Fourteen Years Later
Obi-Wan rubbed his beard as he paced in frustration and pain. There was another wave of pain in the Force before that, too, extinguished into nothing. He stopped his pacing and closed his eyes in his own emotional pain. Another Jedi that had escaped the first wave of the Purge was now one with the Force. He felt Anakin's anxiousness, restlessness, and guilt through the Force as well and it was distracted him from thinking. If it was possible, he would have requested Anakin to see a Mind Healer, like he had to all those years ago. Anakin's guilt seemed to be very strong and Obi-Wan couldn't help but worry about him. Obi-Wan mentally shook his head. His experiences with Mind Healers were tragic, at least in his twenty-one year old mind it was. Qui-Gon had to bribe him and push him to go to the Mind Healer. It took a year for the Mind Healer to declare him stable enough not to see her again. He couldn't put Anakin through that. What he needed was a friend. Obi-Wan opened his eyes and faced the Jedi Knight, who was sitting in the chair. "Anakin, it wasn't your fault," he said calmly.
Anakin snapped his head up, his eyes filled with self-accusation. "How could you say that, Obi-Wan? If it wasn't for me, Qui-Gon…" He closed his eyes and ran a hand through his hair. "How could you not blame me?" He shook his head. "I should have stayed put. I shouldn't have gone after Master Windu. If I hadn't gone after Master Windu, Qui-Gon wouldn't have gone after me. He would still be alive."
Obi-Wan sat down in the chair next to Anakin. "And who knows what would have happened if you didn't, Anakin. Qui-Gon still might have…died. As much as he hated to admit it, he was old and his health has been declining since the war started. He wouldn't have been able to hold his own against the clone troopers." Obi-Wan also hated to admit it. Not only was Qui-Gon physically old, in his seventies, but the Clone Wars had wounded him more than Obi-Wan had thought possible. Qui-Gon was openly against the war from the very beginning. He did not like the violence. Qui-Gon was a man of life, not death. He was full of the Living Force. He never killed unless he absolutely had too. He had always done his best to avoid taking a life, but then the Clone Wars happened. He had found out his own former Master was the leader of the Separatists. That had aged him more than physical aging could ever do. Obi-Wan would have thought him a living corpse if not for those rare moments they could sit down and talk, just the two of them, sometimes three when Anakin decided to join them. That light in him that Obi-Wan had always admired had dimmed during the war. There were rare times throughout the war that Obi-Wan, guiltily, thought that it may have been better if Qui-Gon had died on Naboo, a strong Jedi who still had his ideals and morals, who would have died for what he believed in. "And you might have died as well."
Anakin shook his head. "I don't think so, Master." Since Yoda was the Grand Master of the Council and couldn't go on so many missions, once Obi-Wan was Knighted, he had agreed to be his 'mission Master'. Anakin would go on missions with Obi-Wan, but train with Yoda when at the Jedi Temple. It was a system that seemed to work real well. It was not abnormal for Jedi Council Members with padawans to have another Jedi step in for missions. "Palpatine wanted me as his…apprentice. He wouldn't have killed me until he was sure I wouldn't turn. Where did he learn that Qui-Gon once thought I was the Chosen One?" he suddenly asked. "And how did you sense the…evil in him when no one else did?"
Obi-Wan shook his head and leaned back in the chair. "I didn't sense he was evil, Anakin. I just sensed…something off about him. I always had, since I first met him. I didn't trust him, but I didn't foresee he was an evil Sith Lord out to terminate every Jedi in existence. As for how I sensed that when no one else seemed to until it was too late…" He shook his head. "I don't know." He gave Anakin a look. "He knew Qui-Gon had once believed you to be the Chosen One?"
Anakin nodded as he glanced around the meeting room on Senator Bail Organa's ship, the Sundered Heart. "He believed I was the Chosen One. After I saw him kill…after he realized I wouldn't join him, he was going on about how weak I was for being the proposed Chosen One; how he thought I would have been stronger." He gave Obi-Wan a look. "I'm not, am I? The Chosen One, I mean?"
Obi-Wan shook his head. "No, Anakin, I don't believe you are. Qui-Gon didn't either. He did, once, but…" He thought back on the conversation he had with Qui-Gon after the Naboo Invasion, when Qui-Gon told him he was the Chosen One. He shook his head. "…but was wrong."
The door opened and Yoda and Bail walked in. "Decided what to do now, we should," Yoda said as he sat down.
"How are the children?" Obi-Wan asked before Anakin could.
"Resting they are, with their mother," Yoda answered. "Strong in the Force, your children are, Padawan," he said to Anakin. The younger man flushed and looked down. No doubt, he heard the reprimand in his Master's voice at hiding such a large secret from him.
He looked up. "And Padmé? Is she still alright?"
"Your wife is healthy, but tired, Anakin," Bail answered. "Giving birth to twins exhausted her. I gave her the master chamber for her comfort. It looked like she needed it." Anakin sighed with relief.
"What are we going to do now, Master Yoda?" Obi-Wan asked, getting right back to the problem at hand.
"We fight back," Anakin exclaimed like it was the simplest thing in the world and he was questioning why Obi-Wan had to ask.
Obi-Wan gave him a look. "How, Anakin? We are the only ones left. Palpatine is too powerful for us to defeat at the moment."
"The longer we wait the stronger he gets, Obi-Wan," Anakin pointed out. "If we don't strike now, at his weakest, we might never be able too."
"His weakest, at the moment, is our weakest and he will be expecting our retaliation, which would put us at a disadvantage," Obi-Wan argued back calmly. "And you have a family now, Anakin. You have to take care of them as well. Fighting back now will put them in further danger."
"I see both of your points," Bail said interrupting whatever comment Anakin would have made. "But something will have to be done soon."
"Dangerous it is, to have so many Force sensitives in one spot," Yoda spoke up suddenly.
"Yoda's right, Anakin," Obi-Wan said turning back to Anakin sadly, knowing this would not be easy for the younger man. "Palpatine is Force sensitive, a trained Force sensitive. Having so many Force sensitive's in one spot would be a beacon to him. He'll find that bright spot easily enough if he is looking for it, and he will be looking for it, and…take care of it. It will be best having no more than two in one spot and that is only if it was far in the Outer Rim."
"What are you trying to say?" Anakin asked, his face hardened like stone.
"Force sensitive your children are, both of them," Yoda said. "Fight you want to, leave them you must."
"It would be best to send Padmé to the Outer Rim with your children and for you to…go someplace else. Odds are, Palpatine wouldn't sense them in the Outer Rim, but if you are with them…" Obi-Wan shook his head sadly. "…he might sense three bright Force sensitive's anywhere."
"Separate fast, we must, before sensing us, he does," Yoda said.
"We must decide quickly then," Bail said urgently.
Anakin looked down at the table and nodded stiffly. "I see your point," he said. He sighed. "I agree to do anything to keep my family safe, even if I can't be with them."
Obi-Wan clasped a hand on his shoulder in moral support, knowing it was probably one of the hardest decisions of his life. Anakin gave him a weak, appreciated smile.
"Too Tatooine, Padmé and the children would go," Yoda said. "Family you have there."
"Tatooine? That's my home planet, Master. Palpatine knows this. That would be the first place he looks," Anakin protested.
Obi-Wan shook his head. "He also knows you will never go back there. Once he hears you are another planet, he won't look there."
"I can easily start an underground rebellion with a few trusted Senators," Bail said. "Once we have several bases up and running you may stay there and help," he told the three Jedi.
"We will have to be in separate bases, using comlinks to communicate with each other," Obi-Wan said. "Until then, I believe I have the strength to hide my Force presence for a little while." It took energy to hide ones Force presence, but Obi-Wan had always been good at keeping his hidden for quite a while without tiring.
"Exile to Dagobah, I go, until resistance is ready," Yoda said.
"Anakin and I will take Padmé and the children to Tatooine before heading to Taris. We'll be able to blend in with the lower class there," Obi-Wan said.
"Taris?" Anakin questioned, surprised. He did not look pleased at going to that Outer Rim planet. Obi-Wan just nodded, offering up no farther explanations.
Bail nodded. "It's settled then." He stood and Anakin and Obi-Wan stood with him, only Yoda remained seated. "It will take a while to get some bases set up, but I'll comm you as soon as the first few are ready." He left the room and Anakin followed after him. Obi-Wan took a step to leave, but Yoda stopped him.
"Master Kenobi, wait a moment."
Obi-Wan sat back down, giving Yoda a curious look. "Yes, Master Yoda?"
"Training I have for you," Yoda said.
"Training?" Obi-Wan questioned.
"Learned the path to immortality, an old friend of ours has. Returned from the netherworld of the Force, he did." Yoda gave him a look. "You're late Master."
"Qui-Gon?" Obi-Wan asked in surprise. "But he…he just died a few days ago. How…?"
"Communicated with me last night, he did." A short pause. "Now go we must," Yoda said sliding off the chair before Obi-Wan could absorb the shocking information. He left the room, but Obi-Wan still remained seated.
Qui-Gon, his Master and father, was dead. Obi-Wan hadn't had the chance to mourn his passing yet with everything that had happened following his death by Palpatine's hand. He had felt the moment his life was taken from this existence. He was still on Utapau after taking care of General Grievous. Oh, the shock that went through him when Qui-Gon took his last breath! The pain in his heart when he realized what it meant and the confusion of why it happened, the guilt for not being there for his final moment. It was not long after that that his clone troopers turned their blasters to him, before he had a chance to mourn.
The doors of the room open again and Anakin poked his head in. "Coming, Master?" It seemed like he wasn't able to mourn now either.
Obi-Wan sighed and stood up. "Yes, Anakin. I'm coming, I'm coming."
Like on most desert planets, nights were cold. Obi-Wan, though, couldn't feel it, not this night. This night, he had set aside to properly mourn the loss of his former Master. His mind was not focus on the chilly air, but on the fire of the funeral pyre, which kept him warm enough. There was no body on the pyre, for Qui-Gon's body was left in the Supreme Chancellor's office, where he had been killed. The funeral pyre was more of a symbol of Qui-Gon's death and Obi-Wan's own grief.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out the one physical thing he had that would remind of his late Master, the black river rock from Qui-Gon's home world that his Master gave him on his thirteenth birthday. He held the small round rock in his hand, searching for some form of comfort. The smooth rock was warm and it had a slight hum radiating off of it. It was, after all, a Force sensitive rock.
Obi-Wan turned his head. Anakin stood by his side, behind him was Padmé. She was holding the two, surprisingly quiet, children in each of her arms. She gave him a compassionate look. "Yes, Anakin?" Obi-Wan asked.
"I managed to grab this when I rushed out of the Chancellor's office," The younger man said, holding up a lightsaber. "I think you should have it. He would have wanted you to have it."
Obi-Wan slowly took the saber, holding almost reverently in his hands. "Qui-Gon's lightsaber..." he said in awe. He glanced back at Anakin with tears in his eyes. "Thank you, Anakin," he said sincerely. He stepped closer to the fire. "I can't burn the body. But I'll burn the next best thing," he said quietly. "Goodbye…" He paused. "…father." He threw the lightsaber into the fire and took a step back. If possible, the lightsabers are usually burned with the body, for a lightsaber is more than a weapon to a Jedi. It defines a Jedi's strength and mobility. A lightsaber was a Jedi's life. When the life of a Jedi is one with the Force, the lightsaber went with him or her.
The wind blew in from the east, with the wind came a sort of whispering sound. Obi-Wan lifted his head up and listened. "…Obi-Wan, my son…" He turned his head to face east, knowing Qui-Gon would not be there, but wishing and hoping he was. As suspected, there was nothing there but sand blowing in the breeze and sand dunes.
His heart aching, wishing what he heard was real and not coming from his head, he turned back to the fire.
Twelve Years Later
A crackling laughter filled the dimly lit space of the throne room. "Come now, Kenobi. Do you really think you can defeat me? Your precious Chosen One was unable too!" The flashes of light from the ongoing battle were seen from the large window behind the throne chair, but it barely did anything to bring more light into the room. The Emperor remained surrounded by shadows.
Obi-Wan, exhausted, but determined, rolled away from the Force lightening the Emperor sent his way. "Really, now? You got to tell me who this Chosen One is, because I haven't gotten the faintest idea," he breathed out as he raised his blue lightsaber to block another wave of Force lightening.
The black robed Emperor sneered at him. "Don't play dumb with me, Kenobi! You know fairly well who I am talking about. If Skywalker and Yoda couldn't defeat me, then you have no chance."
Obi-Wan managed to stand, his lightsaber at a defense position. "I rather try my luck, then to have you be Emperor for another second. Besides, whoever said Anakin was the Chosen One? Really, Palpatine, I would have thought you were smarter than that."
"Surely your precious late Master told you all about his suspicion." Palpatine took a step down from perch next to the throne chair. His yellow Sith eyes narrowed from underneath his hood. "Or did he not trust you enough with his suspicions?" There was a certain tone in his voice that gave away his pleasure at the thought. Obi-Wan could just see the wheels turning in Palpatine's mind of how to use this information to try and turn him. Obi-Wan was not pleased.
Obi-Wan kept an eye on him, his body tensed, readying itself for an attack. He reached out into the Force and realized he would soon need to take down the shields surrounding his Force signature. It would give him more energy to focus on something else, like defenses against Palpatine's attack. Since he became a Knight, Skent had trusted him to keep his own Force signature hidden without the liquid substance. Obi-Wan would sometimes still use it anyway, that is, until the attack on the Temple years ago. He no longer had the liquid substance and had to use his own shields to hide his signature. "Oh, you mean, Qui-Gon's belief that Anakin was the Chosen One, a belief that only lasted, oh say,…four, five days. Maybe a week," he estimated. He nodded and smiled at Palpatine's rising anger. "Yes, Palpatine, Anakin isn't the Chosen One." He chuckled. "This whole time you believed you were trying to convince the most powerful Jedi to come to your side. Only to realize, you weren't."
His anger caused him to send another wave of lightening at him. In order to keep his strength on defending himself, Obi-Wan was forced to drop the shield around his Force signature. As soon as his shield was down, the lightening stopped. He was breathing heavily now, but refused to allow his exhaustion to distract him. For Force sake! Where was Anakin? He should have finished with those stormtroopers by now. Obi-Wan could really use the help.
The Emperor was staring at him. His Force presence touched his and Obi-Wan coiled back in disgust at the cold, dark feeling that brushed against him. "My, my, my, who would have thought?" The Sith Lord shook his head in…surprise? "Obi-Wan Kenobi. I should have known it would be you." He suddenly laughed, confusing Obi-Wan even more. "This makes such sense now. How else would you be able to defeat Darth Maul? And your skills as a negotiator have swayed many to your side. Such a way with words. I wouldn't have thought that would be the strength of the Chosen One."
Obi-Wan tensed up and his eyes narrowed in confusion. "What are you talking about, Palpatine?" He resisted the urge to look back towards the throne room doors. Where was Anakin? He could only keep Palpatine distracted by talk for so long. Though he was, surprisingly, finding it an easy task. In fact, he truly was curious to know what the former Supreme Chancellor was talking about.
"Oh, this truly is delightful. You don't even know. Somebody must have known to hide you from me. Yoda, most likely. All this time and he kept it a secret. I would have thought those 'honorable' Jedi would have told you something this big."
Obi-Wan resisted the need to roll his eyes at Palpatine's gleeful short speech. "Enough, Palpatine. Just tell me what you are going on about."
Palpatine stared at him as if he was debating rather or not to tell him. "You, my friend…" he said almost sarcastically. Obi-Wan didn't appreciate being called his friend, but didn't outwardly show his discomfort. "…are more powerful in the Force then you led me to believe." He closed his eyes as his Force signature brushed against Obi-Wan's again. Obi-Wan wrenched back from the cold, dark feeling. The Emperor opened his eyes and smiled that cocky smile of his. "I can't wait to extinguish that bright light burning inside you. Brighter than anything I ever saw. It will be quite the pleasant challenge, I'm sure."
Palpatine took a step towards him and Obi-Wan reacted without thought, physically jerking backwards to keep himself away from him. The Sith Lord chuckled when he saw this. "You haven't picked up what I was telling you, have you, Obi-Wan Kenobi? This whole time it was you. You are the Chosen One, the one I should have tried to turn, not Anakin Skywalker."
A memory came to Obi-Wan of his late Master. "You, Obi-Wan Kenobi, are the Chosen One." He shook his head. "You are wrong once again, Palpatine. You seem to have a habit of being wrong," he remarked, not feeling as confidant as he sounded. First his Master and now the Sith Lord? Did Palpatine somehow learn that his Master believed him to be the Chosen One? No, because Palpatine thought it was Anakin this whole time. It made him very uncomfortable. He couldn't be, just couldn't be.
Instead of feeling anger coming from the Sith Lord, Obi-Wan felt amusement, which didn't comfort him at all. "Of course, you would deny it, Kenobi. So modest. You don't even see the power you hold." Palpatine reached into his robes in pulled out his lightsaber. "I am quite anxious to see the Chosen One's skills in a real fight." Obi-Wan's stomach seemed to sink and his heart skipped a beat. He could no longer wait for Anakin to aid him. He was on his own. Palpatine switched on his red laser lightsaber.
Gathering up all the courage he could, Obi-Wan lifted his blue lightsaber up. He didn't doubt that he might die in this fight, but he had no other choice. He would die fighting for freedom and the Republic. He would die fighting for Qui-Gon, Skent, Bant, Yoda, and all those other Jedi that had been murdered because of him. He would die honorably and strong, firmly in the light. He would die for what he believed in. It would be the best way to die.
Palpatine attacked first. Obi-Wan raised his lightsaber to block the attack, his already sore muscles strained to uphold the powerful blow. He managed to throw off the red lightsaber and took a step back. Emperor Palpatine advanced towards him. "Come on, Chosen One. Let me see what you got." Palpatine sneered at him, his voice cracking and his yellow eyes flashed. Obi-Wan didn't have time to respond as he blocked another upward attack.
The fight was like a dance: step, step, block, step, attack, attack, step, step, block, step, step, attack, step, step, block. Obi-Wan was getting tired as he danced around the Emperor. He did not know how much longer he would be able to block the attacks. His arms were straining and his legs ached. His back hurt from getting Force pushed into the walls and slamming on to the floors. Several times he had the wind knocked out of him. It was only through the Force that he was able to stand back up and continue fighting, but he didn't know how much longer he would be able to rely on the Force if the fight didn't come to an end soon.
Obi-Wan yelled in pain when Palpatine managed to strike him in the legs. He was forced to the ground and winced. He stared at the dark figure as one of his hands desperately grasped the hilt of his lightsaber and the other hand was on his burning wound. He breathed heavily and was sweating. His heart wouldn't stop pounding powerfully in his chest.
Palpatine stood over him, triumphantly. "I must say, Kenobi. You fought better then Yoda did. Force rests his soul," he said almost sounding sarcastic. Obi-Wan glared at him as the memory of Yoda's death came to him. He was there the day, a few years ago, that Palpatine killed Yoda. It was almost as painful as Qui-Gon's death. "You are an excellent adversary. I would hate to kill you, but, regrettably, it must be done. You, I know, would never turn." He raised his lightsaber in the air. "Goodbye, Obi-Wan Kenobi!" He swung the lightsaber down. At the same time, Obi-Wan gathered all the strength he had left to swing his lightsaber across, cutting into Palpatine's leg. The Emperor yelled in pain as he was forced down to the ground.
Obi-Wan forced himself to his feet, ignoring the pain in his left leg. He Forced pushed Palpatine's lightsaber away from him and held his saber close to the kneeling Sith's neck. "You are under arrest, Palpatine." He spoke with strength he didn't physically feel. His eyes narrowed at the Sith.
"Well, Kenobi, you really are special," Palpatine sneered angrily. "But you should know better than try and arrest me. You better kill me now."
Obi-Wan shook his head. "I am not like you, Palpatine. I kill only in self-defense."
"Then defend this!"
Almost too late did Obi-Wan realize that Palpatine had slowly called his lightsaber back into his hand. He reacted quickly, without much thought. He brought his lightsaber down, just as Palpatine brought his lightsaber up. Two screams of pain filled the air as both reached their targets. The burning pain at Obi-Wan's side blinded him from the satisfaction of his lightsaber going into the Sith's heart. He fell onto the ground, screaming from the throbbing ache on his side. His vision blurred and all he could focus on was the pain and the shortness of breath. He could feel his life barely hanging on. A static wave seemed to be the only thing he could hear and he knew he was about to die. Obi-Wan eyes closed on their own.
A familiar voice broke through the static haze. "…don't you die yet, Padawan…Anakin is almost here...hang on, little one…hang on…it's not your time yet…"
"Massster…" Obi-Wan slurred out exhaustedly.
"…yes, little one…I'm here…just hang on…Anakin is on his way…almost here…proud of you, little one…you did it…Palpatine is gone forever…you did it…"
"I did it. I did it," Obi-Wan repeated quietly, glad it was over. "He's gone…"
"…yes, my little one…you did it…so proud of you, son…stay, Obi-Wan…not your time…soon…not yet…"
"Obi-Wan!" The sudden shout interrupted the voice's calming words. Someone landed beside him and hands pulled him onto someone's lap. "Obi-Wan! Master!" Someone's panicked voice came to his ears. He forced his eyes opened and stared at the familiar worried face of Anakin Skywalker. "Obi-Wan, I am so sorry. I should have gotten here sooner, but…but…oh, I am so sorry. You shouldn't have fought him alone. I…I…"
"Ana…Anakin, not…not your…fault," Obi-Wan managed to say. "Not…my time yet. Just need a…a little healing…that's all…tired…rest…now," he said as his eyes started to close again.
"No, Obi-Wan, stay awake! I'll start to heal you, but you must remain awake. Don't sle…" The rest of what Anakin was saying disappeared as Obi-Wan blacked out.
A Week Later
Obi-Wan touched his side careful, wincing when the light touch sent a wave of pain through him. He sighed and turned away from the celebration. After picking up Padmé and the twins on Tatooine, she had, naturally, wanted to return to Naboo to see her family. Word of the Emperors death, spread quickly and, by the time they made it to Naboo, the people was already celebrating. He didn't feel like joining the celebration. His mind was still going over the fight on Palpatine's starship. Even he had believed Obi-Wan was the Chosen One and Obi-Wan had been the one to kill the Sith Lord. He shook his head and walked farther away from Theed's main square were most of the celebration was taking place. No matter what, he did not believe himself to be the Chosen One. Maybe that was a false prophesy. It was possible. It was too old for anyone to remember where it came from. Yes. A false prophesy.
He soon found himself at the garden, the same garden where Qui-Gon had once taught him the lesson of attachment. Obi-Wan sat down on one of the benches, feeling very old. Was it really so long ago when Qui-Gon sat him down by a tree and said he loved him like a son? He couldn't believe just how long ago that was. So much had happened since then…the Clone Wars, the Jedi Purge, Qui-Gon's death, the end of democracy, the end of the Jedi Order, the battles for democracy and justice, and the final battle on the starship. So much since the Invasion of the Trade Confederation. He was nearing fifty now, but he sure felt older.
Obi-Wan glanced up and saw the blue Force ghost of his Master standing over him. He looked just like he did during the Naboo mission. He no longer looked the way he did when he died, old and feeble. He was once again the Master Obi-Wan had during his years as his apprentice. "Master," he greeted.
Qui-Gon sat down on the bench next to him and smiled at him. "You have made me proud, little one. You will be able to live the rest of your life happily."
"I miss you, Master."
"I miss you too, Obi-Wan. I'll be waiting for the day when you join me, but that won't happen for several more years."
Obi-Wan shook his head. "I don't think I have the strength to wait that long, Master. I feel so tired of this life."
"You are strong, Obi-Wan. I know you'll make it. There are only happy things for you now. No more fighting Siths. Help Anakin train Luke. Help restart the Jedi Order. That will keep you going," Qui-Gon said as he placed a hand on Obi-Wan's cheek. Obi-Wan couldn't feel the warmth of a hand, but he was able to feel a vibration on his cheek where the hand was. It comforted him all the same. "Goodbye, my little one. I'll be watching over you. Always."
"Uncle Ben! Uncle Ben!" a young voice called to him from a distance.
Obi-Wan turned and saw Luke Skywalker running towards him. He turned back to Qui-Gon to see he had gone. Obi-Wan sighed. "Goodbye, Master," he said softly before turning to greet the twelve year old boy with a smile. "Why, hello there, Luke. How are you doing today?" he asked as soon as Luke reached him.
"I'm good, Uncle Ben. Dad was looking for you. He wanted…" Luke grabbed his hand as he was talking, pulling Obi-Wan to his feet. "…and Leia wanted to ask you…"
Obi-Wan smiled at the energized boy and let himself get pulled away from the garden. Yes. He decided. Maybe he could live a few years more. It would certainly be interesting training a boy like Luke Skywalker.