My Punishment

The desert dunes turned golden-orange as the twin suns sank towards the distant horizon. Heatwaves shimmered as the last hot breaths of wind scoured the desert. Stars began to shimmer far above, small and beautiful. Like tiny gems, each with its own inner fire.
Obi-Wan watched the now familiar harshness of the fading suns, and at his back the slightest whisper of a cool breeze. As the day was harsh in it's glaring, numbing heat so the night could be seductively cool. And just as dangerous.
The night would be freezing cold. Two stark opposites within one day. Tatooine was like that, a harsh world, with a harsh climate and harsh people. Yet there was strength in them. Strength of mind, of determination, the desert made you strong. And ruthless, a voice whispered.
Reaching deep into the Force he reached out to the life around him. To a nearby burrower beetle as it emerged from the sand to hunt, and a Bantha herd over the next dune, and if he reached a little bit further he touched upon a mind that while young was a strong as his fathers. And who was at that moment angry and frustrated, reaching deeper Obi-Wan got a mangled image of a bed, something about a speeder and Uncle Owen being unfair, Obi-Wan smiled.
Like his father Luke loved machines. Of course his father was more machine than man now. Obi-Wan's face twisted into a bitter smile as the old self-loathing and pain re-asserted itself. Anakin had fallen and Obi-Wan must take the blame. Anakin should have been trained better, Obi-Wan should never have permitted the boy Anakin had been to be as angry, fearful and bitter.
He stood up as the first sun disappeared and began the long walk home, the desert could be just as dangerous at night. Suddenly he felt a tug or pull coming from the valley bellow. He had come across the tops of the dunes to get here, but now the Force pulled him towards the valley below.
Almost without realising it he began walking down into the valley, letting the Force guide his steps. A strange pressure built up on the back of his neck, like having someone breathing in your ear, or another person sharing your mind. Another wind blazed down from the east and howled through the valley picking up sand. The howl had seemed familiar, like. He kept moving towards the centre of the valley and saw bits and pieces of ash scattered about along with other bits and pieces, a piece of leather here a bone there.
And suddenly the pressure on the back of his neck exploded. Ghostly screams rent the air, the smell of burning flesh permeated everything. Unsubstantial tents were scattered here and there, some knocked over, some burning. Dead Tusken raiders were liberally scattered. Some with limbs missing, others cut right in half. And amidst all the chaos a familiar voice cried out in pain.


Images of a woman Obi-Wan had never met flashed through his mind. Dark hair around a careworn face dominated with sad, loving eyes. Obi wan felt tears run down his cheeks as he remembered Anakin's pain at losing his mother. "I failed her Master, but I won't fail again" Anakin had said, his words undelayed with anger and determination, his mechanical hand had turned reflexively into a fist.
"No Anakin," Obi-Wan murmured into the now icy desert winds "I failed you." The vision slipped away leaving a sense of hopeless despair as his swat turned icy cold and his tears turned from burning rivulets to icy streams. Yoda had warned him that Anakin was in grave danger of falling, and now everything Anakin, the real Anakin, the little boy Obi-Wan had first met would have wanted and everything he loved was gone. Leaving a shell of a being full of hate and anger.
And it was Obi-Wan's fault. He was responsible, and this place this prison, this lethal planet was his punishment. He could almost feel the blood of Anakin's victims on his hands. Yes, this was his Punishment. Punishment for failure.