Sorry - fashionably late again!!! it was too much of an expense according to the Senate accountants. So he'd had no real connection with the remaining Jedi and most of his friends had been cast out early in the first few rounds of dismissals. Now he wondered if the constant missions had been deliberate, not so much that he was needed in the field but to keep him isolated from the other Jedi. Damn bureaucracy and sneaky politics - I think he may well be correct. I love those little moments you write between Obi and Atel showing their bond - it's lovely but also so sad. Isn't it tragic that poor Obi has learned not to trust anyone (except Atel and Qui-Gon)? What a sad comment on the Order. the image of Master Yoda and Mace Windu haggling like Corellian smugglers over the price of a Council seat was so far beyond the realm of possibility that Obi-Wan could not even wrap his mind around the concept. It was preposterous. Aie! That sure puts it into perspective. It swallowed the horizon, looming large, growing closer with every heartbeat. The late afternoon light cast a reddish stain over the building's surface, the color of dried blood. Fantastic imagery!! I suspect that Sle'fey might regret his decision. The shuttle's windows darkened, the sunlight morphing into artificial gloom as it slid into the landing bay. Gloom indeed. And ominous gloom as well. Great ending. Enjoyed that post even though poor Obi's pain is palpable and Qui-Gon's situation seems hopeless. Very dramatic.