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The Lost One: Part Three

Qui-gon sat in the cockpit of the Constunian ship, trying to remain focused. But his mind kept wandering.
Once he realized what had happened, he immediately went to the Constun Council and told them that there was an emergency and he needed a ship. The treasurer was reluctant to loan one of their scares number of ships to the Jedi Master. However, the Prime Minister graciously allowed the use of the ship and anything else that he needed in thanks for the help that the Jedi had shown them.
When he entered the ship he sent a transmission to the Jedi Council, which was answered almost this instantly by Yoda.
Qui-gon thought back to the conversation.

*****
“Felt it, I have.” The holographic transmission of the old Jedi said. “certain you are of who wields it?”
“Yes.” Qui-gon said grimly. “It is Jaron. His touch of the Force is one that I could not forget.”
Yoda nodded thoughtfully. “A bond as deep is not forgotten.” Yoda said, catching Qui-gon’s eye. “Why this is, go you should not.”
Qui-gon was about to open his mouth to protest but Yoda put up a quick hand to silence him. “To strong are your emotions Qui-gon. Cloud your judgment it will. Sending other Jedi am I. Those who did not hold the bonds you held with him.”
As Yoda said this Qui-gon was shaking his head. “That will take to long Master.” He countered. “And I will not leave Obi-wan there.”
“Help your Padawan you will not by walking into a trap. Know this you do.” Yoda remarked.
“Yes I know.” He replied. “But it is me that Jaron is after. Thats why he took Obi-wan. If another Jedi shows up Jaron will kill him.”
“Know this you do not Qui-gon. Patience you must have, think of your Apprentice you must.” Yoda said quickly.
“I am.” Qui-gon said softly. “This is the only way Master Yoda.”
Yoda paused and looked away for a second. Then he looked back up, once again caching Qui-gon’s gaze. “Go then.” he said. “But the Jaron you face will not be the Jaron who you look back to see. Remember this you must.”
Qui-gon seemed to look distant, he only nodded in response.
“May the Force be with you.” Yoda finished, then disconnected the transmission.
At that, Qui-gon leaned over and set the cordenance for the Randon system...
****

Qui-gon tried not to let the guilt pass over him. But try as he might, he absorbed it more and more. Obi-wan had nothing to do with this. He was not even a thought in the Force when this happened. Yet Jaron was using him to make Qui-gon feel pain. And what of the pain that Obi-wan may be feeling? Every time he had tried to contact his Padawan through the Force, all he got in return was the same darkness he had felt earlier.
Had he failed his Padawan by not telling him about Jaron? Was he to tell his apprentice of every former enemy? ‘No’ Qui-gon told himself. That was not the way. He had no way of knowing that Jaron would come after him like this. Even with the threats of revenge he made long ago. But perhaps, because of the day, he should have seen something coming.
Master Dundeen Hunen, Jaron’s former master, had been a great Jedi. And on this very day, many years ago, he was killed.
This day had always been a hard one for Qui-gon. He remembered the look on his former friends face when he had refused to help in his attempt for revenge. The sound of his voice when he spoke the words of a curse of pain and suffering to the person he considered his last friend. Qui-gon often thought of it, but it always seemed stronger on this day.
As the years passed with no word from Jaron, he wondered if the threat would ever be carried out. He had never thought it true. He always believed that there was some good left somewhere in Jaron and that he only needed help finding it. This was why he was so unprepared for the unthinkable. But this was worse. Because it was not his life in jeopardy, but Obi-wan’s. Would Jaron try to turn him to the Dark Side? To lose him, as he had lost Jaron and Xanatose? His heart wrenched at the thought.
A silent thought crossed deep within his mind. ‘How many people must I lose?’ it said.
“Help your Padawan it will not.” Yoda’s voice came into recollection. Qui-gon held tight to that thought.
“Yoda is right, as usual.” He said allowed. “My bond with Jaron is not what it once was. And the one I hold with Obi-wan is far stronger.”
Qui-gon pushed his thoughts of the past and of Obi-wan aside, and sat in meditation. Not knowing, yet knowing in a way, what was to come.


*****************************************************************************
Obi-wan sat in the pure black room; his eyes closed, breathing heavily. It was only by sheer will that he didn’t fall clear on his back and just sleep. If he did that then he new the darkness would win. It would cover him completely, and take him away. He wouldn't allow that to happen. He had fought this far. And even if the evil still swirled in his mind, it hadn’t taken him.
Although he told himself he was stronger than it, he wasn’t sure how much longer he could withstand it. It had been so strong the first time, and when it came back, it would be even stronger.
***
They were all around him now. The people who he cared for the most, but he wasn’t happy to see them.
One by one they were being cut down by something he could not see...and could not fight.
He heard them scream in pain. They were being tortured, and he was meant to watch.
There in the corner, it was Brant. He only heard her scream, then the blood was on the floor. He tried to go to her, but the pain in his head...he couldn’t stand. He pushed it aside and managed to get to his feet. Then he felt things crawling on him, all over his body. He felt the urge to brush them away, but there was nothing there. They forced him back to his knees, and to watch another of his friends die painfully.
“No.” he said softly. “This can’t be.” But the worse was yet to come.
He saw a small figure before him. It was Master Yoda. Yoda who had taught him, and who always seemed to believe in him, who was the strongest Jedi Master, like the others, was cut down right before him.
Obi-wan felt the fear in him growing stronger. He had the wanted run and hide, but he could not hide from this. It was everywhere. He then wanted to fight.
His thoughts were interrupted when a new figure came into view. It was a tall man, with hair that went past his shoulders, and eyes the color of a clear sky.
“Master?” Obi-wan said in horror. Knowing what was to come. And his thoughts were correct. In the blink of an eye, Qui-gon staggered back, pain was written on his face. Obi-wan looked down and there was a large gash across his master’s midsection from what looked like a lightsaber. Then, the person he considered his father, fell dead.
“NO!” Obi-wan cried. The want to fight suddenly because a ocean of rage that washed over him. The dark things that griped him slowly let go, and he was on his feet.
His teeth clenched, his body stiff, and with anger all around him, he beckoned at the things that hurt the ones he loved.
“Come out and face me!” he yelled into the black room, his anger only growing. Then he felt it. The darkness seemed to be happy with his anger, urging him to turn it to hate.
*yes* it told him, *give into your anger, make it hate. You will become powerful and they will be avenged.*
Obi-wan suddenly realized what was happening. Tears formed in his eyes. This was not him he new. And what was happening around him was not real. He would fight it like he fought any enemy, with the Light Side of the Force.
He closed his eyes, blinking back tears, and tiredly let his body relax as much as it would allow. Then he concentrated on the Force, but he side he new. The side of warmth, of goodness, and of hope. Then the vision of evil began to fade, and he was alone in the room once more.
In that state of mind he had almost enough strength to contact his master. But once again the darkness crawled at him and, knowing he was weakened by his struggles, brought him to his knees once more...
******
And there he stayed. And although the darkness threatened to bring him down he fought them with what little strength he had left. And he would keep fighting until he were dead if it came to that. But he would not give into the Dark Side.
He had come close to it though. Even if it was only an image seeing his master fall dead was more than he could bear. But then he remembered Jaron, and what he had become. He understood now what Jaron had went though, and could grasp what he had felt. But there was one thing that Jaron forgot when it had happened; one very important thing. He forgot his master. All of the teachings of his master, all the training, all the emotions that he had felt for him. Jaron had gotten so caught up in himself and his want for revenge, and he forgot it all.
‘But I will not forget.’ Obi-wan thought silently. ‘I will never forget.’
Just then the door opened, and Jaron strode in. He was standing over him. Although Obi-wan didn’t look up, he could feel Jaron’s eyes piercing through him.
“I see you have gained Qui-gon’s stubbornness as well.” An amused Jaron said. “He never knew when to give up.”
Obi-wan looked up to where Jaron’s voice was coming. His eyes had adjusted to the dark and he could make out the lines of the man’s face.
“I can sense your weariness, young Kanobi. Give into the dark side. Save yourself the agony and just let go.” Jaron willed him.
Obi-wan pushed himself to his feet, his legs wavering. He shook his head clear, ignoring the eerie things still pulling at his mind. He once again stared at Jaron. “Never.” he said with as much confidence as he could manage. “I will never give in. Not to the darkness...and not to you.” Jaron looked as if he was going to speak, but before he could his comlink buzzed.
“Yes?” he said clearly into the small communicator.
“A ship has just landed sir.” The voice answered. “Constunian Class.”
An ear to ear smile appeared on Jaron’s face. “Excellent.” he replied, “Allow him to enter and have it so he finds his way here. But captain tell the guards to be alert. We wouldn’t want things to be to easy on him.”
Obi-wan listened in horror. Qui-gon was being led into a trap and there wasn’t anything he could do about it. He wouldn’t give up. Perhaps if he caught Jaron off guard. He knew his effort would most likely be in vain, but he had to try.
*’Master don’t! Jaron...’* The pain again, in his head, stronger this time. He instantly fell to his knees catching himself with his hands.
“Save yourself some pain, Obi-wan.” He heard the voice say. Obi-wan looked up at Jaron with blurred eyes.
“You can’t do this.” Obi-wan croaked out.
“Oh yes I can. And I will.” He said mockingly. “This is my time now young Padawan. All that is left to do is wait.”

*******************************************************************************************

Qui-gon stepped off of the ship and started through the woods of Randon. He could feel the point of darkness, all he needed was follow it. He was lost in his own thoughts when he heard Obi-wan’s voice in his mind sending him a warning. He message was cut short though, followed by pain and darkness.
Qui-gon cringed at Obi-wan’s pain. He managed a small smile. ‘Loyal Padawan.’ he thought to the boy although knowing he could not hear him. ‘I know of the dangers of which you speak. But his is the only way. The past has caught up with me once again, and I must turn to face it.’
He had reached his destination now. An old temple with high towers and broken statues scattered about. The beautiful piece of ancient architecturey was overflowing with darkness. What once might have been a place of protection from evil, was now a pillar of evil itself.
The door was not guarded and Qui-gon casualty walked in. He looked around as he entered, still nothing. ‘To easy.’ he thought to himself. His senses were on full alert. All he had on his side now was the Force.
In an instant his lightsaber was activated and deflecting a blaster bolt that came out of the shadows. It was followed by another, then another. But he deflected them all with ease. From another corner came more firing. Qui-gon decided that he best leave this place, but something pulled at his mind. He ignored it for the time, the blaster fire becoming heavier.
He chose a hallway and ran down it, his lightsaber still humming. He jumped back when the Force warned him of danger, and more blaster fire came from another hallway. He turned into another hall, yet the same thing happened. A storm of blaster fire by the shimmery skinned Randonian’s, and he was forced down another hallway.
‘They are driving me somewhere.’ he knew. ‘Into the trap that Obi-wan warned of.’ Yet wherever he was going he knew it would lead to Jaron, and Obi-wan. Therefore he played into their game of cat and mouse. As he turned the a corner again, he could feel the sense of doom growing.
He was in a long corridor now, and the blaster fire was coming from behind him. Then in a blink it was coming from ahead of him as well. He noticed he was stopped in front of a door. It opened, and a flood of darkness washed over him. The blaster fire becoming increasingly heavy, he was forced inside. The door slammed shut, and there was only darkness.
He remained calm, remembering the light. Knowing that although the darkness was strong, he was stronger.
His lightsaber gave off a faint green glow in the darkness, but its light wasn’t enough to see by. He stretched out with the Force to search the room. A familiar voice pierce through the dark room.
“It is good to see you again my old friend. I have been expecting you.”
“It has been a long time Jaron.” Qui-gon answered.
“Yes Qui-gon.” Jaron replied amused. “A very long time.”



Part Four
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