From: The Jedi Council
To: Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
Re: Padawan Anakin Skywalker
Our warmest congratulations on taking your first Padawan. This is an important step for all those who are chosen by the Force to serve it. Our thoughts are with you as you begin this important journey.
As you know, the first six weeks of an apprenticeship is vital. You will form a bond that will last not just until your Padawan's Knighting ceremony, but until the day that you become one with the Force. Moreover, you will establish patterns, habits, and disciplines that will affect your Padawan's success in the service of the Force. These same patterns may be passed on for generations of apprentices to come.
At the end of six weeks, the Council will convene for an official, but completely routine review of your progress. To this end, we would ask you to keep a daily journal of the activities and lessons that you engage in with your Padawan. Find enclosed a checklist of suggested training topics and feel free to use these as a guideline in starting this important journey.
Once again, our best wishes for your success in this new challenge.
/uca 1 of 2
Attachment: Training Checklist
The meaning of the Padawan braid
Meditation focal points
Seven cuts drill
The Jedi Code
The Cycle of Evils
Basic prophecies and philosophies
History and tour of the Temple
The Cycle of Evils
The Padawan's Pledge
The current Council members
The current Chancellorship and his advisory council
/uca 2 of 2
We did not have much time for lessons today. After appropriating Anakin's new robes from the Council, we had only twenty minutes to change, take care of his Padawan braid, and take the transport to the celebration of Naboo's victory.
I didn't have time to give him the same lecture that Master Jinn gave to me about the purpose of the braid, but I think that he has a basic grasp, having dealt with the loss of the man who should have been his Master. I used his own hair, combined with strands of my braid and Qui-Gon's because we all have a part in each other's heritage and what Anakin was given by that great man will strengthen the bond we will form, just as it strengthens the braid.
Or at least, I hope so.
After solemnly observing that it makes him feel as though Qui-Gon were still with us, coupled with my assurance that he will always be with us in spirit, Anakin promptly tugged on the braid and wondered if this was going to be the leash I'd use to drag him everywhere.
Already, I think he's too much like Siri and Qui-Gon for his own good and my personal sanity. Hopefully, that'll disappear with age. I fear that I'll find myself becoming more like him instead.
The celebration went well. "General" Binks only fell over twice, Anakin was appropriately unfidgety for once, and Master Galia even told him he behaved himself just like a Jedi Knight. I appreciate her words of encouragement, since I have the feeling that Anakin will listen to anyone but his Master.
Part of that problem seems to be communication. He didn't realize I was within earshot when Queen Amidala asked if he was getting along all right and he confided that he had no idea how to talk to me. She suggested he tell me a story or a joke, which I appreciated, since that's usually a safe way to break down barriers.
I didn't know that it would mean the rest of the day would be spent hearing the five thousand known variations on "Why did the eopie cross the dune?"
Since we have to leave at 0500, I was gratefully able to use the excuse that we should make it an early night. The impudent whelp asked for a bedtime story, a personal tuck-in, and a light left on in the corner. What am I, his mother? This is why children are taken young. I surmised that he was missing Qui-Gon, his mother, and everything he'd known and he was used to sleeping in the light of a system with two suns, so I made an exception.
Tomorrow, he will learn how to cooperate with Jedi standards. The list provided by the well-meaning and highly oblivious Council may help.
I should have more patience with the boy, but I suppose that my brusqueness is a result of being recently orphanedaio;jwefsdflwefiosf...
Note to self: Edit out the typos resulting from a narcoleptic faint on top of the datapad.
All right, I will be the first to admit my mistake. I will never again submit a Council member to 'entertainment' from my Padawan. On pain of death, no doubt.
Master Yoda volunteered to accompany my Padawan while I took a comm from Republic Welfare and Guardianship. I thought it a wise idea, since Anakin has a fairly irrational fear of the grumpy old troll, and he certainly needs exposure to other Jedi.
When I returned, however, Master Yoda hobbled past, muttering something about "curb his impetuous humor the boy must. Sarcasm leads to hate..."
And then, my Padawan hobbled past.
Obviously Master Yoda's favorite walking stick made an intimate acquaintance of Anakin's shins. While this is not unusual, I have seen Yoda be as patient and kind as a whisperkit with beginning students.
Naturally, I had to enquire as to what had happened.
"I was feeling left out," Anakin mumbled.
I have added speaking clearly to the training checklist, but that is beside the point.
"Feeling left out how?" I queried gently, not wanting to upset him further.
The story came out rather sheepishly in the end, once Anakin confessed that Yoda and Yaddle had engaged in a conversation that he could hardly understand. Having felt left out of the 'funny-talk club,' he chose to exercise the option of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." He joined 'em by talking like a Gungan.
He probably got five sentences into things such as "Mesa bustin' wid happiness talking to yousa gen, Yodiday," before Yoda performed some corporeal instruction.
He's fortunate to still be in one piece. Master Yoda is not known for his sense of humor on matters of language. As it is, my very young apprentice is milking it for all it's worth, mournfully showing his bruise (about the size of a decicred, but the way he stumbles around, it might as well be a compound fracture) to anyone who will show concern. As a result, I think he's heard similar stories from every female on the Council and has verified the rumor that Erae Suka (the Council secretary who signs each transcription with the moniker of "UCA" to stand for Unfortunate Council Aide) had her kneecap broken by that blasted gimer stick.
I wonder if any of this can be used as highly useful blackmail material.
Note to self: review this file for editorial changes before presenting to the Council. Second note to self: exercise some self-control next time.
We spent much of the day going through the datawork required to transfer legal guardianship to me. Qui-Gon had obtained the official signature of one Shmi Skywalker of Mos Espa as well as the boy's apparent owner, but the difficulty lay in the clause that the Jedi Order had to have official sanction from RWG to transfer that consent transferred to the Order. Then they have to officially assign guardianship to me, whereupon I will apply in the courts for...
This is all too much to think about. Suffice it to say that Anakin learned that even a Jedi must have patience today. Perhaps he didn't learn it from me.
Anakin surprised me today, starting with the moment that I awoke to find that he'd already arisen, showered, and gotten dressed in time to appropriate some mujafruit crisps from the galley. I suppose that a life of slavery teaches you a certain self-reliance, but I haven't had time before today to start thinking about what that might mean.
We finally finished the bureaucratic nonsense by the time the muja crisps ran out and before our patience did (by some immensely significant miracle), but it will still mean several hours of interviews and flimsiwork at RWG and then hours of waiting for processing at Civilian Records and Information. At least, at the end of it, we won't have to worry about legal issues again.
Today seems to be the official feeling-out period. He knows that I don't have much of a sense of humor. (This is allegation, not mine. I personally think that a lack of appreciation for "Knock-knock" jokes does not a stuffed shirt make.) I know he will question everything, which is understandable for a child whose only knowledge of the Force is that he can do "neat tricks" and be warned of danger with it.
One has to wonder at his education level. Certainly, his reading is below par, his grammar atrocious, and I will certainly have to educate the words "wizard" and "yippee" out of his vocabulary, but while he is certainly no alumni of Coruscant Recluse for the Gifted, he is far from hopeless. He has an eagerness to learn (an advantage) and an insatiable curiosity (something to be feared like the Pyraes Plague).
We celebrated by going to acquire a proper breakfast. Unfortunately, no matter how unholy the hour, Yoda always seems to be awake. It's the unspoken rule of the Temple. After yesterday's "entertainment," I was tempted to send Anakin after the food while I intercepted our jolly green midget.
Yoda had other things in mind. Ignoring me completely, he rapped Anakin on the shins with his walking stick and spoke the first words of the day to him.
"Bustin' wid happiness seein yousa again mesa is, young Padawan Skywalker."
I had the misfortune of drinking a hot mugful of tisane and may have permanent burn damage from that moment when it evacuated through my nasal cavity.
Anakin took this as a peace offering, which was probably more accurate than my suspicion that Master Yoda had finally cracked.
"Grateful to see I am you," he attempted.
The second rap was more affectionate than reprimanding as Yoda left the room.
"Congratulations, young one," I managed to say at last. "I think you've just made another friend and Qui-Gon is rolling over in his grave."
The cheeky whelp, he turned and demanded to know how Qui-Gon could roll over in his grave if his ashes were scattered all over the plains of Naboo.
This, of course, led to the remainder of his training in Jedi funerary practices. It was one that I had no desire to explain, since even at my age, I am prone to question it myself.
We don't believe in burial because the body is only a manifestation of the eternal spirit that lives on in the Force...
We believe that this is why some Jedi disappear upon death...
The only thing that happens at death is the assumption of the soul into the Force, so what is done with the body is meaningless...
But what we had chosen for Qui-Gon was not meaningless to me. A pyre, he had once told me, is an honor to the memory of the person who has gone before because it commemorates the fire of their nobility as well as the beacon that they will always be to those who come after.
No, it was not meaningless. I think it's the first thing that Anakin and I have agreed upon since the moment he arrived onboard at Tatooine.
I shall have to take Anakin to the Memorial as soon as we arrive. I have always loved the pyre fueled by the components of the lightsabers of the fallen heroes. He will at least understand the reason for that.
I'm afraid for him because he is a sensitive and caring child, but will be misunderstood because of his inexperience. We can hope they will stop long enough to realize that he has more valuable experience than the ability to recite fifty pages of philosophy.
We spent most of the day with borrowed 'toys' that are on every Jedi transport to keep Force skills at their peak. Anakin is nothing if not determined, so the little progress he made will undoubtedly improve.
We will spend the rest of the day in meditation, since he has yet to overcome his squirm.
How can I feel such protectiveness for a child I've known mere days and haven't spoken to more than a few dozen times? Perhaps this is the heritage Qui-Gon left for me. I think I'm losing my perception of pathetic life forms.
Qui-Gon used to joke that all learning experiences will be mundane until the moment that an epiphany is reached...and then will be interrupted.
He used this to explain every time a war would interrupt the acquisition of a new skill or duty would interrupt our yearly 'instructional excursions' (the euphemism that we all use to avoid admitting that Jedi have to take the occasional vacation).
He even used it to explain the time that a hawkbat interrupted Master Yoda's class by getting tangled in the few strands of hair that he still has on his head.
I now understand that it is more than the wry joke that I thought it to be for so many years. Anakin will interrupt every lesson by wanting to know when he can have his lightsaber or relating the whole thing to "When I was blowing up the blockade..."
I haven't seen a nine-year-old actually act like one in so long that it's getting to be a genuine frustration. I also find myself trying to one-up him in spite of myself and then remember how ridiculous it is for a twenty-five-year-old Knight to feel like he has to outshine a nine-year-old novice.
It's just proving to be a challenge to be the unChosen of this relationship. I question everything I tell him and everything I teach because I don't know if I'm hampering the 'divine mission' as Mace Windu had the sarcastic audacity to refer to it.
He levitated breakfast to me, not dropping anything this time, and I was torn between whether to reprimand him for using the Force for trivial things or praise him for his persistence. I settled for a very uncharacteristic session of hair-ruffling and saying "Gezu"--the one Huttese word of thanksgiving that I've picked up so far. I think he appreciated a touch of home.
We arrived at Coruscant after a longer session of meditation than we've attempted before. Anakin's still holding back for fear of offending me, but I think letting myself experience humor on occasion...responsibly, of course...would be good for the relationship.
In the meantime, we're getting settled into the same quarters that I shared with Qui-Gon. They're familiar to the boy from those few days on Coruscant before...
Well, you know.
It's strange to be the one in position of power, to have to lead by example instead of watching in submissive affability. I haven't seen these places since I was still in the thrall of apprenticeship. My last day here was not one of happy memories, but of bewildered bitterness towards the child who now walks at my side and the Master who has left me forever.
We both have many things to unlearn.
In which we learn the questionable value of visualization.
I have realized that it would help focus my thoughts if I were to subtitle my entries with the most important lesson of each day. Therefore, I have revised earlier posts as follows:
In which we learn how NOT to communicate.
In which we learn not to 'join 'em' when it comes to Council members' linguistic capabilities.
In which we learn the complete lack of worth of the bureaucracy or, rather, in which we learn to control our tempers during flimsiwork.
In which we learn the basics of Temple Life
Thus, we come to Entry 5, in which we learn the questionable value of visualization.
This may sound odd, but once upon a lifetime, Qui-Gon had a bit of a sense of humor. He tried to keep it under wraps, since I went from the unfortunate state of having no respect for authority to having no respect for irreverence. Nevertheless, there were times when a light heart was an absolute necessity.
He taught me to find humor in anything, if I put my mind to it.
This came in handy today, given Anakin's first exposure to Temple instruction. I spent the day getting all the datawork processed at records and welfare. It wouldn't have been so bad if I weren't subjected to the senile Ishi Tib, doting-grandmother-of-seventy-six Trev Kiridi, and a "customer service" agent with the intelligence of...
Let's just say that she could have been Jar-Jar Binks' long-lost sister if it weren't for the ears. Both of them are incomprehensible and frustratingly well-meaning.
Nevertheless, I finally got the transfer of guardianship application filled, set a date with the courts to make it official, and got Anakin's identichips issued before they stopped serving dinner at the refectory.
Unfortunately, once a week, the Temple refectory subjects us all to something called "Galactic appreciation experience" and call whatever glop they're serving by a name suitable to whatever culture they're insulting that night. It's remarkable how Corellian goulash and Ithorian leaf-noodles have the same texture and ingredients. The one difference is that the Ithorian one has the occasional bug thrown in, courtesy of the idea that leaf-noodles are made best with leaves fresh from the compost pile.
Nevertheless, I found Anakin in line for Ixacan murai and, despite my requisite loyalty to my homeplanet, I rescued him from that particular nightmare and suggested that we go out to celebrate his first full day at the Temple.
He seemed cheered by the idea and taking him to Dex's was the natural choice, since the first question his servedroid asks is a tribute to his homeworld.
I did not, however, let him honor his heritage with a cup of Jawa juice. Pallie slush was enough for him, thankfully.
And then I found out why exactly he needed a cheering-up.
Undoubtedly, the Council is keeping tabs on the boy, so they will have heard about his first day. Being the somewhat-proud Master that I am, I thought he'd be a quick learner and fit in before they could be bothered to notice the "Chosen" appellation. I knew he'd make friends easily, from the novelty of it all.
He felt like a disaster, had gotten thoroughly lost by the end of the philosophy class (Well, who wouldn't with Arra Rho and Tarua Ko out there, both thinking that the Force is a creation of its servants, rather than the other way around?), had gotten overeager during lightsaber training (I'm sure no one will notice the new set of scorch marks on the floor. I made a few dozen myself in the early days.), and had been badgered by two older initiates who wanted to know why the Force Chose someone for his stupidity.
On the bright side of things, he had been introduced to a girl named Tizar Nan. I'm not unfamiliar with her, since her Master, Adren Schilian, was a friend of Qui-Gon's, but always thought she was needlessly a loud-mouth.
Apparently, it was what Anakin needed because when she lamented that if he were the Chosen One, balance may not be worth the effort, he decided it made her a suitable candidate for the position of best friend.
It's an odd pairing, but so are the two of us. I'm just not sure the two of us are a good idea, either.
Needless to say, he thought that until he met Ti, he'd never feel at home. He's declared Ti to be like Kikser, whoever that is. Probably some loyal cannoid abandoned back on Tatooine.
We had a definitely unauthentic Tatooinian meal of Jawa Juice, Pallie Slushie and Bantha Burgers, and finished off with Krayt Krumble. Dex declared him a good kid, which is high praise from him, and insisted we come back for dustcrepes sometime.
Since the evening was a vast improvement on the day's activities, we decided to try our hand at meditation again before he did his homework.
This is when, of course, I miserably failed at Qui-Gon's method of sharing humor.
His trick was to meditate in the conventional way and draw out a memory that we shared, such as a diplomatic presentation to the Ishorian Ambassador. Then, he would change something so subtle that I occasionally missed it until the feat was repeated. Then, I would realize that I didn't remember the Ambassador's 80-year-old male attache wearing a dancing-girl's costume.
Trying to think of something that would make him appreciate that sort of humor, we recalled the moment when the Gungans had thrown in their support of the Naboo. I then replaced Boss Nass' head with Master Yoda's.
I'll be the first to admit that it turned out to be a bad idea.
Taking it as a heartless jibe towards his faux pas on the first day on the shuttle, he broke the connection and refused to come out of his room for an hour. When I reached into his mind to send some soothing vibes and found the memory of the scene involving me with Twi'lek lekku, I knew I'd been somewhat forgiven.
His homework was slow-going and consisted of him sighing a great deal and working feverishly while I waited for the two minutes would pass before he'd ask for a word definition.
"It means ," I would respond reasonably.
"Well, why didn't they say ?"
"Because it's a fancier word."
"Well, that's stupid."
I don't think the Archives have considered putting 7,000-year-old manuscript translations into the vernacular for fear of turning the Four Noble Truths into "See Spotje Run," but after tonight, I may undertake the effort myself.
It's been a day for old friends and fond memories. Kemé, my solitary 'big sister' as Jedi go, returned to the Temple from her latest mission. The last time I saw her, I was a gangly teenager who still thought she was obnoxious.
I'm still gangly, still have the tendency to think of her as obnoxious just because she's more like Qui-Gon than I could have ever been, but we are far from the days of sibling rivalry and impetuous teasing.
Being orphaned will do that to you.
I half-expected her to pinch my cheeks and ask if I was eating my tubers, since she's gotten even more nagging since taking her first apprentice, but instead, she took note of the Knighting and treated me accordingly.
I'm grateful that she did that in front of my apprentice. I wonder, sometimes, if Anakin sees me as the unsure, incapable one that he got saddled with when the first-choice option was no longer in stock.
I feel even more grateful that she asked Anakin how long he'd been my apprentice, acting shocked when she found out that it had been less than a week.
Or perhaps that wasn't acting. Kemé has always had the capacity to see hidden strengths and innate capabilities that I could not. Perhaps she sees what is Chosen about Anakin.
I see that he does have great abilities, but has no patience.
His second day of classes went much better, especially since Thirddays are the days for morning saber technique. It is a class for both Masters and Padawans, so I was able to see that he is a quick study. One of the others complained about the seven-cuts drill, since it is a technique that the sabermasters tend to drill ad nauseam.
Anakin surprised us all by saying that the seven-cuts drill saved his life. When asked what he meant, he said that he recognized some of the moves in how Qui-Gon fought the Sith on Tatooine.
It's not something I'd have expected a nine-year-old to have picked up on while running for his life.
He's still struggling to catch up with the Philosophy class, got into a bit of a heated debate over the Republic's anti-slavery law enforcement in his History class, but he is excelling in his mathematics lessons. It's probably something that comes with the territory of being able to build your own vehicle.
He seems to be a little more comfortable here. This may have been aided by my teaching him the mnemonic device to remember the Council names. Masters Koth, Windu, and Yoda all greeted him today and he managed to identify them without making the common mistake of blurting out the word-association.
I don't think Master Krayt would have been flattered by the memory device.
I just hope that he wasn't thinking about Yoda Nass with his shields down. Based on the fact that I didn't get a shin-whack once today, I would guess that his shields are better than I guessed.
Kemé was good enough to make us dinner, though I suspect her underlying desire was to have a sounding board for her complaints about the Aspora Sector. For bruallki that good, I'd listen to Jocasta Nu's recitation of the Sith epics while standing on one leg.
We will be going to the Memorial tomorrow night, since we want to have a joint training day.
Anakin looked mildly insulted when Kemé offered a bedtime story, but when I asked out of habit if I could have one as well, he couldn't resist. I just wasn't aware that she'd use my adventures in nerf-herding as the subject of her narrative.
I don't know how I'll get Anakin to stop laughing.
In which we study the Memorial's significance.
I have forgotten on occasion the importance of fostering friendships within the Temple. When an initiate becomes a Padawan, his world is wrapped up in that of his Master, rather than the other way around.
Anakin is fortunate to have Ti. She is a diligent student, even if her sense of humor might turn out to be a bad influence on him, and it will be good for him to have a less biased perspective on what goes on in his life.
Masters always want the best for our apprentices, but even we can get confused as to what that means. And our apprentices rarely agree with "what's best."
What he's beginning to develop with Ti is something I took for granted having been raised at the Temple. In a Jedi's life, there are few instances of "new kid" syndrome. We're raised in a family setting, accustomed to the same faces that we've seen every day since the moment we can barely remember when we began our life at the Temple.
Anakin is probably the oldest "new kid" that they've ever had to adapt to. Some think he's a braggart any time he tries to prove himself. Others think he isn't good enough to merit the title of Chosen One. Same story, day in, day out. I have the feeling that it won't change, but Anakin's taking it to heart will.
Kemé and Orynko came over for nausage and phraigmeal before morning meditation and Kemé predictably chided me for not picking up after myself. I was attuned enough to realize that she knew the parts scattered over the desk were the evidence of Anakin's burgeoning collection, but didn't say anything.
He'd been working on a project that he won't let me understand until I declared it time for bed. I probably shouldn't encourage his keeping secrets, but knowing him, it will be some well-meaning attempt to give me a valet droid.
We decided to extend the traditional morning meditations because Kemé has a talent for empathy and I wanted Anakin to get a taste for that side of a meditation bond.
Unfortunately, Kemé soon tried to pry into my memory of Qui-Gon's death and I had to evict her from my subconscious so forcefully that it nearly brought us all out of meditation. Hastily, I tended to Anakin, using the Force to soothe his bewildered panic. Kemé did the same to Orynko, but must have recognized that we both were lacking our own comfort, so she reached out by way of reconciliation and apology to assuage my own pain.
I seem to start these sorts of things out with the best of intentions and immediately foul them up royally. I wonder if Qui-Gon felt the same way about my training?
Melida/Daan certainly wasn't the best experience for either of us, but I'm not sure I could have done as well.
In the end, it was not a disaster, but mostly through all our efforts to walk on psychic eggshells from that point forward.
Kemé was obviously shaken slightly by my rebuke, but tried to make the both of us feel better by thrashing me soundly in the training arena. That always seems to make her feel better. It just made me feel like I was at home again.
Classes today ran late because Anakin and Orynko were due for a course in Archive orientation. Kemé, of course, wanted to tag along, but I thought they'd learn more if we kept out of sight and out of mind, so I let her hole up wherever she liked while I went to ensure that my report had been properly archived.
She didn't have to go probing. She could have simply come here and asked to see the record. It certainly would have made this morning easier.
But she's never one to skirt the issue, so I have to let her experience it as I did. She's the only one who will understand.
I didn't expect, however, to return to the study area to find her surrounded by every beginning readerchip. All right, perhaps seeing her with a copy of Yoda's "Four Noble Truths There Are Taught to You And Me" was not as surprising, but she was currently engrossed in "The Little Womprat and the Big Hungry Bantha."
Instructional rhymes were one thing. Bedtime stories about having to hide a day's meal from your next-door neighbor was another.
"Are you worried about hiding your scrumptious silver julaberry, Kemé?" I asked in honest bewilderment.
"It's an allegory for our use of the Force for defense," she said, predictably.
"It's about a womprat who's too greedy," I retorted. "Where's the allegory in that?"
She shoved a readerchip towards me. "Go. Don't take yourself so seriously."
I didn't think "The Ugly Mynockling" was any better, but I dutifully let it take my mind off other matters until Anakin returned, practically begging for an explanation with his eyes. Orynko, of course, was hardly surprised.
Maybe Anakin was jealous of a Master who still believed in bedtime stories.
As soon as the sun set, we headed to the Memorial. Tradition suggested we approach the rites in fasting, so the only sound between the four of us was the rather sheepish rumbling of our stomachs on occasion.
I've heard many stories of the Memorial about visions of the future and visitations from those who had gone before. I didn't expect anything of the sort, but had hoped for some kind of comfort to be found there.
I was the only one who left the Memorial that night more troubled than before.
We had a late, light supper of toasted bread and cheese, and then saw our Padawans safely to bed before reuniting at my quarters for a last cup of tea.
She didn't want tea, however. She wanted an explanation of why we were now orphans.
What I allowed her to draw from my mind tonight is something I'm not sure I'll ever be able to show to Anakin. The rawness of my pain is something that he must never understand because it is what nearly allowed me to serve evil in my anger. Kemé, however, has been a victim of the same overwhelming emotion before, so it was safe, if not prudent, to allow her into that particular experience.
I wanted to shield her as I am shielding Anakin. I wanted the answer to her inquiry about how much pain he had died in to be "I think he went too quickly to feel much of anything," but she is never fooled by my polite lies, so I couldn't bother.
The question is how much Anakin will be fooled and whether I should be trying to shield him at all.
In which intragalactic affairs turn into a blotchy mess.
I am writing this at a fairly early hour, since for once, Anakin didn't want to burn the midnight power pack at his "workstation."
Unfortunately, this is a result of a simple medical oversight.
Of course he was inoculated according to standard procedure, but Han'yaie never mentioned anything about Kukretan Fever. One is the one that all children are vaccinated against once they are accepted at the Temple. Watto was a fairly cruel master, but he didn't want to lose money due to incapacitated slaves, so the records showed that Anakin had been vaccinated against Kukretan Fever.
They never bothered to mention that there's a pretty similar strain that is common in Outer Rim territories. That is the one that appears on Anakin's records, but he never got protection against the one that we worry about around here.
As a result, he slept through the chrono's alarm, and then didn't respond to my early-morning wakeup call. When I attempted to tousle his hair to rouse him, his brow was so hot that I had to draw my hand back out of an irrational fear of being burned. His damp cheeks were beginning to show signs of emerging boils, and the pattern continued down as far as I could see.
I believe my very intelligent comment at the moment was "Oh Sith."
He awoke at my ministrations, complaining of a headache, stinging skin, and being cold so I bundled him up in a spare robe and beat a hasty retreat to the Healer's Wing.
Han'yaie says it shouldn't be anything to worry about, since it's a fairly harmless childhood affliction, but in the meantime, I've got a nine-year-old boy who feels like he's a lifetime behind even without having to be in a week-long quarantine.
Since he's the first nine-year-old to have this particular strain in the Temple, they won't allow him any visitors besides myself and Han'yaie until the quarantine is lifted.
I have the feeling we're going to be either very good friends or very bored senseless by the time we're allowed out in public again.
Han'yaie got the poor boy settled in at home with my help, and then volunteered to stay with him while I sent out for some supplies.
I don't think Dex has ever done takeout before, but once he heard what became of my young friend, he insisted on sending me home with two pallie slushies and enough dustcrepes and nausage to feed Mos Espa for a month.
I wish Dex were a big softie with me sometimes. I could use someone to empathize who didn't have a Padawan and a quirky sense of humor.
At any rate, I returned home with the food and medications to find that good news travels fast. Chancellor Palpatine had left a message on the comm, expressing his hope that young Skywalker make a quick recovery. Ti had tried to sneak past Han'yaie to see Anakin, but her Master caught on too quickly.
Han'yaie made sure the both of them were relatively sane for the moment, and then headed out. When the door chimed five minutes later, I assumed he'd forgotten something in the apartment.
Instead, it seemed the new Chancellor had sent a droid to the hero of Naboo.
It's going to be a long week.
In which our ankles and noses are tormented.
Since we are now past the first week, I should probably make an accounting of the training checklist's progress.
The meaning of the Padawan braid--check
Funerary Customs--double check
Meditation focal points--check
Seven cuts drill--check
The Jedi Code--check
The Cycle of Evils
Basic prophecies and philosophies
History and tour of the Temple
The Jedi Code--check
The Cycle of Evils
The Padawan's Pledge
The current Council members--check
The current Chancellorship and his advisory council
Perhaps the theoretical things can be taught when Anakin's more lucid.
Right now, he's not too happy with me because Han'yaie prescribed the age-old and rather rank remedy of phraigmeal baths to help the stinging and itching. Phraigmeal has never been what you might call his favorite breakfast, much less something he wants to marinate in twice a day.
At least the mousedroid is proving to be an entertainment for him.
Emphasis on him.
Qui-Gon once entertained me with stories of the week Kemé was on bedrest. Since she was highly irritated with her inability to move two feet without collapsing, Qui-Gon went out and purchased a chime for her. He claimed it would be her signal to make requests.
For the first five minutes, when she needed her medication or history homework, it was all right. Unfortunately, she then figured out that he would also come running if she needed her pillow fluffed or if her dislocated shoulder wouldn't let her reach a new stylus.
By the end of the week, he had threatened her with a restraining order and had been sorely tempted to break the chime.
I didn't mean for Anakin to have the mousedroid, but he figured out pretty quickly that it could be his own personal 'chime.' Instead of summoning me, he uses it to carry the datapad that has his 'wishlist.'
I suppose he misses his mother acutely at this time, since he's never had to deal with sickness without her ministrations. I try to go out of my way to be helpful, though I am no adequate substitute for her. The 'wishlist' doesn't have anything that is irrational, even for a nine-year-old boy. He even tends to accept that I'll be in every hour with another glass of water. Every five hours, I'll give him his medication with something to eat. When we eliminate those requests from the list, it boils down to requests for datacards from the Archives and asking if I can turn the lights on or off.
It wouldn't be so bad, except the mousedroid has something of a personality and this is a veritable curse. It thinks it needs to save the day by attempting to carry out Anakin's wishes...and then some. I know to go chasing after it if I see it on the move more than once every hour. So far, it has broken two mugs and tracked lubricant all over my spare pillow. I would feel very ridiculous trying to reprimand something that comes up to my ankles, but it's a temptation. Especially since it keeps charging my legs at full speed to see if I'll move out of the way.
By way of apology, he sent me five more dune-crossing bantha jokes. I called in Kemé for reinforcements and she arrived with comic stealth bearing the datacards of missions that she and Qui-Gon had gone on. I'm starting to think that I rely too much on her, but I feel like a new mother who needs a mentor to demonstrate the basics.
I'm trying to do better, so I sent him a few jokes of the "how do you know a rancor's been in the cooling unit" variety. He sent back a note of thanks, but I knew I had succeeded in lifting his spirits by listening to the sounds coming from the bedroom.
This morning, we started working on memorization of the Padawan Pledge. It's an inspiring thing to say, but since Anakin's memorization skills are anything but fine-tuned, I wish it ran something like the Corellian Boy Ranger Oath--"On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to my homeworld and to keep the rules of the Rangers." I wasn't sure I'd even remember it, since Qui-Gon never mentioned it after the first time I stumbled through "My duty is to the Order, the Republic, and myself, but above all to the Force which creates life and gives me purpose..."
Blasted droid. I'm going to remove its wheels and invert it on the balcony railing just as soon as I get Anakin's medication.
In which we both exercise patience.
The days seem to be getting longer, especially now that the mousedroid has been taken care of. Rather than give it an untimely death, I decided to procure a restraining bolt.
I asked Kemé if she knew of a place to purchase one, since she has more ties to the underground than I. After a great deal of rummaging and inspiring a few alarming squeals from concealed objects in her satchel, she uncurled her fingers and asked which of the four she carried around with her would do the job. Rather than marvel at the things she coincidentally drags along with her on a regular basis (including, apparently, more pathetic lifeforms), I observed that she had no reason to carry those unless she'd been on a droid-liberation spree.
Exhibiting her typical attitude, she just smiled and placed a finger to her lips. That translates to "Don't ask, don't want to know." I believe it.
Anyway, Anakin was dismayed that I wanted to put a restraint on his new friend, but once he found out that I was only too happy to let him do the actual work, he cheered up. Of course, I had to restrain him from dismantling the thing to see if he could make it faster, but at least we now have a droid that only operates under our command. I think it's the first thing that we've accomplished together that didn't require one of us to be a cranky old Jedi.
Then, in the absence of an overenthusiastic jumble of wires, I suggested we practice our telekinesis on objects he might need from the kitchen. We started on small things like a napkin or a piece of fruit, and then moved onward and upward to more complicated tasks. The light moment of that hour was when I went to fetch myself a glass of julaberry juice and, while pouring it out of the carton, found the carton being yanked from my grasp. Unfortunately, his control over motion is not as fine-tuned, so we now have a fuchsia ribbon from the kitchen to Anakin's bed.
Still, he is improving and he is nothing if not determined. He even got Han'yaie a glass of water when the Healer came for a checkup. Han'yaie says that he's glad Anakin's making good use of his convalescence, but that we'll be here for another five days at the least.
That was, of course, until the moment that he caught me rubbing my arm. I hadn't been conscious of it until he demanded to see the spot and found the telltale boil. If I've got this as well, we'll both be playing every card game known to Jedi in the Healer's wing by tomorrow night.
Another thing to look forward to.
Infected by Padawan with Kukretan Fever. Particularly bad reaction because of adult onset. Developed boils over 70 of body, brought down by medication and treatment. Fever-induced delirium manifested in hallucinations of such things as Sith Lords and attacking phraigs, leading us to inject a sedative and assign a mind-healer to his case. Regained senses on fourth day in Healer's wing and was kept there for four more days.
Infected by Kukretan Fever due to improper vaccination. Sustained boils, but responded well to medication. Placed in Healer's wing due to incapacitation of Master, but released to the care of Master Noori after three days upon complete recovery.
The Jedi Council
To: Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
Re: Temporary Assignment of Anakin Skywalker
Our best wishes for a swift recovery. Due to your incapacitation, we have asked Master Waqkemé Noori to supervise your apprentice's training until you are released from the Healer's wing. Find attached information on the Master/Padawan survival excursion to take place in eight standard days. It is the Council's recommendation that you both attend this event.
From: Master Waqkemé Noori
To: Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
Re: Anakin's letters
Since Anakin knows how dreary it is to be sick, he wanted me to send a couple of letters he wrote to you while you were in the Healer's wing. I thought you might enjoy them.
Your favorite Padawan Sister
I'd tel you that I like staying with Kemé and Orynko, but I don't want you to think I'm having too much fun without you. I like getting your julaberry juice better. Orynko says using the Force for such trivyaltes, whatever that means, is disrespectful (I've read that so many times in the last few days that I can spell it in my sleep. Is there anything that ISN'T disrespectful?) We tested on the seven-cuts drill today and I got full marks! I hope Qui-Gon likes that, wherever he is. Get well soon!
When you are feeling well, I'll have to make Melkork Mush for you. Oh. Kemé says you've had so much of that over the years that it's what runs in your veins instead of blood. I finished memorizing the Padawan Pledge today.
My duty is to the Order, the Republic, and myself, but above all to the Force which creates life and gives me purpose. My duty is to serve others and seek understanding and wisdom. My duty is to trust in the Force and my Master, who is a servant of it. Through my diligence and my duty, it is my solemn and never-ending obligation to eschew pride in favor of compassion, selfishness in favor of patience, impatience in favor of an ardor to learn the will of the Force. To this duty I swear my heart, my mind, and the powers that the Force has given me.
See? I thought I'd never learn it, but I did! Maybe I can be a Jedi like the others after all.
Orynko's getting on my nerves. Aren't you feeling better YET?
In which we become 'official.'
I must say that it was not to my everlasting joy that I returned to our quarters five minutes before Republic Welfare Services made their first 'surprise' visit. What must they have thought when they walked in to find me flat on my back, a blotchy Anakin dismantling the mousedroid in his room, and the entire place reeking of phraigmeal? At least Kemé was on hand to assure them that we were both on the road to recovery and being taken care of. The Welfare Services agent looked rather alarmed at first.
It is, however, customary for every Master to bring his Padawan to the district courts after 20 days for review and official transfer of guardianship. The judge met with us separately to question each on the status of the relationship before rendering his decision.
Anakin went first. I hoped that he wouldn't talk the poor Bothan judge's ear off about his adventures in the last weeks, but was confident that nothing could be said against the way Anakin has been treated.
They both emerged, smiling, which I took to be a good sign and Anakin proceeded to the waiting area, where he immediately befriended a twelve-year-old Corellian girl.
The judge had little to say. He was pleased with our progress as expected, but had one unusual stipulation for granting guardianship.
He ordered permission for Anakin to write his mother once a month for the first year.
I argued about Jedi policy, naturally, knowing that the Council would have its own opinion on the matter, but agreed in the end. It can't do any lasting harm.
Afterwards, he called Anakin back in and announced that I'd been reasonable and he was approving guardianship.
We went to a fried cream parlor to celebrate before getting back to the Temple. Since Anakin missed sabership practice this morning, we spent an hour working on his sparring skills with wooden dowels. He has little patience, since he wants to strike hard and fast. This can be worked to his advantage, but leaves little room for versatility.
While he attended more classes in the afternoon, I retrieved a set of datacards from the Archives that I knew he would enjoy. It was Master Kutari Mko's personal history and he is one of the more famous Jedi from Mos Espa. It interested me to learn that he was one of the more prominent scholars who meditated on the prophecy of the Chosen One.
Tomorrow, we have our first shift at the soup kitchen that the Temple runs to teach Padawans service. I think Anakin will like that, since he is, above all, a compassionate child.
In which we practice service.
I was right. The Council is not happy about the mandate to contact his mother once a month. Fortunately, they are reasonable people. They (meaning, in this case, Master Windu and Depa Billaba) surmised that, given the extenuating circumstances of the boy's admission to the Temple, it can't do any lasting harm.
I'm glad they're being accommodating for once, since the judge's order is the highlight of Anakin's week. We went to the Temple's comm bank for that purpose this morning after breakfast in the refectory. Enclosed is Anakin's transmission.
He was excited, of course, but the comm was accompanied by a great deal of sniffling and wiping his nose on his clean robes. I would have reprimanded him for carelessly soiling his clothes, but I was having too much of a guilt trip to care.
I wonder if this is something circumstantial, an emotional outburst brought on by the frustration of not being able to converse with his mother in any other way.
And then I wonder if this is simply the emotion that he's hiding from me every day so he can be a good Jedi. Maybe we're doing him a disservice by drilling the "there is no emotion" mantra into his head. He is, after all, a nine-year-old boy.
But I have to remember that I'm not helping him by making him the exception to every Jedi rule. At nine, I was not as tender-hearted as him. Of course, I hadn't been able to cry since the age of five. After nearly two years at the Temple, I decided to shed my last tear over my lost home and family and grow up like those who had practically been born in the Temple.
Am I less human for it? Would I have been a better Padawan and Knight if the next tears I shed had not fallen on my dying Master's face?
Can I train this boy if I have no understanding of his suffering? My affectionate gestures and attempts at humor seem so futile every time I look at that stained sleeve.
At the third hour, after we had done our morning session of meditation, we caught the transport to the soup kitchen to begin his initiation into that particular aspect of Jedi life. As expected, he loved it. Anakin is not what you would call tall for his age, so the thought of the customers trying to figure out where the disembodied voice was coming from as Anakin strained to see everyone beyond the soup tureens was rather ridiculous.
So, we set him to 'refill' duty. That meant he got to go around to the tables, collecting the dishes and returning with more if they asked for it. As a result, he got to have more contact with the people who came in than the average Padawan.
He was enthusiastic about the work, only stopping for the mandatory lunch period when I grabbed two bowls of chowder and asked a pair of Twi'lek females if we could sit with them. They had worked in Mos Espa five years before and one had even bought an engine at Watto's, so had plenty of stories to tell. Apparently, my little imp had taken a liking to the girl, so when she'd done maintenance on the engine a few weeks later, she'd found a half-incinerated bunch of what passed for flowers on Tatooine stuck between the couplings.
Seems he's always been quite the charmer. This does not bode well for when puberty hits.
We left around the ninth hour and made a quick dinner before heading out again. I've determined to do the tour of the Temple in stages, since it can be quite overwhelming for someone new to that environment. Tonight, we went to the crèche, where they keep all the children who are newly arrived at the Temple. He was politely restrained, not asking any questions about why they wouldn't ever know their mothers or how they could have a normal childhood if all they knew was this place.
Since I was brought to the Temple at the abominable age of three, I can't explain it quite myself, so I'm glad he hasn't gotten around to asking. Once again, I find myself wondering if Kemé should have been his Master, since she was nearly eight when they finally admitted her to the Temple.
Kemé and Orynko are leaving tonight for a mission to Corellia, a pretty routine one involving reparations after a Civil War. It might be a long-term assignment, depending on how much supervision they require.
Hopefully, Anakin will feel that he's progressed the next time they see him.
To: Shmi Skywalker
Mos Espa code 9919333
From Anakin Skywalker
c/o Temple of the Jedi Order
Public comm code 06661999
Bcc: Jedi Council
Private comm code 06618011
I know you didn't expect me to write so soon, but when we went to get guardianship approved yesterday, the judge asked if I missed my Mom. I told him all about you and how brave you are and he told Obi-Wan to let me write you once every month for a year.
Obi-Wan was kind of grumpy about it, but he's letting me do it. He's a good Master, even if he doesn't like to laugh a lot. Maybe he thinks Master Yoda will yell at him for it. That's probably why he always laughs when we're at home and not much when we're outside. It's okay. Master Yoda scares me sometimes, too.
I'm learning a lot here. There's so much history and stories that everyone else seems to know. I get to use a lightsaber once a week and my teacher says I'm doing great. I even passed the first test.
I've made some new friends. Ti Nan is in my lightsaber and history classes and is very funny. Rikaor Eru'lya is a Bothan in all of my classes. Kemé is Obi-Wan's big sister, if you think of your Master as family. She's a lot like me, which I think is hard for Obi-Wan. Her Padawan, Orynko, is probably exactly what Obi-Wan was like when he was 12. I hope I grow up more like Kemé than Orynko.
Both of us were sick last week because of a mix-up with that fever that makes you get boils and itchy. I am so tired of phraigmeal after that. It's okay, though. They took good care of me.
I miss you so much, though. Sometimes, I sit in class and wish I was cleaning the racks or helping with the dishes. I want to sit out and look at the stars with you. I don't tell Obi-Wan this because his Mom died when he was little and it probably makes him sad to think about not ever getting to do that with her. He makes me laugh, sometimes, but lots of times, I just feel dumb.
I wish you could write back, but Watto would probably catch you. If there's money left from the podrace, try to write.
In which I had more advance notice.
Did I mention that no one told me about the Master/Padawan survival excursion until two days ago? Kemé thought I'd already been told, and Anakin lost the memo under some of his spare parts (His room is starting to resemble a Tatooine junk shop. Maybe he thinks it makes it feel more like home), and my only information was when I ran into Master Windu. He asked how I was feeling, I said "Well enough" and he replied, "Well, that survival hike with your Padawan should remedy that."
So, today is our preparation and departure. It's in the Manarai Mountains for three days and I had no idea that they could be so dangerous. We've had to receive nine additional immunizations, training in emergency serpent-venom extraction, and the Temple was good enough to warn us that it would be a good idea to pack all our winter clothes. Since Anakin arrived in Spring, is from a desert, and hasn't seen snow ever, we spent a good part of today getting him outfitted (no pun intentional) for that.
We, therefore, covered the quartermaster area of the Temple. It's always rather enjoyable to see how efficiently that system works.
I'm looking forward to this. It's usually a challenge for the Padawans, who haven't had to rely on each other and their Masters for the most basic things like food and shelter. Qui-Gon and I went on one when I was about fourteen and I never understood why he said that he learned more than I did.
We had to take the shuttle for two hours to arrive at the head of the trail, and then hiked for another three hours until we got to the campsite. Anakin proved his mettle in fire-building, but watching Anakin and Ti try to put together the tent on their own was something off of a badly-written comedy holo. I enlisted Master Schilian's help in demonstrating the proper way to do it, but Ti complained that they were just "too blasted short to make it stick up right." Between her mouth and his attitude, I have the feeling they're both going to grow up to be a bad influence on each other.
There are six pairs on this particular excursion and Anakin's thankfully not the youngest of the Padawans, but he's the most recently-apprenticed. Nevertheless, he's proving himself to be an engaging storyteller. I hadn't heard the tale of when he rescued an injured Tusken Raider, which came up when someone asked him where he'd learned how to make such a good fire.
It's certainly an improvement on the bantha joke book.
In which we learn to make peace with our wildlife surroundings.
At 0400, I began to think that this was nothing like the other Padawan/Master excursions I had been on.
For one thing, I had never had a baby garuk decide to share my sleeping pad at that particular time of morning. I never slept through the experience. I also never had the mama garuk come looking for my bunkmate.
Anakin, Ti, Schilian...I could name the whole expedition. Needless to say, they found it amusing that I played dead to save my own life and therefore ended up being batted around for a good ten minutes before Anakin and Schilian snuck out of the campsite to distract them.
At 0600, when I'd finally gotten all of the garuk fur off of my person, I found out that the way they had distracted them was to use half of my foodstuffs as bait on the trail. We did a quick redivision of the assets and we might be foraging for nuts and berries in another day, since the only appealing stuff to the garuks were the things that were appealing to us.
We were not thrilled to find that we have an overabundance of phraigmeal. It brought back fond memories of the Healers.
At 0700, we broke camp and started the long hike to the next campsite. Anakin, being the rugged explorer that makes him rather unique, led the pack for most of the time. The others are getting a kind of grudging respect towards him for something other than his relation to a prophecy.
He found some good whittling wood, so when we had to wait for the others to catch up, we took turns trying to whittle various things. We amused each other most trying to do portraits of the council members, though his Yoda was pretty accurate. It's not very hard to make pointed ears, a short body and a lot of wrinkles.
I asked him where he'd learned it and he admitted that he'd picked up the skill from a frequent customer at Watto's shop who would insist on staying around until the repairs were completed. Anakin used to sell the carvings to the occasional interested customer.
Other than the one he did of Yoda, he had only given one other away. I wasn't thoroughly surprised to learn that Padmé Amidala was his other beneficiary. It might explain the rugged piece of jewelry that she had worn around her neck when we last saw her.
After lunch, we made it to the next summit, where we found a pack of rufoen. Luckily, they're more gentle-natured than the garuks, so we simply helped them off the trail. This was more fun than I'd expected, but then again, I haven't had to be a child in quite a few years.
Jedi don't tend to have marching songs, but we figured out a jaunty rhyme to the rhythm of the Chancellor's advisory council and by the thirteenth time, we'd marched into camp, in better spirits and breathlessly reciting "Chancellor Palpatine, Antilles Bail, Mas Amedda should be left in jail..."
He's nothing if not enthusiastic. I hope I have enough energy for it. As of today, we have 20 days until the 6-week review and, given the boy's dedication, I have no doubt that he will succeed beyond their expectations.
In which we learn appreciation for the Temple.
Fortunately, there were no semi-hostile garuks this morning, so I was able to awake with the dawn, rather than waiting for it. Master Schilian and I let the younglings have an hour's lie-in, since today was to be our last in the wilderness, so they awoke with the camp packed and our resources pooled to make a passable attempt at breakfast.
It was a six-hour hike to the retrieval spot and for the first two hours, Master Schilian and I took turns educating them in a few of the common prophecies and legends of the Jedi. Ti was dubious that her over-enthusiastic and under-trained best friend was ever going to be the wise and compassionate man spoken of in the prophecy of the Chosen One. Anakin agreed with her, but we all have room for improvement and no one expects a nine-year-old to save the day.
The Naboo certainly didn't.
We would have made it to the retrieval on time, but while we were regrouping for lunch, Anakin and Ti disappeared.
It wasn't hard to guess why. I had mentioned one excursion where I had reached the summit of the nearby Manirkari. Anakin had asked if we could do that this time and I'd laughed and reminded him that I was seven years older and just as foolish.
Being twenty-five and worried out of my mind didn't make this time any easier, but we found the wayward beings waiting at the summit.
I believe his exact words were: "If you were just as foolish, I'm just as determined."
He's going to be scrubbing a lot of 'freshers if he doesn't correct that attitude soon. Not to say that I'm not proud of that accomplishment, but as usual, he did the impossible without thinking of his duty. It does not bode well for his training.
On the way back, we made them come up with a list of what they were grateful for as a result of this trip. Not surprisingly, they were grateful for garuks and their Masters and meditation at night.
Then they made a list of why they were grateful for the Temple. We contributed to get in the spirit of things, but they had no trouble in remembering that the practice arenas didn't have geviflies, the showers didn't have ten suere looking on at any given time, and that the Manarai mountains didn't have Master Yoda.
Then again, all of those could be considered good things.
In which we please the Council.
We returned to the Temple late last night, so we got a late start this morning. Fortunately, there were no classes until his history lesson at the fourth hour.
As we were headed to breakfast, Master Windu was headed to the Council chambers. He inquired after Anakin's training and we were proud to report that Anakin had already finished the memorization requirements. Naturally, this prompted Master Windu to demand a recitation. I was glad that Anakin didn't burst into song, even though I could see his mind working through the Chancellor's Council with that stupid rhyme.
Master Windu actually cracked a smile, which I took to be a good sign, and bowed to Anakin.
"Perhaps we should assign you two a post in the mountains. It seems to have done you good."
He then asked if we could meet with the Council at the sixth hour.
We were slightly nervous, but Anakin was able to concentrate in his lessons while I worked on saber technique with Knight N'eslo. I retrieved him from the lessons at ten minutes before the sixth hour and we came to the Council chambers.
I must admit to being surprised that we're being sent on a mission, even if it is a fairly routine humanitarian effort on Melkork. Though the mines have been out of operation since I was eighteen, I keep thinking that we'll return with another Kemé.
I will not presume that this is a sign of the Council's approval of Anakin's training, but it is an encouraging step. A Padawan's first mission is always memorable.
In which we discuss the mission.
Anakin, like most Padawans, has a very romanticized idea about his first mission. It's not for lack of information, since he spent so much time with Kemé and I encouraged her to relate her experiences on Melkork. In fact, when pressed, she can name one thing good about Melkork--"Kaigon" came to get her there.
Of course, there's an aspect of the mission that I can't possibly understand on the same level as Anakin. He, like those who are still working the mines, has been a slave. He knows what it's like to be trapped and afraid and abused. He knows what it is to go to bed hungry and wake up worse.
I think that's why the Council chose to place us on this mission. It's another chance for him to prove that his age is not something to be reviled, but something that has served him well.
Since the mines were only liberated last year, self-sufficiency is a fairly new thing to these people, even if survival of the fittest is not. We will be helping Welfare Services establish a more effective hierarchy in those matters, since there is still a bully system in place to make sure no one is free.
Anakin, of course, has ideas about using droids to do the spice-prospecting. I don't doubt he could accomplish that, since he built a protocol droid and a podracer from spare parts. I wish Kemé had been given that sort of aid, since their chief weapon against her was isolation and darkness. Even now, she has her bad days.
Anakin is, of course, not accustomed to being restricted in his activities in a service capacity, so this will also be a test of discipline for him.
In which we 'rough it' on Melkork
We arrived in the evening of the second day of the trip in good spirits, since we'd spent most of the day meditating or working on basic saber technique. Anakin isn't one to go stir-crazy, which is something I wish I had cultivated better in my youth.
The mines have certainly changed from the pictures Qui-Gon showed me from the archive reports of the raids there, but it still reeks of abuse and injustice. It's like a disguised tomb, something that is decorated to look respectable on the outside and is, in fact rotting solid on the inside.
At least there's a chance to change that. We are here to help with that fairly new process.
After meeting with the head of the liberated colony, we were directed to our rooms to refresh before we could join the colony for dinner. This proved to be an experience. If that word seems like an expletive, it's intentional.
The shower was one that dispenses scalding water, but has a hand-crank for cold water. I assumed that once the water had been cranked, it would continue to flow. Of course not. Every ninety seconds, I'd have to dash to the hand-crank in the kitchen and repeat the process, trying to keep my towel on and my skin from blistering simultaneously. Anakin must have wondered why his Master was making so much noise when he was trying to study in the next room, but he never asked.
Nevertheless, I made sure that I manned the crank when it was his turn.
Another surprise came at dinner, when we were introduced to the colonists who had once been enslaved for years in the mines. Anakin entered the room and immediately ran to a girl of about fourteen. They embraced like old friends, so naturally I was curious.
It turned out that the girl had been one of Watto's slaves in his more prosperous days, but had fallen into disfavor and been sent away. Normally, the Master would have used this as an excuse to call it an escape and detonate the tracking device, but Watto apparently wanted her to suffer for her supposed crime, so sold her into "fosterage" here.
Fosterage is the same sort of thing that Kemé suffered, where you have a person to provide for your needs. It's a Republic Welfare-approved program, but on Melkork, it's infamous for the foster parents' tendency to compensate for the additional cost by sending small children into the mines. Most of them die within weeks or months. The unfortunate ones learn how to survive.
The girl, Rema, had some pleasant news, though. She has been sponsored by a family on Alderaan who want to remove her from the colony and give her a proper education and a normal lifestyle. We have received word that she is to accompany us on our departure.
Of course, to think that these people will ever feel that they have a normal life is almost impossible. This kind of bondage brands you with more than scars. It's something that haunts your thoughts and your future.
Anakin told me as much in not so many words, of course.
After dinner, we were taken back to our rooms with the promise that tomorrow, we'll be shown the rest of the facilities. It's not something that I think we will look forward to.
In which we render service to the establishment
Anakin, predictably, wanted to get into the mines to start taking dimensions and brainstorming about mechanical replacements, but I kept him on task by promising that he could have a long talk over dinner with whoever knew about those sorts of things.
That, of course, led to the constant question, "Is it time for dinner, yet?"
We spent most of the day in the prisoner barracks. Since the management changed, most of the prisoners have moved into the compound, so our primary objective was to clear out the debris and begin making room for an auxiliary command center.
It was a good opportunity to practice our telekinesis, since we didn't have proper equipment to move the larger pieces of debris or the computer consoles. Anakin was quite adamant that if he could lift it, he would not use the Force. Perhaps he's learning to be wise in his use of his powers.
Of course, the moment they needed help setting up the new electronics, I was on my own. I'll let him play to his strengths, though.
Tomorrow, Anakin will be spending most of the day with another, since Republic Welfare has designated me for the task of securing a better life for those who qualify. I'll be spending all day in interviews to determine which of these suffering people have suffered enough. It's not something I look forward to, especially since my first appointment of the day is with a woman of one hundred six who has been on both ends of the spectrum and is currently in desperate need of better medical care than Melkork can provide.
This centarian, of course, happens to be the woman who forced Kemé into the mines day after day, but I'm not allowed to let that affect my judgment.
In which we study the true meaning of 'evil.'
As I have to make a report on this mission, I will record the day's events here.
Nenka Durble turned out to be ninety-one with false papers and false teeth. In fact, most of the things about her were false, but having heard Qui-Gon's accounts of the woman, I was not surprised by this.
Nor, apparently, was Anakin. He's not usually one to dislike anyone, much less people he hasn't met before, but he expressed during breakfast that she made him nervous. It was probably the most unkind thing I'd ever heard him say, but I couldn't disagree with him. We hadn't even identified the wizened crone as Kemé's former "guardian," but knew that there was something wrong about her.
"Grandma" Durble is not someone to be underestimated.
He nevertheless attempted to win her over while waiting for me to make the necessary arrangements for the interview. I don't know all the details of their conversation, but I entered as she was asking him if he knew what used to happen to children like him.
"Of course," he said indignantly. "Master Kemé told me all about..."
I wanted to clean her mouth out with every bit of soap on Melkork for the things she let my apprentice hear.
"I take it then," I interrupted, "that you are Nenka Durble."
Conveniently, Anakin's escort for the day arrived at that moment and I was left to deal with Durble.
For a woman supposedly suffering from a potentially terminal heart condition, she was in remarkably good health or at least healthy enough to be thoroughly vicious. When I questioned her need for additional medical treatment, she smirked and reported that I didn't have to bully her because she had connections and didn't need my help to get off-planet.
If that were true, she wouldn't have applied for the aid. Perhaps she has a connection off-planet, but she wants the free ride. Or, more likely, she wants to exploit the Jedi the way she thinks the Jedi exploited her ward.
I didn't try to bully her. I just asked if the doctors had given any indication of what her options for alternative treatment were.
She persisted in making those sorts of self-confident threats until I assured her that, if I so chose, I could arrange an appointment with the Republic's finest medics in prison. She certainly qualifies under neglect and reckless abandonment, to say nothing of the slave trade that she had continued until the day Melkork management had changed hands.
That shut her up temporarily.
Much to my disappointment, the only thing that wasn't falsified was her medical condition. She qualifies, by Republic standards, for the aid that I am authorized to grant. The comfort is that with her on Coruscant, it will be much easier for Kemé to go and spit on her grave in the hopefully near future.
I apologize for my uncharitable thoughts, even if I do not retract them.
Of the seventy who made it this far in the screening process, only twenty-three passed the interview. Among them, of course, is Anakin's friend. We also cleared immediately anyone under the age of thirteen and their lamentably small families. The rest are mostly middle-aged workers who have known nothing but imprisonment for most of their lives.
Those who did not apply are those who have elected to stay behind and rebuild Melkork into something resembling its original purpose. Someday, it will be once more a thriving industry.
As for Anakin, I saw little of him. I had to seek him out and when I found him, he barely took time to stuff the sandwich in his mouth before resuming his tinkering on an old R2 unit. He mumbled something by way of explanation, but looked so engrossed in his work that I simply ate with him, then left him alone again.
By the end of the day, however, his purpose in tinkering was revealed. A live holofeed from the same R2 unit accompanied our dinner and we were able to witness its ability to seek out and harvest raw spice with mechanical precision and programmed thoroughness. On its first test-run, it yielded as much as the average worker harvests in two days.
The boy seems to come out the hero no matter where he is. A poster-child for the Jedi, almost.
It makes me wonder if my initial fears about him were unfounded selfishness or if there's something that I am not seeing, blinded as I am by what he is beginning to accomplish.
In which we learn the value of caring for one's self
It was something of a relief to be reunited in effort with Anakin today, since, while he is certainly capable of doing good on his own, I have inherited my Master's penchant for being suspicious of my Padawan's intentions. It was wise of me to do so, since, encouraged by his success the night before, he'd gotten up early to reprogram half the droids in the compound to make an early start on the day's efforts.
This would not be something questionable, except he didn't discriminate between the types of droids, so those assigned to duty were everything from courier droids to protocol units. Some of them had neither the appendages nor the basic programming to be mining droids.
As a result of the best-laid plans of murrits and men, we spent most of the morning recalling the droids one by one and giving them a more appropriate set of priorities. Anakin sulked through the whole process, and then asked if he could return to bed because he'd been up since 0200 completing the task that we had to undo.
I was tempted to lecture him on wasting his time and assign him a refreshing session of meditation. I was tempted to tell him that I was going to be heading to bed, but his head would not hit the pillow until he had corrected this error in judgment.
Instead, I sighed and told him we'd take a long lunch for the both of us to get some rest. He looked appropriately petulant and managed to not smirk, which was why I didn't assign extra work.
I did, however, require him to do the afternoon's work without the Force. I did the same so he could not accuse me of unfair treatment, but I don't doubt that he'll remember to be more obedient every time his muscles burn. It seems cruel, but necessary discipline.
It was more of the same drudgery, clearing the rooms and refitting them for more administrative work.
The highlight of the day was when we arrived at the compound's largest quarters. Clearly designed to accommodate a Hutt, they were the best-kept. The remaining prisoners had decided to erect makeshift barriers so that they could redesign the suite into a series of bunkrooms.
It was not this task, however, that intrigued us. It was the fact that there was something familiar about the place. I couldn't pinpoint it until I remembered Kemé's story of Qui-Gon seeking her out as she hid in the boss' quarters.
It explained the whisperings of the Force that had spoken "Kai-gon"'s name across my memory since the beginning of this day.
We've decided to perform tomorrow's morning meditation, since we could both use a bit of the familiar.
In which we finally reach common ground.
I believe that the meditation which we did this morning is one of the most productive experiences that we have had as a Master/Padawan companionship. For almost the first time, we were on the same level, seeking the same thing. Hopefully, we will not distance ourselves too much from his level, because we felt that we truly learned from ourselves, from the Force, and from the other person.
And for the first time, I felt that we learned how to comfort our partner.
That is not to say that the Force provided many answers in our meditation, because it's true that it didn't speak to us much when we were there. Instead, it left us feelings and impressions and permitted us to communicate with the other person.
Perhaps the Force put us there to learn trust.
I believe that, if that was the purpose, the Force was successful. Perhaps this is the reason why the Council sent us here.
The Council has asked us to return tonight, so I should stop here. We need to help those who are going with us to gather their things and do the necessary paperwork.
In which I learn to not trust anyone, even a cranky old crone.
Will keep this short. Nenka Durble sent my datapad out the airlock when we made our last stop. Anakin is the only one not losing patience with her. Thank the Force that I could upload this to my comm archives. Anakin has mastered the first kata as of today.
I forgot to mention that we received the list of sponsors. Each newly-freed prisoner will be assigned a Jedi team to help their transition. We were fortunate enough to be assigned Anakin's friend. Kemé got Grandma Durble, probably assigned by someone who thought the title "Grandma" meant they were old friends. More bureaucratic nonsense in which we gave orientation and filled out more flimsiwork to give to the naturalization agents.
In which Anakin contributes to the Archive.
What a relief to be home again, but I am too tired by the effort of entertaining and orienting so many people, so I will report that our mission was a success. Anakin behaved himself as is fitting a Jedi, even around Durble, and enjoyed reporting his first mission to the Archivist assigned to us. Tomorrow evening, we're going to go look it up in the Archives so he can see the finished product.
As is customary when returning from a mission with one's Padawan, I accompanied Anakin to his classes today to make sure we could get him caught up. I always thought this a good idea, since Masters should be able to be current on assignments and lessons, but also, with each returned Padawan, there's someone else who wants to one-up that person in terms of mission importance. I grew up expecting this, but sometimes, I'm not sure what to expect from Anakin, so I didn't want him to experience it when he was fresh off the mission. Having a Master around tends to cut back on those things.
Perhaps I'm being too protective of him. The Council fluctuates between hoping he is what Qui-Gon believed him to be and hoping he isn't because it would defy conventional wisdom. His potential to be the Chosen One has nothing to do with how I want him treated. I simply feel like an overanxious parent watch their child face a cruel world and not knowing how to deal with the consequences. I'm not trying to coddle him or hold him back, but it's hard to know what the right thing is to do.
Perhaps this is why I'm being asked to record my thoughts in these first six weeks, so I can look back on my mistakes and laugh or realize that I'm still making them. Qui-Gon kept this sort of journal for each of his Padawans, always presented upon their Knighting. I think I will continue in this tradition because it has been of help to me on some lonely nights to know that the man I was most exasperated with and respectful of had the same fears that I do. I also haven't realized before reading some of the entries that Anakin and I are not so different as either of us might think.
Anakin received full marks on his history exam from just before we left. He was certified on the katas he mastered during the mission today. In all, I think it was a good combination to boost his confidence.
After dinner in the refectory, we headed over to the Archives. Archivist Jolenar must have recognized something eager in Anakin's request to see the "Kenobi/Skywalker Melkork File" and presented it as though it were the most famous archive on file. He even divulged the names of the Council members who had asked to see the file since its archival. I have to admit to being almost as excited as Anakin to see our first mission on file.
We then reviewed my first mission with Qui-Gon and Qui-Gon's first mission with Master Dooku. We were halfway through the record of Master Yoda's first mission with Master Yahard when Yoda turned up to do some research of his own and looked very grumpy upon viewing what we were perusing. We looked appropriately chagrined for his sake, and then decided to save that particular account for later.
Five weeks down, one to go. We might just survive this constant scrutiny. Of course, if the Council continues to be so suspicious of the boy, I should be saying five weeks down, 15 years to go. All right, enough cynical musings for one night.
I was fortunate enough that I cut my entry short last night because the moment I had done so, I checked the calendars and realized that Anakin will turn ten today. Apparently, I'm the last to know on these things because Kemé called five minutes later to find out when she could bring something over for Anakin's birthday. She helpfully directed me to a cultural archive that the Temple's comm database has available at all hours and wished me luck in trying to cover my tracks.
From the way Anakin laughed at me, I think I probably made a royal mess of the Huttese phrases in the Tatooin birthday song, but at least he started his birthday on a cheerful note. It's a rather silly song that involves half-whispering the first verse until you reach the words "Awaken, my child, awaken, for now the morning has come." Then, you're supposed to stomp and clap while bellowing the chorus like a wounded nerf.
I have this terrible feeling that I'm now consigned to doing that ridiculous ritual for the rest of Anakin's apprenticeship.
The refectory shows a rare bit of sentimentality on your birthday by preparing something for breakfast from your homeworld, so I got to try panole cakes, which is a kind of pastry made from a light dough and the jelly that comes from the boiled residue of a Jundland plant.
Anakin ate about six of them, and then sheepishly explained that panole cakes were something that Watto could rarely afford, so Anakin would eat half of his store, then wrap the rest and conserve them, eating bit by bit to make the effect last as long as possible.
It was such a touching story that I had the absurd urge to call some bakery in Mos Espa and order a month's supply of panole cakes for his mother.
Ti and Master Schilian brought over, of all things, a translator droid. Fortunately, it's one of the ones that can be attached to the belt rather than zooming around the apartment until the novelty wears off.
Then again, it's in Anakin's hands. He'll probably build another protocol droid out of it. I seem to be made to suffer. It's my lot in life.
Kemé got him something more sensible--a pair of krayt-leather boots that she found Force-knows-where. She brought over a cake as well, heavy on the chocolate, light on nutrition.
Was I ever young enough to enjoy things like that?
Since it is now the third day of the new month, I came to the conclusion that it would be a fitting present to allow Anakin his monthly comm to his mother now.
There was, of course, the customary sniffling, especially since the boy has never spent a birthday away from his mother, but he did seem to be in better spirits this time. He did, however, forget to send the comm to me, so I will have to append it to a later entry.
Today also marked the beginning of the next six-week rotation of self-defense. I'm glad of that, since it tends to wear anyone out by being at the end of the day. Anakin is small for his age, even after five weeks of Temple food and daily exercise, but this gives him a way to use that to his advantage.
I was not surprised to find a gift from the Chancellor on the doorstep when we returned from his mathematics lesson, but what was surprising was what it contained. It was a datapack. One card reported a bill that had been recently passed to grant displaced persons the ability to be affiliated with the Republic with the sponsorship of a registered government. Next was the formal paperwork that Queen Amidala had filled out in order to sponsor Anakin Skywalker on behalf of the world of Naboo, as well as a sentimental note saying it was about time they made it official. The last one was the certification that Anakin Skywalker of Mos Espa is now the first Tatooin citizen to be formally granted citizenship under this new bill.
He also sent a cake, which was, surprisingly enough, so unhealthy that Anakin could be eating a debris-extractor for all the nutritional value it gave him.
Oh, well, you're only ten once.
In which we finish the checklist and Anakin has a stunning experience.
Oh, I have a bad feeling about this.
Together 36 days and this is the second time he's been to the Healers. If this is how we'll define the rest of our relationship, I'll have to advise Han'yaie that the Kenobi ward will have to be renamed.
Or perhaps I'm exaggerating, but honestly, what sort of child gets a concussion in the refectory?
Granted, it wasn't his fault and I'll be having a few choice words with the Master of that idiot Padawan Kuremeruk who spilled the phraigmeal in our path, but it was rather a ridiculous situation to explain to the Healers.
Moderate concussion caused by inappropriately located phraigmeal and an unfortunate placing of a table edge. Not a feat to be admired by posterity for eons to come. The explanation for why Anakin is excused from physical training and classes today and has a small scar forming just above his nose is so improbable that Republic Welfare would probably haul me off to Ziost VII on charges of child abuse.
As it is, Anakin's cooped up for observation in the Healer's Wing with his homework and a bucket in case he has the urge to vomit. We took the opportunity to finish off the training checklist six days ahead of schedule. Or rather, I tested Anakin on the lessons and he spent the time answering correctly as he molded his mashed curatos into a remarkable likeness of Yoda. While I told him a story about my first visit to the Healers, he tried to make a sculpture of Ki-Adi-Mundi. It was all wrong, so I absurdly insisted on demonstrating it myself.
This turned into a kind of competition and we were just finishing a collaborative effort on Master Huhor, the Ithorian Archivist, when Anakin decided to fall asleep again.
I left briefly to deliver the training checklist to the UCA and to pick up some supplies for the both of us from the apartment. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a different kind of eventful.
Back again to the courts to get the sponsorship forms for Rema approved by that same judge. He was pleased to hear that we were following his instructions.
Reme is staying with a well-to-do family in the Senate district. The father is a Senator, the mother a bureaucrat, and they have a daughter just older than Reme, so she seems to be enjoying herself. Of course, after Melkork, she'd enjoy herself on Hoth, but that's irrelevant.
She will be starting school after the weekend, so we spent part of the day seeing to her registration and documentation. This meant spending several hours in line with two children who still thought they were on Tatooine. They at least decided to settle down when I found a restaurant nearby that would provide takeout.
Unfortunately, Civilian Records and Information doesn't allow food in its halls, so I had to take them out one at a time to eat, leaving the other with a kindly Devaronian grandmother. I cringed at the thought, convinced that I'd come back to find that Anakin had been kidnapped by the Ishi Tib four spaces back or something, but by some miracle, it didn't happen. We simply could not afford to lose our place in line.
After that, we accompanied Rema back to her new home and were invited to stay for dinner. We accepted and heard a great deal about the funding that the father is trying to procure on behalf of programs such as the one that brought the Melkork refugees here. Anakin, of course, wanted to know when he'd be doing that for Tatooine. To my relief, the Senator responded that they had already found sponsors for three children from Mos Eisley and were working on a program in Mos Espa.
In which I entertain my Padawan flat on my back.
Another first today, since we had an unexpected cold front that snowed half of the Senate district in. Since it was our turn to serve at the soup kitchen, we were allowed to take one of the Temple's speeders over there. It's always most busy on these sorts of days and people are prone to drag their entire life's possessions into the room and stay until the weather clears.
We spent the first timeslot shoveling snow and sprinkling the salts on the walkways so no one would add insult to injury and break their necks. Unfortunately, I didn't watch myself and made a rather spectacular "wipe-out" as Anakin called it. At least he stopped laughing long enough to make sure I was all right. Other than a cut on my forehead and a sprained wrist, I should survive.
As a result, Anakin and I were in charge of making sure everyone had the right dishes and utensils and making them feel welcome. It's probably the best job for us both.
I think Anakin is finally starting to relax more with me, which is good for the relationship and questionably beneficial to his sense of discipline. Like most Padawans, he'll either take that trust and abuse it or he'll use it as an excuse to start paying more attention to what I'm saying. He seems like the type of child who will do the latter, but I'm not sure if that will continue after he has overcome the instinctive submission of slavery.
Afternoon classes went well for him and I have been asked by the Council to begin tutoring the other beginning sabership classes while Anakin is in his lessons. I'm grateful for their confidence in my abilities and look forward to that assignment.
In which Anakin proves himself as a sabership student.
Anakin had to perform his first oral examination in history today. Of course, I fussed like a mother nek over him to make sure his robes weren't wrinkled and his boots were shined, and then sat in the back of the classroom as he recited dates and answered questions. He got a bit flustered when he couldn't properly remember the names of the Corellian triumvirate that brought that sector into the Republic, but did very well otherwise.
It was also our first day with me as a sabership tutor and Anakin as one of the pupils. I was impressed with his self-control over the natural instinct to curry favor. He worked even harder than the others, which is quickly becoming his habit, and when I gave him praise, it was merited.
I did, however, make a specific effort to thank him for his exemplary efforts in his technique and attitude towards that discipline. I think he appreciated me showing favoritism at least outside of the classroom. Sometimes, I feel as though I don't favor him enough when surrounded by those Jedi who were virtually born knowing things that he must relearn.
I wish it weren't so widely known that he is an anomaly because he will be set apart and judged for the brevity of his training for the rest of his career as a Jedi. People will condemn him for having been too old to master x discipline or they will think something remarkable because someone who came as late as he did shouldn't be able to make y amount of progress.
I am trying to avoid that attitude because no matter what wayward being Qui-Gon left in my care, he has the same capacity for the compassion, discipline, and logic that make great Jedi. It doesn't matter if he can recite the philosophers from Ailehpo to Zukar or do all of the exercises taught to initiates.
He will be a Jedi of great power by default of the Force-strength that he was born with, but it is my solemn duty to ensure that he doesn't view that strength as the last resort in proving himself. He must learn how to use it to his advantage.
At least he is nothing if not determined.
In which I discover that Anakin's ability to make me proud will not be an occasional thing.
I was called into Anakin's mathematics classroom today, when the students had already headed to their study hour. I felt horrible for immediately suspecting that Anakin had done something wrong.
Instead, it turned out that Anakin had discreetly alerted the instructor when another Padawan was cheating off of his last examination paper. The Padawan has been an apprentice for 3 years now and both he and his Master scoffed at the idea of any wrongdoing on his part. Anakin, however, demonstrated in the course of his class participation, that he had the upper hand in the subject. The other Padawan had been punished appropriately.
Today, that same Padawan tripped Anakin intentionally today, so I will next see him with a bruised cheek and the aftermath of a bloody nose. That itself is disturbing enough, but apparently, the Padawan scorned him for being a "sandrat slave with as much brains as breeding."
Anticipating a story of Anakin's angry outburst, since Qui-Gon had related the story of Anakin pummeling another Tatooine citizen after the Rodian accused him of cheating. Apparently, though, Anakin picked himself up and answered that "maybe if you worked on your math instead of your meanness, you wouldn't have to make fun of the smart people."
I was not there for a disciplinary problem, then, but to be advised of what Anakin might be experiencing.
It disappoints me that he didn't come to me first about his problem with the other student. I'm attempting to rationalize why he would feel uncomfortable with doing the right thing in that situation.
I asked him about it tonight and, after a lot of prompting, he shrugged said he didn't tell me because it "wasn't fair" that someone else was trying to get him in trouble, but "lots of things here aren't fair. I can't be mad about all of them. I just have to be in a better mood about them than everyone who wants to hurt me."
I didn't know if it would be appropriate to give him a hug for that attitude, but I thought it might be something his mother would do, so I indulged myself in that practice at the time.
Anakin was reading through some of this today and noted that I had forgotten to put summaries at the top of entries for some time now. I was slightly abashed, but told him that I didn't need them any more because I could remember everything now. He seemed to accept that and I think it's true.
These are not extremely memorable days--we are both in the learning stages of what Kemé calls the "Other-person Orientation"--but I remember more of the reasons why I'm proud of the apprentice I initially didn't want every day.
The Council has arranged the review for tomorrow morning at the fourth hour. Erae has requested that I turn this record in for "notes" before tomorrow, so I will leave it with one last thought.
I don't know if Anakin is the Chosen One that Qui-Gon sensed in him. I doubt he'll ever feel very chosen or very special, but he will always be special to me and I would not have chosen anyone else.