Annoyance filled him but he didn't allow it to show on his aging face. The council once again wanted him to take a new Padawan. After his last failed attempt one would think they had learned their lesson.
The corridors of the temple were unsurprisingly empty. It was the middle of the day for initiates. Almost all students would be in class unless they were chosen. Those that weren't had the presence of mind to avoid him. However seeing two boys running down the hall surprised him.
Both looked to be about the age of twelve. One was in a flight suit given to fighter pilots to small craft. The other had an ear piece in for a comm device.
Dooku stepped aside to allow the boys to pass. He was vaguely interested to see where they were going. The pace they were going at spoke of urgency. His own trailed just enough to keep them in sight but not to be noticed.
As they drew closer to the hangers he frowned. Initiates were not allowed in ships. At that age they were barely old enough to be entering the simulations. The hanger in particular they entered was one rarely used. Mainly it was storage for damaged ships. Masking his force presence he entered behind them. As a pilot himself he was curious to see what the children were doing.
A large silver ship with a black wolf painted on the wing. It appeared to be an older model but in decent shape. There were several laser scars that he could see had been repaired. Whoever owned this thing was a skilled pilot and mechanic.
The boy in flight gear called out, "Oi, Obi Wan! We are here. What was the big emergency?"
Emergency? He didn't hear of anything. A sandy brown mop of hair appeared out of the cockpit. It was followed by a boy with blue grey eyes in a flight uniform. A patch on the uniform designated him the pilot. Same symbol as was on the wing.
The boy grinned though there was an underlying sadness in his eyes, "It's finally flyable."
The two other boys stilled in surprise. Even the force around them went still almost unnaturally so. Then it was gone with excited shouts.
"Really?! Have you tried taking it into the air yet? Is the fold systems online yet? What about the weapons and communication systems?"
The sandy haired boy let out a sharp whistle and both boys still again. The control this youngling had over the other two. What kind of friendship was this?
The boy sighed looking at the ship, "Vital systems are online such as the fold and communication systems. Weapons are not online as of yet I'm still working on them. It is enough for us to take off however."
The boy in the flight suit on the ground said, "Well let's get this show on the road. We probably have another hour before the masters notice our disappearance."
Oh really? How often did these children skip classes to play with this ship? Did they not care that masters wouldn't take them? It was time to end this.
He stepped out of the shadows and released his force presence. All three students turned to face him. The boy on the ship face darkened. There was something more to this one than the other two.
Dooku said sternly, "I believe that you three are supposed to be in class. What are your names?"
The one on the ship said darkly, "Initiate Obi Wan Kenobi, Garen Muln, and Reeft."
Kenobi? That name sounded familiar. The Force urged him towards the boy but he held off. The look in the boy's eyes said that he wouldn't be open to it.
The other boy said, "Obi Wan... it's okay. We don't have to argue with the Master."
Kenobi snarled his anger rumbling through the Force, "I don't need this Garen. You still have a chance to find a master. I'm never going to find one. Instead I'll return to the stars."
That expression he knew very well. Return to the stars was a saying only used by shadow pilots. As an extremely rare group of individuals he only encountered them once. They were in a trade dispute with a planet. Looking for a resource few had ever heard of. Protoculture.
Dooku said plainly, "A shadow pilot in the temple. Now isn't that a rare occurance."
The boy bared his teeth. The sigh of the wolf suddenly made more sense. His inner beast was that of a wolf. Shadow beasts in their own right were rare. Pilots that had such harmony with them even more so. Again the question came. The question entered his mind. Did this boy have a master. If not then how?
Dooku said calmly his eyes never leaving the pilot, "Your friend is right. Arguing with me would only make your situation worse."
The one with the communicator groaned, "Oh no."
The other boy groaned as well and both took large steps backwards. It was as if they were preparing to watch a fight. The Force trembled in warning. This boy was not to be taken lightly then.
The boy snarled, "Things couldn't get worse here. People believe I am broken. My men..."
The boy shook. Not with anger or fear but in self loathing. What happened to this boy?
Muln said gently, "Obi Wan... What happened to your squadron wasnt your fault."
The boy shook his head. It was obvious that he didn't believe the words. He jumped down from the ship and as he stood up he tapped his wrist against the hull. To Dooku's surprise the ship folded into itself. Eventually becoming a circular band on the boy's wrist. Then blue grey eyes turned to him.