Rival the Stars

MamaDeb and Saraid



Obi-Wan stood by the pyre. He watched the flames engulf the form of his Master, and wondered why he never realized the depths of his feelings for the man who had shaped his life before it was too late. He'd been a fool.

The flames rose and the heat became intense, but he refused to back away, accepting this pain, almost needing it to balance the new one being birthed in his soul.

Using the Force, he could see across the city if he needed to.

Looking at a person, he could see inner strength or beauty or the ugliness people tried to hide.

But now he knew that he'd been blind.

Fire.

He stared at the fire.

Flames warmed and soothed, or raged and destroyed.

Like the Force itself, fire could be used for good or evil.

There had been a night, years ago - how many years? He had to think about it.

Nearly three years now.

There had been a fire that night, badly needed, almost desperately needed.

Without closing his eyes, Obi-Wan Kenobi allowed the scorching light of the flames to carry him into the memory that tormented him.

***

It had been the coldest night he'd ever experienced.

When Senator Terrancka of Fay're Four had been kidnapped from his home, the Jedi Council had, as requested by the planetary government, sent their best team to retrieve him.

Trapped in the middle portion of their long year-cycle, the planet was basically frozen over. Oceans and land were both crusted with ice. No one moved on Fay're Four during the long night, as the natives called it.

Which meant that the Senator had been taken by off-worlders or that some faction of his opponents had lost their minds.

There wasn't even any help available to the Jedi, which had angered Qui-Gon, though he hid it well.

Three days into the search, the unrelenting darkness grating on their nerves, the pair was forced to land the hover vehicle they were using to track the kidnappers when the power pack failed.

There was a spare, but it would require hours to charge up. In the meantime the interior of the hover became unbearably cold, the metal surrounding them leeching the warmth from their bodies.

"We must find shelter," Qui-Gon told his apprentice calmly, packing them a bag.

"I've scanned the area, there is a somewhat protected spot two kilometers west," Obi-Wan answered. Although he hadn't been expecting this, his Master expected him to consider all possibilities and prepare for them, so scanning for potential escape routes or shelter was second nature. He received an approving smile for the effort now.

Bundled up with extra cloaks over heavy parkas of native fur, they left the safety of the hover and walked into the cold.

Surprisingly, it was beautiful.

The dark sky sparkled with an abundance of stars, their light undiminished, no city lights to interfere with the view. There were no clouds, no snow. Just the fierce grip of the cold to tell them the danger they were in.

Walking behind his Master, protected from the scouring wind by the taller, broader form, Obi-Wan thanked the Force, again, for Qui-Gon.

If his Master had not taken him