Those Things We Cannot Change By Robinyj

Hey all, I don't know why I decided to rewrite this scene. Maybe I just wanted to feel like Obi-Wan had a big part on Tatooine. Anyway, Pg-13 ish, for violence. I don't own anything, but I really want my own Ewan McGregor. :-)

Summary: Technically an AU, but I think of it as a 'What if' story. What if Darth Maul's probe droids had found Obi-Wan before they located Qui-Gon?


Darth Maul lowered his binoculars, satisfied his prey was not in the immediate area. He had to find Queen Amidala, his thoughts and actions were bent on this task. He needed to find her and those who travelled with her; the Jedi. His great master, Darth Sidious, had revealed to him the great threat the Jedi were to the perfect world they were going to create. A world of order, free from chaos. Maul felt his fingers curl in anticipation of his meeting with the Jedi. He would destroy them all, one by one, starting with the two that guarded the Queen.

The Queen and her guards were no matter to him, he could destroy them all easily, but two Jedi, that was a challenge. One he knew he was up for.

Not caring that they were illegal, he sent off three probe droids, each having three DNA patterns downloaded into their programming. He would continue his search for his prey, but the probe droids were very efficient, and would most likely find the Jedi and Queen before he would. He watched the droids fly off to begin their search, first a quick survey of the desert and then they would delve into the heart of the city. Turning away when they were out of sight he entered his ship and pulled his swoop out of the cargo hold. When his opponents were found he would hunt them down.


Obi-Wan stepped out of the Nubian ship, needing some fresh air after spending nearly an hour in the engine room installing their new hyper- drive. The air was pleasant to his lungs, fresh and clean. Technically the air on Coruscant was as clean and fresh as possible, but was filtered numerous times to reach that goal, and Obi-Wan could always smell the staleness in the oxygen of the great city planet. The unending sands and warm sun were pleasant he thought, and under different circumstances, and different inhabitants perhaps, he wouldn't mind spending some time here on Tatooine.

He banished these thoughts and focussed on the horizon, on the look-out for Qui-Gon, although he didn't expect him back yet. It was a fairly long walk to the settlement from where they had landed and it would take time to get the boy ready to leave his home and mother. Obi-Wan felt another shudder as he had on the Neimodians' ship. He had a bad feeling again, and it came when he thought about the boy. The boy he hadn't even met.

His thoughts were suddenly broken when he saw an object in the distance. What is that? It wasn't Qui-Gon, for it was flying through the air, and he doubted it was a chance passer-by, they hadn't seen anyone else since they landed. One hand inching toward his lightsaber he lifted his communicator to his mouth.

"Everyone stay onboard." He ordered, moving to stand behind a set of rocks that were directly in line with the ship. "Someone may be watching us." He turned off his communicator, not waiting for their reply. He knew Panaka would just argue and insist on seeing for himself. Obi-Wan admired the man's dedication to his Queen, but people usually trusted a Jedi's decision, it was a universal thing.

Backtracking now, he hoped it had appeared that he had re-entered the ship when he hid behind the rocks. Slowly and stealthily he walked behind the boulders, careful not to show himself. He soon reached the edge of the stones. If the machine had stayed where it was, or came closer, he would be able to see it, and most likely disarm it from this position. Closing his eyes he reached out with the force to locate the device; its flickering buds of energy were clear to the Force, and now to him as well. Thumbing his lightsaber on he leapt over the rockface and landed directly behind the flying device.

It was a probe droid. A probe droid that had just enough time to identify him and send out this information before it was cleanly sliced in two by the padawan's lightsaber.

Satisfied but curious, Obi-Wan knelt down and examined the droid. He knew what they were, having encountered them many times before. Though broken now, he could still call up who the droid was programmed for. It took longer than he thought it would. The circuitry was state of the art and he was surprised to find that this droid had not been programmed for just one person. He didn't know that technology was available. His surprise increased when he read who the probe was trying to locate: Queen Amidala, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

How could someone get a hold of Qui-Gon's or my DNA pattern? The only copies I know of are in the Jedi Archives. Now quite confused and on alert, he stood and looked about, wondering if the droid's owner would be far behind its toy. Knowing better than to use his communicator again in case the frequency were being monitored, Obi-Wan ran back to the ship to inform the others of what he had found.


"Excellent." Darth Maul's voice was a barely registered hiss as he studied the readout from the probe droid. One of the Jedi had been found, well, the padawan anyway. The real Jedi couldn't be far. The DNA match had been perfect and the location was already inputted into his swoop.

Soon Jedi, very soon. The Queen was momentarily forgotten as he thought of destroying the keepers of peace. But she would soon be remembered. He had been trained well and hard and his task would not be set aside. His deepest desire was to please his master, but destroying the Jedi was a very close second.

Mind as focussed as anyone has ever been, he climbed aboard his swoop and set out to the coordinates.


After reporting to the Queen about his findings Obi-Wan headed outside once more. Panaka and the rest of the Queen's guards were on full-alert and doing everything to ensure her safety. The chief of security had even insisted on taking off immediately, now that the hyper-drive was installed. Obi-Wan had protested fiercely though, and the Queen had agreed with him. The probe droid had been programmed to find Qui-Gon as well, which meant he was in as much trouble as they were, more even since he was alone and in the open.

The padawan would not leave without his master and would not let the others leave either. This decided he left the ship to keep the perimeter secure and to keep a look-out for Qui-Gon. He still was hesitant to use his communicator. Someone with the kind of resources to have such a well made probe droid would likely be able to monitor their frequency.

So he waited, attempting to be patient and never allowing his hand to stray far from the handle of his lightsaber, which he knew was now fully charged.

He heard it first. What may have been mistaken by most as the shrill cry of the wind, was definitely the motor of a swoop. His muscles tensed in anticipation of the arrival that he knew was not Qui-Gon, for he had no swoop available to him. Then he saw him. Dressed entirely in black despite the hot desert sun. His face was partially vieled but as he drew closer bright red could be seen marking his features. He drove the swoop without thought of the controls, simply his heading, and his eyes narrowed at the sight of his opposition. It would be so easy.

Obi-Wan drew his lightsaber but did not ignite it. To be honest he had been expecting more than one person. He could handle a single man on his own, but something, perhaps the Force and perhaps not, told him this was no ordinary man. Powering up his bright blue saber he was beyond surprised when the man jumped from the swoop, allowing it to crash on the rocks, then landed some distance away; a bright red lightsaber glowing ominously in the desert light.

Quickly recovering from the shock, Obi-Wan wondered briefly if this man was Jedi. But he dismissed the thought, there were too many reasons why this man could not be a keeper of peace. The main one being the pure evil that seemed to radiate off of him.

He thought he should try to speak to this creature, find out about him so they knew more of their pursuers, but Obi-Wan looked into his eyes, and knew there would be no talk. He dutifully stepped a few feet forward and moved into a defensive position, as was the way of the Jedi.

Darth Maul smiled, having predicted the move on the part of the padawan. He was hoping for fear to radiate off the young one, but he realized it wouldn't yet, but soon. He moved quickly, faster than a normal eye could follow and engaged the young Jedi.

Obi-Wan had the Force to thank for his life, it had warned him only milliseconds before that his opponent would attack and he had ducked the blow meant for his head, and parried it while moving to the side. The fight began in the desert sand.

Red struck blue, blue struck red. Both men were in perfect physical condition and well trained with their weapons. Obi-Wan attempted to fake to the left, but Darth Maul was not deceived and quickly blocked the blade meant for his torso. The Sith tried to overtake the Jedi through speed, using the Force to strengthen his muscles and make his moves faster than the eye could follow. The normal eye at least. Obi-Wan did the same, called the same Force, and was able to keep up with the Sith's moves. Parry, dodge, block, strike.

The padawan saw an opening and somersaulted through the air, still fighting mid-flight, landed and connected a crescent kick perfectly with the Sith's jaw. But Darth Maul was versatile, using the force behind the kick he flipped through the air, hitting Obi-Wan under the chin with the heel of his boot. He landed on his feet and watched as the Jedi backed away slightly, then quickly brought his weapon up once more.

Obi-Wan fought hard, this being the first time he had ever had to fight for his life in a battle with an opponent who used the same weapon. Against blasters and droids the lightsaber was efficient, never allowing a strike to land and able to keep you distanced from your opponent. But against another swordsman, you had to go face to face, a position he had taken only in training. He leapt to the side and rolled just in time to avoid a killing blow that he could feel singe his hair.

Darth Maul struck downward, attempting to run the padawan through as he lay on the ground. Obi-Wan rolled once more, then kicked out, striking the dark man's knee and making him stumble. He used the distraction to leap to his feet, and the opponents circled each other.

Jedi feint, Sith parry, Jedi move to strike, Sith counter.

The Jedi swiped at the Sith's feet, Darth Maul jumped and kicked, contacting with the padawan's head. Obi-Wan was swung around but recovered and twirled just in time to stop a strike meant for his neck. The two combatants seperated and circled once more, sizing each other up.


Aboard the ship Panaka stood with a large contingent of his guards, surrounding the Queen and guarding all entrances. A voice suddenly fluttered over the comm system. It was the pilot, his voice a mixture of urgency and surprise.

"Captain Panaka, a man has just approached the ship on a swoop. The young Jedi's engaged him. He has a red laser sword like the Jedi's."

"I thought only Jedi used those weapons." Panaka commented, looking around for agreement.

"Could he have stolen it from Master Jinn?" The pilot asked, the comm line still open.

"No, he had a green weapon." Panaka answered distractedly.

"Is padawan Kenobi all right?" Padme asked, still in her handmaiden outfit.

"He's holding his own for now, but they're really going at it. He might notl be able to beat this guy himself." The pilot replied, watching his viewscreen intently to find out what the outcome of this bout would be.

"We have to help him." Padme said, her tone brooking no arguement. These Jedi had protected her and in doing so saved her planet so far. Any help she could offer in return was simply a thank-you. Panaka nodded, understanding her feelings, and motioned off three of his men to go assist, refusing to leave the Queen's side himself.

"Whatsa going on, okey-day?" Jar-Jar asked annoyingly.

The Pilot called out once more, this time shocked, "The Jedi just went down your majesty, I don't know if he's okay or not."


Obi-Wan felt a bead of sweat travel down his brow but ignored it as his saber collided once more with the fiery red weapon. For a moment the two combatants pushed against each other's weapons in a battle of strength. In this moment their eyes locked. Obi-Wan could see anger and hatred in the deep yellow pupils of his opponent, but despite this he was sneering and had yet to break a sweat. Darth Maul also gauged the Jedi's emotions through his eyes, seeing only hope and determination he was angered that this padawan did not fear him. It was his duty to place the seeds of terror within the Jedi, and he would, for that was his master's wish.

Breaking apart suddenly, then spinning around, Darth Maul smashed Obi- Wan's face with his elbow, shocking the Jedi and sending him reeling. Now on the defensive Obi-Wan blocked desperately, while recovering from the blow. He shot his arm out and stopped the red lightsaber from completing its arc once more. He followed this with a quick kick of his own that sent the Sith stumbling. Obi-Wan moved to take advantage and swept his blade towards his opponent's torso. Darth Maul only barely got his lightsaber in position in time to save himself; he then repeated his earlier move, locking their swords together.

Darth Maul was becoming agitated with the padawan, though he did not allow this to affect his fighting or focus, but he did wish to be done with him and continue on to the more important matters. The red lightsaber slid down along the blue as they were locked, Darth Maul then turned quickly, driving forth his lightsaber and burning a long gash down the Jedi's forearm.

"Ah!" Obi-Wan exclaimed softly, surprised by the move as he felt his arm ignite as if on fire. It was effective. Though he could fight with either hand, his right had been his better and now he could hardly flex his fingers for the nerves and tendons were too damaged.

Darth Maul followed the attack with a sudden Force push, sending Obi-Wan back against the boulders they fought alongside. He hit so hard he dropped his lightsaber, and watched it fly from reach. Darth Maul's sneer widened as he pulled back for the killing blow. Obi-Wan's mind raced but he did not think he would be fast enough to avoid the strike.

The Sith brought down his weapon, smirking as the battle seemed finished, then turned at the last moment, simultaneously blocking two blaster shots. More shots fired down on him, but Darth Maul easily deflected them. The three guards Panaka sent had positioned themselves in the doorway of the ship and were firing on the red menace, doing their best to help the young Jedi.

"Stop. We don't want to hurt you." One of the guards shouted as an automatic response to the situation.

"And if I wish to hurt you?" Darth Maul's voice was cold and sinister. With an evil leer he deflected the next blaster bolt and sent it back into the heart of the guard who had spoken. He fell back dead from the blow. The two remaining guards gave each other a quick glance, nodded, then continued firing. The Sith blocked or dodged all shots, seemingly amused at the attempt to stop him by the guards. Suddenly another figure appeared in the ship's entryway, a figure with long floppy ears.

"Whatsa yousa be doings?" Jar-Jar asked, looking about obliviously. Darth Maul grimaced at the sight of him and followed his immediate reaction. No sooner had Jar Jar stepped onto the platform than a bolt of blaster fire struck him hard in the side, sending him careening over the edge. (A/N: HEHEHEHEHE, :-)

Obi-Wan knew that the Queen's guards, no matter how determined or well intentioned, would be no match for this foe. All that would be accomplished was them getting killed. Taking a deep breath he drew the Force to him, persuading and gathering its power, then sent it spiralling away in two directions at once. With his left hand he pushed the ship's door closed, successfully taking the guards out of the fight. With the other hand, which he could only barely lift, he called forth his lightsaber from across the sand.

Sensing the movement in the Force Darth Maul turned, barely blocking the strike aimed for his chest from the padawan's lightsaber. This young Jedi was beginning to become more trouble than he was worth. It was taking far too long to dispose of him, and this worried Darth Maul in the slightest way. If this was a padawan, how long would it take to destroy a Jedi Master? With a new anger burning within him he attacked, determined to prove the Sith the greatest force in the universe.

Now fighting with only his left hand Obi-Wan did his best to fend off the creature of a man. He wished suddenly for Qui-Gon, they had always fought well together against other Master/Padawan couples, and he knew they could defeat this monster. But he could not concentrate on wishes, he had to remain focussed on the task at hand.

After several more moments of parrying and dodging, Darth Maul struck out and their swords collided. Obi-Wan suddenly took hold of the Sith's wrist to keep him in place then delivered a quick kick to the stomach. Darth Maul shuddered but at the same time reversed the grip, now holding Obi-Wan, and sent several hard punches to the padawan's face, then another elbow to the temple. The blows landed without resistance due to the Jedi's injury. Dazed beyond comprehension Obi-Wan fell to one knee, stars dotting his vision despite the sunlit sky. Darth Maul was pleased, finally the boy had given up, accepted defeat to a greater opponent.

But Obi-Wan was still determined and showed no fear in his eyes, even as the Sith tore his lightsaber away from his hand and threw it behind the rock ledge so as not to be called forth again. Accepting that he could not defeat this foe in combat, at least not in his current state, Obi-Wan lifted his head defiantly and stood slowly. His right arm was kept as still as possible at his side, the large gash was painful and debilitating, his downfall really. He could not adequately fight without the full use of his arm.

"You should be honored, you are the first of the Jedi that will fall. This is simply the beginning afterall." Darth Maul snarled, his lightsaber still glowing at his side as he inspected his work. The padawan was beaten in appearance only. Sweat trickled down his brow and he was panting from exertion and pain, but his eyes remained the same. Fearless.

Obi-Wan felt a great surge of adrenaline pass through him as the Sith spoke of destroying the Jedi. Many spoke of such things, but this unknown stranger was so confident, and seemed actually capable of such a feat. The padawan also knew who the Sith's next target would be should he follow this course of action.

Qui-Gon ..... No! Obi-Wan surprised himself with the suddenness of the attack as he tackled Darth Maul to the ground. Pain ignited through his arm but he ignored it. This man would not defeat his master, would not get the chance. After hitting the ground he immediately pulled himself back just enough to punch away the sneer from the red face. Angered but not injured, Darth Maul kicked Obi-Wan off him, then rose to his feet swiftly. The padawan could not get up quick enough. The Sith delivered three swift and precise kicks to Obi-Wan's ribs, winding and injuring the young man. Gasping for breath through broken bone and tissue, Obi-Wan hardly registered the pain at this back of his skull.

Reaching down, Darth Maul took hold of the tail of hair at the back of the padawan's head, using it to pull him to his feet. He then sent the Jedi face first into the hard, gritty rockface. Scraped, bruised, and burned, Obi-Wan fell back to the sand, near the brink of unconsciousness. Darth Maul reached for his lightsaber that he had dropped when he was tackled unexpectedly, he would finish this padawan that refused to give up, as he would finish all the Jedi after him. Thumbing on the power, he was about to follow through with this promise when he suddenly felt a flood of emotions and energy through the Force. It wasn't coming from the Jedi, but was directed towards him.

Looking towards the horizon, Darth Maul smiled cruelly, as his next opponent/victim, came quickly forward. The green light of a laser sword was clear in the desert sun and the Sith was eager to engage its owner. Noticing that Obi-Wan was still slightly conscious, he quickly remedied the situation with a quick and harsh kick to the temple, then continued toward his real opposition.