To entice any potential betas...
And to give you all a preview, here is the first scene of Perturbations, the first story in my upcoming Star Wars series A Shift in Equilibrium. If you are a person familiar with Clone Wars and the Prequal Trilogy who might be willing to do content beta-ing, please let me know!
It begins the day Ahsoka walks out of the temple for the last time.
No, that’s not true. The truth is it begins a long time before that. It begins when the Council abandons one of their own to the mercies of the military and the Senate, to be killed for another’s crimes. It begins when Anakin is forced to hunt down his own Padawan, because he can’t trust his Order to bring her in alive, let alone safe. It begins when he sees the emptiness in his former Master’s eyes when he returns from Mandalore alone. It begins on Umbara, when his men were made to kill their own on the whims of a traitor, because he wasn’t. Fucking. There. It begins when so many more good men, HIS men, lay down their lives to take a planet that will be won and lost and won again, traded between Separatists and Republic like a toy in a children’s game.
It begins when the council sends this daring, bold, sweet girl into his care, and all he can think is “war is no place for a child.” Because, Force help him, they are all children, aren’t they? Every last clone who will never see his fifteenth birthday. Every Padawan sent into the worst of the fighting with little more than the soft life of a temple-raised Initiate to prepare them. It begins when he’s holding his mother’s body in his arms, the blood of other children drying on his hands. So many children dead, dying, wounded, orphaned. All his fault. Because he let his actions, and his inactions, be guided by the Council. By the Code. By a set of out-dated, heartless rules that hold love to be a greater crime than indifference, and the heartless old Masters who enforce them. He followed them all, until he was the one that broke.
Maybe it begins when a frightened little slave boy who can never go home again stands before the Jedi Council and is told that there is no place for him. Anakin doesn’t know.
What he does know is that, when he says he understands more than anyone what it’s like, wanting to walk away from the Order, he means it. The Order is his life, but what kind of a life is it when every good and beautiful thing he has is twisted into a shameful secret, and will of the Senate holds more sway than the will of the Force? When he isn’t even allowed to protect the ones he holds most dear? And his Padawan is walking away from him, and she’ll be alone again. Alone, in a galaxy that is never kind, especially not to anyone who has ever borne the name Jedi.
He runs after her, away from the temple that is the only home he’s known since he left his mother behind. And when he reaches her side, she turns to look at him, and her eyes are older and sadder than he’s ever seen.
“Ahsoka, I abandoned you once, and I’m not doing it again. Maybe you’re right. Maybe this is something you have to do without the Council. Without the Jedi. But not without me. I’m coming with you, Snips. We’ll figure it out together.”
She looks at him for a long, silent moment. And then she smiles, for the first time in days, and holds out her hand.