As Sarah came downstairs, Ahsoka looked at her. Ahsoka wasn't used to seeing Sarah dressed for outdoor sports when she normally wore dresses or other girly outfits during the warm summer months.
"Are you ready?" Ahsoka asked Sarah.
Sarah nodded. "Is something wrong, mommy?" she asked in return, curious what was triggering her mother's emotions.
Ahsoka shook her head negatively. "No, Sarah. I'm just used to seeing you dressed in prettier outfits, that's all."
"Are you going to play too, Mommy?"
"No, Sarah. I'm not an active Jedi right now. But I promise I'll watch you when you compete."
Sarah smiled at her mother's promise.
"Let's go, Sarah. We have to get there before the opening ceremony," Ahsoka reminded her daughter.
The Jedi Order traditionally conducted its own sporting competition during Summer Olympic years. With the Olympics currently taking place in Tokyo, the Jedi's version would start today and run all the way through Friday. Once everyone present checked in, the Grand Master addressed the participants.
"Okay, everybody, those of you who want to be part of the procession should line up behind me. Jedi will come first, followed by padawans and initiates. After our procession and some brief words and ground rules, the games will begin. Initiates will compete today and tomorrow. The Jedi and padawans will compete the rest of the week," he announced.
The Grand Master ignited a gold-bladed training saber. This was the Jedi equivalent of the Olympic torch. As he slowly began the around-the-block procession, everyone else trailed behind him. Every so often, the training saber was passed to another Jedi or padawan.
One the procession ended, Jedi Council members gathered for one last speech. They reminded the competitors that good sportsman was expected this week. In addition, nobody was permitted to use the Force except during the lightsaber sparring tournament. Now, it was time for the Jedi Games to begin.
"That wasn't even fun," Molly said in disgust. She and her classmates had just lost a tug-of-war to second grade initiates. The initiates were split into two groups for competition: lower (ages five to nine) and upper (ages 10-13).
"We have another one coming up," David replied optimistically.
"Are you kidding? Those are third graders. They'll wipe the field with us!" Madison exclaimed.
"We're still gonna try, right? We're not gonna let them bully us?" Molly asked emphatically.
Despite the classmates' best effort, they narrowly lost their consolation match. The third graders defeated the fourth graders to win the lower initiate tug-of-war.
Later, during lunchtime, Sarah and Molly sat together.
"What are those dots all over you?" Sarah asked curiously.
Molly looked down at her arms.
"Those are freckles," she answered proudly. "Do you get them?" she asked.
Sarah shook her head no. "They'd look weird on me," she replied before finishing her sandwich.
Molly giggled before replying, "You're probably right,"
"Ladies, how are you?" Ahsoka asked as she walked by the girls.
"Okay, I guess," Molly answered.
"We didn't do too well, mommy," Sarah added.
"You all did your best. It's hard when you're the youngest class competing."
"Do we have any more events today?" Molly asked.
Ahsoka thought for a minute. "No, the older initiates are competing this afternoon. Your final events will be tomorrow," she answered.
"Oh, okay," Molly replied.
The next day, Sarah once again dressed up for the day's competition. Once she arrived and checked-in, she caught up to her classmates.
"What event is next?" Sarah asked.
"The relay race," David answered.
"Can I be in it?"
"We have our four runners already. You probably aren't that fast anyways," Madison replied bluntly.
"Oh," Sarah replied dejectedly.
"Let's go. I don't want to finish last again," Madison said as the group left to prepare for the race.
Sarah walked off with her head down. She didn't see her father until they almost bumped into one another.
"What's wrong, princess?" he asked.
"I can't run in the relay. I won't get to do anything today," Sarah replied with disappointment in her voice.
"Actually, there is an event with a few openings left. Do you want to try the softball toss?"
Sarah nodded excitedly.
"Let's go over there and sign you up before it fills up," he said as he took Sarah's hand. They then walked over to the sign-up area. Sarah ended up being one of the last contestants to enter the event.
Later, Sarah saw her classmates as they took a break after their relay race and before her event.
"How did you do?" Sarah asked.
"Fourth of five. At least we weren't last this time," David replied.
A moment later, Madison returned with a disappointed look on her face.
"I wanted to do the softball toss, but it's already full!" she exclaimed.
"Great, nobody from our class will be in it," David realized.
"I'm in it," Sarah replied with a smile.
"How did you manage that?" Madison asked. She couldn't figure out how any of her classmates could be part of the event.
"I signed up while you were running," Sarah replied with a bigger smile.
"That's not fair!" Madison protested.
"She didn't run, so she may as well do something else," Molly said.
Madison sighed in disgust. "Fine!" she exclaimed before walking off in a huff.
"Ignore her, Sarah. Just make our class proud," Molly told Sarah.
There were only three competitors left in the Lower Initiate Softball Toss. Sarah heard her name called to throw next.
Sarah felt nervous to be the only person from her class in this event. She was eager to do well. She looked at the ball in her hands one last time, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes as she threw the ball as hard as she could.
Everyone was amazed to see her take over third place with her throw. However, there were still two more competitors left.
The first, a fourth grader, barely beat her mark. Unfortunately, his throw was disallowed because he stepped over the line. He then had one more chance to throw the ball. Flustered by his previous fault, his substitute throw was not in the top three.
A second grade girl was the last to throw. At first, it looked like her toss would be short, but the ball rolled farther than anyone expected. It stopped about an inch [2½ cm] farther than Sarah's toss. Sarah wouldn't get a ribbon after all. However, her fourth place finish was impressive because she was the youngest contestant.
Sarah was slightly disappointed at the end result, but her classmates tried to cheer her up.
"I thought you'd win a ribbon. I bet you do next time," David said.
"Yeah, now everyone knows our class is tough," Molly added in encouragement.
"You did a lot better than I thought... maybe even better than I would have. Nice job," Madison added, much to everyone's surprise.
"Thanks," Sarah replied simply. She then left to watch the award presentation.
After the presentation, one of the ribbon winners came up to Sarah.
"Hey, how did you learn to throw a ball so far?" the girl asked. Sarah noticed the third place ribbon and realized who it was.
Sarah's head-tail stripes darkened slightly. "I was so nervous. I closed my eyes and just threw it as hard as I could," she confessed.
"You might get a ribbon next time if you can throw that well," the girl replied. "What's your name?" she asked.
"I'm Sarah," Sarah replied with a small smile.
"I'm Kristen. Are you five?"
"I'll be six soon."
"You'll be nine next time we do this. I bet you win some ribbons then."
"I hope so."
Kristen stretched out her hand. Sarah put her small hand in Kristen's and they shared a brief handshake.
"Good job, Sarah. Just don't be so nervous and you'll do fine," Kristen said.
Sarah smiled, but wasn't sure what to say, so she said the first thing she could think of.
"May the Force be with you," Sarah repeated from memory.
"And to you, too," Kristen added.
After a few other events, it was time for lunch. Sarah chose to eat with her mother.
"What do we do now?" Sarah asked between bites of lunch.
"Well, your class is done competing. We can watch the other groups compete, or we can go home," Ahsoka replied.
"Let's go home," Sarah answered softly. She still felt some disappointment in not being in the relay.
"That's fine. We can have some mommy-daughter time," Ahsoka said.
Sarah smiled before finishing her lunch.
As Friday came to a close, the Jedi Games were over for another four years. In all, the event was a success with only a few minor scrapes and no serious injuries. Sarah was excited to see her father come in through the door.
"Daddy!" Sarah exclaimed before running up to hug him.
"Hey, princess. Miss me?" he asked.
Sarah nodded her head vigorously.
"I missed you, too," he replied as he kissed Sarah on her nose.
"Do I get a kiss if I say I missed you?" Ahsoka asked playfully.
He kissed Ahsoka on one of her white cheek markings. "Better?" he asked.
Ahsoka smiled and nodded.
"Oh, before I forget, I have some news about the upcoming school year," he said.
"What's that?" Ahsoka asked curiously.
"First, Madame Andrews will be teaching Sarah's class again."
"Did you hear that, Sarah? You have your same teacher again," Ahsoka said to Sarah.
"I like her," Sarah answered simply.
"Also, it appears we picked up two more students for the home school portion of the day. So there will be six initiates and eight home school students in the class this year," he added.
"Oh," Ahsoka answered. She didn't know what to think about that for now.
"Sarah, I know you didn't get any ribbons, but you did your best and came really close. And, I hope you had fun," he said.
"But now, you need to get ready for bed. One of us will be upstairs soon," he told his daughter.
"Okay," Sarah answered as she went upstairs.
"Are we going to do anything before school starts?" Ahsoka asked her husband.
"Maybe we can go up north for the weekend and just relax," he suggested.
"I'd like that. I'm sure Sarah would, too," Ahsoka replied.
"I'll see what I can do," he said.
Ahsoka kissed her husband before saying, "We better go check on Sarah. I'm sure she's looking for her good night kiss." ▄
Commentary: The upcoming "Fugitive Ahsoka" arc has definitely piqued my curiosity, even though the titles and descriptions weren't too impressive. I hope the action more than makes up for that. Here are my theories for the arc:
» Sidious arranges for an ambush of the Jedi Temple. Possibly, he uses Maul and Ventress for the attack.
» In part two, Sidious somehow learns of Ahsoka questioning the suspect. So, he arranges for this person's death and make it look as if Ahsoka killed the suspect herself.
» I can't see Ahsoka and Ventress cooperating. If that does happen, I think Ventress will have ulterior motives. Possibly, Ventress is ordered to lead Ahsoka on a wild goose chase.
» In the end, Anakin and/or Master Plo find proof to exonerate Ahsoka. Sidious keeps his cover by having a petty underling take the fall.
I honestly don't see Season Six being written without Ahsoka in it. Viewership would plummet.