Five years… No, more. Seven? Eight? At some point, Obi-Wan had lost count. Time seemed both meaningless and overbearing at the same time in this desolate part of the galaxy. The more days went by, the more he lost his purpose. But the passing moons were also a sign that the boy he had sworn to protect was still safe.
He found a job among the locals and built a simple home in one of the many caverns outside the settlements. A true hermit, who talked little and socialized even less. He didn’t care what people thought of him. The less they knew, the better. His old self was long gone anyway. He was no longer Master Kenobi or General Kenobi or even Obi-Wan. He was just Ben.
Yet every night, he was plagued by nightmares. The fight on XX wouldn’t leave his thoughts and tore at his heart at every turn. He had failed, it reminded him. He had failed Anakin, and he had failed his fellow Jedi.
After yet another sleepless night, he had gone to one of the settlements after work to stock up on some supplies. It was planned as nothing but a quick errand run, but something felt odd. He no longer had the same connection to the Force as before, but the feeling did make him pause. Something was coming. But what?
He stood in the middle of the marketplace and looked around, trying to find anything that seemed unusual. A pair of eyes in the shadows? A stranger he had never noticed before? Nothing stood out. Slowly he turned again, inspecting some fruit on display, yet the tension would not leave his body.
Without buying anything, he turned to find his loyal mount instead. Whatever was coming, he wanted no part in it.
That wasn't entirely true. A part of him screamed to investigate. To help. To try to fight whatever injustice was about to befall this place. It was just how Jedi were. No matter how many years passed, some instincts were harder to drown out than others. With a sigh, Obi-Wan forced his way towards the stables, doing his best to empty his thoughts. He had just one last task: To watch over Luke. Nothing else mattered. Nothing.
Inside the stable, however, the feeling of unease grew.
"Hello?", he called into the darker part of the structure, fairly certain that he had sensed movement inside.
Tahri was staring at the passing stars and planets with a frown on her face. She honestly wasn’t looking forward to their next destination. Tatooine was too hot with far too much sand and with way too many problems. Slavery, severe gambling and an abundance of blackmail were just a few of them.
“Why would anyone want to live in a place like that?”, she wondered out loud, as the planet finally came into view.
It really wasn’t the most inviting habitat, but it did offer plenty of opportunities to hide from the world. A chance many a Jedi were grateful for these days. And it was the very reason why Tahri and Cal were on their way to Tatooine. For a couple of months now, they had been part of a secret network that specialized in finding and sheltering Jedi survivors, as well as those loyal to the Republic or helping the budding rebellion.
It was still a massive surprise whenever they actually managed to save someone from the order. Most of the time it was Padawans, like themselves, who had somehow managed to escape the massacre. Tahri still remembered when she had first crossed paths with Cal in an Imperial weapons factory, they had both gone to take down. He had been the first member of the Order she had seen since Order 66 and while it had been overwhelming, it had given her hope that there could be more out there.
So even though she hated the idea of going to Tatooine, they had good reason to do so. Every surviving Jedi was a potential ally or fighter against the Empire after all. And they needed every person they could get, really.
“I got the coordinates for our landing.”, she said, pressing a few buttons on her part of the cockpit, as they began to approach the planet. “Do you really think we will find someone?”, she asked her companion, looking over to her fellow Jedi, as he did his own part to prepare their ship for landing.
Many a time, their leads had actually been dead-ends or worse, traps for them laid out by Inquisitors. It was impossible to tell how reliable information about Jedi was, but every hint was worth following up on. Tahri still secretly hoped that they would one day find a Master, who had survived. Someone, who could be a real general and leader for them. Even more, she hoped that they would find and rescue familiar faces…