Chapter 5: Please read and review
It was a sad commentary on his past that he could say he was used to people confronting him with the intention of killing him or doing serious harm. That didn't change the fact that he did not panic when he saw the stormtroopers standing in the doorway to the cantina, guns drawn. He went through his options quickly in his head. He could pull his blaster, hit one stormtrooper then be struck down by the rest. He could attempt to use his magic and knock one stormtrooper down, but then be accused of being a Jedi and struck down. Lastly he could do nothing and see what happened. He decided the last option would be most prudent under the current circumstances.
As it turned out his apprehension was unnecessary. The soldiers entered through the door, passing by quickly and bumping him to the side. Instead of attacking him, they raised their weapons at the bartender who, instead of looking stunned, just simply stared back. As the stormtroopers fanned out along the bar, sending the patrons scurrying, another man stepped out from behind them. This man was sharply dressed in all grey, a look of arrogance gracing his features.
"Marr Endel, by order of the Emperor, you are under arrest for treason and are sentenced to die for your crimes," the well-dressed officer stated pompously, and with seemingly sadistic pleasure.
The bartender barely reacted to the officer's proclamation, simply putting both his hands against the bar and leaning forward. "What is it that our beloved Emperor seems to think I've done?"
"Our intelligence officers intercepted coded transmissions from rebel agents that identified you as an informant and a traitor."
"I'm no traitor!" the barmen growled. "Being a traitor would mean I was loyal to that wrinkled bastard to begin with, and I would never lower myself to that."
The look on the officer's face immediately became infuriated. Gesturing to his soldier, he pointed to the barmen. "Seize him and bring him outside." Four of the soldier complied immediately, rushing behind the bar. From the man's angered words, Harry had expected him to put up a struggle, but instead he simply held out his arms and let himself be taken. Some of the bar patron, whom Harry guessed were regulars, looked like they wanted to intervene, but thought better of it.
He knew that he should have just stayed inside the cantina and let whatever was going to happen play out. However, doing the smart thing wasn't what he was best at. He followed the soldiers out as they dragged the rebel informer into the middle of the street. A crowd of people had gathered to see what all of the fuss was about. As the man stood alone in the middle of the street, the soldiers gathered in a line across from him, with weapons raised.
The officer stepped up next to his men. "Endel, you are hereby sentenced to die. Do you wish to beg for forgiveness before that sentence is carried out?"
Marr Endel stood calmly in the street, resigned to his fate. "I'll seek no forgiveness for doing what's right. Down with the Empire! Long live the Republic! Long live the Jedi!"
It happened quickly. One word from the agitated officer was all it took before a dozen blasts of light left the soldiers' weapons. Harry watched on in horror as every single one of the shots struck the brave man, who fell back lifelessly onto the dusty road, his skin and clothes smoking. There were cries of terror and outrage from some of those gathered on the street. The officer strode over to the body, likely to check its state, but there was little doubt that Marr Endel was dead.
Satisfied that the job was done, the Imperial officer turned and faced the crowd. "Let this be a lesson to those who oppose the Empire. You will be punished for your crimes. If you are caught conversing with rebel scum, your life will be forfeit." Without a care or backward glance, the officer walked away, taking his soldiers with him.
Harry was still in a state of shock as he watched the soldiers leave. His shock turned quickly into anger as he watched the people everywhere in the street go right back to their business, walking right past the dead body of Marr Endel-the body of the man who had just moments before served him a drink. The man had been extremely courageous, standing up for what he believed in, and Harry thought he deserved better than lying decaying in the street.
Again, his concerns proved to be unneeded. For coming up the street, he saw two familiar faces from earlier in the day, riding in a beat up speeder. Both Nola and her father seemed distraught as they stopped in front of the barmen's ravaged body. They exited their vehicle and approached the body, forlornly staring down. After a moment of gathering his emotions, Ordol bent down and picked up the body under its arms. The man gestured with his head for his daughter to grab the barmen's legs, but as Nola got closer and bent down, she immediately jumped back and ran behind the speeder, becoming sick. Noticing that Ordol was struggling with the considerable weight of the body, Harry quickly jogged over and grabbed onto the legs. Ordol seemed surprised when he saw Harry, but nodded his head in appreciation as they lifted the body onto the front of the speeder.
"Thank you for that son. He was a friend," Ordol explained sadly.
"It was no trouble," Harry stated. "Sorry for your loss."
Ordol looked over to his daughter who now looked pale, and was struggling her way back into the speeder, keeping her eyes to the ground. "You better not linger too long," Ordol said. "Don't give the bastards any reason to be suspicious of you."
Harry nodded his agreement. "I think I'll heed that advice." He watched as Ordol got back into his speeder and took off toward the city entrance. After they had left his line of sight, he turned back around and hurried back to his speeder, eager to leave and report back to Obi-Wan. As he was leaving the city, he was so angry that he couldn't help but lose himself to a bout of recklessness. Waiting in line to exit the gate, he concentrated on his magic and hit the stormtroopers with a spell that induced painful skin boils. It was a stupid thing to do, but he wasn't caught and he took some satisfaction in watching the soldiers double over in pain, unable to reach the source through their armor. He wouldn't be reporting it to Obi-Wan.
It was relatively quick ride back. He was starting to get used to his bike, and had felt safe going a little bit faster than before. The light was beginning to wane when he reached Obi-Wan's hut. He parked the swoop bike in a small cove that had been formed by a group of large rocks, which was where Obi-Wan had been storing it previously. When he walked inside, he saw Obi-Wan in the small kitchen, and he hoped that he was preparing something for dinner.
"Glad to see you made it back in one piece Harry," Obi-Wan stated. He walked over and to Harry's immense gratitude placed a bowl of some sort of vegetable soup in front of him. "Not that I doubted you, of course."
Harry dug into the food quickly, his stomach extremely grateful for the sustenance. After finishing almost half of it, he looked back up to Obi-Wan who had taken a seat across from him at the table. "The city is full of Imperial soldiers. They took a man out into the middle of the street and murdered him."
Obi-Wan simply shook his head at that and answered. "Who was it?"
"Just some barman who worked in one of the cantinas. They accused him of being an informant for the rebels," Harry explained.
"This is what the Republic has turned into," Obi-Wan stated, his eyes downcast. "Executions instead of justice. I fear with the Sith in control, it will only be one of many, no matter their real offense."
"There was something else," Harry began. "There was a news report that mentioned the Jedi."
"In what way?" Obi-Wan asked, giving his full attention.
"Apparently the rebels were going to make an attempt to kill the Emperor, but they were found out and killed. The government said that it was the Jedi who were behind it."
Obi-Wan looked disappointed. "That's not much to go on. I doubt any Jedi were actually involved. Most likely just more attempts to slander our Order, turn the people against us."
"That's sort of what I figured," Harry added.
"Anyway, how was your first trip into town as a moisture farmer?"
Harry reached over into his belt and emptied the remaining gold coins onto the table. "I got fifty for what we had, although I spent three."
"Hmm, not bad. Any trouble finding a buyer?"
"It was actually surprisingly easy," Harry noted. "They actually found me. It was a father and daughter. They have shop in the city, but I think there's something going on with them."
"Why's that?" Obi-Wan inquired, sliding the coins on the table into a container.
"The daughter was telling me something about someone in her family being killed, and when she went to tell me more, her father stopped her. He was afraid of someone overhearing."
"It could be that the Empire was involved," Obi-Wan reasoned. "However, it could be just as likely that it was a local incident and they were afraid of something else. This wasn't exactly the safest place even before the Empire arrived."
"It wasn't just that though," Harry continued. "After the barmen was killed, the father and daughter came to collect the body. He said that they were friends with him."
Obi-Wan rubbed his hand over his chin. "That would tend to imply that they may have some connection with the rebel's activities. If they do, they may be a useful source of information."
"I told them I would come back to them next time when I was going to sell."
"That's good. Just make sure you don't put them or yourself in any danger. Only speak where there's no risk of being overheard," Obi-Wan cautioned.
Harry grinned at that. "I may have something that could prove useful. I can use my magic to create a wall of silence around a certain area or to create noises to prevent others from overhearing."
"That is certainly beneficial," Obi-Wan agreed. "What else is on your mind? I can feel that something's bothering you."
Harry sighed tiredly. "It doesn't matter how many times it happens, but watching someone die never gets any easier. I can't stand watching helpless people being the victims of these power hungry people. How do you deal with it?"
"As Jedi, we're taught not to dwell on death. We believe that when a life ends it becomes one with the Force. It becomes part of something greater."
"Does that really make it easier to deal with?" Harry asked in disbelief.
Obi-Wan took time to think before answering. "I've lost close friends, people who I loved even though we aren't suppose to love. It's comforting to know that there is more meaning for them after they're gone, but it's still hard for those they leave behind. I've recently learned to communicate with my former master through the Force, but it isn't the same as him being alive. There are many others who I'll never talk to again until my own time comes."
"I understand what you mean," Harry stated. "Where I come from, there was a unique device that allowed for the holder to call back the spirits of those who had died. I was able use it to see the ghosts of my parents, and it was comforting, but it wasn't the same, it didn't make up for not having them with me my whole life."
"What was this object? It's like nothing I've ever heard of."
"It was called a resurrection stone," Harry answered. "I'm pretty sure it was the only one in existence, but there was a cautionary tale around its use. The person who used it could lose their way and not realize that the person who they brought back wasn't real. And the person whose spirit was called back, it was preventing them from moving on."
"Too much of a good thing," Obi-Wan remarked.
"Yeah, well I'm sick of watching people die. I leave one world where people are massacred because of their heritage, and now I'm in another that's ruled over by a malicious dictator and his army sick followers."
"We are very limited in our options at the moment, Harry. A single hint of your abilities or of my whereabouts and we'll have the entire might of the Empire surrounding the planet."
"So teach me how to fight! Teach me how to do what you can do," Harry exclaimed. "I spend all of my time in dangerous situations, and I'm not naive enough to believe that I survived each previous one because of my skill or my power. It's always been just dumb luck. I want to be able to fight back, to make these evil people regret what they do. Make me better than them."
"To what purpose though Harry?" Obi-Wan asked. "I teach you in the ways of the Jedi, and then we're still just two Jedi in the middle of a Tatooine desert-a desert which I can't leave because I made a promise to watch over Luke, and I won't go back on that because I owe it to Padme and the person Anakin used to be."
Harry waved off his concerns, set on his own purpose. "I'm here for a reason Obi-Wan, I know I am. I have nothing holding me back, no family, no friends. I'm not asking you to fight with me, just show me how. I'll go fight with the rebels and cause as much damage as I can until Empire takes me down."
Neither of them talked for several moments until Obi-Wan continued. "I don't understand you. I don't understand why you are so set on dying for a problem that you've only known about for weeks. No one has any idea who you are. You could take off right now and do anything you wanted and live your life in peace. Explain to me why."
"Because it's the only thing I know. Because my parent's died for a purpose and I want to as well. Why did your spend your life doing what you did?"
"I did it because I was chosen and I made a commitment," Obi-Wan responded.
"You did, but you could have left whenever you wanted to. You could have been selfish and had a life outside all of those restrictions. What kept you fighting for so long?"
Obi-Wan looked at him, taken aback by his statements. "I did it because of the people I helped defend. I fought because I believed in the ideas of the Republic."
"You believed in something bigger than you," Harry continued. "When I was on the run from Voldemort, I asked myself all the time why I didn't just leave, just run away where no one could find me. I didn't because I was capable of doing something. I could save people and not simply leave them to die. It's no different now. I'm here for a purpose. I can help. Show me how." Harry sat back in his chair, finished with his plea. He looked on as Obi-Wan considered his words.
"I don't like the idea of turning you into a weapon, but I'll do it if that's what you want," Obi-Wan stated solemnly. "I want to return the Republic to what it was, and even though it goes against the nature of the Jedi, I'll teach you to harness your power. Of course this is all moot until we determine if you have the potential for the Force."
"Will you teach me to fight with a lightsaber?" Harry threw in.
"Eventually," Obi-Wan answered rolling his eyes slightly. "Once I'm sure you're ready."
"So how do I determine if I'm Force sensitive?"
"Come with me," Obi-Wan responded, leaving his own seat. He led Harry outside into the darkness of the night. They walked until they were a about twenty meters away from the hut and right in front of a group of very large rocks. Obi-Wan gestured for him to sit down in front of them. "Normally, a Jedi starts to develops his or her connection to the Force from a young age, as I explained to you. They have years to understand it and what they are feeling. Obviously, events as they are, as well as your desire to learn quickly means we must take a more dramatic approach."
"What exactly is a dramatic approach?"
"The Force is a Jedi's ally. It allows a user to push themselves beyond the physical limitations of a normal person. It will enable you to jump higher, run faster, and to recover from injury at a rate faster than others. Since we don't know whether you have an affinity for the Force as of yet, you are going to push yourself until you can sense it around you. You will sit here, in meditation, with no food or water until your body and senses are in such need that they will pull on the Force to keep you alive. Then you will try to control it to move one of the rocks in front of you."
"There's a problem there though," Harry explained. "How will I be able to differentiate between the Force and my own magic?"
"The Force is something external to you, it connects all living things. From what I understand, your magic is internal to yourself. You need to suppress that power within you and focus outwards. Let the Force flow through you. I am sure you will be able to feel the difference."
Harry nodded, not really sure he understood or not, but eager to begin. "I'm ready."
Obi-Wan began walking back, but not before turning to him with one last comment. "I'll monitor you, but I won't interfere unless I'm sure that you aren't able to feel it." With that he left leaving Harry by himself. He settled his nerves down, and once again began on the arduous path to clearing his thoughts. He was already uncomfortable, with the temperature having dropped significantly and his heavier robe still sitting inside. Somehow he knew he was in for a long wait. If there were certain things that his detestable relatives had prepared him for, they were sleep depravation, thirst, and hunger.