Chapter 5 : The nightmare finally ends….
Ahsoka woke with her hands in ropes, and her head pounding. She remembered nothing from the previous night, which scared her. Racking her brain back to last night, she vaguely remembered falling asleep before a nightmare pulled that peacefulness away from her. That begged the question: what happened last night that ended up having her bound?
Her sensitive hearing picked up voices heading her way, and from the sound of it, it was the Professor and Gilligan. The Togruta's suspicion was put to rest when the two walked through the door, Gilligan holding a tray. Ahsoka's mouth watered as the smell of freshly cooked food, so on reflex she reached out only to be restrained by the rough material. The first mate smiled hugely and his blue eyes glittered innocently as he spotted the young Padawan. The Professor however, looked murderous and curious at the same time. The young woman didn't even know those two expression could exist on the same face at the same exact time, and she had to admit it was a weird thing to see.
"Hi!" Gilligan greeted happily, pulling Ahsoka's attention away from the scholar. The first mate set the tray down, while the Professor untied her restraints, allowing her to immediately dig in to her breakfast, but it was hard for her to enjoy it due to the Professor staring at her. When she was finished, Ahsoka stared right back at him. The stare off lasted five minutes, with poor Gilligan just standing there looking awkward and unsure of what to do. It was the Professor who spoke first.
"Now that you have eaten I want to ask you a few questions," the scholar explained. "And don't act like you cannot understand us. You were crying in your sleep the other night and using some sort of telepathy to throw the Skipper into the wall." Ahsoka felt her cheeks burn up in embarrassment as the Professor continued. "You were having a nightmare. And a pretty violent one at that. If you don't mind me asking, what was it about?"
Ahsoka dropped her head in shame. How could she tell these people about what happened at the temple? Sure she trusted them, but not enough to tell them her past. The memory of Barriss's betrayal was still too fresh in her mind, and the knowledge knowing that the Order was going to fall still hurt more than the burn on her side. No…. she would keep her mouth shut. Ahsoka didn't want these people to think she was a criminal. Tears prickled behind her eyes, and she had to blink quickly to shoo them away. She was the Padawan for the Chosen One, a strong independent young woman who could take care of herself. She was not going to cry in public.
"I really don't want to talk about it," Ahsoka croaked. The professor looked like he won an argument but hid the expression very well. Gilligan, on the other hand, looked ecstatic.
"Why not?" The professor prodded.
"I don't want you to think any different of me." The Togruta answered. Her throat was very scratchy from lack of use. She took a sip of water from the cup; the liquid was soothing on her sore throat.
"Why would we think different of you?" Gilligan asked. His head turned like a loth cat that was curious about something.
Ahsoka had to swallow before continuing. How could she tell these people that she was falsely accused of high treason against the Order without completely and utterly breaking down into tears?
Taking a deep breath Ahsoka explained, "I am…. or was an apprentice with this intergalactic order. They were widely known as Keepers of the Peace until they got drawn into a civil war with a defected member. My master and I had returned to the temple for some much needed rest, but someone had bombed the temple hanger, killing many Jedi. I was the main suspect in the bombings." A tear fell from her cheek. "A friend, or at least I thought she was a friend, actually did it and used me as a scapegoat. She was eventually caught by my Master right before my sentencing and brought before the Senate and the Council. They offered me a chance to rejoin the order since they stripped me of my status before the trial…. but I couldn't go back."
"Why not?" Ahsoka shot the scholar a hard look.
"Because they were so quick to accuse me of something that I had no hand in!" she snapped. Everything came crashing down in that moment: Barriss's betrayal, telling her master that she couldn't, no wouldn't come back after the council abandoned her, seeing the order she once loved and respected fall in a vision that would not take place for at least a couple more months and feeling an unseen darkness slowly take over the galaxy. All of it came back to her. Tears started to fall onto her folded hands as she continued, "They believed I had betrayed the Order, which had been my family ever since I could remember. And when I set out to find the truth, they sent my master and a good friend of mine on the council after me to bring me back to 'justice'."
"How did you get here?" Gilligan asked quietly.
"My ship was damaged while I was trying to find a place to live the rest of my life." She simply answered. The hut was plunged into silence as Ahsoka attempted to recompose herself. Gilligan got up and embraced the young Padawan, who simply broke down more. Ahsoka felt lost and this little hug from the First Mate of the S.S. Minnow helped her feel a little more grounded.
An hour later the three were busy with their chores, Ahsoka helping Mary Anne and Ginger with the dishes and clothes while Gilligan helped the Skipper and the Professor was working on inventions to make their lives on the island better and comfortable. Both human females noticed a change in the force sensitive teen. She smiled more, laughed at Ginger's jokes, and was all around more relaxed than she was when they first met her.
The day was uneventful and relaxing for everyone on the island. After dinner while everyone was preparing for bed Ahsoka decided to meditate. She hadn't done it in awhile, due to the nightmares but Ahsoka felt like she could meditate in peace now that she didn't feel haunted by the ghosts of her past. She was currently wearing one of Mary Ann's pink shirts that showed her toned stomach, and short shorts, sitting cross-legged in the commons area, surrounded by a circle of lighted torches. Her breathing was deep, and her eyes ere closed in concentration. The torches sputtered as the former Padawan reached deep into the Force.
Ahsoka, a voice whispered. Her eyes snapped open as she searched the camp. Everyone was down by the lagoon, stargazing and the voice didn't sound like anyone of them, and so she couldn't blame them. She shook her head, dismissing it as her hearing things. She returned to meditating, but was disrupted again when the voice spoke again, Ahsoka
The Togruta didn't waste any time standing in a fighting stance and having her saber out and ready to use in a moment's notice. "Who's there?"
Tense silence followed her questions. The torches sputtered despite it being a cool, yet still night on the quiet island. One by one they were extinguished, plunging the Togruta into darkness. Her breathing was rapid as she honed in her fighting skills and prepared for a necessary fight. Ahsoka's eyes scanned every shadow, looking for any that seemed too thick or that moved. Suddenly a bright flash that forced her to shield her eyes blinded Ahsoka. When she opened her eyes, she was looking at a young boy with bluish hair and a middle-aged man with brown hair tied back in a ponytail. They were standing next to a lime green Twi'lek female dressed like a pilot, a Mandalorian dressed in pink armor, a Lasat (weird) and an orange astromech droid. They were all staring at her with awe and fascination.
"Fulcrum?" the lime green Twi'lek gasped as if shocked that she would be there.
"Ahsoka. My name is Ahsoka Tano." She heard that herself say. Ahsoka blinked and was back on the island. But she wasn't alone. Her future self was standing in front of her, wearing a cloak to hide her features. Young Ahsoka just stood, her heart thundering in her ears.
"What are you doing here?" She asked her future self.
"I am here to show you what you are destined to do," She said.
"You've already shown me," Ahsoka whined slightly.
"I have shown you the future of the Jedi Order," The older Togruta corrected. "You have a different path to follow."
"Let me guess," Ahsoka pretended to think. "Does is it involve the vision I just had?"
"Yes." The future version of Ahsoka didn't either notice the sarcasm or she didn't care. "You are to lead a rebellion against the tyrannical government of the Empire."
"I have no intentions in leading a rebellion." Ahsoka said, crossing her arms.
"Unfortunately, you're destiny will not allow any room for argument." The older version of Ahsoka chastised. Her voice had a steely edge to it, leaving no room for argument. "However, you will have time to gather the necessary resources you will need. Your friend, Lux Bonteri, is on his way to you. All you have to do is guide him toward this island."
Older Ahsoka smiled underneath the hood. "You're smart. You will figure it out."
In a flash, the apparition was gone and Ahsoka opened her eyes. Strange she didn't think that she had closed her eyes. When the Togruta realized the torches were shorter then they were before she started meditating, she looked down to see that she was floating cross-legged above the sand. Apparently she was so deep in the Force that she achieved rising meditation, something even Master Yoda had trouble achieving sometimes.
"Hey Ahsoka!" she heard Gilligan call out. "You've gotta see what I-"
The first mate stopped in his tracks and mid-sentence when he saw the young girl floating several feet off the ground. When Ahsoka spotted Gilligan, she was dropped on the ground with an oomph. Gilligan rushed to help her up, and as he watched Ahsoka dust the sand off, he noticed that her blue eyes had that haunted look that they had when she told them that she used to be in a civil war and she had seen many good friends and allies die.
"Ahsoka are you okay?" Gilligan asked, forgetting about the pink and blue starfish that he found while night fishing with the skipper.
"Yeah I'm fine," Ahsoka answered but her voice had shakiness to it. When she turned to the first mate, Gilligan saw a young woman that was haunted by those she lost in the civil war. It was kinda spooky to see those types of brilliant blue eyes that should've been full of youth and happiness were dulled by the frightening image of war and life. When she spoke, Gilligan heard the maturity and fear seep through, "where's the professor?"
"Uh down by the lagoon," the first mate answered. "Why do you-"
Before he could say another word, Ahsoka was sprinting off towards the lagoon, the sand behind her practically flying as she attempted to go as fast as she could to get to the lagoon. Her older version of her had told her that Lux was on his way to her…..if that was true then she had to get a signal out to him before he found some unfriendlies.
"PROFESSOR!" Ahsoka shouted at the top of her lungs. "PROFESSOR! PROFESSOR! PROFESSOR!"
She continued this until she broke free of the clearing and nearly barreled into the scholar as he probably heard her screams all the way from there. As Ahsoka attempted to slow her breath down enough to speak, the Professor, Skipper, Mary Anne and Ginger all gathered around the youth as she coughed in an attempt to clearlys peak.
"Ahsoka is everything alright?" Skipper asked
"What's the matter sweetie?" Mary Ann inquired
"Did you see something?" Ginger grilled
"Did something happen to Gilligan?" Professor interrogated.
All those questions were asked in unison, with Ahsoka shaking her head each time they were asked.
When Ahsoka finally calmed her heart rate enough to speak. She asked the professor if they had a radio and some tools? The Professor nodded yes and asked why she needed them, only to get a vague reply from the former Jedi.
"I need to contact a friend." Ahsoka answered. The professor and the girl made their way back to camp, where the scholar gave her the necessary items she asked for. Thanking him, Ahsoka quickly went to work, unaware of the drama unfolding in the stars above her….
Jedi Temple, Coruscant…..
Anakin Skywalker sat in his quarters in the Temple, his moody attitude very fitting with the weather for the day. It was a dark, cloudy day, the skies threatening to rain down on the unsuspecting Capital of the Galactic Republic. The Council had given him some much-needed time to 'get over' the lost of his Padawan, Ahsoka Tano. The only ones on the council who seemed sympathetic to his problem were Yoda and Obi-wan, but even they had very little emotion to show. The Chosen One decided to clear his mind by working on a Pod-racing model. But his mind refused to leave the topic of his former friend. A week after the trial, Anakin tried to track down Ahsoka and bring her back to the temple where she belonged, but failed after he hit a dead in when he tried to figure out if she had bought a ship. He felt so angry with the council, no furious with the high and mighty, holier-than-thou Jedi Council. They couldn't see past their own problems. Anakin was so furious he didn't realize he crushed the pod-racing model like a soda can.
His communicator beeped bringing him out of his dark thoughts. It was his secret wife, Senator Amidala. Tossing the destroyed model in a disposable bin, he grabbed his cloak and headed out to the esteemed senator's private apartment. It took him less than thirty minutes to reach Padmé's apartment, where she was sitting on one of the couches with red rimmed eyes. She was wearing casual clothing, instead of her usual over the top, yet stunning dresses. In her hands, Padmé clutched a balled up tissue in her well-manicured hands, with at least twenty other used tissues on the coffee table.
She was staring blankly out the window when Anakin came in, lead by C3P0, who was absolutely pleased to see him.
"Oh Master Anny!" He exclaimed when he saw his creator. "Thank the maker you're here! Mistress Padmé has been inconsolable since Padawan Tano left."
"I know Threepio," Anakin stopped the droid from saying more. Skywalker had accidentally caught Kenobi crying in his quarters the day after Ahsoka left. "Where is she?"
And so that's how Skywalker found the Senator from Naboo. After ordering Threepio not to disturb them, Anakin sat down next to his wife, who didn't even realize that he was there. Apparently she did since she immediately laid her head down on his shoulder, her eyes brimming with fresh tears. Anakin stroked her head as she silently sobbed once more.
"I miss her," Amidala whispered. Her voice was shaky with emotion that almost made Anakin bawl.
"I do too," was all Anakin said.
"Oh Anny," Padmé pulled away and walked over to the window and hugged her self. "I went over to the temple to visit her. I was halfway there when I remembered that she no longer lived there." She turned to face her Jedi husband; her warm coffee brown eyes were filled with sadness. "Why? Why did she have to leave? Why did the council have to be so…so….so blind?!"
Anakin grabbed his wife as she continued to sob violently. They ended up kneeling down on the floor, rocking each other back and forth as they each sobbed. After about two hours, Anakin left the senator and headed back to the Temple, with an order to Threepio to keep an eye on Padme. When Anakin arrived back at the temple, Kenobi was already waiting for him so they could receive a mission from the 'High" council. Apparently a dead Jedi, Master Tu-Ahn, was found on Utapau and the locals want to know why she was there in the first place. Sighing Anakin and Obi-Wan made their way to the hangar in silence.
"Is everything alright Anakin?" Obi-Wan asked when he sensed sadness in his former Padawan.
"Yeah," the Chosen One answered crisply. However Obi-Wan wasn't fooled. With a red eyebrow raised, the Jedi counsel member tried a different approach.
"So how is Senator Amidala?" He asked.
"Fine," Anakin answered absentmindedly.
"And Jar Jar?" The red head prodded. "How is he?"
With a sigh, Anakin stopped what he was doing and turned to his former master as he realized what he was doing. "Okay, so is this about Ahsoka?"
Obi-Wan sighed. Apparently he wasn't as subtle as he thought. The red haired master decided to ask him head on deciding that it was probably the least likely way for Skywalker to explode on him most violently.
"Did you go looking for her?"
"I don't see how that's any of your business," Anakin completely shut down. Obi-Wan groaned mentally as he realized that trying to get Anakin to open up and talk to him was like trying to get a hormonal teenager to open up and talk to his or her mother. Sighing Kenobi decided to throw all tact out the window.
"You know we know that you went looking for her a week ago. It was in your star ship's database."
"I didn't know that the council went through the database of the everyone's star ships." Anakin commented and Kenobi could hear a hard edge in his voice, like he was restraining himself from yelling.
"They didn't," Kenobi winced slightly when Anakin glared at him hard. "I was worried about you Anakin. I didn't want you going off and doing something brash."
Anakin sighed through his nostrils, his hands clenching the controls so hard they started to spark slightly. The two Jedi sat in silence for the rest of the way to Utapau, but Kenobi could feel the anger and hate that the young master beside him was exuding. He would never admit it but his old Padawan frightened him sometime. Kenobi could only pray that Anakin would get over this.
They decided to take a detour to Utapau; according to Anakin it would be more of a slingshot. The two Jedi would go around a planet in the outer rim, using their momentum to their advantage and therefore get there faster if they went the other way. The planet they decided to slingshot around was a primitive world deep within the outer rim called Earth. Unfortunately as they were in the process of doing the slingshot, a canister filled with scuba gear broke off and plummeted through the atmosphere.
"I told you to secure that gear!" Kenobi chastised the young master once they were in hyperspace.
"Well it's not my fault that this ship is not worth any credits." Anakin argued back. The red headed master could only hope that the canister didn't injure any one too severely below.
Back on Island…
Ahsoka scowled as she took in her little device. It was a little crude considering the primitiveness of the radio but looks didn't matter if it worked like it should. Unfortunately the young Togruta was missing one little piece that couldn't be gotten on the island. The piece would help get the signal out farther and would hold it longer. And the piece was only available in her ship, which unfortunately currently was underwater. Growling Ahsoka pushed the device aside so she wouldn't destroy it in her anger.
"Everything alright Ahsoka?" The professor suddenly materialized behind the sulking Jedi, causing her to jump near clean out of her skin.
Once she calmed her heart down she spoke, "Yeah. Yeah I just can't get this blasted thing to work."
The professor humped in thought, picking up the newly tinkered with radio. It still had its outer shape but the top part was taken out with different wires twisted and turned this way and that. The knobs were taken off, with a knob from Ahsoka's shoto in its place. She hated destroying the last piece that connected her to her home, but the hope of being found outweighed the feeling of nostalgia. She kept the Kyber crystal from her shoto, but for some reason the bright green crystal changed to bleach white. Ahsoka had no idea why the crystals changed colors but they seemed more powerful now.
"Well it seems like everything is connected right," the professor scrutinized it, bringing Ahsoka out of her train of thought. The scholar turned a knob and put his ear up to the speaker, hearing the static turned it of and placed it on the table. "It works fantastically."
"Not really," Ahsoka corrected. She then went through this entire scientific conversation that the author was too lazy to go into detail about how she needed one little piece that would help the signal get through clearer and could reach farther out…but the piece is in her rust bucket of a ship that was currently rusting at the bottom of the ocean. The professor thought about the young Togruta's predicament when there was a high pitched whistling sound, one that caused Ahsoka to cover her montrals. The two looked to the sky where an object was hurtling towards the small community. It crashed with a large bang, causing sand to fly and some even turn to glass due to the extreme heat of the object. The entire group of castaways and Jedi gathered around the object, which looked suspiciously like a short torpedo. It had a stamp on the side, written in strange lettering. The Professor knelt down next to the strange device after pouring some water on it to cool it down.
"Ahsoka do you think you can read this?" The schoolteacher asked after a few unsuccessful attempts to read it. It looked alien to him, so who better to read alien writing than an alien? The young girl knelt down in the sand and closely looked at the symbol and writing. She froze and her heart sped up when she realized that this pod belonged to the Galactic Republic, but mostly the Jedi Order. With out another moment's hesitation, the young girl started to peel the hatch back but quickly reeled back when she realized the thing was still hot. So using the Force, Ahsoka managed to get it open and cool it down a little.
With her tongue out in concentration, Ahsoka started to pull out…scuba gear. As she laid down the gear out, it became clear to her that this was the exact gear used when she and her master assisted the Mon Calamari. It even had the helmet. Holding it in her hand, Ahsoka stared at her reflection, remembering the adventure when they assisted the young Prince Lee Char in regaining the throne and bringing justice to his father's murderer.
"What is it Ahsoka?" The Skipper asked. That question snapped Ahsoka out of it, and she held up the gear up with a slight smile.
"The answer to our problems." She answered simply.
Lux Bonteri stepped out of his ship, keeping an eye out for any sign of intruders or prying eyes. So far his ship has been attacked seven times by the 'United States Air Force' whatever that was and almost had been shot down if he didn't retaliate. Thankfully the former senator of Onderon had only shot down the plane in a part that gave the pilot plenty of time to get out safely. He set down in an empty field away from any village or inhabitance. Sighing the young senator sat down on grass, enjoying the warm evening while enjoying his dinner of rations from his ship compartment.
He was both physically and mentally exhausted. Of course the young politician had sent a message home that the mission would take slightly longer than anticipated, so the Prime Minister (whom Lux replaced after his mother mysteriously died) told him he would that he would take care of Onderon. Lux was starting to loose hope that Ahsoka was alive but there was that one spark that couldn't be snuffed out.
On the island….
After Ahsoka got the scuba gear on, the Professor put together a little raft and the two went out to where Ahsoka's ship was. Thankfully the Togruta had two-way communicators that were short range. When the two finally got out to the place where her ship was, the professor dropped a makeshift anchor into the water. While Ahsoka was prepping herself for the dive, her mind wondered to the boat the Professor put together. If the professor could make anything out of bamboo, like Gilligan said, then why didn't build it in the first place and get off the island. But she supposed she shouldn't be complaining because without them, Ahsoka would be stranded on the island a lot longer than a couple of days.
Once the anchor was dropped, Ahsoka stood up carefully and made her way over to the edge, her light saber hooked on her waist. After making sure that everything worked properly, Ahsoka took a deep breath and dove into the water. With a single, strong kick Ahsoka made her way down to the bottom, using the lights on her helmet to light the way. The young Togruta theorized that it took about two hours to get to the ship, and she had about five hours of air in her tanks. After about an hour and a half (she was kicking really hard) she finally made it. She unhooked her light saber and used it to cut an entryway for her.
The panels were easy to cut and once she made sure she could get through without any problems, Ahsoka made her way towards the communicating station. She was right in her assumption in that the saltwater deteriorated most of the equipment but thankfully the one little part she needed was perfectly functioning. She extracted it carefully and stuffed it in a pouch for later. Ahsoka was about to make her way back up to the surface, when she stopped as she recognized the Holonet beeped. Surprising that it would work underwater.
After she had a fifteen second internal debate, Ahsoka decided to listen to a little part of the Holonet. She fast-forwarded it to the last recorded event, her eyes widening when she saw an event with a dead Jedi found on Utapau and her eyes widened even more when she found that Kenobi and Skywalker were going to investigate. When she was finished, Ahsoka had at least three hours of air left so with a single kick, the young Togruta made her way back to the surface. The Professor jumped slightly when her head broke the surface. He helped Ahsoka into the boat, and when the Togruta was safely in the little boat, she removed her helmet and took a breath, the news on the Holonet still swirling around in her head. But she dismissed it for now as she handed the professor the last piece to the transmission.
Back over Hawaii…..
Lux Bonteri decided to head back into his ship for some rest. He was just about to lie down on his cot after setting the alarms just in case someone decided to drop in for an unexpected visit, when he received a notification that he was getting an audio message. With an over exaggerated sigh, the senator stood up and walked over to the COM table. He pressed the button and waited several minutes before speaking.
"Hello?' He heard a sigh on the other side of the line.
"Lux…. it's so good to hear your voice." The former senator's heart dropped to his feet when he recognized the voice. It was Ahsoka, his love, alive and well!
"AHSOKA!" Lux shouted in happiness. Tears started to flow as the ember of hope that lay dormant started to smolder into a flame. A flame that would soon grow into a burning bonfire if he didn't keep under check. "Where are you? Are you all right? Are you hurt?"
"Lux calm down!" Ahsoka's signal was starting to become hard to hear. "I….you….follow…..coordinates….island…..Lux!" Ahsoka's voice vanished instantly, causing Lux to become worried.
"AHSOKA! AHSOKA!" Lux shouted, worried. He quickly started the ship up and followed the coordinates. It was a lone landmass far south of the island he was on. The young senator gave the ship all it could give as he flew, not bothering to mask his signal. Ahsoka was alive and he had her coordinates!
Ahsoka sat on the beach, looking up at the starry night sky. Somewhere in the endless void of space, her master was tending to the murder of a fellow Jedi. Whoever was murdered, it was a bad omen. Despite being a Jedi, Ahsoka wasn't as superstitious as her fellow Padawans, knights or masters. But this murder gave Ahsoka a sinking feeling deep in her gut. If what her future self and the Daughter said were true, then the time was drawing near for what Ahsoka was destined to do. But thankfully she wasn't alone.
The young Togruta thought about what happened earlier that day. After Ahsoka had contacted her love, she had informed them that there was a possibility that he was on his way. To say they were ecstatic would be an understatement. They immediately started to pack their things, while Ahsoka prepared a signal fire. Unfortunately that back fired slightly. That attracted a human airplane, which landed and the pilot started to help the castaways. Ahsoka stayed in the shadows, and watched them get help. When they were about to leave, Gilligan said he remembered that he forgot something. He ran back into the jungle but stopped when he reached Ahsoka's hiding place. The former Jedi looked at him confusingly.
"Gilligan?" She asked. "Are you okay?"
"Just wanted to say goodbye," he said. He pulled out the radio and gave it to the Togruta who took it gratefully. "Here, just in case you need to call for help."
Ahsoka took with a smile on her face. She threw her arms around the first mate, swallowing the tears that had build up in her throat. Ever since arriving on the island, Gilligan had been the most trusting of her. Ahsoka let go first after picking up the Skipper yelling his name and watched the young first mate go. After they had left, Ahsoka stayed at the beach, keeping the fire hot and listening to the radio. She had cried hard after the sun had set but was soon dried out so she just sat there, staring at the sand.
At about midnight, Ahsoka had dozed on the sand, the fire nothing more than embers. Her breathing was steady, even and deep but she was awoken when she heard a sound of an engine. Waking up and rubbing her eyes, Ahsoka looked up and saw Lux's ship approach. Getting up, she started to wave wildly at the passing ship, screaming at the top of her lungs. The ship landed on the sand, blowing the particles in her face. She shielded her face as it landed, and the when the door opened up, her heart skipped a beat.
There standing at the top of the landing was Lux Bonteri. Ahsoka hadn't seen the young senator from Onderon since the rebellion against the Separatist government that took over another planet. The young Togruta ran over to the young senator and tackled him in a hug. When they stood, Lux stroked her cheek gently.
"Let's get outta here, huh?" He asked. With a nod, Ahsoka and Lux silently entered the ship without even looking back. Some adventure this turned out to be….