Old Man and the Desert

Chapter 38

Location: Rebel Base

"Save her!" shouted Obi-Wan. His voice waved and his heart was pounding loudly in his ear. He felt his heart being squeezed in a vise grip. The thought of losing Thrice was too much. He didn't want to think about how still she was inside the ship or how vacant her eyes looked as he picked her up. Obi-Wan deep down knew all too well what a dead body looked like. His experience in the Clone Wars and as a Jedi told him the truth that he wanted to deny. Thrice was dead and Lord Blackswan was his only hope.

"Blackswan!" he cried.

The scientist soon appeared in the hanger bay. He saw Obi-Wan carrying Thrice in his arms and the deadly pale complexion of her skin. He knew that something was wrong. He rushed over to him and saw the pleading look in the auburn-Jedi's eyes.

"Please, save her."

Lord Blackswan wasted no time. He took Thrice from Obi-Wan's arms. He was a lot stronger than Obi-Wan initially thought. Obi-Wan believed for the first time that Lord Blackswan was really a lord. He saw how much the Clan respected him. He saw that he was more than capable of commanding his warriors across time and space. He watched as Lord Blackswan called to the Clan and like a single organism as they did his bidding.

"Lady Nina, prep the reincarnation machine. Begin the bath and prep Captain Eva for surgery."

Lady Nina followed her master to the Lab. Obi-Wan was not far behind. She spoke in a stoic tone, "She is dead, my Lord."

"Then by the Stars, we will save her," replied the scientist.

Obi-Wan grabbed Lord Blackswan's shoulder to turn him around and said, "Please, you're my only hope. I can't lose her."

Lady Nina narrowed her brow and said, "We'll save her. We'll save her where you have failed."

Her words cut through him like a knife. He stood paralyzed. Nina was right. He had failed her. Obi-Wan had journeyed to Mustafar in order to protect Thrice but instead she fell to Vader's lightsaber. He had slain her and it was all his fault. His failure weighed his soul a thousand times worse than any failure before. He couldn't bring himself to enter the Lab. He watched as Lady Nina closed the door.


Obi-Wan sat against the wall opposite the entrance of the Lab and waited. He had grown used to waiting since his exile on Tatooine, but nothing, not even his Jedi training could stop his tears. He mutely let them fall. He rubbed his beard and noticed that his hand smelt like ash and sulfur. It was the hot lava smell of Mustafar. Obi-Wan had no idea what had happened to Ankain. He had left him to battle with Darth Vader alone. They were like two halfs of a single whole. The Darkness and the Light. Obi-Wan realized that had been Thrice's plan all along. She wanted Anakin to slay his own demons. She wanted him to be able to redeem himself with the sword. She believed that Anakin could win. He hoped she was right.

However, Thrice was dead. He knew for certain now through the Force. He could no longer feel their marriage bond. He felt alone in his own bones. Her death was worse than losing Master Qui-Gon because there was no glimmer of hope to torture him. With Master Qui-Gon there was no hope of coming back. Master Qui-Gon had become one with the Force. He even spoke to his Force-ghost a few times in the caves on Tatooine. Obi-Wan missed his old Master's guidance.

"Master…I wish you were here with me now. I need your guidance."

"Your Master cannot hear you," said Lady Nina.

Obi-Wan was so deep in thought that he hadn't noticed her enter the hall. He rose up to his feet to meet her eye. He had enough of the pale-warrior looking down at him. He sternly replied, "I don't care for your opinion, Lady Nina. I'm going to see my wife."


He entered the Lab. Inside the room he was Lord Blackswan standing over Thrice. She was alive and well. Obi-Wan's heart soar, but he saw that something was wrong. Thrice was sitting on the floor and clutching a glass tube in her hands. She was holding it so tight that her knuckles were white. Her head was bent down in defeat and soft tears followed beneath her veil of raven hair. She was wearing a thin medical-gown and her skin was damp. She looked so small.

Lord Blackswan spoke to her in a gentle tone. "You mustn't cry, my lady. Do not morn your child. It can be undone."

Obi-Wan's heart sank at his words. Their child was dead. He knew now what she held in her hands. It was the last remnant of their little one.

"It wasn't supposed to be this way. I was supposed to keep him safe."

Obi-Wan's heart ached even deeper. He was the one that was supposed to keep her safe, but he couldn't waste time feeling sorry for himself. She needed him and he needed her. He ran to her and gathered her into his arms. He felt whole again in her presence. He buried his face into her shoulder.

He said, "No, no, it's not your fault. It's mine. I was the one that was supposed to keep you safe. I failed you. Oh, Thrice I'm sorry."

He then reached down to remove the tube from her hands. He couldn't bear the thought of her cradling the remains of their dead child. Yet, Thrice wouldn't let go. She passionately pulled back and moved to stand. She looked down at him with fire in her eyes and tears streaming down her cheeks.

"No! He's mine! He'll live."

Thrice turned to the reincarnation machine. Her hair and skin were still damp from when she emerged from the reincarnation tank herself. She took a needle from one of the medical kits on a table beside her and began to pull a sample from the tube. Thrice had died many of times, but she'd be damned if she let her child die at the hands of the Sith.

Obi-Wan grabbed her hand to stop her. He said, "No, Thrice. This is wrong."

Thrice couldn't believe her ears. She narrowed her brow and said, "How can you say that? Our child deserves to live."

"But what if it's not meant to be?"

"What are you saying?"

Obi-Wan wasn't sure what he was saying either. Yet deep down he felt that this was wrong. He desperately said, "I don't know if we are meant have a child." he looked away from her said, "I'm a Jedi. You're a Warrior. Maybe we aren't meant to have younglings. Maybe it isn't meant to be."

Thrice shook her head and said, "No. That's not true! We have every right to this child, Obi-Wan. He is our love. Yours and mine."

He desperately wanted to believe her. He wanted so badly to believe. He wished he had her conviction and strength, but it was hard for Obi-Wan to turn his back on his Jedi teachings. They had been all he had for so long. Yet, he couldn't deny Thrice their child even if it defied everything that he knew. Silently, he let his hand fall and watched as she turned towards the machine.


Location: Imperial ship

Darth Sidious gasped in the middle of a meeting with his Commanders. He felt Vader passing through the Force. He instinctively grabbed his throat as he felt an all-consuming heat choke his body and lungs. It was a brief vision of his apprentice's demise that left hot vapors rising from his skin. Sidious did not know how Vader died he knew for certain that he was dead.

"You're Highness? Are you all right?" asked one of his Commanders.

The Emperor took a moment to collect himself. Something had to be done. He was done with this pointless meeting.

"You are all dismissed."

The Commanders rose from their seats and slowly began to exit the conference room. They disliked being tethered to the Emperor's whims, but they wouldn't dare jeopardize their lives and defy him. They knew that the Emperor was just as capable of Force-choking them for disobedience as Lord Vader.

After the Commanders were gone Sidious immediately turned on his communicator and contacted Captain Royce in outer space. The clone-Captain had been away on mission to hunt down a Force sensitive humanoid for Sidious' sacrifice to open the Gate.

The holo-projector flickered on and appeared over the table of the conference room just as the light in the room began to dim. His ghostly projection waved in a blue light.

Captain Royce immediately bowed to his sovereign. "Emperor, I am still unable to locate the Rebel Base. I need more time."

Sidious replied, "Time is of the essence, Captain. I want you to head immediately to Mustafar and track any ships in the area."


"Now, Captain. Once you have located a ship do not engage. Track them and report back to me."

"Yes, your Majesty."

Darth Sidious then cut off the transmission. He had a feeling that Vader had perished on the raw planet. The Dark Forces were strong there. If the Captain hurried he would find the man who slayed him. Sidious had no doubt in his mind that it was a Jedi that did him in for only a Jedi would be strong enough to defeat him. Sidious was sure to find the blasted Rebel Base once and for all if Captain Royce followed him to their stronghold. Gleefully, he turned to watch the construction site of the Gate. He knew that very soon the piece would be complete.


Location: Yavin 4

At the Lab, Obi-Wan watched his child grow from a fetus to an infant in a matter of minutes inside the reincarnation machine. The little cluster of cells seemed to endlessly grow and divide until miraculously he was fully formed. For a moment, Obi-Wan thought Thrice allow him to maturate until he was an adult like a stormtrooper-clone, but after a time she stopped the process and slowing empty the tank of liquid.

Obi-Wan watched as Thrice quickly wrapped the youngling in a cloth and began rubbing his neck and throat. He heard her chanting under her breath.

"Come on—come on—"

Then, at last the infant began to breath and let out a loud cry. The little one began to wiggle and scream, but Thrice was overjoyed. She smiled and turned to her husband.

"Look! He's alive."

Bewildered, Obi-Wan stepped forward and watched Thrice cradle the infant in her arms. He had never seen anything like it before in his life. He saw that this baby who was created in under an hour was whole, real and his. There was no denying the little cleft in his chin or the ruffle of red-brown hair on his head. Obi-Wan wondrously ran his fingers over his head and felt his presence in the Force. He felt right away that he was strong with the Force and quickly quieted under his touch.

It was in that moment that Obi-Wan truly understood what it meant to belong to someone else. He couldn't even begin to fathom the doubt he had felt only a second before.

"He's beautiful."

Thrice carefully placed the baby in his arms. Obi-Wan gingerly held him against his chest. He saw that he had golden eyes that shine in the light like his wife. Obi-Wan couldn't help think that he was the perfect combination of them both.




AN: I'm back. Please review. Thank you.