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The Price of Sacrifice
Obi-Wan was tired, so very, very tired. He couldn't even remember what it
felt like to be anything but totally and completely drained. The Force,
though a powerful ally, could not work miracles.
Obi-Wan knew that the long nights of not sleeping, and the endless days of
secrecy and stealth and hardship were aging him prematurely, but there was
nothing he could do about it. He had to get by as he always had, by living
day to day, or in the "here and now" as his old Master used to say.
As he walked through the Jedi temple, the other Jedi seemed to avoid him,
either giving sympathetic glances, or simply appearing not to notice him.
He knew that he looked bad, and that anyone even slightly Force sensitive
could feel the exhaustion radiating off of him, but no one even suspected
why he was so tired. Well almost no one.
Mostly, the Jedi passing him in the halls attributed it to his new Padawan.
To be knighted and given a Padawan at such a young age was both a privilege
and a trial. And though that was not the excuse for his bedraggled state,
he was willing to let the halls of the Jedi temple resound with such
speculation and rumors.
Entering his quarters, he wanted only to fall into a deep and dreamless
sleep, but first he needed to see to his Padawan. Anakin, though becoming
more accustomed to having free time (and freedom, for that matter) still
had a bad habit of getting into trouble if he spent too much time
unsupervised. Obi-Wan would never begrudge having such a curious and active
Padawan, but he sometimes wished that he could have one just a little more
"Good evening Master. How was the meeting on Malastare?" Anakin greeted
him, coming from his room as he sensed Obi-Wan's presence in the common
"Exhausting as usual my Padawan. And how have your days been going since
I've been away?" \\Should I be expecting any irate comms\\
At the brief mental message, Anakin blushed, deciding to answer the spoken
message first. "I have been busy Master. Master Bant has been helping me to
work on my healing abilities. She thinks that I may have great potential in
it. She also says that I'll probably need it, seeing as how I am YOUR
"Well, Bant did gain the majority of her healing experience by patching me
up on return from missions with Qui-Gon," Obi-Wan answered with a small
grin as he remembered some of his many visits to the healer's ward. "Now,
should I check the comm. first, or are you going to tell me what to expect
before I have to listen to all of my messages from your instructors?"
"Actually, Master, I don't think you will be getting any calls from my
instructors, or from the Council members. After the debacle with the
'borrowed' transport last time you left, I decided it would be better if
maybe I just spent some time meditating and working on my katas and
lessons, rather than joy-riding in Master Windu's skimmer."
"Well, Anakin, I am glad to see that maybe you are beginning to settle down
a little bit. It would be nice to return from a round of meetings, without
having to prepare to face down the firing squad in place for my wayward
apprentice," Obi-Wan smiled fondly at his apprentice, before moving on
towards the 'fresher.
"Since it appears that I will have no immediate problems I need to deal
with, I think that I am going to take a shower and head off to bed. Is
there anything else I need to know about, or we need to talk about before I
"No, Master. There isn't anything that can't wait until morning. Have a
good night's rest," Anakin called to the retreating form of his Master.
He was beginning to worry about his Master. When he had first met Obi-Wan
aboard the Queen's transport on Tatooine, Obi-Wan had seemed so young and
full of life. He practically radiated with his connection to the Force.
Anakin had not had the chance to meet many Force-users in his existence as
a slave, but he doubted that anyone could shine more brightly than Obi-Wan
It seemed only a few short days later, when that light had dimmed
noticeably, and it had continued to fade out as the weeks, than months, and
finally years had passed. Nowadays, Obi-Wan more often than not had a dull
glow surrounding him that was even further suppressed by the ever-present
weight that seemed to rest on his shoulders.
Anakin was pretty sure that the majority of that weight had to do with him,
and he truly did try to make life for his Master easier. It was just that
it was so hard to behave in the stuffy temple with all of the stuffy
Masters, and stuffy Padawans, and stuffy initiates, and stuffy. well
everything was just stuffy.
He knew that his Master tried to make things more interesting for him, by
choosing instructors that had more hands-on lessons and scheduling training
trips to the more exciting and exotic temples that the Jedi held around the
galaxy, but his Master was gone so often and Anakin was forced to spend so
much time alone that it was hard to remain the stoic Jedi Padawan that was
expected of him.
In fact, it seemed that his Master was almost never around anymore. When
Anakin had first returned to Coruscant with his new Master, he had expected
to spend a lot of time with Obi-Wan. Instead he was sent straight to
initiate training the instant he stepped off the transport.
He knew that it wasn't his Master's doing, the anguished look on Obi-Wan's
face as he watched Anakin leaving was more than enough to tell him that. It
seemed that Obi-Wan wanted Anakin with him, but there was always something
that kept them from spending the time together he saw other Masters and
He knew that Obi-Wan was a new knight, and was very young to have taken a
Padawan, but he didn't understand why his Master was always off on some
meeting or another. They hadn't even been on more than 2 missions together
in the entire four years they had been together!
The first mission they had ever shared as Master-Padawan had been a simple
escort mission for a Senator returning home during the spring government
break on Coruscant. The second mission, which had followed almost a year
after the first, had been to simply witness a coronation ceremony on
another one of the many small worlds of the Galactic republic.
Other than those two brief missions, and the few trips to the Jedi training
temples that Obi-Wan had managed to find the time for, Anakin had been
confined to the main Jedi temple. For a boy who had spent his early
existence with absolutely no freedom, he had hoped for a lot more of his
new Jedi-existence. He had planned on visiting all of the stars in the sky
at one point, now he hoped to simply visit something other than Coruscant
or another Jedi temple.
With a frustrated sigh, and a quick check of the training bond to see if
his Master was asleep, Anakin decided to head to the transport bay. He may
have promised never to "borrow" another transport again, but it didn't stop
him from helping to repair and service them. If touching a transport was
the closest to freedom he got, than he would take it.
Feeling the tentative touch on the training link, Obi-Wan feigned a
sleeping state. He knew that if Anakin was really interested, he would have
been able to tell that his Master was still awake and working on a report,
but he knew his apprentice would respect his privacy.
Obi-Wan felt bad for all the deception that had become a staple in his
training of Anakin, but he didn't know how else to handle the situation.
The boy carried enough guilt for leaving his mother behind on Tatooine and
causing the rift between Obi-Wan and his former Master that had tainted
their final days together, he didn't need to know the true cost of his
Very few people knew what it cost Obi-Wan to take Anakin as his apprentice.
The Council, of course, knew and Obi-Wan's best friend Bant, but the rest
of the many Jedi Knights thought it a typical Master/Padawan relationship;
albeit with the extra stress of taking on a barely trained apprentice at
the young age of 25.
The healers of course, had probably come to suspect something, but since
Obi-Wan confined his visits to Bant and her former Master, Healer Ravenna,
the rumors were mostly contained.
Obi-Wan was actually thankful for Anakin's lack of knowledge about the true
workings of the Jedi Order and the hierarchy of the system. It kept his
Padawan from coming to any unpleasant realizations about the price his
Master had paid to make him a Jedi. He sincerely hoped that Anakin would
someday be able to make friends with other Padawans in his year group, but
for now the situation worked in his favor. Without close comparisons of
other Master/Padawan relationships and knowledge of assignment rotation,
Anakin could not even begin to suspect.
And if he did, Obi-Wan had made sure that Bant was there with a ready
excuse for his Master's many "meetings."
Anakin returned to the rooms he shared with his Master after several
fulfilling hours in the Transport bay. He loved being able to work with the
magnificent equipment the temple kept on hand for assignment
It was nothing like the run-down bits and pieces he had been left to
scavenge from his former owner Watto. Instead he was allowed to work with
state-of-the-art equipment on machines he had only dreamed of during his
dusty existence as a slave. There was nothing quite like being able to
recognize, diagnose, and repair a malfunction before it caused any damage.
It was almost like the work Master Bant described doing as a Healer.
Of course, he wasn't really saving lives, but it was almost as fulfilling
to take an engine choking on a dusty filter or a transport sagging from a
weakened strut and turn them into the purr of a refurbished engine and the
proud stance of a transport fit to carry Jedi. Anakin was proud of the work
he did to reinforce the proud name of the Jedi Order.
As he palmed open the door to their quarters, he felt a strange waver in
the Force. The Force swirled around him, almost as if confused. He did not
have the ability his Master did when it came to prescience or even to the
Living Force, but he was still more sensitive than most Jedi. He wasn't
entirely sure what he was feeling now, but he could tell that it was coming
from the quarters he shared with his Master.
As he entered the common room, he was surprised to see the lights turned on
full. He knew that he had dimmed them as he left, and that his Master had
been sleeping after his latest exhausting round of meetings.
Checking to make sure his lightsaber was secure at his waist, Anakin begin
to move towards the darkened kitchen. He wasn't sure where the waver from
the Force was emanating from exactly, but he wasn't comfortable entering
farther into the quarters until he had checked both the common room and
kitchen for intruders. He may not have been a Jedi for long, but slavery
taught him to always be cautious.
After finding both the common area and kitchen empty and undisturbed,
Anakin made his way towards his room. He would check there first, and then
finally he would check on his Master. He did not want to disturb Obi-Wan
unless absolutely necessary, and he knew he could not enter his sleeping
Master's chambers without Obi-Wan sensing him and waking. As he reached to
palm open his door, a low moan coming from Obi-Wan's room made Anakin turn
and, abandoning all stealth, slam open his Master's door.
The light inside Obi-Wan's quarters was dimmed, but Anakin could tell that
his Master was not resting on the sleep couch. With a flicker of the Force,
Anakin raised the lights to full and stepped around the couch towards the
side he couldn't see from the door.
His Master's personal comm. unit sat on this side of the couch and the
chair had been pulled out from the small desk it sat on. Slumped on the
floor between the chair and desk lay Obi-Wan, unconscious and not
responding to his Padawan's frantic cries.
As the temple began to awaken and the lights returned to their simulated
day setting, Anakin remained slumped in the chair outside the healer's
ward. He had been there since late the night before after frantically
rushing his Master to the ward.
He had called Master Bant from his Master's comm., after finding Obi-Wan
unresponsive on the floor of their quarters. With his Master slumped right
in front of the small comm. station, it was not difficult to give Master
Bant all of the readings and information she required as she dispatched
orderlies to bring Obi-Wan to the ward.
If Anakin had had more training in Force control, he would have attempted
to levitate his Master to the Healer's, but he did not want to risk further
hurting Obi-Wan in a panicked attempt to gain a few minutes time.
Once the orderlies had arrived, Master Bant had signed off with Anakin and
had left her quarters to meet them at the Healer's. Master Bant had told
Anakin to return to his quarters and get some rest, and that she would
notify him as soon as they knew anything about what had caused his Master's
collapse. Anakin was uncomfortable leaving Obi-Wan's side when he had no
idea what had befallen his Master. He was feeling somewhat guilty that he
had went to the transport bay instead of staying in his room when he knew
his Master was so exhausted.
He knew that such guilt was ridiculous, and that he would probably have
only kept his Master from rest if he had remained in their quarters, but he
was extremely worried about Obi-Wan. He had never known his Master to even
have a cold in the four years that they had been together. To find his
Master unconscious and so vulnerable was a shock to the young apprentice.
Bant stood over the unconscious form of her best friend as he lay stretched
out on the med-bed. He appeared so young when he was asleep. The past four
years had added stress lines and a harder expression to his face when he
was awake, but asleep he looked more like the young initiate Bant had swam
and played with years before.
Beside the med-bed, Master Healer Ravenna was noting the readings from the
many sensors covering Obi-Wan's body. Both Ravenna and Bant were sure that
Obi-Wan was suffering from some form of psychic exhaustion, but they were
not sure what had caused the malady.
Bant knew that Obi-Wan had just returned from one of his "meetings" but as
usual she was unsure of what exactly said meeting had entitled this time.
Sometimes Obi-Wan returned from the meetings with nary a mark or complaint.
Other times, and sadly the more often times, Obi-Wan returned on a
This time, Obi-Wan had not even stopped by the Healer's before reporting
directly to his quarters. Bant had planned on seeing him in the morning,
since usually he would have a wound of some kind or another that he would
pretend hadn't happened.
Bant knew that Obi-Wan avoided the Healer's on principle alone, but that he
also avoided it because he did not want the rumors of his time spent there
to spread to his apprentice or to the council. The Jedi Council kept close
tabs on the "Master of the Chosen One," and Obi-Wan could not afford to
have too many visits to the Healer's on his record.
As Bant contemplated her friend, Ravenna adjusted the small sensor on Obi-
Wan's temple. With a slight gasp, Obi-Wan regained consciousness and opened
his eyes looking blankly around the room, before settling his gaze on Bant.
"So, you've decided to return once again to the land of the living, eh Obi?
This time I thought you'd decide to spend a little more time in la la land
before you decided to join us again," Bant gently teased as Obi-Wan tried
to sit up on the med-bed.
"You need to remain lying down, Obi-Wan," Master Healer Ravenna chastised
as she pushed him back down onto the bed. "You are not yet ready to be up
and fighting draigons again. You're going to have to take some down-time to
recover from the psychic shock you incurred this time."
Obi-Wan lay back down on the bed and raised an arm up to lie across his
forehead. "I knew that I was pretty tired, but I didn't know that I was
anything but exhausted. I guess it has been too long since I've gotten a
decent night's sleep."
"Oh, its much more than lack of a 'decent night's sleep' Obi-Wan. Exactly
how many days have you been relying on meditation and the Force to keep you
going, instead of sleep and food?" Ravenna questioned.
"Apparently a few too many," Obi-Wan stated dryly. "This last mission was a
bit more than I had anticipated going into it. I wanted to return to Anakin
as soon as possible, and tried to get everything set up as quickly as I
could, but I couldn't take the time to do anything other than grab a few
hours of meditation here and there. I guess it took more out of me than I
thought. But I will just go back to my quarters, and get some real sleep
and some real food, and I'll see both of you beautiful ladies later," Obi-
Wan sweet talked as he tried once again to sit up and prepare to go back to
the rooms he and Anakin shared.
"Stay here you should, taking on too much you are, hmm." came a voice from
the doorway. With a groan Obi-Wan lay back down on the med-bed and prepared
for a lecture from none other than head council member Master Yoda.
"Too much time you spend here, have attachment to this ward do you?" Yoda
asked as he perched himself on the chair next to Obi-Wan's bed.
"Master Yoda, I am more than capable of returning to my quarters. I have
merely been working a little too hard, and need to get some sleep. It is my
own fault for not managing my time better, and neglecting my body's needs.
I will return to my rooms at once and remedy the situation," Obi-Wan sat up
once again, and this time made it to his feet. He hoped that by stating his
own faults and showing his acceptance immediately of the "error of his
ways" Obi-Wan could escape a lecture by the diminutive Master.
"Perhaps a Padawan you should not have. If unable to care for yourself you
are, than a Master you are not yet ready to be. Young Skywalker would
better serve the Force in Agri-Corps than as a Padawan," Yoda began with
the rehash of the argument that had been ongoing for the past four years.
The Jedi Council, and Master Yoda especially, felt that Anakin was too
dangerous to be trained as a Jedi. The Council had tried everything to
dissuade Obi-Wan from taking Anakin as his apprentice. Not even the Jedi
Council could come between Obi-Wan and fulfilling his word to his dying
"Master Yoda, with all due respect, I believe Anakin has proven himself
again and again as a worthy apprentice. He works hard at everything he
does, and has managed to reach the training level of his year group in only
four years. That is thirteen years of Jedi training in only four years. At
this rate, he will soon surpass me, and prove to be one of the greatest
Jedi this order has ever seen. Master Qui-Gon Jinn saw his great potential
and his dying wish was that Anakin be trained. I will carry out my word to
my Master, with or without the support of the Jedi Council."
"Proven that already you have. The consequences of such rash actions you
already feel, so sure are you that you wish to continue this path?" Master
Yoda asked as he watched Obi-Wan pull on his leggings under the med tunic
he wore and pull his robe on over that.
"In the words of my Master, 'I will do as I must'" Obi-Wan stated with a
quick bow to the council member. With a brief nod to an exasperated Master
Ravenna and a bemused Bant, Obi-Wan left the examination room and began the
trek back to his quarters, stopping only long enough to rouse a sleeping
Anakin and sign his discharge papers.
Anakin hadn't even realized that he had fallen asleep when he was being
roughly awakened and dragged out of the Healer's ward. Never being a
morning person, it took Anakin a few seconds before he realized that it was
his Master doing the pulling.
"Master?" When the pressure on his arm didn't even hesitate, and Obi-Wan
did not noticeably slow, Anakin tried to reach his Master through the
\\ Master? Are you ok? Shouldn't you still be in the Healer's ward? \\
\\ I am fine Anakin, we just need to return to our quarters so we can both
get some sleep.\\
Realizing the blatant dismissal for what it was, Anakin remained silent
until they had entered the common room of their quarters. Determined to
make sure that his Master really was ok, and what had been wrong with him,
Anakin planted his feet and refused to be dragged any farther than the
entrance to their rooms.
Obi-Wan was pulled off balance by the sudden halting of his apprentice, but
to Anakin's surprise, he merely released him and continued on to his room.
"We will discuss your lessons for the day in the morning Anakin, for now, I
am going to get some sleep. I suggest you do as well."
"Master, it is morning. I need to get ready for a class, but I will be back
over the lunch hour. If you're sure that you are ok, I am going to head off
to my classes," Anakin called to his Master, just before Obi-Wan shut the
door to his own room.
"That's fine Anakin. Have a good day, and please don't cause any trouble,"
came Obi-Wan's voice, the last part muffled as the door finished closing.
With a sigh, Anakin grabbed up his datapad pack and ran a brush through his
short Padawan haircut. He really would prefer to remain with his Master,
but it was morning, and he knew that if he missed class the instructors
would be calling and waking Obi-Wan before he'd had a chance to catch much
sleep. Anakin knew that if he hadn't been missing classes so much in the
past, he would've been able to stay with his Master and not worry about
irate instructors disturbing his rest. Just one more thing to add to the
shoulders of an already overly guilty Padawan learner.
Upon entering his sleeping quarters, Obi-Wan paused only to remove his robe
and boots, and then collapsed on the sleep couch. Vowing to sleep for at
least five cycles, he closed his eyes and tried to rest.
Half an hour later he was cursing the fact that sleep suggestions could not
be used on oneself. Determined to wear his mind out to the point he could
sleep, he sat up and moved over to the chair in front of his comm. unit.
There were many messages from friends and fellow Knights who had heard of
his late night trip to the Healers. Obi-Wan decided that sending a form
comm. of "I'm fine" might not cut it this time. He knew that his friends
were only worried, but he hated the attention and sympathy they gave. Even
if they assumed it was only due to his overactive and overtalented Padawan,
it was still frustrating to have so many people checking up on him.
Choosing to ignore the "get well soon" comms until a later time, Obi-Wan
continued down the list of saved messages. Towards the bottom he saw a
formal comm. from the Council requesting his presence just prior to the
With a groan, Obi-Wan realized that he would have to shower and ready
himself immediately if he was to make the meeting on time. \So much for
sleep\ he thought bitterly as he began to remove the med tunic and work his
way towards the fresher.
A few minutes later, after a shower and change of clothing, Obi-Wan wrote a
quick note to Anakin apologizing for not being there for lunch as he had
promised and then headed out the door to meet with the council.
After making the updates to Obi-Wan's chart, Bant decided to stop by and
check on her most frequent patient. She knew that Master Ravenna was upset
that Obi-Wan had checked himself out against the Healer's wishes, but they
both knew that Obi-Wan had not really had a choice. Had he remained at the
Healer's, Master Yoda would have continued to lecture him until the temple
was again at night cycle.
As she made her way through the temple halls, Bant could overhear the
murmurings of her fellow Jedi as she passed. She knew that almost anything
the "Master of the Chosen One" did was fodder for the rumor mill, and being
sent to the Healer's in the middle of the night was perfect for the gossips
among the ranks.
Knowing that Obi-Wan would be upset to hear that his late night escapades
had so quickly made the rounds, Bant hurried on to his quarters. Maybe she
could convince him to remain in his rooms for the rest of the day with the
threat of a medical restriction.
Rounding the corner near the training rooms, Bant saw Anakin ahead of her
carrying his datapad pack. "Padawan Skywalker, what are you doing going to
classes? You should be at your quarters getting some rest," Bant said
catching up to Anakin just before he entered one of the rooms.
"I know Master Bant, but I knew that if I missed classes, the instructors
would be calling Master Kenobi and I didn't want them to wake him," Anakin
began sorting through his datapads locating the correct one for the
classroom he was about to enter. "I really need to get to class though,
Master Ni'Kaven does not like it when his students are late."
Bending down until only Anakin would hear what she had to say, Bant
whispered "Tell you what, how about if I go tell Master Ni'Kaven that you
are under my orders to get some sleep, and that you won't be in class
With a grateful smile Anakin answered her question more readily than words
could ever supply. Anakin waited outside while Bant entered the room to
notify Master Ni'Kaven of his student's absence, and asked him to spread
the word to the other instructors.
Once that was settled, Bant rejoined Anakin in the hall and they went
together to make sure a certain recalcitrant Master was actually getting
the sleep he needed.
Obi-Wan hated the massive wooden doors. In a time of palm-activated sliding
doors, the archaic Council entrance just seemed ridiculous. Of course, he
had not always felt this way. When he had been a Padawan, he had always
been enthralled with the carved wooden doors that were so unlike any others
in the temple. The first time he had been called to the Council, he had
been so awed by both the doors and the power of the Force emanating from
within, that it took a strong mental nudge from Qui-Gon to remind him to
actually enter the room.
Today it seemed it would take a lot more than a mental nudge from a Master
to cause him to budge from his chair outside the chambers.
\They call me up here, order me to report at exactly this time, KNOWING
that I am exhausted and haven't slept, and then they leave me out here to
wait like some mischievous initiate called to the carpet\ The thoughts may
not have been exactly becoming of a Jedi, but Obi-Wan was too tired to
notice or care. Just when he thought he was going to lose his patience and
do something really un-Jedi-like by pounding on the sith-begotten doors the
summons rang and the massive doors began to open.
Suppressing a sigh, Obi-Wan stood and entered the chambers that almost
overflowed with the power of the Force. As the doors began to swing shut,
Obi-Wan sketched a bow to the Council members and when the doors resealed
with a slight hiss, he was prepared to accept whatever came his way.
Anakin and Bant were unsurprised to find the Kenobi/Skywalker chambers
empty when they arrived. It would have been truly surprising to actually
find Obi-Wan doing something as logical and healthy as sleeping, or even
getting something to eat. Anakin noticed the note on the table and after
reading it, passed it off to Bant.
"Why is it that my Master seems to always be called before the Council, and
yet we never go on any missions?" Anakin asked with just a touch of
frustration in his tone. It seemed to him that the Council purposely tried
to keep his Master away from him.
He knew that Obi-Wan was a great Knight of the Order, and he didn't
understand why the Council not only kept him from completing important
missions across the galaxy, but instead sent him to boring meetings that
exhausted his Master to the point of apparent collapse. And for some
reason, the Council forbade Anakin to attend to his Master at any of the
meetings, leaving the Padawan alone more often than any other apprentice at
"I don't know Anakin," Bant said returning to the more familiar form of
address now that they were away from the other Padawans who had been around
the training rooms. "Maybe you two will get sent on a mission together this
time. I am sure that the Council must realize that you need to spend more
time with your Master than they have allowed for in the past."
"I hope so. I don't know what these 'meetings' are that the Council keeps
sending my Master to, but he always returns looking even more bedraggled
than when he left. None of the other Masters return from Senate meetings or
any other kind of meeting looking so drawn. Don't you think the Council
would notice that he is obviously bored to the point of collapse by these
meetings and would at least send him on a solo mission, even if I couldn't
go?" Anakin asked as he fetched two glasses of juice from the Kitchen and
gestured for Bant to make her self comfortable on the couch.
Accepting the juice, Bant motioned for Anakin to sit beside her. With the
almost constant absence of his Master, Anakin and Bant had formed a close
bond. She not only acted as an instructor, but also as a sounding board for
his frustrations and problems, and most importantly, she acted as his
"I'm sure the Council realizes how tired Obi-Wan is. After last night's
incident, I don't see how they could refuse to acknowledge that they are
overworking him. Hopefully this summons was only to report on his last
meeting and to offer him some downtime. I am sure that they will want him
to spend some time here at the Temple so that he can work on training you,
and helping out the 'saber instructors like he used to."
"I hope so, I don't think I am going to be able to handle it if I have to
spend another three weeks alone in this suite. I know that I should
appreciate the solitude, but it gets kinda lonely after awhile," Anakin
sighed as he sat beside Bant on the couch and turned to stare out at the
Coruscant traffic. With the entire planet being one big city, it was always
rush hour, no matter the time of day.
"Well, I am afraid that you are going to have to spend a little more time
alone Padawan," came a voice from behind just as Anakin and Bant
acknowledged the sound of the door opening.
Swiveling on the couch almost in synch, they both turned to face Obi-Wan as
he entered the room looking only slightly better than the night before.
"The Council has decided to send me to another round of meetings on
"But Master, you only returned last night! How can they possibly be sending
you out again so soon? Don't they know you spent most of last night at the
Healer's?" Anakin asked as he stood and came around the couch to stand
beside his Master.
"The Council knows Anakin, that is why they have decided to only send me
out to a short round of meetings this time. Hopefully I will return before
the end of the week. In the meantime, I hope that you will spend some more
time with Master Bant working on your healing exercises?" Obi-Wan asked as
his gaze fell on his friend who still was seated on the couch.
Correctly reading the look in Obi-Wan's eyes, Bant was struck with the
sudden notion to put a medical restriction on him, refusing to let him
leave the planet again for at least a month or two. Before she could open
her mouth to suggest it however, Obi-Wan gently shook his head at her and
flicked his gaze quickly to Anakin who stood just off to his side. "I am
sure that the two of you can find something to keep you occupied for a few
more days until I return," Obi-Wan said as his gaze once more returned to
Bant. "Of course I would hope that it isn't anything I will have to answer
to any irate Jedi for. I believe the last time I took leave of you both at
the same time, I returned to find my quarters in a shambles and the
commissary questioning the standing order of six pints of ice cream that
'I' had requested."
With a quick smile and lowering of her gaze, Bant accepted the silent
request Obi-Wan had asked of her. "I am sure that Anakin and I will find
much to do, especially since I know you haven't been spending many of your
"Just as long as I still have a few credits to my name when I return, I
leave my apprentice and my credit chip in your more than capable hands
Master Bant," Obi-Wan stated beginning to move towards his room to gather
his travel pack.
"I guess that's one advantage of your always being gone Master," Anakin
said with a small smile, "you never have to worry about packing."
"That is true my young apprentice, but of course, I would never have to
worry about packing. that would be my Padawan's job. Come to think of it,
maybe my pack should be exchanged for a newer one and some of the supplies
switched out." With a smirk, Obi-Wan feigned a cuff to the side of his
"No Master, I think that your travel pack looks great just the way that it
is. I would hate to mess with such perfection in packing," Anakin accepted
the continued attempt at levity as Obi-Wan prepared to leave his apprentice
"Well, in that case, I guess I should be leaving. I have a transport to
catch. Hopefully one of these times the Council will either allow me some
time at home, or will allow you to accompany me Anakin. In the meantime,
please keep up with your studies, and take care of Bant. You know how much
trouble she can be." With a quick wave and smile, Obi-Wan gathered his bag
and once again left Anakin and Bant alone in the quarters.
On the transport to Navira, Obi-Wan reviewed the information the Council
had given him for this mission. He hated having to lie to Anakin, but he
did not want his apprentice to worry about him, or even worse, feel guilty.
Although it was not as often stressed to the initiates, guilt led as easily
to the darkside as did anger or hate. Anakin was too important for Obi-Wan
to risk even the slightest chance that he would turn.
Telling Anakin that he was going to Malastare was a blatant lie, something
Jedi were forbidden to do. He comforted himself somewhat with the thought
that at least his transport was going to have to stop briefly at Malastare
to refuel. He knew that to try to justify his lie to his Padawan by
accepting such a skewed version of truth was ridiculous, but it offered him
some relief, and as tired as he was he would accept any comfort he could
\This is ridiculous that the Council is sending me out on a mission again
so soon. The last one to Ilion should have been more than enough to fulfill
my end of our 'bargain'\ Obi-Wan thought to himself as he watched the star
streaks of hyperspace out the window.
\Three weeks of hell, and it counts for nothing. Instead I get sent out
again right away to another hotspot of the galaxy to carry the "flaming
sword of Jedi Justice."\ Obi-Wan realized that now he was just being
cynical, and that he really needed to get some rest before the rebellion of
his thoughts escaped into spoken word.
Unstrapping from the bench he had secured himself to for the jump from
Coruscant, he made his way back towards the crew cabins. \Maybe now I can
catch some sleep\
Once Obi-Wan had left the chambers of the Council, the massive doors had
once again swung shut, leaving the Council members alone in the sound
"We should not have sent him out again so soon. He is obviously exhausted
and he needs to be given some time to recuperate and train his Padawan. We
have asked too much of him this time I fear," Mace Windu began, knowing
that the entire Council was rearing up for yet another debate regarding Obi-
"A short mission this is. For such a talented knight, it will not last
long. Return to us soon, he will. Rest then he can," Yoda said leaning
forward in preparation of leaving. Master Yoda, though having the patience
only one over 800 could have, was tired of the endless debate regarding the
young knight. Yoda felt that Obi-Wan had chosen this path when he had
defied the Council and taken Skywalker as a Padawan. If Knight Kenobi no
longer wished to carry out his end of the bargain with the Council, he had
only to send Skywalker away, and all would be well.
"A short mission it may be, but dangerous it is as well. We are asking too
much of him. Even if he is the only Knight to have killed a Sith in
thousands of years, it is too much to expect him to keep going out on these
dangerous missions and returning to us alive," Depa Bilaba stated,
interrupting Yoda's plans to dismiss the Council.
"And asking him to lie to his Padawan so often is wearing him down as
well," Mace added.
"Asking him to lie we are not. His decision that was. If he does not wish
to carry out these missions, then he knows what he needs to do. His choice
it is," Councilor Yaddle weighed in, in the distinctive syntax of her
"This debate has been ongoing for the past four years. Knight Kenobi's
transport has already made the leap to hyperspace so the point is moot. I
suggest we confine our discussion to more active topics, or adjourn for the
day." Ki-Adi-Mundi had abstained from any votes the Council had made in the
matter of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and he was not interested in wasting any more
time on the issue. "Perhaps we should discuss who to send on the mission to
And with the opening of a new topic, the Council members were once again
engaged in debate.
Obi-Wan barely had a chance to step off the ramp of the transport on Navira
before it was rising once again into the air. The pilot was not stupid, and
knew better than to leave his ship as a target on such a war-encrusted
Hearing the transport beginning to lift off, three figures dressed in the
traditional shrouds of the religious faction leading the western continent
left a small grove of trees to greet the Jedi Knight.
"Jedi Kenobi?" At Obi-Wan's acknowledgement the middle figure of the three
continued. "It is not safe here. They will have seen your ship land and
have tagged this area. We must leave immediately."
Obi-Wan motioned for the three to lead on, while trying to get a sense of
the planet and occupants thereof through the Force. The planet itself was
strong in the Living Force. Unlike Coruscant, or any of the other heavily
industrialized planets of the Republic, Navira was mostly made up of
Forests and plains, oceans and mountains, snow covered tundras and great
rainforests made up the climate of the planet. Navira also had no system of
climate control, so the weather tended to be somewhat unpredictable. The
Living Force thrummed strongly on the planet, but the Unifying Force hinted
of a shaded past and an even darker future. The planet had been settled in
waves, the first group being a colony of humans from the nearby Bitham
Following shortly thereafter came another colony of humans from an even
farther system. The two groups had settled on different continents of the
planet, and had remained oblivious of each other for many years. Both
colonies had settled into agrarian societies, and neither had felt any
desire to return to space after having spent so much time there while
searching for a new home planet. It was only when an outlying system
attempted to contact Navira in hopes of establishing trade relations that
the two colonies became aware of each other.
Initially the two groups had attempted to adapt one government to represent
the planet, but the two colonies proved too different and too distrustful
for negotiations to work. Suspicion and hatred became the prevalent
emotions of the talks, and the plan for a united government collapsed
before it ever really started.
Now that the two groups were aware of each other, and the only contact
between the two had spawned discourse, the planet became a battleground.
The humans on the western continent, led by their religious leaders, had
been invaded by the armies of the east. The eastern colony had decided that
Navira needed to be one united planet, and if the westerners didn't agree,
than the westerners needed to be removed. The two colonies had battled back
and forth for generations, with neither side really gaining an advantage.
The conflict became almost a rite of passage among the youth of both
nations. The planet may have been engulfed in war, with bloodshed the norm,
but the war had become a part of the planet, and the citizens seemed to
accept and almost endorse the situation.
It was only with the rise of a new leader in the east that the centuries
old battle had been taken to a new level. Suddenly the armies of the east
were being equipped with weapons and trained in strategy that was causing
the army of the west to falter.
Realizing that their culture was in danger of being eradicated and the
people forced from their homes, the religious leader of the west had
contacted the Republic to ask assistance. Even though Navira was not a
member of the Republic, the Chancellor could not ignore genocide on such a
The Senate was unable to intervene, but the Chancellor asked the Jedi to
send an operative to assist the western armies by discovering who the new
leader in the east was and shutting down his supply line. Once the eastern
army was once again fighting only with internal weapons and strategy, the
Jedi operative was to leave and allow the planet to continue on as it had
for centuries. The Jedi Council had initially refused the request of the
Chancellor, but upon receiving new information that the leader of the
eastern armies was suspected to be a fallen Jedi, the Council had no choice
but to intervene.
The Council had accepted the request of the Chancellor but had decided that
the Jedi sent would be required to apprehend the leader of the eastern
armies and bring him back to Coruscant to stand before the Council. The
Jedi were not in the habit of letting their own reek havoc throughout the
Obi-Wan had been given a photo of the fallen Jedi along with a brief
history, and sent to recover him. The mission was expected to last only a
few days, just long enough for Obi-Wan to infiltrate the main camp of the
eastern armies, restrain the ex-Jedi and recall his transport.
\Oh, yes, it should be so simple\ Obi-Wan thought sarcastically. \Just like
settling that little trade dispute on Naboo\
After following the three westerners for the better part of five hours, Obi-
Wan was beginning to wonder just where it was they were leading him. He
knew that with the invading forces of the east growing stronger and
stronger daily, the western encampment was probably quite mobile and well
hidden, but this was ridiculous. The three guides had changed directions
twice already on this hike, once in a complete about face.
"You do know where we are going, correct?" Obi-Wan finally dared to ask as
he ducked under a low-slung branch.
"Of course, Jedi Kenobi, we just cannot risk being followed. The easterners
are using tracking droids in an attempt to find our camp. We have found
that backtracking and leaving a meandering trail seems to throw them off,"
the middle westerner replied.
It appeared that she was the leader of the three that had come to meet him.
The other two had not as much as made eye contact in the entire five hours
since he had landed.
"If you fear tracking droids so much, might it not be better to arrive at
your camp as expediently as possible, rather than risking stumbling across
one of the trackers, or one of the scouts for the eastern army?"
"They will have seen your transport landing, and are undoubtedly attempting
to track us now. But, if you are in such a hurry to arrive at the
encampment, we will risk discovery so that you may begin on your mission
right away sir Jedi," the westerner replied, while beginning to move at a
more rapid pace.
"No, I am sure you know these conditions better than I. I am impatient to
reach your camp and begin my mission, but I do not wish to put your leaders
at risk. Continue as you had planned Sri Westerner," Obi-Wan said with a
slight twinge of guilt. He wanted to return to Anakin as soon as possible,
but he knew better than to put others at risk simply so he could return to
Slowing the pace once more, the woman turned briefly to make eye contact
with the Jedi. "You may call me Narissa. I am not in the top echelon of our
forces, so it is not necessary to refer to me as Sri Westerner. I am merely
the most familiar with the area you were cleared to land in, and as such
was chosen to receive you," she stated, turning once more to the land in
front of them. As she turned, the hood that covered her face caught on a
branch and pulled back somewhat. Obi-Wan was stunned to see that she
appeared to be in her early twenties at the oldest.
"Thank you Narissa. Do you have an estimate as to when we may arrive at
your camp?" Obi-Wan asked, hoping she would turn once again so he could get
a better look at this young woman who was given such an apparently
Without turning, Narissa adjusted her hood once more and answered his
query. "We should be arriving before nightfall. That should give you an
opportunity to talk with our leader and perhaps prepare to 'visit' the
eastern encampment at daybreak." As she finished speaking, the young woman
once again faced forward and began again the silent trek to the western
Anakin and Bant were still sitting on the couch in the common room where
Obi-Wan left them. Bant had made it a point to try to spend the first few
hours after Obi-Wan's departures with Anakin, giving him the chance to
express any questions or doubts he had. Obi-Wan had asked Bant to look
after his Padawan, and to try to keep his secret as long as possible. Since
Bant knew that Anakin had an insatiable curiosity, it was important that
she be the one he asked his questions to.
Currently, Anakin was engaged in a holo-vid that Bant was only paying
partial attention to. Anakin had seemed upset at Obi-Wan's departure, but
instead of talking to Bant, he had decided to lose himself in the latest
installment of the reality holo-vid that was all the rage on Coruscant.
Bant, however, could not stop thinking about the look Obi-Wan had given her
as he had gathered his travel pack. In that one look he had both asked her
to keep his secret, and to take care of his Padawan in case he wouldn't be
Bant knew of the arrangement Obi-Wan had made with the Council to allow him
to train Anakin. When she had first heard of the "bargain" he had made, she
had been unaccountably upset at Qui-Gon. How could he possibly have asked
such a thing of his Padawan? Did Qui-Gon care so little for his apprentice
that he would force such a heavy task on one so young? Obi-Wan should have
been permitted to spend a few years growing into his knighthood before he
even begun to look for a Padawan learner. It was unfair of his Master to
ask so much of him.
The look on Obi-Wan's face when Bant had dared to ask such questions aloud,
had more than quelled her anger. Obi-Wan had seemed so sad, and yet so
angry that she could think so little of his Master. "Do you really think
that Master Qui-Gon would have given me such a task if he didn't think I
could handle it? Do you really think so little of my Master (or me)?" The
hurt in his voice as the implication of his message had been heard had made
Bant immediately retract her statement and ask his forgiveness for making
such rash accusations.
Although Bant had accepted Qui-Gon's request of Obi-Wan, she would never
forgive the Master for asking so much of her friend. Bant would not
criticize Qui-Gon in front of Obi-Wan again, he had enough to deal with
from the Council; but she would not ever condone the Master's decision.
Qui-Gon may have been a Master Jedi, and a great swordsman, but when it
came to training and caring for apprentices, he had been sorely lacking.
It was only another two hours before Obi-Wan finally reached the western
encampment. Narissa had not spoken to him after the brief exchange where
she had offered her name. Along the entire trek he had neither seen nor
heard nor sensed any pursuit, and so he was relatively certain that the
eastern leader had not yet felt his presence on the planet.
Upon their initial approach to the encampment, they had passed many
sentries and through no less than five checkpoints. Obi-Wan was impressed
with the security of the base, especially considering it had been forced to
relocate so many times since the emergence of the new eastern leader. After
passing through a final checkpoint, Obi-Wan was finally cleared to meet
with Sri Edinb, the current leader of the western forces. Obi-Wan had only
been given the name of the leader once he had passed through the last
checkpoint. The western forces were not willing to risk the identity of
their leader until they were certain that the Jedi was who he claimed to
After passing his final security clearance, Obi-Wan expected to be led to
the large durasteel enclosure in the center of the compound. Instead he was
led to a smaller canvas tent more towards the edge of the spiraling
"We have found that it pays to act unexpectedly in our long conflict with
the eastern armies," Narissa offered seeing the look of surprise on Obi-
Wan's face. "If the eastern armies were to find our compound, the first
building to go would be the one they expected our leader to be in. Instead
of Sri Edinb staying in the most obvious place, he resides with the common
soldiers. It is a most efficient manner of protection," she concluded.
"Yes, it appears so," Obi-Wan muttered, as he briefly scanned the base. The
compound was laid out in a spiraling plan, so that no tent or building lay
in a direct line with surrounding structures. It made the base more
impervious to attack, unlike a block layout, where one plasma launcher
could take out an entire row of structures. The western army was certainly
not inept, which made their sudden losses to the eastern armies all the
"Jedi Kenobi, I take it? Welcome to Navira. We have been expecting you."
With a brief bow that was returned by Sri Edinb, Obi-Wan entered the
leader's tent to prepare for the infiltration of the eastern compound.
Morning came too quickly on the planet of Navira. Obi-Wan had spent the
entire night reviewing the details the westerners had gathered on the
eastern leader and his camp.
After going over all of the information they had gathered, Obi-Wan was
still left with little information as to who the eastern leader was, and
how he had managed to bring in weapons from such a vast assortment of
The eastern leader had succeeded in gathering his supplies from planets far
and wide throughout the galaxy. Each of the planets he had gathered from
was renowned for one or more forms of weaponry, and somehow the leader had
brought only the best. Plasma cannons from Iktira, ground transports from
Correllia, N'arkan hounds from N'ark, and shields from the Gungan city on
Naboo. It was the last item that had forced Obi-Wan to plan his assault for
Normally, in such a mission, the Jedi would have preferred to enter the
enemy encampment during the night rotation. It was much easier to maneuver
unseen when the sun wasn't bright overhead. Unfortunately, the eastern army
also realized this fact, and had created a grid of modified Gungan shields.
These shields, unlike the ones used during the invasion of Naboo four years
prior, did not allow entry or exit of any biological life. Even with the
power of the Force, there was no way for Obi-Wan to enter the camp until
the shields were down.
Of course, entering the camp during the day would not exactly be easy. Just
because the shields were down, did not mean that the camp was left
unguarded. Just the opposite, in fact, the camp was heavily guarded.
Surrounding the camp was a fence sixteen feet tall that was topped with
poisoned razor wire. Just inside of the first fence, was a second fence, of
the same height, also topped with the wire. The space between the two
fences provided ample area for a "dog run" which was heavily guarded by the
N'arkan hounds. Even if an intruder were to make it over the first fence,
they would never clear the second before the hounds took them down.
The only entrances to and from the camp were equipped with sensors that
tested the genetic imprint of all who entered or exited the camp. All of
the easterners who had authorized access were entered into a main database
that was sequestered in the middle of the camp. No other easterners,
whether civilian or politician were permitted onto the base.
The eastern encampment may have been heavily fortified and impossible to
infiltrate by the westerners, but for a Jedi, there was a massive weak
point that could be utilized. From a young age, all Jedi were taught to use
the Force to enhance their physical prowess. As such, even young initiates
were capable of easily leaping to the roof of a four-story building.
Clearing a distance of sixteen feet was nothing for an experienced Padawan,
and for a knight, it was almost ridiculous.
Sri Edinb and Narissa were convinced that that was the best way for Obi-Wan
to gain access to the camp. Obi-Wan however, was suspicious. \Why would an
experienced Force user leave such an obvious opening? He would have to know
how easily it could be exploited if he spent any time with the Jedi, let
alone if he had actually BEEN a Jedi.\ Obi-Wan thought as soon as the
weakness was pointed out to him.
Even if the fallen Jedi had no reason to suspect that a Jedi Knight would
ever set foot on Navira, it bordered on insane to leave such an obvious
defensive opening. With the amount of money that the leader had spent on
defense, it would not have been that much more costly to simply add a laser
grid extending another fifty feet above the chain fencing. The apparent
chink in the eastern leader's army smelled suspiciously like a set-up to
Once Obi-Wan had ruled out the fenced border as an opening into the camp,
that left only the actual entrances to the eastern encampment. This left
the Jedi with the problem of how to gain access into the camp with the
sensors that filtered all ingoing and outgoing personnel. If the sensors
had instead been human sentries, Obi-Wan may have been able to use the
Force to persuade them that he had the right to enter. Unfortunately, mind
tricks were not known to work well on technologically driven intelligence.
The only option left to the Jedi was to somehow access the main databank
and enter his genetic code as an authorized visitor.
"Do you have any informants, or other sympathetic parties within the
eastern encampment that you could persuade to modify the registry?" Obi-Wan
asked Sri Edinb as he explained his suspicions to the western leader.
"We do have informants, yes; but none who would have access to the main
computer. Is it possible to somehow tunnel under the fence instead? Or risk
leaping the outer perimeter?" Sri Edinb asked after he had conferred
briefly with Narissa and the other advisors standing about. Once again Obi-
Wan was struck with curiosity as to how a girl so young had gained such
standing with the western leader.
"It appears then, that we may have to hold off this raid until we can
gather more information on the central computer. I cannot run the risk of
tipping off the eastern leader to my identity as a Jedi until I can be sure
that I will be able to apprehend him. I would rather not face a fallen Jedi
in company with a battalion of soldiers if I can avoid it," Obi-Wan
answered caustically. He may have wanted to return to Anakin as soon as
possible, but he was not willing to turn this mission into a suicide run
just to save some time.
"Actually, Sir Jedi, I think I may know of a way to access the central
computer without having to enter the compound," Narissa spoke up as Sri
Edinb and the other advisors digested Obi-Wan's statement.
"And how do you propose we do that?" Obi-Wan asked, hoping to gain some
insight into this westerner that somehow reminded him of another young
woman who had faced an invasion of her land only four years previously.
With a mischievous smile, Narissa pushed back her hood as she turned to
face him. "We hack into it."
After staring mindlessly at the holo-vid for over two hours, Anakin was
ready to throw his boot through the projector. He had tried to lose himself
in the mind-numbing device, but he couldn't stop thinking about his Master.
He didn't understand how the Council could possibly be considered so wise,
when it was always acting with such ignorance.
"Arrgghh! I am so tired of the stupid Council and the stupid Jedi, and this
stupid temple and this STUPID PLANET!" Anakin yelled suddenly, causing Bant
to startle up from her slouched position beside him. "How is it that the
Jedi are supposed to be so wise and the guardians of peace and justice, and
yet we are led by a bunch of morons?"
"PADAWAN Skywalker! It is not your place to judge the decisions, or the
intellect of our Council. They have a much better grasp and understanding
of the Force, and are more than capable of leading us!" Bant may have
silently agreed with Anakin's opinion of the Jedi Council, but she could
not allow him to continue to hold such feelings against fellow Jedi.
Bant had spent the last two hours silently releasing her anger and
frustration into the Force, knowing that it was only a matter of time until
Anakin had an outburst. Bant had seen the energy swirling around him and
growing darker and darker until she knew that he would have to release it
or risk losing consciousness from the massive amount of stored energy.
"I know that you are worried about your Master, and that you are upset
about his always being sent away from Coruscant, but this is no way to
handle such feelings. You need to release your emotions into the Force. It
is not healthy to try to contain such anger," Bant stated, switching
immediately to lecturer mode. Bant may have been Anakin's friend, but she
was also serving in lieu of his Master, and could not allow such a
despicable show of temper to pass without reprimand.
"Master Bant, I know that I am not supposed to hold such feelings, but how
can you possibly explain the behavior of the Jedi Council? They are not
acting at all rationally, or in the work of the Force. They are only doing
this to punish us. I think the Jedi Council hates me, and that they are
hurting Obi-Wan because of it," Anakin confessed as he leaned over and
placed his head on his friend's shoulder.
"Oh, Anakin, the Council doesn't hate you. And they most certainly are not
punishing Obi-Wan for anything you did. The Council is following the will
of the Force in this just as they do in all of the decisions they make. We
must simply trust that they know more of the workings of the Force than we
do," Bant consoled, even as her thoughts were agreeing with Anakin. "Now I
believe that you and I both need to spend some time in meditation to purge
any unwanted feelings. After that, maybe we can go to the commissary for
something to eat," Bant said as she nudged Anakin up and toward the
"Maybe we should wait to release our negative feelings until after we eat,"
Anakin suggested with a slight smile. "We may have even more to release
after attempting to eat whatever they are calling dinner tonight."
"You know Anakin, you are becoming more and more like your Master
everyday," Bant remarked. "Obi-Wan is also famous for his odd sense of
humor in the most inappropriate of times."
"Though," Bant added as an afterthought, "I don't think even your Master
would have attempted that line on Master Jinn. Qui-Gon was a stickler for
mediating as soon as any negative emotions were present. And since Obi-Wan
isn't here to guide you, I guess we will just have to follow the practices
of Master Jinn." Bant led Anakin over to the meditation mats, and they both
knelt to spend some much needed time in meditation.
"Hack into the computer?" Obi-Wan asked, oblivious to the horrified
expressions on the faces of the advisors, and the slightly exasperated look
on Sri Edinb's. "If the westerners have the technology to hack into the
eastern mainframe, than why have you not done so in the past?"
"Because a certain young Dan'erian was supposed to keep her identity a
secret," came the disgusted reply from the western leader. It was only then
that Obi-Wan took a close look at the young woman who stood in front of
him. He had previously been surprised by her relative youth, but had not
seen enough of her face to form an exact estimate of her age.
Up until this point, Narissa had been wearing the hood of the religious
faction that was customary to her people. \Well, maybe not quite, HER
people\ Obi-Wan amended his thought as he got a good look at her.
Like most humanoid races, Dan'erian's closely resembled the archetypal
human being. The only differences came in the small spots that traced down
their throats from their pointed ears. With her hood up, it would have been
impossible to distinguish Narissa as anything but human, and a western born
human at that.
"Sri Edinb, you could not possibly expect me to allow this opportunity to
cause the fall of the eastern forces to pass simply because we had reached
a minor roadblock?" Narissa asked. "I am willing to risk expatriation to
assist Jedi Kenobi in removing the eastern leader and returning Navira to
its previous existence."
"And expatriated you will be, immediately," interjected one of the advisors
who had recovered from the shock of having one of their own revealed as an
"Now wait a minute," Obi-Wan interrupted before the conversation could get
out of hand. "If Narissa has technology that can allow us to break into the
mainframe computer, I suggest we make use of it. It is almost assured that
the eastern leader will become aware of my presence on your planet if we
wait too much longer, and then it will be too late to capture him. If I
cannot capture the eastern leader, it is a fact that the western culture
will fall within a ten-month and your people will be the one's being
The advisors who had been preparing to demand the removal of Narissa from
the encampment were struck dumb by Obi-Wan's words. It was not often that
the western civilization had found itself in need of outside assistance,
and to ask for it twice in such a short period of time was both insulting
and unheard of.
"We will take your assistance Narissa, and you need not fear being forced
from your home," Sri Edinb stated having finally regained his voice. "It is
time that the western civilization learned to accept help in whatever form
it comes in, regardless of whether or not it comes from our own culture, or
from those beyond. If we had accepted help in the beginning, we would have
had the weapons and skills to fight the easterners without having to leave
our civilization resting on such a razor edge of hope. I have accepted your
advice for many months now Narissa, and my advisors have accepted you into
their ranks. That has not changed with the revelation of your extraNaviran
origins. We accept your help Narissa, and yours Jedi Kenobi, and together
we will defeat the invaders."
Narissa and Obi-Wan, after again pledging their support to the western
cause, set out to infiltrate the eastern computer. Narissa had a ship that
was well hidden within the mountainous regions of the western continent. It
would take the two a few hours to reach the ship, and a few more to hack
into the mainframe, but barring outside influence, Obi-Wan would be able to
enter the eastern encampment before the Gungan shield was once again in
The two set out at a swift pace, hoping to gain as much time as possible in
transit, to leave extra time for any problems that might occur while
attempting to enter the foreign system. The fast pace left little air for
conversation, but Obi-Wan hoped that once they reached the ship, there
would be opportunity for him to ask how exactly it was that a Dan'erian had
ended up on Navira.
The cave where Narissa's ship was stashed had suffered from a few minor
cave-ins, but all in all the cavern was well intact. With the unpredictable
weather of Navira, it was almost a miracle to find the cave still
accessible. After clearing the small piles of debris, Obi-Wan and Narissa
entered the darkened cavern. Obi-Wan ignited his lightsaber to provide some
illumination into the abyss before them. What he saw stunned him.
A single pilot transport, at least fifty years old, stood in the center of
the natural cave. The right wing had been almost completely sheared off and
the cockpit had also suffered major structural damage.
As if sensing Obi-Wan's incredulity, Narissa said, "The communications
equipment and main computer are still well intact. I was able to completely
repair both, even if I could do nothing for the structural damage."
"Well as long as the computer works, and the comm. is up, I guess it
doesn't really matter what it looks like, now does it?" Obi-Wan quipped as
he followed Narissa to the hatchway. "But I must say, I compliment the
pilot on her skill. It must have been difficult to bring down such a
"It was not easy, I admit. I was lucky more than anything else, lucky not
only in the safe landing, but also in landing in an area where I had the
time to study the local culture before I was forced to attempt contact. I
have been able to hide my true origins from the westerners for many months
now. Only Sri Edinb knew of my descent, and that is only because I informed
him of it myself," Narissa responded almost off-handedly as she had to
force the hatchway open.
"How exactly is it that you came in contact with Sri Edinb?" Obi-Wan asked,
lending assistance to her struggle with the sticky hatch.
"After my initial recognizance of the camps, I had decided it was safe to
approach the local people. I appropriated one of the shrouds from a laundry
line, and infiltrated the camp. I approached the first westerner I saw,
carrying a story of having just come from one of the other camps. Little
did I know, the man I approached was none other than the leader of the
entire western forces. How was I to know that the leader would be on the
outskirts of the camp and not in the central tent?" Narissa asked wryly,
reminding Obi-Wan of his initial confusion over the location of the
"Well, I guess it all worked out for the best in the end," Obi-Wan
commented as the hatchway finally gave way. "Now how exactly did you say we
were going to be able to hack into the eastern computer?"
After several hours of work, Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi was officially
listed as Ikenic Norr, assistant cook to the eastern forces. With that
addition to the main computer's roster, Obi-Wan was then ready to
infiltrate the eastern camp and capture the leader.
Narissa and he had decided that instead of returning to the western
encampment, their time was better spent in making the trip to the eastern
base immediately. The sun was beginning to set low in the sky and Obi-Wan
feared there would not be enough time before the Gungan shield reactivated
if they returned to Sri Edinb first.
"After leading me to the base camp, you will have to remain at least half
of a mile from the perimeter," Obi-Wan instructed Narissa. He would have
preferred to head to the eastern camp alone, allowing her to return to Sri
Edinb, but he needed her knowledge of the land to reach the camp in the
shortest time possible. Narissa had done a thorough job of scouting the
area, even after she had become a part of the western civilization.
"Once I have secured the leader, I will have to appropriate some form of
ground transportation to remove him. Hopefully I will be able to sneak him
out as some sort of kitchen waste, but I will probably need some form of
diversion to distract the sensors. I will be able to fool the guards, but
the sensors will prove impossible to confuse. If you can distract the
sensors enough that they do not alert the guards immediately to the fact
that their leader is hidden somewhere in the transport, than we will have
the time to make a get away. I will then wait for you at the half-mile
position again, and together we will return to the western encampment," Obi-
Wan continued with Narissa nodding her agreement to the plan along the way.
"How long and how drastic of a diversion will you need?" Narissa asked,
mentally plotting a tactic.
"Not too long, and nothing that would put you in any danger. I will just
need the sensors distracted long enough that I can clear the gates. Once I
am past, the sensors will relegate the data to their long-term storage, and
it won't be passed on to the sentries until the next shift change. That
should allow you plenty of time to reach the rendezvous point, and time for
us to get far enough away from the base that we won't attract their
attention," Obi-Wan responded, wondering if he was maybe putting too much
on the shoulders of one so young.
"Well then, let's get cracking shall we?" Narissa said with a grin. "I
wouldn't want to have to stand in the woods forever waiting for some Jedi
to play kitchen assistant, now would I?"
\I have a bad feeling about this.\ Obi-Wan thought as he approached the
entrance to the eastern camp. As trite as the phrase may have become, he
could think of only two other situations where it had been so applicable;
on a transport some 16 or so years ago as he and his Master approached
Melida\Daan and four years ago upon boarding the Trade Federation ship to
commence negotiations. Both experiences had changed him immensely, and had
also nearly cost him his life. \Hopefully this time I will not be facing
down any Sith\ the Jedi consoled himself, as he stepped into the line of
personnel waiting to enter the gates.
Obi-Wan and Narissa had made good time getting to the camp. The day was
only settling into late afternoon when he found a suitable waiting place
for Narissa. From the chosen vantage point, she was able to see down into
the camp, and would be able to see his signal to launch her distraction.
After leaving her ensconced on the tree-shrouded hill, he had circled
around to approach the gate from the opposite direction.
Obi-Wan had removed his robe, outer tunic and utility belt, leaving his
inner tunic untucked and hanging loose over his leggings. Although the
loose tunic left him at a disadvantage if he were forced to actually combat
the eastern leader, it allowed him to blend well with the other easterners
surrounding him. The hanging fabric also worked well to conceal the
lightsaber tucked into the back of his leggings.
As the line of waiting easterners drew closer and closer to the gate, Obi-
Wan pulled the Force closer and closer to him. He would need to conceal his
Force signature as much as possible if he were to have any hope of taking
the eastern leader unaware.
\Of course, this would be much easier if I had any idea of who this eastern
leader is\ Obi-Wan thought to himself. \I am not sure exactly what to
expect, but if Xanatos is any example of the stealth and aggression of a
fallen Jedi, I am certainly not taking any chances.\ With thoughts of his
Master's former apprentice and his evil deeds foremost on his mind, Obi-Wan
stepped forward and became Ikenic Norr.
From her vantage point on the hill, Narissa watched as Obi-Wan entered the
camp with no problem. \At least they didn't detect the hacking then.\
Narissa breathed a sigh of relief. She hadn't really expected the
easterners to detect her presence in their system, but she was relieved
none-the-less to see the Jedi waved through the entrance as if he really
Narissa continued to watch as Obi-Wan passed through the set of gates and
headed off in the direction of the kitchen. To head in any other direction
may have proven suspicious to any astute guards or sentries. Once he was
sure he was out of the view of the gatekeepers, Narissa knew Obi-Wan would
begin his search for the eastern leader.
She still was unsure how Obi-Wan planned on discovering the identity of the
leader, or how he was so certain he would not make a mistake and grab the
wrong person. If the eastern encampment was anything like the westerners,
there were certain to be decoys and other stumbling blocks to anyone intent
on a kidnapping.
\Perhaps he intends to use that "Force thinga majigy" that the Jedi are
supposed to have\ Narissa wondered. She had been nervous when it became
apparent that she would be the one to meet the Jedi upon his arrival to
Navira. Throughout her travel of the galaxy, she had never actually come
across a Jedi, but had heard rumors of their powers. She was afraid that he
would be able to read her mind and determine that she was an outsider the
instant he saw her. His interested expression when her hood had snagged on
a tree during the hike to the western base had done nothing to assure her.
She had been mildly surprised when he had not said anything more to her
when she made it apparent she did not wish to speak with him unless
necessary. Then, when he had come to her defense in front of Sri Edinb and
his ministers, she had truly been dumbfounded. This Jedi was not behaving
at all in the manner she had expected of him. The rumors regarding the Jedi
appeared to be misguided at best. \Hopefully, though, the rumors of their
skill in combat are not overrated, or this could get messy\ she thought as
she settled down to wait for Obi-Wan's signal.
After making sure the entrance sentries could no longer see him, Obi-Wan
changed directions. He could feel a dark presence in the Force, and he
centered on that, allowing it to lead him towards the center of the camp.
\Apparently the easterners do not have the elaborate staging system the
westerners employ\ he noted, as he remained focused on the dark beacon in
Obi-Wan was able to maneuver throughout the camp with nary a suspicious
glance. His clothing may have been somewhat cleaner than those of the
majority of the easterners, but other than that small differentiation, he
blended in well.
As the dark presence in his mind grew clearer and clearer, Obi-Wan knew
that he had reached the tent where the eastern leader was residing. A
surreptitious use of the Force, and he determined that there were no other
life forms within the tent.
Slipping through the fabric of the front entrance, Obi-Wan immediately
focused on the figure in the black cloak that was bent over a table in the
middle of the room. He could not determine just what the figure was doing,
but the Jedi could see he was deeply engrossed in something.
Keeping his presence shielded, Obi-Wan snuck up behind the figure, and
prepared to use a Force sleep suggestion to knock out the leader. \Somehow
this seems a little too easy.\ he thought as his hands reached up to grasp
the temples of the leader. Just as he would have made contact, the leader
spun around and faced him.
Obi-Wan was so shocked at the appearance of the figure in front of him,
that he never noticed the heavily- shielded figure enter behind him,
pressing a hypospray to his neck.
\That's funny\ he thought as his thoughts suddenly turned muggy, \I
could've sworn we were positive that the eastern leader was male.\ As the
face of the woman with the long ebony hair swam in his vision, Obi-Wan
collapsed back into the arms of the figure behind him.
Narissa had been sitting on the ground, leaning against a tree and watching
the activity of the eastern camp when the Gungan shields suddenly sprang
She watched astounded as the shields slammed into place, leaving many of
the easterners stranded outside of the base. The guards had apparently
received some kind of warning and had managed to be standing within the
shielded area when the grid activated. As for the rest of the easterners,
they were obviously upset at being left out for the night.
\Its not even close to nightfall yet\ Narissa thought. \And I have never
known the easterners to leave people outside of their camp overnight.
Something must have happened to Obi-Wan\
As if to confirm her thoughts, she saw a figure stealth into the tent she
had just witnessed Obi-Wan enter. \I've got to warn him somehow!\ She
thought, catching herself just before she would have risen to her feet.
To stand up now, with so much activity outside the camp, would surely catch
the attention of the angered easterners milling about the entrance. Her
position had been a great one to hide in when everyone was busy with the
entrance and exit procedures of the camp, but with the frenzied mob below
her now spinning out in all directions, she did not want to risk being
identified as a westerner.
The only thing for Narissa to do was to hold her position and try to make
herself as invisible as possible. Pulling some of the branches and leaves
around to cover her as much as possible, Narissa would not even consider
abandoning Obi-Wan and returning to the western encampment.
\I may not be able to move closer to warn him now, but I am most certainly
not going to leave him, Jedi or no Jedi!\
Watching the Jedi collapse into the arms of Valone, Ellana was filled with
a sense of disgust. The eastern faction may have been fighting with the
westerners for centuries, and this Jedi may have been aiding the enemy, but
to lure him into the camp in such a manner and to drug him just seemed
dishonorable. Ellana may have been a warrior, but she still had a strong
moral code. She preferred to fight face to face, and not in this cloak and
dagger manner that her Master insisted upon.
"Having second thoughts Ellana?" Asked Valone with a definitive hint of
"Of course not. Jedi deserve nothing but the hatred and scorn their
dishonorable activities throughout the galaxy have garnered them," Ellana
answered in a practiced statement.
She may have had misgivings about their treatment of the Knight, but she
was not stupid enough to reveal them. She had spent the majority of her
young life under the guidance of her Master and knew better than to show
any sympathy for the Jedi.
"That is good Ellana, I would hate for you to have to share in his
treatment," Valone answered, reaching across the unconscious Jedi to
reclaim his cloak from his servant. "Go prepare my personal transport. We
will need to move the Jedi as soon as possible. The shields have been
raised against any possible attack, but I won't risk losing my prize so
soon. He must be moved before nightfall."
Obi-Wan may have been surprised by the sudden influx of the sedative into
his system, but his Jedi reflexes enabled him to set the Force to work
neutralizing the chemicals before he lost consciousness.
His attacker may have given him enough sedative to knock out a Rancor for a
week, but the Force would still be able to neutralize it allowing him to
wake much sooner than his attacker anticipated.
As his captors loaded his unconscious body unto a transport, he was already
From her place among the trees, Narissa watched as the figure in black and
the woman with the long dark hair loaded Obi-Wan into a small personal
transport. At such a great distance, Narissa could not tell if Obi-Wan was
merely unconscious, or if a worse fate had befallen the Jedi. She hoped it
wasn't the latter, but she would make a rescue attempt regardless.
\Now hopefully they will lower that shield and leave the camp, passing this
way giving me an opportunity to do something courageous and spectacular\
Narissa thought \. and then, of course, Banthas will fly.\
Narissa may have been a pilot and somewhat of an explorer, but she had
never attempted a rescue before, and certainly not of a Jedi Knight. \If
Obi-Wan couldn't defeat this guy, how am I going to?\
Apparently luck was on Narissa's side (or the Force on Obi-Wan's) and the
skimmer made it to the side entrance just as the Gungan shield was lowered
As soon as the skimmer passed through the gates, the shields went up again.
\Apparently they don't want anyone to know that Obi-Wan is no longer in the
camp. That probably means that that skimmer isn't going to have any kind of
Thanking every deity she could think of for small favors, Narissa watched
as the skimmer not only didn't pick up an escort, but also circled to
travel in her direction.
Now all Narissa had to do was come up with a plan to rescue the fallen
Knight. As she moved into position to intercept the skimmer, Narissa
couldn't help but think of the irony of her situation. \This time the
'damsel in distress' is going to rescue the white knight.\
Obi-Wan had regained consciousness, but had not yet opened his eyes. He
stretched out with the Force first, trying to get a feel for his
surroundings before alerting his captors to his newly alert state. Through
the Force he could feel the pounding hatred of the figure in the right hand
seat of the transport. The driver, though, radiated an aura of discomfort
Behind him he could feel the anger and confusion of the easterners who were
still being kept from entering the camp. Farther ahead he could feel the
faint aura of Narissa, and could feel her preparing for something. Her
emotions were shut away and he could only read a sense of tension from her.
Realizing that if he didn't make a move soon, Narissa could be hurt, Obi-
Wan decided to go with his initial plan.
This time though, instead of attacking the dark figure that obviously had a
great deal of mental power; he would force the servant to sleep.
It was apparent that the dark Force signature he held felt radiating off of
her previously had been a projection of the real leader, rather than an
actual reading of any Force sensitivity in the woman. Putting his plan to
action, Obi-Wan sat up with Force speed from the back seat, placing a hand
on the temple of the driver.
Immediately she slumped over the steering column and was out. The skimmer
swerved a bit, but then slowed and came to a stop. In the meantime, Obi-Wan
had reached for his lightsaber with his other hand, intending to bring it
up to the throat of the leader to subdue him. Before he could ignite his
'saber, the dark figure had jumped from the side of the slowing transport
and had rolled to his feet, igniting a blood red lightsaber as he stood up.
"Now, now such an experienced Jedi as the sith-slayer Obi-Wan Kenobi should
know better than to draw his lightsaber on an unarmed man. Doesn't your
Jedi code have something to say about only drawing your 'saber to an armed
offense? I believe you may be turning to the darkside, young one," the
cloaked figure stated as he watched Obi-Wan exit the transport to face him.
"You should know Valone, you are the one that instructed my year-group in
the Jedi Code," Obi-Wan countered as he took a position facing the dark
Jedi, but without the hazard of the transport at his back.
If Valone were truly as skilled as the young Knight remembered, he would
need as much room to maneuver as possible.
"Ahh, so the darling of the temple remembers me after all," Valone hissed
as he circled to a better position. He had hoped to trap the Jedi between
the transport and himself, but apparently Kenobi had learned something of
strategy in Valone's 20-year absence from Coruscant.
"Of course I remember you, it is difficult to forget the only man Qui-Gon
Jinn ever truly contemplated killing," Obi-Wan responded as he watched
Valone circling around slowly to his left side.
\Ahh, so he remembers I used to have a weak left-side defense.
Unfortunately for him, Master Jinn noticed it to.\ Learning to fight with
his right hand tied behind his back had more than made up for any
deficiencies Obi-Wan had once had.
"Well if nothing else, I always said Jinn had a knack for knowing who to
watch out for. I guess that little 'situation' on Naboo proved me wrong,"
Valone said as he suddenly struck out at Obi-Wan.
Obi-Wan easily countered the strike, but decided to remain on the
defensive. He was hoping for an opportunity to disarm Valone so he could
capture him and return him to Coruscant, but he knew that he would have a
tough time finding a hole in Valone's defense.
Of all the Jedi ever trained in the past fifty years, only Valone had ever
come close to besting Qui-Gon Jinn. Obi-Wan's Master had been acknowledged
by one and all as the greatest swordsman of the order. It was only upon Qui-
Gon's death that the mantle was passed to another: Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Narissa was crouched behind a tree, preparing to swing the club-like branch
she had collected at the driver of the open transport. She knew that such a
plan held much risk, but with no other weapon at her disposal, she couldn't
think of a better tactic.
Just as she heard the transport approaching her tree, Narissa was surprised
to hear the skimmer begin to slow. \Did they see me?\ She wondered
frantically as she suppressed the urge to run. She could not see the
transport from her position and had no way of knowing what was happening.
It was like one of those awful nightmares where the dreamer knew the
monster was stalking her, but there was nowhere to run or hide.
After a few seconds of calming her nerves and listening, Narissa was
prepared to step out from behind her tree and take a swing at whatever
"monster" might be approaching. Just as she began to turn she heard voices.
Straining to hear, she also detected the sound of a lightsaber activating.
She had only heard the noise once before in her life, when Obi-Wan had used
it to illuminate the cavern her ship rested in, but she was certain that
was the sound she had heard.
Less than a second passed before she heard the sound of another lightsaber
activating. \Well, at least Obi-Wan is awake now\ she thought. She was
worried about the other lightsaber user, but she figured Obi-Wan would have
a handle on things. Even if Obi-Wan wasn't capable of defending himself,
she certainly wasn't going to be able to block a lightsaber with her wooden
As she listened to the sounds of the lightsabers connecting and hissing,
Narissa began to edge around the tree. She may not have been able to defend
from a 'saber with her branch, but she could certainly use it to knock the
eastern leader out.
After taking a few hesitant strikes to judge his opponent's skill, Valone
launched into a full attack. Obi-Wan had expected Valone to be skilled, but
he was not prepared for the force behind Valone's attacks. The dark Jedi
was using a judicious amount of dark energy to power his blade, and every
time Obi-Wan's blue blade came in contact with the red one, Obi-Wan could
feel the impact radiating up his arms.
\I need to end this fight\ Obi-Wan thought as he belatedly remembered the
exhaustion that had been plaguing him since he had returned from his last
mission. \At this rate, I'm not going to be able to disarm him unless he
makes a major mistake.\
As if realizing the direction of the knight's thoughts, Valone began to
attack even more ferociously. The dark Jedi was beginning to score small
hits through Obi-Wan's defense. His left side may not have had the weak
spot of the past, but that didn't hinder Valone's assault. Obi-Wan's
fatigue was leaving small openings in his guard, and with the power of the
darkside at his command, Valone found them all.
After one particularly brutal hit to his right knee, Obi-Wan faltered,
leaving a large opening for Valone to exploit. With a cry of victory, the
fallen Jedi slashed the knight across the back of the shoulders, tearing
through muscles and tendons, leaving Obi-Wan's arms numb.
The lightsaber slipped from Obi-Wan's grasp just as Valone went for the
kill. The dark Jedi may have had plans for his prisoner, but the battlelust
of the darkside had assumed control. Valone was totally committed to the
destruction of the apprentice of his greatest rival.
Narissa watched, horrified, as bloody slashes began to appear on Obi-Wan's
tunic and leggings. The Force enhanced fight did not allow her to see the
actual strikes that caused the bloody-looking burns, but the evidence of
Valone's attacks was overly apparent on the knight's cream tunic and
leggings. She couldn't make out the individual attacks of Valone, but Obi-
Wan's blocks became more and more apparent as fatigue was slowing him down.
Narissa needed to act, and she needed to act quickly.
Sneaking up behind the dark figure, Narissa raised the makeshift club up
over her head. She would have only one opportunity to strike, before the
dark Jedi would become aware of her. Until she became an obvious threat,
his focus would remain on the Knight who was slowly but surely failing in
front of him.
Just as she began to bring the club down, Narissa was caught off guard by
the anguished scream of the young Knight. She watched, dazedly, as his
lightsaber fell from his numb grip and the fallen Jedi prepared for the
Realizing that Obi-Wan's life depended solely on her, Narissa brought the
club down with all the force she could muster.
After finishing his classes for the day, Anakin decided to visit the
transport bay again. Master Bant had a duty shift in the Healer's ward, and
Anakin was bored. He knew that if Obi-Wan had been home, he would have been
told to meditate or at least work on katas, but what Obi-Wan didn't know,
Obi-Wan couldn't complain about.
Anakin had been working on restoring the sub light engines on one of the
temple's many transports. Usually he worked on one vehicle at a time,
restoring it as much as possible before moving on to the next one.
The Temple mechanics had initially been surprised that a future Jedi would
deign to spend time with them, but once seeing Anakin's aptitude and
dedication to anything mechanical, they welcomed him into their ranks.
As he entered the transport bay, Anakin said a quick hello to the mechanics
on duty, and then went to the closet where he kept his coveralls and tool
kit. The tool kit had been a gift from his Master on his first anniversary
of being a Padawan. Traditionally a Master gave their Padawan something
that would assist the apprentice in becoming a better Jedi.
Obi-Wan had defended his rather odd choice of gift by saying that anything
that got Anakin out of their quarters once in awhile was an asset not only
to the training of the Padawan, but also to the temperament of the Master.
Once he had donned the coveralls, Anakin was ready to get to work. Since
the majority of the repair work took place under the transport, he could
remain in the transport bay for hours with hardly any notice.
He had been working for a little over two hours, when he heard a call come
in. It wasn't unusual for the transport bay to get calls from the Council
to prepare a ship for departure, but it was unusual to receive calls from
Knights in the field. Normally, the Knights would report first to the
Council, and the Council would make the call. For a Knight to request
transport, meant that he or she must be seriously injured or in need of
Using the Force to augment his hearing as unobtrusively as possible, Anakin
listened in on the call. Maybe it was the Council calling for a ship to
pick his Master up on Malastare. Instead of the usual voice of Master Windu
however, Anakin heard the voice of a woman calling for a transport with a
medical bay to report to Navira.
\That's odd,\ Anakin thought \I had no idea Navira had joined the
Republic.\ Jedi were the peacekeepers and negotiators of the Galactic
Republic, and as such their activities were usually confined to member
systems. \Last I knew Navira was in the middle of a massive civil war.\
Extending his Force sense again, Anakin tuned into the conversation once
more. He was able to hear the request that the transport also have a
confinement field for a Force sensitive installed, but the caller signed
off before he was able to catch any more information. As he prepared to
begin working once more on his transport, Anakin heard Lo'kai being
dispatched for the flight. Lo'kai was one of the best pilots the Temple
had. He had served for many years, and had survived more dangerous flights
than most pilots saw in a lifetime.
\Whatever is happening on Navira, it must be serious\ Anakin thought, as he
once again began the task of realigning the spanner coils.
Narissa ended her comm. call to the Jedi Temple just as Obi-Wan finished
pulling his belt and robe back on. Narissa had used all the remaining Bacta
on her ship to help patch up the wound across his shoulders, but she knew
that he would need more medical attention than she had to offer.
Obi-Wan was already using too much energy keeping Valone unconscious to
spare any to assist in the healing. He had attempted to raise his body
temperature enough for the Bacta to work at maximum efficiency, but he was
too drained. With no other options, he had struggled back into his outer
tunic and robes despite the pain the movement caused.
After Narissa had knocked Valone unconscious, Obi-Wan had reinforced the
unnatural sleep with both a Force suggestion and the remains of the
hypospray that was still in the transport. The servant woman was still
deeply asleep, and would remain so until Obi-Wan, or another Jedi woke her.
Narissa had at first insisted that Obi-Wan accompany her back to the
western encampment so that he could receive treatment, however basic it may
have been. Obi-Wan refused, not willing to risk leading the easterners to
the camp. He was unsure of whether or not the easterners knew where their
leader had gone, or if there might not be a tracking unit in the skimmer.
Obi-Wan suggested that they instead head for Narissa's ship where she could
contact the Temple for him and arrange a transport while he kept an eye on
the two sleeping figures that remained in the transport.
"They said they would send a transport out right away, and that it should
be here in a few hours," Narissa said exiting the ship. "I gave them these
coordinates as a pickup zone, so I thought you could use the few hours
break to get some rest," she continued as she approached the skimmer.
"Thank you Narissa, but I am not comfortable resting until I know that
Valone is Force suppressed and on his way safely to stand before the Jedi
Council. He escaped justice once before, and I am not willing to allow him
the chance again."
"How did you know him? I overheard some of your conversation as I was
hiding behind the tree, but I didn't hear enough to understand why he hated
you so much," Narissa asked, hoping she was not overstepping her bounds.
"Master Valone was once an instructor at the Jedi Temple. He was in the
same year group as my former Master, and they had been rivals almost from
the time of their first meeting in the crèche. Valone and Master Jinn
competed in everything. When Valone learned that the head council member,
Master Yoda, was trying to convince Master Jinn to take me as an
apprentice, Valone decided to interrupt their plans," Obi-Wan was reluctant
to tell the story, but he figured that Narissa deserved at least that much
"Valone arranged to have me killed. Master Jinn may not have wanted me as
an apprentice, but he would not allow me to be murdered either. Qui-Gon
managed to foil the plot and reveal Valone as a darkened Jedi. Valone was
able to escape the temple before he was captured, but he left a message for
Qui-Gon before he left. He told my Master that although his plan may not
have succeeded this time, he would not give up until I was dead. It was for
this reason that Master Jinn was so unwilling to take me as a Padawan
learner. I never knew of the incident until many years later, after Qui-Gon
had finally caved to my insistence that the Force wanted us paired as
"How old were you?" Narissa asked, casting a horrified glance at the man
unconscious before her. It was one thing to lead an army and attack another
man, it was quite another to attack a child.
"I was nine," Obi-Wan said as he sat down on a small stone ledge protruding
from the cavern wall. "Valone is a dangerous man, and I need to make sure
that he is locked away and incapable of hurting anyone ever again."
"You could just kill him." Narissa said, as she raised her eyes to make
contact with Obi-Wan.
A look of shock, and then something close to disgust crossed the Jedi's
face before it returned once more to a mask of fatigue. "I could, but then
I would be no better than him."
Not knowing what else to say, Narissa merely sat on a ledge on the opposite
side of the cavern, keeping the skimmer between them. The two figures
waited in silence for the temple transport to arrive.
Lo'kai was never one to refuse a mission. It wasn't because he thought he
was too great of a pilot to die (as his wife always accused him) but rather
it was his sense of duty. Lo'kai knew that if the Temple was asking him to
fly into a dangerous area, it was because someone needed help. Whether it
was to drop off a Jedi peacekeeper, supply an outpost, or retrieve an
injured Knight, Lo'kai could always be counted on to do his job. In his
many years as a Temple pilot, he had never hesitated to carry out his duty.
\Well I guess we can count this for the record books\ Lo'kai thought as he
was informed of his newest mission.
He had been away from the Temple when the Council requested a pilot to drop
a Jedi off on Navira, otherwise he would have taken that run without a
second thought. This however, was an entirely different situation.
\Not only are they expecting me to fly into a war zone to collect some
injured Jedi with his dangerous prisoner, but then they tell me the landing
zone ain't gonna be no picnic park!\
The Council, upon realizing they had not been consulted prior to the flight
request, had ordered a review of the transmission. It was during the
review, that Master Koth noticed the repeating band of static across the
bottom of the holoimage. Upon further study, it was determined that the
band was not static, but rather was indicative of a hijacked transmission.
The call may have originated with the Knight, but the Temple had not
received it directly. Instead, a third party had intercepted the
transmission, downloading it before sending it on its way once more.
Who the third party was comprised of was uncertain. But the fact remained
that the classified pickup zone had been compromised. \I wouldn't wanta
trade places with that Jedi on Navira for all the credits on Coruscant\
Lo'kai thought as he finished prepping his transport \'Cause sure as
shooting, he's gonna have company 'fore I can get there.\
As they sat silently in the cavern, Obi-Wan reviewed the mission in his
head. He felt as if he was missing something key to the whole plot, but his
exhaustion and injury were preventing him from discovering what it was. If
so much of his energy hadn't been expended to keep Valone unconscious, he
would have attempted a light meditation to help him discover what he was
Almost as if she had read his mind, Narissa spoke for the first time in
several hours. "We're missing something here," she said as she rose from
her platform on the other side of the cave to approach the Jedi.
"Why would Valone waste his time and resources on such a backwater planet
as Navira? It's obvious that he wanted revenge, but how could he possibly
have known that you were going to be the Jedi sent here? His plan has been
in play for months, he must've somehow known you would be the one your
Council would send."
"Not only that, but he knew what I would have to do to enter the eastern
encampment. He knew we hacked into the system!" Obi-Wan exclaimed as his
mind began reeling with the questions Narissa was introducing.
"And if he knew we were going to hack into the system, than he knew about
my ship. And if he knew about my ship, than chances are, the easterners
know about it. And that means they would have been alert to any
transmissions coming to or from this location," Narissa continued.
As the impact of her words suddenly hit him, Obi-Wan jumped up from where
he had still been sitting on the wall.
"Which means, we're about to have company." As if his words had acted as a
summons, the sound of speeder engines began to echo into the cavern.
Of all the locations in the Jedi Temple, only the meditative gardens came
close to the serenity that usually exuded from the Council chambers. Even
when the Council was debriefing a Knight from a tragically failed mission,
the members never revealed their emotions. Jedi were trained almost from
birth to control emotion, and the Councilors were the best at it.
Today was a day of exceptions, from the transport bay all the way to the
Temple spire where the twelve Masters were engaged in a fiery debate. The
discovery of the hijacked transmission had created some questions about the
current mission Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi was engaged in. Although the report
had come to the Temple via the transport bay, and was therefore not a
complete mission summary, the woman who identified herself as Narissa had
included enough information to raise some serious issues about Temple
With the identity of the eastern leader being revealed as former Master
Valone, some of the Council members began to suspect that someone had been
feeding information to the ex-Jedi during his 20-year absence from the
"Somehow Valone knew in advance that we would send Obi-Wan Kenobi to
Navira. The question is, how did he know? Is it possible that we have a
traitor among us?" Adi Gallia asked, raising her voice above those of her
fellow Council members.
"The real question is, how did Valone know we would even be sending a Jedi
to Navira so many months ago? The only person who could've known that there
was any possibility of Jedi intervention is Chancellor Palpatine, and he
would have no reason to notify Valone," Mace Windu added.
"Somehow, know Valone did, before even the Council. A leak we need not
worry about here. Instead watch the Senate we must. Have contacts Valone
does, and good information he was given. Predict the actions of the Jedi
Council this informant did, guessing our choice of Knight before word of
the situation we had. Disturbing news this is," Master Yoda concluded
resting his chin on his ever-present cane.
"We will simply have to wait for Knight Kenobi to return with our fallen
Jedi. Then we will have a source for all the information we seek," Depa
Bilaba stated, drawing the entire Council to a hushed silence
Obi-Wan really couldn't afford to spare the Force energy, but he was given
no other choice. With the damage to his shoulders, he would not be able to
do more than assist Narissa in moving Valone. As for the young servant
woman, she would be left behind to meet up again with her fellow
easterners. Obi-Wan had used such a strong Force compulsion on her
previously that only another Jedi would have been able to wake her.
Unwilling to leave the woman in a coma, even if she had been working for
his nemesis, Obi-Wan used some of his quickly diminishing reserves to
lighten the suggestion.
When they had heard the approaching speeders, Narissa and Obi-Wan had
immediately sprung into action. They would not have time to make it outside
of the cavern and to a hiding place, but Narissa was nothing if not an
efficient explorer. Upon first discovering the cave, she had investigated
it thoroughly before moving her ship into it. This particular cavern had
connections to at least two other caves leading to the surface. They would
have to move quickly, but at least they weren't trapped.
Leading the way, with the figure of Valone stretched between the two,
Narissa headed first towards the left exit. She insisted that it was the
shortest exit to the surface, and would also be the easiest for their
unusual portage. Given little option, Obi-Wan trailed behind, supporting as
much of the dark Jedi's weight as possible with his damaged shoulders.
As the floor beneath them became more and more vertical, Obi-Wan was left
with more and more of the weight of Valone. Withstanding the pain as long
as possible, Obi-Wan was soon calling even more on the Force to assist him
with his burden. \When I get back to Coruscant, I am not leaving again. If
the Council doesn't like it, than they can just FIRE me\
Focusing his attention on any possible pursuit, it took a moment before Obi-
Wan noticed they had stopped. "Is there a problem?" He asked, hoping beyond
hope that Narissa was merely taking the time to make sure their exit hadn't
"Umm, not really, unless you count the fact that there is some kind of
large ship waiting just outside for us," Narissa said with more than a hint
of apprehension in her tone.
Anakin spent several more hours in the transport bay before realizing it
was time to meet Master Bant for dinner. "Sith! I'm not even going to have
time to shower!" Anakin grumbled as he ran his oily hands through his short
hair. \Maybe Master Bant won't notice\ he thought, knowing how unlikely the
possibility of that happening was.
Quickly removing his coveralls and returning his tool kit to the closet,
Anakin dashed out of the transport bay. \If my Master finds out I spent so
much time in the transport bay he is going to ban me from it for several
weeks!\ Anakin thought morosely as he walked as quickly as possible to his
\Even if Master Bant can be persuaded not to tell him, SHE is going to ban
me at least until he gets back!\ With a sigh, Anakin palmed open the door
to the rooms he shared with his Master, knowing Master Bant waited less
than patiently inside. \Time to face the music.\
As Lo'kai pulled out of hyperspace above the planet of Navira, he began to
run topographical scans of the area he had received coordinates for. He had
taken a more direct route to Navira than the Council probably would have
appreciated (especially when they got the calls from the Coruscant airspace
officials), but Lo'kai figured that even the Jedi Council would understand
the need for haste in this case.
\Now, if I was a Jedi Knight and was being boxed in like a womprat in a
trap, where would I go?\ Lo'kai studied the topographical maps briefly,
before switching to the geological layout. Lo'kai could easily pick out the
network of caverns surrounding the coordinates he had been given. The
nearest exit was almost exactly on the dot where the landing zone had been
\Alright, so I know where he was, now where'd he go?\ Studying the map
intently for a few more minutes, Lo'kai made a decision and took the Temple
transport in for a landing.
Turning his attention from the passageway behind him, Obi-Wan extended his
Force sense out into the twilight world beyond. \Not only am I staying on
Coruscant for at least 3 months, but I am also REFUSING to use the Force to
even lift a pebble for at least a week!\
Focusing on the ship resting directly outside of the cave exit, Obi-Wan
tested the intent of the pilot. After a few more seconds to make sure no
deception was involved, the Knight breathed a sigh of relief.
"Well, we've suffered the 'knight in distress' and the 'damsel to the
rescue' I guess its more than time for the magical 'white horse' to
appear," Obi-Wan smirked.
"Huh?" Narissa asked, convinced that the Jedi had finally reached his limit
and was going to collapse behind her any second now.
"Oh you know, the white horse the knight uses to escape? Well here's ours."
And with that the grateful Narissa, unconscious Valone, and exhausted Obi-
Wan entered the fading light of day to greet the disembarking Temple pilot.
Lo'kai had planned on landing just long enough to pick up the Jedi Knight
and prisoner, before immediately taking off again. He was not willing to
risk having his ship on the ground for any length of time.
Unfortunately, the Jedi Knight in question had other ideas. The Jedi wished
to use the ship's shuttle to transport the woman back to some camp, leaving
Lo'kai to watch the unconscious man currently sequestered in the Force
"Ain't no way I'm just gonna stay here like some sitting duck!" The pilot
protested upon hearing the Knight's plan. "Why don't I just fly you over to
that camp, and then we can take right off for Coruscant?"
"The shuttle is small enough and maneuverable enough to make it to the
encampment without having to rise above the tree level. If we took your
ship, the eastern encampment would be able to lock onto our position and
get an exact location of the western base. I will not risk innocent lives
just to spare your transport a scratch or two!" The Knight had replied
irritably before staving off any further argument by simply taking the
shuttle and leaving.
\Dang Jedi, think they're invincible or something\ the pilot grumbled, as
he settled in his chair to keep a close eye on his sensors.
Narissa insisted on piloting the shuttle once she saw the pain it caused
Obi-Wan to try to move his arms. She knew the Knight had to be suffering
immensely, but other than a slight tightness around his eyes, and his
reluctance to move his arms or hands more than absolutely necessary, she
saw no signs of his difficulty.
As Narissa deftly piloted the shuttle in and around the obstacles lining
their path, Obi-Wan sat silently in the co-pilot's seat. He knew his pain
and fatigue had completely exhausted him when he had almost agreed to
Lo'kai's request to fly them to the western base. It would have been so
much easier to just lie back in the med bay and allow the pilot to make the
short flight to the base, and then he could have been on his way back to
But like the true Jedi he was, Obi-Wan Kenobi could no more put his comfort
before another than he could grow a tail and learn to live in the trees.
\Well at least my sense of humor is still intact. well, actually, I guess
that was pretty lame\ Obi-Wan knew he was really in trouble when his sense
of sarcasm deserted him.
Even amidst a raging war, Obi-Wan always had a ready quip. \When I get back
to the Temple, it will take the entire Council and at least a Sith Lord or
two to drag me out of my quarters\
Obi-Wan stopped himself before he could become too lost in thoughts of the
comforts awaiting him on Coruscant. He still had work to do, and until the
transport was safely back at the Temple, and Valone in the hands of the
Council he couldn't afford to let his attention slip.
If he had learned anything from his years as Qui-Gon's apprentice, it was
that a mission that appeared to be at an end could quickly escalate once
more into a dangerous operation. The thirteen years with Master Jinn had
taught him most painfully to keep his attention on the "here and now."
It was full night by the time Obi-Wan and Narissa arrived at the western
base. Sri Edinb was delighted to hear of the success of their mission, and
immediately appointed Narissa as his top advisor. If there had remained any
doubt of her welcome to the western society with her extraNaviran roots,
the promotion had completely quelled them. Narissa had more than earned
such an important position, and Obi-Wan was glad to see her bravery
After giving the westerners a detailed description of all he had observed
while in the eastern base, Obi-Wan gave his farewells to the western leader
and his staff of advisors. Taking his leave of the base, Obi-Wan was not
surprised to see Narissa following him to the shuttle.
"I wish you well Jedi Kenobi, and hope that you recover sufficiently from
all of your wounds," Narissa said, once again reverting to her previous
"Thank you Advisor Narissa," Obi-Wan said with a smile. "I truly owe you my
life. If you ever happen to visit Coruscant, look me up."
"Be assured that I will," Narissa stated, bowing then impetuously reaching
out to give the Knight a quick embrace. "Take care, Obi-Wan Kenobi. I will
"And I you," flashing a quick smile, Obi-Wan climbed back aboard the
shuttle. With a brief glance back at the young woman dressed in the robes
of a western leader, Obi-Wan set off on his return trip to the transport.
As the first hour passed, followed all too quickly by a second, Lo'kai
began to worry about the Knight. He wasn't sure where the base was located,
but surely it couldn't have been that far?
Wondering if he should lift off and go in search of the errant Jedi, Lo'kai
began to scan the planet for signs of the transport's shuttle. Lo'kai was
so engrossed in the readouts that he failed to hear the groan and shuffling
sound that arose from the cargo hold at the back of the transport.
As Obi-Wan approached the transport, he used what was left of his Force
reserves to scan the ship. Even though he was certain Valone would still be
unconscious, he wasn't willing to risk being mistaken. Obi-Wan's Force
sense first detected the null area towards the back of the ship where the
shielded cargo hold lay. Further to the front of the ship was the beacon of
Living Force that he had come to recognize as Lo'kai.
Other than the pilot, he could feel no other life aboard the ship. With
Valone locked in the Force deadened area, he would not be able to determine
if the man was still unconscious until he boarded the ship and checked with
his other senses. After determining that the ship was as secure as when he
had left it, and that the eastern forces were still swarming only in the
area of the original landing zone, Obi-Wan flew the shuttle into the
After latching the shuttle to the deck with gravclaws, Obi-Wan began his
trek to the front of the transport. He planned on stopping first at the
cargo hold to make sure that Valone was still out, before making his way
forward to notify Lo'kai to take off. As he approached the hold, Obi-Wan
again stretched out with the Force. His reserves were rapidly dwindling,
but enough remained to tell him that there was no danger awaiting him.
Pressing the palm lock on the door, Obi-Wan entered expecting to see Valone
stretched out on the cot where he and Narissa had left him. Instead, the
young Knight found the cot empty.
Lo'kai had finally decided it was time to retrieve the Jedi when the
shuttle appeared on his sensors. Opening the docking bay ramp so that the
Knight could load the shuttle, Lo'kai then left the cockpit to assist Obi-
Wan and to hopefully get the order to take off.
As he approached the back of the ship, Lo'kai was distracted by a noise
from the cargo hold. Assuming the Jedi must have already completed docking
procedures and gone to check on the prisoner, Lo'kai changed direction.
Arriving at the hold, the pilot was surprised to see the door to the cargo
hold open. Slowing his pace, and checking to make sure his ever-present
blaster was in place, Lo'kai snuck up to the open doorway.
Deciding to risk a brief look inside, Lo'kai pulled his blaster from the
holster and swung around, quickly ducking into the open hold. The pilot
scanned the room before his attention was drawn to the far corner.
Approaching cautiously, with his blaster at the ready, Lo'kai was surprised
to find the form of Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi locked into combat with the now
Preparing to use his blaster as a weight, the pilot drew back his arm to
strike a blow to the head of the dark Jedi. Before he could complete his
swing, Lo'kai was interrupted by the sudden cry from Obi-Wan. "Lo'kai,
Lo'kai tried to stop his motion before the blaster made contact with
Valone's temple, but the call had come too late. Without a sound, the dark
Jedi crumpled once more to the cargo hold floor.
Once Narissa had seen Obi-Wan off, she returned to the tent of Sri Edinb.
The eastern leader was out of commission, and now was the time for the
western forces to muster an attack. The eastern forces would be confused
with the loss of their leader, and would keep the Gungan shields down until
they had rescued their kidnapped commander.
Offering a quick prayer for the safety of the Jedi Knight who had abruptly
entered her life, only to leave just as suddenly, Narissa began the task of
planning the first major offensive the western forces had undertaken in
From his position beside the laden cot, Lo'Kai assisted Obi-Wan in
repairing the damage to the dark Jedi's temple where the pilot's blaster
had struck. Lo'kai had almost refused to help treat the prisoner, but one
look from the Jedi was enough to insure his assistance. Lo'kai had never
seen a Jedi angry before, and one look at the Knight beside him told him
that he would never want to. Obi-Wan was barely controlling his anger at
the impetuous actions of the pilot.
Obi-Wan had entered the cargo bay and had become immediately aware of the
pocket of Force-sensitivity that existed in one corner. Apparently Valone
had gained consciousness and had immediately gone to work in lowering the
Force suppression shield. Knowing that to completely eliminate the field
would attract the notice of the pilot and/or the Jedi Knight, Valone had
elected to only neutralize a small corner of the hold. With his Force sense
intact, the dark Jedi would have been able to easily escape the transport.
Fortunately, someone had not wanted the dark Jedi to escape. When Obi-Wan
had entered the neutralized area of the cargo hold, he had been almost
overwhelmed by the power of the dark side. Valone lay partially slumped on
the floor, clawing desperately at his throat in an attempt to reopen the
air passages that were being ruthlessly squeezed shut.
Obi-Wan had attempted to add his meager Force strength to stave off the
attack and maybe identify its source, but just as he reached to make the
necessary contact, Lo'kai had entered the hold and knocked Valone
unconscious. Obi-Wan had quickly enlisted the pilot's help in pulling the
dark Jedi back into the Force suppressed region, and as soon as Valone
crossed the barrier into the null zone, the attack stopped. Obi-Wan had
then ordered Lo'kai to help him move Valone to the cot and treat the head
Considering the dark power Obi-Wan had just felt, it was now more important
than ever to get Valone safely to the Jedi temple where the Council could
examine him. It was apparent that there was a much darker foe at work, and
the fallen Jedi was the only connection.
On a dark balcony overlooking most of the Jedi Temple, a figure cloaked
entirely in black cursed loudly. \A few minutes more and I would've had
A Sith Lord was nothing if not patient however. He knew there would be
another opportunity, he need only contact his apprentice and the deed would
As the transport exited the atmosphere of Navira, Obi-Wan breathed a sigh
of relief. His mission was not entirely complete, he still had to deliver
Valone to the Jedi Council, but at least he was in route back to Coruscant.
Watching the planet as it grew smaller and smaller in the view port, Obi-
Wan was almost tempted to seek a vision of the future of Navira from the
Force. Unfortunately, he had asked too much of his over-fatigued mind and
body, and all of his remaining energy would be needed to keep him awake
until he reached the capital planet of the Republic.
Even without the Force to guide his vision, Obi-Wan was certain that Navira
would soon be entering a time of peace. The two civilizations of the planet
may have been accustomed to war, but now that they realized the hazards the
larger galaxy held in store for them, the factions would have no choice but
to reconcile. And with such a wise young woman as Narissa to help guide
them, Obi-Wan was sure that Navira would soon be experiencing peace.
Taking the same path back to Coruscant that he had taken away from it,
Lo'kai knew that the transport would arrive at the Temple within only a few
hours. The pilot had justified the shortened trip with the need to get the
young Jedi Knight some medical attention, but in reality he just wanted to
get the darkened Jedi off his transport.
He would never admit it, but upon realizing how close Valone had come to
escaping without even attracting the notice of the usually vigilant pilot
had scared Lo'kai. He was definitely looking forward to some downtime on
Coruscant with his wife.
Maybe his wife was right, and it was time for him to start refusing some of
the more hazardous missions that the Jedi Temple requested of its pilots.
Once the transport had exited hyperspace, Obi-Wan contacted the Temple to
notify them of his imminent arrival. He requested that several Knights meet
him at the docking platform, and that they bring a Force suppression
hypospray. Normally, such a hypospray would only have been used when a Jedi
suffered from a severe blow to the head and was unable to control his use
of the Force. It was a rare occurrence, but when a Jedi lost control, it
could be a dangerous situation. As such, the Healer's always kept several
of the hyposprays in stock in case they were needed.
When the transport had finally docked at the Temple, Obi-Wan was relieved
to see that his request had been carried out, and several Knights awaited
him. He was also surprised to see Healer Ravenna among the waiting Jedi.
"Master Ravenna, it is a pleasure to see you again," Obi-Wan said as he
exited the transport. He motioned for the Knights to enter the ship to
secure the prisoner as he stepped off of the boarding ramp. "Will you be
administering the hypospray to our illustrious guest?" Obi-Wan asked with a
"Actually, I am here to insure that a certain Knight receives medical
treatment. But as long as I am here, I guess I can administer a hypospray,"
Healer Ravenna stated. "I'd better make that two." she continued as she got
a better look at the exhausted Jedi that stood facing her.
"At this point," Obi-Wan responded "I don't think I would even argue with
you if you tried."
"Well then, let me just administer this to your 'guest' and then perhaps I
could escort you as you pay a visit to a bacta tank," Ravenna admonished,
stepping around Obi-Wan to board the transport.
Following the Healer back aboard the ship, Obi-Wan didn't even bother to
oppose Master Ravenna's orders. In all actuality he would prefer to visit
the Healer's first, before appearing before the Council or seeing his
apprentice. Obi-Wan may have been able to mostly hide his injuries from a
non-Force sensitive such as Narissa, but to a Jedi, his serious wounds were
most apparent. Obi-Wan wanted to see Anakin, but he knew it would be better
to wait until he didn't look like death warmed over.
"It is done my Master," the small holoimage stated, as it continued its
"Very good. You are certain the hypospray will be administered before
Valone has a chance to speak to anyone?" the dark Lord questioned his
"Yes my Master. The hypospray has already been given, and Valone had not
yet regained consciousness. With the drug now in his system, he will never
"You have done well my apprentice," the Sith Lord stated before ending the
When his previous apprentice had been killed four years prior, Lord Sidious
had feared he would have to train a new apprentice from scratch. Just as he
had begun his search, he had intercepted a most intriguing outgoing message
from the Jedi Temple. The Sith had made a habit of monitoring Temple
communications, as it always paid to keep a close eye on the enemy.
This message however had proven much more interesting than a simple mission
report, or summons from the Council. It was a scrambled message sent from a
public link in the Temple to a small planet only a few hours travel from
Coruscant. Curious as to what the Jedi had to hide, Sidious had set to work
decoding the message.
His time could not have ever been better spent. The message in itself was
unimportant, just a listing of the activities of a certain Knight of the
order. What had made the message so special however, was the sender.
Sidious had immediately went to work tracking the sender, and upon
discovering his identity, had sent for him immediately. Under the guise of
Chancellor Palpatine, he had arranged a meeting with the informant, and in
doing so had discovered his latest apprentice.
\Who would've thought I would find such a strong apprentice deep within the
ranks of my enemy?\ With a swirl of black cloak, Lord Sidious retreated
from the holostation to turn once more into Chancellor Palpatine.
As he had anticipated, Master Bant had forbidden Anakin to return to the
transport bay at least until his Master returned. Bant had also given
Anakin extra work to do in his healing exercises. \Well at least she agreed
not to tell Obi-Wan\ Anakin thought as he once again practiced Forcebinding
Anakin was skilled at many aspects of the Force, but his healing ability
was one of his top performances. He had even briefly considered training to
become a Healer instead of a Knight, but to do so would have meant leaving
Obi-Wan. Though he may not have seen much of his Master in the past four
years, Anakin was still dedicated to Obi-Wan.
"If you finish up with your practicing here, you can work on memorizing the
formulas for some of the more common field medications," Bant called out,
as she passed by the exam room where Anakin was working.
Bant was technically off duty in the Healer's ward, but Master Ravenna had
been called away, and so she was helping out while teaching Anakin.
"I should be done soon Master Bant," Anakin answered. "Do you want me to go
to the medical supply room to learn the formulas, or should I go to the
The med supply room would have closer access to all of the materials he
would need, but the bacta room was much more conducive to studying.
Although the Healer's ward was not as busy as it could have been, there
were still many Jedi in residence, and medications were constantly being
dispensed from the small med room.
"Why don't you grab the datapads from med supply, and then find a quiet
corner of the bacta room. I'll be in later to check on you," Bant stated
once again passing by his room.
Anakin was unsure of what was keeping her so busy, but it obviously wasn't
too important, or she would've sent him back to his quarters.
"Yes Master Bant," Anakin called as he went to retrieve the books and then
find a nice quiet place to read.
The seizures started almost the instant the hypospray was pressed to
Valone's neck. Healer Ravenna, with the aid of the surrounding Knights,
immediately began resuscitation techniques, but it was too late. The fast
acting drug that had been mixed with the Force suppressant had caused
lesions to develop immediately on the fallen Jedi's brain, and within
minutes all brain activity had failed.
Obi-Wan stood off to the side, watching while the Healer and Knights
worked, in as close to a state of shock as a Jedi could reach. \I have been
through HELL to get that man here, and just when he is to appear in front
of the Council he dies. The Force definitely has it in for me\ Obi-Wan's
thoughts were interrupted as Master Ravenna turned once more to face him.
"There is nothing I can do here," she stated. "I will call for Master Jareo
to perform an autopsy, but I believe it is apparent that this hypospray was
tampered with. Until we can be sure that all of the other medication within
the Temple is safe, we will have to close off the Healer's ward. I cannot
risk losing another patient if any other medications were tampered with."
Putting words to action, Ravenna used her commlink to alert the medical
staff to the immediate danger, and then called the Council to report the
same information to them.
Anakin had just entered the med supply room, when Master Bant came running
into the room. "Padawan Skywalker, you need to return immediately to your
quarters. I'll contact you later to continue your lesson."
Pausing only long enough to insure Anakin carried out her orders, Bant
began immediately securing the room. A team of Knights would soon be there
to begin testing supplies, but for the time being it was Bant's job to make
sure no more medication was dispensed. As she worked on sealing off the
room, Bant's thoughts turned to her childhood friend. She had received word
from Ravenna that he was back at the temple, and that the Master Healer
would be attending to him for at least the next few hours.
Ravenna had asked Bant to fill in for her at the Healer's ward until she
could return. \I hope Obi-Wan isn't seriously injured\ she thought as she
finally finished sealing the room and made her way to the bacta room to
seal off the tanks. \'Cause if he is, he's going to have to wait at least
another day or two for treatment.\
Anakin had to use the Force to open the door to the quarters he shared with
his Master, as his arms were still full of the datapads he had grabbed as
he left the medical supply room. He wasn't looking forward to spending the
next few hours reviewing the dull texts, but he knew that Master Bant would
quiz him at her next available opportunity. \At least I won't have the time
to think about what I could be doing in the transport bay\ he thought,
dumping the datapads unceremoniously on the small couch.
As he entered the kitchen to start making tea, a sudden warning from the
Force stopped Anakin. The Force did not hint of danger, but it told him
that there was someone else in the quarters.
"Master?" Anakin called out as the familiar Force signature washed over
him. He was uncertain as to why he had not detected his Master's presence
immediately, the only reason he would not have is if his Master had been
shielding heavily. When no answer was forthcoming, Anakin approached the
door to his Master's room. Hesitating only long enough to try reaching his
Master once again through their link, Anakin opened the door.
Obi-Wan lay stretched across the bed, still fully dressed from his robe to
his boots. \Well that explains why he didn't answer\ the Padawan thought
with a small smile as he worked to make his Master more comfortable.
Removing his boots, and turning Obi-Wan unto his back so he could remove
the utility belt, Anakin then used a spare blanket from his own room to
cover the sleeping Master.
"I'm glad your home," the apprentice whispered, before returning to the
common room to quietly study his datapads.
Listening until his apprentice was once more settled in the common room,
Obi-Wan kept quiet despite the pain he was in. He had returned to his
quarters with the intention of getting some rest until he could receive
treatment. He had not expected Anakin to return so quickly, he had assumed
his Padawan would be firmly ensconced in the intricate workings of a plasma
manifold down in the transport bay.
Instead, he had only managed a few minutes rest before Anakin had entered
the quarters. Trying to shield his presence, Obi-Wan was too tired to
maintain the façade for long. He was able to keep his pain shielded, but
even that had almost slipped when his apprentice had turned him over onto
his damaged shoulders.
Once he was sure Anakin was back in the common room, Obi-Wan allowed a
small whimper to escape his lips. Turning over once more unto his front,
the Master whispered silently into the darkened room "I missed you too
After sleeping for over eighteen hours, Obi-Wan Kenobi was finally ready to
face the Jedi Council. He would have preferred to spend a few days in a
bacta tank before meeting with the twelve Masters, but the tanks were still
being tested for tampering. With no other excuse for hesitation, the young
Knight took a lift to the top of the central spire and entered the Council
Chambers. After giving a slightly shallower bow than customary, due to his
injuries, Obi-Wan launched into the narrative of his latest mission.
He recounted almost every detail of the ill-fated mission, but was still
subject to an hour's worth of questions from the surrounding Masters. As
the excruciating briefing finally wound down, Obi-Wan gave a final bow to
the Council members before exiting the chambers in search of Master Bant.
Obi-Wan hoped to impose on the other Master just a little bit longer, by
asking her to keep Anakin out of trouble for the next few days.
Obi-Wan knew that he was asking a lot of his friend, but there was no one
else for him to turn to. He had once considered a few of the Council
Members among his close friends, but within the last four years the
relationships he had once maintained had ended. Master Yoda may have been a
close confidant in his younger years, but as of late, the Master was more
of an adversary than a friend. The same was true for Master Windu, who he
had once been very close to due to the long-standing friendship the
Councilor had shared with Qui-Gon Jinn.
\At this rate, I'll soon have more enemies than friends\ the Knight thought
as he exited the lift and began the walk to the Healer's ward. \Between the
Council sending me away all of the time, and the time I've needed to
dedicate to training my Padawan, Bant seems to be about the only friend
I've got left. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the Council is trying to
get me to quit!\
Snorting quietly at his absurd thoughts, Obi-Wan entered the Healer's ward,
hoping to finally keep his date with the bacta tanks.
When Anakin returned to his quarters after class, he was surprised to see
that his Master had woken and left already. After seeing how deeply Obi-Wan
was sleeping, the Padawan had expected his Master to sleep for at least a
day or two. Setting his datapad case on the couch, Anakin noticed a note on
the table. \If the Council has sent him to a meeting again, I am going to
go up there and tell them all what a bunch of morons they really are\
Reading the note, Anakin found that although his Master did not expect to
see much of him for at least a day or two, he would be remaining at the
Temple indefinitely. Obi-Wan informed his apprentice that he expected to
spend the next few days briefing other Knights and Masters about the
information he had received at the meeting on Malastare, but once that was
completed the Master and Padawan would finally have some time to spend
Barely suppressing the urge to release the "yippee!" he had become well
known for, Anakin instead settled on a huge smile. Finally he would get to
spend some time with his Master, and the two could once again resume the
mock lightsaber duels they both enjoyed.
\Well, it appears the Council has finally realized their mistake. Maybe
next time they won't have to completely run my Master into the ground
before they realize they are pushing too hard\
Bant had just finished the final tests on the bacta tanks, when she felt a
familiar Force presence enter the room behind her. "So, you finally decided
to visit your old friend eh? It's only taken you a day or so to finally
deign to let me know you are alive and ok," Bant said with only partially
"I'm sorry Bant. When I heard that the bacta tanks were going to be out of
commission for a few hours, all I wanted to do was get some sleep. And then
I had to report to the Council, and they've kept me busy for the past
several hours. I didn't mean to ignore you," Obi-Wan said as he stepped up
behind her and gave her a quick hug.
Apparently forgiving him, Bant turned around to return the embrace, but
stopped when she saw how gingerly he was holding his arms up. "I am glad
you're back old friend, and I understand that you have been very busy. I
want you to tell me all about your mission, but now is not the time. I
think your time would be better spent elsewhere," Bant said stepping back
and tapping a hand against the glass tank behind her.
"Thanks Bant," Obi-Wan said with a sheepish grin as he began to remove his
robe and tunics. Seeing that her friend needed assistance, Bant stepped
around behind him and helped him to remove the layers of clothing. Bant
then exited the room long enough for Obi-Wan to switch to the shorts he
customarily wore into the tank.
As she stood in the hallway waiting for her friend to signal that he was
ready to enter the bacta, Bant took the time to reflect on just how
terrible it was that Obi-Wan spent so much time in the tanks that he had
clothing specifically for the task.
Once Obi-Wan was sedated and well on his way to healing, Bant left the
Healer's ward to pay a visit to Anakin. She had laughed when Obi-Wan had
asked her to please watch over his apprentice again, and had told her how
sorry he was that he had to impose on her again.
"Oh, Obi-Wan, it's the very least I could do after all you've done for me.
If it wasn't for you, I would never have gotten all of the healing practice
I needed to excel so quickly," she had replied back. Just before the
sedative had knocked him out, Obi-Wan had given her a grateful smile.
To Bant's way of thinking, seeing such an expression on her friend's
prematurely aged face was more than worth any assistance she could give.
Although the Council may have exhausted all of its questions for Obi-Wan
Kenobi, there was still much to be discussed after the Knight left the
"Disturbing this is," Master Yoda began, in a repeat of his earlier
comments to the Council. "Questions we have, answers we do not. These
answers we must find, a darker force is at work here than we knew."
"Without Valone, how are we going to find the answers?" Ki-Adi-Mundi asked.
"I suggest we return to Adi's previous idea. I believe we dismissed the
idea that there might be an informant in the Jedi temple a bit too quickly.
Especially, now that we know someone tampered with Jedi medical supplies,"
"Perhaps we should dispatch several teams to investigate this from many
different angles. I know that we need to keep this incident from becoming
common knowledge around the temple, but I believe that the need to uncover
information is worth the risk of bringing in at least a few Knights," Depa
interjected. "We could have one team track the source of the drug that was
mixed in with the Force suppressant, and another team review outgoing
Temple communications for the past few years."
"Investigate the source of the drug, yes. But why would we need to review
the outgoing transmissions from the Temple from so many years back? It is
only necessary to check information from the past few months or so," Plo
"No, we need to check the logs from at least the past five years. It would
have taken Valone at least that long to plan his infiltration of Navira.
There is no way he could have gathered that kind of weaponry in the few
months he spent as the eastern leader," Mace answered, giving support to
"A team of Knights to check Valone's activity in the years he has been gone
from the temple too, hmm?" Yoda asked.
"Rest we should allow Knight Kenobi in the meantime," Yaddle said, speaking
up for the first time. "Keep him close to the Temple we should, question
him again we may need to."
"Perhaps we should allow him to assume a teaching position here at the
Temple for the next semester. That would allow him time to train his
Padawan, and also give time for the two to take a few more missions.
Padawan Skywalker has spent too much of his apprenticeship on Coruscant so
far, it is time we allowed the team a few missions," Ki-Adi-Mundi
Mundi normally did not become involved in Council discussions regarding the
Knight, but after seeing the bedraggled state of the young man who had just
stood before the Council, he had decided it was time to speak up. "I
believe Knight Kenobi has worked hard to uphold his end of the bargain, now
it is time for us to uphold ours."
As he ran the analysis yet again, Master Jareo pleaded to the Force that
the results of the blood analysis be incorrect. He had already run the scan
four times, but he kept hoping that the scanner was making the
identification of the substance in error.
If what the scanner said was true, than the mortician would need to contact
the Council immediately. If this substance was truly what the scans said,
than it could mean only one thing: the Sith were active once again.
After two days in bacta, Obi-Wan was finally healed enough to return to his
regular duties. The damage to his shoulders and back had been severe, but
bacta was nothing if not miraculous. \Not only did it heal the wound, but
the time in the tank offered me the most time to sleep I have had in
years!\ Obi-Wan thought as he entered his room.
He was surprised to see that his bedding looked as if it had been slept in.
\Note to self: I owe Bant big time\ Not only had his friend managed to keep
Anakin out of trouble for the entire two days, but she had also taken the
time to make it appear that Obi-Wan was returning to his quarters each
night after Anakin had gone to bed.
The Master felt bad about the deception, but it would not be necessary
again for a good long while. Upon his removal from the bacta tank, Obi-Wan
had been surprised to see a Council page waiting for him. The young Padawan
had been sent to notify Obi-Wan to appear before the Council as soon as
possible. Once her message was delivered, the young girl had swiftly left
the Healer's ward to carry more summonses.
Expecting to be handed yet another mission, Obi-Wan had been hard pressed
to hide his joy when the Council notified him that he would be spending the
next semester teaching the initiates and younger Padawans lightsaber
techniques. The teaching position not only meant he would be able to spend
the next few months on Coruscant, but also that he would be doing something
he truly loved. Even as a young initiate, Obi-Wan Kenobi had always loved
the time he spent in the training rooms.
\Maybe there will even be time for Anakin and I to take a few missions\ he
thought gleefully as he prepared to wash the remaining bacta off in the
small 'fresher. Stepping under the hot spray of water, Obi-Wan realized
that this apparent generosity of the Council would probably carry a heavy
He knew that when the semester ended, he would immediately be sent out
again on the missions Bant had begun to refer to as "Kenobi Specials."
Deciding to once again take his former Master's advice, the young Knight
pushed aside his dismal thoughts of the future and instead focused on the
joy of the 'here and now.'
Obi-Wan had thoroughly enjoyed his first two weeks of downtime at the Jedi
Temple on Coruscant. The reprieve from the seemingly endless missions of
the last four years was spent training and just talking with his Padawan.
Obi-Wan had also agreed to teach a few lightsaber classes to some of the
initiates and younger Padawans, but had wanted to spend the majority of the
time with Anakin.
When a few of the older Padawans and their Masters had approached the young
Knight, asking him to add another class or two to his schedule, he had
almost refused. An incident in the training rooms had quickly changed his
mind however. Obi-Wan and Anakin had just begun to cool-down from a rather
fierce mock 'saber battle. Anakin was teasing his Master about getting old,
as the young apprentice had finally managed to score a strike on his agile
As he looked up from his bent-down stretch, preparing to make some snide
comment about the many, many strikes he had landed on Anakin, Obi-Wan's
attention was drawn to a group of older Padawans standing on the farthest
most mat. The group of five senior Padawans was engaged in a drill, where
three Padawans took on the other two. The goal was to teach the future
Knights how to handle a situation where they were outnumbered.
The disadvantaged team consisted of a tall female human and a slightly
shorter male Bothan. The other three males were all of humanoid races, and
the Knight was unsure as to their exact heritages. As he watched, the team
of three quickly worked to subdue the other two Padawans. Just as it
appeared that the contest was over, the tall female with the flaming hair
executed a chillingly familiar move.
Kicking one of her opponents forcefully enough to send him slamming into a
wall and immediately out of battle range, she then used the hilt of her
lightsaber to strike her other aggressor in the chin before quickly turning
her lightsaber around and imitating a kill strike to the chest. Just as the
female dispatched the second Padawan, her Bothan teammate struck a kill
point on his opponent. After the three losing Padawans conceded the match,
the five gathered in the middle of the mat to discuss the outcome of the
As Anakin finished his stretching, Obi-Wan continued to watch the group
across the gym. He knew that the details of his and his former Master's
fight with the Sith had been classified by the Jedi High Council. It was
impossible for the young female to have known about the move that had
killed the great swordsman Qui-Gon Jinn, and yet she had just successfully
used it to "kill" a fellow Padawan.
The young Knight was impressed with the ingenuity of the Padawan, but he
was more disturbed at the response of her opponent. The young male had not
expected the move, and as such had made no attempt to counteract the effect
of the blow to his head by stepping back out of the range of the female's
lightsaber. The mistake of the young man had then allowed the girl to kill
both him and his partner.
\If the Sith really are back, than the Jedi are going to be woefully
unprepared to meet them\ Obi-Wan thought as his gaze skimmed over the many
other training Jedi in the room. \I'm not sure even I could win a drawn out
battle one on one with another staff-wielding darksider\
Realizing the lack of preparation exhibited not only by the Padawans, but
also by several of the Knights and Masters throughout the room, Obi-Wan
decided to approach the Council about creating an open class to help fill
some of the training deficiencies. If he could manage to train only a few
Knights and Padawans, than hopefully his students would then pass on the
\If there truly is darkness ahead for the Galactic Republic, then it's up
to me to prepare the Jedi Order as much as I possibly can\ the young Knight
thought, for the first time fully feeling the weight of being the only Jedi
to face and kill a Sith in a thousand years
"You know what Obi? I am beginning to think there is something seriously
wrong with you," Bant stated as she slapped a bacta pad none-too-gently
over the latest 'saber burn the young Knight toted.
"Oh, and why's that?" Obi-Wan asked, trying in vain not to wince at the
Healer's cavalier treatment of his wound.
"Well, let's see, you are on Coruscant, in the Jedi Temple, and your only
duties include training a Padawan and teaching a few classes; yet SOMEHOW
you manage to have to visit the Healer's at least once a week. Is it some
kind of illness, or do you just miss me that much?"
"As much as it is always a joy to receive such caring treatment from you, I
don't actually choose to visit the Healer's. I'm afraid some of my students
have become a bit overzealous in my afternoon class, and since I am always
the lucky one playing the part of the attacker, I'm the one that always
ends up getting burned," Obi-Wan said standing up and pulling his tunic
back down over the new patch on his back.
"You know Obi-Wan, the fate of the Jedi order doesn't rest entirely on your
shoulders," Bant stated, suddenly becoming serious once more. "You should
really just take some time and relax, its not often that the Council allows
you a break."
"I know that Bant. Contrary to common belief, I do not suffer from
delusions of grandeur. I just feel that since I have this knowledge it is
my duty to pass it on," Obi-Wan replied, turning to face the Mon Calmarian
Healer. "And besides, if I actually decided to take a vacation, what would
you do with all of your spare time?" With a flippant grin, the young Knight
grabbed his robe from the med table and left the exam room.
Returning from yet another session of teaching his popular lightsaber
technique class, Obi-Wan entered his quarters intent on taking a long hot
shower. His class had quickly grown in numbers when word of the unusual
techniques he was teaching spread. He had been surprised, upon entering the
training gym on his second day, to find many Masters mixed in among the
Padawans that had previously made up the class.
At first, he found it difficult teaching technique to Masters that had
helped to teach him, but after only a few days he found the awkwardness
fading. Smiling as he remembered the dumbfounded look on his own Padawan's
face as he had suddenly whipped out another lightsaber and started using
both, Obi-Wan almost missed seeing the light blinking on his comm. unit.
Briefly debating whether or not he should just continue on to his shower
and pretend he hadn't seen the light, or answer it and risk being called
away, Obi-Wan was once again struck with his sense of duty. \Sometimes I
wish I had become a farmer\ he thought as he grudgingly reached down to
activate the unit.
Immediately the logo of the Jedi High Council appeared on the screen.
Biting back a groan, Obi-Wan pressed the button to play the stored image.
The face of Master Mace Windu flickered and than solidified.
"Knight Kenobi, your presence is requested before the Council immediately.
Prepare a travel kit and report immediately to Council Chambers." Just as
the image began to fade, Master Windu added, almost as an afterthought
"Padawan Skywalker should prepare as well."
Reaching out through the training bond to notify his apprentice to report
to their quarters, Obi-Wan began the task of repacking his travel case.
Since his case was almost always in a state of near readiness, the young
Master knew he would have just enough time to grab a quick sonic shower and
redress as Anakin packed his case. \So much for a nice hot shower.\
Anakin entered the quarters at almost a dead run. He was unsure as to why
his Master had contacted him while he was in the middle of class, but he
was afraid it was because his Master was leaving again. Seeing the travel
case sitting on his Master's sleep couch, the apprentice's fears were
confirmed. A wave of anger washed over the young man, before it was quickly
squelched. Anger would gain him nothing but an extra meditation session or
Anakin stood stock still in his Master's room as his mind worked
frantically to find a way to keep his Master from leaving. He knew he was
being a bit possessive, but he had missed his Master so much and it was
unfair for the Council to keep taking away his closest friend.
\Maybe I could just march up to the Council Chambers and tell them all off\
Anakin thought desperately. \Then, the Council will realize that my Master
needs to spend more time with me. either that or they would just ship me
off to Agri-Corps.\
Realizing the Council was more likely to do the later action, Anakin
decided that he needed help. He quickly activated his comm. link and asked
to be patched through to Master Bant. As he waited for the Healer to answer
his call, Anakin listened to the sonics running in the 'fresher. Realizing
he was running out of time, the Padawan didn't waste time telling Bant
anything more than to report to his quarters immediately.
Feeling vaguely guilty for making the Master think that there was something
medically wrong with him or his Master, Anakin consoled himself with the
thought that Bant would understand once she realized the Council was
shipping Obi-Wan off yet again.
Although his Master no longer suffered from the fatigue that had radiated
off of him earlier, Anakin and Bant both knew that Obi-Wan needed more time
before he was sent to another round of meetings.
As he heard the outer door open, Anakin rushed out to meet Master Bant and
come up with a plan to thwart the Jedi High Council.
As he exited the 'fresher wearing only a towel, Obi-Wan was surprised to
see both his Apprentice and Healer Bant awaiting him.
His apprentice wore an expression that could only be described as furious
and Master Bant looked rather upset as well. Wondering what could possibly
have upset the usually unflappable healer, Obi-Wan walked out to the common
room despite the fact he wore only a towel.
"We are not going to let you leave," Anakin stated without preamble as his
Master entered the room.
"I will tell the Council that you have the Dan'erian flu if I have to, but
neither Anakin nor I are going to allow you to return to the field after so
short a time of rest," Bant added.
Chuckling softly, Obi-Wan leaned back against the hallway wall and crossed
his arms in front of his chest. "And you really think that a 13 year old
Padawan and a recently promoted Healer are going to be able to thwart the
Jedi Council?" Obi-Wan asked, curious to see how this little intrigue would
play out. He would eventually notify Anakin that he would be attending as
well, but first he wanted to have some fun.
"Yes," Anakin stated flatly, with a determined expression on his face. The
fury had not completely faded from his apprentice's eyes, but the Master
was pleased to see how hard the Padawan was working to suppress it.
"Well, I am glad to see how devoted both of you are to keeping me here, but
I think the Council may have other ideas." Stepping forward from the wall,
Obi-Wan reached out a hand to ruffle Anakin's hair. "Besides, I thought you
wanted a mission my young Padawan."
Obi-Wan laughed loudly at the changing expressions on his two friend's
faces. His apprentice went from determined, to dumbfounded, to excited in a
very short time span. Master Bant, for her part, went from being visibly
upset to sharing a huge grin with the suddenly joyful apprentice.
"Now that we have all of that worked out, how about you go pack your bag
Anakin, while I finish dressing?" Obi-Wan said once he had his laughter
back under control.
"Y.. Yes Master," Anakin answered, still too surprised to say much more
than the programmed response. Bant, on the other hand, had much to say.
"Obi-Wan that's great! The Council is finally going to allow you and Anakin
on another mission? Where to? How long? What are you going to be doing? You
will write, right?" Bant rattled off the quick list of questions as she
followed the young Master into his sleeping quarters.
"Yes, it is great, and yes, I will write. As for the rest of your
questions, I will have to wait until after Anakin and I have met with the
Council to answer them. Now if you would excuse me, I prefer to dress
without an audience," Obi-Wan smiled as his friend had the grace to blush.
"Well then, I guess I am going to say goodbye to Anakin and then get back
to the Healer's Ward. They must've wondered when I took off like I had a
Sith or two on my tail," Bant smiled back. "Good luck Obi, and be safe."
Giving her friend a quick hug, Bant retreated out of Obi-Wan's room and
crossed the hall to Anakin's. Entering the Padawan's room, Bant expected to
see Anakin excitedly packing. The sight of him sitting dejectedly on the
bed staring out the window, led her to worry.
"Anakin? Is everything alright?" Bant asked as she sat beside him wrapping
her arm around his shoulders. "Don't worry about the mission, I am sure you
will do a great job. If not, your Master's pretty quick with a cover-up,"
she said softly trying to console the young man.
"I'm not worried about the mission," Anakin said, still facing away from
her. "I know that it will go fine and that my Master will handle it with
"Then what's wrong?" The Healer asked gently.
Bant was surprised when Anakin suddenly turned to face her with a furious
expression on his face once more. "Maybe you could explain to me just how
and why my Master received that horrible scar across his back?"