There was no prior indication of what Jedi Scholars would later describe as feeling like a gravitational shift in the Force - rippling out and touched every corner of the known galaxy. As its origination point was somewhere within the Jedi Temple, it startled the members of the the Order first. No Jedi could pinpoint its exact origination, only that it seemed to come from within the Temple complex itself, somewhere near the meditation and sleeping quarters. Nor was there any indication of what - or whom - the direct cause was, only that the Force itself seemed to have made some sort of self-induced fluctuation - which most had believed impossible.
(Jocusta Nu scoured the archives, and found no recorded mention of a similar, previous event.)
At the early hour that the shift occurred, there were quite a few Jedi awake - those who preferred the peace of the early hour (or simply could not sleep), the hanger staff, the Temple Guardians, those who were nocturnal and only just heading to bed. Master Yoda had been quietly meditating on a cushion in his living room, his connection to the Force wide open and flowing like a river. To the Grand Master of the Order, the shift began as a subtle change in what he had always termed the ‘current’ of the Force, one in an unseen sea of many. The change in current, from one moment to the next, felt like a storm surge.
The wave, when it crested over Yoda, faster than he was prepared for, was filled with images, sensations and sounds that vanished just as quickly as he tried to grasp them. The sound of blaster fire, magnified thousands-fold, as if many were being shot at once. Shouting, the heat of drawn lightsabers, the flashes of a river of fire. Darkness and light dancing together. Rushes of joy, of pain, of grief, the feel of sand blown against skin by the wind. Hope, children laughing, screams of pain. The whine of engines, explosions. Thousands of shattered impressions rushed by him and through him, leaving Yoda lost in the turmoil. Leaving many conscious Force users floundering, or overwhelming them completely. When the surge ended, it took many minutes for Yoda to open his eyes. He did so slowly, overcome, silently processing what had just happened. He could feel the echoes still, the reverberations as the surge travelled.
Mace arrived in the meditation room at a run, breathless and flushed, clutching at the doorway as if trying not to fall to his knees. “Master -”
“Felt it, I did, Master Windu.” Yoda said softly. “Yet know what it means, I do not.”
“An attack?” Mace asked, alarmed.
“No.” Yoda replied, “not an attack.” He was still slightly off-balance.
“Not sure, I am.” Yoda replied, staring into the distance at nothing. “A disturbance in the Force, perhaps. A vision, or a warning. But also….hope. Change, I feel.” And he could feel it, the Force felt lighter somehow. Like a veil had lifted, paths had altered.
“Change for the better, or for the worse?”
“Yet to be seen, that is.” Yoda said, pensively, only half focusing on Mace while trying to sense what the Force now had in store for them. “Answers the Force will provide, in time. Make the purpose of this change known, it will.”
“Sooner would be better rather than later.” Mace admitted. “There are a lot of concerned Force users right about now, and not just in the Temple.”
Yoda jumped off of the cushion he had been meditating on. “Go help them, we will. Concerns all, this does.”
While there were many beings on Coruscant that felt the shift in the Force, only one, steeped in the Dark side of the Force, had also seen what Yoda had. Sheev Palpatine, Lord Sidious of Bane’s line.
He felt the surge in the Force, thinking at first it to be a vision for him alone - until one of his acolytes had dropped to the floor shaking. Sidious reached out with the Force, trying to snatch some of the power he felt, to freeze the images to see if they matched his plans for the future - and found himself rebuffed by the Force itself.
This was not for him . It seemed to impress on his mind. He would not touch what should not be.
The Force’s refusal to bend to his will only infuriated Sidious further. In anger, he reached out for the surge in the Force again, only to be physically thrown backwards into the black walls of his inner sanctum.
When he recovered, the surge was still travelling, but no longer within Sidious’ reach. He burned with fury. He had seen explosions, the death of Jedi, of droids, of armor, but also peace, and hope. It sickened him, but not enough so that he could ignore the change he felt in the Force.
Or the sense that it was coming from the Jedi Temple.
Whatever it was, the Sith Lord seethed, Chosen One, or not, change or not, he would bend the Force, his Dark tool, to his will. He would not fail in his plans for the Galaxy.
In her room at the Jedi Temple, thirteen and a half year old, recently instated Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi frowned in her sleep, then rolled over into a defensive sleeping position - one that she should not have known or needed in this lifetime yet - and slipped into a deeper slumber.
Her peace would last only until she awoke.
Ben Kenobi had returned to Life.
Chapter 2: Force Shift II
Qui-Gon reacts to the shift in the Force, there's some foreshadowing, and we see Ben for the first time in the new timeline.
Thank you very much to laughing_phoenix for her wonderful editing, and her brief lesson in anatomy relevant to the chapter!
Also thank you to everyone who has been commenting on all my fics recently! You are lovely humans, and I am replying very, very slowly as I look for a job.
Qui-Gon Jinn was an early riser, and so like many in the Temple, he had been awake to feel the massive shift in the Force that spread from somewhere in the Temple. He had been having an early morning cup of tea, rather than meditating - which he had planned to do later. However, Qui-Gon’s extraordinarily strong link to the Living Force in itself provided enough strength for the Jedi Master to be one of the few beings who was able to catch an impression off of the surge.
At first Qui-Gon felt the surge like a shock wave, it came so suddenly that the Jedi Master jerked violently, spilling the tea across the standard cream coloured carpet in the living room. Merely a few seconds later, before he could compose himself, the images began to appear before his eyes, as if they were shadows that moved in and out of the dawn gloom.
The vision that was granted to Qui-Gon lacked clarity, as if there was a fog over his eyes. Two of the figures were Jedi, he was certain of it, wielding lightsabers of green and blue. He could not see their faces, nor their genders - perhaps a Master and Padawan pair? The third shadowy figure, whenever it appeared, was terrifying, and the lightsaber it wielded was as red as fresh blood. He did not know for certain what he was seeing - if it was a battle in the past, or one in the future, one that was to be or was never to be - but a red lightsaber was the hallmark of the Sith, and the Sith had been extinct for a millennium.
He tried to clear some of the fog, to see the fight more clearly, and failed. Once, and again, he tried, and failed. The third time - the third time he was too late - and he felt it as he saw it, as if the red blade had gone through his own body - the blade pierced through the abdomen of the Jedi wielding the green lightsaber. He gasped in shock and pain, clutching at the same spot on his own body - the vision fading abruptly with the pain. His own vision swam with the psychosomatic agony - he hoped - of the wound he had witnessed.
As the pain ebbed Qui-Gon’s thoughts were able to coalesce, his mind returning to the present - to the now that he so often told Obi-Wan to be mindful of - and he found that he had fallen to the floor, to his knees, held upright solely by one of his arms, propped up against the stool he’d been sitting on. His knees were drenched, the fabric of his leggings soaking up the now cold tea pooled on the floor.
It shouldn’t have been cold. He’d only just split it, hadn't he? Dimly, through his shock, Qui-Gon realised that his comm was beeping frantically, and there was a dull pain in his knees, dull enough that under the pain in his belly, he had not noticed it. How long had he been there? How much time had passed while he’d been subject to the vision?
He tried to breathe, the wound, the shadow of the wound was straining. He pulled his hand away, briefly, to make certain that he was not bleeding. He was not. Qui-Gon found that he was more relieved than he possibly should have been.
Qui-Gon had never been prone to visions. If the one he had just experienced was typical, then, Force willing, he hoped to never have one ever again. In addition to the vision, the event that had caused it was something he had never sensed before. In its wake, Qui-Gon could feel the wave still travelling, as if the Force was trembling in the air. Dimly, Qui-Gon could also sense the chaos that the wave was causing in the Temple.
He scrabbled upright, using the stool as leverage, his hand still over his stomach, sending his discarded teacup rolling across the floor. Qui-Gon gasped with pain, easing himself onto the stool, and looked around frantically for his commlink. He spotted his chronometer first, and grabbed it.
An hour and a half. He had been on his knees, lost to the Force vision for an hour and a half.
Qui-Gon’s commlink chirped again, and he spotted it on the counter near the kettle. He lurched over to the kettle and leaned on the counter to answer his comm. “Jinn here.” His voice was gruff, as if he’d strained it.
“Where the Force have you been?” demanded Mace, sounding harried and somewhat more irritated than Qui-Gon was used to from the normally placid monk.
Qui-Gon ignored the demand. “Mace,” he asked, voice still rough. “What was that?”
“The Force, I felt…”
Mace swore. “What happened to you?”
“...I had a vision.” Qui-Gon replied honestly.
Mace snorted. “You don’t get visions, Qui-Gon.”
“Well,” Qui-Gon said wryly, “the one that has apparently kept me occupied for an hour and a half would be proof otherwise.”
Mace swore further. “We don’t know what the surge in the Force was -” This startled Qui-Gon, but before he could voice his confusion, Mace continued. “We think it started somewhere in the Temple, though where we don’t know. As it is, the whole Temple is in an uproar, and the more Force sensitive species on Coruscant are asking for an explanation. We’ve been trying to organize the Masters currently in Temple to deal with those affected, both Jedi and otherwise. If you’ve had an actual vision out of the Force surge, then you’re exempt. Yoda is as well, and whatever he saw, he’s refusing to say.”
“I can still -”
“No.” Mace said firmly. “Of the the others who had visions, several are in the infirmary, one is comatose, and you don’t sound like you’re up to it.”
“I think...I felt as if I was watching a battle.” Qui-Gon said. “And was stabbed through with a lightsaber.”
“...stay in your quarters.” Mace said slowly. “Even if there is no physical wound, I want you checked out.”
“Fine.” Qui-Gon agreed. It was likely a good idea.
“Later, we’ll be meeting with everyone who had visions to try and sort out whatever the Force has been trying to tell us.” Mace continued. “In the meantime, we’ve been trying to account for everyone who was in the Temple at the time. Obi-Wan was supposed to be in an early morning meditation class an hour ago, but Master Koir says she never showed up. Do you know where Obi-Wan may have gone?”
“Obi-Wan always -” Qui-Gon began to protest, and then his eyes drifted to the door of their quarters, where Obi-Wan’s smaller, tan boots lay unworn on the rug they had set down for dirty shoes. Though he was uncertain why, the hairs on the back of Qui-Gon’s neck rose. “Obi-Wan’s things are still here.” He told Mace, and ignoring the phantom injury, Qui-Gon straightened and made for his Padawan’s bedroom. “I’ll check her room.”
Qui-Gon first checked his bond with Obi-Wan, and was startled enough that he stopped short, before his long legs carried him forward, quicker this time. Obi-Wan had never fully blocked him from the bond before. Theirs was a young bond, Obi-Wan had been his student less than a year, there was no real need for blocking yet. Plus, the bond felt...different, as if sometime since the surge in the Force it had been broken, and then mended seamlessly. Qui-Gon had never heard of such a thing happening, and it should not have happened without Qui-Gon noticing, or something terrible happening to either one of them.
“Obi-Wan?” He called, just above his normal speaking tone, outside of Obi-Wan’s door. “Are you in there, are you well?”
There was a brief, horrifying clamour of emotions from Obi-Wan’s side of the bond, and then a sob from the other side of the door, a sound so tinged with grief and fear that Qui-Gon, whom had always tried to respect Obi-Wan’s quarters as her own, personal space, did not wait to be granted entry but used the Force to immediately open the door.
Inside, crumpled on the floor, half sitting, half trying to stand, was his thirteen and a half year old apprentice. She was still dressed in her sleeping robe, her hair in disarray, with tears streaming down her cheeks. From the look of her Qui-Gon guessed that Obi-Wan had walked towards the door, but for some reason, couldn’t - or wouldn’t - open it. She flinched when the door opened, but made no move to get up. Instead, his Padawan seemed to sink further to the floor, and her expression -
Qui-Gon would be haunted by the look on young Obi-Wan’s face for the rest of his days. Obi-Wan bore a countenance so full of misery, and despair, and disbelief, that it froze Qui-Gon in place. As Obi-Wan caught sight of him, her expression crumpled further, and she whispered his name.
Slowly, Qui-Gon crouched in front of Obi-Wan, and reached out to touch her shoulder. “Obi-Wan? What happened?”
Obi-Wan recoiled from him, very briefly - shocking Qui-Gon - then she tentatively reached out for his hand, gave a small shuddering gasp when her skin touched his, and with more strength than a thirteen and a half year old should have possessed dragged Qui-Gon forward so that he fell back to his knees, inside the bedroom. Obi-Wan clung to him and wept, clutching at Qui-Gon’s robes and keening.
Instinct took over, Qui-Gon snatching up his Padawan and re-arranging himself so that she was seated in his lap. He turned Obi-Wan, so she was crying into his shoulder and not his chest. “Obi-Wan?” he whispered, rubbing her back in small circles.
It took a moment for Qui-Gon to understand the words his apprentice was muttering vehemently into his outer robe. “Not again,” she repeated. “It can’t be real, it can’t be. It can’t be!”
“What is it, my little one?” Qui-Gon whispered into Obi-Wan’s hair. “What can’t be?”
Obi-Wan merely tightened her grip on Qui-Gon and refused to respond. “Perhaps we should go down to the Healers - “ Qui-Gon began to suggest, gathering his arms around Obi-Wan in order to sweep her up. He was not prepared for the violence of Obi-Wan’s response.
She shrank away from him, nearly dislodging herself from his lap in what almost amounted to terror, her eyes wide. “No!”
Her eyes shone with more tears. Qui-Gon knew his padawan would have a headache sooner rather than later. “I can’t go out there!” She cried sharply.
“I can’t.” She began to hyperventilate. “I can’t, please, no. I don’t want to see -” She shook her head fiercely. “Please.” She was begging him. “I can’t - I don’t want to see -” She buried her face in his shoulder and whimpered. “I can’t go out, I can’t see it, not again.”
“See what, Obi-Wan?” A terrible suspicion was forming in Qui-Gon’s mind.
“The dead ,” Came the horrible, reedy whisper.
Qui-Gon utilized a frivolous Force gesture to once more bring his commlink to his hand. “Mace?”
“Have you found her?” The other Master asked.
“I have,” Qui-Gon said quietly, “I fear you have one more Jedi to add to your list of those affected by a vision.”
Mace groaned. “Is Obi-Wan -”
“Mace.” Qui-Gon interrupted the other master, trying to keep himself calm. “Right now, I need you to get Yoda and send him to our quarters. Whatever Obi-Wan has seen has disturbed her greatly, and I cannot - will not - remove her forcibly from her room without permission.”
Obi-Wan seemed to curl further into him. Obi-Wan had had visions before, bad ones, violent ones, and the leader of the Order - her Great-Grandmaster - had been able to calm her down, even when Qui-Gon could not reach her.
“Immediately.” Qui-Gon said. “If possible, when you send a healer to our quarters, I would also like to request a mind healer.”
The momentary silence on the other end of the line told Qui-Gon that Mace understood the urgency of the request. He could possibly hear Obi-Wan’s crying. “Understood. Mace out.”
Despite the relative fragility of the Order’s Grand-Master, Yoda was within the Jinn/Kenobi apartments within fifteen minutes.
Chapter 3: Force Shift III
Yoda arrives at the Jinn/Kenobi apartments, and is concerned for Obi-Wan.
Sorry for the wait! Here is the next part of Force Shift. I hope you all have a happy December/New Years, no matter what holiday you celebrate.
Thank you to missmarthanightengale, who sent me a happy birthday message for Scenes from an Alternate Galaxy! We were very touched, and hadn't realised that it had been a year already!
Almost as if I had realised - here's the next chapter, and, well, grab tissues?
I'll start replying to comments soon, when I have a breather from holiday prep.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
While he himself had been strongly affected - perhaps amongst the most affected in the Order - by the strange shift in the Force and the subsequent visions, when Yoda was informed by Mace that Obi-Wan had had a vision of her own, reaching his great-grandpadawan became the Grand Master’s chief concern.
Despite the fact that he disliked using his hover-chair, Yoda left the rooms that he had been meditating in and used the chair to cross the Temple in record time. Despite the apologies that he would have to make to various Jedi who had not moved out of his way quite quickly enough, when he reached the Jinn/Kenobi quarters and caught his first sight of the youngest in his Line, the ancient Jedi was glad he had, indeed, rushed.
Even in the Creche, when she had had visions, Obi-Wan’s reactions had generally bridged on the stoic. Occasionally there had been sleepless nights, shrieking and tears, but those had been very rare indeed. Whatever his ginger haired youngest had seen this time, it was enough to have shaken Obi-Wan to the core.
Upon entering the apartments, Yoda was treated to the sight of Qui-Gon sitting on the floor near the entrance to the short hall that led to the sleeping quarters, robes disheveled, and bodily wrapped around a smaller - nearly invisible - being hiding amongst the folds of tunics, robe and tabards. Only a glimpse of Obi-Wan’s hair sticking out showed that she was in there at all. Qui-Gon slumped, as best he could, with relief at the sight of the smaller, greener, Jedi Master. One of his hands lay atop Obi-Wan’s head, and the other cradled her against him. As Yoda slid off his hover-chair to approach, Qui-Gon reached down and said gently, “Obi-Wan, Master Yoda is here, would you like to say hello?”
There was a shuddering sob from the bundle in Qui-Gon’s arms, Obi-Wan shook her head, and tried to burrow further into the fabric, her face in Qui-Gon’s chest. Though he didn’t seem it - he was clearly trying to hold onto a semblance of calm for Obi-Wan - Yoda knew his grandpadawan well enough to know that he was panicking.
Neither Feemor nor Xanatos had ever been subject to Force visions, and neither had Qui-Gon - until today, according to Mace. Dealing with the aftermath of an intense vision had never been something Qui-Gon had ever had to handle with one of his charges. Yoda came closer, and gently placed a hand on the shuddering padawan’s back.
“Obi-Wan.” He said quietly, and was not prepared for the gasp of breath and near flinch that his touch caused. Ignoring it, though worried, he tried again, looking to Qui-Gon, whose nod seemed to confirm that Obi-Wan had also had the same reaction to his own touch, initially. “Worry for you, we do. Look at me, youngling.”
Slowly, very slowly indeed, as if afraid of what she would see, Obi-Wan peeked out at Yoda from over Qui-Gon’s bicep. Her eyes were red and swollen from tears, and there were lines on her cheek from where she had pressed against Qui-Gon’s robes. Something in Obi-Wan had changed. Perhaps Qui-Gon, in his panic, had not yet realised the variance, but the difference was readily apparent in Obi-Wan’s eyes, the expression on her face. Some sort of knowledge had been imparted on this young child of the Order, and without even knowing what that insight was, it made Yoda’s heart weep. This little one was no longer wholly a child.
Yoda reached out and cupped Obi-Wan’s cheek with his own, smaller hand. “Terrible things you have seen,” he whispered, and Obi-Wan’s answer was a fresh flood of silent tears from beneath newly closed eyelids, and an expression that the Jedi Master had only before seen on those who had suffered for years. Qui-Gon tensed, and ran a hand over Obi-Wan’s head in a soothing gesture that Yoda suspected was as much to calm himself as it was to calm his padawan.
Qui-Gon opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by Obi-Wan. “This cannot be real,” she said, and her voice was full of anguish. “Not - not this. Anything but this.”
“Real, I am.” Yoda said, trying to work out what she meant. “Real is Qui-Gon, and real are you. Living beings we are, luminous beings. Perhaps old, I am, but real.”
The laugh that Yoda’s declaration produced was a horrible, raw thing to come from the throat of a child, and it startled both Jedi Masters. Qui-Gon went pale, and the sound made Yoda flatten his ears momentarily. Force, what had Obi-Wan seen?
Obi-Wan whined and put her forehead on Qui-Gon’s arm, eyes closed, but did not try to hide again. “I can feel you,” she whispered, “I can feel everyone in the Force, so bright - but…” She shook her head, and there were more tears as she spoke. “We’re alive, but we can’t be. This cannot be real, I saw - I remember, I saw -” She hid her face in Qui-Gon’s robes again.
Yoda looked to Qui-Gon for clarification. “She will not leave the apartment.” Qui-Gon told him, “if I had not gone to her room, I am not certain that she would have left it at all.” He hesitated, and then said, “she is - she says that she does not want to see the dead. Obi-Wan will not tell me what that means.”
There was a whine from where Obi-Wan had once more burrowed against Qui-Gon’s chest. “Not again,” Obi-Wan whimpered, muffled by the linen. “I felt them all, I felt it happen. I - please , not again.”
Yoda looked at Qui-Gon, then reached out, moving his grandpadawan’s arms away and manoeuvring young Obi-Wan out of her heap. She did not resist, though she did not pull away from Qui-Gon completely, her back resting against his chest as she watched Yoda curiously.
“May I see, Obi-Wan?” Yoda asked quietly.
Obi-Wan’s eyes widened abruptly, and she hissed a breath of shock through clenched teeth. Her answer was shaky. “With respect, Master,” she said, her voice hoarse. “I am… You don’t want to see this.”
“Obi-Wan?” Qui-Gon whispered to his padawan, who was shaking her head.
“I can’t -” The anguish was back in her voice. “Not all of it, please. I can’t -”
“The dead, young one.” Yoda interrupted, and then more slowly. “Show me all, you need not. If more, there is?”
Hesitantly, Obi-Wan slowly nodded. Yoda could see Qui-Gon’s jaw clench again.
“Willing to show me later, would you be?”
Obi-Wan froze in Qui-Gon’s arms, her breathing grew more rapid, and to Yoda it looked as if the padawan’s mind was whirring. Her eyes unfocused, and she seemed to have momentarily forgotten that they were there. Qui-Gon looked as if he was going to try to produce a response from Obi-Wan, but aborted the motion at Yoda’s abrupt head shake.
When Obi-Wan looked to Yoda again, he saw that something akin to strength had seeped back into her. “Maybe,” Obi-Wan said, her voice a little more stable. “Maybe someday,” she said again, and looked away from him, as if ashamed of her refusal.
Before Qui-Gon could protest, Yoda nodded. “Agree, I do.”
Obi-Wan jerked back to look at him, blinking in surprise, and then nodded, but made no move to leave Qui-Gon’s grasp.
Yoda respected Obi-Wan’s need to stay in the relative protection of her Master’s hold, and instead came over, perching as lightly as he could on Qui-Gon’s legs, and kneeling against Obi-Wan’s. He brushed away a lock of hair that had stuck to Obi-Wan’s brow, wet from her tears. The little padawan trembled as Yoda placed his palm gently on her forehead. It was a gesture they were both familiar with - they had used it in the Creche, before Qui-Gon had finally taken Obi-Wan as his apprentice. Obi-Wan seemed soothed by the action, and pushed slightly against Yoda’s weathered palm.
Show me. Yoda said, in Obi-Wan’s mind. What you can.
There was a jumble of emotions from Obi-Wan, and her mind, for all Yoda was able to explain it, seemed to fluctuate between the youth he knew and...something, someone older. The same mind, but belonging to someone closer to Qui-Gon’s age, rather than a thirteen year old padawan. Her shields fluctuated rapidly, and Qui-Gon jumped, possibly feeling what Yoda had. As soon as the difference registered, it disappeared, leaving the quivering thirteen year old mind that Yoda had expected to find.
Blurry images sped past in Obi-Wan’s mind - further parts of the vision she had been subjected to, perhaps? But they were things that she did not want him to see, and instead, the image that swam into clarity was one of - of himself. Older, more worn, clearly under the weight of considerable strain, but certainly himself. There was a Jedi walking with him, a woman in her prime with familiar ginger hair. Obi-Wan - for this must be an older version of the child sitting in her Master’s lap - looked broken, her tunics torn and scored by blaster fire, her eyes full of grief. They walked slowly, side by side, down one of the four massive entry halls of the Temple.
However, it was a vision of the Temple as Yoda would never wish to see it. Physically, the ancient Jedi Master fought to keep his hand on Obi-Wan’s forehead, not to reel back in horror and denial. In his long, long life, nothing compared to this sight - and now he could understand the magnitude of Obi-Wan’s reaction.
The dead lay sprawled everywhere. Masters, Knights, padawans, some strange soldiers in Mandalorian style armour - and the younglings, Force, even the youngest of Initiates lay scattered, lifeless on the floor. Some had clearly died in battle, some trying to defend others, others in flight. They rested as they had fallen, some still with their eyes open, staring, sightless, into eternity. Others still, missing limbs, heads - the blood of hundreds of different species mingling. The scent of scorched flesh, sharp, unmistakable, permeated everything*.
Save this older version of himself, and Padawan Kenobi, no Jedi had been left alive. Yoda could feel it, and the cold horror of it - and the Dark, rolling, surging, victorious in its annihilation of the Light. He could feel his own physical body weeping. What was this? How had this happened?
The older version of himself was speaking, as it maneuverer around the crumpled, destroyed body of a Jedi Knight who had been first shot, and then had their skull bashed in. “If into the security recordings you go, only pain will you find.” He paused near a small body, an Initiate whose head had nearly been removed from its thorax, and the elder Yoda closed it’s eyes in grief.
“I must know the truth, Master.” The older Obi-Wan said, raggedly.
“Truth, there is around us, Obi-Wan. Know what you will find, you already do.”
The elder Obi-Wan drew a shuddering breath. “Master, I cannot believe that-”
The vision ended abruptly, Yoda’s hand falling from Obi-Wan’s forehead as the padawan jerked back from him, sobbing once more and burying her head back into Qui-Gon’s tunics. The other Jedi Master had gone pale, likely from the sight of the Grand Master of the Order crying.
“Stay in these rooms, we shall, until a mind healer comes.” Yoda ordered. “Make tea, I will, and meditate here, near Obi-Wan, I shall.”
“Master?” Qui-Gon asked. “What -” He couldn’t finish.
“A warning from the Force, Obi-Wan may have seen.” Yoda said, as something in his mind tingled with doubt. He had experienced warnings from the Force before - the odd shift in the Force had felt like one, more than Obi-Wan’s vision had. This, what Obi-Wan had seen, felt more like -
Yoda opened his eyes and scrutinized the young padawan, his impressions of her coming fast. Whatever he learned, Yoda decided to keep to himself. “But know yet, we do not. Until then, Master Jinn, take care of our youngest we must.”
*Seriously, as part of the job I had before graduate school I watched a variety of surgeries. That smell is not one you forget in a hurry.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Mace gathers those who have had visions from the shift in the Force to share what has been seen.
Hi ducklings! Have this chapter before the holidays :)
Thank you, as always, to the best Beta ever - Phoenix.
Obi-Wan Kenobi had been on Mace Windu’s radar long before she had become Qui-Gon Jinn’s apprentice. (If it hadn’t been for Yoda, Mace would have offered for initiate Kenobi himself - she might have been a good user of Vaapad.) As a youngling, even before the mess with Bruck Chun, Obi-Wan had come to the attention of the Council through the reports of worried Creche masters regarding the child’s increasing propensity for Force visions.
And on occasion, how violent those visions proved to be.
Yoda, after his visit to Obi-Wan, had been uncharacteristically silent. The elder Jedi likely knew more of what was going on than he was saying - he always did, Force bless him - but like Qui-Gon he was not letting anything slip.
So Qui-Gon’s report that his apprentice had also been subject to a Force-granted vision from the strange ripple that had gone through the Force that morning was less of a surprise than it could have been. As it was, it made young Kenobi the youngest of those who had had visions that they yet knew of. Qui-Gon was the surprise in this situation, and he’d refused to say anything on the matter, focusing on his clearly traumatised padawan.
Most Jedi did not get Force visions. Warnings, yes, nudges were common, but not visions. This strange, strong movement of the Force had changed that. There were nearly twenty in the Temple alone who had been strongly affected. Most of them had had visions, while some who had could not remember - or were repressing - what they had seen, and were being monitored by mind Healers. No one would be pressured to reveal what they had been shown - and in young Kenobi’s case, because of her age, she could not be coerced into re-telling it unless the vision was relevant. Which was why those who’d been more affected by whatever had happened in the Force were being called to a meeting.
It was to be held in one of the more...relaxing conference rooms available to the Council, one with low chairs and ample cushions, used more often for distressing briefings or celebrations. It was large enough to accommodate the group, some of Jocasta Nu’s Archivists, and a coalition of mind Healers who had insisted on being present.
Qui-Gon was also present at the meeting, though not physically. A video com had been set up in the conference room - the feed was streaming from the Kenobi/Jinn apartments, and it was questionable if Obi-Wan herself would even appear - though through the screen, Mace suspected that the ball of robes just out of vision was Obi-Wan, judging by the fact that it twitched occasionally. Obi-Wan hadn’t reportedly left their quarters since the shift in the Force, and had been excused from any duties. Her Master had refused to depart until Obi-Wan herself felt able to leave.
They were still getting reports from Jedi across the galaxy, and from lay Force sensitives between Coruscant and the Outer Rim, who had seen or felt things with the Shift in the Force. Right now, the Order was concentrating on those closest to them.
When those who had had visions, and were able to come to the meeting, were finally gathered into the conference room, they made a somewhat diverse group of all ages, from across all sectors of the Order. Barring Yoda, the eldest amongst them was Master Herpir Va’lik, the Consular being supported by his most recent padawan, who made sure that her master was comfortable and supported by pillows before leaving the room. The Caamasi Jedi was looking about with interest, greying fur belying bright eyes. Yoda sat next to the other elderly Jedi, in what Mace thought was a show of age-based solidarity, and they spoke quietly amongst themselves.
When everyone was relatively comfortable - Mace was internally using ‘relatively’, considering some of the slightly uncomfortable looks from some of the group, who probably thought they were doing this one-on-one - Mace indicated with a hand that the meeting would begin. He used the Force as well, to ensure that he had everyone’s attention.
“Let us begin.” Mace said aloud. “I’m aware that most of the Temple had quite a shock this morning.” Master Tanis, an Arpor-Lan with the species’ anxious disposition, huffed a shaky laugh. Mace ignored it, but the quiet laugh did seem to lighten the mood slightly. “The majority of those present here were subject to visions as a result of the upheaval in the Force.” His eyes flicked to the screen where he could see Qui-Gon watching intently. The little Obi-Wan shaped robe bundle had possibly scooted closer to the screen, and if Mace could see that the little Padawan was watching the others who had had visions, he noted it, but gave no sign. “We are still receiving reports from other Jedi across the galaxy who had visions, including those in other Temples and disciplines - this includes the Ilum Temple, and the AgriCorps.” Mace did not mention the lay individuals who had been coming to the Temples with visions as well - though he did not expect all that many. How many civilians would want to admit that they had had a vision?
“The convulsion in the Force was felt across the galaxy, in all life” Knight Nalini stated quietly. “I would not be surprised if there are more who saw or felt things, even outside of our Order. They will come to us, and perhaps there will be more meetings?”
Mace hesitated, glancing at Jocasta Nu, who typed something furiously into her datapad, before agreeing. He was not about to argue about the extent of the visions in the Force with a member of a species so strong in the Living Force that it, as a whole, outclassed Qui-Gon’s. “If the Force wills it. I have no doubt that there will be other meetings such as this, though if you do not wish to attend, none of you will be required to do so.”
There were nods of acquiescence around the room, though Mace got the oddest feeling that he’d be seeing most of these Jedi more than once, in this place. “The purpose of this meeting, and any that follow, are to hear and record the visions that were seen by various members of the Order. I would like to reiterate that none of you are required to share the things you have seen. While we would like you to share your insights, we cannot, will not force you to do so. As it stands, there is at least one among your number that is underage, and will not be sharing her visions before her majority unless she considers it important to do so.”
There was a stir of surprise in the room, likely at both the ‘underage’, and ‘visions’. There was a whimper of indrawn breath from the feed from the Jinn/Kenobi apartments, and if the occupants in the room had not guessed that the individual in question was Jinn’s padawan, they knew it when Yoda spoke. “Shared with me one of her visions, my grand-padawan has. Speak of it, and my own vision, I will. Later, others Obi-Wan will show me, promised me she has.”
The little padawan twitched inside her bundle of robes, but said nothing. Mace fought the urge to shut off the feed for Obi-wan’s sake, and continued speaking. “The Archivists may contact you at some point to clarify pieces of your visions, so while we know that some of you are scheduled for off-planet missions in the near future, we will take into account the Archivist's requests and may recall you sooner rather than later.”
Some of the assembled looked troubled by this, but as no one spoke against it, Mace breathed out through his nose and said “I did not have a vision, but in order to spare Qui-Gon’s padawan further grief, we will hear Master Jinn’s vision first, and then allow him leave to spend time with his Padawan.”
“And I thank you for that.” Qui-Gon said over the holofeed, with a quick, worry-filled glance at Obi-Wan, who had ducked her head back into the robe. The Jedi Master took a deep breath and told the group his vision as he remembered it, including the feeling that it was his own chest that the red lightsaber had run through - and of the possibility that it had been his death in the vision - he could not make out the faces of the Jedi in the battle, but had a vague idea that the taller one had been himself - which would make the younger, shorter Jedi Obi-Wan.
The little bundle gave a quiet sob, and Qui-Gon’s attention was immediately on his padawan, as was everyone else’s. Qui-Gon hurriedly turned back to the screen. “If that is all you need from me, Masters, I would like to spend my time focusing on Obi-Wan.”
“We will have questions for you later, Master Jinn.” Jocasta Nu said, loud enough so that that Jedi Master could hear her from her spot in the room.
“As will some of the Council.” Mace said as well. The colour of the lightsaber that Qui-Gon had seen in the vision was...disturbing. Though not necessarily an indication that the Sith were amongst them once more - the Line of Bane had ended in the Sith War, Mace was sure of it. Qui-Gon simply nodded in reply, and then reached out and shut off his end of the feed.
When Mace turned his attention back to the room at large, several of the Jedi looked troubled - something that would probably continue as the visions were reported, and the historians amongst them were either typing furiously or giving each other significant looks. One looked like they wanted to run out of the room and bury themselves in the Archives.
Yoda’s ears lay back, his head bowed forward and a downcast look on his face. “Lost many in my line, I have.” He said quietly. “This future I hope not to see.”
After a quiet moment Master Val’lik spoke, his voice softly gruff with age. “If it pleases those assembled, I would like to tell of my vision next.” He chuckled softly. “My padawan will come back, and like the trainee healer she is, she will insist that I rest again. She feels that my old bones have had enough excitement as it is.”
Yoda chuckled. “Youngling you are.”
Master Val’lik turned his greying snout to the Order’s Grand Master. “Not for one of my species, Master.”
Before the banter could truly begin in earnest, Mace voiced his opinion. “Master Val’lik, we would be honoured if you would go next.”
The Caamasi Jedi nodded, and took a moment to settle himself better on the cushions he had appropriated, getting a better grip on his walking stick and running a hand over his greying facial fur. Mace realised that the elder Jedi was both gathering his thoughts and his words.
“The vision I beheld was one that began in darkness, not that of the Force, but as if all was night.” Master Val’lik began. “As if in a dream, the darkness began to clear, like the dawn appearing over the horizon.”