi to his feet,

Obi-Wan blinks, and hiccups again. "Oh…..Oh. Was that… was it long enough?"

"What do you think?"

A thoughtful pause. "I … don't - that is, it doesn't matter, does it?"

The tall man gathers their cloaks and makes sure the boy shrugs into his. "No. Come along; you are overdue for some supper and some sleep, am I not right?"

Another hiccup and a yawn proclaim that he is, though foolish in some ways, still master enough to know what is what. He tugs his padawan's cowl forward, playfully, and leads the way out again.

They walk, side by side, hands tucked into opposite sleeves, in perfect mutual tranquility.