Tangled Webs: Opening Act
Choice

Angyl

Disclaimer: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is the property of Lucasfilm Ltd.

We talked briefly as we waited for Jar Jar to return. Little was said, but I could feel him, or should I say I couldn't feel him; he was still shutting me out. He was still isolating himself from me. I had avoided him most of the flight back to Naboo, choosing to spend my time in meditation or in the cockpit with Panaka and Ollie. He spent his time with Anakin. The wounds still cut deep. Healing would be a long time in coming. So I stayed away, shut him out. Except for those few minutes where both Jedi were required to attend an audience with the Queen.

She looked at me as I walked in behind my soon-not-to-be Master, as if to say, "I see your pain, and I am sorry for it. Neither of us has asked for what destiny has given us. But we must be strong, I for my people and you for yourself. We will survive." In a strange way it was that look which gave me the strength to approach Qui-Gon and try to put this behind us.

I still kept my shields up, still hid my shattered heart, but I smiled and I thanked him for believing in me. He said I was ready, that he foresaw I would be a great Jedi Knight, that I was a wiser man than he. If Qui-Gon believed in me, I would do as he wished. I will take my trials when this is over, and I will request an assignment as far away from Coruscant - and him - as I can. I will heal - eventually. Perhaps life-bonds are not meant to last forever...

It all happened so fast - the meeting of the resistance and the Gungans, sneaking into the city and finding a way into the hanger. Then he was there, the Sith. A sense of serenity settled over my mind even as cockiness entered the swing of my hips and added spring to my step. I knew without knowing. I smiled enticingly as I shrugged out of my robe, not even looking at Qui-Gon but aware our every movement was synchronous, in perfect harmony. The Sith looked at me, puzzled a moment, I think. After all - how could I smile when I was going to face my death? He did not understand. A solution had presented itself. I did not have to stand by as my Master, my life-bonded, left me; I could take my fate into my own hands and find peace my own way. There would be no more pain once I was one with the Force. A coward's way out? Perhaps. But it gave me the calmness and the clarity I needed to fight.

We fought hard, Qui-Gon and I delivering lightening fast blows. There is a freedom that comes when you expect to die. I was ready to meet my fate, to be embraced by the Force. Then I fell and Qui-Gon went on ahead, not waiting for me as he would in the past. Why he did that, I will never know. I tried to catch up and nearly did, but then the force-field locks cycled, and we were each trapped in our own compartment. Qui-Gon tried to meditate; the Sith seethed and raged. I... I waited.

Once more I was not fast enough; once more I was trapped as I watched my Master, my life-bonded, fight without me. I watched his movements, usually graceful and perfect, become mechanical and sloppy. He was tiring. I willed the shield cycle to hurry but...

"Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Qui-Gon, my love - my life. It would not end like this - I swore it by the Force that was within me. The rage boiled and ate at me, filling the empty, shredded places. It gave me the strength to survive the Sith, to make sure Qui-Gon was avenged. I could no longer take the coward's way out. I had to ensure my beloved's survival. I fought, hardly perceiving my movements and motions. The blow to my head didn't even faze me, although it was powerful enough to make my vision dim for a moment and my ears ring. That was how I was pushed into the pit by a pulse of the Force and my saber lost. That did not stop me. The Force encompassed me now; I was one with the living Force as I had never been. I found the strength, reached for Qui-Gon's saber, and... the Sith fell, defeated.

Rushing to his side, I cradled him in my arms. No! Don't let this happen!! I howled in mental agony.

"It's too late for me, Obi-Wan. It's too late."

"No - Master"

"The boy - you must train him. He is the chosen one."

With a brush of my cheek you left me. I felt the heart that beat for both of us slow and fade. NO! Tears dripped down my face, blood-red tears as the head wound finally made itself known to me. I didn't care.

Then choose, young Padawan. My head shot up. Around me I could feel them gathering, those that had gone before us into the Force, the ancestors. Your pain is known to us; we feel it. We give you the option. Now - choose.

What choice was there? The answer was obvious, at least to me. Let him live, I beg you; I ask nothing for myself, no mercy, no joining with the Force. He is needed; I am not. He is my heart.

So be it - the choice is made. The energies that were the ancestors swirled chaotically around me. I felt them enter me, and I felt all that I was pour into my Master, my love and life-bonded. And I watched as his chest rose and fell and rose again. The wound closed and faded. His eyes flickered.

And then darkness descended. The pain was gone.

END

  since 02-17-07

 

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