Everyone Likes Presents
Luke sighed. Sometimes it seemed as if he'd spent his entire life sighing without knowing completely why.
He'd sighed whenever Uncle Owen made some excuse to keep him on Tatooine for another year. He'd sighed whenever Cammie or Biggs had teased his silly, floppy haircut - precisely twenty years out of fashion - or when it was his turn to pick mushrooms off the vaporators. He'd sighed when looking across the desert into the fiery binary sunset.
Well, actually he hadn't so much as sighed as gone temporarily blind. Thankfully Threepio had been too polite to ask why he'd been flying across the Judland Wastes in zigzags.
Now, having been rescued by old Ben Kenobi, taking refuge from sand, sun and Tuskens by hiding in the wizard's hovel, Luke found himself sighing again. This time it was in gratitude for the fact Threepio had finally shut up about how coarse and rough sand was, and how it got everywhere…
"No," Luke found himself saying, "My father was a navigator on a Spice freighter. He didn't fight in any wars."
"Ah, yes." Obi-Wan scratched fitfully at his beard. "Well, I'm afraid that in the interest of personal safety there might very well have possibly been a few, er…fibs told you. You see, your father was one of the greatest pilots the galaxy has ever seen. When I first met him I was amazed at how strong the force was with him. So much so that I tried my damnedest to get rid of the little brat at every opportunity. Hell, I even threw myself out of a window to get away from him once but he still found me…" This time Obi-Wan sighed. "Anyhow, against my better judgement and due to a temporary lack of sanity I took it upon myself to train him."
"As what?" Luke frowned.
"You know, I've asked myself that on numerous occasions since it all went hideously wrong." Obi-Wan held up a hand as an admission of guilt. "Hey-ho! Can't be helped, I suppose. Doesn't the long brown robe give you a clue?"
Luke gazed uncertainly at Obi-Wan. "A Jawa?"
"A Jedi!" Kenobi sounded quite cross. "I was once a Jedi Knight the same as your father. Until he messed it all up for everyone…ranting about the darkside, strangling people and showing off his sith eyes. Posing around in black leather, waving a fancy red lightsabre about the place! Which reminds me," Obi-Wan broke into a happy smile, clearly moved by his remembrances, "I have something here for you."
"Presents!" Luke exclaimed delightedly. "I love presents! I haven't had a present since the day Uncle Owen made me that sandpit for my second birthday…"
His father had been a Jedi! And according to Ben a great one at that! He rubbed his hands in glee. It sounded so exciting! Then again, anything was exciting compared to Tatooine. When you'd seen one grain of sand you'd seen them all. He remembered the time Uncle Owen had tried to get him to go to sleep by getting him to count the grains.
It had kept both of them awake for two nights.
"I wish I'd known him." Luke sighed for the umpteenth time. "My father, I mean."
"Can't think why. He was ghastly." Came back Obi-Wan's gruff reply.
"How did he die?"
Obi-Wan's brows drew in on themselves. "Horribly." He opted for after a moment's thought.
"Is that it?"
"You want more? Bloodthirsty little devil, aren't you?" The older man observed. "Well, it's like this. He turned to the darkside. I turned to drink. Have to admit that I got the better deal there, to be honest."
Obi-Wan stood up and hobbled over towards what appeared to be a large trunk at the far end of the room, Luke following his laboured limping with compassion for an older and wiser battle-scarred veteran.
"Are you hurt, Ben?" He asked sympathetically. "An old Jedi war wound, perhaps?"
"I'm not hurt. Just drunk." Obi-Wan grunted, holding his head as he bent down towards the trunk. "You don't think I've spent the last nineteen years stuck in here meditating, do you? Who needs space travel? With a bottle of Cutlass Ale you can see all the stars you want without leaving the comfort of your living room…"
Luke watched as Obi-Wan opened the trunk, then wrinkled his nose in disgust.
"What's that dreadful smell?" He asked, gagging.
Obi-Wan sniffed the air. "It's me, most likely. I haven't taken a bath since oh, before you were born. There's no spare water on this damned planet. Anyhow, here it is." He patted the side of the trunk. "Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough…least he would have done if he wasn't writhing in agony. I picked it up off the volcanic shores of Mustafar after we had that slight difference in opinions. "
"What is it?"
Obi-Wan stood up, grinning. "His arm!"
The blood ran from Luke's face, as Obi-Wan elaborated his tale.
"I knew this would come in handy! You said you wanted to get to know your father a bit better: well, now's your chance to carry a little bit of him with you wherever you go." He waved the offending body part over the side of the trunk as if working some child's puppet.
"Are you some kind of weird crazy serial killer?" Luke felt obliged to ask. "What kind of master chops up his apprentice and keeps his severed limbs in a trunk?"
"One in desperate need of a drink." Obi-Wan smiled, his eyes twinkling. "By the way," Kenobi thumbed his nose conspiratorially at Luke, "Keep hold of the arm. I think you might be needing it in the near future…"
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