A/N thank you to everyone who reviewed and for those of you who guessed Revan's Armor and helm you guessed right. Now to clarify something before it becomes an issue later on, in my version of things Revan's Armor plates are made out of Mandalorian iron, a gift from Canderus Ordo before he went out into the unknown regions, so while the circuitry and any electronics are out of date everything will be modernized and upgraded. That said enjoy the chapter.
Anakin watched as Padme and Qui-Gon made their way into the shop, it was time to let the old man convince Watto to let him race. Not that it was going to be hard, Watto was a decent enough being but he did have a weakness for gambling.
Speaking of which, "The boy tells me you want to sponsor him in the Race! How can you do this? Not on Republic credits I think."
"I have enough to cover the entry fee," Qui-Gon said casually.
"And what will the boy ride? His last race with Subulba smashed up my pod. It'll take a while till it gets fixed," the troydarian gave a slant eyed look in Anakins direction.
"Hey I told you it wasn't my fault, he flashed me with his vents and tried to slam me over the cliffs," Anakin said in his own defense. "I actually saved the pod."
This earned a chuckle form the blue alien, "that you did. The boy is good, no doubts there."
"I have acquired a pod in a game of chance, one of the fastest ever built."
"Well I hope you didn't have to kill anyone I know for it," the troydarian scoffed. "So I supply the boy, you supply the entry fee and the pod. How are we going to split the winnings?"
Qui-Gon stroked his beard in thought, "80/20 or if you throw in the parts I need, 60/40."
Watto quickly ran the numbers in his head before he slapped hands with Qui-Gon, "Deal!"
"Boy, take the next three days off to get this pod into shape," Watto's thoughts had turned to money, the boy could win against anyone except for Subulba so far but that was only a matter of time.
Anakin reached behind the counter and pulled out his bag of tools, "Hey Watto, do you mind if I grab one of the power cells? I looked over the pod yesterday and that is the biggest problem, no power."
"Fine, use what you need."
Anakin was down in the rear courtyard of the slave's quarters up to his elbows in engine grease changing the lubricant in each of the pods engines. R2 was helping recalibrate his fuel injectors, while C-3PO was helping where he could. The protocol droid was still missing a the coverings on his left arm but was otherwise completely finished, fluent in a million forms of communication and the protocols of nearly as many cultures.
Well only a few more tweaks till they were finished.
He felt a pair of eyes on him while he worked, turning he saw Padme watching his progress. Buttoning up the outer shell of the left engine he began wiping the grease off of his hands.
"Well all we can do now is charge her up and see how she flies," he said walking over.
"Do you think you can win this race?" she asked looking up at him.
He smiled at her, "If I don't then you're going to be here a long time, not that I'd mind. A pretty girl like you is something I don't think I'd ever tier of looking at."
Blushing she smiled back, "Well not to disappoint you but you come from a warm planet Ani, a little too warm for my tastes."
"Then I guess it's a good thing that I made this," he said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a small hand carved stone pendant covered in a myriad of symbols. "It's made form a jappor snippet and will bring you good fortune."
Taking it in her hands she turned it slowly in her fingers looking at each of the symbols, "Thank you, it's beautiful."
She slipped the simple cord necklace on over her head the smile never fading from her face. To his surprise she stood up giving him a tight hug and a kiss on his cheek before pulling away and running into the house leaving Anakin standing there with a look of shock plastered on his face.
Shaking his head he moved back to the pods cockpit plugging in the power charge that he had borrowed from Watto and climbing into the pilot's seat he primed the engines. Taking a breath he pressed the primary ignition. He head a few coughing sounds before the duel engines roared to life, another success.
It was dark by the time he made his way back into the apartment after his success earlier in the afternoon he had spent hours going over the racer, doing everything he could to improve the performance and to prevent any kind of sabotage.
Walking into the kitchen he saw a plate of leftovers that someone had set aside for him and quickly dug into the food. He had just finished when the old Jedi master stepped into the room.
"Master Qui-Gon," Anakin greeted.
"If you have a moment there is something I need to show you," Anakin said. He didn't want to give up this secret but Revan was right, the Jedi would have to help him out. "I found something in the desert years ago and I think it's time that your Order was made aware of its existence."
Qui-Gon nodded and made to follow him as he stood up from the table, walking to his room. Flipping the light on, he reached up on the shelf above his work bench picking up the Holocron and turned to the Jedi. "You may have noticed that I'm familiar with the use of the Force. I don't exactly try to broadcast my gifts but I'm sure by now that you have noticed them."
"Yes I did," Qui-Gon admitted, giving the boy a wondering look. "I've been trying to figure out how you have been trained to the point that you have."
"You can stop wondering," he passed over the cube. "This is the Solari Holocron, it was made by a Jedi Master named Revan over 3,000 years ago during a conflict with the Sith. He told me that he had a vision of a dark time, the Jedi practically extinct. He decided to leave behind his knowledge to help those who would listen. I found it in his tomb about six years ago in the desert. He offered to train me in the ways of the force."
"And how far has your training reached?"
Anakin smirked as he reached into his belt pouch to reveal his newly completed lightsaber. "I only just finished it, but I've studied the forms, particularly Form V Dejem So. I haven't had a chance to practice with a real lightsaber yet."
"May I?" the Master asked. Anakin surrendered the weapon immediately. Pressing the power stud the Jedi studied the effect the synthetically grown crystal had on the blade. He then took a moment to study the craftsmanship of the hilt, simple and functional without useless ornamentation. "A well built weapon."
"Thank you Master Qui-Gon." Anakin bowed slightly.
"And how far have you come in manipulating the Force?" the Jedi teacher was now very interested.
"I can do a handful of things," Anakin looked down; he hadn't really focused on training his force skills. "I can do most basic things, telekinesis; use the Force to augment my speed and strength, small things. Sometimes thought, I can sense things before they happen but I can't keep it up for any length of time. I'm not sure how it works."
"Is that how you're so proficient at racing?" Looking up at the ageing master he nodded. "I thought as much. It's a Jedi trait. With training your reactions will improve. If you like in the morning I could work with you a while, see if we can build on what you already know."
"I'd like that." Anakin smiled, "I've been wondering what a real teacher could show me. Don't get me wrong Revan can guide me though just about anything but I could really use a teacher who can actually show me what I'm doing wrong."
Qui-Gon held in a chuckle, "I'm sure it's just a matter of focus. It usually is in most cases like this. Well I see you in the courtyard in the morning then?"
"In the morning then Master Qui-Gon."
The next morning found Anakin already hard at work, moving through the forms of Dejem So under Qui-Gon's watchful eye.
"Very good Anakin." The Jedi master moved over to the bench and retrieved a welding mask, "now we are going to work on how you respond to the blaster fire."
He handed Anakin the mask, who slipped it on his head, "with the weld shield down I can't even see. How am I supposed to fight?"
The master stepped back a few meters before replying, "Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them. I want you to let go of your conscious self and act on instinct."
Nodding Anakin reactivated his lightsaber as Qui-Gon released a remote. Anakin took a deep breath and focusing on nothing, letting the Force guide his movements. He felt the remote shift its position and attempted to compensate only to go too far and receive a sting as one of the bolts struck his shoulder. Shaking of the numb feeling in his arm he reset his stance.
"Remember a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him," Qui-Gon said trying to encourage him. "Feel, don't think."
Taking a calming breath Anakin immersed himself in the Force, channeling it through his very being. There was nothing but the Force. His senses flared warning him of the incoming bolts, he moved.
"Very good, Anakin," Qui-Gon nodded in approval as Anakin removed the helm. "You learn quickly, if you continue to practice there could be no end to what you can achieve. Now let's head inside, today is a day of rest and tomorrow we can take a look at the course."
Anakin nodded as he gathered his things and made his way to the house. He was hoping Padme would be willing to take a walk with him around the city maybe stop to get a Ruby Breeze from the cantina, and if not he could spend some time learning from Revan, the man maybe dead, but he was a brilliant man. He was always hinting at different ways to manipulate the force.
The morning of the race dawned bright and clear. Anakin came down from his room rested and bright eyed, today was the day of the Boonta Eve Classic he couldn't afford to be nervous. All of yesterday he and Qui-Gon had walked this year's track, looking for blind spots in the holo feed where racers would try to cheat and get ahead in the race.
He felt ready; last night he had taken Padme for a walk around the city showing her the sights, such as they were.
She was so beautiful in the evening light, the warm glow of the sun enhancing the curves of her features; she truly looked like an angel.
He quickly made his way outside gathering up his mom's boyfriend Clieggs' Eopies; he had brought them in yesterday so he could tow his pod to the arena. He found his mother standing outside standing in the dawn light.
"Morning mom." He said walking over.
"Annie," she jumped as if startled. Turning she wrapped her arms around her son and pulled him into a tight hug. "Win today Annie, I know you can."
"I know mom," Anakin smiled at her, his rouge smile that always warned her that he was thinking of doing something that would absolutely terrify her. "This is where the fun begins."