Disclaimer: It's George's sandbox, I'm simply destroying the sandcastles

Title: Echoes

Author: Jade_Max

Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi

Genre: Adventure, Dare Challenge 2010

Era: Saga

Summary: Obi-Wan Kenobi has never had a real love of flying and, when his starfighter dies in transit, he finds himself on a blue marble where he's never been before trying to find the parts he needs to fix it and get back home.


Echoes

"Blast!" Obi-Wan Kenobi cursed as the read out on his Jedi starfighter died. "R-4, I've lost instrumental. See if you can't get it back online"

R-4 beeped something equally as rude as Obi-Wan's curse, but the Jedi was unable to understand him thanks to the fried screens - which was probably for the best.

There was a humming sound, followed by a pop and the smell of melting wiring as the small craft dropped out of hyperspace with a jolt. Only Obi-Wan's heightened reaction time saved him from smashing his brains all over the interior control panel; as it was, with the safety harness detached for comfort, his hands broke his momentum and the snapping sound of bone breaking was clearly audible inside the cockpit.

"Dang blast it!"

The astromech unit let out a series of beeps and whistles Obi-Wan made no attempt to understand.

"Hold on a minute, R-4," gritting his teeth as he fell back into his seat, Obi-Wan examined his hands. Two fingers on the left one were bent grotesquely out of place, obviously broken. As injured as his craft and unable to make repairs from within - at least he assumed so.

Great.

Just great.

If Anakin could see him at that moment, he'd have been incapacitated by gales of laughter.

Tilting his head back in his seat, Obi-Wan ignored the painful waves radiating up his arm and concentrated on the greater of the two broken entities. He could heal; his ship could not. Exhaling on a hiss, he focused on the little droid in the socket to the left and front of his canopy. "R-4, do you have sensors?"

R-4 tootled an affirmative with a hesitant question attached.

Not understanding the question, Obi-Wan ignored it. "Life support is undamaged?"

Another affirmative.

Slowly, Obi-Wan went through his ship's systems one by one and got the answers he needed. His hyperdrive ring was unreachable by the astromech - they couldn't communicate - which meant either the drive had blown or the wiring in-between was fried. Either way, he was stuck in whatever system he'd dropped out of until he could affect repairs.

Or he could try and put himself into a hibernation trance and use sub-light engines to take him back to the major space lanes in... oh... two or three hundred years.

Having assessed the damage to his fighter - which included a lack of shields, weapons and any displays inside the cockpit on top of the issues with the hyperdrive - Obi-Wan turned his attention to himself. A quick, painful examination, splint and attention with the standard medkit in his fighter along with a shot to ease the pain did much to improve his outlook.

As he was wrapping the last of the bacta bandages needed to cover his broken fingers, R-4 toodled a warning and Obi-Wan looked up - and stared. An ugly feeling overcame him and he twisted around trying to see the rest of the system's planets - if he was indeed where he thought he was. Unfortunately, his cockpit didn't have much of a view. The planet floating before him looked vaguely familiar and his stomach sank to his toes.

"Is that... Naboo, R-4?"

If it was, he'd been more seriously off course than he'd thought - and in big trouble. The droid responded, thankfully, in the negative and added a confused query. Guessing the meaning, Obi-Wan finished wrapping his hand and turned his attention to the wiring panels under the control board; he needed to understand whatever sensor data R-4 was trying to feed him in beeps and whistles.

Several hours and skinned later, Obi-Wan check the screen and was rewarded with a flicker of information. Tying off the last of his jury-rig - a skill Anakin had taught him - he set himself back in his seat and tried to ease the aches the awkward position had left; the freedom to stand and stretch suddenly seemed like a forbidden luxury.

Ignoring the twinge in his hand and back, Obi-Wan correlated his sensor data - and frowned. "That can't be right R-4. We were on the fringes of Wild space, not the unknown region."

Words scrolled across the translation screen and a smile flickered across Obi-Wan's face; at least he could understand his companion. That smile died as he took in what the astromech had to say.

In the hours since dropping out of hyperspace, the little astromech had been given the chance to analyze the data available to him - but not the hyperspace information. Based on his best guess trajectory, the fritz of the hyperdrive had landed them well outside known shipping lanes, beyond the edges of Wild space even and deep into the Unknown Regions.

"Not so unknown anymore." Stroking his beard, Obi-Wan looked up to the blue sphere with the singular moon that danced before his gaze. "Any idea what planet that is, R-4?"

A quick, derogatory negative blat didn't need translation. It was followed by a series of beeps that also brought up a star map of the system where he was located. Nine planets - well eight, since there were a lot of planetoids - and only one with any kind of atmosphere breathable for humans. Third from a single sun - the blue marble he was looking at - it sported a pre-space flight race of what appeared to be humans with very low technology.

"Well, we've got engines, controls and sensors for in-system; let's hope the natives you've detected on that planet are friendly."

R-4 added his own hope; that once they landed, the hyperdrive's only issue was burnt out wiring, otherwise they'd be here a long, long time.

The flight to the planet took no time and as they approached, Obi-Wan began receiving a primitive form of clicks - communications? - that sounded almost like the codes the Jedi had once used to communicate over vast distances under water. Using R-4 as a translator, he set the droid to work decoding the sequences, but had little hope without a point of reference.

Thankfully, they seemed to speak Basic so communicating with them when he landed wouldn't be out of the question. No radio signals or comm. frequencies were detected and Obi-Wan's hails as he neared the planet went unanswered. There were no satellites or other forms of space detection encroaching on the planet and Obi-Wan marveled at the irony.

Just his luck he'd found the one planet that stood the least likely chance of helping him.

Knowing what he did now could possibly change the whole course of history for this planet, he had R-4 scan for densely populated areas with vast stretches of overgrown wilderness around them. There was no help for it; he'd have to hike in on foot to avoid creating suspicion and fear. As it was, he would need to examine the damage to his craft first before going to look for parts.

R-4 found him a suitable habitat in the Northern hemisphere of the planet that wasn't currently buried under metered of ice and snow, and Obi-Wan brought his starfighter in over the frozen pole, leaving the hyperspace ring in orbit. If the damage wasn't on his craft, he had no way of fixing the ring.

Once step at a time.

Once landed, Obi-Wan examined the damage and found the problem almost immediately; the main line behind the port that linked his ship's computers to the hyperspace ring had turned into slag. Melted together, the various wires were all but useless - he'd have to find replacements.

Thankfully, they'd only fused together in one spot and he wouldn't need a lot of wiring but with the primitive society on the planet, he wasn't even sure if they had invented wires yet. It was possible - there were some signs of early development - but he would have to be very lucky indeed to find not just one but all of the parts he needed. "Stay with the ship, R-4 and do what repairs you can. If you can salvage parts from other minor systems to fix the link between us and the hyperspace ring, do so. I'll see what I can find in the mean time among the natives."

R-4's tootled 'be careful' as he walked away didn't need a translation.

Emerging from the forest, Obi-Wan found himself on the cusp of a stone-paved road, where it met a rutted dirt road, leading further towards the sun in a curving line that was lost somewhere beyond the forest. The dirt road stretched back beyond the other way, indicating it was likely used by people regularly traveling this way, but not with enough frequency to warrant a cobblestone cover.

Following the stone pathway, Obi-Wan quickly found himself emerging from the forest into a city of small cottage-like homes, both rustic and charming. Walking past them, he felt the eyes of the inhabitants - their curiosity and interest. Conscious of the picture he was certain he made, he pulled up his cowl and folded his Jedi robes a little more securely about him. They'd offer little cover to blaster fire, but without his good clothing visible, he was able to blend into most societies; he only hoped that continued to hold true here.

He hadn't moved far beyond the cottages and into what appeared to be the town center before the people passing him on either side thickened and he was suddenly knocked into by a small, filthy little urchin.

"Spare a penny, sir?" The child looked guileless and gaunt, except for the shrewd gleam in his not-quite-eight year old eyes as he stared at Obi-Wan.

"I've not a.. penny to give you, youngling."

"Ye ain't from around here," the child looked at him, as if calculating his worth. "Are ye sir?"

Stepping out of the flow of people, Obi-Wan crouched to the boy's level. "No; I'm not. Perhaps you can help me."

"For a penny, sir?"

"If you can help me acquire some things I need, I'll see you get lots of... pennies."

"Can ye, sir, iffen ye don't be knowin' what one is?"

Obi-Wan laughed softly. "I've none of your currency yet, little one, but I will make do. Is there some place to sell personal affects?"

"A fence?"

Not entirely certain that was what he wished, Obi-Wan agreed anyway. "Or someone of their like, certainly."

"This way then; come on!"

Led by the urchin, Obi-Wan soon found himself in a surprisingly clean and apparently well to do shop that housed an assortment of odds and ends. There was a stack of wood along one wall where a fire burning stove kept the heat; the mercantile sign on the window proclaiming it a place where anyone could shop for anything - and sell most things. The proprietor's wife looked up as they entered and smiled.

"Jimmy Lucas, what have you brought me now?"

Obi-Wan returned the woman's easy smile. "Only me, I'm afraid; I'm a stranger to these parts."

"You are at that," a speculative look came into her eyes. "My girls would suren like to change that should they meet you. I'm Shirley Cooke."

"Obi-Wan Kenobi." he brought her hands to his lips instead of shaking it, "A pleasure."

The woman blushed and retrieved her hand. "What can I do for you today Mister Kenobi?"

"Master Kenobi," he corrected automatically and then wished he hadn't.

"A master - really? Of what exactly?"

"Trade secret," he smiled charmingly. "I'm afraid I didn't come prepared for your currency; do you think I might interest you in some items for trade?"

Shirley Cooke, no nonsense woman that she was, got right down to business. A spare belt and roll of synth rope fetched him quite a few dollars - and by the prices for similar items around, she not only treated him fairly but with abundant kindness. He was sliding the currency into his pouch when the boy caught sight of his lightsaber - something he'd given no thought to leaving with the ship.

"What's that?"

Glancing down, he quickly covered the piece of technology. "Part of my trade, youngling."

"That's no part of any trade I've ever seen," Shirley pinned Obi-Wan with a look. "That there is shiner than my best mirror."

Reluctantly, Obi-Wan pulled out his lightsaber - and paused as he traced the decorative wiring he's laced about the side. Normally he wasn't so flashy, but something had possessed him to brighten this particular lightsaber up. What he had on the outside would bridge the gap, but it wasn't quite enough. "Shirley, have you more metal like this?"

"Copper? Don't get much of a demand for it; it's not good for much in these parts."

"I know copper!" Jimmy piped up eagerly, pulling something from around his neck. "Da works in metals."

And there, before Obi-Wan, was what he needed. Purely decorative, the copper strands had been interwoven with other metals to provide a tightly fitted knot chain. With minor modifications, it would get him home.

Ask and the Force provided.

Kneeling next to the child, Obi-Wan glanced at Shirley and then back to Jimmy. "May I see?"

Jimmy handed it over and Obi-Wan carefully ran his fingers over the metal strands, examining them closely. Yes, this... this would be just about perfect. Meeting Jimmy's gaze, he held up the necklace - but Jimmy didn't take it.

"Ya want it, don't'cha?

"Yes - but I'll not take it from you."

"I'll trade ya, Mister Obi-Wan."

"For?"

The child eyed him thoughtfully, lowering his voice. "The secret."

Obi-Wan pulled the money from his pocket and placed it on the floor next to the boy, waving his hand as he did so. "The secret - and the money."

Unused to Force suggestion, Jimmy didn't stand a chance. "The secret - and the money."

"And you'll not tell another person until the day you die."

"Nope!"

"Promise?"

"Cross my heart."

Leaning in, Obi-Wan whispered the truth about himself to the boy - whose eyes bugged out, wider and wider, his jaw dropping open. When Obi-Wan finally sat back, Jimmy could only gape at the older man.

"Really real?"

"I swear on my... trade."

"Wow, oh wow!"

Scooping up the money, Jimmy hooked the necklace over Obi-Wan's wrist - and Obi-Wan stood. Ruffling the stunned boy's hair, knowing he'd never utter a word to another soul while he lived. "I owe you my life little one; thank you."

Stunned, the little boy could do little more than nod. Shirley looked at him askance, said a polite goodbye as he made to leave, and then went to check on Jimmy.

Having acquired what he needed, Obi-Wan wasted no time in heading back to his ship. Repairs, thanks to R-4's preparations, took next to no time. Back in the air, Obi-Wan looked back at the small town where he'd found unexpected help from a boy named Jimmy Lucas - and smiled. Maybe one day, the boy would help himself.

fin


Here was the challenge:

Dare Challenge 2010 - adopted from DarthBreezyat TFN boards

I dare you to write a Star Wars story in any era, using a character of your choice. Easy, right? The catch is this character must be a Jedi from SW cannon (though if you wish, you can have an OC as his/her companion/padawan), and must discover Earth (yes, our very own 'Blue Danube') somewhere in the Unknown Regions of space. This must take place sometime in Earth's past BEFORE George Lucas came up with what would become Star Wars. Whether or not you have this character meet George Lucas is up to you.