You Didn't Hear It From Me

Archivist's note: Master Kenobi has respectfully requested that this entry be stricken from the Archives databanks, on the grounds that Garen Muln is a reprehensible gossip-mongerer, and that no sane person woud give credence to the calumnious drivel disseminated herein. His request has been summarily denied, on the grounds that only things which do not exist are not found in our records.


All right. I'll tell you.

But don't tell him that I did – and don't ever mention it in the dining hall or the initiate dojo, or anywhere like that. Obi-Wan would have my hide if this story got 'round to the Temple's younglings. I think he's content to let its memory erode into inconsequence with time. What? Oh, that just means he'd like everyone to forget that it ever happened – and for the most part, they have.

Yes. I still remember. But I was his best friend. Well, Bant will tell you she's his best friend, but you mustn't listen too closely to Master Bant. She's sentimental; it's unbecoming in a Jedi but she is a healer now so we'll forgive her, hm?

Right. The story. This happened when we were both about the same age you are now, maybe a bit less – say, about nine years old. I might have been eight-going-on-nine. I'm slightly younger and slightly better looking than your master, not that it matters. We were part of the same clan, with Reeft. Have you met him yet? No? Pity. I think you would like him, but he's on a journey mission in the Rims, and he never comes back to Coruscant. Anyhow, we all lived together on the fourteenth level east wing, and Master Troon was in charge of our clan back then. Good old Dragon clan - Troon Palo always got landed with all the hard cases, and we two were among the worst mischief makers.

No, I'm not kidding. Oh, I get it: he's got the wool pulled over your eyes already. Believe me, Padawan, your master was a holy terror in the crèche. He was a malign influence on me. It's taken more than a decade of severe discipline and training to overcome the detrimental effects of his bad example on my character. Truly.

Detrimental. You know, as in rubbing off his own vices onto me. Yeah, he lectures a lot but I didn't pick that one up. I mean more like his talent for getting in trouble. Your master was a child prodigy at maneuvering himself into tight spots, and that's fairly difficult here in the Temple. You can see how closely the crèche masters keep an eye on the younglings, and how strict the rules of comportment are for clan-level initiates. And a Padawan who steps out of line… well, I don't want to scare you, since you are of rather tender years for a Padawan. And I've heard a few stories about your recent hijinks, too.

Well, of course he told me. I'm his best friend, remember?

Anyway, we were just your age. And Ali Alaan – you've met him, I'm sure, he has charge of the younger tots, before they're assigned to a clan dormitory – he and Master Troon had this brilliant idea that some of the older initiates would benefit from a mentoring relationship with a younger child. A ploy to foster responsible and mature attitudes on our part, you see. And naturally, it was the more troublesome boys that were selected for this exercise. I was paired with a shy lad called Ti-mo. He's gone to the Agri-Corps now, and he must be a wonderful asset to them. I've never met a sweeter temperament in all my life. I think he was supposed to inspire me with his example, but I was far too distracted by your master to really absorb Ti-Mo's virtues.

Hm? Oh, well, Ali Alaan decided that little Bant would be perfect for your master. And she was – the moment they were put together, Obi-Wan went into hyper-protective mode. He hovered over her like a mother thranctill. If I remember rightly, he even tried to sneak back into Ali Alaan's crèche to watch over her at night, in case hostile intruders decided to violate the sanctity of the Temple or something. Bant loved him, and he loved her, and all was well – at least until Obi-Wan all but threw another boy into the wall in the play room, claiming that the victim had been bullying Bant.

Well, of course Jedi younglings have altercations. What? No – where do you get these ideas, Padawan? Nobody got whipped for it. Stars' end, how uncivilized. No, your master got a stern talking-to and had to apologize and clean up the common area for a week, or similar chores. The other boy? Bruck Chun. You'll not ever meet him – he's not with us any longer. No, I won't tell you his story. It doesn't matter – not now.

Master Troon and Master Ali put their heads together and decided that it might be better if this "buddy system" were employed in a more structured environment, a context that did not lend itself to violence. So they began taking us to the Archives on a regular basis, with the idea that the older students could read to the younger ones, and hopefully both gain some edification along the way. Madame Nu reluctantly agreed to permit such an invasion of her private domain at certain specified hours, and pre-selected some appropriate material.

I heard, and good for you. The aurebesh is much easier to decode than the Huttese system – so you're ahead of the game. You'll be reading fluently in no time, don't fret. Obi-Wan says you're a quick study, anyhow. Yes, he really did say that. Where was I?

Oh, yes. Well, Bant Eerin had us all deceived. She looks like such a sweet naïf, even now. It's those big round eyes and her innocent expression. But she's made of durasteel underneath – she has to be, or she wouldn't have gone in for the healing arts. Don't misunderstand me – Bant is a lovely person, by far the kindest of her friends. All I'm saying is that she has a hidden side. Neither Obi-Wan nor she liked the prim fables and inspiring moral tales Madame Nu had chosen as reading material for the clan. My guess is that the crèche masters had informed our incomparable Archivist of their secret purposes, and she waxed overenthusiastic in the desire to improve our characters.

In any case, it wasn't long before your master had figured out a way to circumvent her restrictive reading list. Now, Madame Nu – as you may know – is not a fool. She had already instructed the Archives utility droids to ignore any request issuing from any person under a meter tall, a restriction that later backfired on her when Master Piell came ambling in and demanded a particular record or holobook. But that's another tale.

No, he didn't slice the droids to bits. We were nine years old, remember? None of the initiates carry a 'saber. We only ever got to practice with low-power trainers in the student dojo, and that under strict supervision. Obi-Wan just decided to employ a simple distract and infiltrate technique. I got the distract part of the job. At a signal – I forget what it was – my task was to create a disturbance sufficient to pull Madame Nu away from the stacks for a full two minutes. It took some creativity - I would pretend to need the fresher urgently, or come up with some penetrating insight into whatever I was reading and ask her a heap of questions, or accidentally on-purpose knock down a whole row of holobooks and then require assistance righting them. It wasn't a simple matter to keep fabricating plausible events or questions from day to day, week to week, but I managed it somehow. And you can see how the continued fulfillment of that duty landed me with an undeserved reputation for making trouble, while your master was praised by the Archivist for his studious absorption in whatever book he had at the time.

By which I mean, whichever forbidden volume he had climbed up and stolen from the stacks overhead while Madame wasn't looking.. It wasn't a particularly predictable system, but he and Bant enjoyed some fairly gripping material. He always filled me in later, to be fair. They learned about the infamous massacre at Bos Uman, the connubial practices of the native Tellurians, the intricacies of time-release bomb construction, and any number of things I can't tell you about right now. Not that we understood much of it, but our appetite for knowledge definitely remained undiminished.

What's that? Oh, I see. Yes, I suppose it was similar to you listening to spacers' tales outside the cantinas. It's natural enough for a young boy to want to know what's going on in the wide world. Our education here in the Temple is very cautiously structured and measured out. That's not a criticism – the older I get, the more I see the wisdom in our Jedi tradition. It's just that your master probably needed a strong hand. He was one of the ones that should have been apprenticed young, for his own sake. Like you – that would have been better for him. He got into too much trouble without direct one-on-one supervision.

Hm? Oh, not till he was almost thirteen. No, I suppose he wouldn't tell you that. He's touchy about it, though Force knows he's got nothing to be ashamed of now. You're lucky, Padawan, even if you don't realize it yet. Me? I was older, too, but that never weighed on me in the same way. I knew that the Force would provide a path in due time, and it did. But your Master was impatient. Always brooding, always scheming, always pushing himself harder and further, always yearning for something he couldn't describe. He was a right pain in the arse some days. But we loved him anyway. He's just like that – most people find him admirable, despite his glaring flaws. He's a gundark, but a charming one.

Easy! I was kidding….. now who's overprotective? All right, no offense taken. Let me get back to the story.

So all went quite well, as it usually does, until the day when it didn't. The problem started with this fellow Chun I was telling you about. Yes, all right, the fellow I won't tell you all about. He got wind of what those two were doing. How? I don't know. But he was a nosy boy, always prying into others' doings and looking for fault. He had an instinct for finding his peers' weaknesses and exploiting them, like a good saber duelist – only Bruck never limited his insights or their applications to the dojo. He was a bully.

No, it's sadly true. There are bullies, sometimes, even here. A capacity to feel the Force does not guarantee a golden spirit, more's the pity. Yeah, like the Sith. Anyway, Chun figured out our petty conspiracy and was piqued. And quite cleverly, he sensed that the best way to get your master back for the playroom incident – which , by the way, was his own fault and I won't hear any argument to the contrary – was to punish Bant right under his nose. And he was a conniving barve, let me tell you. He bided his time until the right moment.

Now, this was at a time when your Master had some trouble with recurrent nightmares. No, really; he had night terrors worse than anyone else in the clan – that's what a deep-seated connection to the Unifying Force does for you. Poor little blighter. Master Troon always made him drink peruma tea – ever hear of that? It's just an herb, but pretty potent for humans; it would knock you clean out on your back. Sometimes it got so bad they would have a healer up to work with him for a bit, just to make sure he relaxed and got some real sleep. Vokara Che got landed with that job, often enough.

What? Well, I suppose so. You might have something there – it's an established fact that Obi-Wan has an antipathy to healers. And likely enough that anybody associated so closely with horrific nightmares would end up tarred with the same brush. But I'm not an armchair mind-healer, Padawan. And it's not your place to speculate.

So: Chun. He waited for his chance, and seized upon it when it came. That day, as I recall, your master was laid up in the dormitory, probably under the influence of a sleep suggestion, in the aftermath of a particularly bad episode. And little Bant, when she discovered that he wasn't to be in the Archives with us that afternoon, was broken- hearted. She wept and demanded "her Obi," which of course raised a stink. Friendship is one thing, but special attachments are forbidden, and it was clear to all that Bant had her heart set on one particular friend over any other. Ali Alaan reasoned with her and she settled down after a bit, I think, but at that point Chun had his opening.

He volunteered to read with her in Obi-Wan's place.

She was too afraid of incurring the masters' wrath to object, and so they spent a nice little hour together, while Chun dutifully ploughed his way through the various edifying texts selected by Madame Nu. Now Bant was practically still a baby at this point, barely past six years old, and there was no guile in her. She asked Chun why they couldn't read something more interesting, like she always did with your master, and he promptly told her that she would never see Obi-Wan again, because the creche masters had discovered their little conspiracy and permanently banned him from her company.

I learned this later, from Bant. At the time, all I knew was that a small Mon Calamari girl ran shrieking and wailing down the main Archives aisle, much to the astonishment and disapproval of all present, and blubbered all over Madame Nu's tunics and tabards. It took Ali Alaan and Troon Palo's concerted efforts to pry her loose from her supplicatory posture, and by that point it was too late. Bant, in a childish effort to reverse the merciless sentence, had confessed everything, claiming that it was all her fault and "her Obi" was not to be blamed.

Well, yes. That's why she's not a Shadow, or a diplomat. But don't be too outraged – she was distraught and none of us had much experience with treachery and manipulation. That comes later, for most of us. What? Oh, Chun. Well, I'm sure he was smirking away in the corner, but I didn't take much notice of him at the moment. I was too concerned for Bant. But in the end, everyone realized that she was far too young to be the mastermind and that the responsibility fell squarely on her accomplice's shoulders.

Eventually, the masters shepherded us all back to the clan dorms, where we were told sternly to keep our focus on the present moment and our own improvement, not the troubles and rumored perfidy of others.

Hm? Oh, neither can I, my young friend. Don't be ashamed. A curious mind is a great asset in a Jedi. I snooped about as much as I could, believe you. After all, this was my best friend we are talking about.

And speaking of whom, no sooner was Obi-Wan released from the healer's care that evening than he was descended upon by Master Troon and Madame Jocasta Nu, in the flesh. Our beloved Archivist was none too happy about her imperium being so blatantly over-ruled, so she came in person to deliver the news of her displeasure. I do think Master Troon might have been present simply to mediate. You know, prevent the summit from devolving into violence.

What? No, I already told you: nobody ended up getting a whipping. That's not how it's done here in the Temple, then or ever. No, Madame simply wanted to make it clear that your master was out of line, and that she expected a full and properly contrite apology. I , of course, wasn't able to witness the proceedings. All I can tell you is this: a half hour later, Madame Nu stormed out of the clan dormitory, looking like a Sullustan hurricane about to break, and left without so much as a word of farewell to Troon. Some of the other younglings started to cry. A moment later, your master reappeared, looking like he was going to throw somebody into a wall again. I said something to him, and he said something back, and before I knew it we were wrestling on the floor – fairly hard, no holds barred, and some throws and tackles worked in for good measure. Master Troon roared so loudly the rafters shook, and after that we broke apart and ended up cleaning the freshers or similar chores, I can't recall what.

Well, yes. We two got in trouble rather a lot, as I mentioned before. A bit of a pre-dinner tussle was nothing out of the ordinary. How do you think your master learned to keep that tongue of his between his teeth? It was I who taught him what little manners he has. And let me just say, it was obvious he hadn't exercised proper control in Madame Nu's presence. He was banned from the Archives for six weeks and given a whole pile of stultifying holobooks - the entire collection of righteous texts Madame Jocasta had selected for us - with the idea that he would read them all, down to the last word, and pass a rigorous examination on their contents. This test was to be administered by the Archivist herself, of course.

It was a brutal punishment, and when Chun heard about it he was as pleased as a mynock sucking a power cable.

Oh you would? Well, I daresay at that point in time your master would have preferred a straightforward whipping, too. But he didn't have a choice in the matter. And let me tell you, he was in a rare mood for the next week or so. That clever penalty dreamt up by Madame Nu backfired in some degree, too. Obi-Wan wasn't so much as three days into his assigned readings when the punishment began to be applied to the entire clan, in the form of impromptu lectures delivered by the intended subject of reformation. He had us all bored to tears, and to occasional angry indignation, by the end of the first week. Even Master Troon's incomparable patience was sorely tried.

Why does that amuse you so? Every skill has to be learned and perfected somehow.

Well, things got more and more intolerable, what with your master toddling around delivering lengthy encomiums to rectitude every which way, and in the haughtiest tone you can possibly imagine – oh, that's a fairly good impression. Don't ever do that in front of him if you value your life, upon my oath. So you know precisely what I mean, then. It got to the point where Troon Palo was prepared to declare a full surrender, but Madame Nu wouldn't hear of it. She wanted the full sentence carried out and she didn't care how much suffering it inflicted on the clan in the meantime.

So we all learned patience under your master's expert tutelage, and at long last the day came. And Jocasta Nu – let me tell you something about her: do not cross that woman, Padawan. She wasn't satisfied with a private inquisition. On the day of the appointed examination, she assembled an intimidating audience: Troon, Ali Alaan, all the assistant archivists and staff, most the instructors who had anything to do with initiate level classes, and old Yoda himself. She had these formidable judges gathered together in a small conference room near the Archives, ready to witness the execution. It would have been enough to make any youngling wet his pants, Jedi or not.

But she obviously didn't know who or what she was dealing with.

I didn't get to be there for that event, either, but I heard all the rumors afterward.

Our esteemed Archivist grilled your master up, down and inside out, like the main course at an Ewok cannibal feast, but he fielded every question with consummate skill, even eliciting a chuckle or two from the audience with an impertinent reply here and there. He'd learned his lesson all too well, you might say. And it was a mistake to engage him in a contest of wits, at least one involving words and argument. He's got a silver tongue, and he had it even then. So by the end of the so-called examination, Madame Nu was furious. She kept her cool, of course- you would never see a former Council member actually stoop to shouting or unbecoming conduct… but I have it on reliable testimony that she was right steamed. So she asks your master, very dry and sardonic, what he thinks the reward for his diligence should be.

And he quotes Master Seva back at her, the one about diligence being its own reward.

So she snaps back something about minding his tongue. As though.

And of course he has to spout off the old one about out of the mouths of babes- and well, you can imagine the reception that got. Everyone was up in arms except Master Yoda who told them that a wonderful thing was the mind of a child – he says that a lot, even now – and told Madame Nu that she had reaped the fruits of her own diligence with young Obi-Wan, and she should rest well satisfied.

Now Jocasta is not one to admit defeat easily, but the Grand Master always has the last word, so she settled for a compromise. She decided to make your master an official Archives "helper" – ah, junior assistant or something. Basically gave him free rein in the place and the illusion of privilege in exchange for a lot of tedious work.

Hm? Yes, that's right; bear that in mind, my friend. If anyone around here appoints you to be a special "helper" in the younglings' crèche or the kitchens or what have you, don't be deceived. It means that you are in a heap of poodoo, and they simply aren't sure what else to do with you.

So, that constituted the inception of a Golden Age. Obi-Wan had plenty of leisure to spend in the Archives and he and Bant and I enjoyed some very illuming reading time. We learned about any number of fascinating topics… no, I won't tell you all of them, what's the point in that? You have to seek your own wisdom, Padawan, not get it second hand.

But of course it was too good to be true. As I already told you, this fellow Chun had it in for your master. And when he heard about this new arrangement, he was all but livid, thinking that malfeasance had been rewarded richly with privilege. That set his cunning wheels spinning again, let me tell you, and within a fortnight he'd launched the second phase of his assault. And this time he went for the throat.

Yes, targeting Bant was smart. That was taking advantage of an enemy's weakness. This time he went deeper. Come to think of it, the weasely little barve really had quite a good grasp on Obi-Wan's character. Odd, really, considering how much he hated him. Anyhow, this time he was out for blood, and he knew just how to draw it. I forget exactly how it started, but bit by bit, dropping a hint here and a making a subtle implication there, he started poisoning the village well.

Hm? No, no it's a figure of speech. He planted doubts in your master's mind, the miserable bottom-dwelling slime. His arguments went something like this:

You're reading a lot of books without permission. If you don't ask permission, it's because you know somebody would tell you no. If they would tell you no, then there's a good reason for that. If there's a good reason, then those books must be bad. If you're reading bad books, then your head is full of bad ideas. Bad ideas are a path to the Dark Side. Jedi have been kicked out of the Order for propagating wrong ideas. They're called the Lost, teachers of false doctrine. So you must be one of them, or pretty well on your way.

How do I know what he said? I had to listen to it over and over, of course. Obi-Wan is a menace to public safety when he gets going on a brooding binge, and I was his best friend, remember? I can't tell you how many nights he kept me awake mulling it over and agonizing over it, until that night when I'd just had enough and then some. I told him to stuff it, and he told me something rude I can't repeat – no, I won't repeat it, I can't be responsible for the loss of your innocence, Padawan – and then fairly soon we were rolling on the floor again, going at it hammer and tongs, very nice friendly argument until Troon Palo came down on us like a class three ion storm and ended it.

I forget what the punishment was that time. To be frank, it all blends together, really. Your Master really never would have made it to Knighthood if he hadn't curbed that awful temper of his. It's a good thing he had a staid and sensible friend like me to balance him out. Anyhow, after that we didn't discuss it anymore but I could tell he was still worried about it because he walked around with this scowl on his face all the time and his appetite waned and they had real trouble getting him to sleep for a week or so.

Of course he was mental. He still is.

So it went, until the fateful day he came up with what he thought was a brilliant strategic solution. Don't laugh, young one, it's unbecoming to mock your own teacher. He had it all figured out, Obi-Wan did. He'd been brooding on the problem for weeks, remember, all the while growing more and more certain that he was on the fast track to expulsion and a headlong Fall to the Dark Side. In the extremity of his fervor – hm?

Oh. Ah, you know, enthusiasm. Mania. In the extremity of his obsession, he applied himself to researching the question in the Archives. Don't snigger, now – I've already warned you. So in the course of his researches, he discovered that there are records – enchiridions, teaching materials and so forth – that give a detailed and compelling account of each and every doctrine that's been condemned as a false viewpoint leading to the Dark. And he discovered that these records are restricted to Masters and certain others, for obvious reasons.

So now he was determined to get his hands on these forbidden tomes.

Well, yes, they were off-limits to a nine year old initiate. But he didn't seem to care, because his need was so overwhelming. In his head, the only way to insure that he didn't evolve into a foul arch-heresiarch was to diligently study and absorb each and every condemned idea thoroughly. That way he would be able to tell when he began to believe one of them. Forewarned is fore-armed, or something like that. He thought that if he could make a thorough comparison of his own notions against the false and dangerous ones espoused by the Lost, he would be able to definitively avoid the horrible fate prognosticated by our mutual friend Bruck Chun.

Yes, I tried to tallk him out of it. No, I didn't succeed… somehow, the argument ended with me agreeing to help him. I still can't tell you how he does that, but it's right annoying sometimes.

So on that fateful night we slipped out of the clan dormitory past curfew – yes, I know it's against the rules, and I knew it then, too. What's that? Oh, you think so, do you? Well, let me tell you, even Master Troon can be distracted. It doesn't always require the most sophisticated means, either. A simple matter of plugging up all the commodes in the dormitory 'fresher – if you shove metallic or plasteel objects like the parts of a puzzle toy or utensils from the dining hall into the receptacle, the 'cinerators overload and you've got a major hygienic problem to address, and of course younglings aren't so skilled at delaying their urges long enough to make it the next floor, so things like that merit a certain priority status.

I see that look in your eye. Don't try it, young one. It's been done before, and now the masters are wise to it .

Anyhow, after deploying our little distraction and sneaking out of the dorm, we used the ventilation shafts to make our way to the Archives, and dropped in through the ceiling on the second tier. Hm? We climbed down the stacks, of course. And naturally Obi-Wan had already determined where the holobooks and records he needed were stored. What he didn't understand was that the case in which they were housed had a coded entry seal on it, the kind that has to be manipulated with the Force.

Well, we worked at it for a good half hour without any success before we realized this was an effort doomed to failure. So then your master had another one of his famous brainstorms, and decided that we would enter a request via the Archives databanks, under Master Troon's name. He had learned quite a bit about the computers and the organization of the system during his weeks as official junior assistant, you see, which proves that the man is impervious to any kind of reformation and that it would have been wiser simply to give him a sound thrashing in the very beginning.

But I digress.

It didn't take long to enter the relevant request, and soon enough a droid went hovering up to the top tier, and one of the night-shift assistants – a senior Padawan who didn't know what conniving business she was made unwitting partner to – had gone up and fetched the relevant volumes, to be deposited behind the desk pending Master Troon's arrival.

We waited until the coast was clear and then toddled up to the desk, sauntering along without a care in the world, feeling like we'd killed our first sarlaac and been named heroes for it. The moronic droid believed Obi-Wan's assertion that he'd been sent by Master Troon to pick up the books, and handed him a hefty stack of holo-volumes. And that was that. Off we went, intending to return to our beds the way we'd come.

Unfortunately, the loot was somewhat more awkward to carry than we had supposed. I climbed back into the venting shaft first, and Obi-Wan levitated the books up to me, one at a time. He was very good at that, had the rest of us beat by a parsec when it came to accuracy and control – but sadly, it also demanded a great deal of concentration on his part, and that means he was oblivious to his surroundings.

Including Madame Nu, who must have been standing there watching us for quite some time, her hands on her hips and her eyes just blazing with wrath. She waited until he had only one book left in his hands before she pounced.

I'll never forget that moment – I was frozen, up above in my hiding place, with a pile of holobooks chock full of dangerous and seductive sophistry, and there was my best friend, cornered down below with his wrist caught in Madame Nu's crushing grip. Yes, she barked at me to get down from there and of course I did. What? No, it would have been folly to run. Besides, honorably caught is honorably caught. It never occurred to us to run… we just don't, that's why. It's not part of our upbringing.

So there we stood, with Jocasta Nu in all her glory, the two of us apprehended in flagrante pilfering books of forbidden doctrine from the Archives. I figured that was the end of our illustrious careers, but your master didn't know when to surrender. He still doesn't, if you ask me. So instead of admitting defeat and making the best of the situation, perhaps by trying to explain what he was up to, the fool decides to make one last attempt at escape.

He tried to mind-trick Madame Nu.

No, I do not jest. He really thought that he might – just maybe- be able to convince her that we were not the delinquents she was looking for, and that she should simply go about her business. You know: move along, move along.

Ha! You are dead right about that. I've never seen the old lady so infuriated. She told me to get myself right back to Master Troon and confess everything, starting from the star-forsaken beginning – I believe that was her exact phrase – and she hauled young Obi off more or less by the scruff of his neck, straight to Master Yoda.

My heart was in my throat the entire way back to the clan dorm. Trouble? No, trouble was an ordinary affair for me, and Troon was always fair. No, I was certain I'd never see my best friend again. Everything was turning out just as Chun has said: your master was going to be chucked out of the Order, at the tender age of nine years old, or else end up in the ancient troll's stew-pot.

No, he didn't. Not in the end. But I wish I'd been there to hear what the old one had to say. He brought Obi-Wan back home later that night – in person, and he stayed and talked to Troon for a long while afterward, but we all had to go back to bed and mind our own business.

And when I tried to get details out of your master, he just rolled over in a miserable heap and clammed up. Yeah, that's what he does. He cried himself to sleep that night, too , but don't you ever dare repeat that to anyone.

What's that? Oh, well, he was banned from the Archives again, this time for six months, which was a terrible punishment but a just one. Bruck Chun denied all involvement and to the best of my knowledge received nothing more than a severe upbraiding. You can't very well lay down judgment on a person simply for making a suggestion. What? No, I wouldn't say that. It wasn't all his fault, Padawan. We are responsible for our own actions. It's only a coward who blames them on the lies of others. Bant and I were paired up as reading partners during that time, which is fortunate. Imagine the corruption of character she would have undergone under the influence of your master's company. I think we can all be attribute Bant's kindness and compassion to the limited exposure she had to his unwholesome company. And Obi- well, he ended up with special private lessons with Master Yoda, the content of which he's never divulged. So everyone got his just desserts in the end.

No, I don't; worry about things like that. And your master didn't grow up into a propagator of questionable doctrines. He's a stiff-arsed traditionalist, no doubt about it. Which proves that even a reprobate character like him can rise to the occasion and tread his path in the Light, so long as he has a good example, a guiding influence and a steadfast friend. Like me.

Yeah, you're lucky to have him, too. And you're welcome – it's been my pleasure.

But if he asks, you didn't hear it from me.