Turning Point

Chapter One

Disclaimer: I don't make any money from my writing, at least not yet. eg But we all know who gets all the big money for the SW uni... here's a hint... It's not me. grins at George

Summary: Well, the JA books mentioned Xanatos' betrayal, and Qui told Obi about it, but there wasn't anything in depth…. at least, not to my liking. So this is MY version of what happened, and I tried to be as true to the storyline/recollection that Qui told. There was no mention of Xanatos' mother, so I put her in here to add a dramatic twist and the name of the planet the Telosian people were going to go to war over wasn't named, so its a figment of my imagination.


"Again?" Xanatos asked, his agitation showing in his voice.

"Master Yoda said this is defiantly your last mission as a padawan. We're going to your homeworld of Telos." Qui-Gon informed his apprentice.

"Telos? Do I get to see my father?" Xanatos face lit up at the possibility.

"Yes, in fact, he's the reason that we're going. He wants a treaty renegotiated." Qui-Gon explained. "Now, go get your things ready, we leave immediately. Our transport is waiting for us."

"Yes master!" came the reply from the back of a disappearing Xanatos.

Qui-Gon grinned and went into his room to pack. The two finished at the same time, and made their way to the awaiting transport. Qui-Gon noticed a spring in Xanatos' step and kept himself from laughing at Xanatos' eagerness.

The two Jedi found a Corellian ship waiting for them. The pilot was waiting at the bottom of the entrance ramp. He was a younger man, middle to late twenties, and a smile that was parsecs wide.

"Hello Jedi! Welcome aboard the "Nexus Hopper". I'm the pilot and owner, Stieg Wa." He beamed. "I was just finished installing a new hyperdrive and I'm anxious to find out what she can do!"

Both Jedi bowed, Qui-Gon introducing them. "I'm Qui-Gon Jinn, and this is my apprentice, Xanatos DuCruet. We are appreciative that you agreed to take us to Telos."

"I was on my way by there, didn't see any harm in dropping you off on my way." Stieg Wa shrugged. "Shall we go? I have been waiting almost an hour to test the new drive, and the suspense is killing me!" Stieg Wa winked, leading the way up the ramp.

Xanatos, glanced over at the large letters that spelled the ships name down the side. "Nexus Hopper. What a dumb name!"

Qui-Gon rolled his eyes and motioned for his padawan to quickly board. Xanatos mumbled and boarded, still gripping about the least little thing. Both found their cabin they would share for the duration of the trip, which was going to take a little over a day.

Qui-Gon knew they lucked out on finding the Nexus Hopper. They would have to pass through the Landor Star system, which was infamous for pirates and other space hustlers. The "Hopper" was equipped with a cloaking device, allowing safe passage without being detected.

Xanatos threw his travel bag on a bunk and quickly made for the cockpit. He made is a ritual to watch the takeoff and landing of every transport he took, just in case he would been to pilot the vessel to safety.

"Strap yourself in kid, we're taking off." Stieg Wa ordered.

Xanatos huffed at the order, but complied. "I'm not a kid. I'm a little younger than you."

"Well, to me you're still just a kid. You have no idea what the galaxy holds. You've never been on your own before." Stieg Wa said through a smile. "I've been on my own since I was ten, I learned all about the complexities in the universe."

"I have a better understanding of the universe than you will ever have." Xanatos said with a sneer.

"Better understanding huh?" Stieg Wa looked over at Xanatos. "You think you know what terrors the universe has? Being sheltered away in that Temple of yours?"

"We learn at a very young age about the terrible things out there." Xanatos commented back.

"Learning about it by word of mouth and reading it. You get real knowledge by being at the center, wondering if you'll live or die. That my friend, is the real world." Stieg Wa said, steering the ship out of Coruscants atmosphere. "Every minute is an adventure."

"Jedi don't crave adventure." Qui-Gon interrupted.

Stieg Wa chuckled, "You don't look for it, but it certainly loves to follow you Jedi around."

Qui-Gon smiled, "That it does."

Stieg Wa smiled, "Well, there won't be an adventure on this trip, at least, not on my ship. The cloaking device will help us evade the pirates on the way to Telos. After I drop you off, then you can have an adventure."

Xanatos just glared at Stieg Wa. Qui-Gon laughed with the jocular pilot.

After a few hours with the pilot, a very irritated Xanatos thought a quick look around the ship would calm him down. Qui-Gon remained in the cockpit, pleasantly conversing with Stieg Wa.

Xanatos wandered around the cargo bay, inspecting the containers. Most were filled with nothing out of the ordinary, clothes, handheld electronic devices, droids, some low powered explosives. With the force's help, he could 'see' into all the containers, with the exception of one. He tried several times to focus on the crate, but the force couldn't penetrate.

Sensing Stieg Wa engrossed with his master, he used the force to pop the lock on the crate and easily slid the cover aside. He gasped and then grinned, dipping his hand into the box.

Xanatos ran his hand lazily through the large container that was filled to capacity with spice. Spice was a powerful drug that could be refined into hallucinogens and narcotics that the lower class people of planets seemed addicted to. Invisible empires ruled over planets, from the power the spice production brought them. They silently ruled over the poor souls that sold their lives into the slavery of the drug.

With the shipment Xanatos had his hand into, he could control an entire planet. A grin spread across his lips at the thought. Quickly the thought was dashed by a voice, 'Jedi craves not power. Lead to the dark side it does.'

"Blasted little troll! Now he is the voice of my conscious!" Xanatos curse and put the lid back to look like it had remained undisturbed. "I'll have to do something about that."

Xanatos reluctantly went to the cockpit. Stieg Wa was telling Qui-Gon a story of one of the many near death experiences he's had.

"Oh, the kid missed the best part. Oh well, I'll fill him in...." Stieg Wa started.

Xanatos interrupted, "That isn't necessary. And for the last time, STOP CALLING ME KID!"

Qui-Gon didn't like Xanatos raising his voice, and said in a stern, even tone. "Xanatos, no need to be rude. He was just using the term as a friendly nickname. Now, apologize for your attitude."

Xanatos' jaw dropped, "I have to apologize for not wanting to be called kid? Even after I already asked him NOT too? I don't think so!"

Qui-Gon calmly glared at his now furious apprentice. "I believe a few hours of meditation will do you some good. After that, you can sleep to rest up for your shift at the controls for the night."

"It's ok master Jinn. I didn't mean to upset your apprentice. You don't have to punish him. Really." Stieg Wa said.

"No." Qui-Gon held up his hand. "He needs to work on his attitude."

Xanatos gritted his teeth and stormed out. He headed for the cabin he shared with his master. As soon as the door closed, he erected a force shield, and began to scream obscenities and furiously pace the floor. Venting out all his frustrations, he sat down heavily on the floor. His throat felt scratchy from all the yelling, and his head pounded.

He closed his eyes and allowed the force to flow deep within him, willing it to calm his distraught emotions. He felt the anger and frustrations ebbing away.

Though his mind was calm, and supposed to be centered, he kept thinking about the cargo hold. And all the spice, the control, the power it offered. He could wield that power and influence a lot of people, just the thought made his heart pound in excitement.

After a few minutes of indulging his fantasy, Xanatos quickly put all the sensations and dreams deep into his subconscious, and dropped the shield around the room. He felt the void of space surrounding him, and sensed the pilot and his master still in deep conversation.

Qui-Gon was listening to another one of Steig Wa's anecdotes, when he felt the mental shield around Xanatos drop. While nodding to Stieg Wa, he sent a mental message to his padawan. //Feeling better after our tantrum, are we?//

Xanatos scoffed and pulled his mind to a safe distance, as a retreat from his master's taunts. Qui-Gon felt Xanatos retreat, and returned his attention back to Stieg Wa, who was coming to the climax of his story. Xanatos huffed, then sank down into a deep meditative trance.

When Xanatos came out of his deep meditation, his master was already in their quarters, preparing himself for bed. Without turning, Qui-Gon's soft voice spoke, "You will be relieved in six hours. I don't expect you to make friends with Stieg Wa, but I do expect you to apologize for your earlier actions. Don't let him get to you."

"I promise I'll set things straight with him master. You have my word." Xanatos said and hurried out the door for his shift at the helm

Qui-Gon shook his head in dismay and crawled into bed to get some sleep. He sensed he will need as much rest as possible for the next few days. The force was warning him of eminent danger, and he decided rest was a good precaution, just in case he had to be alert for a long period of time.

Xanatos regretted going to the cockpit, knowing that Stieg Wa would be there and jist him for being punished. He thumbed the door open, and Stieg Wa spun around from the controls, at first looking spooked, then smiling happily.

"Good to see you kept track of time, young Jedi." Stieg Wa beamed in his usual jovial manner.

Xanatos sighed, somewhat relieved that the pilot refrained from using the obnoxious petname. "Yeah. I'm here, now get lost."

Stieg Wa stood, stretched, and started out of the door. He stopped and put a hand on Xanatos' shoulder, "You know, I really was just teasing. I didnt mean for you to get into trouble."

Xanatos' blue eyes stared menacingly at the pilot. "You should learn where you boundaries are. Some people don't take kindly to your jokes and sense of humor. One day, someone might put you in your place and permanently shut your mouth." Xanatos jerked away from Stieg Wa and seated himself at the controls.

Stieg Wa faked a smile and left the room, saying under his breath. "You certainly have your master fooled into believing you're perfect. I hope he opens his eyes and see you for what you really are."

Xanatos sat, watching the stars zip by and mumbled obscenities and snide remarks. He always seemed to feel better after venting out his frustrations and voiced his opinions quite often. After the venting in his quarters, then the pilot trying to smooth things over, he soon felt the toll it was taking on him, and he soon lulled to sleep.

Alarms sounded, lights flashed, and woke up the slumbering master and pilot, and gave the dozing padawan an unpleasant wake up call. Stieg Wa and Qui-Gon rushed to the cockpit, their eyes automatically falling upon the pirate ships in the viewports.

Xanatos jumped from the pilot seat as Stieg Wa scrambled to take the controls. He yelled, "Main power is down, switching to secondary power. Strap yourselves in! This is gonna be rough!"

Qui-Gon and Xanatos sat in their seats and secured themselves into place. They watched as Stieg Wa got the auxiliary power up, raising their shields and loading their weapons. His hands flew expertly over the controls, systematically preparing them for battle.

Two pirate ships were in the forward viewport, blocking any escape route in either direction. A third took up the rear, preventing the prey from retreating. A deep husky voice came through the comm panel. " Surrender! Your vessel is surrounded. If you don't resist, we'll only take your cargo and allow you to live."

"You'll have to catch us first!" Stieg Wa answered back, then put the ship on a collision course.

"What in the hell are you doing? We're no match for three pirate ships!" Xanatos snapped.

"Just sit there and keep quiet kid! I don't need your childish prattling distracting me!" Stieg Wa snapped back.

Xanatos took a deep breath, preparing to release a nasty verbal barrage, but Qui-Gon shot him a stern look. Xanatos fumed, turning bright red with pent up rage.

"Why weren't we alerted to them sooner?" Qui-Gon asked, trying to dispel some of Xanatos' anger.

Stieg Wa checked the panel, his face grew glum. "The early warning indicator light isn't working."

The two pirate ships in the front were horizontally end to end, and began to move closer together, the bridge of the left ship becoming parallel with the engines of his reinforcements. The captains were hoping the pilot wouldn't be willing to sacrifice his life and ship for his cargo. Course they also wondered what the vessel could be hauling to make the pilot take such a drastic measure.

The ship behind the Nexus Hopper fired a spread of torpedoes, hoping to stop the ship from blowing itself up. The torpedoes began to gain on the 'Hopper', honing in on the secondary engines of the small vessel.

Stieg Wa kept the ship on a collision course, and opened his torpedo bays, arming a full spread. He increased his speed, trying to get to the pirate ships in front of him, before the torpedoes on his tail got him first. He aimed for the engine of the right ship and hit the firing button, sending a deadly cascade towards the pirates engines, then pulled the ship into a steep vertical climb.

The 'Hoppers" torpedos hit their mark, the explosion from the engines rocked the smaller vessel. The flames licked the underside and singed the hull. The engine blew shrapnel towards the pirate ship behind it, the explosion destroying the bridge and rendering the ship a total loss as secondary explosions came from all levels, sending ion smoke out into space.

The pirate captain ordered that they open fire, and try to disable the pesky transport that disabled two of his vessels. The pirate captain fumed at the destruction the tiny vessel was causing, and ordered that they try to disable it. Even if they didn't have a decent cargo to salvage, the pilot's life was enough to compensate for their trouble.

Blaster fire soon lit up space, trying to get a good hit on the small transport. Stieg Wa maneuver the vessel around, reloading his torpedoes and firing on the ship that was attacking him. The pirate ship took a direct hit to its main reactor, and suddenly drifted into the silence of space. The pirate captain cursed and ranted on his bridge, vowing to get revenge.

"Well done." Qui-Gon congratulated the young pilot.

Stieg Wa turned to Qui-Gon, "I've disabled them for now, keep us on course for Telos while I get our cloaking device back on."

Qui-Gon nodded and assumed the controls while Stieg Wa hurried out of the cockpit.

Qui-Gon looked over to Xanatos, "Are you ok?"

Xanatos nodded affirmative, positioning himself as the co-pilot. "I will be. It just makes me mad to have him call me a kid."

"He saved your life and mine. You really need to drop this macho persona." Qui-Gon scolded. "No wonder he calls you a kid, you're acting like a four year old initiate with your attitude."

Xanatos rolled his eyes, "I didn't have an attitude when I came on board. Being around him, I had to develop a defensive mechanism."

"Maybe so." Qui-Gon said and returned his attention back to their course.

Stieg Wa came running in the door, his face covered in some sort of soot. "The explosion caused some damage to the dorsal platform. There is some shrapnel embedded in the hull. Doubtful we'll have sufficient power to get us to Telos."

Qui-Gon frowned, "So, what do you want to do?"

"First of all, you can tell you vindictive apprentice to leave my ship alone." Stieg Wa spat, casting a evil glare at Xanatos.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Xanatos asked, his anger starting to rise once again.

"Don't play dumb with me kid. The cloaking device was fine when I left. You warned me that bad things could happen, then the cloaking device malfunctions and we lose power? Figure it out!" Stieg Wa glared at Xanatos.

Xanatos jumped up, facing off against the accusing pilot, "You saying that I would sabotage the ship just to get back at you?"

"I'm saying that you're a spiteful, hateful person that would anything to get revenge!" Stieg Wa stood up for himself, showing he wasn't afraid of a Jedi.

"You bastard!" Xanatos' fist came flying through the air. Unfortunately for him, it never made contact, having been suspended in mid-strike by a very anger master.

"Xanatos, go to our quarters and remain there for the rest of the trip." Qui-Gon ordered.

Xanatos nearly ran Stieg Wa down as he left in an outrage. Xanatos started cursing and ranting on his way, his voice echoed off the metal walls that enveloped him.

Qui-Gon stared at the outraged pilot, "Explain yourself!"

Stieg Wa glared at the much larger man, "The cloaking device was disabled. It was no coincidence that the indicator light was disconnected to warn us ahead of time. As soon as it dropped, it triggered a command to knock out our main power. Your apprentice must have decided that we needed some excitement and nearly got us killed!"

Qui-Gon controlled his anger at the accusations. "Do you have any proof? Is there ANY evidence that Xanatos is responsible?"

Stieg Wa huffed, "No there's no proof. He covered his tracks well. You think I made this up?"

Qui-Gon shook his head, "Xanatos and you haven't gotten along since you met. But I ask you, why would he sabotage a ship he was on?"

Stieg Wa thought for a moment, " I have no idea what goes on in that demented mind of his, but I do know, he IS dangerous."

"My padawan is not demented, and anyone can be dangerous, given the right circumstances. He is a Jedi, trained in many techniques and weapons." Qui-Gon explained.

Stieg Wa though about it, then sighed in defeat, "Yeah, I guess you're right."

Qui-Gon smiled slightly, "Now, what needs to be done? I can help in anyway you require."

Stieg Wa ran his hand through his hair, smudging it with black. "I think we're far enough away and they are disabled. I think it's safe to go and do the repairs on this ship. See if you can get the main power back on, I'm going to go out on the dorsal platform and get that cloaking device back on."

Qui-Gon bowed his head and left to begin the repairs on the ship's engines.

Stieg Wa eased into zero gravity suit and grabbed his tools to work on the dorsal platform that was damaged. He ventured out onto the wing, cursing as he began to remove the pieces of the pirate ship and check on the wiring. One of the power cables was punctured, spilling the acidic ooze over the wires, and rendering the controls for the flaps useless.

Qui-Gon found the power relays and noted that one of the cables was cut, it greenish liquid spilling out and shorting out the surrounding electronics. It had indeed been sabotaged.

Qui-Gon had been so immersed in the tangle in the main power controls, that he didn't sense at disturbance in the force. He was startled by his apprentice running by him, heading to the cockpit. Qui-Gon banged his head and dropped a relay coupling, cursing under his breath, he got up and followed to see where his padawan was going in such a hurry.

Qui-Gon entered the cockpit, feeling the force swirl, warning him of danger. Outside, a pirate ship was facing the now disabled craft.

Xanatos was rushing by Qui-Gon again, this time, grabbing the elders arm and leading him out the door. "Come on master! We don't have much time!"

Qui-Gon followed Xanatos to a lifepod and suddenly grabbed his apprentice arm. "Wait! What about Stieg Wa? We can't just leave him here!"

Xanatos shook his head and explained, "I haven't seen him, he's probably already dead. The ship is disabled, with no more reserve power, and low weapons. Please master, we MUST leave now, before it's too late!"

Qui-Gon knew Xanatos was right. The ship was dead in the water. If the pirates found them, they would most likely kill them, then ravage the ship and leave it for space debris. He nodded a sad affirmative and boarded the escape pod.

Xanatos followed his master inside, sealed the hatch, and adjetisented the pod. As soon as the pod was clear, its primary thrusters engaged and it made slow progress to its destination.

Qui-Gon noticed that the onboard computer was showing readouts of their course. They were going to Telos. He looked over at his padawan, concerned. "Xanatos, how did this pod know to head towards Telos?"

"I preprogrammed the computer, in case of an emergency." Xanatos explained. "I always have a backdoor."

"But what if the pirates come after us?" Qui-Gon asked.

Xanatos smiled, "They won't. I programmed a message, telling them the cargo bay was full of spice. They are probably reaping their reward right now."

Qui-Gon's face showed shock, "Spice?"

"I found it by accident. Stieg Wa didn't tell you, master?" Xanatos grinned, then winked at his master. "He was a smuggler."

Qui-Gon sat, digesting the information. "So he was the one that disabled the ship, trying to discredit you. You didn't sabotage the ship." Qui-Gon though aloud.

"Master! Why would I sabotage a ship I was on?" Xanatos asked, clearly his feelings were hurt at such an accusation.

"Oh, I wasn't accusing you padawan. Stieg Wa did. I was just recounting the events and thinking out loud. Don't worry. I know you wouldn't do anything to endanger me or yourself." Qui-Gon reassured, then looked out of the viewport smiling.

"Exactly." Xanatos said, staring at his master with a devilish grin on his face. He squinted his eyes, then turned to look out the viewport, eager for his home planet to appear.