Effing A! This was a bitch to write. Because so much theory is explained.
::grumbles angrily as she eats her cheesy-poofs::
And the background research I have to do for this fic sometimes! Why is the extended universe so damn BIG and so friggin' CONTRADICTORY? And now Disney. Disney. As if that freakish mouse didn't already own (read: destroy) most of my childhood loves.
But I digress.
We will be seeing a character that was introduced (and left) back in, oh, chappie 4, in this one. So if you wanna refresh yourself about him, that's where you can find his short little intro.
And We Will Talk, Part 3
The club was full of rocking bodies of all sizes, the smell of sweat and lust, warm and electric-like dominated the small but incredibly popular place. The DJs were perched high above the crowd, three working in tandem as they slowly drove the swaying creatures below them insane. Tucked away in a corner – far enough away from the flashing dance floor not to be bothered yet still close enough to the bar so that if the need for a drink should arise it would be handled with the appropriate amount of swiftness – a dark figure sat.
The only light in the small corner came from the soft glow of the pinkish drink, held precariously by two gloved fingers and the occasional flare of a cigarette as its owner watched the crowd slowly work itself towards a mass orgasm with a look of disgusted fascination. Cast in the neon light, the youth that sat with his feet so casually up on a nearby seat seemed harmless, no different from the other disenfranchised teenagers who flocked to the night clubs for relief from their incredibly droll lives.
A closer observation by a keen eye would quickly prove otherwise. While the head of dark hair may be cut in the same, roguishly attractive cut that was so popular and his clothing, all shades of black, only slightly more dramatic than the average clubber, it was his eyes that revealed that his difference.
If not the fact that the ice blue iris seemed to be rimmed by unnatural yellow, small tendrils of the color seeping inwards; but rather it was the marked cruelty reflected in them. Fortunately for Boden du Crion, most of the beings he interacted seemed thoroughly disconnected from all but their basic instincts and he was able, except for those very rare instances, to move with ease amongst them.
He watched the crowd, the smile on his lips somewhere between a smirk and a leer. The beat of the song was so loud it echoed in his very bones, rattling his chest cavity with a wonderful consistency that made Boden feel like he was almost going to fly apart. The young Sith let his sharp gaze turn hungry as he searched the group for someone appropriate to sate the lust that was already making his vibrating body react.
Its then that Boden saw him. For a moment his mouth dropped open in a rather ungraceful show of shock, than he couldn't keep the slow spread of self-satisfaction that turned into a rather impressive smirk. The figure in the club entryway stood out in every imaginable way – from the vibrant, angry tattoos that bled across his face to his dark, unfashionable and just plain aggressive clothing. Most, though, don't notice him at all. The crowd was far too wrapped up in the drug infused coma, led ever on by that same consistent beat that made Boden twitch ever so slightly in his chair.
If the Zabrak cared about the few who did (the bartender, the bouncers who took not so subtle steps in the opposite direction) he didn't seem to care. Boden felt himself shudder slightly when the other Sith's attention came to rest on his resting spot and he felt like he could make out those gloriously fierce eyes from across the room.
The older Sith made short work of the club, casing it like one big, irritated cat before coming to rest before Boden's propped feet. For a moment, the young Sith apprentice let himself simply stare up – awed by the catechism of darkness he could feel flare around the tall being.
He'd heard from the few others left in their rather dwindled group that Maul was something else, but Boden had never actually met Sidious' apprentice and given the nature of their society chalked it up as intimidation tactics.
The amount of hate and fury and dear gods raw hostility that bled through the Force was so strong from Maul that for a moment all he could do was stare up at Zabrak. It wasn't until those eyes narrowed with clear annoyance that Boden came back to himself. Slowly, ever aware of those brilliantly tainted eyes watching him (ready, Boden was sure, to kill him with only the slightest provocation) the younger apprentice slid his feet of the free chair and gestured to it.
The Zabrak sat with that same cat like grace before reaching out and setting a small, slightly bloody communicator on the table between them. My scout's comm. unit…I didn't think he'd actually come.
It had taken Boden the better part of two years to track down the Sith apprentice and now that he had him sitting next to him, the teenager couldn't quite believe it. Every other time he could have sworn he was close – times when he knew without a shadow of a doubt that the Zabrak was on the same planet or in the same sector and sent out some idiotic, cred strapped fool to track down the Sith he had been ignored.
So why now?
Boden realized belatedly that he was still staring, wide eyed and silent, at the Sith next to him. Maul's eyes hadn't left his form once, head cocked ever so slightly as he watched him back. What was wrong with him? Boden felt flushed, more than a little embarrassed by his reaction to the Zabrak apprentice. It was just, the Sith was unlike any he'd felt before. Maul felt nothing like the Dark Jedi or Acolytes he had encountered and certainly nothing like his Master. The darkness that radiated off of him was almost intoxicating.
Shavit, get a grip Boden.
He took a hit off the long, thin cigarette that had been almost completely forgotten in his hand and tried to shrug off the heaviness that has settled around his brain. The beat was so loud and he could still taste the sweetness of the liquor he'd downed before Maul arrived. Boden flicked the still burning cigarette away into the crowd, snorting in amusement as a dancer stopped abruptly and began to rub at the spot it had hit. The small, pointless act helped ground him and Boden turned to face the still staring Sith
…the human really hadn't thought the older Sith would come. If he had, the raven haired teen would have laid off the pills.
"I take it you got my message." His voice was indistinguishable from the music and ignoring several rather loud survival instincts Boden leaned across the chair arm, more than aware that's he put himself in the immediate kill zone. "You're a hard man to track down."
"Don't waste my time, boy." The voice was more of a growl, a deep rumble that seems to admit from the Zabrak's chest and not his throat at all. Boden steadied himself, anchoring himself around the cool feel of his drink in his hand as he prepared himself. This would either be a marvelous success or he'll be dead.
Sith's really didn't do grey areas after all.
"I have a proposition for you." Boden finally announced, sounding amazingly calm and controlled despite the lump of fear in his throat and the fact that a part of his mind was still so wonderfully wrapped around that never ending beat. "All I ask is that you hear me out before you act."
There's a silence and not a muscle on the Zabrak's face moved. Boden takes that as a sign and carried on.
"Surely you've must have noticed our numbers growing rather slim." The Zabrak's head tilted down in the barest of nods and Boden allowed a small, grim smile to twist his lips. "I have brought my concerns to my Master and, as always, he bends to the will of your own and insists that our plans remain undetected. Yet, I cannot help but my find myself off put by these events. I can't help but wonder if perhaps the plan's been…compromised."
Amazingly, that sentence didn't end with Boden's head being removed from his shoulder in a clean strike. Maul was staring at him with an intensity now that seemed to make it impossible to breathe. The music had slowed into a rhythmic, trance like beat that somehow seemed to match the slow, steady rise and fall of Maul's chest.
"And if I was to agree?"
Boden couldn't help his sudden intake of air – and he didn't care because he doubted the Zabrak could hear his gasp over the music anyway – before allowing a small, knowing smile to climb across his face. He shifted slightly closer to the Zabrak, gesturing with his drink as he spoke.
"Then I purpose we do something about it. I mean no disrespect to either of our masters," A blatant lie, considering what he was purposing, "but I'm not going to die – allow our Order to die! – because two old men refuse to see the signs."
The younger Sith felt a very real thrill of animosity at his words. Both Sidious and Tyranus had put years, decades, of their lives into this plot and like all old things refused to change with the times. Boden may have only spent a few years under his brother's tutelage but Xanatos had taught him a great many things, including when to cut and run.
And he hated Dooku. Had hated him since the moment he'd first saw him. Years of study under the man found his hatred twisting into an all-encompassing abhorrence and revulsion when he'd seen the disgusting mechanical beast he'd brought in. His loathing of the older man was complete the moment that Boden realized he wasn't going to learn anything more from the Lost Jedi.
But at sixteen, Boden still had miles to go before he could reach anywhere near the level that the older Sith next to him was. He could not leave without securing himself some sort of protection.
"That is why I sought you out. You see," Boden dropped his eyes demurely; focusing on the soft swirls of his drink, "I find no reason for either one of us to walk into a death trap, not when we could do this so much better then they."
Still alive. He may actually make it out of this meeting.
"And I find myself seemingly in need of a new Master."
There, he'd said it.
Boden watched the misshapen flecks of ice float around his drink, keeping his eyes averted from the silent Zabrak's form. The music had changed pace again but the beat was even louder if that was at all possible. Boden felt like his entire body shake with it and it took him a moment to realize that his body was actually physically rocking with it.
Maul still hadn't answered him and Boden could feel the Zabrak's predatory gaze on him, could feel the will of the man sitting next to him blazing like a beacon through the Force. The tension was mounting inside of him, somehow pulsating in perfect rhythm with the music, gaining and rising in volume with each second that passed. Right when Boden felt like he was going to drift apart under the combined feeling, the drink he'd been studying was ripped out of his hand before he even realized it was gone and a gloved hand fists the front of his shirt and pulled.
The young human grunted, body splayed and pinned awkwardly against the cheap table top. His hand flew to his lightsaber on instinct but Boden released it just as quickly, going limp as a gloved hand gripped his chin crushingly. Despite the sheer terror racking his body, Boden forced himself to hold the Zabrak's fierce eyes, forced himself to keep his body lax. It was utter submission and something dark and angry inside the human flared at it, anger curling in his stomach at the act. But Boden forced it down, promising it would have its time. But right now, right now he had to submit.
"You're high." There was a tint of amused disbelief in the older Sith's voice, "Do you have a death wish, boy?"
"Yeah, I am." His answer was breathless, but fearless. "And no, I don't. That's why we met, remember?"
The human knew he should be terrified by the look of dark humor that filled the Zabrak's face. Boden knew he should be fucking petrified but it was hard when there was that damn beat and his body felt like it was about to float away with the raw victory of holy-shit-I-may-have-pulled-this-off that was filling him.
The teenager couldn't stop the reflexive gasp as the hand on his chin slid down until it clasped around his throat with just enough pressure to make his breath come in harsh, wheezing pants. The slightest flick of the beasts wrist and he'd be a memory. The grip tightened once more before releasing him with enough force to send him toppling off the table and back into his seat, wide eyed.
"Don't disappoint me."
Boden dared a slanted, toothy grin that was more his brother's then his own, "Never, my Master."
It was dark.
Everything was dark.
Darker than any of the sunless planets he'd ever visited during the war. An utter blackness that seemed impossible. Yet it expanded forever in every direction.
Blinking hard against the sluggish film that seemed to envelope his brain, Obi-Wan forced himself to focus, he had to figure out where he was. Why was it so hard to think? He rubbed at his forehead in frustration, shaking his head back in and forward violently as if that would somehow rid his mind of the fogginess that seemed to settled there. After a moment, the Jedi gave up with a sigh, glancing wearily around into the darkness before taking a few hesitant steps forward.
Moving was strange. Everything was heavy, weighted, as if he was underwater.
What had he been doing? There was something with…with Master Yoda. And Qui-Gon. And…and…a ghost?
…that sounds crazy. Even for me.
Forcing the growing panic in his chest down, Obi-Wan stopped his stumbling advance into the nothing and concentrated on breathing. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Calm. Control. After a long moment, the Jedi finally felt composed enough to open his eyes once more – and felt his heart leap at the sight before him.
The silence in the hall was incredible. The Grandmaster simply watched as the three younger Jedi gathered around the unconscious teen, each face a different study in the same emotion. From where he stood, Rahm watched stunned as his former Master shifted Obi-Wan until the padawan was almost completely in his lap. Qui-Gon looked exhausted, utterly spent. Rahm shivered. He supposed he would to, after witnessing his own death. And Kenobi's. And so many other Jedi.
Just what had he seen here?
Rahm exchanged a bewildered glance with Kit, both Jedi wondering just what it was they had witnessed. The Knight had never heard the Hearthstone even remotely doing anything other than sitting there and glowing occasionally.
Not…well, whatever it was that had just happened.
It was Kit that broke the heavy silence first, crouching down next to the human Master. "I'm sorry, I don't mean to seem insensitive here, but what the hell was that?"
"The future." Qui-Gon answered softly and the Nautolan reared from him as if he'd spit on him. Rahm exchanged a second, even more bewildered glance with Kit before he joined them on the floor, crouching closer to his old friend and placing a comforting hand on his broad shoulder.
He had known Qui-Gon Jinn for more years then he'd care to admit. Kota would give his friend a chance to explain himself before jumping to conclusions. "The…future?"
"It happened right before I met him." The older Master said stiffly, not looking at either one of them. "Those were Obi-Wan's memories. He showed them to me, far less then what we saw here, on Geauga."
Rahm shook his head in confusion. Kit was staring at Qui-Gon intensely, his head tresses flicking at the tips. "Memories? How could the future be a memory?"
"I believe it was a vision, a massive one. Only Obi-Wan doesn't believe it's a vision. To him, he lived and died at his apprentice's hands and suddenly woke up twelve years old again. It was the reason why Obi-Wan fled the Order. He-"
"- saw something that he thought he could prevent." Kit finished suddenly, his entire body quivering. A webbed hand reached up to tug at his tresses in an anxious tell. "Force, the kid all but spelled it out to me before. This is real, isn't it? What we saw – those bodies, that boy-"
"Always in motion, the future is." A soft voice answered and the three turned as one to stare at the Grandmaster in surprise. Somehow, in the way that only Yoda was ever capable of doing, they had forgotten the ancient Jedi's presence completely. "Already changed much, young Kenobi has."
"He does not believe it is enough." Qui-Gon said sharply and Rahm felt adrenaline spike through his system at the thought that those images could still come true. That the Temple could burn. That so many would die at the hand of those strange, white armored armies.
"Then we will make it enough." The younger Human said harshly, hands fisting at his side. He'd already lost one home to war, he would not lose another. Kit let out a hiss of agreement, black eyes blazing.
Yoda only sighed. "Mediate on these new facts, we must, before any action can be taken." A clawed hand pointed to the still body in Jinn's arms. "Now, to the healing ward, you must take the boy."
There was a startled gasped from the teenager and Rahm's attention snapped back, breath catching in alarm as Obi-Wan's skin literally bleached white in front of them.
Even as he said the name, Obi-Wan knew it was not him. The Anakin of his memory was older. Darker. Twisted. The one before him was bright, a beacon of light with white-blonde hair, sun kissed skin and sweet dimples.
"No," the boy gave him a small, kind smile, "I am not he." He gestured to himself. "You mind made this form for you because it thought it would be easier."
Obi-Wan felt his brows furl in confusion. "My mind? What do you mea-" It hit him suddenly and the Jedi paled, spinning around to stare at the darkness surrounding them with abrupt comprehension. He was inside his own psyche.
How was that even possible? This was impossible! For him to be existing like this in his own mindscape, how was this – this wasn't possible!
"Is it really so strange for you to believe?" A blonde head cocked to the side as blue eyes observed him with a cool curiousness. "Have you not done the impossible already?"
"You raise a valid point." Obi-Wan conceded dryly, heaving an annoyed sigh, the panic leaving him with the knowledge of his surroundings.
Not-Anakin snorted. "Of course I do. I'm you."
"Well then, care to explain why I seem to be wandering around my own mind?" He looked around the black landscape and wondered what it meant that the inside of his mind was so blank. The Not-Anakin had moved closer during his observation, but the preoccupied Jedi only noticed it when a small hand slid into his own.
Obi-Wan started at the sudden contact.
"It's quite simple, Obi-Wan." The small head titled back, sending golden locks shimming backwards as the Not-Anakin stared up at him, blue eyes pupil-less and deep, and suddenly every instinct in the Jedi was screaming at him to get away. "We have gone as far as we can."
The bottom of Obi-Wan's stomach dropped out, the sound of those words filling him with trepidation as he tried to escape. It was undoable though, as the Jedi found the small hand gripping his own was resolute. "Let me go!"
"I cannot, because you do not want me to."
"What? Stop talking in riddles!"
"We cannot carry on with the path you have set us upon."
Not-Anakin sighed as if he was the one being put upon, then repeated himself with great emphasis on each word. "We cannot carry on with the path you have set us upon, because you will not allow us too."
The blackness around them was shifting – like a camera suddenly coming into focus – and Obi-Wan let out a choked whimper as the world alit with orange. His skin flushed with heat, sweat lining every crevice of his body as the mining pit of Mustafar materialized around him.
"No." The Jedi managed to croak out, fear and desperation warring equally in his voice. "Stop it."
The Not-Anakin was staring up at him with something like pity. "I would, if you would only allow us too."
Obi-Wan shut his eyes and focused on trying to wake up.
"We should have died." The little boy's voice sounded tired and small, but when he spoke next it was suddenly deeper, older. The hand gripping his own was larger as well, calloused and scarred. Obi-Wan's eyes flew open and to his horror, he found himself facing a fully adult Anakin.
With a cry he finally ripped his hand away, skidding backwards from the taller man before catching himself against an unbelievably hot metal railing. The heat of it bit at him and Obi-Wan stared, wide eyed and terrified at the blistered burns on his hands. The pain felt so real – how was that even possible? How was any of this happening? How could you hurt yourself inside your own mind? Force – Force he had to be going mad. There was no other explanation. Absolutely mad.
"We had no right to live. Because of this, we can go no further. I am here to remedy this. Do you understand?"
There was the unmistakable shh-hiss of a lightsaber and Obi-Wan's head snapped up, paling at the sight of the Not-Anakin, yellow eyes blazing and face cold, shifting into an all too familiar ready stance.
"Do you understand, Obi-Wan?"
Master Healer On Sook T'way was a man who took pride in his specialty. Far more adept at mental manipulation and psychic abilities then most Mirialan Jedi, On Sook had felt he truly had found his place in mind healing. Like all Jedi he had spent an extensive amount of time in the field, learning firsthand the evils of the universe. It was what he experienced out there that led him to become a mind healer. The Jedi were sent more often than not into the worst of the worst, where they saw and participated in acts of great evil they were not always capable of preventing. Such things left a wound on any person – but it was doubly so for a Jedi, whose connection to the Force allowed them to feel it so much more deeply. These things could cause massive mental trauma and yet, for reasons that the Mirialan could just not understand field agents were not necessarily required to seek out aid to deal with these scars.
Trying to get a revision in the medical rules to include mandatory evaluations every month and after particularly damaging missions instead over bi-annually had been T'way's personal cause for little over five years. There was resistance to the idea for several different reasons, but the main excuse given was it would create a logistical and bureaucratic nightmare, trying to keep track of all the Jedi members as well as forcing the very unwilling field agents into evals.
Mental healing through Force presences was a relatively new field and there also existed a rather illogical fear and distrust of Jedi who possessed the mental fortitude to traverse another's mind. On Sook could understand the discomfort of allowing another in so deeply past personal shielding, but it was for their own health! This was not something that could be taken lightly! A Jedi's mind was a dangerous place indeed and more capable of harming its owner then most ever realized.
So, yes, On Sook T'way was determined to do everything that was necessary to bring his initiative into reality – even if meant bringing the Jedi Order kicking and screaming into a new era of healthcare.
It was also why he was standing, face paling until it was a light, minty green, staring at a boy he had never forgotten but never expected to see again. Obi-Wan Kenobi had aged considerably since he had first appeared in his office all those years ago, though it was hard to tell what he looked like with the oxygen mask firmly clasped over his face.
The soft whirl of the breathing machines was the only sound in the small room. Qui-Gon Jinn, the boy's Master, was hunched over in his hospital chair, his forehead pressed against his clasped hands and looking grossly oversized in the small room. Knights Kota and Fisto were also present, both leaning on either side of the large man. Rahm Kota's hand was pressed comfortably against the older human's shoulder. All three Jedi were fairly famous, certainly more than the crowd that On Sook ran with, and he pushed away a bubble of discomforting inferiority before entering the room.
All three Jedi looked up and the Mirialanoffered them a small smile, the same one that all healers offered, one that was a mix of reassurance and grim understanding, before reaching for the apprentice's chart. His eyes roved quickly over the datapad, frowning at what he saw.
Obi-Wan had been admitted a little under three hours ago. The patient was comatose with zero response to pain or outside mental stimuli, presenting with extreme respiratory distress and a dangerously high fever. Bio-scans showed nothing to explain the current state, however did indicate massive brain activity, particularly in the sections denoting dreams. A light Force scan had revealed little due to the boy's apparently abnormally high shielding, yet still indicated that a specialist should be called in.
Which was how T'way had arrived at the scene.
Frowning more heavily now, the Mirialan approached the right side of the bed, the only side not currently crowded by Jedi. For a moment he simply glanced at the still human boy, recalling a time long ago that he had been so disturbed by him. On Sook had been unsure what it was that was wrong with the teenager, but whatever it was even then he could tell it was extraordinary. In the short half hour he had spent in his office, Obi-Wan had spent most of it in silence. But everything – from the way he had sat so stiffly (in the only chair that allowed clear visage of the entryway and window besides T'way's own desk char), to the how he reacted to every new stimuli (he had tensed, every muscle pulled taunt, at the sound of the air registers kicking on), to the way he spoke (which had been far, far too collected for someone his age), Obi-Wan Kenobi had been off.
On Sook had bitterly kicked himself after the human had gone missing. He had known something was wrong, so very wrong, and had he pressed the Mirialan most likely could have kept him within the safety of the Temple walls for at least a few more weeks.
The mystery of Obi-Wan Kenobi had plagued him for months after he'd met the kid and had continued (less frequently, but still present) over the years. Somehow – even back then – T'way had known that he would see Obi-Wan again. He had known that he was meant to help him.
"My name is On Sook T'way. I'm a Mind Healer, Master class." He introduced softly. "I've come to help Obi-Wan if I can. Can someone give me a brief explanation of how he found himself in this state?"
Fisto and Kota exchanged an almost nervous glance behind Jinn's folded figure, before simultaneously seeming to come to an agreement to say nothing at all as the human Jedi's silence stretched on.
Sighing, T'way shook his head. It was Master Yoda who had insisted he be called in, as it was not his day on call, and so the Mirialan was not quite as surprised at the dramatics involved as he could have been. Whenever Master Yoda specified his presence, it was also with the understanding that certain discretion would be required.
"I see. I will ask as few questions as possible, but should I feel it necessary to Obi-Wan's recovery to probe, I shall." On Sook warned, attempting and failing to sound stern.
"Do what you must." Jinn finally said, his voice low and rough.
The three Jedi across from him were watching his actions with an intensity that was unnerving, but On Sook ignored them as he placed an olive hand against the padawan's burning forehead. Orange eyes slid close and with a deep breath. Obi-Wan's shielding was indeed impressive, but it was grossly weakened by the illness ravaging his body. T'way had only just probed the boy's mind when his eyes flew open, snapping from the pale form to its Master in confusion.
"Why was Obi-Wan not brought in before this?" On Sook was slightly surprised at the intensity of the scorn in his own voice, but then again, the sheer amount of anarchy that had been hinted at was incredibly alarming. "I can only skim the surface, but he shows all the classic patterns of post-traumatic stress disorder."
"…there was no time, I suppose." Jinn answered slowly. "He was kidnapped and only recently returned to the Temple."
It was a lie and for a long moment T'way simply stared at the older Jedi before sighing, pressing his cool palm against a sweat-dampened forehead once more and tried to get an understanding of what the hell was going on. Even unconscious, the padawan would only tolerate his presence on the most forefront of his mind which in itself was impressive. Either Obi-Wan was a progeny in the mental arts or he had had drastic training in the area of resistance to Force probes. Neither one of these options seemed to make sense given his tender age and the supposed years wasted in unguided captivity.
Still, what On Sook could see was…chaotic. And even that term was being generous. He was unsure how long he stood there, eyes scrunched in concentration, Force signature pulsating as it tried to calm and understand what he was observing.
The Mirialan healer had been standing stock still, like a statue, for the better part of an hour. From where he sat, Qui-Gon frowned, gladly accepting the cup of coffee Kit offered him. He was more than a little concerned for his padawan. Obi-Wan had been utterly unresponsive, even to his mental probes, and wrecked in a way that he had not seen since that first night of captivity years ago.
T'way was supposed to be the leading expert in his field and that thought both comforted and concerned him. If there was anyone who could explain what was happening to his padawan, it was most likely T'way. But at the same time, Qui-Gon was unsure of what the other Master would see inside Obi-Wan's mind. A misstep so close to the inquiry could be disastrous.
There was movement on the other side of the bed, and next to him both Rahm and Kit stalled in their conversation about teaching techniques. The Mirialan's eyes slid open, the orange so dark suddenly they seemed almost brown, yet all the healer did was stare blankly at the wall. From his right, Rahm frowned, taking a careful step forward as T'way swayed slightly were he stood.
"Master T'way?" The Knight gently prompted, his eyebrows drawn together in concern. "Do you want me to get you something to drink? Perhaps you need to sit down."
"No," On Sook managed after a moment, his voice raspy, "no, I'm fine." The Master blinked hard and then turned to stare at them, his expression severe. "However, I believe we need to have a serious conversation, gentlemen."
Qui-Gon stood abruptly, eyes shooting to Obi-Wan's monitors as if any second they were going to crash. "What's wrong? What's happened?"
"What's wrong is that your reluctance to be honest with me, Master Jinn. That will change, now. When was Obi-Wan at war? The amount of wear and tear in Kenobi's mind outpaces those I've seen who have been in the field or thirty or forty years."
A long silence filled the room. Qui-Gon stared flatly at the healer, torn between wanting to provide his padawan with the help he so desperately needed and not giving anything away that could prove detrimental. Where was Master Yoda? Why wasn't he here to handle this? The healer stepped away from the bed, running a hand through his hair in an almost desperate act.
"Not to mention the fact that the sheer amount of grief inside of him – and what I saw was only the surface! He should have been brought to me so much sooner. Maybe then I could have halted it, but now…"
There was a horrible sinking feeling in his stomach, a dread that quickly climbed upwards until it grasped his heart tightly and Qui-Gon reached out, grasping the railing of the hospital bed as if to anchor himself. "But now?"
For a long moment T'way stared at him, before sighing. "Are you familiar with the term 'Wound in the Force,' Master Jinn? No? I'm not surprised, it is as ancient as it obscure. It is defined as a weakness in the fabric of the Force. Caused by a traumatic event, usually a massive loss of life that echoes through the living Force. The last time such an event was recorded was Malachor V, during the Jedi Civil Wars and the time of Revan."
"You're talking about legends and mystics," Kit interrupted suddenly; "there is no proof that the Force centralizes and creates a dark place when an act of mass evil is committed. For Forcesake, they can't even prove Malachor V existed. We don't have time for this!"
"Calm, Kit." Rahm chided, laying a comforting hand on the glowering Knight. "Though I agree I do not see what this has to do with Obi-Wan."
"I assure you, that a Wound in the Force a very real phenomenon. And as for what it has to do with Obi-Wan, I can't explain how or why – but your padawan has somehow become a Wound." On Sook shook his head, hands twisting as they gripped each other. "Trust me, I know how crazy this sounds, but it's not unprecedented. Meetra Surik-"
"Meetra Surik? The Jedi Exile?" Kit asked with a choked laugh, throwing both of his hands up in disbelief. "At least you chose one we have a holo-pic of. But still, Jinn, you…you can't possibly believe this? This is ancient history – this is practically mythology. We need-"
"Is it any harder for you to believe than any of the other things you have witnessed today?" Qui-Gon interrupted, leveling the Nautolan with a dark glare, more than slightly annoyed with the interruption. The Knight froze before slowly closing his mouth.
"No. I guess not." He agreed softly. "Perhaps it will do no harm to admit that this entire thing has left the realm of normal a long time ago. Please, Master T'way, continue."
The rather rattled looking Mirialan nodded. "The ancient texts say that Surik carried a wound inside of her from all those who died during Malachor V, that it nearly drove her to madness – to the darkside."
"Obi-Wan is not dark." Qui-Gon interrupted harshly, his voice almost a bark.
"I'm not suggesting that," T'way quickly backtracked, "after all Surik re-founded the Order." The Mirilian looked as if he was struggling to find the appropriate words. "Jedi are tied so closely to the Force that sometimes, without ever meaning to, they can turn that power inwards. Use it against themselves. I had a case a few years ago, involving a human Jedi with little empathic or psychic powers outside of what was considered below-norm Force sensitivity. The Jedi Master had accidently beheaded his own padawan.
He had been heavily drugged at the time and utterly unaware of what was happening. Despite the fact that no one held him at fault, the Master could not forgive himself. For years, the Jedi had carried the guilt of killing his own padawan. He turned that inward. Eventually he began to experience a phantom pain; a horrid burning sensation across his neck."
From where he stood, Qui-Gon felt his knees go weak, eyes widening in sudden comprehension. But the mind healer was not yet done.
"The similarity with the death of his padawan was not a coincidence. The Master had been punishing himself with his own powers. Each attack built on itself, until, at the most extreme, his body closed off his throat causing suffocation and what could have easily been death. And he had a fraction of the natural ability I sense in your padawan. Obi-Wan has witnessed something that has created a Wound in him, that has opened him up to the darker elements of the Force.
And these – they pray on him…For reasons I cannot begin comprehend, he believes he's directly responsible for whatever it is that has happened. What I'm saying, Master Jinn, is your padawan has been inadvertently killing himself. From what I can tell, for years. With how deeply this is belief is routed," On Sook let out a soft sound, shaking his head, "he could very well succeed."
I know! I know! I've got a serious issues with hiffhangers. ::is ashamed:: They're just sooooooooo fun.
Please read if you are confused!
A Wound in the Force: Is defined by Wookeepedia as being "created whenever a massive loss of life occurred. All life in the galaxy was interconnected and when a significant number of lives were suddenly ended, the Force sustained a localized injury much like a sentient who had lost a limb. The epicenter of the wound became a dark place, filled with the reverberating echoes of the pain, terror, and suffering of the life forms who had lost their lives." People, such as the Exile and Darth Nihilus could carry parts of this inside them, leading to various different results. For Obi-Wan, it was Order 66 and his immediate closeness via mental link to Anakin and the genocide of the Jedi in the Temple that causes this.
Kit's Disbelief: While there is documents that acknowledge the existence of the Exile (she did re-founded the Order, after all) mush surrounding her life and the life of Revan are considered to be legends. Stories that have shifted and been added to over time.
Mental Health Field: This was totally my invention. I decided to make the concept of mind-reading/mental mind walking (such as transporting one's mental personification inside the plain of another creature) a new technique being developed. Or rather, a newly re-discovered technique. I figure it was used as a weapon once, fell out a favor and/or was never used a manner of healing. Totally was inspired by other fandoms here, like Naruto.
Obi-Wan's Vision: Is not a vision. That's just what most people belive. He is, quite literally, Doc Brown here.
PTSD: Some serious shit, I see it a lot and it can happen very, very easily. Read a dissertation on a new and up and coming idea (not that the military will ever embrace it, because it implies its actions are incredibly detrimental to folks) that PTSD can be caused by a 'moral injury.' This can be anything from death of civilians in cross fire, to just the act of killing, to outliving your buddy on the field. They say that losing a friend in combat is more damaging mental then losing a spouse, even if you have been married for over a decade. I figure that if anyone was a candidate for PTSD, it would be Obi-Wan.
The Sith: Well…you didn't think they were just gonna stand around and let themselves be lead blindly to the slaughter. They've noticed their little group seems to be getting awfully small…::sniffsniff:: Doust thou smell rebellion on the morning breeze?
Jesus, too much coffee.
Anyway, I know I said there was only going to be four parts to this chapter – but good lord, it's looking like we might make five parts at twelve to fifteen pages (this one's the later) a pop. There's just so much to pact into this before I want to leave this chapter.
If you have any more questions, review with them and if I see a consistency, I'll update down here and try to answer them, yeah?
Love you guys, thanks for reading and being patient with me.