Chapter 10

Anakin sat up straight in his chair. "Shavit!" he shouted, and slammed his fist into the table.

Asher, a few metres away, fiddling with a few pieces of Anakin's junk collection, looked up in surprise. "Anakin? Uhh, master?"

Anakin was reading a holo, and Asher got up, and examined the holo.

"Latest report on the Clone Wars," Asher read out loud. "Battle on Aarognar, decisive CIS victory."

Anakin snapped off the holo.

"Is that why you're upset?" Asher asked. "You're not on the front line?"

Anakin shook his head. "I have to padawans to take care of, you and Aubrie. But I hate not being able to do anything for the war. So many lives... Wasted."

Asher said nothing.

There was a tense pause, until Anakin got up. "Asher..."

"Master?"

Anakin winced. "That's getting real uncomfortable, you know."

Asher sighed. "Anakin?"

Anakin scratched his head. "Your... padawan training has been... accelerated. And you have lots of pre-knowlege of the force."

"Instinct," Asher shrugged. "But, yes."

Anakin stared at Asher. "Do you wish to be a Jedi?"

Asher stared back. "Am I supposed to answer that?"

There was a pause, until Asher finally said, "...I don't know."

Anakin clenched a fist. "That's... No?"

"I don't know. Anakin."

Anakin slipped a single holocron out of his robe. "Do you know who you are? What you are? What you can do?"

Asher looked bewildered. "I'm Asher, a Human Force Sensiti-" He stopped, realizing that it was a rhetorical question.

Anakin's voice was hushed. "Asher, you are the force."

"What?"

Spinning the holocron around his fingers, Anakin sighed. "Where to start? The force... The force is a force." He smiled. "That sounded stupid... But it is a physical being. It needs to exist, somewhere."

Asher blinked. "I'm not sure if I understand."

"Master Yoda..." Anakin paused. "Yoda theorized this hundreds of years ago. That the force was a physical being and something held it."

Asher held up his hands. "Whoa, whoa, are you saying I'm as old as... I am timeless?"

Chuckling, Anakin shook his head. "No. When you were born, 14 years ago, the previous host of the force, a tree, had died. The force took all the power from that tree and put it into you."

"Host?" Asher examined the holocron, twirling through Anakin's fingers.

"More or less," Anakin continued. "It is even theorized," Anakin's voice shrank to a whisper, "That the one who holds the force has power to give life, take life, not only to influence the midi-chlorians, but to control them."

"Wait," Asher said. "What are midi-chlorians?"

Anakin touched him. "You are midi-chlorians. They are in our bodies. What gives us life. The force sustains life, and for some people, it gives extra. Force sensitivity."

Asher flexed a hand in front of his face. "So does that mean that... I can give people the ability to use the force? And take it?"

"Theoretically."

Asher closed his eyes, immersed himself into the force, reached out to Anakin's shining force signature, and choked it.

Nothing.

Anakin chuckled. "I felt that," he smiled, "but you require training to actually be able to do thta to someone stronger than you."

Asher thought for a second, and then his voice became scared. "Influence the midi-chlorians, did you say? I can... Someone has done that before?"

Anakin nodded slowly. "The is a Sith Legend, of Darth Plaeguis. They say that he could influence the midi-chlorains."

"How..." Asher's voice cracked at the enormity of it all. "How can I learn this power?"

Anakin suddenly snapped. Asher had disappeared, and, instead, Anakin was kneeling at Sidious's feet, being taught of the dark side of the force, terrified and yet -

Anakin!

The Force shattered the vision, as Qui-Gon's voice tore through Anakin's conscience.

Anakin came to. Barely two seconds had passed.

"A Jedi does not look for power," Anakin instructed Asher. "That way leads to the dark side."

Suddenly, Anakin felt the light side flood with power, as Asher's presence slipped into it.

"I wish to be a Jedi," he whispered.


A few months later...

Snow swirled around the entrance to the Illum Adgean Crystal caves. Anakin snapped off his lightsaber and slid it into his belt in a single, fluid motion.

"I hate those creatures," he complained, and began to enter the Jedi shrine.

'Those creatures' were the strange, vaguely humanoid snow beasts inhabiting Illum. No matter.

Asher and Aubrie peered into the cave. Soft glow reflected off all the walls, in yellows, greens, blues, and the occasional purple or violet.

Anakin ushered them in, and they walked slowly in.

"What is this place?" Asher whispered.

Aubrie examined a crystal. "These are the crystal caves in Illum. We tend them for their lightsaber crystals." She paused, and took a deep breath. "Can you feel them?"

Asher concentrated, and touched the crystals with his mind. He was still foggy, not crystal clear like Anakin's perceptioon, but he could still see well through the force.

"I..." he paused. "They have a force presense."

Aubrie nodded. "That's why we harvest them."

Anakin breathed out deeply. "The crystals are burning brightly today. It must be Asher's presence."

Asher closed his eyes, and began to loose himself in mediatiton. Let the light force guide you to find your crystal...

A burst of shining force energy filled the cave, and the crystals glowed fiercely. Aubrie looked at Anakin uneasily, but he too was meditating. But something in the force was telling her something. It wasn't the light, but it wasn't the dark either. But it was telling her that something was wrong.


And it happened again. When she had spent the last five hours meditating over her chosen crystal, Asher had sent such a strong burst of force energy into his crystal, that the force warned her. And not a gentle reminding like last time. It pounded it into her head. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

She opened her eyes. "Something's wrong," she whispered.


To Darth Sidious, Chancellor Palpentine. It was almost laughable.

The force was out of balance. Anakin must be tipping closer to the dark side.

Cackling evilly in his private chamber, he set forward to his COMM. The time was right. The force was out of balance, and he would strike, send the weak Skywalker boy deep into the grasp of the dark side.

No.

Someone was wrong.

The force was out of balance to the light. It scared him.

He kept moving forward to grab his COMM... No, he jerked his hand back... grabbed his COMM as an afterthought.

What would be your first thought?

Execute order 66 prematurely.

No. He couldn't do that. He couldn't take bloody revenge on the Jedi for snatching away his prize student. He would wait.

"Arghh..." he growled, and sent forth a burst of force lighting out of anger.

But the force lighting didn't come.

The force was out of balance.

Althroughout the galaxy, force weilders, Jedi, Sith, Monks, all felt the force slip.

The force was out of balance.