AN- Back when I wrote Simple Words, several people said that I should continue writing more Ani/Obi viggies. Well, I finally got my bum in gear and came up with a series of slightly related vignettes. All contain Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi; all of them explore, through various prose styles, their relationship of Master and Padawan. Simple Words has been included because several of the other stories will reference back to it. Enjoy!
--MORE THAN HIS MASTER--
The Education of Anakin Skywalker
I Hate Nerf
Memories of Home
Portrait of a Stubborn Padawan
Seller of Dreams
Part I- The Education of Anakin Skywalker
0755 Galactic Standard Time
I have asked Anakin to stop by my quarters today for a preliminary lesson. I thought it would be best to establish how much my Padawan knows about the Force and the role of the Jedi, so I may adjust my teaching plans accordingly. Anakin was told to arrive promptly at 0800; that way, I can utilize all available time to properly instruct him in his expected duties as my apprentice.
Nearly time. Perhaps I should go over my notes again to assure myself that I am truly prepared for all of his questions.0757 GST
What if he asks me about the Force's origin? I know several of the more dominant theories, but nothing absolute. Is it acceptable to offer complicated hypothesizes to a nine-year-old? Or should I speak simply, using generalizations that even a youngling could understand?
Dammit, I wish Qui-Gon were here.0758 GST
Or what if he doesn't understand the extra-dimensional perspective of the Force? I don't even know how an "energy field" can exist outside of time and space. How do I explain something I've never been able to comprehend?
There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is . . .
I need to calm myself down. This is my first lesson, after all. Anakin wouldn't be so cruel as to torture a newly-minted Knight with obscure inquiries into the nature of the universe. He's nine years old. He's the chosen one. He can't be that evil . . .
Could he? Perhaps the Sith influence that we are searching for is lurking beneath the seemingly innocent face of a little boy. Master Yoda has purposefully sent me to my doom. In a few weeks' time, I'll either be dead and decaying or mad and mumbling.
Insanity strikes me as a horrid fate – although a violent death, while quicker, doesn't sound any better.
That reminds me, I never noticed before that a large number of "d" words carry negative connotations: dead, death, dying, decaying, deceased, doomed, damned, destruction, devastation, drunken . . .
There is no passion, there is serenity.
I highly doubt that. Serenity is too difficult for an ordinary person to attain. I'm not exceptional, just . . . average. Thus, I can never actually be serene.
I merely give off the appearance of calmness.0800 GST
Amazing. Panic can sometimes be a refreshing experience. I feel a little better now that I've recorded some of my nervous qualms. Maybe Qui-Gon was right – all that internal pressure will wreck havoc with my usually implacable temperament. But fortunately, tension can be safely released in a quiet, solitary environment.
Not that I'll have much time alone to myself when Anakin and I return to Coruscant. Then I will be stuck with him – all day – every day – until the Jedi Council eventually promotes him to Knighthood and I am left witless and weary while -
Well, I think I will let my lesson take a natural course; I can begin with a short oral quiz, then allow Anakin to voice any questions he may have concerning the Jedi Order for the remainder of the time. A very casual, non-threatening atmosphere will help my Padawan focus on his new life but also give me enough pre-planned structure to incorporate essential facts into our dialogue.
I could start by asking him if –
Breathe. I am a thoughtful, mature being. I am calm. I am cool. I can handle the authority now resting on my shoulders.0802 GST
What has happened to young people today? Do they lack the decency – the common, considerate decency – to arrive precisely when they have been summoned and not irritate their elders with false alarms and prank calls? I do not have unlimited free time with which I can indulge the childish delusions of people who obviously enjoy annoying a Jedi Knight.
For instance: Ringing someone's door chime and then running away in a giggling fit is not polite behavior. Yet apparently not. I rushed to answer the door, and was greeted by the retreating forms of two teenage girls.
I'm half tempted to inform Theed Palace security of the culprits' blatant disrespect towards . . . hmmm . . . the innocent individuals who expect invited guests on their doorstep but instead discover female mischief makers. I found it extremely irksome.
Two minutes late. Where is Anakin?0809 GST
Something rather odd just occurred. My door chime sounded, and I immediately opened it, hoping I'd catch the naughty Naboo delinquents in the middle of their not-quite-illegal but very-very-infuriating act. Instead, an unfamiliar man stood in the hallway.
I told him good morning, but he just stood there and stared intensely at a vein in the marble flooring. Finally, after nearly a minute of silence, he looked me in the eye and said, "Is the Force with you?"
"I don't know," I answered, slightly confused.
"Well, you better look for it," he declared before walking off to whence he came.
What does that mean? Was that man a messenger, sent from the Force to tell me that I shouldn't train Anakin? Or was his announcement delivered with a more malicious intent? Could that have been a death threat?
Perhaps I should cancel my lesson with Anakin. I do not want my apprentice to fall victim to a Sith assassination attempt.0814 GST
Ha. Ha. Ha.
I have realized that man was purposefully confusing me. He must have thought it a joke. However, it was not a laughing matter to make me cast doubt upon the will of the Force. I've now wasted five minutes meditating to gain insight into the matter.
Minutes I could have spent tracking down my prodigal Padawan. Anakin is nearly a quarter of an hour late. And really, there are not any logical reasons for this tardiness. He is staying down the hall. Surely eleven minutes is enough time to travel the twenty meters from his door to mine.
Unless the Palace has suddenly transformed into a minefield. Which is possible, but extremely unlikely.0819 GST
Personal interaction is highly overrated.
In my 25 years of existence, I have dealt with countless clueless idiots, clueless geniuses, sadistic idiots, and sadistic geniuses. Those experiences have led me to the conclusion that most sentient beings are hopelessly self-absorbed.
A hermit's life doesn't seem that bad. I could ponder the Force's mysteries and secrets without being interrupted at critical moments by – by –
Sithspit. I'm losing control of my emotions again.
Deep breath in – count to fifteen – exhale.
Focus on the present, let future worries fly away.
My temper is greatly improved. When we return to Coruscant, I must tell Mistress Yaddle that her foolproof relaxation techniques truly are . . . um, foolproof.
Concerning my recent outburst: I was patiently waiting for Anakin to arrive when my door chime rang. I sprang to my feet and slapped the unlocking mechanism, ready to deliver a lengthy lecture on the virtues of timeliness, when I noticed that an inebriated Gungan was slumped against my doorframe.
"May I help you?" I asked as politely as I could – but it was difficult for me to maintain a pleasant attitude. I hate Gungans.
"Oh, how lovely."
The Gungan blinked at me unsteadily. "Mesa need meckasin."
I looked about for a security guard who could direct the drunk back to his party, but there were none in sight. I had to help the creature – the Jedi Code states that "one must always assist those in need." But I really, really didn't want anything to do with another grammatically-challenged water dweller.
"I'm sorry, but I don't have any medicine. If you will just allow me to escort you back to the other members of your group—"
"Meckasin, docta man! Yousa alway have meckasin!"
The Gungan rolled its eyes lazily and shook its ears. "Yousa da docta man! Yousa gimmesa meckasin."
At that instant, many very inappropriate rejoinders popped into my head. But I am not a Jedi for nothing. Stifling my annoyance, I smiled forcedly and pointed further down the hall. "I am not a physician. I am a Jedi Knight. But if you turn left by the red door you will find yourself in a first aid station. I am sure that the workers there will be able to provide you with the proper things. Good day, and goodbye."
"Not here! Listen to what I am saying, please. Just keep on walking and you will find assistance. And if you see a blond boy in Jedi robes, tell him that his Master is peeved with him."
I turned the Gungan towards the exit and quickly shut the door.
For the Force's sake, I don't think this day can get any worse.0827 GST
Is the phrase "come at 0800" really that ambiguous? I thought I had clearly given Anakin the exact time of our lesson, but apparently not.
Am I unintelligible? Is my grasp of Basic so faulty that I cannot properly express what I am trying to say?
Why couldn't I have been born into a normal life? Being a Jedi is much too complicated.0830 GST
This is the final piece of the pie. I will not wait any longer for this inattentive boy to appear. I am taking matters into my own hands.
I'm contacting Anakin's room.0831 GST
Anakin came onscreen immediately, looking rather puzzled. "Hey, Master. Anything wrong?"
I kept my expression blank. "Did you forget something today?"
"Uh, I dunno. Not that I know of."
I raised an eyebrow. "Interesting. You had no appointments scheduled for early this morning, about 0730 or 0800?"
His blue eyes clouded over for a second, then he shook his head. "Nope. I'm being privately congratulated by the Queen and Senator Palpatine today, but that's not till 1600 or so. Why?"
"I was under the impression that you had a lesson today."
I blinked. "Pardon?"
Anakin nodded vigorously. "I so remember. You're teaching me tomorrow about Force stuff, right?"
"I . . . um . . . "
"Cause I've been studying up on those midichlorians, and they're sorta hard to understand. I mean, how could microscopic organisms contain the Force, but not anything else living? And how can Jedi move trees and stuff if the midichlorians are inside them? Are there more midichlorians floating around in the atmosphere and in space?"
I snapped my jaw shut and tried to look firm. "I am glad you are preparing yourself. However, I'm currently busy, so keep your questions until tomorrow."
He smiled. "Really? Gosh, Obi-Wan, I wish I knew as much as you."
I ended the connection and groaned.
There is no death . . .
Excessive worrying and other minor personality flaws aren't that bad – they can't kill me, only make me miserable.
There is the Force . . .
No. The Force is a bloody nuisance. I don't need the Force.
I need a calendar.
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