Would you believe they just followed me home one day? No? Ah, okay, it was worth a try. Lucas owns them; I just borrow them when he's not looking. But A'ka Jolin and Litri Thi-Anos are mine. If you want to borrow them, you can; just tell me first so I can check your story out.
Okay, this fanfic is pretty bad, in my opinion, but I'm going to post it anyway, for some reason. It probably should never have left my computer, or even my messed-up excuse for a brain, but… deal.
Obi-Wan Kenobi sighed as he slung his small pack over his shoulder, ready to leave for Adarlon. "Are you ready, Master?" he called over his shoulder, one hand already resting lightly on the doorknob.
"I'm coming, Padawan," came the slightly muffled reply from the other room. A moment later, Qui-Gon emerged, a similar pack in his hand. "Shall we?"
"We shall," Obi-Wan responded with a smile.
The two Jedi stepped out of their quarters and quietly made their way down the hallways to the hangar. That early in the morning, most Jedi were asleep or meditating. The glow rods that illuminated the Temple cast a soft, dim light on the polished marble floors. As the morning progressed, they would brighten gradually, imitating the rising sun.
Finally, Obi-Wan broke the companionable silence. "Master, why are two Jedi teams required on this mission? I thought you said it was just negotiations between two opposing government parties. It sounds simple enough."
"As a matter of fact, I don't know myself, Padawan. When I asked Master Yoda, he simply told me to be wary, as things are not always as they appear."
Obi-Wan nodded. "Do you know who the other Jedi team is, at least?"
"I believe we will be working with Knight Jolin and Padawan Thi-Anos."
The fourteen year old suppressed a groan. Litri Thi-Anos was the most obnoxious Padawan in the Jedi Order. She was constantly correcting the other Padawans in the Temple. Obi-Wan avoided the girl whenever he could, as she was incessant. Unfortunately, his Master and Knight Jolin were close friends, so Obi-Wan often worked with Litri in closed training sessions.
Noting the look of dismay on his Padawan's face, Qui-Gon asked without stopping or even slowing his pace, "Is this a problem, Obi-Wan?"
How could Obi-Wan explain to Qui-Gon that the girl seemed to think she was his Master? "Of course not, Master," he replied, resigned, as the two entered the hanger, where Knight Jolin and Padawan Thi-Anos were waiting by their transport. "Of course not."
The four Jedi exchanged respectful bows in greeting and turned towards the ship. On the outside, Obi-Wan was the embodiment of Jedi serenity, but on the inside, he was dreading the next few days. May the Force be with me.
Qui-Gon Jinn plugged the coordinates of Adarlon into the ship's computer and sat back in his seat as they made the jump into hyperspace, the stars blurring and elongating, becoming streaks of white light, until they could not be seen at all.
He felt, rather than heard or saw, A'ka Jolin enter the small space, having already put their Padawans to work on their datapads. The woman's Force presence was obviously disturbed. Even a youngling could have sensed her disquiet. She sighed as she sat down next to the older Jedi Master.
Cautiously, not wanting to offend the woman, Qui-Gon asked, "Is something troubling you, Knight Jolin?"
A'ka rubbed her temples, as though she were attempting to alleviate the pain of a headache. "I'm sorry, Master Jinn. It's nothing really. I just have a… bad feeling about this mission. Something is amiss."
Qui-Gon struggled to hide a grin. He had known the Twi'lek Jedi ever since he had been a Senior Padawan and she had been a youngling in the crèche. Sometimes, she really sounded like Obi-Wan. "Well, every mission, even those seemingly simple, always has the possibility of danger," he quoted Jedi wisdom. "But with two Jedi teams, I doubt anything can go seriously wrong."
The young woman seemed to gain some confidence from his words. "You're probably right. It's probably just nerves. Litri's my first Padawan, and we've only been together for a few months. Plus, it hasn't been long since my Knighting, either. I just don't know if I'm ready for this."
"Yoda would not have suggested you take an apprentice had he not thought you to be ready."
"That's true, too." A'ka admitted. "But how will I –"
Qui-Gon cut her off. "A'ka! Stop worrying! Teach Litri everything your Master taught you, and you'll be fine."
The Twi'lek Knight again sighed. "If only it were that simple. Litri is… rather… different. After all the time we've had our Padawans do exercises together, don't try to tell me you haven't noticed it."
"I won't lie to you, A'ka," Qui-Gon admitted, "Your Padawan is quite a handful. Obi-Wan didn't seem thrilled when I told him that he would have to cooperate with her. It's probably why Yoda sent us on this mission together."
"Probably," A'ka agreed. "I still think Litri has potential, despite her flaws. We all have faults, now don't we? Isn't that why we train? Because no one is perfect?"
"Yes," said Qui-Gon, "and it is a good thing you took Litri as your apprentice. You see in her what other Masters might not. Had you not taken Litri on, she would probably have been sent to the Agri-Corps, and her potential would have been wasted."
"I am sure the pairing is right, and I think Litri is ready. I'm just not sure I'm ready."
"That's just how I felt taking Obi-Wan as my Padawan," Qui-Gon confessed. "But when the pairing is right, the Force has a way of straightening problems out."
It had only been two days since they had departed the Temple, and already, Obi-Wan wanted this mission over with. He had been procrastinating his assignment in favor of lightsaber training, but his Master had told him at breakfast that they had less than a day until their arrival on Adarlon. Obi-Wan groaned as he looked at his datapad full of mission information that he still had to get through and flopped back on his sleep-couch. He was normally a very diligent student, but after reading off of the small screen for an hour, his eyes were becoming quite tired. As he closed them, though, a voice broke into his relaxation.
"Obi-Wan, what are you doing? You're taking a break? But you just started your reading today! You know, as a Jedi Padawan, you should have a better work ethic. I mean, you're apprenticed to Qui-Gon Jinn, for Force's sake! A legendary Master like him deserves a student who will complete the work he has been assigned! It is our duty to our Masters to learn all this material, and you're just –"
Obi-Wan rubbed his callused hands through his spiky ginger-hair. "Fine, Litri. Whatever." He picked up the datapad again and began to read the diminutive Aurebesh once more. It was futile to argue with the girl, and he knew it. Anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering. Anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering, he repeated to himself over and over in his head. It's just one mission. A simple, diplomatic mission. We'll be back at the Temple in a week, and then I can stay as far away from Litri as possible.
The teen pretended to be reading his assignment and listening to Litri drone on and on about students with poor work ethic, when, in reality, he was gazing off into space and allowing his mind to wander. The Jedi student was saved from a longer lecture by his Master entering the room.
"Padawans. Come, we have landed. It is time to meet the natives."
Rising from his seated position, Obi-Wan stretched out his cramped legs and hurried to keep up with Qui-Gon's long stride. The four Jedi met by the door. Litri moved closer to Master Jolin, who protectively wrapped an arm around the young girl's shoulder and cast a reassuring smile. The group pulled their hoods up and walked slowly down the ramp, where a young human woman was waiting for them.
"Welcome to Adarlon," she greeted them with an overly cherry smile. "I am Elisha Iyr, emergency governor of Adarlon. Please, follow me to your rooms."
The Jedi followed Elisha through the city streets, which were strangely empty. As they walked, the petite woman talked to them about the situation. "You see, our government is compromised of two governors, Drehel Zalzabar and Grupen Sage. Together, they rule the planet, discussing new laws and doctrines. Each one rules their own separate section of Adarlon. However, there has been a disagreement over territories. Every four years, they re-divide the planet, and Sage is convinced that Zalzabar has tricked him out of the better region. The two are refusing to work together to rule, so until the negotiations are over, I have been voted into office by the people."
The group soon reached the hotel at which they were staying. Elisha opened the door to reveal their lush quarters. Thick carpets lay on the floor of the spacious room. A large window offered a panoramic view of the planet. "I hope you will find your lodging satisfactory," Elisha said. "Please be present in the meeting room in a half hour's time. It is the only room on the sixth floor."
Obi-Wan turned around to thank their guide, but she had already left. "Well, this is nice," he commented cheerfully.
"I agree, Padawan; I prefer this to that prison cell on Brinsar immensely," Qui-Gon said with the hint of a smile on his face.
"Well, that was your fault, anyway, Master! You were the one who hit on the Queen!"
"Obi-Wan, we've been over this! I did not 'hit on' the Queen! She kissed me!"
"Yeah, but the King didn't seem to care when he walked in on you two."
"I'm just saying..."
A half-hour later, the Jedi were sitting on one side of the long table in the hotel's meeting room. Across from them were Drehel Zalzabar, Elisha, and Grupen Sage. Immediately, Qui-Gon could tell that the negotiations would be neither simple, nor short. Zalzabar and Sage seemed to loathe each other immensely. Unfortunately for the Jedi, Qui-Gon was soon proven right.
After only an hour or two of negotiations, Qui-Gon noticed that something was wrong. Both Zalzabar and Sage had been casting glances at Obi-Wan and Litri throughout the meeting, even though they had yet to speak a word. "Is there a problem, gentlemen?" Qui-Gon asked, concerned.
"Well, now that you mention it, Master Jedi, there is." Zalzabar said. "Do these children really need to be here?"
A'ka spoke up. "With all due respect, Governor Zalzabar, these 'children' are our apprentices. Their job is to observe us and learn from us, which they cannot do if they are not present. Where we go, they go."
"These negotiations will not continue until they leave!" Sage stood, angry. "We agreed that Jedi could come and help with our negotiations, but not their children!"
Qui-Gon began to protest, but before he could, Obi-Wan rose to his feet. "No, Master. It's fine. We can't put the outcome of the mission in jeopardy." At that, Litri stood as well. "We will go back to our quarters and wait for you to come back." When Qui-Gon nodded his consent, so did A'ka, and Obi-Wan and Litri left the room.
The Jedi Padawans traveled in silence, which meant that Litri could not think of anything Obi-Wan had done that she needed to criticize. Finally, they reached their rooms, and Obi-Wan input the password, causing the door to hiss open.
Obi-Wan entered the dark room, with Litri close behind him. The door slid shut quickly,
and Obi-Wan fumbled in the darkness for a light. Suddenly, the Force sent him a warning, but it was dulled, muted, and slow, not like normal.
However, the young Jedi did not have time to ponder that fact, because before he could turn or shout a warning to Litri, he was hit with a blaster set to stun, and collapsed to the ground.
The last thing Obi-Wan saw before falling into unconsciousness was Litri falling beside him.
To be continued…
So, what did you guys think? And no, Litri was not inspired by younger siblings. Nope. Not at all. Not an iota.
Reviews feed the muses!