Chapter Twenty-Eight

Qui-Gon entered the mostly deserted palace communications station and saw the anxiously waiting holographic image of Master Yoda, noting the rare display of stress upon the Jedi's features. Before he accept the transmission though, he turned to Panaka and another technician present.

"I would like some privacy please, if that's possible."

"Of course." Panaka answered, ushering the young man from the room before Qui-Gon accepted the communication.

"Master Yoda. It's good to see you."

"Time for pleasantries, we have not." Yoda barked back in reply. "A serious situation we have."

"Has there been a terrorist threat made?" Qui-Gon exclaimed in mock alarm.

"No."

"Is the Temple in danger? Yourself or another council member?"

"No. Worse than that." Yoda croaked in reply. "Something that affects the entire Order this is! And the fault in its entirety, on your Padawan does it lie!" A blue holographic claw stabbed toward Qui-Gon.

"Master Yoda! What are you talking about?"

Playing blissfully ignorant often worked for Qui-Gon when dealing with the ancient council member, but suddenly Mace Windu stepped into the transmission, and the rules abruptly changed.

"This is serious, Qui-Gon. I'm afraid the Jedi Council is demanding your Padawan's braid. Obi-Wan will be transferred to AgriCorps upon your return to Coruscant."

"On what grounds?" The Jedi Master exclaimed, nearly coming out of his seat.

"Informed the Padawans at the Temple about the tea, he did."

"Is that all?" Master Jinn asked, much more relaxed.

"Qui-Gon, the entire Temple is in an uproar! There are Padawans sleeping with other Padawans! Jedi sneaking out to the pleasure establishments in the Lower Levels! It's utter chaos!"

Qui-Gon struggled to keep a straight face, but his curiosity got the best of him. "What happened to the tea?"

"Put it into the Temple sewage system, they did."

Obi-Wan's Master lost his battle and bent his head to hide his wide grin. "That should take care of the Temple's rodent population for a while." He said when he raised back up, but his joke fell flat. Neither of the Masters on the other end were smiling.

"How can you be taking this so lightly?" Mace declared in disbelief. "Did I not make myself clear before? Your Padawan is not going to be a Jedi!"

"Certainly, he will." Qui-Gon answered as he leaned back, crossing his arms. "Because he's not the one who contacted Padawan Muln and Reeft about the tea. I was."

The Jedi Master could have sworn he saw a flash of disappointment cross Windu's face, but he wasn't sure.

"Then your responsibility this is." Yoda replied more quietly. "Return to the Temple to help re-establish order, you should."

Qui-Gon turned his attention away from the holographic display to note a ravishing female standing in the doorway of the comm station. It was the same council member that had caught his eye before, however, her long dark hair was now flowing softly over her tanned, bare shoulders, and she wore a simple, but rather revealing gown that tied about her neck. The look she was casting him left little doubt as to her intentions, and in response, the Jedi Master disabled the visual option of the communication.

After assuring the Coruscant Jedi that the transmission was still active, Qui-Gon listened to his comrades bicker and complain about the chaos that had eruped in the Temple because of what he had done, but his attention was focused upon the intoxicating woman who had straddled his lap and had loosened his long hair, running her fingernails along his scalp.

But when Yoda demanded his and Obi-Wan's immediate return, Qui-Gon pulled his lips away from the smooth skin of his new lover's neck and responded.

"No. I think we shall stay on Naboo for a while." He replied. "From what I understand, if there is a mess in the Temple, it's of the Council's creation, and they should be the one's to clean it up. Obi-Wan and I have some leave coming, and we're taking it now."

"That's not an option, Qui-Gon." Mace argued, although he knew his friend, as always, would do what he wanted.

However, Qui-Gon was losing his focus on the conversation as the Naboo council member reached down and freed his erection, fondling its rapidly-growing length.

With just the slightest hesitation, the Jedi Master reached out to cut the transmission, smiling at the double meaning of his final words. "Jinn, out."

-End-