: Inognito12 : La'ienth : QueenYoda : valthalion : Thank you for your wonderful reviews.
Obi-Wan spent the next week in the healer's wing, recollecting certain aspects of his life. One important piece of information that he vaguely remembered, was how much he hated being in the healers ward. His memories of early childhood, returned and his apprenticeship, to Qui-Gon returned.
Each day began with a session with the mind healers, to reconcile unsettling aspects of his apprenticeship with Qui-Gon. Although he'd forgiven his Master, there were still painful memories that had to be resolved, and then released to the force.
Qui-Gon also attended these sessions, helping Obi-Wan and him self to recognise that he did love and care for Obi-Wan. That it was his fear of loosing Obi-Wan's love that made him keep his distance and some of the sessions ended with Qui-Gon holding onto trembling Obi-Wan.
Qui-Gon was relieved when healer Ba'han confirmed that Obi-Wan's heart was functioning exceptionally well considering everything he'd been through. Qui-Gon heaved a sigh of relief; physically he was fine. Maybe a little too thin, nevertheless, they knew of Obi-Wan's appetite for food, and didn't think it would be a problem making him eat.
His desire for food returned and by the end of the week, the healers allowed him to move into Xanatos's apartment so he could begin familiarising him self with temple life.
Although Obi-Wan had been quite proficient with a sabre before his kidnapping, and they weren't privy to the amount of sparing he'd done while under Maul's control. They thought it unwise to allow him to spar now. He seemed to be having problems keeping his concentration for any length of time, and his ability to stay focused was of major concern.
His attention to the moment would falter at any given moment, and he would simply get up and leave. He'd be fine listening to a Master lecture on some planet, or situation prevalent to Jedi education and he would stay focused for maybe half a cycle, and then abruptly he would get up, and just wander off.
No matter how insistent the Master would be in calling him back he would just keep going. Nevertheless, a quick comm. Call to the healer or Yoda would make sure that someone went to find him. Usually, Obi-Wan would find peace in the garden, and was easy to find.
The healers believed it was the blank spots in his memory that caused the sudden departures from his classes and end up in the gardens. Confusion would set in and he would have no idea what he was supposed to be doing; so he would get up and simply walk away.
"How did I get to the garden?" he would ask when they asked if he was alright. "I don't remember coming here?"
"Worry you should not. Garden, beautiful it is, calms your thoughts it does." Yoda would say to him. Obi-Wan would nod and smile. He trusted Yoda and he felt safe whenever the venerable Master sat with him.
"I feel lost; I feel that I'm missing something. Yet my head hurts when I think too much." Obi-Wan admitted.
"Then don't think, enjoy the garden you should, lost you are not, found you - we have, safe you are, worry you should not. Allow Anakin, to help you, you should and in helping you, help him also it will."
Obi-Wan wrinkled his brow. "Help him? He doesn't appear to need help Master. He seems very self-assured, and confident. I'm sure he doesn't need my help. However, I do look forward to his visits."
Obi-Wan began to rely on Anakin for so much, and even though Obi-Wan's friends would help him, they had missions to attend, and were away for long periods; where-as, Anakin was temple bound. Even Qui-Gon and Xanatos went out on missions together, leaving Obi-Wan with Anakin.
Several weeks passed, and Anakin was quite sure Obi-Wan would never remember seeing him with Darth Maul. He wasn't sure if he really hated Darth Maul, or he envied him. Sometimes, he wished he were more like Maul, free to follow his own destiny. Go where he liked, and do whatever he wanted. Anakin shook his head. He had to banish those thoughts if he expected the Council, and his Master to trust him.
Anakin was helping Obi-Wan with a jigsaw puzzle, as it seemed to help Obi-Wan concentrate better when his fingers and mind, were busy. Abruptly Anakin's private comlink buzzed.
"What's that noise Anakin?" Obi-Wan asked, as he'd never heard a ring like that before, well not one that he remembered anyway.
"Oh it's a personal pager! – ah, - One of my friends wants to speak to me." Anakin blurted out quickly. "I'll just go out side so I don't disturb your concentration, I'll be back in a few minutes."
Obi-Wan nodded; and continued to concentrate on the puzzle.
Anakin raced down the hall into an empty room, he knew who was on the other end. It was Chancellor, Palpatine. Anakin had put off speaking to the man for quite some time, however he knew he'd have to talk to him eventually, and so he opened the channel.
"Anakin, it is good to hear your voice! How are you my boy?"
"Hello Chancellor, I'm fine thank you," Anakin said coldly.
"Anakin I've been trying to contact you ever since they found Obi-Wan, isn't it wonderful. How is he?"
Anakin grew angry. "Yes it is wonderful, no thanks to you!"
Palpatine knew he'd have to tread carefully with Anakin. He could hear the anger in his voice.
"Anakin I'm so sorry! I had no idea that Professor Laum was actually the Sith they were searching for, and please believe me, if I'd known that Obi-Wan was being held captive in the old Senate building. I would have informed the Council immediately. I think very highly of Obi-Wan."
"I think you're lying to me Chancellor?"
"Oh dear, I knew you would think that; especially when I told you that my investigator said he saw Obi-Wan in that Cantina. - Oh Anakin, a lot has happened since I last spoke to you. I found out that there were traitors in my midst, some of my personal aids, and my investigator, betrayed me. They were backing another candidate for Chancellor and I believe they told me those lies about Obi-Wan. They hoped I would tell the Jedi. A statement like that would discredit me in the Jedi's eyes. As you know, the Jedi have powerful allies; and would not take kindly to disparaging remarks about one of their own. I had no reason at the time to disbelieve my investigator. I thought he was my loyal aid. I am so glad it was only you I confided in, I know I can 'trust' you."
Palpatine explained in his most apologetic voice. "I was suspicious, when Obi-Wan was found so close to the main city and I hired outside investigators who revealed the truth that I had saboteurs in my ranks, and I found out, there is a possibility of a conspirator on the Jedi Council, one who knew the existence of the Sith.
"What?" Anakin snapped. "Who, tell me and I will expose him."
"Now, now Anakin, I have no proof, we must tread carefully, I don't know who I can trust these days, however I know I can trust you my boy."
"Why do you need to trust me Chancellor?" Anakin questioned.
"I believe there is a plot to kill young Obi-Wan. Two men were in the box next to mine in the theatre and I heard some of their conversation, but I didn't think anything of it at the time because Obi-Wan is safe in the temple. I believe one of them was a Jedi Master!
Anakin was furious. "What did he say?"
Palpatine wove his false story to Anakin. "He was telling the other man… a senator, not to worry, as their Jedi operative had destroyed all the evidence of their meeting, and there was only one obstacle left, and that was Obi-Wan. Oh Anakin! I couldn't bear it if anything happened to your friend; after all he's been through."
Anakin snapped. "I won't let anything happen to Obi-Wan, I will protect him."
"Good... I knew I could trust you my boy,"
Anakin fell for the 'Oh so concerned Chancellor…' "What should I do Chancellor?"
"Can you meet me in our place?"
Anakin hesitated; he was being watched constantly, and although he had gained a bit of favour with the Council, and his Master was allowing him more freedom. He wondered if he should risk seeing Palpatine again. It seemed to him that most of his problems stemmed from his relationship with the Chancellor.
Anakin thought. (he sounded so sincere, I'm sure I can trust him, after all, the Republic trusts him.) Anakin really needed a friend to confide in and if the Chancellor was right, some one was out to get Obi-Wan.
There was one constant, which Anakin did know without a doubt, he loved Obi-Wan like a brother, and he would protect him with his life.
"I will see Chancellor, I'm being watched. So I'll think about what you said and com you soon." Anakin closed the connection, and raced back to Obi-Wan's quarters….
Palpatine sat down a couch in his luxurious apartment. "Stupid gullible fool you are Skywalker, soon I will have both. You, and Kenobi in my clutches once again. Only this time I - will turn - Kenobi. You my naïve little friend will be the cause of his turning." he cackled as he put the com unit in his pocket…
Obi-Wan was standing by the window when Anakin came back.
"Are you all right Obi-Wan?" he said as he crossed the room, standing next to him as he was staring at the Senate building.
Anakin studied Obi-Wan's face, it was set in a scowl, and it was as though he was trying to remember something. Anakin risked touching Obi-Wan's shoulder. Obi-Wan jumped and staggered back away from the window. His eyes seemed glazed over, and then he blinked a few times, releasing a shaky breathe.
"Oh, Anakin… I'm sorry I didn't know that you'd returned; did you say something?" Obi-Wan inquired as he wrapped his arms around his shaking body.
"I asked if you were all right…are you cold?"
Obi-Wan looked down at his arms. "I don't think… He was going to say more, yet he hesitated.
A sound had them both turning as Xanatos entered the apartment. "Hello you two, what have you been doing while our Master, and I have been saving the galaxy?" he laughed.
"Hi Xanatos" Anakin quickly said. "I have been helping Obi-Wan with this jig saw puzzle, it's finished. Isn't it Obi-Wan?"
"Yes, I seem to be able to concentrate much better these days. How was your mission, I hope you brought Qui-Gon back in one piece?" he said quietly.
"Don't worry Obi-Wan, you know I wouldn't let anything happen to the old man. Besides he actually saved me this time."
"Oh - really, what happened?"
"Well as you know we went to the Krant System to the Moon Aereen; the trade Federation were trying to establish a mining colony there, and they were pressuring the Government to give in to their demands. One demand was to become independent, and secede from the Republic. " Xanatos explained.
"When the Chancellor found out he requested Jedi intervention. When the Government realised the Senate and the Jedi were backing them, they forced the Federation out. The Government held their ground, and ousted the Federation from Aereen. However, due to my suspicious nature, I felt they left too easily. Therefore, Qui-Gon and I went to the mines to investigate." Xanatos stopped telling his story, as he threw his robe on the chair.
"And?" both Obi-Wan and Anakin said in unison.
"Darth Maul was there!"
"The Sith" Anakin blurted out.
Obi-Wan said nothing but his skin felt tingly and he stared at Xani. Unfortunately, he didn't remember anything about Maul; only what he'd been told.
"Yes, the Sith, anyway he cornered us on the mining platform and we fought. He knocked Qui-Gon down to a lower level, and while Qui-Gon made his way back up, Maul was thrashing me. He was about to chop my head off when Qui-Gon Force pushed him, and he fell over the platform. I had the wind knocked out of me, and Qui-Gon had injured his sabre arm, so we didn't hang about, we got to our ship and headed back to Coruscant."
Obi-Wan's face lit with worry for Qui-Gon. "Is Qui-Gon all right?"
"Yes, he pulled the muscle in his shoulder. He went into a healing trance and repaired the tissue while we were coming back here. We're both fine… a little embarrassed that we had to abandon the fight. Nevertheless we are alive to fight another day!"
Anakin could not believe that Maul beat his Master, and Xanatos. He'd sparred with him and he didn't seem that good. (I almost beat him!)he thought, not realising that Maul had been toying with him...
Anakin was feeling quite superior and wanted to head back to his apartment. "I better head back to Master Qui-Gon; I will see you tomorrow Obi-Wan… Good night Xanatos." the boy stated.
"Good night Anakin," both Knights commented together.
After the boy left, Obi-Wan prepared the meal for them both while Xani told him more of their mission. Once they'd finished eating, Xanatos bought two mugs of Caff in to the common room, and handed one to Obi-Wan who was looking out the window.
"So tell me how was young Anakin, while we were away?" Xani asked.
"He's been of tremendous help to me." Obi-Wan remarked as he took a sip. "He's trying hard to banish his fear and anger, but I think he feels guilty about me."
"Oh! in what way?"
"He said something about me saving his mother, and I think he feels like I wouldn't have been captured if I hadn't done that."
"He told you about his mother?"
"Yes and I asked Master Yoda what happened and he filled me in."
"I see, what else did Anakin say?"
"He keeps asking me if I have regained any more memories of my captivity, and he asked me to tell him first if I remember anything."
"Did he say why?"
"No, not really, he seems to think I might remember something horrible, and when I asked him, like what? He just shrugged, and said 'I don't know.'
I've noticed lately that there seems to be something that is worrying him, but I haven't asked him about it and I don't feel like I should tell him too much."
Xani looked at him with a question in his eyes. "Why?"
"Sometimes I sense that he is scared to find out if I remember things and when I look at his worried eyes I have a bad feeling about saying too much to him."
"You would tell me! If you remembered something though, wouldn't you?" Xani asked as he stood next to Obi-Wan and gazed in the same direction as Obi-Wan.
"Yes I would….actually I had a feeling earlier. Like someone was talking about me. It made me shiver, like some thing was crawling over my skin."
"What were you doing, was Anakin with you?"
"No, Anakin went outside to talk to one of his friends, and I finished the jigsaw. Abruptly I felt an urge to look out the window, as we are doing now. I felt like some one was watching me, but we are too high up here for anyone to be doing that."
Xanatos scanned the horizon; he could see the Senate building off in the distance. "Tell me what do you feel when you look at the Senate building?"
"Now? I feel nothing… yet before I felt like snakes were crawling over me. I had a strange feeling; as if the Force was sending me a warning. I wish I could remember. It seems like my force connection is lost with my memories. I just do not seem to be able to grasp, and hold onto the force for very long these days.
"Xani, I was just thinking maybe if I started sparing, it might jog my memory. It appears from the sound of your last mission that you are in need of extra conditioning as well. Perhaps we could spar together?" Obi-Wan hinted.
"You know, I think that may be a good idea. In the morning after Anakin has gone to classes, we will discuss your views and your feelings with Qui-Gon, and the Council. We'll ask for their permission, for you to begin sparring. If they grant it we'll go to the arena were I can give you a thrashing," Xani declared.
Obi-Wan smiled. "A thrashing you say, well, we'll see about that!"…..
Anakin hurried home, and when he entered their apartment, Qui-Gon was in the shower. He wanted to impress his Master so he quickly organised a light supper, and a cup of Caff. When Qui-Gon emerged rubbing his hair dry with the towel, he was surprised to see the table set with supper.
"Anakin how thoughtful of you, how did you know I was dying for a cup of Caff?"
"Hello Master… I was just with Obi-Wan, and Xani, he told me of your mission. How's your shoulder?"
"It is much better after the shower; I suppose Xanatos told you what happened?"
"Yes Master he told me that you encountered Darth Maul and he nearly beheaded Xani. That he got the better of you and you ran away!" he mention sarcastically.
Qui-Gon studied Anakin for a moment. "Is that what you think, we just ran away? Do you think we should have stayed and fought; my young Padawan. You sound like you're not impressed that we ran away… as you put it!"
Anakin realised he was sounding petulant, and tried to cover his attitude. "Xani made it sound like you just ran away. Would you tell me what happened then Master?"
Qui-Gon sat down and took a sip of his drink. "Very well Padawan - I will explain. We were battling the Sith and we were very confident. We were working well together. However, the area was small and left no room for error. Xanatos had Maul backed into a corner, and I could not get past him to help. We decided to pull back and take the fight to a clear area. Nevertheless, Maul realised what we were planning, and he sent force lightening towards both of us.
It knocked us off our feet, and I fell over the edge; landing heavily on the ramp below. I came down hard on my shoulder, and I could barely hold my sabre. By the time I jumped back up and joined the fight again, Xanatos was still stunned by the force lightening. Maul had Xanatos cornered, and his strikes were wearing Xanatos down. He barely managed to block that devils blade. While he was distracted, I sent a force push towards him, and he lost his balance and fell over landing to the same ramp I had fallen to.
Xanatos saw my injury, and knew he was not fit enough to continue either. The decision to leave was a hard one to make. However, we were in no position to continue, and doing so would have ended in possibly both our deaths".
Qui-Gon waited for his words to sink in then continued. "As Jedi we aren't afraid to die, nonetheless, we shouldn't rush headlong into it if it is deemed pointless to do so…. What would you have done in a similar situation Padawan?"
Anakin hesitated with his answer (His arrogance made him believe he wouldn't have gotten him self in that situation, however his overconfidence was his worst enemy, and he was starting to realise it)"Master I would have done exactly as you did. It is better to retreat and regroup. To fight another day, as Xanatos explained to me earlier."
"Very good Padawan, I believe you're beginning to see the big picture".
"Master …do you think my probation will end soon; I think the Council are happy with my progress?"
Qui-Gon smiled. "I will speak to the Council tomorrow on your behalf Padawan."
Anakin smiled. "Thank you Master" (As soon as I am able, I will investigate and find out who is plotting against Obi-Wan) he thought quietly.
The next morning, Qui-Gon sent Anakin off to his classes and was having a cup of Caff when his com unit buzzed. It was Xanatos; explaining that Obi-Wan had some matters that he wished to discuss with Yoda and him. Qui-Gon suggested they meet in Yoda's meditation chambers.
"Master Yoda, yesterday I think I felt the force warning me, however I couldn't define what it was trying to warn me about. Anakin had gone out to talk to one of his friends, and I was alone. An ominous feeling of dread came over me, to be honest with you, it felt like snakes were crawling on me."
"Felt this sensation before have you?" Yoda inquired.
"No Master, it is something new that is happening. I know my concentration is returning, and I am feeling quite good."
"Meditate do you?"
"I have tried…Master; however, I have no reference points in which to meditate on. I have felt the force around me and it comforts me, however, it slips through, and I still feel a cloud has settled over my mind."
Qui-Gon wanted to help in any way he could. "Perhaps I can meditate with you Obi-Wan, I can open my bond with you and show you past missions, which we were assigned too and guide you into meditation."
Both Yoda and Xanatos raised an eyebrow, wondering if Qui-Gon was able to show Obi-Wan anything other than a disastrous apprenticeship.
Qui-Gon saw their look and blurted out. "Oh come on - I wasn't a complete Ogre. We did have many good missions together."
Obi-Wan smiled at his Masters efforts to defend him-self, and answered. "I think that might help, Thank you for your offer Master."
Xanatos decided to but his suggestion in as well. "I think it is about time Obi-Wan sparred in earnest. I would be more than happy to teach him a thing or two about light sabre duelling, and perhaps he can teach me one or two things as well. As you know I need the practice; especially, if we ever come up against Darth Maul again."
Obi-Wan shivered, and gazed out the window, his face set with a look of concern. Qui-Gon and Yoda both noticed.
"Obi-Wan what's the matter?" Qui-Gon asked, as Xanatos looked around at Obi-Wan, who was wrapping his, arms around his body. He stared for a moment longer and then he broke his gaze away, and looked at Qui-Gon.
"I'm not sure, yet I felt cold when Xani mentioned that name 'Darth Maul' I know you mentioned his name a few times, and it didn't affect me before. I remember you told me about him, and the old Senate building where I was imprisoned. However, just then when you spoke his name, I saw his face, it flashed in my mind.
Qui-Gon looked hopefully at Yoda. "Is it possible that Obi-Wan's memories are returning?"
"Possible, it is. The force is powerful." Yoda quipped. "Agree I do, meditate and spar you should, but keep the return of your memories between us we will. Meditate with you also, I will."