Well, guess what! DI is over, Robotics is over, the school musical is over… I HAVE SPARE TIME! I was going to update earlier, but my DI team won Regionals and went to States, and then relatives came over… Anyway, I should be able to update more regularly now. That's a good thing, because I think if I had waited any longer, I would have forgotten what this story was about!

And, speaking of stories…

Obi-Wan had always hated feeling helpless. And now, coming to strapped to a metal table in some strange laboratory, he couldn't recall ever feeling more vulnerable.

The Jedi Padawan blinked wearily, trying to clear the cobwebs from his muddled brain. He shook his head and winced as it throbbed in protest at the motion. Not the best idea. But at least the pain cleared his head some and allowed him to focus.

Now, Obi-Wan sized up his situation. His hair stuck to his scalp with dried blood, presumably where he had hit his head. There was a burning pain in his left arm, just above the elbow, and another in his right knee. That, he assumed, was where he had been shot.

Gritting his teeth against the pain, Obi-Wan braced himself and raised his head to inspect his wounds. His arm had been grazed- not a very serious hit, but his knee… Obi-Wan had to fight down a wave of nausea. The flesh around it was blackened and burnt from the heat of the bolt, and the boy could clearly see the shattered bone.

Suddenly he remembered. Litri. Oh, Force, I hope she got away to tell the Masters where we are. They're surely looking for us by now…

Obi-Wan laid his head back onto the table and started to reach out to the Force but was interrupted by the unpleasant, cold tone of Eraweb's voice. "Well, my little Jedi pet, I see no reason to keep you waiting any longer. It's a shame your little friend abandoned you, but never fear, I've sent droids out to take care of her. I'll just have to get along without my other lab rat, won't I?"

The boy opened his eyes and gazed defiantly up at his captor, mustering up as much dignity and strength as he could, but said nothing.

The scientist chuckled. "The silent treatment? Come, now, aren't we above such childish measures?" When he still got no response, he continued. "I assure you, it's nothing personal – well, not at you specifically. I'm merely bringing justice. The Jedi have committed crimes, and they must be punished. It's that simple." With that, Eraweb began filling a hypo with a green liquid.

Obi-Wan took the bait. "What have the Jedi done? We are guardians of the peace, not criminals."

"Ah, that is what you have been taught. But I would have thought that a boy of your intelligence would have deduced by now that not every cryptic word pouring out of your revered Master Yoda's mouth is truth," Eraweb sneered. "Have you, perchance, heard of the planet Kirego?"

Of course Obi-Wan had heard of Kirego. Every Jedi student was taught about it in History class. It was a perfect example of why Jedi needed to keep their emotions in check. Around thirty years ago, a new Knight and his Padawan had been sent to the system to recover the kidnapped prince, sole heir to the throne. The Padawan had been killed in battle, and the Knight, crazed with rage and grief, destroyed the fleeing kidnapper's speeder – although the prince was still inside. Kirego erupted into civil war, and the Jedi, having lost all respect they had once had from the Kiregans, were powerless to stop it. The planet was practically destroyed by bombs, the population decimated. Since Kirego mainly got by on farming and agriculture, most of the survivors of the wars died of starvation. It was estimated that fewer than a hundred Kiregans had managed to get off-planet before the famine, as the self-contained Kirego did not have many starships. It was one of the great tragedies in Republic history. Suddenly, Obi-Wan understood.

"You're a Kiregan survivor, aren't you?" Obi-Wan asked. "That's why you want revenge on the Jedi."

"It's not 'revenge,'" Eraweb said dismissively, approaching the examination table. "I am bringing a band of dangerous criminals to justice. Tell me, Jedi boy, what makes what I am doing now any different from what you do every day?" Without giving Obi-Wan a chance to respond, Eraweb plunged the hypo into the exposed veins on the Padawan's neck. Obi-Wan would not have been sure what to respond had he been given the chance.

"Now," the man said as he set up various monitors and computers, "I suppose you're going to want to know what I have in store for you. The chemical now circulating in your bloodstream will slow your bodily functions, weakening your immune system for the next part of my little experiment." Collecting a blood sample and testing it for midichlorians with an air of mild interest, Eraweb continued. "I have created a machine that blocks a Jedi off from the Force. Not temporary, like the current Force-suppressors. This is permanent."

Even though his mind was already hazy from the drug Eraweb had given him, Obi-Wan knew that this was bad news. I have a bad feeling about this. He strained against his restraints once more, ignoring the searing pain from his wounds, but his body felt like it was made of lead and his limbs refused to obey.

Eraweb was saying something about how his machine would use some sort of radiation to both kill midichlorians and keep the remaining ones from reproducing. Obi-Wan struggled to focus. "…18,000 midichlorians per cell? No, that won't do. Let's set the computer for 2,500 – the average for your species. I could just kill them all, but I think this is more fitting. You see, I am not a vengeful man, and I…"

Obi-Wan saw as though through a fog, Eraweb stand back from the examination table and pull goggles over his was vaguely aware Eraweb pressing a button built into the wall. There was no such fog to mask the pain.

/MASTER! MASTER!/ Obi-Wan screamed into the blocked bond. The process was agony, worse than he could ever imagine. It felt as though every cell in his body was being ripped open individually. The pain was all consuming, all encompassing, and so completely deep that it seemed that it had always been there, and always would. He could not form logical thoughts, and was dimly aware that he was now screaming wordlessly, both through his bond and out loud. He thought for a moment that he had felt his Master's soothing presence, but then – nothing. Absolutely nothing.

The fire in his bones slowly lessened until it had completely faded, but still, Obi-Wan sobbed. It was much worse than any Force suppressor. With a Force suppressor, one would attempt to reach out and meet a solid barrier. Now, it seemed as though the world outside his mind did not exist. He was isolated. A prisoner inside his own head.

Slient tears streamed down the boy's face, and he didn't care who saw.

Okay, I know this is short, even for me, and I didn't tell you anything about Litri or Qui-Gon and A'ka, but it seemed like a great place to stop… and it's existence is a step up for me lately.

Reviews? *Puppy dog eyes*