Chapter III - Obi-Wan's Hero
Keeping his head low, Obi-Wan immediately left the arena and headed for his dormitory at the Initiate's Wing. He didn't pay much attention to his surroundings, for his thoughts were somewhere else. "How is that even possible?" A quick flashback came into his mind when he was duelling with Bruck, and he heard the voice of the man who he met earlier at the towers.
He punched in the passcode to his door and it softly hissed open for him. Without even bothering to turn on the lights, he immediately flopped on his bed and stared at the ceiling. He had been staring at the same ceiling for the last two years since he moved to the individual dorm rooms for older initiates. He loved the sensation of having some privacy in his own room because it brought him comfort from the everyday duties of a young jedi, but the events of that day made him very uneasy. Something was not right.
He stroked his chin in thought—a mannerism he has developed, and his brows furrowed. He sighed and decided to pay Master Yoda another visit, and thought that the wizened jedi might shed some light to what transpired during his final match. But before he could even do so, he felt a familiar Force signature approaching his door. Obi-Wan immediately stood up, and pressed down his tunic. "I wonder what Master Khole's comments are this time…" he thought. "…or perhaps, he's here to say that I improved? Force, I really hope so!"
A soft chime from above rang, and Obi-Wan opened the door. "If it isn't the champion. How do you fare, Obi-Wan?" Master Khole's voice filled Obi-Wan's tiny room and the boy gave the master a respectful bow. He had been really close to the retired Battlemaster since the day he could properly wield a lightsaber, and was the most patient with Obi-Wan's queries. "I am doing well, Master. But I'm wondering if I did well in your point of view?" he asked with a grin. "You did too well, Obi-Wan. I am not surprised, since you have been practising real hard, yes?" Khole responded as he rested his hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder. "Come with me to the Fountains, I wish to discuss something with you." Obi-Wan nodded and followed the aged Master to the Thousand Fountains.
"Your match a while ago was a good one, young jedi." Khole said as he and Obi-Wan stepped inside the boundary of the Thousand Fountains. "You reminded me of a particular student I trained a long time ago. Well, he was already a Padawan at that time…and he was exceptional." Khole smiled at the recollection of thoughts and sat on one of the ledges. Obi-Wan stood in front of the aged master and tilted his head in curiosity. "Do I know this jedi, master?" he asked. "I am not sure, Obi-Wan. But he has seen you perform earlier." He replied and gestured Obi-Wan to sit beside him.
"Qui-Gon Jinn. Yes. Alongside Mace Windu, he is a graceful warrior. He reminded me of you a while ago. He specializes in Ataru…and a bit of Makashi." Master Khole nodded and smiled proudly at no one in particular. "It is…too bad that he doesn't want to take an apprentice again." As Obi-Wan listened to Master Khole's last sentence, he straightened up from his seat and looked up at the old Battlemaster. He totally forgot about getting himself a master! He was too engrossed with the voice in his head that he forgot to worry about impressing a knight or a master who might be looking for a potential padawan.
"Ataru and Makashi? Could this Qui-Gon Jinn fellow be the name behind the voice?" Obi-Wan looked away once more and concentrated on the fountain spewing water across where they were seated. "Then…it's bad news for me, master. I can still join the second tournament this coming winter solstice before I turn thirteen…but, what if no one takes me?" Obi-Wan bowed his head and clasped both of his mildly calloused hands together. "If you don't mind an old man to be your master, then you don't need to worry." Obi-Wan stared at the floor and processed what Khole said. "Is he asking me to be his Padawan?" he looked up to his beloved Battlemaster to see him staring at him with a grin. "I am not forcing you, Obi-Wan and I don't need an answer right away…if you need the time to think things over, go ahead, and I will wait."
Obi-Wan spent the next few days meditating and thinking things over inside his head. If he should decline Master Khole's offer, he at least owe him some respect. He will not make the old Battlemaster wait. To speed up his decision, he went straight for Master Yoda. "I should have done this days ago."
"Listen to your heart." Master Yoda said the moment his door opened. "Master?" Obi-Wan cocked his head to the side in confusion. "Listen to your heart, you must. Undecided you are, hmm?" Master Yoda replied without opening his eyes as he brought himself back to reality. Master Yoda motioned Obi-Wan to join him in the meditation chamber, and the young jedi initiate obeyed. "Hmm. Your future, I see. But the present, clouded it is." Obi-Wan slightly gaped at the wizened jedi. How can that be possible? He can see the future, and yet his present is uncertain? "Help you, I cannot. But listen to your heart…you can." Yoda said as he pointed Obi-Wan's heart with his finger. "What if…I make the wrong choice?" Obi-Wan asked almost in a whisper. He was grateful that the room wasn't fully lit. His cheeks have become scarlet as he said those words. "Wrong, the Force cannot be. Perfect, you are not. Mistakes are but lessons, hmm?" Obi-Wan stared at the wizened jedi, wondering if he was drunk. It seems that Yoda was taking his predicament lightly. "Fear the future, you must not, Obi-Wan." With those words, the green troll hopped off of his chair accompanied with a lot of grunts and walked out of the room.
Obi-Wan sighed as soon as Yoda was beyond earshot. Somehow, Yoda's last words of wisdom made a lot of sense to him. He had the feeling that he will have to keep on reminding himself of that up until the time comes that he is one with the Force.
Obi-Wan looked at the door to the meditation chamber once more and made sure that no one else was there. With brows furrowed, he positioned himself and prepared for another round of meditation. It seemed that Master Yoda purposefully left the chamber for Obi-Wan to use. The young initiate then took the rare opportunity, since the chamber was exclusively for the Grand Master's use.
As soon as he was in position, he was taken aback with the strength of the Force that was present in the chamber. But this did not stop him to slip into deep meditation almost instantly.
He saw himself inside a big cruiser ship looking out to the vast expanse of space through a window. He took a few steps toward the window, "I have a bad feeling about this." The man said in a deep, gentle voice. He stopped in his tracks and was surprised to realize that it was him talking in the future. He looked down at his feet to see himself wearing a bigger pair of boots. He then looked at his hands and saw that it had prominent veins tracing the back of his hand, and that his palms were calloused from years of training. He spun around and darted towards the shiny durasteel wall of the aircraft. Before him, he saw a senior apprentice- around his early 20s. He was wearing a padawan braid that went all the way down to his waist adorned with wounded coloured strings. His finger found its way towards his face. The young man had bright ice-blue eyes, and his clef chin was deeper and more prominent. Before he could even speak once more, Obi-Wan was pulled back by a bright light and gasped a mouthful of air as he returned to the present moment.
"Seen enough, you have. Become a jedi knight, you will be hmm?" Yoda was once more back inside the chamber and he personally pulled back Obi-Wan to reality knowing full well that the boy can endanger his life with deep meditations such as that.
Yoda got a nod from the boy who was wearing a face of confusion, worry and surprise all at the same time. "Meet your master now, you should."
Qui-Gon leaned back on his seat, secretly stretching his aching back as he finished his seventh back-log report. Tahl eyed him from the top of her console and grinned wickedly at her friend. "You are getting old, yes?" she teased as she immediately ducked her head and continued her report avoiding Qui-Gon's death glare. Not from afar, two initiates made their way towards the exit of the Archives. "I am really going to kick Obi-Wan's behind if he doesn't show up! He promised he'll help me with my kata!" a boy, about Obi-Wan's age hissed. The other human boy patted his companion's back faking his concern. "Aww, Reeft. That is if you can even kick him."
Qui-Gon half amused leaned on his desk and tapped Tahl's console. "Do you have access to the Medical records?" Qui-Gon asked Tahl. His female companion looked up at him suspiciously. "Are you changing your mind about not getting a Padawan?" Qui-Gon exhaled impatiently. "You do not ask me another question. And just so you know, my answer to that is still a no." A pause. "So, do you have access to it or not?" Tahl leaned back on her seat and crossed her arms. "Yes I do, impatient Gungan." Qui-Gon simply raised his brows and smirked at her friend. "I want to know more about this initiate named: Kenobi." He leaned back and looked at Tahl expectedly.
To Qui-Gon's surprise, Tahl did not counter him with mockery. Instead, she punched in a set of pass codes to the console and accessed the information of Initiates. "Do you have this being's first name at least? We could be looking at thousands of Kenobis here." Qui-Gon shook his head in response. Tahl punched in the name Kenobi in Aurebesh, and no result came out. "That's odd." Tahl's brows furrowed as she eyed the 'No Match' error on her screen. Qui-Gon reached out for his own console and shared the screen with Tahl. "Or…" Tahl started and punched another set of pass code and accessed the medical records for Padawans. Her search results returned one entry:
"That's him." Qui-Gon said as he straightened in his seat as he looked on his own screen. "A padawan, Qui? I thought he was still an initiate?" Qui-Gon ignored Tahl's question as familiarity washed him. "I met this boy before…Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon said gently and leaned back on his seat as he flipped the pages of memories inside his head. "Hold on…" Tahl said and punched in more pass codes. "It says here that he is from the planet Stewjon. The boy was brought to the temple as an infant." Tahl's brows were now furrowed as she looked away from the screen and tapped her fingers against the desk. "Qui. We went to Stewjon before, didn't we? With Mace. Do you remember?" Tahl asked as Qui-Gon looked at her.
"He is dying! Please, do something!" Gordon Kenobi exclaimed as he held his baby boy close to him. Lana Kenobi, his wife sat in the corner of their make shift tent crying her eyes out. "We can't do much, Gordon. We are not healers." Mace said in his most calm voice. "But you said he is Force sensitive! He is your kind! You can heal him. Please!" Gordon pleaded making the infant human boy in his arms cry once more. Mace, Tahl and Qui-Gon looked at each other with looks of hesitation. Qui-Gon was the first to turn away and cast his beautiful eyes to the horizon before him. The tall knight knew what his companions were thinking to solve the crisis, but they knew too that Qui-Gon hated doing it.
Tahl moved forward and placed her hand on the infant's forehead easing the child's discomfort. "We can take him with us to Coruscant. There, we can get him the best medical help possible." Tahl said and looked at Gordon. "…but he is not to return, am I correct?" the man before her asked. The female jedi knight simply nodded and looked at the boy. "He is an orphan of the Force. He must be trained in the way of the Jedi. Meeting your family was not by chance." She replied trying her best to sound diplomatic as possible. Lana Kenobi sobbed as she heard the condition laid out before them. The woman did not have to verbally protest to the idea. The sound of her crying was enough.
Qui-Gon moved further away from the group and tried his best to find his center. He did not like the idea of breaking a family apart because a Force sensitive being was born to them. Though he pretty much don't have a choice at all since it is also part of the Jedi's job.
A day went by and Tahl and Mace found Qui-Gon inside their transport waiting for them. Their mission in Stewjon was finally over, and the tall knight was itching to go back to Coruscant. He was appalled to see the baby infant in Tahl's arms looking pale as he opened the door of their ship. "We don't have much time, Qui-Gon. The baby is dying!" Qui-Gon side-stepped and gave way to Tahl who was rushing up the ramp and into the medical chamber of their transport. Mace dashed towards the cockpit without a word. Qui-Gon closed the door and retracted the ramp and followed Tahl.
"Gordon and his wife decided that we take the infant with us. He is to be trained." Tahl said the moment she sensed Qui-Gon enter the room. Qui-Gon watched as Tahl hooked the infant to the machine and started to stabilize the patient. "What is his name?" Qui-Gon asked as he eyed the baby cry. "Gordon and Lana were too distraught to name him. It's up to us to name him." Tahl replied in between hushing the baby. "Did we get his Midichlorian count?" Qui-Gon asked as he crossed his arms. If the infant boy did not reach at least a 7,000 count then he is not to be trained. "He has a count of 13,800. Higher than yours, mine and Mace's." This information made Qui-Gon unfold his arms and stare at the helpless child. "Yes, Qui. He is a promising one. And a stubborn one like you! Look!" Tahl said as she tried to feed the infant with a bottle of milk.
"I'll feed him. You go and check Mace. I don't trust his flying." Qui-Gon said as he stretched out his huge hand for the baby bottle. Tahl was reluctant at first, but she was concerned too about Mace and his flying abilities. "That man should never get close to a cockpit. I'll come back as soon as we enter hyperspace." Tahl gave the bottle to Qui-Gon and left him to babysit.
"All right, little man. What is it that you want?" Qui-Gon said as he sat on the stool next to the medical table where the infant boy laid crying. Qui-Gon placed a huge hand on the boy's head and sent the gentlest calming waves. The Force pulsated as soon as he made contact, feeling the strength of the infant's Force signature. He was indeed strong in the Force. The baby's cries died down to whimpers, and eventually silence. Qui-Gon smiled as he stared at a pair of bright ice-blue eyes. He felt that he was staring at a small lump of Light. "You will be all right, young one. We will take care of you." He said almost in a whisper and fed him with milk. The infant obediently sucked on the bottle, as he tried his best to stay awake. His eyes did not leave Qui-Gon's dark blue ones.
"Jinn! Wake up!" Mace almost kicked his friend out of frustration as he shook Qui-Gon from his sleep. The tall knight just finished his babysitting shift on the infant and was too happy to get a nice, long nap. "What!?" Qui-Gon woke up and sat on his bed and gave Mace his death glare. "It's the boy. We're losing him." Qui-Gon just stared at the Korun knight and processed what he just said. "How far are we from Coruscant?" he asked as he picked up his boots and wore them. "One day." Mace said as he rubbed his face hiding his panic. It was their idea after all to save the infant and train him. If they don't do something soon, the baby will surely die.
"We're too far." Qui-Gon said as he dashed out of his room followed by Mace. As soon as he entered the small medical chamber of the transport, he was greeted with an uptight Tahl. "I tried everything, Qui. It's not working." Tahl said as she gently brushed the infant's head. He was becoming paler by the minute. "We're going to lose him." Tahl said as she sat on the stool and absent-mindedly stared at the almost lifeless form. "We can't." Qui-Gon's voice sounded determined. After all, he is a crusader of the Living Force. Life was too important for him. He stepped forward and leaned over the baby and felt his Force energy. He hid his surprise to feel that it was dangerously low. "What are we to do then?" Mace asked bring his hands to his hips. "The ship is equipped with datacards regarding emergencies. Healers regularly update them. There must be something else we can do." Qui-Gon said as he weighed his next move.
"But Qui, I tried—"
"Just do what I say."
The two knights looked at each other at the ferocity of his words. Mace and Tahl knew that it is better not to argue with Qui-Gon especially if it involved life forms. As soon as he was alone, he sat on the stool and centered himself as he listened to the faint and slow beeping sounds of the monitor above him. "We must get you to the Temple alive, young one. You will be a jedi, and make your father and mother proud." Qui-Gon said as he affectionately brushed the infant's head. He positioned his other hand on top of the baby's torso, covering it whole and he closed his eyes. He knew that what he was about to do was against the Code, but just like the rogue knight that he is—he will do what he must do.
As their ship landed on the Temple's landing platform, they were immediately greeted by the Healers. They quickly got the baby from Qui-Gon's long arm and rushed towards the Infirmary. The infant made it to Coruscant alive—all thanks to the stubborn jedi knight.
"You know well Jinn that Master Yoda will know about what you did." Mace said as they went to the opposite direction of the main hangar. "That's because you can't keep your mouth shut." Qui-Gon retorted and gave out a tired sigh. He was tired of Mace lecturing him about the Code as soon as he learned about what he did to the boy. "Excuse me?" Mace said stopping in his tracks. "I had to give the child a part of my own Force Energy to survive. How else will you explain to the council about a dead baby, after convincing his parents to be trained here? Think, Mace. Three knights in one ship and none thought of breaking the Code for one's life." Qui-Gon threw his arms in frustration. He can no longer fathom Mace's know-it-all attitude. "What the Order lacks is sympathy! It's making us stupid! And just so you know, that boy is one of us. He is an orphan of the Force. The Force we swore to serve! He deserves to live!" Qui-Gon said spatting out the words completely forgetting his temper. "Qui-Gon, please. That's enough." Tahl said as she stepped in between the two. "I will gladly pay for my mistakes, Mace. At least I can say that at the end of the day, I did something right—for once." Qui-Gon gave Mace one last death glare, spun around and left the hangar.
"Yes. I remember. I fought with Mace at the hangar." Qui-Gon stared at his monitor with Obi-Wan's picture in it. "He's the only jedi that came from Stewjon. He is the baby you saved." Tahl said with a hint of awe and surprise. "Named him, I did. To honor you, Qui-Gon." Master Yoda appeared from nowhere and slowly made his way towards the two masters who looked around surprised. "Honor me, master?" Qui-Gon leaned on his arm rest and looked down on the green troll. "Saved him, you did. Sure I am that it is just the two of you who has hyphenated names, hmm? Unique it is." Master Yoda said and continued to walk towards the opposite direction. "Could have been your apprentice, that boy. Missed the opportunity you have." Yoda slumped even more and grunted as he walked away from the two. "Looked up to you, he did. Waited for you to come home, he did." Yoda stopped and turned around. "Forgotten you now, he may have. But remembers you in his heart, he does." Yoda gave him a look of sadness, turned around the corner and left the archives.
Qui-Gon remained looking at the floor of the Archives were Yoda stood moments ago. "So I did meet the boy before." He said and faced Tahl. His friend was rapidly tapping away on her datapad who seemed to be frantically looking for an important information. "I think it's him…it's possible…" Tahl mumbled under her breath making Qui-Gon lean on his desk. "What is it?" Qui-Gon's question was immediately answered when Tahl handed him her datapad. It contained a holovideo file that was sent to him on his birthday exactly 9 years ago. The holovideo showed friends who gave their birthday greetings, and at the latter part…a boy about three standard years with ice-blue eyes, and dark blond hair greeted him. "Happy Birfday, Master Keegun!" the words echoed inside his head simultaneously.
A/N: Now he remembers! Too bad, Obi-Wan is already apprenticed to another master! :( Anyway, in case the last part confuses you, I'd suggest that you read my Book I fanfic. :) It's just 5 chapters...and I'd like to believe that it is an easy read...so. :)