The Lords of Heaven:
Chapter Two - The Choice

Angyl

Qui-Gon Jinn, Master of the ancient brotherhood of the Knights of the Light Order looked down on the land that was his to protect. Somewhere underneath the cloud cover amidst the massive trees was a village waiting for him - and in that village were a handful of children nervously waiting to be torn away from all they had known in order to be trained by a man they almost revered as a god. He knew his duty was to train those chosen by the Light, but after that disaster with Xanatos... Force above - even saying that name after all this time was like a knife through his heart.

No - he could not do this again. Qui-Gon would don his robes of Heaven, go down to the village and assure them of his continued protection. But he would choose no other youth. He would recall Ariadne from where she was and make her his successor. She could train the next generation of the Chosen, for Qui-Gon could no longer trust himself enough to make such a choice. The Light had led him to make the wrong choice last time and he could not afford to let another of the Star Children to be corrupted. No - he would continue to serve and protect the heirs of the ancestors but he was no longer worthy to teach them of their destiny. He was too fallible.

Leaving the solitary splendor of his meditations room Qui-Gon entered his chambers and began to prepare for the journey to Correllias. He bathed quickly then stood on the open air balcony to let the whipping winds dry his body and long silver-brown hair while he prepared his body with his katas and his mind with the meditations of the elements. Returning inside he quickly tamed the wild mane his hair had become, tying it back in its usual style with a cord of blue leather, to match his clothing for the day.

One of his faithful servants had already laid out his robes of heaven. The inner tunic and leggings were the color of blue steel, while the outer tunic was a pale gray, both soft to the touch, made of the finest septsilk. Finally he donned the outer robe, it's color the deepest blue of the heavens. He loathed these ceremonial robes, they were too flamboyant by far. Qui-Gon preferred the muted colors of sand and stone which he normally wore. But he was the Lord of Heaven and must look the part. Donning at last his black long boots and matching sword belt, Qui-Gon made sure his lightsword was attached firmly to the belt. He wasn't going to take any chances - Xanatos was still out there somewhere.

Obi-Wan looked nervously about the village, something didn't feel right. His father, mother and older brother stood nearby in a place of honor as was their right as the chieftain and his family. Other parents hovered in the background. Some of the girls cried silently, afraid of their fate, some waited placidly. Of the boys some had their chests puffed out as if to prove their worth, while others looked as if they were desperately wishing to be elsewhere. Obi-Wan just... was.

The sound of an approaching equina alerted the village to the arrival of the Lord of Heaven. As one the villagers and the chosen bowed in obeisance to their Master, but for some reason Obi-Wan did not, could not. He needed to see this man.

He was tall and imposing and almost blocked the sun as he rode in on a pure white steed. Obi-Wan's first impression was of great power contained, and great compassion. His second was more basic. This man was the most splendid he'd ever seen, handsome beyond belief.

But so sad, Obi-Wan thought. His mother had once told him that the eyes were the mirrors of the soul. If this were true then the Lord of Heaven's soul must surely be breaking, so sorrowful were his deep blue eyes. Obi-Wan wanted nothing more that to hold this man, this Lord of Heaven, and take the hurt away.

Qui-Gon Jinn had come to Correllias fully intending to deny his choice of a youth while pledging his continued protection, but once again the Fates stepped in. As he looked upon the villagers, a beautiful young man caught his attention, a man with red-gold hair who gazing up at him through storm-tossed eyes.

Vaulting off the equina, Qui-Gon moved unerringly towards the youth, never taking his eyes off the young man. A slight sound made him look briefly towards the village Chieftain, and in the elder man's eyes was a pained resignation, as if he already knew what was to happen. Turning once more to the youth, Qui-Gon continued to walk until he stood directly before him.

Tilting his head back, Obi-Wan met the stare of the Lord of Heaven, and felt his soul expand while thoughts not his own raced through his mind.

How lovely this child is, and how innocent. Power sings through him. But I cannot. I dare not

Qui-Gon gasped in sudden realization as he felt his soul touch and merge with the one belonging to the young man before him. Thoughts sweet and pure poured into his embittered mind, wiping away the dark taint.

If I were blessed enough to serve this man, I would do whatever I could to take his pain away. So noble a man should not have the weight of the universe to bear alone. Would that I could ease his burdens, if only for a day...

You already have my precious one, Qui-Gon thought as his soul was cleansed in the purity and innocence of this remarkable young man. You already have.

Lord? A movement from out the corner of his eye caught Obi-Wan's attention and before anyone could stop him, he pushed the Lord of Heaven aside, taking what would have been a killing blow into his own body and falling silently to the ground.

"Noooooo!" The Lord's scream rent the stunned silence of the village.

In a blur of motion Qui-Gon had his lightsword in hand, his blade cleaving through the air to defend. Stunned by the power of Qui-Gon's attack, Xanatos retreated. Qui-Gon kept coming at him, beating him back, and putting him on the defensive. Never before had Xanatos been so hard pressed to defend himself from his former Lord. Never before had he realized the full extent of elder man's skill and power. The flashfire pain in his side let Xanatos know that Qui-Gon's sword had found it's mark.

"When next we meet child of the dark, it will be as enemies. Nothing more!" Qui-Gon promised in an ominous voice. "You have no place within me anymore. You have ceased to exist!"

Turning his back on the creature he had once considered most important in his life, Lord of Heaven Qui-Gon Jinn gently lifted his Chosen and equally gently mounted his equina. He never saw Xanatos' eyes narrow and focus on his cousin, never saw the rage and hatred that burned in those once beloved eyes now encompass the two of them.

Racing as quickly as he dared without causing his soul mate more damage, Qui-Gon rushed to get back to his home among the clouds. He rode through the falling dusk as if all the demons of the Sith chased him. He was not about to loose the other half of his soul so soon after finding him.

END

  since 02-17-07

 

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