Category: Short vignette, Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Obi Torture.
Will be AU when Jude Watson decides what she's going to do with that promising little tidbit that she dropped in JA 12. :D
Rating: PG 13
Spoilers: Yes, for JA 12: "The Evil Experiment"
Disclaimer: All recognizable Star Wars characters are the
exclusive property of George Lucas. Ona Nobis and Didi Oddo belong to Jude Watson and/or Scholastics. All others belong to me.
I have no official permission to use these characters, but
I'm not being paid for it either, so that's okay.
Feedback: Yes Please!
Archive: Early Years, Jedi Apprentice and anyone I've given permission to for previous stories. Others please ask. If anybody really wants this that is...
Time Frame: 11 years before TMP and not long after JA 12. Obi-Wan is 14.
Summary: A dangerous person with a grudge against Obi-Wan seeks retribution from him in a terrible way.
This is a torture fic, pure and simple. Forgive me, but that's pretty much all it exists for. So, if that bothers you, or if this is a feature of my writing that you merely tolerate but don't particularly enjoy you probably want to skip this one.
Contains what could be major spoilers for Jedi Apprentice 12: "The Evil Experiment." Please heed the spoiler warning. If you don't want to know yet, don't read this.
Okay... if I haven't just lost my whole audience, I shall plunge forward and hope nobody throws anything sharp at me... *hides*
Things bracketed by *'s are *italic*.
Obi-Wan Kenobi blinked, trying to bring the foggy world into focus. The only result was that his head spun somewhat faster. Pain clouded his mental senses, but made his physical ones excruciatingly hypersensitive to any and all stimulus.
That wasn't right. It shouldn't be this way. Intense, sustained pain like this should deaden his feelings and perceptions, yet every passing minute seemed to bring a new definition of agony.
That was what she had promised him. That was what she had threatened with a cold but feral grin as she pushed the needle into his arm and plunged his world into hell. It was the only time in his dealings with her that he had ever seen those cold lips turn up into a smile. She had assured the Padawan that she could make him suffer until he would be ready to beg for death. She had not lied.
Ona Nobis watched the fourteen-year-old human tremble as he struggled for breath. The young Jedi's bare torso glistened dully in the gloomy light, soaked in perspiration and marred with blood from the light, but searing kiss of the cruel bounty hunter's barbed whip.
Ona was a woman who got her way and when someone dared to stand in it, they paid. Obi-Wan Kenobi had stood in her way. He and his cursed Master Qui-Gon Jinn had foiled her attempt on Didi Oddo's life. Then Obi-Wan had bested her again, alone on a catwalk on the miserable planet of Simpla-12 and once again deprived her of the quarry she was seeking.
Jedi or no, to be foiled by a mere *child* was a blow that her peerless reputation could ill afford. It had cost her. It had cost her credits, it had cost her jobs, but worst, it had cost her pride. For all this, she had sworn to make Obi-Wan Kenobi pay. Now it was time to settle up, with the boy fulfilling his debt to her by dying the slowest, most painful death she could contrive for him.
Grabbing a handful of hair at the base of his neck, Ona jerked Obi-Wan's head up, forcing him to look into her face.
The boy winced. With the drug she had given him coursing through his veins, even a casual touch was painful. The bounty hunter crouched, gazing dispassionately down into the Padawan's glazed, widely dilated eyes.
Draping the lash of her whip lightly around Obi-Wan's neck she released his head, but kept her face barely six inches from his.
"You see? I got a new one," she hissed through her teeth, indicating that she meant the whip. "To replace the one you took from me. Fitting that you should get to be the first to really feel it."
With a subtly quick flick of her wrist, Ona Nobis drew the whip away with one hand, dragging a biting line of fire across the Jedi's neck and shoulders.
Obi-Wan cried out, his burning body protesting violently at being forced to endure any more pain. Flicking the tongue of the whip out again she let the tip of the lash brush his chest, then his side, then his back. There was no real pressure behind the blows. Ona was playing with the boy, taunting him with light touches that the drug in his system intensified until they were unbearable. She continued with her game until the agonized timber of Obi-Wan's screams became desperate. Then she hit him for real.
Obi-Wan thought he would pass out, but unfortunately, he did not. He had thought he knew what pain was before, but now he realized he had not yet even begun to scratch the surface. Another sharp cut and Obi-Wan's screams were choked with raw sobs of pain.
"Oh Force," Obi-Wan sobbed deliriously, reeling in anguish when she struck him yet again, lending the full power of her arm to the blow. "Oh Force stop! Please! Stop!" he begged desperately.
His only answer was another excruciating stroke.
Obi-Wan felt himself breaking. All control and reason crumbled around him, giving way to nothing but sheer, blinding pain.
*"Where are you Master? Oh Force Qui-Gon help me! Please, please Master help me!"* he pleaded silently, but the air was empty, dead and as responsless as his torturer. The Force was out there, but trapped in a twisted world of drugs and pain, he could not find it.
Presently, the bounty hunter stopped and picked up Obi-Wan's left hand. The boy was not bound, but rendered totally unable to move by the strong paralytic she had given him. Totally under her control, the only ability Obi-Wan had left was to scream.
Holding up her own hand, she let Obi-Wan see the two fingers that where now fused together as a result of an injury he had given her in battle.
Obi-Wan's heart raced with fear he could not control. He was in such pain now that he was still crying, even when she wasn't touching him. Force he wished he were dead!
Picking up a small welding tool she ignited the top, looking at the Padawan with eyes that left no question about what she intended to do.
Obi-Wan struggled fiercely with his stiff, unresponsive body, but could not move a muscle. He remained, fixed on his knees on the floor, entirely at Ona's mercy. And Ona Nobis had no mercy.
Ona relished the terrified look in Obi-Wan's eyes as she pulled his hand nearer the welder. "Ah, but wait," the bounty hunter paused. "I don't think you'll feel it enough yet."
Momentarily laying aside the glowing welder, Ona pulled a syringe from her jacket pocket. In front of Obi-Wan's eyes she filled it with another powerful dose of the same drug she had given him an hour ago when this nightmare began.
"No! Oh Force, please no! No more!" Obi-Wan pleaded hoarsely, knowing what that would do to him. "Stay away from me! Just - just stay away!"
Ona said nothing to him. Did not even acknowledge that she had heard him. Grabbing his elbow, she held it steady as she pushed the needle into Obi-Wan's upper arm and depressed the plunger, dropping the young Jedi into a new level of torment.
Obi-Wan's system reacted violently to the upped dosage. Shaking and crying uncontrollably, it seemed to the Padawan that he could feel the very molecules of the air as they brushed over his skin, burning him by their mere presence. Obi-Wan moaned through chattering teeth.
"Let me die," he begged, his voice barely an anguished whisper by now. "Please, just let me die!" he sobbed.
Seeing his reaction, Ona could not help giving him one more cut with her whip, just to see what it would do to him now.
The result was dramatic. Obi-Wan's cry could have been heard a planet away. Satisfied that it was working, Ona crouched back down in front of him, once more picking up the welder. "Now? Where were we?"
Qui-Gon raced up the stairs of the deserted building. It had only been twenty-four hours since his Padawan had disappeared while running errands between the Jedi Temple and the Senate Embassy, but ever since Qui-Gon found out who had kidnapped him it seemed an eternity.
The bounty hunter's chilling words, scrawled in blood on the hilt of Obi-Wan's lightsaber haunted Qui-Gon's every moment and added urgency to his every move. *"Your boy won't be coming back, and if he did, you wouldn't recognize him. Pray that he is dead by the time you read this. -- Ona Nobis.*
A desperate search had yielded little until Qui-Gon finally tracked down one witness who had seen a woman feign being hit by a speeder. When a young man matching Obi-Wan's description stopped to see if she was okay, the unknown woman knocked him out with a stun ray and flew away with him in her speeder so fast that the witness had barely been able to catch a glimpse of the speeder's ID tags. Fortunately it was a Rindin, gifted with photographic memory.
The speeder's ID plates had been traced and proved stolen. It was found abandoned and clues inside had led to the conclusion that the bounty hunter had taken Obi-Wan and fled the planet. But it was too obvious and Qui-Gon knew it. Remembering the kinds of false clues and leads that Ona had left them the last time they dealt with her Qui-Gon followed his instincts and tracked her down instead to an abandoned warehouse not five blocks from the Temple. How perfectly like her, to blatantly hide under their noses, mocking them while she did who knew what to Obi-Wan... but Qui-Gon wouldn't' let himself think about that.
Taking the steps two at a time, Qui-Gon flew up the thirteen flights as if they were nothing. He knew Obi-Wan was here, he could feel, but not reach him. Yet what he could feel made his blood run cold.
Somewhere behind and below him, Munnci Nar a fellow Jedi and friend who had assisted closely during the search, followed, but Qui-Gon did not have time to wait for the slender, 4-foot Trathkey to catch up.
Reaching the last flight, Qui-Gon could just hear the far off sound of someone screaming. He knew who that someone was. Practically vaulting the entire staircase, Qui-Gon found himself on the top floor at last.
Greeted with a maze of passageways, storerooms and abandoned offices Qui-Gon quickly tried to hone in on the direction of the cries, and Obi-Wan's Force-presence. It was not hard to do. His feet flying, he ran until he found himself in an empty room. On the other side of the wall he could feel Obi-Wan's presence. But there was no door here, nor had this passage led any further. There must be an entrance on the other side of the building, or down a different passage.
Qui-Gon could clearly hear the desperate pain in Obi-Wan's screaming and it tore his heart right out of his chest. He did not have time to find a way into the other room. His heart would not let him walk out of this room when he was so close... The Jedi ignited his lightsaber. He would have to make his own way.
As Qui-Gon prepared to cut his way through the wall, he heard the most heart-wrenching thing he would ever hope to hear. He heard Obi-Wan pleading with his tormenter to let him die. He had never before heard Obi-Wan beg for anything, and this...
Qui-Gon attacked the wall. It turned out to be thicker than it looked. The circle he cut out fell away. As Qui-Gon stepped into the thick gap he heard a sharp snap followed by a cry that made his heart literally stop beating for a moment. Plunging his saber into the last remaining barrier between he and his apprentice, Qui-Gon sliced through it like a vibroblade through flimsy.
Ona crouched back down in front of Obi-Wan, once more picking up the welder. "Now? Where were we?"
Just then, a section of the wall fell inwards with a shower of sparks and she found herself skidding backwards.
Qui-Gon barely had time to register the scene before Ona was moving again, reaching for her whip as she bounced to her feet. She did not like to be caught unawares like this. If Qui-Gon had come the normal way, through the passages that actually led to this room, warning alarms would have sounded ages ago. Yet, even caught off guard, she was a formidable adversary.
For a moment, they fought, lightsaber tangling with laser-whip. Then Munnci Nar appeared through the hole in the wall.
Not wishing to take on two Jedi Masters at the same time, The bounty hunter utilized her emergency escape plan. Jumping up, she caught hold of a grate in the ceiling that had gone unnoticed and swung herself up, squeezing through the small space in the way that made her so difficult to follow. Yet follow they did. Or at least, Munnci Nar did. The dexterous Trathkey's climbing abilities were next to none. Her species' natural talent aided by her Force abilities. Small and thin, Munnci Nar could fit through just about any space that a Sorrusian like Ona Nobis could.
Qui-Gon could not possibly have followed, but he did not intend to anyhow. Munnci Nar and the other Jedi waiting outside could take care of the bounty hunter. Right now, his concern was the bleeding, shaking boy who was still kneeling on the floor, looking heartbreakingly vulnerable.
"Obi-Wan," he said softly, touching an uninjured part of the boy's shoulder.
Obi-Wan flinched, but seemed unable to move otherwise. "Please, please don't touch me!" he murmured helplessly, hopelessly. "Please just stay away! Please, please, please..." the plea trailed away as Obi-Wan continued to stare straight in front of him and tremble.
Qui-Gon realized the boy didn't even recognize him. A shot of sheer terror stabbed through him. Just how serious was the damage that Ona Nobis had done to his Padawan?
"Obi-Wan, it's me, Qui-Gon. Don't you know me Padawan?" Qui-Gon, still not realizing what any touch would do to the apprentice right now, gently took his shoulders, trying to turn the boy towards him.
Obi-Wan screeched in pain. "DON'T TOUCH ME!" Sobs that hurt almost as bad as the pain that caused them shook his trembling frame.
Backing off quickly, Qui-Gon realized what was happening. It was a cruel irony that he could not even hold the hurting boy without causing him more pain.
Quickly calling for a med-team, Qui-Gon reached out with the Force and tried to see what he could do for Obi-Wan himself.
The touch of his Master's mind brought Obi-Wan partially out of the drug-and-pain-induced delirium that he had been disappearing into.
"M-master?" the hesitant word tumbled from the trembling lips.
"Yes, Obi-Wan, I'm here. It's okay. It's going to be okay now," Qui-Gon soothed.
"Master, help me, please," Obi-Wan implored weakly. He could feel himself drifting away again and fought to hang on.
"I'm here Obi-Wan, I won't let you go," Qui-Gon promised.
"I-I can't see you. I th-think I'm losing my mind. I can't move. H-hold me," Obi-Wan requested shakily.
Qui-Gon's heart ached to do what he asked, but he feared it would do more harm than good. "I will Obi-Wan, but I have to get an antidote for whatever she gave you first."
"No, now!" Obi-Wan's voice was urgent.
"But Obi-Wan, it will hurt..." Qui-Gon tried to reason, but the words stuck in his throat. "Wait for the med-teams..."
"I m-may not have that long," Obi-Wan said quietly, sending a chill through Qui-Gon's heart. "P-please, I feel like I'm dying. I don't want to now, w-with you, but I may not have a choice. Please hold me... incase it's the last time."
Qui-Gon wanted to cry. Scratch that, he *was* crying. Pulling Obi-Wan into his arms as gently as he could, he cushioned the touch with the Force.
Obi-Wan tightened and moaned, but seemed calmer once Qui-Gon moved the apprentice's head to rest on against his chest.
About that time, the med-team and healers arrived. It did not take them long to administer an anti-toxin once Qui-Gon described the symptoms.
As the pain and paralysis drained away, Obi-Wan felt blissfully weightless and comfortable. He refused to leave the safety of Qui-Gon's arms, so the med-team was required to let Qui-Gon carry and hold him all the way back to the Temple.
Obi-Wan reacted violently to the sight of a needle, so Qui-Gon put him to sleep with the Force to circumvent sedation.
"Rest then Obi-Wan, and leave it all behind you. You will get better, and you will return to me unbroken, I know you will," the Master whispered tenderly to his student as the boy drifted off. A faint smile crossed Obi-Wan's face.
A week later, Obi-Wan was completely recovered. But what surprised everyone the most was not how fast his body healed, but how fast his mind did. He still had nightmares every now and again, but he was not afraid and the old light was slowly coming back into his eyes.
Ona Nobis had been caught by Munnci Nar and the other Jedi and was now doing time in a high-security detention center on one of Coruscant's moons.
One day, Obi-Wan had the odd request that they should go see her. No one said anything during the brief interview and when they left, Qui-Gon asked Obi-Wan if he felt they had accomplished what they came for.
"Yes," Obi-Wan nodded, all last traces of shadow gone from his bright face. "I had to know you see," he looked away slightly. "I had to know if I would be afraid... but I wasn't." He beamed at Qui-Gon.
Qui-Gon smiled back and wrapped his arm around Obi-Wan's shoulders. "I knew you wouldn't be," he told him.
"I know," Obi-Wan smiled up at his Master. "I think that's part of why I wasn't."
"You never cease to amaze me Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon shook his head. "But you still have at least one lesson to learn." There was a funny twinkle in his eye.
"Yes, Master?" Obi-Wan inquired.
"Stay away from bounty hunters, okay?"
"Yes, Master!" Obi-Wan agreed emphatically. "I think I will remember that one."