Mar. 26th, 2016

morgynleri: darth maul in bright light with his hood up, three-quarter view of his face (maul)
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Oh, you'll need to leave sooner than that. What are the Jedi going to do when they hear one of their own has died here?

"Expect me to return to Coruscant." Obi-Wan doesn't say that they'll expect him to return with Qui-Gon's body. Saying it makes it more real, and he isn't certain he's ready for that. "They might want to knight me. For killing a Sith."

That provokes amusement from both the Zabrak and the woman.

Do they have any idea what they're inviting?

There is precedence. Qui-Gon sounds contemplative, and Obi-Wan turns his head slightly, as he would have before the fight with the Zabrak Sith. From before the Ruusan Reforms. A Padawan who faced a Sith and survived would be knighted, with the fight treated as their Trials.

So the Jedi have always been fools. The Zabrak smiles, baring sharpened teeth. No wonder my Master thought it time to reveal our continued existence to you.

"It didn't save you." Obi-Wan bears his teeth at the Zabrak in return, a fierce rush of satisfaction running through him. Even if he has been graced with some strange mental breakdown, he had at least taken down Qui-Gon's killer.

Oh, that is good. Now you just need to learn to use that. The woman smiles approvingly, and Obi-Wan leans away from her, the satisfaction draining away to leave a sick feeling in its wake. And to keep it. Enjoy it. You're not a Jedi anymore; you don't need to adhere to their foolish dictates about serenity and putting aside emotions.

"Jedi are allowed to feel. We're encouraged to understand our feelings. And to let go of anger and fear, so they don't lead us to hatred or darkness." Obi-Wan wishes he could let go of any of his emotions right now, but they keep roiling, refusing to be examined or released into the Force.

And when anger is the difference between action and passive destruction? When fear means survival? Do they discourage those as well? The woman scowls, her eyes flashing with banked passion. Do the Jedi even care about anything outside their own precious Temple?

"If the Jedi didn't care, we wouldn't be here in the first place." Obi-Wan lets his head thump back against the closet door. "Compassion is part of being a Jedi."

Compassion. The woman snorts. Compassion does as much harm as it ever does any good. Compassion keeps a family together only to destroy them. Compassion kills indiscriminately, and doesn't care for the grief it leaves in its wake.

Obi-Wan turns his head toward her, frowning. "What do you mean?"

If you saw several members of a species driven mad would you kill every one of them as a perceived mercy?

"Not unless it were necessary to defend myself and others, and then only if those afflicted were actively violent." Obi-Wan's frown deepens, and he tries again to reach the Force, to see if he can find anything to guide him through this. It's still all murk and shadow, impossible to see through. "Is this just theoretical?"

No. And you make a poor Jedi if you let them live. The woman sounds bitterly angry, and Obi-Wan wonders who she is - and what had happened that she believed that.

That is not a Jedi ideal, nor has ever been. Qui-Gon moves, settling where he can easily talk to both Obi-Wan and the female Sith. It's happened as an expediency during periods of war, but those were not actions that would have been condoned by the Council. He pauses, looking thoughtful. Or should not have been, even in a period of war.



And when would have the Jedi who committed that genocide have cared to even tell their Council, much less heeded any censure they might have given? Any punishment?



"What good does censure even do?" Obi-Wan isn't sure he wants to agree with the Sith, but in this much, as least, he's terribly familiar with what effect censure from the Council could have on a Jedi. Or rather, the lack of effect. "Those who care about the Council's opinion aren't going to do anything they're likely to get a censure for, and those who are willing to do things the Council are likely to censure are unlikely to care about it."

It's not just about the person who goes against the decrees of the Council. Qui-Gon reaches out to rest a hand on Obi-Wan's knee a moment. It's also about those around them, who might have a greater chance of changing the behavior of the one censured.

"About me, as much as it was about you." Obi-Wan bares his teeth, surprised at the anger that wells up at the thought that the Council was punishing him as much as they were Qui-Gon, even when he'd argued against whatever action had driven them to distraction this time, and ultimately had no authority over what Qui-Gon did.

You've earned the disapproval of your Jedi Council? The female Sith tilts her head, studying Qui-Gon. Perhaps that's how the spell caught you up with it.

"What?" Obi-Wan asks the question almost in unison with Qui-Gon, turning his head to stare at the female Sith.
morgynleri: darth maul in bright light with his hood up, three-quarter view of his face (maul)
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"... entire galaxy mourns with Naboo over the loss of their beloved Senator Amidala." Anakin catches the tail-end of the holo-cast as he walks into the small galley and lounge space, Leia sleeping on his shoulder again. She'd woken soon after they'd left Polis Massa, and fussed until Anakin had picked her up off the bunk she and Luke were resting on.

Padmé is sitting on one side of the small table, Master Windu on the other, both watching a news holo-cast with frustrated expressions.

"How far does that holo-cast reach?" Anakin slides onto the bench next to Padmé as she scoots over to give him room. "Will we even be able to go to Tatooine?" He doesn't want to go back there, but the only other places he considers safe may not be. Serenno, Belkadan, Yavin.

"I don't know."

Padmé thumbs the projector back to the beginning of the holo-cast, letting Anakin see all of it. The coverage of the funeral for a corpse that could barely be seen under the stiff, formal garb it had been dressed in, and a face that was artfully made-up to appear like Padmé's face. Anakin hopes they didn't kill Sabé just to create a corpse for this staged horror show. When the segment is finished, she pauses it again, watching Anakin.

"I don't think it's safe for us to go to Naboo, even if the Queen doesn't believe that to be me." Padmé glances down, her emotions uncertain. "And while Tatooine is ruled by the Hutts, I know they still get at least some holocasts in the major settlements. I don't know how much anyone else would know. Or even if it would be safe for us to go to anyone else on Tatooine."

"Why would you think to go there, anyway?" Anakin can feel the same faded grief he had earlier, and he's curious now. "Did Vader ever go back there, once he'd gotten free?"

"Once." Padmé's grief is visible on her face, and she closes her eyes, letting out a soft sigh. "He'd been having nightmares about his mother. He wanted to save her. She was taken by Tuskens, and killed by them."

Anakin reaches the hand not supporting Leia out, and Padmé grips it, letting him share her grief - and his own, to know that here, his mother is dead rather than missing. He had hoped that maybe there was this one small thing, but perhaps that is a constant, no matter where he might go, that he has lost his mother too soon in every universe.

"Tuskens don't raid the larger settlements. Had Watto sold her?"

Padmé nods. "And she'd been freed. She married a moisture farmer, Cleigg Lars. She was on the farm when she was taken."

"She died free." Anakin smiles a little, a fierce joy running through his grief. "Free, not still a slave."

Master Windu is watching him with a small frown on his face. "That's important?"

"Always." Anakin looks between Master Windu and Padmé, though Padmé seems less confused. "If you die free, you die your own. On your terms, not those of the master. You're allowed to die."

And if his mother had died free, someone had done what he'd promised he would do one day. What he would have done if she'd been alive and in need of that rescue now, what Vader had failed as much as Anakin in doing.

"My mother isn't free. I don't know where she was sold to, beyond into the Empire. I would have gone looking for her, if I hadn't ended up here."

"Oh, Anakin." Padmé squeezes his hand. "I wish I could have told you something better."

"I know." Anakin squeezes back, sending her a gentle wave of reassurance. "So, have you and Mas... Mace, had any luck deciding where to go, since we can't go to Naboo or Tatooine?"

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Morgyn Leri

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