My deepest apologies for not updating this sooner, but I was really busy and had to travel a lot this past year, plus there were a few natural disasters that occurred where I live. I want to thank those who are still sticking with this story, and my thanks also to darkdragondude who PM'd me and put me on a guilt trip that led me to finally update. But I will now rise from my shallow grave and come back to you all! So please, forgive my tardiness and failure to reply to any reviews that you might have left. And without further ado, please
It had taken him several days, but his story was finally written out. Everything about the galaxy he had grown up in, his heritage, his quest for knowledge, his training, everything. Including his sudden departure and arrival in Middle Earth, or Arda, as it was called.
Obi-Wan was currently sitting on a chair in the library, patiently waiting for Finrod to ask his questions. It had taken the King a day to finish reading his book, and he had been called almost immediately afterwards.
Finrod finally looked up from the bound tome that he held, entitled 'Star Wars.' It had been a whim on Obi-Wan's part to create a title.
"It is a hard tale to believe, although the detail you have written in such a short time and the surety of the writing makes it impossible for you to have made it up." Finrod started in immediately. "You have written well- I see no confusion in it." Then he sighed and laid the book down.
"I suppose the only way to prove your tale would be to show me your weapons and... 'powers,' would it not?" Finrod studied him piercingly. Obi-Wan smiled softly.
"As you wish, my lord." Was his quiet answer. He stood and looked about briefly. Laurendil was standing by as always, lips pressed into a skeptical line, unsurprisingly. There were several chairs scattered about, and a stone statue- perfect.
Obi-Wan reached out a hand towards the statue and the chairs, reaching out through the Force. The Force coursed through him, extending his fingertips and latching onto the items he sought for. They lifted, floating in the air and then beginning to move about in thin air. Finrod looked shocked. Laurendil gaped.
With a sudden grin, Obi-Wan began to make the items dance about in a jolly jig, all about the room and then dancing tauntingly around Laurendil. Al the while Obi-Wan smirked, arms crossed as he finally set them down in their proper places with barely a 'thump.' Finrod suddenly laughed.
"I suppose Laurendil deserved that, did he?" He teased, and then stood, clapping Obi-Wan's shoulder. "I think you have convinced me, my friend. From now on, you shall be my personal bodyguard and assassin. Is this pleasing to you?" He asked with a smile.
Obi-Wan bowed politely with gratitude. "Thank you, my lord, for your generosity." Was his smooth and genuine answer.
"Laurendil, shut your mouth, my friend, before I send you off to kitchen duty." Finrod said with humor, and the ellon clamped his jaw shut with an audible snap as he grimaced. Obi-Wan chuckled.
"I hope there are no hard feelings, lord Laurendil. I do hope that we can work together in friendship." He offered. Laurendil gave him a blink.
"I- of course, my lord." He bowed to both Obi-Wan and Finrod, who was smiling, pleased.
"Good, good. Now then, go on, you two, I am busy with these Valar-forsaken papers." Finrod scowled at the desk as Obi-Wan and Laurendil snickered. "Laurendil, will you please take Daelas to find proper robes?" Finrod asked. Obi-Wan stiffened.
"Ah, if you will forgive me, my lord, I prefer to keep these." He said, feeling vaguely uncomfortable. Finrod looked at him for a moment, and then nodded.
"Very well. But at least allow them to place my emblem on some part of it." Finrod raised an eyebrow. He relaxed.
"Of course, my lord, I most certainly will. Ah- I had a small question, my lord." He added.
"Of course. What is it that you wish to ask of me?" He asked. Obi-Wan paused, and then pointed to the obi on his waist.
"I do not know why, but I have always had this symbol here. Do you know what it means?" He asked the King, who leaned forwards to study it, and abruptly sucked in a breath, straightening with a startled look on his face.
"That- is that a sun-in-eclipse?" He asked incredulously. Obi-Wan blinked.
"I'm assuming-?" He replied, feeling leery.
"Ah... The only place I have ever seen that symbol was in Valinor... It is the symbol of lord Nàmo." Finrod mused. Obi-Wan blinked. The Lord of Mandos, judge of the dead? Surely that couldn't be right.
"Perhaps it means something else." He offered. Finrod gave him a look.
"I think not. No one else uses such an emblem, and that one is exactly correct." He pointed to the obi, and then shook his head. "Truly you are a mystery, Daelas. I look forwards to solving you." He smiled briefly and then sat down, effectively dismissing them. Laurendil started to lead him out, leaving him to ponder the meaning behind what he had learned.
"Ah, and Daelas?" Finrod suddenly said. Obi-Wan looked back. "You and I shall go on the next patrol with you as my bodyguard." He said with a neutral look, but the feeling that came through the Force alerted Obi-Wan that it was a test. He smiled.
"Of course, my lord." He answered, and followed Laurendil back through the winding caverns to his room.
"If there is anything you need, there will be maids or guards in the hallways that will see to it." Laurendil said curtly, and he nodded in polite thanks.
"Of course, thank you, Laurendil." He answered, and Laurendil nodded before walking away with a clank of his armor. Obi-Wan waited for a moment before shutting the door and walking- to the library. He needed more information about Valinor. He needed more information about himself. A Jedi Lord needs no distractions. He must know who or what he is at all times. Obi-Wan needed answers, and he had the opportunity to search for them in perhaps the best place he would find.
The Force within the library was like a cup of tea, soothing, warm, and flavorful. Lazy snatches of titles and impressions vaguely wafted across his senses, and he stood in silence for a moment, looking up at the shelves and shelves of precious manuscripts. He wished he had a datapad with him, but there would be no technology to charge it with anyway. Besides, his memory was good enough.
As he stood there contemplatively, he sensed someone walking toward him and turned to see an ellon smiling at him faintly. He sensed slight disease from the male, but otherwise trust that no harm would come to him. Obviously Finrod was a lord that was greatly trusted, then. It spoke volumes to Obi-Wan about the ellon he was serving, and made him feel more at ease.
"Greetings." He said in the common Sindarin manner, and the ellon returned it.
"May I help you?" He asked politely. "My name is Elboron, and I would be more than happy to be of assistance." He said.
Obi-Wan hesitated. "Ah- yes. I- I have come to search for any information on the Valar." He replied, and the ellon looked at him curiously but otherwise merely nodded.
"Of course. Lord Finrod himself has written several volumes. If you will follow me-"
And so Obi-Wan was introduced to the realm of Valar, Maiar- and Eru, the creator of all. The Force gathered thickly and potently in the room at the mention of Eru, and Obi-Wan realized with a start that the Force was nothing more than another form of Eru. It was Eru Himself, the way He worked through the affairs of Middle-Earth: it was His stamp on everything. The Force held the very fabric of time and the world together, because it was Eru, and Eru had created all.
He shut the book gently, aware of its value, and sat there cross-legged on the floor in typical meditative stance. Perhaps he was a Maiar. The book, one of the ones written by his new master, said that the Maiar were servants of the Valar, and often bore their lord's emblems. And thus he had read the section that dealt with all known knowledge of lord Námo, lord of Mandos and Judge of the Dead. What he had read had made him believe more and more that he had to be a Maiar of Námo. If his obi wasn't enough, then just the sense of faint agreement from the Force was enough. Very well then. Unless proven wrong, he would continue to accept that he was a Maiar of Námo, and continue to serve the people of middle earth with his skills in the best way he knew- only this time, in the name of lord Námo.
Even if he knew how much more important than that he really was, undoubtedly it wouldn't have made a difference to Obi-Wan. He would have stood and gone about his new duties in just the same manner as he did. Titles never mattered to him. It was the motive, and his motives would still be the same.
An assassin's job is always the same; the only thing different is the master, and by default, the target.
The trees were certainly silent. Obi-Wan slipped behind the trees and made his way in complete and utter silence through the forest, close by Finrod. The patrol was looking into the rumors of an Orc pack nearby that had reached their ears, and according to the rumors, they should be close to the pack.
But as afternoon neared, they saw nothing at all, not even any signs that orcs had been anywhere near. In resignation, Finrod ordered that there be a break and guards to be on duty as the rest took brief refreshment,
"Come, Daelas." Finrod offered. "Eat."
Obi-Wan slipped from the tree and shook his head politely. "Nay, my lord. I rarely eat, for I have no need for food. If it pleases you, I will stand guard." He said. Finrod paused for a moment, and then nodded as the other elves looked on in clear disbelief.
"Of course." He answered, and then turned back to his seat on a log.
Obi-Wan slipped into a tree and began meditating. The Force swirled around him, communing with him soothingly. He drew strength from it, like drinking water from a canteen in the middle of a desert. An oasis in the desert of reality.
His mind wandered the eddying, changing currents of the Force, lazily peeking into nooks and crannies, just resting. But he was still alert to what was going around him. He was not known as an assassin for nothing. One cannot scare or approach a shadow without being known. And he was a shadow.
The Force suddenly stirred, a wave of new movement. He studied this new moment, and immediately jerked away from where his consciousness what about to touch the movement. His long overdue meeting was at hand, it seemed. Orcs.
He drew out of meditation smoothly, rising to his feet silently and swiftly. Obi-Wan Kenobi was gone, and the assassin was back. His face was rock, chiseled stone, unmoving, and his eyes were plum purple, like the twilight of the sky. Dark and concentrated. His awareness stretched from his tree to where he could sense the orcs were, and he was not surprised. Thirty orcs, all headed in their direction. Assuming, of course, that that was their intent: ambush.
"My lord. Orc pack, thirty strong, two parsecs-" he broke off and hissed under his breath at his own slip-up. "Half a league to the west." He said. "Permission to put them out of commission?" His voice was flat and emotionless, a droid waiting for instructions.
There was a startled pause before Laurendil sprang to his feet. "I have seen your skill, but even you cannot take out thirty on your own, if there even are that many!" He said, helping Finrod by handing his lord's sword to him.
"Do not underestimate me." Obi-Wan answered in the same blank tone. "I have killed more than a hundred foes on my own before. I await my master's permission and instruction." He said, marking the orc's progress through the forest. One parsec away. They were dark patches in the force, not completely black, but more like fire turned into a dark flame. Once lights that were now muted and stained inside out with evil and the dark side. Seething, simmering blackness.
Finrod stood and motioned for his troops to remain silent. "Are you certain that you will not be hurt?" He called up to the motionless figure, who dropped to the ground noiselessly and bowed.
"There are never guarantees for my own safety. I care not for anything but your welfare, for you are my master. They are near. Permission?" His voice was finally laced with steel, annoyed at the delay. The closer they got, the harder it would be for him.
Finrod hesitated, then sighed, sensing Obi-Wan's annoyance at the delay. "Into the trees, all of you. Leave this to Daelas." He ordered firmly, then himself climbed into a tall tree.
Obi-Wan nodded and leaped into a tree silently, waiting, biding his time for then to arrive in the now-empty clearing below them. "Please do not fire if you can help it." He said calmly but clearly. "And please do not, for any cause, descend from the trees. If you do, there is no guarantee that I will not mistake you for one of them."
There was a murmur of assent before all went still and quiet as the orc's marched through. Obi-Wan immediately began to calculate their ranks and his moves in his mind. Revan's lessons ran through his mind. Always visualize your target in your mind. Always be aware of how many there are, counting kills if you must. That way, none may take you by surprise by hiding when you think you have disposed of them all. His hand went back to his quiver and slowly drew out one arrow, nocking it on the bow in his hands. He sighted, and drew.
There was a throaty hum as a whistle split the air, and the orcs looked down in confusion at their fallen comrade. Then they began to swing their weapons blindly, surprised by his sudden attack, swiveling to try to catch sight of him. But he was an assassin. He was not to be seen that easily. He took them out one by one, using his bow and arrows, preferring in this case not to use his lightsabers. He sensed every one of their movements before it would happen. Their thoughts screamed out into the Force, and he grimaced slightly, annoyed.
The Force screeched in warning just as an arrow was released from a black crossbow, heading straight for his head. He reached out a hand, twisting his fingers sharply, and the arrow snapped in midair, falling to the ground in two neat pieces. Every body that was felled dropped to the ground silently, sounds muted by an application of the Force. Birds stopped chirping. The forest was silent. That was ten count done. Twenty left. Then when he felt no more arrows under his fingers, he leaped.
They never knew what hit them- or rather, dropped into their midst. He was like a blur, a dark shadow that came out of nowhere and began to wreak havoc in their ranks.
Daelas almost scoffed at how easy these prey of his were. Easier than droids, even. The shadowed trees watched, silently applauding and cackling in morbid glee over the death of the filth. Their Daelas killed the orcs, and they loved to watch the sport. Their Daelas was not alone, for he had them on his side. He was safe.
Hood up and throwing daggers out, he went in for the kill. The gaping elves started as a blur of black appeared in the midst of the pack. He sank into the Force, feeling every presence around him. The elves were bright, while the orcs were black and reeking of putrid darkness. He used the difference to his advantage.
The orcs were caught off guard by the new threat and disoriented. He lunged forwards smoothly, sinking a dagger into one's chest. Another leaped forwards, but he turned and the fat neck was slit a moment later. Eighteen.
Two came forwards together, one heading for his head and the other his feet. Leaping up, he did a crunch in midair and came back down on top of the one sword while the other was halted in its course by application of the Force. Both fell with a swift swipe to arm and leg arteries unprotected by crude armor.
Sixteen left. Time was ticking. It was an exercise, nothing more. Just a meditative exercise. Focus. Feel, don't think. An almost indiscernible puncture to the chest in between armor, and another dropped with not so much as a parting gurgle. Fifteen.
He was a shadow, slipping in among their ranks before they realized it and struck like a snake from underfoot. He dropped and did a swift kick to the thigh of one. It fell, feeling lost in its legs, and was silenced swiftly as a knife made home in its neck.
A swipe across a chest. Thirteen. They saw that it was all but over for them. Three converged on him at once, one of them taking out a whip and snapping it at his head. Obi-Wan decided it was about time, and pulled out his double-blade, simultaneously raising his arms so that it was pointed towards the approaching whip thong. With a quick yanking motion, the whip was jerked into his hands and used to neatly snap off its original owner's head. Twelve.
The other two paused, then seeing the metallic, seemingly useless cylinder pointed towards them with no knives in sight, charged. Obi-Wan thumbed the ignition button and smiled faintly as the red blades slid out with an ominous hum. The twelve remaining seemed to pause as though in hesitation against this strange red light, and then resumed their blind, confident charge. He ignored the warning shout from one of the elves and ducked, spinning the lightsaber in an arc over his head. Two heads dropped next to him. Ten left.
He leaped up with a flying kick and expertly thrust the red blade forwards, impaling one Orc before jabbing backwards and gutting another. With a quick motion, he turned and drew a red X in the air, downing two others. Six left. It was much too easy, and in boredom, he decided to use a neat flip and an exaggerated twirl of the double blade in circles around himself. That was four left.
Then he quickly swapped sabers for his azure single blade, using defensive Shii-cho to deflect the raining blows like they were tiny blaster shots. He almost toyed with them lazily before deciding that that would be taking advantage of his master's time. With a swift movement, there were two left. He made a dive and came up from a smooth roll with an arrow in his hand. Bending backwards as easily as a twig, he dodged an Orc and kicked its gullet, making it double over and allowing him to thrust the arrow through its head before jerking it back out and throwing it at point-blank range.
The last of the pack fell, a small trickle of black blood escaping his mouth as the arrow in his neck was yanked out by a disgusted Obi-Wan Kenobi. He hated the death that Daelas wrought, and yet gloried in the knowledge that it was one less terrorizer of the innocents. He cared not that the world knew not of it, for he knew, and that was enough for him. He was more than repaid for every life that he helped in the killing of any possible offender.
It was his life, and he would not change it for all the glory the Valar could bestow upon him. If only his masters could see him now. They would have been proud. He wished that he could have talked with them one last time, to thank them personally, and to show them the affection he held for him as a foster father and mother, teachers, and companions. To give them due honor. But such was the life of a Jedi Lord. Daelas held no place in his duties for attachments, but Obi-Wan did. That part of him did. And the balance, albeit fragile, was well-defined. That's how he had been trained. That's how he was. That was what defined him more than anything else.
The elves slid down from the trees, just as he finished gathering his arrows and sticking them into his quiver. Finrod strode over to him and clasped his shoulder as he bowed.
"Safety assured." He said blankly, and Finrod nodded.
"For which I give you my thanks, Daelas." Was the grave answer.
Therefore his existence was known and made into a legend among the elves of Middle Earth for the first time. He only wondered if he would regret giving them his alias. Well, as he reasoned, that was what it was for anyway. An alias. To conceal his true name. He never uttered that name. It was secret and precious to him, for it was the only sure thing left of his past. Obi-Wan Kenobi did just fine. It was familiar, and it was his.