A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

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Eternal_Freedom
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A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-02 09:09am

So I've had this plot bunny stuck in my head for about a month, and since I've hit a stumbling block with The 13th Tribe I decided to write this out and get rid of it. I don't envision it begin a long story and I honestly don't know if I'll finish it but I thought I'd share it with you all anyway:

A Hero’s Journey

Deep within the power generator complex underneath the Naboo Royal Palace a fierce battle was raging. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi were locked in combat with the mysterious Sith Lord that had attacked them on Tatooine. Both Jedi were giving their all, as was their opponent. The battle flowed back and forth, both sides having periods in the ascendancy before an unexpected move would force them back onto the defensive.

Qui-Gon was fighting harder and better than he ever had before. He could feel the Force flowing through him like a raging torrent, its strength, power and foresight allowing him to keep up with their younger nemesis, one fuelled by the furious anger of the Dark Side. Qui-Gon knew of the Darkness, of the power it could wield. His own former apprentice had fallen to it before his defeat at Qui-Gon’s hands and he could admit that, for a moment, the temptation had been there for him to use it as well.

The Dark Side was the easy path, the path driven by fear, anger and hatred: powerful emotions but dangerous and destructive as well. But most difficult of all was that the Dark Side was seductive, relatable in a way the serenity of the Light wasn’t. After all, almost every living being could admit to at least one thing they feared or at least one thing or being that they hated or harboured anger towards.

But that easiness, that seductive quality hid the true horrors within. Once you feared one thing, it became easier to fear others. One you hated one being, it became easier to hate others, or whole groups or even entire species for the actions of an individual. And then would come the natural impulse, honed over millions of years as the sentient species of the galaxy evolved from their primordial ancestors:

The impulse to destroy that which you hated or feared: to eliminate a threat before they harmed you.

Even then the Dark Side was still seductive. Removing threats before they hurt you or others was, to many beings and organisations an eminently reasonable act, a pre-emptive strike to stop greater suffering. Stopping yet ore suffering by destroying something that others feared was also seen as reasonable, even heroic by many – the HoloNet was full of dramatic tales of beings facing their fears and destroying some great evil.

But if you used the Dark Side to do it, if you gave in to that temptation and used the Force to destroy or to kill, it left a mark on your spirit that could not be expunged. And each kill became that little bit easier, each fearful foe vanquished became a little more trivial to the actual population until eventually you would descend to nothing more than a sociopath, justifying your actions as best you could while the blood kept flowing.

It was something Qui-Gon had made a study of after his former apprentice had been struck down. It transpired that very few Dark Jedi (as opposed to actual Sith) started on their dark path with evil in their hearts – most of them wanted to help others, to save lives, to stop villains. But as time passed their definition of “villain” shifted from “those harming others” to “those opposing me” and saving lives became more saving lives that would be useful to the Dark Jedi. Then their journey to the Dark Side was complete and they were nothing more than a vassal for the Darkness that needed to be put down.

Ironically, these Dark Jedi that occurred once or twice a generation often led to yet more Jedi falling into Darkness as they struggled to defeat them. It appeared to be an endless cycle. Qui-Gon knew of a saying that was popular among the humans in the galaxy, believed to originate on Corellia but possibly far older:

“The road to the Nine Hells is paved with good intentions.”

Philosophy aside, the battle continued. They had driven this Sith back and back, further away from the Naboo strike team higher in the Palace that was pursuing the Viceroy, buying time. Now, however, they were approaching the main power generators and he and Oni-Wan had been separated briefly, leaving the Master to continue driving the Sith back alone as they passed through a series of laser walls that acted as a security barrier.

Obi-Wan was running to catch up when the laser walls activated unexpectedly, dividing the duellers. Qui-Gon and the Sith were separated by just one barrier while Obi-Wan was trapped outside. The Jedi Master knew they could do nothing but wait so deactivated his lightsaber and knelt in meditation, calming and focussing himself, allowing the rushing river of the Force to ease his strained muscles and tendons, refreshing himself for what must surely be the climax. He could feel Obi-Wan’s emotions over their apprentice bond, the surging adrenaline, the determination to once more return to his Master’s side, the stabbing chill of fear that he might fail, that Qui-Gon might be struck down.

He sent the younger man a powerful mental command to calm himself, reminding him that this was the will of the Force, that fear and anger led to darkness, that-
The barriers opened again and Qui-Gon leaped into the attack, pushing himself even harder as the Force sang in his veins. He could see a momentary flicker of surprise, of fear, in the eyes of the Sith as he drove him back, hammered at his defences, inflicted a glancing hit on his arm that would slow him down. Both knew the fight was at its end.

The Sith knew that the wound he had taken would weaken him enough that further wounds would be inevitable, beginning an ever-increasing spiral that would lead to his defeat. It was a battle of attrition and the Sith decided to take a chance, a brash, dangerous and probably stupid move to end the fight now. His double-bladed lightsaber rose and struck.

Qui-Gon allowed himself to feel a moment of triumph at that glancing hit, it was just a matter of time now. Then the hilt of his opponent’s lightsaber caught him squarely on the chin, enough to stun him for a crucial second and then…

Then came pain such as he had never felt or imagined as one of the Sith’s red blades plunged into his chest. Before the blade had even passed all the way through his torso Qui-Gon knew the blow was a mortal one. The red blade was pulled free and Qui-Gon’s own lightsaber fell to the floor from his suddenly-limp hands. He collapsed to the cold metal ground, his body unable to move.

His mind raced, analysing the devastating damage. His heart was partially cut away, functioning but only weakly. His left lung was pierced clean through, burned, and cauterised; no longer able to provide vital oxygen. Several major arteries and veins connecting his heart to his lower body were likewise burned away, meaning those organs would quickly begin to die. And lastly his spine was severed, he couldn’t move or even feel anything below his chest.

He heard Obi-Wan’s scream of rage, denial, grief, the young man having raced to catch up only for the barriers to close again, trapping him exactly where Qui-Gon had been only minutes ago. He heard the victorious snarl from his killer and knew that his apprentice could not possibly survive facing the Sith, even with that wound his killer had suffered.

As his body began shutting down his mind desperately sought a solution, a way to save his apprentice. He created and then dismissed a dozen ideas, each more insane than the rest and he began to sink into delirium. Then an epiphany came: he could still feel the Force.

He rebelled at the idea of using the Force to kill the Sith, knowing that was the start of the Dark Side…but he was dying anyway, he had only minutes to live, so what did it matter? And he knew exactly how to do it.

As a youngling, Qui-Gon had shown an early affinity for the Force, in particular a rare and little-known talent called Pyrokinesis. He could, with considerable effort, manifest the Force as a wall of fire that he could then control. After a late-night incident when he had subconsciously used this ability in response to a nightmare, leading to his entre room being destroyed and part of the Temple being evacuated, he had been called before the High Council.

They had been remarkably understanding in hindsight. They advised him to forget this power, to focus on his meditation to keep himself calm and focussed, and to take medication from the medics to keep any nightmares away. It had helped, and no more nocturnal infernos happened and the other younglings, and most of the Masters, had forgotten about it as a chance event, not a controlled ability.

One Master had not forgotten though. Dooku had watched, observed and quietly studied everything in the Archives about Pyrokinesis, a study that eventually led the refined Master to take Qui-Gon as his apprentice. Despite the admonishment from the Council not to explore his power, Dooku had secretly worked with Qui-Gon to develop his control. The Master had explained that the power was rare and frowned upon due to how easily it could be used to kill, pushing one easily into the Dark Side and so it must be kept secret.

But Dooku had maintained that Force abilities were not inherently good or evil, Light or Dark, but that it was how you used them that mattered. He had shown the apprentice that his fire abilities could be used to create a shield, to provide warmth in a cold environment, to clear parts of a jungle so that crops could be planted. There were many uses, and Dooku and Qui-Gon had experimented with many of them.

But since becoming a Knight and then a Master, since Dooku had left the Order to return to Serreno to take up his hereditary position as Count (believing it was a duty he owed his people and he could do more good there), Qui-Gon had let those experiments fall by the wayside. He knew many of the other Masters questioned him as it was, knowing that he was experimenting with borderline forbidden abilities would have just added fuel to the speculation that he was turning away from the Order as his Master had done.

But here, now, lying mortally wounded on the metal floor, Qui-Gon was beyond caring. He called on the Force, opened himself up to it as never before, and willed the air around him to ignite. He saw the look of astonishment on Obi-Wan’s face as his Master burst into flames. The Sith, who had been standing before the barrier snarling at the young Jedi, turned in shock.

The raging torrent of the Force lifted Qui-Gon back to his feet. Without him being aware of it the Force was healing some of the damage done by the lightsaber, allowing him to survive and stand against his enemy. Flames licked all around the Jedi Master but did not consume him. He raised his left hand towards the Sith even as his right called his lightsaber back to him.

Fire streamed from his outstretched palm towards the Sith, a blazing inferno that the Dark Side was powerless to prevent. Qui-Gon thought it was poetic justice, an ability frowned upon by the Jedi was the ultimate weapon against the Dark Side, light and heat burning away the shadows, leaving the evil with nowhere to hide.

The Sith did try. He threw up his own hand, pushing outwards with his own prodigious power to try and repel the onrushing flames, or deflect them, or mitigate them or something…anything. It had no effect.

The flames reached the Sith and he screamed in agony as the inferno tore into him, burning away his arm, melting his lightsaber, consuming his robes. He screamed and screamed until the fires burned away his vocal chords even as his skin turned to ashes and his eyes and blood boiled. Finally the body collapsed to the floor, more a collection of ashes and fragments than a recognisable being.

Obi-Wan was stunned. Even on the other side of the laser barrier he could feel the incredible heat, had flinched away from it. Now it was over, he looked back at his Master who miraculously still stood even while flames continued to swirl around him.

Qui-Gon knew that what he had just down should have killed him and yet he was still here and somehow feeling better than he had in years. And then he felt something impossible. The Force that was still singing within him spoke to him, a caring whisper inside his head, saying that he was needed elsewhere, that he had a task to complete and if he succeeded he would be returned.

Qui-Gon smiled beatifically at his apprentice.

“Obi-Wan, I must leave now, but I will return if all goes well. Promise me that if I don’t come back you will train the boy, he more than any other needs it.”

The Apprentice opened his mouth to speak, then shut it again. This repeated itself several times, giving the impression of a deep-water fish.

“Master…I…”

“Promise me Obi-Wan.” The tone was firm but comforting at the same time.

“I…I promise you I will train him Master. I swear it.”

Qui-Gon smiled. “Then farewell Obi-Wan. Until we meet again…one way or the other.”
The Apprentice nodded tearfully as the flames burned brighter and brighter until Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn was gone.

Elsewhere

It had many names throughout the universe. Some called it the Force, others the Great River, the Flow of Life, the Way, so many names. More were invented even as old ones were forgotten. What none of the various philosophies and religions realised was just how self-aware this cosmic entity was. It saw and knew everything its users did and in return for this knowledge it sometimes followed their commands, evil as well as good for all things needed balance and harmony. Good could not exist without evil just as light cannot exist without darkness to shine in.

Despite this apparent indifference to good and evil, the cosmic entity did try to prevent unneeded suffering. Now, with Qui-Gon’s decision to sacrifice himself to destroy that Sith, the cosmic entity seized its chance to send him somewhere he could be saved from his wounds, somewhere he could stop a dreadful and destructive war. And if he succeeded there, he could return to this galaxy to stop the war the entity knew was coming.

One chance action, one fateful decision at the right place and time, and the destinies of two civilisations changed forever.

Qui-Gon was sent hurtling through a plane of existence undreamt of by anyone in his galaxy, hurtling towards a place and a time far across the universe. To a castle in the far north of a small island on an insignificant blue-green world around an insignificant yellow star. A world that called the entity Magic…

---------

More to follow. To those awaiting more of 13th Tribe, I'm still working on that, I just now have this one as well so I can switch to this one if I hit a block with the heavy story. Plus this is fun to write and like I said, it's been stuck in my head for a while.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Borgholio
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Re: A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by Borgholio » 2018-06-02 11:03am

Qui-Gon = Merlin. I love it.

Oh yes, btw I'm still alive. Just been lurking for awhile. :)
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Eternal_Freedom
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Re: A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-02 11:15am

I dunno how you got the idea that Qui-Gon will be Merlin...
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Borgholio
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Re: A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by Borgholio » 2018-06-02 11:16am

I can't tell if that's snark or not...
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Eternal_Freedom
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Re: A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by Eternal_Freedom » 2018-06-02 12:00pm

Definitely not snark. Qui-Gon will not be Merlin, or one of the Founders or anyone like that. He will be...himself. A Jedi Master in Magical Britain.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

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Borgholio
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Re: A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by Borgholio » 2018-06-02 12:02pm

Gotcha. Just seemed to be a natural fit, that's all. :-)
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Re: A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by fnord » 2018-06-02 12:11pm

<Attenborough Parody> And here we see, yet another specimen of Magicus Beardicus, possibly mixed with a side order of condescending old bugger</Attenborough Parody>
A mad person thinks there's a gateway to hell in his basement. A mad genius builds one and turns it on. - CaptainChewbacca

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Re: A Hero's Journey (SW/HP)

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-06-17 10:19pm

fnord wrote:
2018-06-02 12:11pm
<Attenborough Parody> And here we see, yet another specimen of Magicus Beardicus, possibly mixed with a side order of condescending old bugger</Attenborough Parody>
I am curious as to how Qui-Gon would get on with old Albus.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.

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