Here is the third chappie (for all you INSISTENT readers out there *cough cough*)
Disclaimer: Not mine, not mine, not mine... how many times do I have to say it?
"Come on, Qui-Gon," Mace yelled to his friend, who was starting to lag behind.
"I'm…hurrying…as fast as I…can," the young Knight puffed. He gulped in more air. "Cripes, Mace, when do you slow down?"
"When I'm ready to give up." His eyes scanned the woods as he continued his steady rhythm. "And I'm not ready to give up, just yet." His friend shot him an admiring glance.
"You really have a connection to that young Mirialan, don't you?" he asked. Mace nodded.
"Well, that's a good thing. You can take her on as your apprentice once this is over," Qui-Gon stated. His Korun friend groaned.
"Quiggy, I'm not going to –"
"DON'T CALL ME QUIGGY!!!" The twittering of the few birds suddenly went dead. Mace sighed; now whoever had taken the child would almost certainly know that two Jedi Knights were after them.
"Sorry, Qui." He stressed his friend's other nickname. "Anyways, I'm currently thinking about taking on Depa Billaba, the Chalactan who is currently studying under Madame Nu for her history class."
"Did you talk to her already?"
"No, I was waiting to –"
"Well then, take on the Mirialan, once we find her, of course," he added hastily, seeing his friend's eyes narrow just a touch.
"Qui, it's not about whether I am or not going to take her on. I will take her on." He paused, seeing the smirk cross his friend's face. "After I take on Depa Billaba."
"Fine." Qui-Gon sighed, then grinned. "I'll still be around to congratulate you once you take her on!" Mace groaned again.
"Let's just find Luminara before something worse happens to her," he said grimly, searching the Force for any hints of her Force-presence. "And we're held responsible for not protecting her…after I promised her mother I would." Suddenly, the bond with the little girl flared bright. "I found her!" He skid to a stop, clinging to the youngling's light, listening to her jumbled thoughts. His friend slowed with him. "Qui, I found her! I know where she's heading." Jinn gave him a queer look.
"She's not…there yet?" He asked. "Wherever there is," he muttered.
"No. At least, not from the images she's giving me." He closed his eyes, trying to see clearer the picture she was giving him. "They're in a green clearing, near the government building. Her abductor is keying in the code…inside…moving towards a lift tube…second floor…third floor, fourth floor…fifth floor…stopping…on fifth floor, down the hallway, abandoned apartment… NO!" He opened his eyes in alarm.
"Qui-Gon, they're heading towards a secret landing pad, probably one with a ship already on it. We have to hurry!"
"But where is it?"
"Other side of the entrance to the government building we were for the meeting. We have to go back. Now, hurry!" The two men turned around, and in a split second both were running as fast as they could towards where they had started. Both were tired; however, they knew they had to continue, though, if they were ever to reach the young one in time. Qui-Gon panted as he tried to keep up with his friend. Mace didn't seem to tire, however. He bore a steely-eyed gaze that made him appear to be ruthless and immortal. Qui-Gon knew better, though. His friend may have looked like a self-concerned pirate, but he knew better. The face he held was one of a master who was concerned for his padawan, a master who would give anything to bring his student back to him.
I never realized how fast they would bond, Qui-Gon thought. I think even Mace didn't realize how close he would become to the young Mirialan. Problem is, what happens when he tries to take on Depa Billaba? Will they have to forcibly remove the bond from both of them? It could do more harm than good, not just for the little one but also for him as well.
He looked again at Mace's face, and decided not to think about it again until he had to. After all, the bonding his friend shared with Luminara was proving useful. If they were able to capture the kidnapper in time, a new student would be added to their ranks.
He just hoped that the bond would be gone before the masters found out. Otherwise, the Nine Hells on Corellia would have to be paid – big time.