Obi-wan Kenobi, known to the Tattooine locals as old Ben, was in his hut meditating when suddenly Luke Skywalker's force signature simply disappeared. He wasn't dead, Obi-wan was certain of that, but he didn't understand how else Luke's force signature could just vanish. Quickly he got up, hopped on his speeder and raced to the Lars homestead.
When he neared the homestead he heard voices calling out "Luke, Luke, where are you?" Obi-wan didn't like the sound of that; it seemed to suggest that Luke was missing. He pulled his speeder up next to Beru Lars and asked
Beru looked at him sadly "Luke's run off…can you find him?"
"Why would Luke do that?" Obi-wan asked
Beru sighed "This strange woman came to the house; she wanted to train Luke to 'channel the one power' as she called it. Owen assumed she was a friend of yours-"
"Do you remember her name?" Obi-wan interjected
"Amys, I believe she said it was." Beru answered
Obi-wan shook his head and told her "I've never known anyone named Amys."
Beru sighed again "Anyway, Owen assumed she was talking about training Luke as a Jedi and you know how much Owen hates that idea."
Obi-wan nodded, yes he certainly did know. Owen blamed the Force for the loss of his stepbrother. It was odd in a way, the two men had never been very close because they had only met each other once, but Owen was fiercely loyal to his family, no matter what. Which is why Obi-wan had told them that Darth Vader had killed Anakin Skywalker but he had not told them that Anakin had fallen to the dark side and become Darth Vader; he hadn't been certain if the Lars would have been willing to hide Luke from Vader if they had known the whole truth, it was too dangerous to risk.
"Owen shouted about how the Force destroyed Anakin and he wouldn't let it destroy Luke too. Luke realized we had been keeping things from him and took off."
"Didn't you tell him why?" Obi-wan asked
"I tried, but he didn't listen, he just fled. Luke, can you hear me, Luke!" Beru said
Just then Owen himself arrived on the scene
"Beru have you-"he cut himself off when he noticed Obi-wan "You" he growled
"Hello, Owen" Obi-wan said trying to be diplomatic but Owen, however, was not
"THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!" he shouted furiously "you sent that crazy lady friend of yours to slip hints to Luke and now he's gone off. YOU FIND HIM AND YOU BRING HIM BACK RIGHT NOW!"
"Owen, I had nothing to do with this, Amys is no friend of mine. However, I promise you, I will do everything in my power to make sure that Luke comes home safely." Obi-wan said sincerely
"Oh really?" Owen responded "If she's not your friend, how do you know her name?"
"I know because Beru told me before you arrived." Obi-wan said
Owen turned to glare at his wife, they had never seen eye to eye when it came to the Jedi. Owen wanted his nephew kept far away from all that nonsense but Beru felt that Luke had to be told the truth eventually; in the end she had conceded to her husband's wishes and kept her mouth shut although she never stopped trying to get Owen to change his mind. Beru also did not share Owen's dislike of the Jedi which was one of the reasons Kenobi had gone to her for information, well that and the fact that he had come across her first.
"Look'" Beru said "can we not argue over whose fault this is and focus instead on finding Luke before he gets hurt."
Reluctantly both men nodded, the woman did have a point, and the three split up to resume the search for Luke Skywalker.
Meanwhile Luke and Amys arrived in Cold Rocks Hold
"So your world is a desert too." Luke stated
"Not all of it" Amys answered "Only here in the Three-fold Land. The Wetlands outside are very different and so is Shaara."
"You mean this world has different climates all on the same planet?" Luke exclaimed "that's crazy"
"No more than your planet being all deserts." Amys replied
Luke didn't really know how to respond to that…he got the feeling Amys was going to do that to him a lot.
"Rhuidean is open now, so you don't have to ask for permission from three Wise Ones to enter but you still must walk across the three-fold to the city on foot and I must ask you, do you have any weapons?"
"No, why" Luke responded
"Traditionally it has been forbidden to bring weapons into the city out of respect for the Jenn Aiel and for those making this journey we maintain that tradition. This is a test of your strength of will not your strength of arms."
"Why do you keep calling this land the three-fold land anyway?" Luke asked
"Because that is what it is, a shaping stone to make us, a testing ground to prove our worth and a punishment for the sin." Amys explained
"What sin?" Luke asked
"The Aiel were once sworn to the Way of the Leaf, sworn to do no violence and touch no weapon, not even in self-defense but we broke that oath and we are now a warrior people." Amys told him
"Why?" Luke questioned
"During the Breaking of the World, it was a very harsh and violent time, our ancestors felt that they needed to take up arms and defend themselves if they wished to survive particularly in a hard land like the Three-fold land." Amys said
"Oh…anyway, so where in Rhuidean am I supposed to go?"
"To the very heart, that is where the ter'angreal lies." Amys said
"Ok…what exactly is a ter'angreal anyway?" Luke questioned
Amys smiled slightly "I wondered how long it would take for you to ask, a ter'angreal is an object that uses the one power to perform a certain task, like communicating with people that are far away or detecting a man channeling nearby, ter'angreal have been found to do all sorts of things, most of them were made during the Age of Legends there is still a great deal that we don't know about them."
Luke looked at her confused and she elaborated further "The Age of Legends was several thousand years ago, the stories describe it as a golden age when the one power was used very often and feats of wonder where accomplished every day, I suspect the reality was not quite so grand nevertheless near the end of the Age of Legends they accidently released the Dark One, the source of all the world's evil from his ancient prison, triggering the First War of the Shadow. The strongest male channeler at the time Lewis Therin Telamon led a band of one hundred companions and managed to reseal the Dark One back into his prison along with his thirteen most powerful followers but victory came at a terrible price. The Dark One tainted the male half of the One Power so it would drive any man who touched it insane. The mad channelers wrecked havoc with the One Power ultimately destroying much of what had been built-"
"Was that the Breaking of the World you mentioned earlier?" Luke interjected
Amys nodded "Yes, It was only a few years ago that Rand al'Thor and Nynaeve al'Meara managed to cleanse saidin of the Dark One's taint."
"Why are there two halves of the One Power anyway?"
Amys was beginning to wonder if Luke ever ran out of questions "Well, no one knows for certain but I suspect it is because it is necessary. The One Power is the source of creation, the source of life and life has to have two halves."
Now Luke was really confused but Amys continued with her explanation "All species have male and female members and in order for a species to continue the male and female must work together because neither of them can create the next generation without the other's help. However, they do not always get along so sometimes they fight against each other just as saidar and saidin do."
For a moment neither of them spoke but then Luke said "Ok, I think I'm ready to go."
"Very Well, I will wait here." Amys said simply and Luke set off
It seemed like it took forever but Luke finally managed to reach the heart of Rhuidean when he was there he found a series of columns. He entered it and was flung violently into the past. Something happened that he didn't understand but he kept going. Eventually after a few more steps some things started to make sense he saw what he thought was the establishing of the Jedi temple on Coruscant. Eventually he made it to more recent events.
He was now a woman, her name was Padme Amidala and she was the newly elected queen of Naboo. The Trade Federation had blockaded the planet and the Senate so far had failed to do anything about it despite Senator Palpatine's best efforts. The part of him that was still Luke Skywalker doubted the man had actually tried all that hard. Even worse the Trade Federation had invaded Naboo and thousands of her people had been killed and more died every day. She had to do something in had taken a while but she had managed to come up with a plan
There was one problem with it, the needed an army to create a diversion but Naboo was a peaceful planet and they did not have a large military. Jar Jar had told her that the Gungans did have a big army. She hoped that she would be able to persuade them to fight for their planet…the Naboo and the Gungans did not have a very friendly history.
She saw Sabe step forward and Padme decided that it was time to stop pretending to be a mere handmaiden. She stepped forward and interjected
"I am Queen Amidala, this is my protector Sabe. I apologize for the deception but it was necessary in order to protect myself." She then gave a brief speech ending with her getting down on her knees and saying "We beg you to help us."
The Gungan leader smiled "Yousa Naboo no longer thinkin' you so high and mighty ya? Yousa no thinkin' you better than Gungans…Mesa like this, Wesa help you."
The scene shifted and it was a bit later and there was a massive celebration for the end of the war. Padme and company had captured the Viceroy of the Trade Federation and forced him to sign a very different treaty than the one he had intended and Anakin had destroyed the space station that controlled the droids…although Padme wasn't entirely sure how Anakin had ended up in one of the spaceships in the first place she was very grateful. The two of them shared a warm smile; Padme couldn't help but think about how adorable Ani was.
Then Luke was himself again. 'Could that woman have been' the thought began to form but Luke dismissed it, there was no way, he was just a farm boy from Tatooine, his mother could not possibly have been a queen.
Then he took another step and once again was sent back in time. He was again a woman but this time her name was Shmi Skywalker. She had been captured and tortured by Tuskan Raiders. She was dying she knew it but in her heart she knew her Ani was on his way, she just prayed to whoever or whatever might be listening that she would get to see him one last time.
Her prayer was granted soon Anakin arrived in the tent. He raced over to her "Mom, you're going to be all right, just hold on!" he urged her. But Shmi couldn't hold on any longer, the force, the gods, whatever had granted her wish, had allowed her to see her son, now that he was full grown Jedi (well technically he was still just a padawan but Shmi didn't know that) "Anakin" she whispered softly, so softly that Anakin could barely hear "My darling boy, at last I am complete" and then she died
"Mom…MOM!" Anakin yelled not willing to accept her death and then the tears started. Two Tuskans burst into the tent. Anakin drew his light saber and killed them both fairly quickly but he didn't stop there he went on to kill the entire village of Tuskans.
Then the vision ended and Luke was once again himself. Luke was stunned he knew his grandmother Shmi had been killed by the Tuskans but the effects of actually seeing it…awful. He had always wished he could have meet her but this brief stint inside her head for a last few moments was not at all what he had in mind. It had confirmed one thing though, his father had not been a navigator on a spice freighter, and actually his father had been a Jedi Knight Luke wondered if he had been killed in the purge.
He took another step and went back in time yet again. This time he was Anakin Skywalker, Jedi in training. He was standing next to the same Padme woman from before; they also seemed to be captives of some sort. "Anakin" Padme said to him softly "before we get sent in there I need to tell you something."
"You can tell me anything Padme." Anakin told her. He knew that he shouldn't love anyone, it was against the Jedi code but he couldn't help but love Padme, he would do anything for her.
"I've been dying a little inside every since you came back into my life." She said. Anakin was stunned when he heard that, if that was true he should never have come near her…it really hurt to know that she hated him that much.
Some of his devastation must have shown on his face because Padme suddenly looked upset
"Anakin, I truly deeply love you." She told him
"…I thought we had agreed not to fall in love, that it would destroy both of our lives." He said. Inwardly though, his heart was soaring. Padme loved him, he had dreamed of hearing those words for so long and now she had actually said them, he almost couldn't believe it.
"I think our lives are about to be destroyed anyway" Padme responded "I couldn't bear for you to die without knowing the truth."
Before Anakin could respond to that the door opened…Showtime.
They were each chained to one of the columns and there was a third prisoner already there who looked familiar to that part of Anakin that was actually Luke but that part was not sure why.
"We came to rescue you master." Anakin told the man
The man looked up at his chains and said sarcastically "Good job!" Luke wasn't too concerned about Anakin, obviously Anakin had somehow managed to survive this because otherwise Luke would never have been born but he was worried for Padme…he still wasn't completely convinced that she was his mother and the other guy too.
The scene then became so chaotic it was hard for Luke to keep up with what was going on. Anakin and his master got free of their chains and were darting around on the ground. Padme also managed to free herself and was standing up on top of one of the columns. Then a bunch of Jedi showed up light sabers blazing and things got even more out of control.
Luke was somewhat relieved when that scene ended. He took a moment to catch his breath and try to sort his thoughts out and then when he was ready he took another step forward and back.
He was Anakin Skywalker again. He was standing in the Jedi Temple, his thoughts in turmoil. For weeks he'd been having nightmares of his beloved wife Padme dying in childbirth. He couldn't bare it if she died but he didn't know how to help her. He'd even suggested that she get an abortion but Padme wanted the baby very much and had been furious with him for even suggesting it. If he was honest, he did want the baby, he'd always dreamed of having a family but not at the cost of losing his wife…there had to be some way to save both of them.
Then Palpatine had told him that story about Sith Lords being able to save people from dying and revealed that he was a Sith Lord himself. Anakin had been stunned; he hadn't wanted to believe it at first. Eventually though he had done his duty and reported his discovery. Mace Windu had told him to wait behind and that was the root of Anakin's distress. Mace Windu would kill Palpatine and end the threat to the galaxy but…what about Padme?
Eventually he couldn't stand still anymore and he went after Windu. When he arrived Windu had Palpatine cornered and was about to kill him. Palpatine looked over at Anakin and said
"Remember Anakin, if I die the knowledge of how to save Padme dies with me."
"Master Windu, stop. Palpatine needs to stand trial." Anakin shouted
Mace Windu looked over his shoulder and shouted back "He's too dangerous to stand trial!"
Seeing his opportunity Palpatine shoot Mace Windu full of Sith Lighting and the Jedi fell out the window to his death.
Palpatine then got to his feet. "Join me Anakin" he told him "Together we can rediscover the ancient Sith arts, lost to the ages all these years, and you can save your precious wife."
The part of him that was still Luke urged Anakin not to do it, urged him to kill the Sith Lord now before he was able to make himself emperor and spread tyranny and injustice throughout the galaxy.
Instead Anakin knelt and said "I…pledge myself…to your teachings."
Palpatine smirked triumphantly "then rise my apprentice…Darth Vader."
Then the scene ended. "No, it can't be true" There was no way the second most powerful man in the galaxy could be his father. He had heard rumors of how many horrible things that Darth Vader had done, there was no way he could be related to that monster.