Summary: AU. After being defeated on Mustafar, Obi-Wan awakens to find himself in a world that is both the same and different than his own; a world where Qui-Gon is still alive. As he struggles to find a way to save the Jedi of this new Universe from destruction, Obi-Wan finds himself in the middle of betrayal and deceit as he learns that there is more than meets the eye in this Universe.

Disclaimer: Much to my dismay, I do not own Star Wars or the lovely poem called "I asked of Density." George Lucas and Rabindranath Tagore own them.

Author's note: It has nearly been eight months since I last wrote something fan fiction related. But one day while rewatching the Phantom Menace, this little story idea sprung to life. I consider this to an AU in an AU. Oh yes, this is totally an Inception. Also, I would like to warn you readers that this story is likely to go into the extreme AU, so if that's not your thing then don't read. Things going to get very messed up soon. This story is also a bit of a experiment since I'm attempting to blend in the stream-of-consciousness style into my own style.

I would also like to point out now that I am notorious for not updating consistently. I write when I have time, which is rare. But, I am determined to see this story through.

Feedback is love. Especially when you are helping improve my writing.


The Eleventh Hour

Prologue


I asked of Destiny

by Rabindranath Tagore

I asked of Destiny, "Tell me who with relentless hand pushes me on?"

Destiny told me to look behind.

I turned and saw my own self behind pushing forward the self in front.


Red.

The world was red.

He was engulfed in a world of fire. Fire and ash. Rivers of blood snaked across the desolate landscape. Blood. Searing heat assaulted his senses, choking out everything in his numb mind. Cinders that danced like snowflakes fell around him; they reeked of death and destruction. Death. So much death. It was a flaming pit of damnation that was known as Mustafar. But that was a lie. This place was not a simple mining planet. No, this was hell. Hell.

"It's over, Anakin! I have the high ground." His voice is far steadier than he would have expected. And yet, he could hear the cracks in his tone. He was weary, so weary. His heart had already shattered. It fell apart the moment he watched his brother massacre the younglings. So much death. He just wanted it to be over. He just wanted to rest. If only this nefarious day could finally be over.

"You underestimate my power." So much arrogance in that voice and it was so wrong. This is not the boy that he raised. This is not the man that he has risked his life for so many times. No, this is an imposter. Murderer. An imposter that has taken over the mind, body and soul of his best friend. Everything was so wrong.

But, now his voice had the slightest bit of urgency. "Don't try it." Oh Force, please don't do it. It's impossible, even for the Chosen One, to make that jump. Only a fool would try such a reckless move. Then again, they are all fools. Only a fool could have been deceived for so long by the manipulative beast that now called himself Emperor. Fools. They had been so blind.

Obi-Wan unconsciously raised his blade into a defensive position as he felt a warning in the force. Anakin, please don't! And for the slightest moment, his eyes were drawn to the icy blue blade. It looks so out of place in this land of blazing inferno. And it is deceiving also. Despite the heat from his lightsaber, he can easily imagine it as a long icicle. And how he wishes to feel the cold once again; to be away from this agonizing heat and somewhere else, somewhere where he can't feel the pain that is threatening to rip apart his heart again.

The crunching of charcoal echoes around him as he takes a step back. Then another step back. Blue meets blue as the two lightsabers clash. Weak. He knows that he should have taken that swing as Anakin sailed defenselessly through the air. But, he couldn't bear to make the move. He wasn't sure that he could manage to see more death. So much death. Instead of ending it there, he stepped back. Now it was up to the Force.

"You could have killed me." It's not an accusation, it's a statement. With eyes that reflected the molten rivers of Mustafar, Anakin seemed to be staring straight into his soul.

Struggling to maintain a grip on the hilt of his lightsaber, Obi-Wan felt himself sigh. "Yes." And now he takes his turn to stare into hate filled eyes. He was once told that the eyes were the windows to the soul. If that is true, then he was sure that Anakin was gone. Anakin's once bright blue eyes were now a sickening yellow. Currents of crimson snaked their way through the yellow to create an even more demotic appearance. Where have you gone, Anakin?

A feral grin lit Anakin's face. "You're weak, Master," his words are laced with venom as he plays with that last word. Once that title was thrown at him with affection or annoyance. But, now it was used with contempt. The hunter now had his prey in his grasp. "Let me end your pain."

At those words, a momentary surge of strength flowed through Obi-Wan. If he was to die, then he will at least die with honor and certainly not as a pitiful man on his knees. Anakin has not won yet.

"I would like to see you try," the challenge drips with contempt as Obi-Wan gives Anakin a mocking look. It's the ploy of a desperate man, a man who has nothing to lose. For in this brief span of time Obi-Wan has come to terms with his own prominent death. Though he has always been accepting of death now he is ready for it. He can feel the Force calling and he is ready to join her, he has always trusted the Force. He is ready to step off this mortal coil. However, he will still go down with dignity. Death is only the next journey.

For a while time seemed stagnated as the two brothers were locked in a seemingly endless battle of slashes, parries and thrusts. Sweat dripped down Obi-Wan's brow as the scorching heat seemed to magnify. Blocking another attempted stab by Anakin he could feel his weariness descending upon him again.

His defenses slightly opened as his knee briefly buckled. Obi-Wan could easily see the beam of blue light descend towards him as he vainly struggled to block the herald of death.

Pain. Pain like nothing he has ever experienced erupts from his side. Oh Force. Agony rips through him as he begins his descent towards the ground. So much pain. His mind seems to lose all control and falls into a state of disarray. So much pain. All dignity is lost as a howl of torment escapes its parched throat. Only one thought passes through his wretched mind as he hits the black sands: pain. Only pain exists in his shattered world. So much pain. The pain is twisting and burning through his veins. It is as if hell has dug its black claws into his back.

And as he stares at the blue blade that is rushing to meet his heart, all Obi-Wan can see is red. Red rivers of blood that drown his senses. Searing heat that claws at his body. Flames that crawl through his own blood. Ash that chokes him and a fire that consumes his mind.

But, above all, there are those eyes. Those sickly yellow and crimson eyes that are staring into his azure pain clouded eyes, they are devouring his soul.

His world was red.