Epilogue - Seventeen Years Later
Ben Kenobi meditated, sitting cross-legged on the deck of the Millennium Falcon. The engines thrummed softly, making a comfortable background of white noise. Luke Skywalker sat on the deck next to him; Ben had explained the concepts of meditation to the boy, then instructed him to do as he saw fit for the next hour. Luke was trying more for the sake of emulating the older man than for desire of learning the art itself. He was impatient to get on to learning the lightsaber. Kenobi smiled inwardly. So like his father.
His thoughts turned to the events of the last day – him coming upon Luke in the Jundland Wastes, the message from Princess Leia, and finding a suitable ship with an owner who was not as cynical as he seemed. It was not random coincidence, that these three young people were coming together.
Luke and Leia. Obi-Wan had kept an eye on Luke himself from afar, on random visits to Anchorhead and the Lars homestead. Laurae had sent reports about the princess to Obi-Wan at irregular intervals, telling him about her latest exploits in speeder racing or, as she grew older, in Imperial politics. Leia's mission had failed and she'd had been captured, but she would survive this ordeal. So like her mother.
The twins had grown up so differently from each other, and were very dissimilar as a result. Kenobi could foresee that it would not be long before they would unite again. Once they did, brother and sister would not part for as long as they both lived. Ben was glad to know this; it would make Padmé very happy.
Padmé. Though his grief had cooled over the last two decades, Obi-Wan still missed her terribly. He saw her as she was when she was Queen, so stern and grave, and so determined to do what was right. Then his memories seemed to speed up. He saw her face, so close to his as they danced, then the next morning when he told her that she would have two babies, not one. She spoke scathingly in one of their many arguments. Their eyes swam with tears as she absolved him of the wrongs he thought he'd done to her and her family. She smiled approvingly as she watched him cradle her days-old son in his hands. She promised to marry him.
The vision changed. Padmé stood on the front porch of Sanctuary. She was waiting for him to come home.
Ben Kenobi opened his eyes and got to his feet. He knew what was coming. He didn't know how it would happen or exactly when, but that didn't matter. It was time for lightsaber practice. Master and apprentice moved to a more spacious room in the ship.
Movement caught Kenobi's eye. Luke, Han, and…Thank the Force. It was Leia. The twins have found each other. They ran into the hangar, accompanied by the droids and Chewbacca. The stormtroopers and Vader hadn't seen them yet, but the Imperials were sure to unless…
Obi-Wan Kenobi smiled. His own words came back to him: Why do I get the feeling you're going to be the death of me? He hadn't known that he knew, but he knew, all those years ago.
Time to go. He raised his lightsaber in front of his face, saluting his nemesis and forfeiting the duel. Obi-Wan closed his eyes, at peace with his decision. Vader's saber hummed hungrily, anticipating victory.
A moment of pain, then freedom. But something held him back…
"No!" It was a screech of anger and sorrow.
I'm so sorry, Luke. I knew I wouldn't live through another encounter with Vader. My death will buy you time to get away.
Run, Luke, run!
Not mine. Just George's.
As I plan to stop archiving here, I wanted to wish you all many thinks in your readership of, and many complimentary comments to, "Hope's Sanctuary." I just don't like the way they run things here any more, so I'll be moseying along.