Qui-Gon sat on the floor of his quarters meditating. It had been three weeks since Obi-Wan was officially declared dead. He had attended the services that were held for Craydin Shaw and Obi-Wan Kenobi, but still felt as if something was not right about what happened on Vardell.
The sound of the door chime brought Qui-Gon out of his meditation. He was surprised to see Clee Rhara standing on the other side of the door.
“Clee,” Qui-Gon greeted, “it is nice to see you.”
“It is always good to see you as well Qui-Gon,” Clee nodded.
“Please come inside,” Qui-Gon invited her inside wondering what the woman wanted. He was familiar with Clee, and would talk to her on occasion if they happened to be in the same room together, or on a mission, but he did not consider her one of his close friends. He did not think that she had ever been in his quarters before.
“I was cleaning out Craydin and Obi-Wan’s quarters. I finally worked up enough courage to do it. Isn’t it funny how easy it is to fight in battles where the odds are against us, but so hard to clean out the quarters of a lost Knight and Padawan?”
Qui-Gon nodded, and motioned for the Jedi Master to sit on the near by couch with him.
“I thought you may want this back,” Clee told him as she pulled a river stone out of her robe pocket. It was the stone that Qui-Gon had given Obi-Wan for his thirteenth birthday.
The stone, that Obi-Wan had discovered was force sensitive, had helped to save the boy from loosing his memories, while he was subjected to a memory purge while on the planet Phindar.
“I can’t believe that he kept it,” Qui-Gon commented as he took the stone from Clee’s open palm. Gently he ran his thumb over the surface of the river stone.
“Of course he kept it. He kept it on his desk in his bedroom,” Clee smiled slightly before continuing. “He told me that he kept it there so that he could remember that he was once the student of the legendary Qui-Gon Jinn, and to remind him that there are consequences to his actions, so that when faced with tough decisions he should consider the consequences first.”
Qui-Gon was surprised, and glad that the ordeal on Melida/Dann and afterwards had taught him a lesson. He mused that it had taught himself the very same lesson, but unfortunately, his lesson had been learned too late.
“Adi, told me what you had told her in the shuttle about taking Obi-Wan back as your apprentice if he did not get picked by anyone else,” Clee smiled sadly, “Yoda, Tahl, Adi, Craydin, and I knew that you would come back to your senses one day, and realize that you and Obi-Wan belonged together. That is why Craydin was only Obi-Wan’s temporary master. Obi-Wan had thought that it was due to his probation but it was actually because we knew that you would come to your senses eventually. The council wasn’t so sure though and told Craydin, that after six months that Obi-Wan would stay as Craydin’s apprentice on a more permanent basis incase you did not come to your senses. I suspect that that decision had a lot to do with Master Yoda.”
Qui-Gon was at a loss for words. He could not believe it; if he had returned to the temple sooner he would have been able to take Obi-Wan back and perhaps he would still be alive. He could not get the thought that he could have prevented the boy’s death out of his mind.
“Are you going to go back to Vardell to attend the memorial services that they are going to have for the victims that had died in the bombing?”
“I don’t think so,” Qui-Gon admitted. “It is for the people closest to the victims, like you who were like a mother to Craydin, and Master Yoda who thought very highly of Obi-Wan.”
“Qui-Gon you were his master first; and Obi-Wan cared for you a great deal, even though you were not together anymore. If it were not true, he would not have kept the river stone. And I suspect that you cared a great deal for him, even though I know you would never admit it. Yoda asked me to tell you that you should go to the service tomorrow, and I agree with him.”
“I’ll think about it,” Qui-Gon assured her.
“The shuttle will leave at sunrise tomorrow morning, if you are going be there,” Clee told him and stood up to leave Qui-Gon’s quarters. “Good bye Qui-Gon, I hope you will join us tomorrow,” she told him before she left his quarters, hoping that her attempt at consoling the stubborn master helped.
**** * *** *
~~The lightsaber was swung at his head, and he instinctively ducked out of the way, and then swung his lightsaber at his opponent. His opponent swung his weapon and easily blocked Obi-Wan’s. Then his opponent swung lightsaber at Obi-Wan’s feet, Obi-Wan leaped over the weapon and landed behind his opponent. Obi-Wan then swung his weapon and touched the energy blade of the lightsaber to his opponent’s neck as he whirled around; ending the match.
A strange elf like being, using a walking stick hobbled towards them. “Good,” he told them, “fought well you have.”
Both opponents deactivated their weapons. ~~
“Rory, Rory wake up,” Azia’s words woke Obi-Wan out of his sleep, and he immediately opened his eyes.
“W-what is going on?” Obi-Wan asked, rubbing his eyes.
“Nothing it’s just time for you to wake up if you would like to eat breakfast. I’m not going to feed you whenever you feel like waking up.”
“Ok,” Obi-Wan said, sitting up. “I’ll be right out. Are Avery and Hultz here?”
“No, they went to the memorial services for the victims of the bombing.”
“The bombing that I was in?” Obi-Wan asked.
“Yes. Hurry and get dressed, breakfast will be ready in a few minutes,” Azia told him, and left the room, closing the door behind her.
Obi-Wan quickly got dressed; he could feel his anger growing. He was tired of the lies. He had been stuck in the house for three weeks, and only let out a few times, but always with Azia, Avery or Hultz. He had started having strange dreams like the one that Azia had just woke him up from, two weeks ago. He felt sure that they were memories, but he refused to tell anyone.
In the dreams he had always fought with a strange handheld weapon that he found out from the local library that it was called a lightsaber. It was the weapon of Jedi Knights. He wondered if he was the Jedi student that was presumed dead from the explosion.
He remembered a news broadcast that he had heard a few days ago that mentioned the memorial services. The broadcast had stated that some Jedi Knights that were involved with the rescue mission, and were close to the Jedi Knight and student who had died in the explosion.
In his dreams, Obi-Wan had spoken with the elf like being about a Master visiting the temple to choose a Padawan learner, a Master Qui-Gon Jinn. The name seemed very familiar to Obi-Wan for some reason, although why he did not know.
Obi-Wan decided as he dressed that he needed to find a way to contact the Jedi and find out if they know who he is. If he is the Padawan that they think is dead, then they should recognize him, or if he is a Jedi they should know him. Perhaps he could ask to speak with Qui-Gon Jinn.
After he finished changing into the worn out clothes that were a size or two too big for him, Obi-Wan went out to the small kitchen, and sat down at the table trying to think of a way to get Azia out of the house for a few minutes so he could contact the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
“You’re awfully quiet, Rory,” Azia commented.
“I’m just thinking,” Obi-Wan answered.
“About anything in particular?”
“I was just wondering why Avery and Hultz didn’t take me to the memorial service. I’m more than healed enough to attend there are people who were injured worse than I was who will be there.”
“You know that Avery is very over protective of you,” Azia replied as she took a bite of her breakfast.
“But why, I’m not a baby. I’m old enough to take care of myself; I don’t need constant supervision, but that what you three have done to me since I woke up three weeks ago. What are you afraid of? I can’t run away, I wouldn’t know where to go. There is plenty of food here, if I’m hungry, and if I need help I could use the comm unit to contact one of you.”
“Obi-Wan we are just worried about you. We don’t think that you are a baby.”
“Stop lying to me! You’ve been lying to me since I woke up!”
The color drained from Azia’s face as Obi-Wan’s words sunk in. “W-what are you talking about w-we haven’t been lying to you,” she stammered, as she stood up from the table. She suddenly seemed very anxious.
“Yes, you have!” Obi-Wan told her, also standing up. He knew that he should just keep quiet, but his mouth seemed to work ahead of his reasoning. “You told me that I was adopted, but Hultz said that I don’t resemble him or Avery because I look like our mother. And I’ve been remembering things too. I have been dreaming about fighting other kids with lightsabers. They are the weapons of the Jedi. Why would I remember fighting with a lightsaber? I read about the Jedi in the library that Hultz took me to. And I dreamt that a small Jedi Master told me about a Jedi Master named Qui-Gon Jinn who would come to the temple to choose a Padawan. I was at the Jedi temple on Coruscant. I’m a Jedi aren’t I? And the reason that Avery and Hultz didn’t want me to go to the memorial is because of the Jedi that will be there may recognize me isn’t it? I did not find any information about an illness called Wren, or any other illness that has the symptoms that would require a medicine brace worn around the neck. Why are you lying? Am I a Jedi?” Obi-Wan demanded.
“You have a wild imagination, Rory. Your illness is only new and not much is known yet about it.”
“Stop calling me Rory!” Obi-wan screamed, “In my dreams they called me Obi-Wan. And if the illness is so new, then why did you tell me that I’ve had it since I was a baby. Sixteen years is more than enough time to get the illness added to the library.”
Azia slowly backed towards a closet a few feet behind her, but Obi-Wan followed her. “You are letting you imagination get the best of you Rory. You are not a Jedi. You were always fascinated by the Jedi, and always wanted to be a Jedi Knight, but it was just a fantasy.”
“No, I am sick of your lies. Even if I am not a Jedi, I know I am not Rory Pajan, I checked the library records Azia, if that is even your real name; I know that a boy aged 9 died in a shuttle accident who’s name was Rory Pajan,” Obi-Wan told her as she backed into the closet. She quickly opened the closet door from behind her, spun around, and pulled out the syringe that was filled with the medication they had given Obi-Wan before Hultz brought the neck brace.
“I’m not sick now, Azia, what are you doing with that?” Obi-Wan questioned her, when she turned to face him holding the “medication”.
“Yes, you are. It is obvious that you are ill and that your medicine brace is not working properly. Hallucinations are one of the earliest symptoms. Now let me give you this medication,” she took a step towards Obi-Wan.
“No! You’ve been lying about everything else, why would you tell the truth now?”
Azia reached out with her left hand to grab Obi-Wan’s arm, but Obi-Wan grabbed her arm that held the syringe and easily got it out of her hand. He then grabbed her with his left arm around her neck and held the syringe to her arm. “So Azia,” Obi-Wan said, “what will happen to you if I inject this into you?”
“You’ll make me very sick, be-because I don’t need the medication.”
“Good,” Obi-Wan said, pressing the point of the syringe against her arm.
“NO, please you can’t do this. I’ll tell you what ever you want to know, just let me go,” she pleaded. “This was Avery’s idea, he thought he could get you to help in his cause. We found you unconscious on the streets; we thought at first that we could get a ransom for your safe return. But then when Avery discovered that you had amnesia, he thought that he could convince you that you were really his lost brother, and get you to help. We thought that you were just some kid from the streets that didn’t have a home to go to anyway.”
Obi-Wan laughed, “you think I’m going to believe you?” he adjusted his hold of Azia, and put the syringe down on a shelf in the closet. He then grabbed some rope from out of the closet. After pulling Azia to a chair at the other side of the room, Obi-Wan forced her to sit down. As Obi-Wan began to wrap the rope around the girl, she suddenly kicked him in the mid section, causing him to fall to the floor gasping to catch his breath.
“Do you think, that I don’t know how to take care of myself, boy? Do you think that Avery and Hultz would let me to take care of you by myself if, I could not?” Azia sneered, and kicked the boy in the head with her boots. Obi-Wan’s head cracked off of the floor as he fell backwards. Obi-Wan closed his eyes trying to lesson the pain that assaulted his face and the back of his head.
When Obi-Wan opened his eyes again, he saw Azia at the closet; she was preparing the syringe with an even higher dosage. Obi-Wan stared at her in a daze as she finished filling the syringe and then turned to walk towards him. “Now, you pathetic Jedi brat,” Azia muttered venomously as she turned and started walking back towards the boy.
Obi-Wan took a deep breath, trying to ignore the pain, and the ringing in his left ear. He closed his eyes partially, so that they were opened only a sliver; just enough that he could make out the blurred figure of Azia as she approached. He could see her bend down beside him, obviously thinking he was unconscious. Obi-Wan hoped that he would have enough strength to do what he was about to try. She moved her arm towards him ready to stab the syringe into his arm, then, Obi-Wan opened his eyes and kicked her arm. The syringe flew across the room and smashed off of the wall near the comm unit.
“No!” Azia roared, as she stumbled backwards, and nearly lost her footing.
Obi-Wan used her stumble to get up off the floor; the sudden movement caused his head to ache worse, and he hesitated a moment to let himself adjust. His hesitation was all Azia needed, to get her footing under control and come at him. As she ran at him she pulled out a dagger from inside her boot. Obi-Wan tried to get out of her way but the dagger caught him on his left arm. He felt the searing pain, as the blade cut easily through his shirt and skin, and he stifled and a scream. Quickly turning to face her, Obi-Wan saw, her come at him again, but Obi-Wan leapt over her, and landed behind her. Obi-Wan tripped her, and she fell hard on her side, as she tried to spin around to face him.
“You blasted Bantha brain!” she shrieked, as Obi-Wan grabbed her right hand with his right hand, and squeezed trying to get her to let go of the weapon. With her other hand she grabbed a fistful of his hair. Obi-Wan moved his right arm, which still held hers, and slammed her hand against the floor. He could hear the sound of bones cracking as her knuckles slammed off the floor, seconds before she let an agony filled cry, and dropped the weapon.
Obi-Wan pulled her to her feat and drug the struggling girl back to the chair where the ropes still laid on the floor. He then quickly tied her up as tight as he could with one injured and bleeding arm. “Rory please, I’ll tell you everything. The truth this time, I swear on my mother’s grave. You are a Jedi; you are the student of the Jedi Master you spoke of, Qui-Gon Jinn. He thinks that you are-“ before she could say anything else Obi-Wan put a piece of tape tightly over her mouth, and then walked to the comm unit on the wall.
Ignoring the mumbling noises coming from Azia, Obi-Wan took advantage of the information that he had learned at the library to contact the Jedi temple on Coruscant.
“Jedi Temple, Julanna speaking how may I direct you call?” A calm sounding female voice asked.
“I-I don’t know,” Obi-Wan said.
“Do you have a problem that you need assistance with? Do you need to speak with a Jedi Knight?” the woman questioned.
“Y-yes, I need to speak with Qui-Gon Jinn, I think he is my master.”
“Who is this?”
“Obi-Wan,” he said uncertainly.
“Hold please.” Julanna replied.
* *** * *** *
Master Mace Windu sat silently on the floor of his quarters meditating, when he heard the sudden sound of his comm unit beginning to beep on his desk. With a sigh, Mace rose to his feet and slowly walked over to his desk. It was the third time in an hour that his meditation had been interrupted by the comm unit.
“Julanna, I thought I asked you to transfer all transmissions to Plo Koon?” Mace commented after activating the comm unit.
“Yes, Master Mace, but I thought you might want to know that I have a boy on hold who claims to be the Padawan of Master Qui-Gon Jinn. I believe that he is playing a trick.”
“Did he give you his name?” Mace asked trying to hide the irritation from his voice.
“Yes, he said his name was Obi-Wan. Do you want me to transfer him to Master Plo Koon?”
“No, please transfer the call here.”
“I’m connecting you now, Master Mace,” the young knight informed him.
When a light began to flash on the comm unit a moment later, the Jedi Master began to speak “this is Master Mace Windu, who am I speaking with?”
“O Obi-Wan, sir. Where is Master Qui-Gon Jinn?” A young nervous sounding voice spoke over the comm unit.
“What do you want with him?” Mace asked, his voice sounded stern even to his own ears. He hated to be interrupted from his meditation, especially for a child’s prank.
“I-he. He’s my master isn’t he?” the boy asked.
“Listen son, I don’t know who you are, but Master Qui-Gon does not have a Padawan. Please do not contact the temple again, or I will have the local authorities arrest you-“
“Please wait sir. I thought he was my master. I heard his name mentioned in a dream and they were calling me Obi-Wan. I thought . . .” the boys voice trailed off, and Mace was confused by the boy’s words. Usually a prank caller would have ended the transmission immediately after a threat of being arrested.
“In your dreams?” Mace inquired, his curiosity getting the better of him.
“Y-yes sir. I don’t remember who I am. These people told me that my name was Rory Pajan, but everything they told me doesn’t feel right, and then I started having dreams that I thought were memories of dueling with the weapon that you call a lightsaber. I looked up the Jedi in the local library. The information that I read in the library told me that Jedi Padawans wear a section of their hair braided, by their right ear, and my hair is braided in the same spot, so I thought that I might be a Jedi. I also found out at the library that Rory Pajan died ten years ago. A little green guy with pointy ears told me in my dream that Master Qui-Gon Jinn was coming to the temple to choose a Padawan. And in other dreams other kids called me Obi-Wan. I’m sorry for troubling you sir, but I just wanted to find out who I am,” the boy explained almost without taking a breath.
“Where are you? And how did you lose your memory?” Mace asked suddenly, as his brain finally registered what the boy had told him.
“I’m in Schoala City on the planet Vardell. The people who I was staying with told me that I was caught in the explosion of the Vardell capital building. They said that I was their brother, and that they had to give me more medication than normal for an illness that I have because the medicine brace I wore on my neck was damaged. They told me that the high dose they gave me caused my memory loss.”
“And you don’t believe them?” Mace asked as he wondered if he could really be talking to Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“No. Hultz told me that I didn’t look like him or Avery because I looked like their mother, but Azia told me it was because I was adopted. And since I woke up here I noticed other inconsistencies.”
“I see. And Hultz, Avery and Azia are the people who took you?” Mace said.
“Yes. Sir, Will you help me?” the boy asked, sounding desperate. Mace wished that the boy had a holo transmitter on his comm unit so he could see what the boy looked like.
“I will try. I will contact the Jedi that are at the memorial for the victims of the explosion. I need you to tell me where you are, so I can send the Jedi to come and speak with you.”
“B-but, if Avery and Hultz come back they will hurt me, more. I tied Azia to a chair, but they are too big, and there are no weapons here. I think I broke her fingers when I tried to get the dagger away from her. I am going to go to the memorial, and find the Jedi; all I have to do is not let Hultz and Avery see me. And there will be a lot of other people around so that they won’t hurt me.”
“They are at the memorial service?” Mace asked.
“Yes. I have to go now, sir. They could come back anytime.”
“Alright, I’ll contact the Jedi on Vardell. A couple of them are speaking on the behalf of the Jedi Knight and Padawan that were lost in the explosion, go to the back of the stage and tell security that you are there to see Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Master Yoda. I’ll call ahead, and let them know that you will be coming, and that they should inform security that you are expected and will ask for Qui-Gon Jinn and Master Yoda,” Mace instructed the boy.
“Ok,” the boy said.
“And May the force be with you,” Mace told him.
There was a moment’s hesitation before the boy said “thank you,” and closed the transmission. Mace then immediately contacted Qui-Gon and Yoda.
* *** * *** *
After walking out of the house that he had lived I n for two weeks, Obi-Wan finally exited the small house alone, without the presence of Azia or his “brothers”. As he started to walk down the street that was not as busy as the day that Hultz had taken him to the library, he realized that he had no idea where to go, or how to get to the memorial service. He stopped walking and looked around. There were no signs or any other indications of what direction he should go.
“Young man,” an old woman with silver hair, and a walking cane interrupted his thoughts, “you look confused. Do you need some help?”
Obi-Wan could not stop the smile that formed on his lips, at the woman’s words. “Yes ma’am, I need to meet my family at the memorial services today, but I must have gotten on the wrong transport and ended up here. I don’t know how to get there from here. If you could give me directions I would be grateful.”
“Good heavens above child, what happened to you? I should get you to the medical facilities, is what I should do,” the woman said, as a speeder pulled up behind the two of them.
“I am fine really, I need to get to the memorial, I haven’t seen my family in so long ma’am, please could you tell which way to go?”
“I can do better than that young man, the woman said, I am waiting for my son to pick me up to go to the service myself, I shall give you a lift.”
“Thank you, so much,” Obi-Wan smiled. “Is that your son behind us in the speeder?”
The woman turned around and waved to the man inside the speeder, a bright smile forming on her lips. “Yes, that is my Tarrin.”
* *** * *** *
“Stupid boy,” Azia thought, as she easily got the ropes that held her to the chair loosened enough to free her self, despite her injured right fingers. As soon as she got off of the chair she immediately ripped the tape off of her mouth ignoring the slight pain it caused, and ran to the comm unit on the other side of the room.
“Avery,” Azia said after she typed a few buttons on the unit’s keypad.
“Azia, is something wrong?” Avery’s voice asked.
“Yes, Jedi boy is gone. And he knows that we lied to him. He contacted the Jedi, and is on his way to the memorial services to meet with the Jedi that are there. He’s not sure who he is exactly, but if the other Jedi see him, they will recognize him.”
“We’ll find him first, Azia,” Avery assured her.
Azia closed her eyes after his comment, knowing what the man would do to the boy if he found him first, but she had to warn them that there might be trouble. She could only hope that the Jedi found the boy first.
“Are you ok?”
“Yes. I’m just a little banged up, but I’ll be fine.”
“Good where is he supposed to meet the Jedi?” Avery asked.
Again she closed her eyes, she had hoped that he would not ask her that, because she could not lie to the man who had taken care of her after her parents were killed. He was like the older brother that she never had, and she promised that she would not lie to him. “He is supposed to meet them back stage and tell security that he is there to see two of the Jedi, so that they know that it is him. I’m sure that if the Jedi see him though, they’ll recognize him without needing him to tell security who he’s there to see.”
“Thank you Azia,” Avery told her, “I want you to go to the warehouse, and wait for us. If we are not there in two hours I want you to take the freighter and get off the planet.”
“But what about you and Hultz?” Azia asked wide-eyed.
“We’ll be fine, we’ll find a transport, and contact you on the freighters comm unit. Now go before that boy, or the Jedi send the local authorities after you.”
* *** * *** *
Qui-Gon could not believe what he had just heard. Obi-Wan might still be alive. He tried not to let himself get his hopes up, but he could not stop the hope that was raising deep inside of him.
Since Mace Windu had told him and Yoda about the boy that had contacted him, he had been watching the entrance to the back stage area for any sign of Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon was so caught up in his thoughts of his former apprentice, that he did not sense Adi Gallia’s approach.
“Qui-Gon,” she began, “are you ok? Yoda told me about Master Mace’s transmission.”
“Yes, I’m fine,” Qui-Gon replied still looking out over the crowd of people nearest the backstage entrance.
“I hope that Mace is right,” Adi said, as she too looked out over the crowd for a certain familiar face. Suddenly Qui-Gon noticed a movement near one of the security guards, and focused his attention on the movement.
He saw a boy about Obi-Wan’s age with the same color hair approaching a security officer. The boy’s head was lowered and Qui-Gon could not get a good look at his face.
He felt his heart begin to race as he realized that this boy may be Obi-Wan. But as the boy lifted his head to speak with the security officer Qui-Gon got a good look at the boy’s face. It was not Obi-Wan.
“Qui-Gon,” Adi said from behind him. Qui-Gon turned to tell her that the boy talking to the security officer was not Obi-Wan, but noticed that her attention was focused on something else further away from the entrance to the backstage area.
Qui-Gon turned to look into the crowd in the general area that Adi was looking at, and gasped before saying, “Obi-Wan.”