Owen saw the little starfighter arrowing down, red hot and screaming, aimed straight at
the heart of the Lars homestead. He dusted the sand off his hands, sealed the toolkit
shut, and took off in a lope. He cursed under his breath as he ran.
It was never good news when Obi-Wan came to visit.
By the time he got to the house, Beru was cradling a bundle of cloth in her arms and
cooing at it. Owen gave Obi-Wan a glare as harsh as Tatooine's twin suns.
"What are you doing here?"
Obi-Wan lifted his eyes and looked at him. Owen almost took a step back. He'd never
seen his brother looking so defeated, so lost, not even after the Battle of Naboo, when
Obi-Wan had come looking for their father with a purse full of wupiupi and a favor to ask.
That had been twelve years ago, and Owen would never forget stumbling upon Obi-Wan in the
corner of the garage, curled into a fetal position and sobbing almost silently, a
hydrospanner dangling limp in his hand.
Whatever it was this time, it looked to be worse. Owen wanted no part of it.
"Get off my land."
"Anakin's turned," Obi-Wan said. His voice was raw. He looked away, toward
the horizon. "He's murdered thousands." His brown cloak flapped in the wind,
revealing the cream cloth underneath. Owen was reminded of the time he had come across the
sunbleached bones of some unfortunate beast, harried by a clutch of dark-winged carrion
Owen crossed his arms. "And whose fault is that?"
Obi-Wan turned and looked sharply at him, but the spark of emotion faded so fast Owen
thought he might have imagined it. "He's killed Padme," Obi-Wan said.
Beru gasped and looked down at the baby, biting her lip.
Owen set his jaw. "It's none of our concern. Don't bring your troubles here. We've
got enough to deal with as it is. Not that you would know that, seeing as how you couldn't
even be bothered to come help when Pa was dying."
Obi-Wan brushed a hand over his face and rubbed his eyes. "In case you hadn't heard,
Owen, there's a war."
"Oh, we're not so ignorant as you think, brother. High-and-mighty Jedi General
Obi-Wan Kenobi is on the news even out here. Trouble with the General is he's always out
saving the galaxy. Never around when you need him."
Obi-Wan ignored him. "Anakin --" He choked, swallowed, and tried again.
"Padme -- this is their son. He must be hidden."
"Absolutely not. You can't ask this of us. If he is as dangerous as you say, and I
don't doubt for a moment he is, I want no part of him."
A tiny hand gripped Beru's finger, and the baby gurgled. Beru blinked; tears rolled
down her face. "It's just a baby," she whispered.
Obi-Wan gritted his teeth. "You're my only hope, Owen. The only one I can trust.
Anakin won't come here. He --" Obi-Wan broke off once more, and he had to swallow
before he could go on. He stared into Owen's eyes. "The child must be hidden. The
future of the galaxy may depend on it."
"No. Take him and leave. Now."
Obi-Wan stared at him for a moment, an unreadable look in his eyes. Then he turned and
started walking toward his ship.
The baby whimpered.
"I mean it, Obi-Wan." Owen snatched the bundle from Beru's arms and held it
out toward Obi-Wan's receding back. "I won't raise this child."
Obi-Wan said nothing, but kept walking.
The child began to cry, the sound rising quickly to a nerve-shattering pitch.
"Damn you!" Owen shouted, almost shaking the baby in his anger. He could
barely be heard above the child's now-frantic shrieking. "Damn you and all the Jedi.
Damn you for starting this war, and damn you for turning that sweet boy into a
Obi-Wan's steps faltered for a moment, then resumed.
"Well, you won't ruin this one. I'll kill you if you so much as set foot on my
land!" When Obi-Wan didn't respond, Owen shouted louder, his voice cracking with
anger. "You're no kin of mine, Obi-Wan Kenobi! You can go to hell, you and all your
Beru pried the baby from Owen's hands and tried to soothe him. Owen barely noticed. His
eyes were fixed on the distant figure, blurred now by heat or something else.
Obi-Wan climbed into the cockpit of his starfighter and strapped himself in. He took
one last look at Owen and then locked down the canopy. The ship lifted and began its
In the scorching air of Tatooine, Owen's tears dried even before they could
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