Xanatos was walking through the halls of the temple heading for a debrief with the Jedi council when two initiates ran smack into him. He scowled at them lightly before recognizing one of them. It was Garren one of the better saber students. He smiled at the young boy before helping the two students off the floor. He asked," Where are you two off in such a hurry?"
He noticed the uncertain looks that passed between them before Garren said," We are headed to the hanger, Knight sir. One of our friends is working on something in case he isn't chosen." That caught Xanatos' attention he knew it wasn't uncommon for an initiate not to be chosen but for one to be working towards something in case. That peaked his interest. He asked," Who might this friend be?"
They immediately shook their heads and said," We can't tell you. He will get in trouble." That caused him to frown slightly normally the council would be supportive when it came to unique skills. He said knowing they would have his head for this," How about you take me? I swear not to reveal what I see without his permission." They didn't look convinced but had little choice in the matter.
They went to the farthest hanger and put on flight shirts. They handed one to him causing him to raise an eyebrow. They didn't say anything just shrugged. When they entered there was a fighter like he had never seen before. It looked old and had scars that were proof that it had seen many battles. Garren said," Oi we are here. We...um... brought a visitor. Sorry we ran right into him on the way here." A mess of sandy hair popped out from under the fighter and said," As long as he isn't a member of the council. I couldn't care less. I think I figured out why it wouldn't fly."
Xanatos raised an eyebrow as a young boy no more than 12 pulled himself out from under the fighter. The boy was in old clothes that were stained with oil and other components to this fighter. He gave Xanatos a knowing look before saying," This is an older model of a fighter known as Veritech. They were used on my homeworld before it was made uninhabitable. A group of us were able to salvage an STF unit and several fighters like this." A cold look passed the child's face as he continued," My world wasn't the first to be destroyed and it won't be the last. If I cannot be a Jedi I will find a safe haven to train the next generation of Veritech pilots."
Xanatos was shocked that this boy thought he would never be a Jedi. He asked softly," Why do you think that you won't become a Jedi?" He looked away his face becoming red as a cherry," I have only two weeks till my 13th birthday if no one takes me after this tournament tomorrow I'll be sent off. I will not become a farmer! My destiny is to protect whether that's here or back in space."
Xanatos realized that the boy whose name he didn't even know was accepting that he would never become a Jedi and was looking for a new path without fighting for this one. Xanatos said realizing he had a lot to think about," Let's see if you can get that hunk of junk off the ground before you claim you will be using it to protect."
The boy's eyes flashed with anger before becoming a mask again. He climbed up an old ladder flipping switches and the fighter hummed to life. Before anyone could say anything it stopped and the boy swore quite loudly. He jumped down his eyes narrowed at a puddle on the ground under the fighter. Xanatos could see the wheels turning in his head. He cried out," That's it. It's the protoculture tank!" Xanatos shook his head and said his goodbyes he was already late enough as it was. If he didn't hurry the council would likely send someone after him. More than likely Master Yoda. He shuddered at the thought of the ancient master coming and looking for him.
Mace Windu kept giving him odd looks throughout the council meeting and right when he was about to leave the man stopped him. He asked," Is there something bothering you, Knight Xanatos?" Xanatos sighed he knew he wouldn't get away that easily so he said," Master's of the council it came to my attention earlier that there is an initiate who believes that he will not become a Jedi. He seems only to be biding his time to complete a project and for his birthday. What made him like this?"
The council had looks of recognition on their faces they knew which one he was speaking of even though he didn't know the boy's name. Today sighed and said," The boy you speak of is Obi Won Kenobi on his world he is known as lieutenant commander Wolf. He is a war hero he would be the last of his people if he had not gone to his homeworld during their war..." Xanatos growled and asked his anger making his eyes flash dangerously," He isn't even 13 yet! How could you let a youngling go to war?"
Yoda held up his hand to calm the young Knight he knew the outrage the younger man was feeling. He sighed and said," Understand you do not. Willing he went to war. Broken he came back." Mace nodded solemnly and said," Initiate Kenobi was the first to volunteer in order to prevent some of the younger students from going to war. He was gone for a year and a half. We have tried everything Masters who have spoken to him come back extremely frightened and in need of a mind healer. We have tried sending him to a mind healer but they can't get him to open up. I'm sorry Xanatos as of now there's no one who can help him."
Xanatos was about to say something when his jaw dropped. Outside the window he could see the fighter that the Kenobi had been working on up in the air. They all turned to see what rendered the man silent. Yoda said after another moment of shocked silence," Fixed it he has. Return to the squad he will. Stop him we cannot."
Xanatos said taking a deep breath," Give me a week with him. We both have similar past. Let me try to get through to him." Yoda gave him a skeptical look but said with sigh," Initiate Kenobi's last chance you are. You fail leave he shall. Take care you must not to push him away. Call him we shall. Wait outside you will." Xanatos gave a small now before turning on his heel. He didn't know why he offered to try to get through to the boy but the force said that it was right.
I had just landed my Veritech and had it returned to its watch state when a younger initiate ran in. He scowled at my appearance and said," The council wants to see you Obi Wan. They say it's important." I sighed knowing that I didn't have time to take a shower and change. I put the watch in my pants pocket I knew this day had been coming. The council was going to send me to agriculture corps where I would disappear to the stars once more.
With a heavy heart I followed the younger boy to the council chambers where before I could even knock a voice said," Enter Initiate Kenobi." I pushed my way inside bowing when I came to the center of the room. Yoda said a faint smile crossing his feature," Fixed the fighter you have. Against the wishes of the council it was." I gave a sigh before saying," With all do respect Masters. I knew there wasn't a master that would take me when I returned from war. So I disobeyed your will so I could be prepared to return. I do not regret my decision."
The council's faces were stern but I held my ground. I was right and I knew it they could deny it all they wanted but no one here wanted me. Master Windu said giving me an intense look," There is someone that has offered to give you trial week. He in fact just returned from a long mission and is looking forward to some down time. You would be good for each other." I snorted but when I saw his serious look I asked my curiosity getting the better of me," Who is he?"
A voice from behind me made me jumped," That would be me." I turned to face the sound it was the Knight from earlier. I stood stock still as he walked closer to me. His eyes met mine and I felt like he was seeing into the very depths of my soul and I was the first to break eye contact. His blue eyes were filled with barely concealed hope and understanding. They reminded me of the admiral I served under. His eyes were dredging up painful memories. I asked turning back to face the council feeling him step up beside me," So what now?"
Master Windu was surprised by my acceptance of the young Knight. He was almost positive I would put up more of a fight about someone only taking me for a week. He said watching the young man give a concerned look to the boy," For the next week you will be spending most of your time with Knight Xanatos. You will share quarters and he will train you. If in a week you two don't feel like you can somewhat work together than Initiate Kenobi you are welcome to return to your squad. We hope you will give this one final chance. You are powerful in the force and we would hate to lose you."
I looked over my shoulder at Xanatos who gave me an encouraging nod. I said," I have little choice. I will give Knight Xanatos a chance." He gave me a bright smile causing me to flinch back slightly. I wasn't used to people liking me. Most of the time they found me to troublesome to bother with.
With that the council dismissed us and I somewhat unwillingly followed the Knight to his quarters. They were on the far side of the temple and while small they felt warm. I looked around while Xanatos took to watching me.
Xanatos was watching the boy as he walked around their quarters. He knew it wasn't much he never needed much especially after having QuiGon Jin for a master. You learned to make do and do certain things for yourself. Xanatos frowned remembering the Obi Wan was still in his flight clothes. He went into one of his rooms pulling out some clean robes. He had ordered some smaller robes when he decided he would consider taking a padawn now he was glad he did.
He came back to his front room to find the boy pulling off his flight jacket seeing a white undershirt that was practically see through with sweat. Xanatos rushed forward once he saw the purple and black bruises underneath the shirt. He asked pulling the shirt up for a better look," What in the world happened to you? Is anything broken? Why haven't you gone to the infirmary?" He squeezed the boy's shoulder gaining a pained yelp in response.
Xanatos decided enough was enough he steered the boy out of the room and through the temple until they reached the infirmary. He placed the boy and yelled," Healer Zach you around?!" A young healer came out of a room yawning as he said," Xani I know for a fact you aren't hurt. So why are you yelling in my infirmary?"
Xanatos growled at the use of his old nickname and said," I have a padawn who looks like he took a beating by someone three times his size. Does the name Kenobi ring a bell?" Zach said groaning," Damn him. That boy can't seem to stay out of trouble. Sorry Xani I need to see what damage he's done to himself this time."
Zach tried to push past him but Xanatos laid a hand on his shoulder and whispered," This cannot leave this room not even to the boy. I plan on taking him as my apprentice. I just have to get him to trust me." Zach snorted and said amusement his eyes," I wish you the best of luck with that Xani. I have tried for years to get that child to trust me. He is a tough one he was quiet and withdrawn before he went off to war. But since he came back he truly hasn't been the same."
I was rubbing my injured shoulder when healer Zach walked in. I gave him a small smile which went away when the Knight walked in. Zach said with a smile," I don't think Obi Wan likes you much Xani. How long have you two known each other?" I mumbled so Zach had to lean in to hear me," We just met today."
Zach's eyes widened in recognition as he said," Well that explains his reaction. So how bad should I be expecting it to be this time?" I flinched and said," I think my shoulder is dislocated, I reset my wrist earlier. Two ribs are likely cracked if not broken and laser burns."
Zach groaned audibly as he said," I swear you have a death wish. Let me guess more training for when you return to your combat duties." I nodded not looking at the Knight who looked vaguely intrigued. He reset my shoulder first which almost landed him on his own floor. My instincts kicked in at the pain.
The Knight took charge holding me down while the healer finished his work. The healer wrapped my ribs and said," Five ribs are broken not two. One of these days boy you won't be so lucky. Maybe this Xani can break you of those habits." He then turned to the Knight and said," When you take him back put him in a healing trance. That will heal what's left."
The Knight nodded before dragging me back to his quarters. Once there he pushed some robes and said," These are for you. I hope they fit. We can go to your rooms tomorrow to get your things." I nodded numbly still trying to wrap my head around this. He sighed and said," Let us meditate. We have both had a trying day I think it would do us some good."
I changed out of my ruined flight clothes and into the robes having to move with caution to avoid damaging my shoulder further. When I walked back into the main room I noticed the Knight sitting in a basic meditation stance. When I approached he lifted his head the indicated for me to sit in front of him.
When I sat he said a curious look gracing his features," You don't trust me." I flinched and said," I don't trust anyone. Knight?" He frowned slightly and said," Xanatos. Why don't you trust anyone?" I shrugged not willing to go into details with a man I barely knew. He sighed and said," Face away from me. I'm going to help you into a meditative state."
I shook my head not willing to turn my back to him and place my full trust in him. He gave a small sound of annoyance before saying," I'm not going to hurt you, boy." I gave a quiet snarl feeling the animal within try to push its way forward. Xanatos gave me a mildly worried look but waited for me to calm down.
I asked forcing the animal down and behind its barriers," Why do you care?" He seemed stunned for a moment before he said with a knowing smile," I asked my master that very question when he asked me to trust him at the beginning of my training. Unlike me you have gone through war and came back alive."
I shook my head and said a wariness entering my voice," I came back broken. My people did terrible things to us there are only a few of us left. None of them the..." I shuttered at the thought of the people that gave me the wolf that resides within me. Xanatos sighed and said," I know it's hard to trust me. I'm not asking you to trust me completely. I'm asking for the chance to show you not everyone is the same."
Reluctantly I turned away from him sitting in a meditation stance. I did not see the way Xanatos smiled. He placed his hands on my back I could feel the calming energy he gave off as it relaxed me. He resonated with the force and I slowly opened myself up to it. I almost jumped away from him when I felt him push lightly on my mind. His voice resonated within my mind as he continued to push calming energy to me," It's ok. We are just going to enter a meditation state. Let me in."
I shook my head defiantly but the calming energy continued to push away the darkness that had threatened to overtake me. After a few moments I relinquished control allowing him just on the surface of my mind. Xanatos gave me a gentle push into the awaiting force and into meditation. I felt the force pulse around me calming and relaxing.
Xanatos smiled as he pulled himself out of the meditation watching the young boy completely relaxed into the force. He himself felt somewhat drained after trying to get past the Obi Wan's defenses. He had nearly impenetrable shields across most of his memories but the strongest lay with the memories from the time he was ten to a little more than a year ago. He sat back watching the boy wondering what could have caused such mistrust in everyone.
Moving slowly so not to startle the boy he began to slowly push up the much to large sleeves of the robes. In doing so he accidentally revealed a wolf tattoo on the inside of the boy's right arm.