By Proxy


Scene 1


Feld Spruu is the sort of fellow whose notion of "surreptitious approach" would put a herd of stampeding banthas to shame; his presence therefore is easily discerned in the Force a full two minutes before he actually descends upon his intended victim – and when he raises a tendon-knotted hand to rap at the door panel, the portal is already sliding open before him on silent pressure pistons.

"Obi-Nobi!" he hollers, amiable and boisterous as ever. His rich baritone rolls pleasantly off the brightly illumined walls and ceiling. "You son of a slothful gundark! I come to beg a boon and you don't even have the decency to greet me in person."

The door hisses shut behind him as he crosses the threshold, extravagant lekku draped with a rakish elegance over both broad shoulders.

"I'll give you a personal welcome." No sooner is the promise made than it is fulfilled: his host appears in acute dishabille upon the threshold of an interior doorway, a dim meditation lamp in the room beyond faintly limning tousled bedclothes upon an ascetical palette, a pair of discarded field boots tucked in a corner, and a pile of rumpled cloth that might be discarded garments – were this not inconsistent with their presumptive owner's ingrained tidiness.

The Twi'Lek knight nearly laughs aloud, brushing off the threat with a knowing wag of his finger, and sallies into the miniscule kitchen nook to avail himself of his comrade's tea stash.

"Don't touch Qui-Gon's proprietary blend or he'll have your sorry blue hide." Having thus fairly warned the trespasser of the perils inherent in his present undertaking, Obi-Wan emerges into the sun drenched common room and folds himself onto a floor cushion. As an afterthought, and a courtesy to his blearily smarting eyes, he waves the blinds upon the balcony doors to a forty-five degree angle, shafting late morning radiance upward to the pale ceiling. "…And I'll have honey and milk in mine."

Feld has indeed come seeking a favor, so he accedes to this haughtily issued request quite demurely, kneeling to proffer the steaming bowl to his friend.

"Bribed with my own resources," Obi-Wan snorts, nevertheless taking a long and grateful draught of the aromatic brew.

Feld joins him upon the opposite cushion. "Speaking of resources, I'm glad to see you back in Temple. How was the stint as bodyguards to the Senate Funds Appropriation Committee?"

The younger Knight lifts his brows expressively over the rim of his bowl as he drains it. "I have been forbidden to express my personal opinion on the assignment for another twelve and a half days."

Feld guffaws, then leans forward conspiratorially. "I think you are forgetting that Master Jinn no longer quite holds the reins, my friend."

"I still have to live with the man."

Feld chuckles, then leaps boldly into the fray. There is no time like the present, nor is there any other time at all, metaphysically speaking. He might as well plunge straight to the point. "Listen, Obi-Nobi, the Council has slapped me with a courier mission overnight to X'thu – but the blasted wormhole's got an epidemic going on. I can't take Zhoa there – it's too short a notice for the healers to do an immunization."

"So leave her with the initiates for a day," Obi-Wan supplies. "Perhaps you need to let go the reins a bit?"

But Feld has not finished yet. "No no no… that's not the problem. She's …ah…."

"Yes?"

"Well, look: she's a girl, yes? So there are certain things in her mind I do not understand… among them this: she does not do so well in the initiate clans anymore. There has been some weeping about it lately."

That is interesting but not difficult to diagnose. "Well, she likely just needs to settle some unresolved issue with one or two other younglings." Obi-Wan can remember several cathartic and highly productive tussles from his own childhood days. Most seemingly insoluble dilemmas can be solved either by means of sweet-talk or aggressive negotiations. A Jedi must excel in both, and so why deprive the Temple's youngest residents of the chance to hone such vital skills?

But Feld shakes his head. "She is a girl, I tell you." He casts his eyes downward, mournful. "Nothing is easy as it seems with her."

Now his friend gestures helplessly with one hand."Why are you seeking my counsel? Try Bant."

"I don't want your advice," Feld blurts. "I just need you to watch her for the day while I am gone, eh? She finishes lessons mid-afternoon. "

"You want me to babysit your padawan while you are absent."

Stated so dryly it sounds like a ridiculous request, one unbecoming a Jedi's dignity. Obi-Wan has this capacity, to make things assume the hue and complexion he casts upon them with his words. It is an impressive talent to bring to a negotiating table, but one which sometimes causes friction in the realm of personal loyalties. Feld, however, is too wise to pay much heed to the sarcastic gripe. "You're perfect."

"I'm not available."

"What? You're on furlough- what's so pressing on your agenda?"

"I was planning to sleep for two days straight, if you must know."

"Well, now you are planning to succor the younger generation. Think of it as practice." The Twi'Lek Jedi claps his comrade on the shoulder and rises, content to interpret stunned silence as a pledge of help. "I knew I could count on you. I'd better make haste – my shuttle departs in one standard hour."