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Показать все книги автора/авторов: Watson Jude, Ванслов Виктор Владимирович

«Jedi Quest 6: The Shadow Trap», Jude Watson


Chapter One

Anakin Skywalker hated being between missions. As far as he was concerned, having free time was highly overrated. How many times could he perfect his Jung Ma movement in dulon training?


Countless times, his Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, would say.


Anakin pulled his outer tunic over his head and tossed it on the grassy bank of the lake. He took three quick steps and dived into the clear, green water. Without a mission, he just felt aimless. There was much to do at the Temple, of course. Being a Jedi meant that training never stopped. Perfecting his battle mind, bettering his grasp of galactic politics — these were all necessary tasks between missions. Usually, Anakin tried to use his time at the Temple well. But this time… this time, all he wanted to do was swim.


He chose a time when the lake was deserted. For some reason, this was at midday, when most Jedi students were deep in study or training, and Jedi Knights were busy as well, perfecting the ideal battle skills that Anakin should have been perfecting.


All Anakin knew was that he could not wait to dive into the cool, green water. He felt his mind calm as he swam underwater, playing with the rays of light that penetrated beneath the surface. He and his Master were not communicating well. Ever since his mission to Andara, there had been distance between them. Obi-Wan had said he was deeply disappointed in him.


Although it was not in the character of a Jedi to dwell on the past, Anakin remembered that comment like a knife in his heart. It haunted every moment of their time together.


In the past he had sometimes felt irritated at Obi-Wan's corrections, his need to always show Anakin how he could have done something better, or more patiently, or more thoroughly. Now he missed them. He saw them now for what they were — a dedication to him, a need to help him be the best Jedi he could be.


Anakin broke the surface and shook off drops of water. He was close to the waterfall now, and he paused to feel the cool mist on his skin. With a few quick strokes he swam to the bank and hauled himself up to sit underneath the spray.


And, just like that, it happened.


The vision came, and the peaceful scene before him fell away. The rushing water became a rush of air so intense that it hurt his ears. Images came and went so quickly they were like pulses of light: a massive fleet at his command; a revolt of hundreds of slaves as they shouted his name; striding through the dusty streets of Mos Espa and reaching the door of his old home. The images stopped and froze only once. His mother's face as he clasped her against him. He touched the slave cuffs at her wrists and they fell to the floor. He heard the clang.


And then there was an explosion of light and sorrow, and he knew he had lost Shmi, had lost, in fact, everyone he loved, including Obi-Wan.


The One Below remains below.


Suddenly Anakin felt the grass underneath his fingers, springy and soft. He heard the sound of the waterfall. The explosion of blinding light fractured and mellowed into the cool greens of the water.


It was the third time he had had the vision. Before, it had come late at night, when he was close to sleep. The first time it had been almost a dream. The second, it had been clear and sharp. But this time it was insistent. It seemed to cling to him like a sticky web he couldn't escape.


What did it mean? Why did the vision of liberating slaves come to him?


He hadn't had that thought since he was a young boy on Tatooine. He often dwelled on his mother, of course, dreamed of freeing her from her harsh life. Yet this vision was so real. It felt as though he really had the power to do it. He saw now the difference between a dream and a vision.


Who was The One Below?


Anakin shook his head, watching as water droplets hit the skin of his forearm. He felt troubled and weary. Swimming every day wasn't enough to clear his mind, calm his heart.


It was time to tell Obi-Wan about it.


On Andara, Obi-Wan had faulted him for acting without regard to his instructions. Anakin had known that a fellow Jedi Padawan, Ferus Olin, had disappeared. Instead of telling Obi-Wan, he had gone off with the group he was investigating. Anakin had thought that he would find Ferus by continuing with the mission. Obi-Wan had disagreed when he found out.


Anakin had never seen him so angry. He had felt that Anakin had violated an essential core of trust between them.


It had not mattered at all that Ferus had been found safe, and that the mission had been successful.


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