Well, here's my next story! Note that this is not a sequel to my last story Communication, Or Lack Thereof, however, I do have one in the works that I have outlined and will be starting on as soon as I finish up the short story I'm currently working on.
Hopefully this story will entertain you as well!
Thanks to Miana Kenobi for the beta. :)
Title: A Different Kind of Exercise
Timeframe: Anakin is in his late teens
Characters: Obi-Wan, Anakin
Summary: Anakin just wants to have a little fun, but we can't have that now, can we?
Notes: This is one of my first fics. It is fairly short and is written primarily as a writing exercise to practice dialogue and action sequences before I get started on a longer story.
"Are you sure you want to do this, Anakin?" Obi-Wan asked skeptically. "We're not obligated to, you know."
"I know that, Master, but you know, it does look like a worthwhile activity." Anakin replied.
"And . . . ?" Obi-Wan prodded.
"And . . . it looks kind of fun too. But really, Master, a bit of fun won't kill us." he said, a hint of pleading in his tone.
Obi-Wan let out a sigh. "Very well, Padawan, we will participate. Though don't say I didn't warn you."
"Really, Master, they can't be that bad." Anakin replied with a grin, happy though somewhat surprised that Obi-Wan had actually agreed to participate in the quarterly Jedi Temple training exercise. Being an active field team, he and Obi-Wan rarely participated in such activities, and that was fine by him. But he was curious, and wanted to see what one was like.
"Well, you'll just have to find out for yourself, Padawan. Personal experience is the best teacher, after all." came the amused reply.
"Of course, Master," Anakin agreed, feeling slightly less excited now. It was ridiculous, of course. Anakin resolved not to worry about it, determined to take advantage of what could very well be a fun activity. It was a simple training exercise – surely it couldn't be all that bad, could it?
"Anakin! For the last time, get up! We're going to be late." Obi-Wan's voice filtered through his sleep-muddled conciousness. He tried to burrow deeper into the blankets, but they were suddenly torn away. Anakin bolted upright to see his Master fling the blankets aside.
"Yes, Master, I'm up now, Master," he replied dutifully. How was he to have known that the training exercise was to start at such an early hour? After Obi-Wan left the room Anakin stumbled out of bed, got dressed, and went to meet Obi-Wan in the common area.
"Its about time, Padawan. Considering that this is your idea, I'd have thought you'd be more enthusiastic." he said teasingly.
"Just give me a chance, Master, we haven't even gotten started yet." he said, rolling his eyes. "As you pointed out, we do need to go now."
With that, they left, and took an aircar to the Senate building. There, a level had been closed off especially for the training exercise. Why it hadn't just been held at the Temple, Anakin would never know.
They arrived just in time, and seated themselves with the other participants. Anakin recognized few of the Padawans, and even fewer of the Masters and Knights.
"Good morning, everyone," boomed a voice from the front of the room, "And welcome to the two-hundred and seventeenth quarterly Jedi Temple training exercise, Senior Padawan and above level. For those of you who don't already know me, I am Master Windu and I have been given the honor of heading this exercise."
"More like he lost the monthly pool," came a quiet snicker from behind him. Anakin smirked but quickly resumed a neutral expression as he saw Master Windu direct a glare towards his area.
"Here's how it's going to work," Master Windu continued, "The premise of this exercise is that there are unknown enemies in your midst that attempt to escape from the area after stealing confidential data. A small number of you will take on the role of the enemy, though most of you will act as defenders in this exercise. Additionally, there will be a few among you who will act as non-combat participants in this exercise, meaning that they will be unable to engage or defend against enemies. The goal of the defenders will be to stop the enemy while ensuring the safety of the non-combatants."
"You will each receive a kit for either a defender, an enemy, or a non-combatant. Each of these will contain the appropriate mock weapon, if any, and in the case of the enemy, your mission information. Color-coded vests are also included for the sake of identification."
"Before we begin the exercise, you all will be allowed to spread about the level however you wish, and mingle with each other as you would normally. At a random time after that, you will be signaled by a bell tone over the audio system to open your kit and will find out what your role is. At this point, the exercise begins. Further details as to your goals are contained in each kit.
"And to try and make this exercise a bit more . . . interesting . . ." he said with a slight grimace, "There will also be a surprise element in this exercise" at this point he paused and let out a deep breath, "Any questions before we begin?"
A hand raised in the back. "Yes, Knight Zaler?"
"Will you be participating as well, Master Windu?" came the eager query.
Master Windu smiled broadly. "No, Knight Zaler, I will most certainly not be." he said, almost happily. "Only supervising it. Any other questions?" His question was met with silence, and he continued, "Then pick up your kits on the way out, and get moving, people. Enjoy." Unclasping his hands, Master Windu stepped down from the podium and headed to the door to oversee the distribution of the kits.
Anakin and Obi-Wan shuffled over with the rest of the Jedi to get their kits, and then headed out into the hallway.
"What now, Master?" Anakin asked, looking at Obi-Wan expectantly.
"Well, do you see anyone you know that you'd like to visit with? We are supposed to mix however we'd like." Obi-Wan replied.
Anakin scanned the crowd and shook his head, not seeing anyone that he'd care to socialize with. "No, Master. Looks like you're stuck with me." he said mischievously.
"Alright, Anakin. Since we didn't have time for breakfast before we left, why don't we go and get something to eat?" he suggested as he headed down the corridor.
"Eat?" Anakin said blankly, following him automatically.
"Yes, Anakin." Obi-Wan replied patiently, "This is a part of the Senate building, you know, and they have a food dispensary on every level."
"Oh. Of course." Anakin replied, feeling quite ridiculous.
As Obi-Wan had said, there was indeed a food dispensary. Grabbing a couple of packaged meals, Anakin and Obi-Wan seated themselves in the lounge area to eat, along with several other Knights and Padawans.
Hours later, the exercise still had not started. Obi-Wan leaned close to Anakin and said quietly, "Padawan, do stop fidgeting. It will start when it starts."
"I wasn't fidgeting, Master," Anakin replied, miffed. "I was merely shifting my weight."
"Well, why don't you go and shift your weight out in the corridor. A short walk would do you good." he said pointedly.
"If I didn't know better, Master, I'd say you were trying to get rid of me," he said as he stood up. "I know when I'm not wanted," he said good-naturedly.
Obi-Wan made shooing motions with his hands, and Anakin scurried out into the corridor and wandered around aimlessly. He didn't stray too far from where Obi-Wan was though, since he would prefer that they work together when the exercise started.
Just as boredom was starting to set in again, Anakin was jolted out of his stupor by the clear, high tones of a bell sounding over the audio system. It was time! Anakin quickly opened his kit and inventoried the contents: a mock 'saber, a maroon vest, and a data pad. Scanning the contents of the data pad, he discovered that he was one of the few participants that was to be an enemy. Anakin grinned devilishly, pleased to have gotten one of the more challenging positions. True, this meant that he probably couldn't work with Obi-Wan . . . but perhaps it would be more fun working against his Master for a change. Slipping on the vest and tucking the blaster in his pocket, he quietly stole down the corridor. He had data to obtain.