Hey Look! An update! Amazing?
Honestly, I had this thing ready months ago, then my compute decided it would be fun to delete it all, so I had to rewrite everything. That's been difficult on the account that I've picked up a second job, and now am working between sixty-five and seventy-four hours a week. It's hard to time find to write, although it seems like all I want to do. So no real idea when I can get the next part up.
Hope I still have readers! I love reviews! They are my motivation to keep this story alive!
Chapter Ten: Hope
"Please state your name."
He drew in a deep breath as he closed his eyes, gathering the Force around him to help keep his calm. "Obi-Wan Kenobi."
"And you are here today in investigation of the death of former student and rival Bruck Chun?"
Obi-Wan nodded briskly, hands clenched as he stood up taller, trying to keep his confidence strong. "That is correct."
"How do you plead?"
Without much of a pause he answered. "Not guilty." He wanted to add on that the evidence was somehow planted, he hadn't done anything wrong. They had to know that, didn't they?
"Interesting," the voice mused otherwise. "The council has come to a conclusion based solely off the evidence that Bruck's death was no accident. You killed Bruck Chun."
Obi-Wan shook his head, "No…"
"You attempted to pass it off as a mere accident, when in place you were seeking blood, revenge."
"That's not true," Obi-Wan pleaded once more, "I didn't…"
"You are a threat to not only your peers but to the entire order, you are a murderer Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Obi-Wan opened his eyes quickly, laying still in the darkness of the room. His heart was racing inside his chest, even as he mentally reminded himself that it had only been a dream.
The trial wouldn't take place for several more days yet, the Masters were still discussing the investigation in private. Until then he was on probation, which was ironic considering he had yet to be off his first probation. Even still the restrictions had been lifted; he was no longer required to stay directly in his room, although it had been urged of him to do so.
The rest of the Temple knew what was going on, and Obi-Wan had no power or influence over their thoughts. He was certain that there were just as many students out there that believed he was indeed a killer than those who knew of his innocence. Obi-Wan frankly wanted no part in it; he kept to his own quarters during the day, venturing out in the early hours of the morning, or the late hours of night when most students were asleep.
Rolling over to his side Obi-Wan let out a sigh, his eyes coming to a rest on the unoccupied sleep couch across the room. It only served as a reminder that he had not heard from his Master for days now. The Council was also still questioning whether or not to send a team to search for the missing Jedi.
Closing his eyes Obi-Wan summoned the Force, gathering it around him before sending it out, a feeble attempt to contact his Master. But it was as always, the last few days at least, a simple void. Obi-Wan tried to reassure himself that it was merely because of the distance. He was not yet experienced enough to contact him that far away. But somehow he feared it was mostly likely because his master was not as well off as he had hoped.
Shaking his head quickly the young Padawan sat up, resting his head in his hands. He knew that his Master was okay. He had to be, Obi-Wan was most certain he would know otherwise. Qui-Gon had been in some desperate situations before, all of which he had escaped with little to no harm inflicted. But it had days…he should already be back, not lost somewhere on a distant planet. And if complications had arisen, would his Master contact the Temple?
Obi-Wan was half tempted to take a ship of his own and follow his Master's route. It wasn't that he doubted the Jedi's skill, but he had little faith in the Council approving of sending another team out, and even less faith that everything would indeed be okay in the end. If he hadn't been in so much trouble at the present moment, Obi-Wan more in likely would have risked it. Of course it wouldn't take anyone long to notice his absence. Someone was always checking up on him at one time or another.
He had spent the earlier evening with Bant, and later on Garren had ventured to speak with him. It was nice seeing an old friend, and Obi-Wan dully realized that he and Garren were slowly drifting apart from one another. He could vaguely remember a time when he and his friend were nearly inseparable as he Bant were now. Garren had grown quite a lot since Obi-Wan last saw him, and they spent hours trading stories and experiences. For a brief moment Obi-Wan had been able to forget his situation. It wasn't long after they had parted that he had returned to his earlier gloominess.
Resting in his quarters he had his legs crossed underneath him, doing his best to meditate. It had always been a flaw of his, one that Qui-Gon tried to correct constantly. His Master had lectured him endlessly on the importance of relaxing his mind and body, allowing it connect deeper to the Force. He also stated it was a good way to clear one's mind, and clearing his mind was something Obi-Wan desperately needed to do at the moment.
Visions of Bruck and his deathly fall raced through his mind, the image of Bant's nearly lifeless face floating to the very brim made him shiver. He had done right, knowing somehow that she would have died if Bruck hadn't been stopped. Xanatos had planted his seed of evil in the boy's mind, corrupting him at a very early age. Obi-Wan knew how easy corruption was, he had seen it in Xanatos, had seen the same look in Bruck's eyes. The need for power, the build up greed, was his ultimate failure. If he could see that, then why couldn't the Council as well?
Lifting his head he stared at the door moments before the knock came. It was easy to feel her presence, and Obi-Wan wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not. He and Siri had never had the best of bonds before, struggling to just get along. Things were still not the best between them, but at least they could tolerate one another, and if the timing was right, actually understand what the other was feeling.
Siri gave him a nod, glancing both ways down the corridor before pressing her way inside. It surprised Obi-Wan, the Padawan taking a few steps back in order to keep from falling. Once she was inside to motioned for him to close the door and he did so, his curiosity now peeked. "What is it?"
"I just wanted to inform you that Adi Gallia and I are going to search for your Master."
He perked up at that alone, raising an eyebrow. "Really? The Council is sending another team?"
She shook her head, drawing confusion in him. "We volunteered. The Council is advising us against it. The systems are in War, any travel is dangerous."
"That's why they don't want to send someone out," Obi-Wan nodded, understandingly.
"That's why we volunteered," Siri corrected him. "Adi says she owes him one, sort of like a favor."
"You are telling me this why?" Obi-Wan wondered vaguely, knowing that the Temple should inform him at the very least. He felt the faint flicker of his heart as it began to race and he did his best to let go of his anxiety. Why was he so afraid when there was nothing to fear?
"The Council doesn't want you to know," she said simply. "I'm sure Mace would have told you anyways, but I wanted to make sure that you were aware. Adi and I are leaving at the digression of everyone else, but we both know that Qui-Gon risked his own well being to save someone. We should be able to do the same."
"I could go with you maybe," Obi-Wan blurted out suddenly, knowing the idea was far more than ridiculous. He wasn't sure exactly what he was thinking, other than the fact he desperately wanted to join in. It had been so long since he had last left the Temple he was itching to get out. Before it had been his home, and now it was little more than a prison. And to know that his Master was on a planet amidst in a war, it was unnerving.
"With everything you have going on now?" Siri wondered, raising an eyebrow. She scoffed lightly, but then her expression softened. "I didn't like Bruck much myself, and sometimes I thought of things…certain things a Jedi shouldn't think of. Back before when I was young and ignorant…before I met you."
She let out a sigh, then forced a smile. "I know you didn't kill him Obi-Wan. Xanatos did that, he's the one who corrupted him, led him to the dark side. It was in Bruck's lust for power and greed that he forgot what a Jedi is all about. He may have died that day, but to me he was dead long before."
Obi-Wan frowned, shifting uncomfortably. "Now you sound like a Master."
"I've had my own faults," she responded quietly. "I've made mistakes, and I've learned from them. Adi knows a lot, and she's taught me quite a bit. And the one thing I know is that she's pretty smart. She knows what we're getting into."
"So I gather the answer is no, then," Obi-Wan sighed patiently, glancing downwards. He should have expected it after all.
"You have your own concerns to worry about. Maybe with some luck my Master and I will have Qui-Gon back before your trail."
He gave her a small smile, watching as she left. It gave him small comfort to know that finally some one was going. Still he wished it had been him, but even more so he wanted to know why he was in this position in the first place. Obi-Wan knew that all the evidence had been placed. None of it was valid, the only problem laid in finding out who, and why.
The trees twisted and bent in various shapes and forms, hanging overhead as they continued further in. Qui-Gon hadn't really trusted them from the start, but at the same time he knew they weren't out to harm him. He could sense their unease, could tell that they were afraid. It was here he wasn't sure why. If it was because of his presence, or perhaps of something entirely different.
Ril hadn't paused nor slowed since fading away from the city. Every so often he would glance over his shoulder, his silver eyes searching. Qui-Gon thought at first he was watching to make sure he was following, but realized soon after that it was just the opposite.
He was making sure no one was following them. This is what first tipped Qui-Gon off. It was curious to why everything was so secretive. The shorter man even, introduced as Katehn, had kept to himself, not breathing a word as he ran after the other man in front of him, short legs working twice as hard to keep up.
Qui-Gon followed easily, long strides keeping pace without much work. He kept his focus solely on pair in front of him, but at the same time he pulled the Force in around him, keeping his sense up for the possibility of any type of threat. They were at war after all, and after an attack in the air, the Jedi Master wasn't putting it past anyone to attack on the ground either.
He became curious as they reached what seemed to be a dead end, large rocks jutting from the ground, blocking their view from whatever might lay beyond. Surely they didn't mean to climb it, but that seemed the intent as they neared.
Qui-Gon wasn't so worried about himself. The surface wasn't so steep, nor was it smooth. Even without any aided equipment the Force would do just fine alone. But it was clear the two beings before him had nothing, and from his suspicions he doubted that climbing was a natural ability for either of them.
His interest peeked as he watched the shorter of the two scurry forward, Ril hanging back as he came to stop, glancing around the area. Qui-Gon also came to a stop a few steps behind the man, watching as the youth tapped the rocky surface in several different places.
Even from there he could hear the soft beeps and buzzes, and somehow it didn't surprise him as the rock face shimmered, then vanished, leaving an open corridor. He heard Ril snicker next to him, the man's tone filled with pride.
"Built that himself when he was just seven. Got the mind of a genius I tell you."
"Where does this lead?" Qui-Gon asked calmly, watching as Katehn disappeared into the darkness, activating a glow rod to light their way.