Chapter one: Arrival
Rating: T (This story contains fighting and coarse language)
Pairings: Obi-Wan Kenobi/Renny Kay Morganna (OC), CC-2224 (Commander Cody)/ Des Ki Condi (OC)
Disclaimer: Star Wars and all related material belong to the genius George Lucas. Des Ki Condi and Renny Kay Morganna belong to me.
Obi-Wan was a tolerant man; an open minded individual who had dealt with many kinds of people throughout his life, but even he was weary of his political guests. What man wasn't, though, with two warriors from Dathomir running free about the ship? The Dathomiri weren't exactly known for their love of men. Of course, if the Republic failed to gain ties with the woman dominant planet, the Separatists most likely would. There were force sensitive women and men on that planet, which would only cause further trouble for the Jedi. Ventriss may be Dooku's apprentice, but Dooku would be a fool not to utilize the power of these individuals. Unfortunately for the Council, Dooku was no fool.
This meant they needed to act and quickly. Hence the reason two political guests from a world currently out of the reach of both the Republic and Separatists were joining a battle ship during a time of war. Master Yoda and master Windu had decided it would be best to show the warriors what they could relate to best; war before being sent off to see the government itself. Master Obi-Wan had been selected to house them specifically because of his negotiation skills and, over all, because he was a man leading an all man battalion. Were the Council to send the Dathomiri with a female General or Jedi and her all or mainly male crew, it would not show the key difference in the two cultures. The Dathomiri needed to understand precisely what the Republic was like so they would not be thrown any surprises once in the Republic. Master Yoda was convinced seeing these differences would help the Mother Queen make a clear decision, whatever the Jedi master considered that.
The clones had been quite vocal about their worries concerning the two princesses since they learned of the assignment. Obi-Wan honestly couldn't blame them with all they had to handle. Already, they were looked down upon enough because they were expendable and easily replaceable in they eyes of the Republic and now the Council and the Chancellor were asking them to deal with women who collectively saw males as the lesser gender. Commander Cody had been trying to calm his men, for Ob-Wan's sake, but he just couldn't install the usual faith and confidence they had in their commanding officer. There would be no changing their minds without great effort on the part of the two guests. It most likely didn't help that the men could all tell even Cody was not happy about this assignment. How was anyone supposed to trust in him if they knew he was bullshitting them? Still, he tried, knowing Obi-Wan needed his assistance; assistance that was greatly appreciated.
Walking along the lengthy corridor of the battle ship, Obi-Wan steeled himself for the culture shock he would be receiving. He couldn't help but be thankful Anakin was currently off on another assignment near Kashyyyk allowing the older Jedi to cross one worry of his list. Anakin would in no way tolerate any bad attitudes these women could harbor towards men. Now, he only had the clones and other personal to worry about. A far less potent headache if you asked him. At least his personal would listen when he gave them an order unlike his unruly friend.
"Sir!" clone CC-2224, also known as Commander Cody, called from behind jogging to catch up with the Jedi's fast pace. Turning, Obi-Wan's robe floured out behind him, sending a sharp blast of cold air up the back of his robe and across his spine making the Jedi shiver in his boots. Force! That was cold. The mechanics were still fixing the central heating and cooling after the last battle.
"Yes, Commander?" he asked, ignoring the cold breeze as best he could. Giving a curt nod as the clone saluted him; Obi-Wan gave his friend a quick glance over. It seemed as if Cody was also affected by the unusually cold conditions of the ship as he wore his full armor to at least attempt to battle the chill, his helmet clutched tightly under his arm. He had orange accents painted upon his armor matching that of his unit. His Phase I clone trooper armor sported an orange painted visor and antennas upon his helmet. It made him quite identifiable during battle, for both sides.
"The Dathomiri ship has arrived, Sir. They are waiting in landing bay C. I believe Captain Rex is with them," Cody reported tersely, falling into step beside his general as they made their way towards the stated landing bay.
"Cody, you seem tense. Do they trouble you that much, my friend?" Obi-Wan asked, not pausing to look at the clone.
"Er, I'm afraid so, Sir. I don't trust them, neither do Rex or my men," Cody answered, eying his general cautiously. "Having Ventriss as one of their people doesn't say much for the race."
"And Count Dooku is human. Does this mean that all humans should not be trusted because Dooku is of our race as well? We cannot judge people based on the acts of others, only on the acts they have shown us. Only then can we judge their true character."
Cody nodded, adjusting the helmet in his arms. "Of course, General," he answered, causing a slight twitch of the Jedi's mouth. Obi-Wan didn't need the Force to tell him Cody hadn't let the advice in just yet. Time was what the commander needed, Obi was sure of that, meaning there was no need to push the subject. The pair fell quiet as they walked along to the hanger, both comfortable with each other without needing words. The company of a familiar person was quite welcomed at the time with the ship in such a tensed state, even if the company was simply that of silent companions walking down the hall together. It was a sense of normalcy that even a Jedi master needed and Obi-Wan was grateful for it.
Entering the hanger, Obi-Wan was hit by a disturbance in the Force. A Force user was onboard. It had to be one of the Dathomiri that had just arrived since the disturbance was not there previously. Walking around the Republic's transport ship that had brought the two diplomats aboard, he spotted them being currently being welcomed by Captain Rex. He wondered which one had the Force sensitivity and if they were trained enough to sense him back. This was just further proof that Dathomir was not as unimportant as some in the senate felt. It was just one little planet, what could happen if it were to enter the separatists? With its secluded nature and small population, there wasn't much that could happen, right? This Force user proved otherwise. There were people on that planet who could use the Force, even if it was the just the few. They would cause plenty of trouble for the Jedi tearing their attention away from the main battles where it was needed. Obi-Wan now had to succeed for sure on this mission. The Dathomiri could not fall into the hands of Count Dooku.
"Welcome aboard, Princess Renny Kay Morganna and Princess Des Ki Condi," Rex said, limping towards the pair. CC-7567 known to his men as Captain Rex was currently on leave from duty under General Anakin Skywalker due to an injured ankle he acquired while fighting with his regiment on Kashyyyk. Instead of lying about on the med-bay station waiting to heal, Rex requested to help Commander Cody and Obi-Wan while resting up. For the last two weeks, he had been helping plan missions and run the ship while the Commander and General were away. The help was invaluable to the pair, but Obi-Wan was concerned that Rex wasn't getting the rest he needed. There was no way, though, that he could order the captain to bed rest since that was basically what he would be doing in med-bay, leaving no reason for Rex to even be on the ship. Obi-Wan decided that Rex would get better and more fulfilling rest here as a benefit to his government, not a hindrance.
"Thank you," two voices answered simultaneously. It was then that Obi-Wan first turned his attention to his two visitors. The first he spotted had a head of fiery red hair that curled loosely down below her shoulders. When she moved, light shimmered across her hair making the flames dance. Small, hazel green eyes peered at him with caution from under her tiny red brows. She had a small, wide nose the paved the way down to her full rose lips. Currently, she had them pressed into a thin line as she gauged the space around her, most likely looking for dangers. Even from their slight distance apart, Obi-Wan could spot a light dusting of freckles across her nose and cheeks giving her a false look of innocence the tense of her body quickly dispelled.
Though hidden by a robe, it was simple to see she was slim with full curves. She was a tiny thing, shorter than he was by a few inches at least with creamy white skin. This was the Force user; not a very strong one at that, though. She was probably around his age but she had the skill level of about a Padawan if he was gauging her skill correctly. The Jedi suspected from her heritage she would be well toned and boast a healthy body. Probably a fighter since birth, she would have the utmost control over her being, so it surprised him her skill in the Force was so low. From what had been relayed to him about the planet, weakness and failure were not tolerated well. Shouldn't she be held to that standard in her Force training as well?
Her companion, however, was the opposite. She had no ability with the Force, her coloring dark instead of light, and her face was not contorted in curiosity, but scrutiny. Her hair was a dark brunet that she bound into four thick braids, one on each side with two coming out of the back. Her bangs swept across her forehead with a twined headband parting the bound hair from that she kept free. The color reminded the general of the bark of the large trees on Kashyyyk. He met eyes the color of the ice on Hoth, her warrior spirit warming the cold orbs under her strong brow that furrowed slightly. It complimented nicely the button nose that sat between them, giving her face some softness. Her thin lips looked to be set permanently in a small pout that was set above her strong chin.
Her rob was opened, not closed like the redhead's, allowing Obi-Wan to see for himself the shape Dathomiri were in. She was curved gently with her body firmed and toned from years of training. It seamed that they didn't train solely on strength as her muscle was only lightly defined, not overly prominent. Covering her body was a gown that split up both sides all the way to the thighs. It was a lovely green, making her eyes and hair stand out. Over her legs, she wore black leggings that she tucked under knee high boots. The gown was obviously designed for predictability as it was something Obi-Wan could see the woman fighting in.
Stepping forward, Obi-Wan smiled warmly at his guests. "We are quite grateful your Mother Queen has decided to consider an alliance with the Republic. I sincerely hope your stay here will be an enjoyable one." Feeling the temperature drop once again, Obi fought a grimace. He pulled his robes tighter around himself trying not to draw too much attention to himself watching as the brunet did the same. "I'm terribly sorry for the cold; we are having problems with our temperature stabilizers currently. I am General Obi-Wan Kenobi, commanding officer of this ship. To my left is Commander Cody, my second in command. The man who greeted you is Captain Rex whom is currently on requested leave here to recover from a minor injury."
"I am Des Ki Condi, and this is Renny Kay Morganna. Thank you for welcoming us aboard your ship during such a troubling time," the brunet said, gesturing to the smaller woman who nodded in turn.
"Our pleasure, your highnesses," Obi-Wan assured, giving a small nod of his head. "If you will just follow me, I shall escort you to your quarters." Nodding, the two delegates followed their host through the halls of the ship. It was a quiet time with most of the clones on break in their quarters and the rest performing their assigned duties around the ship. This left the halls quite baron, with really only maintenance and helper droids rolling around with an occasional clone about. The two princesses seemed polite enough not to ask about why they had so many men aboard that looked all the same.
"How much action do you see out here, General?" Des Ki asked as they passed a section of the ship currently under repair from what seemed to be a large explosion. Obi-Wan noticed that Renny Kay had yet to say a word since she was in the hanger. Even then, she said but two words. Was she quiet or shy? Or did all the men around her make her nervous? Obi-Wan could only hazard a guess. Des Ki seemed to be adjusting nicely and besides her silence, so did Renny Kay, but looks only went so far. He could simply tap into his control over the Force and check, only that would be considerably rude. They were trying to win them over, not drive them away.
"Quite a bit, actually. My fleet generally provides assistance for General Skywalker's while still managing to take care of our own assignments elsewhere. Following General Skywalker around, though, is a task in itself," he explained, amusement flooding through him at the memories of jumping to Anakin's assistance at a moments notice. The young man was quite good at getting himself into trouble. Getting out of it was another matter entirely. Usually, Obi-Wan had to come and assist him last minute. It was all quite draining on the poor Jedi.
"I see. So, we should be expecting to be seeing some of this action ourselves?" she asked, her head tilting to the side slightly in curiosity. Some of the seriousness in her face left, making her seem more childlike. It was almost amusing that the prospect of a dangerous battle was what brought about the softer side to this woman.
"That is correct," Obi-Wan answered, reaching the room that the two would be staying in. "This shall be your quarters for the duration of your stay. I am right across the hall if you require anything at all. We also have a service droid to assist you should you require it. The clones and other droids aboard will be willing to help as well. I shall leave you two to getting settled if that is all. Someone shall come to get you when dinner is served. You will be dining at my table with Commander Cody, Captain Rex and some of their men." The two women nodded, their eyes shifting to the door before them.
"Thank you, General Kenobi. For your kind hospitality," the pair said, smiling slightly. Obi-Wan smiled and nodded.
"It is my pleasure, your highnesses," he responded bowing slightly before taking his leave. Making his way back to the main control deck, he found his two commanding officers currently going over some recent missions to work out flaws in the plans.
"They seem different than I expected," Rex commented when he noticed the Jedi. His friend snorted, drawing some attack patterns on the holo map in front of them.
"Yeah, they're actually tolerable. Who'd've known?" Cody asked, his eyes searching the entire map for even the tiniest flaw in this new plan. Obi-Wan chuckled low in his throat at their words. Everyone's fears seemed to be quelled slightly after the first impression of the women. The tension in the air was no longer thick, leaving the men with a generally happier disposition.
"Once we let go of our preconceived notions, it is easy to see that not all is as it seems, gentlemen," Obi-Wan answered, watching as their mouths quirked in exactly the same way. "We have been shown that there is indeed hope for our cultures to coincide today. Now, only time will tell if our goals will be reached. Patients will be tested and tempers flared. I just pray we all can work past this. We cannot loose Dathomir." The two men looked at each other, faces grim. This was going to be a long four months, they could feel it already.