Hello! My second Star Wars story here! Yay! Still Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan centric. Follows on from my last story but you don't have to read that to understand. Please do though if you haven't already :)
Spoilers: The whole of the JA series…this is AU I believe.
Disclaimer: Still don't own Star Wars or any of the characters. Sadly.
Chapter 1- First Mission
Jedi Temple- Coruscant
The darkness around him was absolute; no light penetrated the solid blackness. A single bead of sweat slipped down his temple. There was no effort made to remove it. Any movement, any sound, however slight; the rustle of clothing or softest breath, would be heard and identified. His position then compromised. That was unaffordable. However, restlessness was bubbling beneath the surface, waiting was proving fruitless. Ever so slowly, he shifted his weight to his right foot, raising his lightsaber in front of him.
A small whistle of air was Obi-Wan's only warning as another blade slammed into his own with a static hiss and buzz, a painful jolt shooting up his arm. Using the momentum of his forward body, he swung his lightsaber, pushing his attacker back, slicing in an upward arc from his left boot to right shoulder, warding away the other's 'saber; his opponent had no option but to retreat. His assailant had quick feet and an even quicker lightsaber, which sang through the air to entangle with his own again, the blades engaging in frantic motion, hissing and cracking.
Sweat now beaded his brow.
Nimbly, Obi-Wan took a leap backwards and then another, losing ground but amassing for his final attack. His sword above his head he charged swiftly at his aggressor, only to suddenly halt. The enemy had moved.
He stood very still, ears straining to pick up the quietest whisper the inky void around him. He threw out a sweep with the Force, feeling his way around the room using the information he could gather. It may be black but he could sense the objects littered around the room and skirted them carefully. There was nothing ahead.
Suddenly, his senses screamed too late; as he sensed the other lightsaber whirling towards him out of the blackness. He threw himself backwards with a hair's breadth to spare and blocked another attack, his arm feeling the force of the blow.
Something swiped near his head and Obi-Wan ducked, barely, feeling the air sweep across the top of his head. Ducking would be his undoing; he felt something collide with the back of his knees, forcing him to the floor. His lightsaber was struck from his hands and he felt the warmth from the tip of his opponent's lightsaber near his throat.
He had lost. It was over.
There was a hiss-snap noise by his ear and he heard the rush as his opponent's lightsaber was deactivated. He waited.
"Remove your blindfold Obi-Wan," a voice said from above his head.
Nodding, Obi-Wan reached up and untied the knots holding the black cloth over his eyes, blinking in the light as it fell away and he was hit by the brightness of the room after being in the dark for so long.
He was in one of the training rooms: scattered about were all sorts of obstacles to avoid- made even more difficult by the fact that he had been wearing a blindfold. Obi-Wan raised a cream sleeved arm to wipe the sweat that had beaded on his brow and ran a hand through his closely cropped, Padawan haircut, exhaling deeply as he caught his breath.
He glanced up and saw his master, Qui-Gon Jinn standing to his left, lightsaber now clipped to his belt. His master barely looked as though he had broken a sweat. Obi-Wan did not know whether to feel envious or awed.
Obi-Wan had officially been Qui-Gon's Padawan for close to two weeks now- it had been two weeks since the fateful Sony-Da incident. Since then, Obi-Wan's life had turned into a whirlwind of activity. First there had been the official ceremony, then moving his meagre belongings from the crèche to new joint quarters he would now share with Qui-Gon. He had been signed up for new classes and his whole schedule changed- now including training with his Master.
Obi-Wan had never felt so excited yet nervous in his life. Above all he was determined to show Qui-Gon that he could be the best Padawan he could ever wish for. He pushed himself in every training session, every class, every problem. He could feel himself strengthening with Qui-Gon's tutelage and it had only been two weeks!
Qui-Gon watched as Obi-Wan stood collecting his lightsaber which he had sent skittering across the floor. He watched as the boy turned to face him, face alight with an enthusiasm Qui-Gon did not usually see on youngsters' faces when faced with long sparring sessions. That was what was different about Obi-Wan. He was impressed by the boy's determination to succeed.
"Next time remember to stay closely in tune with the Living Force, it'll be easier to sense your opponent," Qui-Gon began to advise, as he went through the match's highlights.
Obi-Wan nodded attentively, absorbing Qui-Gon's feedback like a sponge. However, this morning he was slightly preoccupied. Bant's birthday was coming up and he had yet to get her a present. He nibbled on his bottom lip.
"Obi-Wan are you distracted by something?" Qui-Gon suddenly put forward the question.
Obi-Wan blinked. "I'm sorry Master," he apologised quickly. What would Qui-Gon think of him? Not paying attention like that? "I was…I was just remembering that I've not got Bant a birthday present yet and her birthday is tomorrow," he trailed off, looking at his boots. Qui-Gon would most likely be very disappointed. He bit his lip.
Qui-Gon nodded. He had studied the boy throughout their sparring match and had seen Obi-Wan falter on several occasions, as though something had suddenly sprang into his mind and indecision had struck. Qui-Gon had quickly been able to push his advantage but had waited to see how Obi-Wan would react through his mistakes.
"I see," Qui-Gon said at last. "At least you were not thinking about breakfast this time," he raised an eyebrow, watching as Obi-Wan's cheeks reddened at this. The first few sessions when they had begun their ritual morning spar, Obi-Wan's stomach had rumbled extensively.
"Yes Master," Obi-Wan smiled slightly, hand absentmindedly falling to his stomach.
"Just remember, the here and now," Qui-Gon reiterated one of his most used sayings, before glancing at his chrono, eyes widening at the time. He was usually a stickler for strict time keeping but he was surprised that their morning session had overrun. "Obi-Wan, head back to our quarters and change- it's almost time for your first class. I have a meeting," he instructed his Padawan, picking up his cloak.
Obi-Wan nodded briefly, before bowing and then bidding his master goodbye, picking up one of the towels he had brought to the training hall. The door hissed open and he stepped through into the corridor, heading back to the quarters he shared with Qui-Gon. As he passed the tall windows he glimpsed outside at the waking world below.
This training hall happened to be high up in the temple, and the corridor it was situated on boasted amazing views of Coruscant spread out in sprawling spontaneity into the distance. Through gaps in the enormous sky scrapers Obi-Wan noticed that the sun was only just rising properly into the sky. That was one thing Qui-Gon had introduced: early morning training sessions before their sparring sessions. Obi-Wan would train, and then head back alone and change, eat a quick breakfast before heading off to his first lesson. Qui-Gon would sometimes join him for breakfast, though usually he had a meeting to attend.
Arriving at their quarters, Obi-Wan showered and changed as per usual, grabbing something to eat from the small kitchen, walking into the living room between the two bedrooms that made up their quarters along with a 'fresher. The quarters were neat and tidy, just how Qui-Gon liked it. Obi-Wan's room however was often in need of remedial tidying.
He fiddled with his Padawan braid, twirling it between his fingers as he ate one of the pieces of fruit. His fingers tightened around it. Sometimes he felt as though it would simply disappear, as though the last two weeks had been some sort of cruel dream. Every morning he woke up and it was still there.
Having finished his quick breakfast, Obi-Wan grabbed his bag and left their quarters, the door hissing shut behind him. He glanced at his chrono- he had plenty of time.
Qui-Gon turned to hear someone calling his name. He already knew who it was; Council Member Mace Windu was hurrying towards him. No, hurrying was the wrong word. Striding towards him- in a controlled fashion. Mace was on the Council, he had to uphold some form of dignity.
"Good morning Mace," Qui-Gon greeted his friend pleasantly enough as they fell into step together.
"Finished sparring with Obi-Wan?" Mace asked as they walked through the corridors of the Temple. More Jedi were now awake, few had been up when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had risen to start sparring.
"Yes. He's headed back to our quarters before his lessons start," Qui-Gon said, side-stepping a knight who was hurrying past in the opposite direction, brown robe flapping.
"Everything going well?" Mace raised an eyebrow. He knew how after Qui-Gon had accepted Obi-Wan the doubts that had suddenly sprung in the Master's mind. The enormity of the task apparent after asking Obi-Wan to be his Padawan had been daunting.
"Everything is fine, Obi-Wan is training well and our bond is strong already," Qui-Gon said, eyeing the quirk of Mace's lips. He knew what his friend was thinking without any help from the Force.
"That's great," Mace smiled, "Then I can advise the Council that you are both ready for a mission. One has come up and there is currently a shortage of Jedi available to take it up," he began.
Qui-Gon paused. "A mission?" He had only been with Obi-Wan for two weeks? Was Obi-Wan ready for such a task?
Mace nodded, turning to look back at Qui-Gon, "Yes, simple overseeing of a planet's routine elections. Nothing too strenuous for you of course, should be a straightforward 2 day visit. Give Obi-Wan some experience of life outside the Temple. Obi-Wan looks ready- I've seen him training."
Qui-Gon started to walk again, catching up with Mace. "Obi-Wan has improved within the last two weeks," he acknowledged.
"That's fine then, I'll inform the Council," Mace said brightly. "You've become too familiar with the Temple Qui-Gon- it's not usual for you to stay here this long!"
Qui-Gon raised an eyebrow. "Are you trying to get rid of me Mace?" he grinned.
Bant looked up upon hearing her voice being called. She recognised the voice too and stood up to greet Obi-Wan as he nearly barrelled into her. She had been sitting in one of the smaller meditation gardens.
"Obi-Wan? What's the matter?" she asked, taking in his excited look, which Obi-Wan struggled to contain as he spotted that Bant was not alone in the gardens. He reined in his emotions strongly, realising his Force essence was blasting his feelings and emotions across the gardens.
"Bant! My master and I are being sent on a mission!" Obi-Wan grinned at her, unable to stop the animation in his voice. He had met with Qui-Gon shortly after lunch and had been informed of their new mission. He had barely been able to stomach lunch.
Bant smiled warmly. "Already? You've only been together two weeks," she said surprised, but glad that her friend was so happy. After all that had happened, Obi-Wan thoroughly deserved this new found happiness.
Obi-Wan hugged her briefly. "I hope I don't let Qui-Gon down," he said suddenly faltering, grin fading. "And I'm going to miss your birthday," he realised.
Bant raised an eyebrow, "First, my birthday is not as important as you going on your first mission. And secondly- let him down? Of course you won't Obi. It'll be fine," she soothed, well used to the nerves and insecurities Obi-Wan sometimes harboured. "Qui-Gon should be proud of you- as I am."
A smile soon found its way back onto Obi-Wan's face, "Thanks," he said sincerely, knowing that his best friend meant it.
"When do you leave?" Bant asked.
Obi-Wan checked his chrono. "Qui-Gon told me to meet him in the hanger in twenty minutes," he said. "I need to get my bag- but I thought I'd say goodbye to you first," he smiled.
Bant cuffed his head lightly. "Obi-Wan focus on the task- get your bag first," she chided knowingly.
"That's what Qui-Gon keeps telling me to do," Obi-Wan laughed.
"Well, he can't be wrong then if I agree with him!" Bant teased. "Go, I'll see you when you come back. You must tell me everything!" she said, giving him a small push in the back.
"I will," Obi-Wan promised. "I'll see you when I get back," he said, waving to her. He smiled as she waved back, before motioning for him to hurry and leave.
Qui-Gon watched as Obi-Wan approached him, walking through the Temple hanger, bag slung over his shoulder, an aura of calm surrounding the young boy. Outwardly, Obi-Wan looked the perfect apprentice, calm and in control. Qui-Gon felt his lips twitch in a small smile. Inwardly, he could sense the emotions bubbling around in his Padawan, ranging from excitement to nerves.
Mace Windu had arrived to see them off. Obi-Wan bowed politely before the councillor who greeted him cordially, offering a smile. Obi-Wan stood nervously by Qui-Gon's side as the Temple mechanics began removing the fuel pump from their ship.
"May the Force be with you Padawan Kenobi," Mace intoned the usual phrase still smiling.
"And with you Master Mace," Obi-Wan nodded, Qui-Gon looking on, straight faced as normal. Obi-Wan found it very difficult to read his Master at times. The last two weeks he had closely studied the man his Master was, looking for the signs that heralded he was pleased, irritated or in a good mood. So far he had picked up very few.
"Come Obi-Wan, the ship is ready," was all that Qui-Gon said, touching Obi-Wan's shoulder, which barely reached his mid chest level, steering his apprentice in the direction of their ship. The young boy nodded and after bowing to Mace, stepped onto the ramp of their ship, disappearing from sight as he walked up into the ship. The Master turned to Mace.
"See you in a few days then," Qui-Gon said, shouldering his own bag which had been at his feet.
Mace smiled, "It'll be fine. Obi-Wan will see you doing what you do best and have an even greater impression of you," he teased.
Qui-Gon refrained from rolling his eyes. "He should be focusing on the job in hand," he shook his head. "See you when we get back," Qui-Gon repeated, "May the Force be with you."
"You too Qui-Gon," Mace said, watching as his friend moved away towards the ramp, lightsaber swinging at his side, brown cape billowing about his ankles, looking very part the Jedi Master he was.
Mace continued to watch until the ramp retracted with a hiss behind Qui-Gon, hiding his friend as the ship's engines began to fire up. Turning away he left the hanger, own robe fluttering around his ankles.
Walking into the ship, Qui-Gon looked around at their transport. It was standard, nothing extreme, perfectly suitable for Jedi. He heard the ramp hissing shut behind him as saw Obi-Wan waiting ahead for him, glancing around. Straight ahead was the cockpit, the door open, through which Obi-Wan could see their pilot making the final adjustments.
"Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon's voice brought Obi-Wan back to the present in a jolt. He looked up at his master.
"Here is a datapad with information about Malrion and the upcoming elections," Qui-Gon said, handing him the item. "It would be prudent to know what is awaiting us," he said.
Obi-Wan took the datapad. "I'll be in our quarters," he said. "How long will it be until we arrive?"
Qui-Gon quirked an eyebrow: he hoped this would be the only time the question would be asked. Obi-Wan seemed to get the implication and tried to smother a smile. "Just under a day Obi-Wan," his Master informed him. "I will be with the pilot if you need anything."
Obi-Wan nodded. He watched as Qui-Gon turned away, walking confidently towards the cockpit and quietly greeting the pilot in his low voice, before seating himself in the chair beside the pilot's scanning the console.
Turning, Obi-Wan shifted the heavy datapad and walked along the corridor to the small room that was to be their quarters. Settling his bag down on his bed, he sat down in the only chair in the room and flipped open the datapad, accessing the file and briefly scanning over the contents. It looked for a long and if he was honest, slightly dull reading. Malrion was the planet they were heading to. It was an average sized planet, four major landmasses and plenty of fresh water, predominantly inhabited by humans. There were two moons, Filarn and Filil. Only Filil was habitable.
Obi-Wan felt the ship thrumming beneath him as it rose. He could almost envision it gliding low to the ground through the hanger before taking off into the busy Coruscant traffic before it would leave the planet's atmosphere and head out to the stars beyond. His first proper mission.
Obi-Wan glanced at his chrono, they had been flying for nearly four hours and his eyes were beginning to tire of reading the small print on the datapad. He pushed it off his lap onto the small lower bunk and stretched his legs out in front of him. He had heard stories of planets which were days if not weeks awake from Coruscant. And here he was bored and stiff after only four hours!
He sighed, running a hand through his hair again, catching his braid out of habit. Qui-Gon was right that he needed to focus more. It was an important lesson he was struggling to learn. Keeping his mind on the here and now as Qui-Gon often said.
A sudden chill ran up his spine and Obi-Wan shivered. For a moment he could have sworn he felt…something. A presence. A feeling. Something that he couldn't quite pinpoint. Standing, he moved around the room, seeing if he could pinpoint the source. When a search of the room turned up nothing out the ordinary, Obi-Wan sat down again. Perhaps it was his mind being hyperactive as it usually was, trying to think of everything at once. Then again…it had felt…evil…
In the cockpit, Qui-Gon watched the comforting view of stars flying past through the window. The console in front of him blinked as he checked over it, lights flickering as the pilot beside him swivelled in his chair to reach something behind him.
The Jedi Master smiled to himself. Gently tapping into the bond he was beginning to construct with Obi-Wan he was pleased to learn the boy had taken his words to heart and was reading the datapad. He could also sense the slight boredom flickering beneath the surface, along with the tapered excitement and nerves. That was to be expected he guessed. He had felt the same way before his first mission.
Pulling away from the bond, Qui-Gon felt something through the Force, like a sharp jab to the ribs. A fleeting warning echoing through the Force. Sitting up straight, alert instantly, Qui-Gon sifted through the Force, searching for the origin of the disturbance.
Suddenly the whole ship lurched with a huge jolt and great groaning of metal, throwing Qui-Gon and the pilot forwards in their seats. The star field disappeared as the ship fell out of hyperspace, the inky blackness of space solidifying. The console lit up in a blaze of lights as a warning alarms began wailing in the small space of the cockpit, gas hissing in a leak behind the pilot's head.
"What is it?" Qui-Gon demanded, as the pilot's fingers flew over the controls of his ship. The Force was screaming around him. He glanced at the ship's console. Half the systems were down.
"We've got a major hull breach!" the pilot said worriedly, sparing a glance at Qui-Gon before frantically accessing the control panel. "In the rear quarters! Life support systems failing, hull integrity dropping!"
Qui-Gon felt his heart clench.
The rear quarters.
That was where Obi-Wan was.
Hope you enjoyed! Haven't written any Star Wars for a while! Will post the next chapter in two or three days :) As I have officially finished high school forever- I have plenty of time to devote to writing. Deserve it too after revising for the last month and a half – doing little else!
Thanks for reading :)