Title: Bring Him Home
Genre: (AU) Hurt/Comfort/Family/Some Angst
Characters: OC – Commander Swyer, Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Mace, Yoda (Honorable mentions: Siri, Garen, Reeft, and Bant)
Summary: Since this story starts in the middle, here's a short summary of the back story:
The mission was to send a delegate of the Senate to negotiate a truce between two parties who said they were willing to clear the air and have peace. From all appearances, it wasn't supposed to be a dangerous situation so the Council sent one of their best on his first solo mission; however, the situation took a turn for the worst (as can happen with any mission) and Obi-Wan was caught up in the middle of it. With Commander Swyer's help, he gets a message back home.
Disclaimer: The character(s): Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Mace, Yoda, Siri, Garen, Reeft, Bant, and other recognizable characters of the SW universe belong(s) to Lucas and/or Jude Watson. I make no profit from this. It's just a hobby. However, Commander Swyer is my creation.
Author's Note: Chapter one was intended to stand alone; however, after posting it at theforceDOTnet in August of 2005, and at the behest of the readers there, two more chapters were added.
I hope you enjoy!
The earth shook from the aerial shots that after their spectacular arched performance whistled their impending arrival before scorching the ground in which they dove. Dirt and debris rained down upon me as I counted the seconds till the next blast. The hill I was on could barely be called by its name; pieces of the hilltop were missing from the targeted scrapes of enemy fire. I burrowed down into my makeshift trench clutching my gun to my side. I listened as booted feet rolled cannons closer, as gun ships hovered above the once green grass waiting for any sign of air support.
I closed my eyes and waited for my impending death. There were no others, they were gone: each killed without remorse or a second glance. Our planet had been plundered into political chaos and war, each side forgetting what they were initially fighting for until all that was left were loyal armies doing someone else's vengeful bidding. Behind closed eyelids pictures of my wife and son came into view. My little one's barely two years of age. A tear slid down my cheek as I thought of never being able to hold him again or teach him the things he would need to know. My wife, my beautiful wife. How many times had she pleaded for me to resign my position with the coalition? How many times had I soothed her, reassuring her that I would return as I always had? I can see her smile; I can feel her touch. I close myself off and live within my memories.
"Are you okay?!" The hand on my shoulder roughly shakes my upper torso. "Commander!"
As my mind begins focusing once again on the moment at hand, I feel the ground shutter as an explosion hits close by sending fragments of dirt and metal through the air to land on top of us. A heavy weight lands on top of me and I briefly wonder if this is another casualty of war. I open my eyes and find my sight blocked by a thick brown material.
"I'm okay," I answer, my voice hoarse from screaming out commands and warnings the past few…what….months? The days, weeks, have run together.
The figure shifts, raising himself up till we're face to face. His eyes fix on mine and his hand falls upon my forehead. His pupils' dilate and his gaze takes on a faraway look. He smiles, relief playing upon his features. "We've got to get you out of here!"
Not really concerned with who this man – boy – is I readily agree to follow him back to the fort…to safety…to home. We slide down the hill on our backsides being cautious of the wreckage left in the enemy's wake. Gun ships discover us half way down and begin firing upon us creating ruts and ditches within the semi-barren ground. He falls back into me pushing me into one of said trenches.
"We can't go that way," I state the obvious and he turns to grin at me.
"Of course not Commander that would be too easy," he states rather cheekily.
I laugh, a foreign sound to my own ears. "What do you suggest?"
"There's only one thing we can do," he states seriously.
Wary of his sudden change in demeanor, I look at him. "And what would that be?"
"When night falls, you're going to travel the rest of the way down on your own. The gun ships will revert back to base at dusk, the troops will move in. I'll hold them off from here."
I look at his young features and wonder what in the hell he thinks he's doing. "Are you out of your mind? You can't hold them off; there's too many of them!"
He smiles reassuringly and pulls a weapon from his belt. "I'll be okay," he simply states, standing and leaning over the edge to account for our position. "Their lining up."
"I can't leave you here alone! We don't leave men behind!"
"There's nothing you can do here. When the time comes, go home to your family." he looks down at the cylinder within his grasp and his hands tighten.
"That's not how we do things here! We fight together and we go home together!" I stated with as much authority as I could.
His hands convulsed as they twisted around the sphere. "This is my duty! This is what I trained for!"
"What, to die! To give up?!" I scream, wondering why this kid is so bent on being left to face more than he can handle.
Gesturing at the metal rod, I try another tactic. "What about your family? What do I tell them when I walk in without you?"
His eyes don't leave the rotund casing within his grasp. "Tell him it was my decision. Tell him I did as I was taught." He looks at me momentarily. "Tell him…tell him I'm grateful for everything. Swear to me."
His eyes snap up to meet mine, seeming to be momentarily stunned. Nodding hesitantly he replies, "As close to one as I'll ever get."
The look in his eyes tell me that I'm fighting a loosing battle, that his mind is made up and that one way or another he'll have his way. Resigned to the inevitable I ask, "What's his name? How do I find him?"
"You'll find him on Coruscant at the Jedi Temple. His name is Qui-Gon Jinn." His eyes brighten at the mention of his home.
My eyes widen and he laughs. "Promise me," he says again.
We spent the remainder of time in silence. He seemed to be resting as his eyes were closed and his breathing slow. I leaned back against the dirt made wall and sank again into the comfort of holding my rifle tightly against my chest. How could I leave this boy? He couldn't have been more than twenty-three, maybe twenty-five, years of age. How can I tell his father I just left him? I fell asleep with my troubled thoughts.
"Wake up!" a loud whisper next to my ear. "It's time."
I groggily opened my eyes; a light flashed from behind us alerting me to the fact that the ground troops were on the move. I could feel the vibration of pounding feet. He helped me up and pointed me in the direction of where I was to go. I climbed out of the ditch and crawled on my belly until I was a fair distance away. Looking back, my gaze met his and with everything I felt I silently thanked him. He smiled with a curt nod as if he had heard and waved me on. The last I saw of that young man was him leaping from the trench with a long glow rod in his hand.
The members of my company that had made it back alive greeted me warmly when I walked through the open flap of the large tent. Whispers gradually grew to voiced greetings, which grew to yelled welcome homes, which turned into fierce hugs and cries of joy. After being checked over by the makeshift military infirmary, I made my way to the command center and requested the use of a comm. unit.
I pushed the record button and spoke of the young man who had saved my life.
My name is Commander Swyer. I'm calling to tell you of a courageous young man who despite the odds came back for me when I was stranded on the edge of enemy territory. Most of my platoon had been wiped out except a select few who were able to escape. I was the last and although I won't lie and say that I was ready to meet my fate, I was coming to accept the possibility of never again seeing my wife and son. I had closed myself off from the chaos around me, that was when I saw him.
He came out of nowhere amidst the bombs and destruction. His only concern was that I was all right. We made it half way to safe ground when gun ships stopped our progress. We hid out in one of the trench's the cannon guns had made. When we discovered that their ground troops were gathering we knew we were trapped.
He told me to go home to my family. I swear I didn't want to leave him but he was rather insistent in a very stubborn way. Lowering my head, a shuddered breath escapes. The man I speak of was your son, or, at least he said that you were as close to a father as he would come. He did his training justice, Jedi Jinn.
He asked me to tell you that he was grateful for everything. He asked me to tell you of his fate…he was captured and is now in enemy hands. I am sorry. We are planning a recon mission to get him back although somehow I don't think he will be too keen on seeing my face when he is rescued, as I am suppose to be returning home.
Not knowing how to continue I push the stop button; selecting the corresponding digits to the Jedi Temple, I press send.
To be continued…
…I was up on a hill
I was out there alone
When the shots all rang out
And bombs were exploding
And that's when I saw him
He came back for me
And though he was captured
A man set me free
And that man was your son
He asked me to write to you
I told him I would oh I swore
-Mark Schultz (Letters from War)
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