Tasher Jaken ran briskly down the hallowed corridors of the Jedi Temple.

He was late.

He ran, but at the same time tried to make it look like he wasn't. If he was caught running by some random Jedi walking the halls he'd be stopped and lectured to, making him even more late than before.

Thank the Force, however, the halls were empty. He had been down in the archives; Tasher was proving to be something of a history nut, reading all he could of old Jedi and Sith stories. With the reemergence of the dark warriors, Tasher knew he'd be growing up into a new age of Jedi vs. Sith. The old war was back, and he for one would be prepared.

Unfortunately, such a hobby often made him late for lightsaber training with Master Yoda. He wasn't as excited about the lesson as his friend Ka'shard, but he also wasn't as skilled as Ka'shard. No, Tasher wasn't much of a fighter; he was more a wise man, a future teacher. But of course, a true Jedi had to be skilled with the lightsaber. Though Master Yoda was very wise and also very small, he was the best lightsaber fighter in the Temple.

Tasher was 9 years old human, a Jedi Initiate, not yet old enough to be taken as a Padawan learner. His time spent in the history archives was also supposed to make him more desirable to a future master. He was born on Corellia and found to be force-sensitive as an infant and taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. This world was all he knew. He was an average kid with dusty blonde hair.

Two older students, each with a true master came around the corner. Tasher froze, and calmly walked towards them. He clasped his hands behind his back around his brown tunic and looked straight forward, not at them. They were talking with each other and hardly noticed the "Jedi Brat" near them.

Once Tasher was around the corner he picked up the pace and lightly jogged to the training room. He sighed heavily before stepping up to the metallic door. He waited for it to open, but after a few seconds it didn't and Tasher began to worry.

The worry quickly turned to dread as he realized what was wrong. He placed his small hand against his forehead and sighed, with that, the door opened to reveal Master Yoda smiling playfully. He was leaning against his little staff with all of the students, 12 in all, standing behind him. Each held a training saber in their hands and some also held the practice helmet. Others left their helmets on with the blind shield up so as to not block their view of their tardy peer.

"Late, you are," Master Yoda said in his craggy voice with the smile still on his face.

Craggk, the trandoshan student, laughed harshly under his breath, like the bully he was. His two companions chuckled as well.

"Again?" Master Yoda continued, ignoring the students.

"I'm sorry Master Yoda," Tasher bowed his head in respect, "it won't happen again."

"Said that last time you did," Master Yoda replied, "getting to be habit this is. Appreciate your quest for knowledge we do, but ignore your training you cannot."

"I know Master, I'm sorry," Tasher said again, looking up at Master Yoda.

The small Jedi sighed heavily and waved Tasher into the room. The young boy walked in calmly and stood before Master Yoda as the door closed. Though the Master was almost all-powerful, he stood a few inches shorter than Tasher. At times the young children would joke about it, but at the moment, Yoda looked ten feet tall.

The room was totally silent.

Master Yoda shook his head and pointed at the rack of training sabers against the wall.

"Prove yourself you must," he instructed, "reach with the Force and take your saber."

Tasher looked at the rack and selected one saber on the second row. He lifted his hand slowly and pointed it at his target. Tasher reached within himself for the Force and he felt it answer his call. He felt its waves and entirety throughout the room. He felt the presence of those around him, especially Master Yoda.

Most importantly, he felt the waves of the force between the saber and himself. He reached through them and grasped the saber. He pulled as hard as he could...

But the hilt only jiggled slightly.

A wave of fear passed through Tasher as he realized it wasn't working. He pulled with the Force again, and again the object of his longing only rattled in its holding. He wasn't strong enough.

Tasher lowered his hand, and his head.

With of wave of his own hand, Yoda brought the saber to Tasher through the Force. The young lad gripped it tightly with his own hand and took a step back.

"Learn that from reading, you cannot," Yoda said almost impatiently and waved for Tasher to join his fellow students.

He sidled up next to his friend Ka'shard, who elbowed him in the ribs playfully. It caused Tasher to giggle slightly, to wipe away the embarrassment of the little disciplinary show Master Yoda had done.

"Nice one Jaken," Craggk laughed.

"Quiet," Yoda said calmly, instantly silencing the room, "lower your masks and prepare for training. Continue from where we left off, we will."

The students lowered the shields on the training helmets to cover their eyes; the students ignited their fake lightsabers. Tasher's lighted green, Ka'shard's always was blue.

The training droids sparked back to life and began hovering above each student. They dipped and darted slowly, spinning and firing the small, nearly painless bolts that each student had to deflect with the lightsaber. They had had numerous lessons like this before. This deflection exercise was not the first to be learned when training with a lightsaber. They were all relatively skillful, Tasher, however, was at the back of his class.

He could sense through the Force each blast, the trouble was in bringing his lightsaber up to catch it before it stung him. He was also distracted by paying too much attention to the various words of encouragement and teachings Master Yoda would throw out.

The lesson lasted fifteen minutes. After that, Yoda deactivated the droids and had the students put their training sabers away. The ancient Master said goodbye, made a weak comment to Tasher, and proceeded onward to meditation. Yoda had been acting aloof recently, his mind on other things. Such was the ways of a Jedi Master figured Tasher.

Most of the others ran ahead, eager to get to their rooms for various fun and games. Charrgk's accomplice, the human from Coruscant named Mell, "accidentally" bumped into Tasher on his way out. The three of them got a good laugh out of it, the third one being Nelschyyg the nikto. Three innocent bullies, each relatively strong in the force. Stronger than the rest, which gave them a little bragging room.

Tasher didn't care. He knew he would be selected as the Padawan of an important Jedi Knight, or maybe even an already established Jedi Master.

He even had hopes of being the Padawan of the famous Anakin Skywalker. They all knew that the Chosen One was almost ready for the Trials. Soon enough after that, he would have to choose a Padawan. Tasher was a few years away from being ready to be selected, plenty of time for Anakin to take the Trails and establish himself as a Jedi Knight. Maybe he would choose Tasher Jaken.

"Score another kill for Master Yoda," Ennem Terth, the zabrak, joked, putting his arm around Tasher's shoulders. Ennem was a little taller than Tasher, in part thanks to the small horns his species displayed on their heads. Ennem's usual long black hair braids had been cut, his head shaved. It was common knowledge now that the Sith warrior Obi-Wan had slain on Naboo had been a zabrak, a zabrak with no hair leaving only the horns. Losing his hair was a way for Ennem to rebel slightly, he also thought he looked better without it anyway.

"Yeah," Tasher agreed, shaking his friend off.

"You had better be careful next time Tasher," Ka'shard Hett, Tasher's best friend, commented. The young human with the spiked blonde hair crossed his arms in front of him. Lightsaber training was Ka'shard's best and favorite lesson. He was head of his class in that department.

"Well we're not all savage Tusken Raiders," Miran giggled, wrapping her arms around Ka'shard from behind, "Mr. Jedi hero-in-the-making." Ka'shard's seriousness faded slightly as he playfully wrestled the young Twi'lek off of his back. Ka'shard was the son of Jedi Knight A'sharad Hett, and the grandson of the great Jedi hero Sharad Hett. Both had chosen the life of one of Tatooine's Sand people, so Ka'shard had Tusken armor back in his room. He found it exciting to be unique like that, the savage Jedi. The Council had high hopes for the boy.

"Yeah, congratulations on the perfect score in there by the way," Tasher complimented his friend Ka'shard.

"Thanks," he said reluctantly, releasing the bright blue girl.

"So what do we do now?" Ennem asked truthfully.

The older Jedi, their teachers, were all preoccupied. Something big was going down, the four of them could tell. Master Yoda and Windu were constantly meditating. The Council was always holding special meetings. Everyone was busy. The students had more time on their hands than ever before. Usually life was training, practicing, and sleeping. Now, well, everything was different.

"Wanna play a game?" Miran asked, curling one finger around a brain tail. The four of them were randomly walking the halls of the temple. There was no one to tell them where to go. Their next lesson had been cancelled and so they were headed in the direction of their bunks, but they weren't necessarily going there.

"Like what?" Tasher asked.

"Play catch using the Force?" Miran suggested. She was very good at moving things using the Force. She would have been able to move that training saber with ease.

"Lightsaber duel?" Ka'shard suggested.

"Want to go read up on the Stark Hyperspace War?" Tasher asked quietly.

"I think you're on to something there Tasher," Ennem responded laughing. "I'm with you."

"That's two against one against one," Tasher said quickly, "looks like we're going to the archives."

"I was kidding," Ennem took back.

"Too late," Tasher replied and began pulling Ennem along in the direction of the lift. The history archives were down on the lower levels of the Jedi Temple. Tasher could walk the path with his eyes closed in the middle of the night.

"Yay," Ka'shard spoke up, "there's nothing I love more than the Jedi History Archives." The sarcasm was dripping.

"C'mon," Miran said happily, taking Ka'shard's hand and pulling him along, "we can look up your grandfather while those two look up stupid history." Ka'shard smiled and caught up with her so he didn't have to be dragged.

Miran had a little girlish crush on Ka'shard. Everyone knew it, except of course for Ka'shard. The Jedi frowned up connections like that, about the bond it could create. But these were children, nothing to worry about. It was innocent.

The four friends entered the lift, the halls of the Temple were surprisingly empty, and went down to the archives. On the way down, Tasher continued to enthrall them with stories of the War. It wasn't his favorite topic, but it was his current fad. Ennem joked with him the entire way down.

It took only a few seconds before they reached the right floor and they stepped off. Only to discover something terrible.

"Closed?" Tasher asked unbelievingly, "I was just here a little while ago."

"I don't know what to tell you," Ka'shard said.

"But it's never closed," Ennem responded, reading the note on the door over and over, "where's the historian?"

"Awwwwww," Miran whined sarcastically, "looks like we'll have to find something better to do. Who wants to play a game?"

"I guess so," Tasher agreed slowly, unsure of everything.

"C'mon," Miran said playfully, pulling on Tasher's robes. She led them back to the lift.

"I'm going to find out what is wrong with the archives," Ennem said, he had a curious mind, always wanting to be on top of the latest gossip or information.

"Okay," Miran replied sorrowfully, she'd lost a player. "So what should we play?" They stepped aboard the lift and began to ascend.

"Um," Tasher tried to think of something but his mind was still pondering the archives. They were never closed.

"Force-catch?" Ka'shard suggested, bringing up Miran's previous suggestion.

"Really?" she asked, squeezing his hand and looking into his eyes.

"Sure," he replied, "Tasher?"

"Okay," the young boy accepted the invitation.

"Ennem, you sure you don't want to play?" Miran urged.

"We've got a real mystery on our hands you guys," Ennem argued, "how can we ignore it?"

"You will play the game," Miran joked, waving her hand in front of Ennem like the true Jedi would do to persuade the minds of others.

Ka'shard lightly punched Ennem in his side.

"Okay okay," Ennem broke, "I will play the game." He spoke the last line like the weak minded, succumbing to the Jedi Mind Trick.

The lift stopped on the dormitory floor and the doors opened.

The four friends stepped off, only to be confronted by Casse Rion and R2-W5.

Casse was another girl from their group of Jedi Initiates. She was partly human, and part something else. No one, not even Casse, knew what else. She was from the lower levels of Coruscant, so it wasn't uncommon. He mother was human. She had light skin with a pinkish hue, and bright startled red hair, which she kept short. The only other distinguishing feature that could be seen was a pair of stubby horns at her temples.

R2-W5 was a yellow astromech droid. There were many droids throughout the Jedi Temple, each with a variety of tasks. W5, however, was one that worked and lived with the students. When Jedi Knight Irrin'shlar was an Initiate, he used his technological skills to make W5 less of a droid and more alive, with more free will. Now W5 worked secretly with the Initiates to help them out, sneak them treats, as well as a variety of other little things. He became their friend.

Casse was also very technically minded, and when Irrin'shlar had told the students about the secret of W5, because the rest of the Jedi didn't' know, he appointed Casse Rion as W5's keeper. The others guessed that this almost guaranteed Casse would be taken as Irrin'shlar's Padawan.

"Hey Casse," Miran greeted the young girl, "hey W5." The others said their greetings as well.

"I'm glad I found you," Casse said hurriedly as if she were out of breath, she steadied herself against the wall with one hand.

"What's wrong Casse?" Tasher asked. W5 started beeping.

"Yeah yeah," Casse agreed, composing herself, "you all have to report to your bunks. All available Jedi have been called off-planet. They've gone to help Obi-Wan Kenobi out somewhere in the galaxy. We've been left alone here and there's a lockdown on the Temple. We're to report to our bunks and stay there."

"All the Jedi are gone?" Ka'shard awed.

"We're alone?" Miran asked, more concerned.

"Well no," Casse replied, "there are adults around like security and whoever. Just all the Jedi are gone."

W5 beeped an agreement.

"And we have to report to our bunks?" Ennem replied almost angrily, like the very thought disgusted him.

"Well that's what we've been told," Casse replied weakly.

"So the halls are empty of Jedi," Tasher speculated.

"Including the Council?" Miran continued.

"Yes," Casse answered.

"And all other Initiates are bunked down and stuck there," Ka'shard chuckled.

"Yes," Casse answered again, less sure of herself this time.

"Wow!" Miran shouted and quickly Ka'shard clamped his hand over her mouth and shushed her.

"We have almost free run of the place," Ennem speculated joyously.

Casse squeaked uncontrollably.

"We can do whatever we want," Ka'shard laughed.

"W5!" Tasher said suddenly, pointing at the dome-headed droid.

The others looked at the droid.

Ka'shard gasped.

"He can get us into any room we went by accessing the mainframe," Tasher enlightened the group.

"Like the training room," Ka'shard suggested.

"Or the holocron room," Miran giggled.

"The archives," Tasher said with authority.

"The Council room," Ennem said slowly.

The others became instantly quiet. Casse whimpered and everyone looked slowly at W5.

"The Council room..." Miran gasped with awe.

Ka'shard swallowed.

The thought was almost evil. The Council room, where the Jedi Council met to discuss all-important Jedi things. It was sacred ground. The kids had been in the room maybe three times in the lives. A few times when they were first brought in, but that was back when they couldn't remember. And then recently they had gone in for an overview meeting so the entire Council could look upon their upcoming students.

It was the highest most room in the Temple. It was a huge room to a 9 year old. It was almost forbidden for them to even think such thoughts.

"Should we?" Ka'shard asked slowly, already sure that they would.

"We can't," Casse complained.

"You don't need to come," Ennem assured her, "we just need W5."

"I'll go," Casse said slowly.

"Okay," Tasher said putting his hand on her small shoulder. He was taking command of the group. "This is a big thing my friends. We could get in very big trouble for this."

"How much trouble?" Miran asked.

"Not too much," Ennem assured the group, "we won't get kicked out of the Temple for this. And who will know? W5 can disabled any security devices or whatnot when he bypasses the door security."

"You up for it W5?" Tasher asked the little droid.

W5 beeped happily, agreeing to be part of such a risky adventure.

"Then it's settled," Ennem said happily, "c'mon."

The five students and droid got back in the lift and began the long ascent to the Council Room.

"Are you sure about this?" Casse asked quietly, knowing he objections would mean little.

"Don't worry Casse," Tasher said in an assuring voice. "It's going to be okay. This is just a little fun."

She didn't answer, Casse Rion only shook her head. The rest of the ride upwards was filled with childish speculation and giddiness. They knew they were breaking the rules. They knew they could get in very big trouble.

But it didn't matter, it would be fun.

The lift stopped on the correct floor, the highest floor. The students exited and came face-to-face with the grand and illustrious doors of the Jedi Council Chamber. Like being in the room, they had only seen the doors a few times in their young lives.

It was an awe-inspiring sight. Every young Jedi could easily picture himself or herself one day sitting on the Council as a great Jedi Master.

W5 went straight to the wall access port outside the doors and the droid inserted its probe. After a few beeps and whirs, a large clacking noise sounded from the doors. The lock had been released.

"Make sure you get rid of all security holocams and everything else W5," Ennem instructed the droid.

It beeped in agreement and soon everything which could see or prove the kids had been in the room had been deactivated.

The five of them approached the door as the droid released its connection with the mainframe.

"This is it," Tasher said slowly.

"I'm scared," Ennem responded.

"Of course you are," Ka'shard chuckled.

Miran slipped her hand into Ka'shard's, squeezing it tightly.

Casse placed her hand on the top of W5's dome.

"Go on," Ka'shard urged Tasher and Ennem. The two young boys sighed and stepped up to either door. They grasped the giant handles and began to pull. The giant doors barely budged. They pulled harder.

"They won't move," Ennem surged, pulling with all his might.

"Step back you idiots," Miran laughed. The two boys let go and stepped back into the line.

"Use the force," Ka'shard said to Miran. She smiled playfully and let go of his hand. She took a step forward and raised her hand to the doors.

The other children took a step back as the concentration began to show on Miran's gentle features.

"C'mon," Ennem urged, clenching his fists.

W5 beeped and Casse patted his head.

"You can do it," Ka'shard said calmly and stepped forward placing his hand softly on her shoulder.

The hand startled her and a look of startled surprised struck her. In that instant, the doors flew open powerfully and almost banged against the walls.

"Whoa," Casse startled.

Miran's blue skin darkened as she blushed, "guess I don't know my own strength."

"Good job," Ka'shard congratulated her.

"Yeah," Tasher agreed with a smile.

Ennem took the first steps forwards. He stood in the very entranceway of the great Jedi Council Chamber.

"Wow," he awed.

The others joined him in a line. The doorway was wide enough for all six of them to stand side-by-side with room to spare.

The room was gigantic. Large vertical windows displayed the bustling world of Coruscant. Powerful banners hung against the walls. The domed ceiling seemed to stretch on forever upward. The designs on the floor were intimidating. And the most amazing things were the seats of the Jedi Council members.

"Haha!" Ennem cajoled as he burst into the room and ran to Master Eeth Koth's seat and slowly lowered himself into it. Eeth Koth was also a zabrak; he was Ennem's hero.

Tasher and Miran rushed into the room with Casse quickly behind. They each ran around the great room, trying out different chairs and looking out the great windows.

Ka'shard looked at W5 and sighed heavily. He walked into the room and headed directly to the seat of Jedi Knight Ki-Adi-Mundi. The droid wheeled in after him.

Ka'shard peered at the seat. Ki-Adi-Mundi was his hero. The great Jedi had fought alongside his grandfather and had been the Master of his father, A'sharad Hett. All his friends assured Ka'shard that Ki-Adi-Mundi would take him as a Padawan. He hoped beyond everything that was true.

"Just sit in it," Tasher said, moving up next to his friend.

"I can't," Ka'shard replied. Tasher just smiled.

Casse proudly sat in Depa Billaba's seat while Miran reluctantly took Saesee Tiin's; she had wanted Depa's.

"This is amazing!" Casse exclaimed.

"You see," Ennem laughed, "we told you!"

Ka'shard chuckled seriously, still in awe over the Jedi Knight.

Tasher wouldn't allow his friend to miss out on the fun so he grabbed the back of Ka'shard's tunic and threw him onto the middle of the Council Chamber floor.

"Whaaa?" Ka'shard exclaimed as Tasher laughed and jumped on his friend. The two young boys began wrestling as little boys do. Only they were wrestling on the floor of the Jedi Council Chamber.

Miran and Casse both stood up and began cheering. Miran for Ka'shard and Casse cheered for Tasher.

Ennem, not one to be left out, stood up in Eeth Koth's chair and dove onto the pile. The fight quickly became a 3-boy free-for-all. The laughter and cheers filled the entire room.

Interrupted only by the beeps coming from W5. The small droid had plugged itself into a wall outlet and monitored whatever it is droids monitor.

"No!" Casse exclaimed as she jumped off her chair and ran over to W5.

"What? What?" Tasher yelped, standing up from the scuffle.

"There's an incoming message," Casse shouted from where W5 was.

"What do you mean?" Ka'shard asked, jumping up as everyone was now running over to the wall.

W5 was constantly beeping. Casse was translating.

"There's an emergency broadcast message coming through. High priority clearance. Going straight to the Council. Oh wow. The room isn't telling us because W5 shut all of that down. He only knows caused he tapped into the Council's systems. The system can't display the message without turning the cameras on."

"Can't he broadcast it through his own workings?" Miran asked nervously.

"Yes," Casse answered, "but Jedi Knight Nario Rhea will not be able to see us. We can't talk back to him."

"Well that's good," Ennem surged.

"Send it through," Tasher ordered, taking command.

"Do it W5," Casse instructed the droid.

Instantly, an image of the Jedi Knight, a bald human male, appeared before them as a hologram. The young students huddled together.

"Jedi Council?" Nario Rhea asked, "Council? Can you hear me?" The hologram showed him stooped over wearing his Jedi robes. He looked in pain.

W5 sent a message through the system to at least acknowledge that we were receiving.

"Okay," he said slowly, "I need help. I'm on Dagobah as per my orders and I have indeed tracked down Aurra Sing."

The children startled with the speaking of that name.

"We're both wounded and it's horrible here. This swamp planet is filled with numerous monsters as well as Sing. It has become a harsh game of hunting each other, but I have found a way to contact you. I desperately need help. Please, send help to these coordinates on Dagobah."

W5 received the coordinates.

"Please, I don't know how much longer I can last. And I assure you we can get the accursed woman now."

The image disappeared.

"Wouldn't they have shut down the message equipment when they left?" Tasher asked quietly after a few seconds of silence.

"W5 turned them back on when he was plugged into the system," Casse answered quietly, "he didn't want to let anything get by him while we were in here."

"And so we have this?" Tasher sighed and took a step back.

"We've got to save him," Ka'shard said with vigor.

"How can we?" Ennem cried.

"We're Jedi," Miran said strongly.

"Not yet," Casse urged.

"We're the only ones who know," Tasher shouted uncontrollably. "We're the only chance Nario Rhea has!"

"How do we get to Dagobah?" Ka'shard asked.

"We aren't going!" Ennem shouted.

"How can we not?" Ka'shard shouted back.

"We're just kids," Ennem almost cried with real tears. He took a few steps back and leaned against Plo Koon's chair. It was just too much for him.

"Ennem," Tasher said slowly, "calm down Ennem."

The young zabrak put his hands over his face and shook his head.

The others still stood around W5. None knew what to tell him. Casse walked over and put her hand on his shoulder.

"It's okay Ennem," she said assuredly, "I think it's insane too. We don't have to go."

Tasher cleared his throat.

Ennem actually started laughing.

"Yes I do," Ennem stood. "How could I let these idiots go off on their own. Haha, they'd get shot down before they even reached Dagobah. They'd be lost without me." There were weak tears in his eyes.

Miran ran forward and hugged Ennem. "Thank you Ennem." She squeezed him gently.

Ennem hugged her back and sniffled. He pushed her off and headed for the door.

"Casse?" Tasher asked the other girl.

"I don't want to go," she said slowly.

W5 beeped.

"But I guess I will," she finished.

"You don't have to," Tasher told her. Ka'shard and Miran were following Ennem out the door.

"Don't tell me what I don't have to do," Casse yelled suddenly, the others stopped and looked at her. Ennem smiled. "You coming W5?" Casse asked the droid.

The droid beeped a "yes".

"Alright then," Tasher laughed and took Casse's hand. "Let's go. We have a hero to save."

The five Jedi children left the honored Jedi Council Chamber and R2- W5 reset all security measures.