|The Jedi Path Series: 8 The Assassin
Author: TamsynDell PM
When Chancellor Organa is seriously injured after an attempt on his life, the investigation points to an unlikely suspect and the Jedi must then sort through the deception to find the real culprit. Another A.U. with O.C.'s. All reviews welcome!Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Mystery - Obi-Wan K. & Anakin Skywalker - Chapters: 36 - Words: 78,699 - Reviews: 82 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 02-06-07 - Published: 12-30-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3316089
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 36 Some Things Were Meant to Be
If the majority of the Council had been displeased when their ruling was questioned, the reason for it became obvious when Zak and Ferri stood before them. While their appearances were neat and they were freshly groomed, their eyes and haggard faces betrayed them; it was clearly evident that neither apprentice had gotten much sleep. In a replay of their previous meeting, Ferri shifted nervously, but this time, chose to speak first, "Have we done something else wrong?" He asked.
"Is that what you think?" Anakin asked.
"What other reason would there be?" Zak asked.
"To assign a mission, or to commend a Knight for a job well done." Ki-Adi answered.
"Well, there will be no missions for us for a very long time, that was made perfectly clear to us yesterday; and even if that were the case, our masters would be standing with us. As to commending us, since we are already on suspension, it's doubtful." Zak replied, "That could only mean we must have offended the Council again."
"It has been brought to our attention that you are not happy with the punishment you were issued." Plo Koon stated.
"So it's not enough that we accepted an indefinite suspension without protest, now we have to be happy about it?" Ferri objected, "I'm sorry then, we have offended the Council."
"Oh but you did protest it to Master Windu." Eeth Koth pointed out.
"Master Windu came to see me last night trying to return something I didn't need anymore. I never complained to him about the suspension." Ferri countered.
"Did you not say that you thought it highly unlikely for the Council to lift the suspension because you could not promise to obey the law without question?" Shaak Ti asked.
"Yes, I was being honest; I'd hardly call that complaining." Ferri answered.
"So you are actually admitting that you will not always uphold the law?" Eeth Koth demanded.
"Not blindly, no; would you?" Ferri asked.
"A wise answer, young Cortis." Yoda replied, "Zak Perrin, understand do you why you are here?"
"Well, since I spoke with Master Windu last night, I assume that I must have offended him." Zak answered.
"You have not offended me, Padawan." Mace assured him, "That is not why you have been summoned before us."
"Then it must be to convince us that this suspension is not permanent; although that will be hard to do since we will never be able to comply with the Council's demands, and that it's somehow for our own good." Zak surmised.
"And it has not been." Shaak Ti deduced.
"I haven't slept in two nights and I have no idea whether my master even wants to continue training me." Zak told her honestly, "I don't see anything beneficial in that."
"Your lack of sleep is clearly evident." Depa Billaba replied, "How do you interpret the demands of the Council?"
"It appears Council wants me to learn to obey blindly and without question; the Clones were trained like that, and they would have wiped us all out without a second thought. I'm sorry, Master Billaba, as I told Master Windu last night, I can't do that; and if that is what the Council expects from me, then it would be better to terminate my apprenticeship now and send me into the Ag-Corps." Zak countered, "At least then I could get a good night's sleep….and my master would be free of me and able to take on an apprentice who will be more compliant."
"I do not want to be free of you, Zak; I did not support this suspension." Obi-Wan spoke out.
"I had no way of knowing that, Master." Zak replied.
"None of us wish to see either of you sent into the Ag-Corps; and it appears now that you misunderstood the purpose of the suspension." Adi Gallia interjected, "It was not meant to force you to become blind servants of the law; only to teach you discretion in determining if it is necessary to bend the law in order for justice to be served. However, from what Master Windu has told us, and what we have heard from you today, it appears you are well on your way to understanding this already. Master Kenobi and Master Skywalker tried to convince of this, but admittedly, we disregarded their counsel; something we have come to regret."
"So what does that mean?" Ferri asked.
"The purpose for the suspension no longer exists; if, in fact, it ever did." Stass Allie answered, "Therefore, it would be unreasonable and unfair for it to continue. However…"
Zak closed his eyes and sighed heavily.
"So our training can resume?" Ferri asked, barely able to make himself believe it.
"Yes, however, the matter of disobedience is still an issue." Stass Allie continued.
"So we're still relegated to the kitchens." Zak guessed.
"Yes, and restricted within the Temple." Mace answered.
"Until further notice." Ferri finished.
"No, that would be grossly unfair for both you and your masters, who, I am sure, have no desire to be Temple-bound indefinitely; your kitchen duties will continue for six weeks. Hopefully, you will have learned the consequences of disobedience by that time." Luminara Unduli informed them.
"You are dismissed and ordered to return to your quarters." Mace instructed and then added when they both appeared puzzled, "To get some much needed rest."
Both of them bowed respectfully and turned to leave, "There are things we must talk about, Padawan." Obi-Wan said as they made their way to the door.
"Yes, Master." Zak replied.
"I'm sorry, Master Kenobi; it appears our error has caused a rift between you and your apprentice." Depa Billaba observed when the boys had gone.
"Yes, it has; one that will not easily be breeched." Obi-Wan answered.
And the rift was not easily breeched; only through many long talks were injured feelings smoothed over and healed. With the uncertain future of the suspension no longer weighing upon them, Ferri and Zak endured their sentence in the kitchens with relative ease. During that time, Black made his first of several appearances in the Republic courts. In an effort to secure a lighter sentence, he turned on Lyman Malta by admitting he been hired by Malta to kill the Chancellor; it was a futile effort, and Black was shipped off to toil away in a mining colony on Ord Mandel for the rest of his life. If he had thought life had been hard under the bounty hunter, Jango Fett, he would soon learn that the Hell of Ord Mandel was a thousand times worse.
Lyman Malta wore a cocky look all throughout his brief trial, convinced that he was much too cagey to be convicted….he was wrong, and the cocky look was replaced by an angry scowl as the guilty verdict was announced. The following day he was shackled and led into the hold of the prison barge bound for the tympana gas mines on Bespin. His last words before he was forced inside were of revenge and retribution.
Quicker than anyone expected, the Chancellor made a full recovery and was declared fit to return to his duties. The Vice Chancellor was only too happy to relinquish her temporary post as head of the Republic and immediately requested a short leave of absence. When asked why, she simply said that she needed to spend more time with her teenage daughter. Eventually, she was able to finally make peace with Breha Organa; although the Queen of Alderaan graciously accepted the copious apologies she offered, it was clear to Mon Mothma that a part of her would never forgive her completely for the ordeal Boba Fett had been put through while he was in the Detention Center. With the mastermind behind the assassination still at large, the Chancellor realized another attempt on his life was inevitable. But the next time it happened, he would be ready; and next time, they would follow the trail all the way to its end to catch the being who wished him dead.
Dena's parents left Coruscant once they had their daughter settled in a comfortable, if small apartment near the Jedi Temple. After much meditation, and many long talks with her former master and Yoda, she decided her place as an affiliate would be with the healers; and she made her way back and forth daily to study under their tutelage. Her relationship with Boba seemed to blossom once the need for secrecy had passed. Several days after Black's sentencing, Boba asked her to meet him at the Senate Complex; it was clear to her Jedi senses that he was hiding something from her, "What's this all about, Boba?" She asked suspiciously.
"What? Nothing!" Boba answered elusively.
"Oh come now, you should know better than that." Dena replied.
"You'll see." Boba said mysteriously.
With a shake of her head, Dena allowed him to lead her past several dining rooms, "Where are we going? I thought we were going to eat." She protested.
"We are; you'll see." Boba assured her.
"Boba…" Dena began when Boba stopped before a door to one of the private areas.
"Close your eyes." He instructed.
"What? Why?" Dena asked.
"Just do it." Boba replied.
Dena sighed and shook her head, but closed her eyes, "No peeking." Boba ordered as he triggered the door, "Alright; now you can look."
"Oh…oh my!" Dena exclaimed when her open eyes revealed a single candle-lit table, set for two. To one side, a meticulously dressed man stood waiting to serve them.
Boba took her hand, placed it on his arm and led her to the table where he held the chair for her. On the table next to her plate was a small cloth covered box, "What's this?" She asked.
"Open it." Boba told her as he sat down in the chair across from her.
"You really didn't need to get me a present, Boba." Dena insisted as she unwrapped the cloth.
"I needed to get you this one." Boba replied.
Dena looked at him, "What is it?" She asked as she held the box.
"Open it." Boba told her again.
With a nod, Dena glanced down at the box as she slipped it open; inside it was a silver metallic bracelet, a single blue stone was set in the center of it, "Oh, Boba; I can't…this is…I just can't…." She stammered.
"You can't what?" Boba wondered, suddenly fearing that she would refuse it.
"It's too much." She protested.
"On Alderaan, there is a custom; when a man courts a lady, he gives her a bracelet like this." Boba explained as he took the bracelet out of the box.
"So you want to court me?" Dena asked.
Boba smiled as he took her wrist, "Yes." He answered and slipped the bracelet on and then put her hand to his lips and kissed it, "Oh yes."
She turned her hand over and brushed it over his cheek, "I love you." She said.
Boba clasped her hand and kissed her palm, "I have always loved you." He replied.
Zak leaned against the rail of the observation deck watching Hadrian as an instructor patiently demonstrated several exercises for him, "Watching your future Padawan again?" Obi-Wan asked as he came up to stand beside him.
"I don't know if I'll ever be Knighted, let alone take on a Padawan." Zak answered.
Obi-Wan clapped him on the back, "You will make a fine Knight, and a fine Master." He told the young man.
"After the way I behaved when we were suspended? I was childish and foolish." Zak replied.
"Granted, you should have known better than to think I had changed my mind suddenly after five years about training you; but not knowing if your training would ever continue was a terrible notion to deal with. I should have helped you more than I did." Obi-Wan said.
"I should have come to you for help; but I was too busy feeling sorry for myself." Zak admitted.
"Yes, but you are young yet; that will come with maturity." Obi-Wan assured him.
"He's good isn't he." Anakin observed, suddenly appeared next to Obi-Wan as he watched little Hadrian kick out, copying exactly the move he had just been taught, "And he will have a very good master to teach him everything else."
"Maybe." Zak replied.
"There is no maybe; I saw it the day you held him for the first time." Anakin revealed.
"I remember that; you looked as if you were suddenly somewhere else." Zak recalled.
"I guess I was in a way; but you were meant to be his master, just as Obi-Wan was meant to be mine and yours." Anakin told him
"Some things are just meant to be." Obi-Wan added.
Zak nodded thoughtfully and turned his attention back to the four year old dark haired youngling; as if he felt Zak presence, the boy turned his face upward and smiled at him. Zak smiled back, "Yes, Master; some things are meant to be." He agreed.