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Before - Legends Lions and Tigers and Padawans, Oh My! (JA Humor: repost) *updated 12th May*

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jemmiah, Mar 30, 2003.

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  1. Jemmiah

    Jemmiah Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 5, 2000
    Title: Lions and Tigers and Padawans, Oh My!
    Author(s): Jemmiah, Healer Leona, Jedi Kylenn, Dagan Conner, The Musical Jedi, Opi Wan Cannoli, Wampy.
    Timeframe: JA (Obi-Wan is 21)
    Characters: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu, Jemmiah Gleshan, Simeon Cates, Kylenn Imri, Jay Abran, An-Paj and Yoda.
    Genre: Humor (with a touch of drama)
    Keywords: Temple, Padawans, Initiates.
    Summary: A padawan/initiate trip to the zoo seems straightforward enough...until the animals escape!

    Notes: A repost of a round robin story first issued back in March 2000.


    Well, thanks to popular request (2 people *grin*) I thought I'd dust this one down again. LTP was a comdey round robin. It was written before AOTC came out so anyone who reads it will have to assume (as I have in all the chronicles stories) that Qui-Gon was Yoda's padawan before he became Dooku's. Also, you will have to imagine a time when relationships of the extremely casual and non-comitted type are allowed within the jedi ranks. If you think you can cope with the above and would like a laugh, then this might be the story for you! :D

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to LTP

    And now, on with the show!


    (Post written by Jemmiah)

    "No master, please... not the zoo!"

    As the words left his mouth, Obi-Wan's eye brows climbed to a seemingly impossible height, as if trying to escape from off his face altogether. His master turned to look at him, stifling the slightest of sighs and crossing his arms across his chest to emphasize that the situation was irrevocable. Not that Qui-Gon didn't sympathize with his 21-year-old apprentice; a trip to the zoo with the youngest of the Jedi initiates would not have been high on his own list of must-do things. But there really was no choice...

    "I'm sorry, Obi-Wan, but this is not negotiable. The whole idea for this Padawan/Initiate excursion belongs to Master Yoda, and from experience it's better to bow and do as commanded. Not to mention less painful". Qui-Gon stroked his short beard absently. "For such a small being, that stick of his has a considerably impressive reach."

    One look at Obi-Wan's rapidly paling features told him that his attempt to inject some humor into proceedings had not been well received. The voice became firm once more.

    "You'll just have to grin and bear it, Padawan. You're going with the others from the temple and that is an end to it".

    Qui-Gon walked past his dejected apprentice into their living quarters, seating himself with as serene an expression as he could muster under the trying circumstances. He understood Obi-Wan's dismay. Both of them had more than earned a break from the constant field missions and somewhat tedious diplomatic duties that had become such a large part of their lives. The boy was feeling jaded, and Qui-Gon had promised some down time. But the Council had found a way to intrude on that, too. And neither of them liked it. As Obi-Wan followed his master into the room, Qui-Gon noticed the usual sparkle was completely absent from the his Padawan's eyes, and in it's place was a look of abject terror.

    "But master, I'll die!"

    At this declaration of woe, Qui-Gon failed to keep a smile from appearing on his lips.

    "Don't exaggerate, Obi-Wan".

    "I'm not!" Obi-Wan dropped theatrically to his knees. "Master, don't send me out there, please! You have no idea what it'll be like".

    "It's only the zoo, and it's only a group of children".


    Qui-Gon placed a hand to his broad forehead, trying to concentrate on the living force. Something else was going on here...

    "You like children". He replied calmly.

    "They don't like me!"

    They met each other?s stares in silence for a moment, before Obi-Wan wilted somewhat.

    "I've already got something to do".

    Qui-Gon caught his Padawan's nervous gulp. //Thought as much// he mused secretly. //And I think I know where this is going to go...//

    "I told Jemmy I'd meet her. She's leaving for Corellia tomorrow and I won't see her for the best part of four mont
  2. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    3 years ago??? Is that all?? Seems I've known you lasses forever and yet, I can't believe it's already been that long. Funny what an elastic thing time is. This is the one that started it all... gives me warm fuzzies as well as an ache in chest.

    "There is one consolation, I suppose," he offered Qui-Gon, his rich tones heavy with sarcasm, "at least today can't get any worse". --can we say jinx??? :D :D Love how quickly Yoda's cough comes on! [face_laugh] [face_laugh]

    Thrilled to see this one again!!
  3. JediKnightCorey

    JediKnightCorey Jedi Youngling

    Nov 30, 2002
    Loved the line about needing to get his plumbing checked out! This looks like a story I'll need to keep an eye on. It's nice to find a story where the Jedi are a bit more light hearted. Next post up soon, I hope!
  4. PadawanKitara

    PadawanKitara Jedi Master star 5

    Dec 31, 2001
    I remember laughing myself sick the first time 'round.
  5. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    HEHEHE... so... it has begun... again... ;)

  6. JediClare

    JediClare Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 8, 2001
    Summary: A padawan/initiate trip to the zoo seems straightforward enough...until the animals escape!

    Hoo boy. :p

    Hehehe...Jemmiah smashed a vase over Obi-Wan's head...poor him. :D

    LOL @ Yoda's sudden 'cough'! [face_laugh]
  7. mouse2

    mouse2 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 29, 1999
    Of course she starts reposting the weekend I have to go out of town! :p

    Although I will admit that it was a nice surprise after a weekend at the in-laws. ;)

    3 years?? I feel like I've known you all forever! And I wouldn't change a second of it! :)
  8. SHADOW13

    SHADOW13 Jedi Youngling star 1

    Jan 20, 2003
    lucky Obi

    at least he'll have Qui to accompany him
  9. Jemmiah

    Jemmiah Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 5, 2000
    (posted by Healer Leona and Jemmiah)

    In the hanger waiting for the transport to the zoo twenty Jedi initiates ranging in ages of five to eight chattered incessantly among themselves. Their faces radiated the excitement they felt at an excursion away from the Jedi Temple.

    Twenty feet away a group of five Padawans stood silently watching. In contrast, their faces hung with all the gloom of death row inmates.

    Through the door the last of the group arrived.

    Quickly assessing the opposing groups, Qui-Gon led them to the sullen Padawans.

    "Good day, Padawans." he greeted, wondering if he looked as forlorn as they did.

    "Good day, Master Jinn, Master Windu." they responded half-heartedly, bowing their heads in respect.

    "Well, I suppose we should get things underway." Mace straightened, taking charge. A quick glance at Qui-Gon received an affirming nod.

    From the Padawans only unintelligible grumbles could be heard.

    In his peripheral vision Qui-Gon saw Mace roll his eyes and could sympathize. It was going to be far worse on the two adults. Both were Jedi Masters and would have to show the best example here. They didn't have the luxury to indulge themselves in adolescent moods, no matter how they felt.

    "Ok then" Mace clapped his hands, saying a silent prayer, "let's get this over with.

    At that he headed for the children who immediately quieted at the sight of him.

    Qui-Gon followed a few steps behind his friend then stopped. Turing around he looked at the motionless Padawans, his own in particular.

    Cocking his head in expectation, a frown on his face he waited for them to join him.

    A visible shrug of defiance ran through the group as they forced themselves to follow.

    Heaving a heavy sigh, Qui-Gon turned and continued to the transport.

    Boy, wasn't this going to be fun.


    "YIPPEEEEEEEEE! We're going to the zoo! We're going to have lots of fun! YIPEEEEEEE!"

    "If you don't quit saying 'Yippee' in that irritating Corellian accent," a somewhat pretentious young female voice answered the exclamations of joy from her fellow crèche mate, "I'm going to tell the masters on you!"

    Long pause.

    "YEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAH! We're going to the zooooo!" the youngster bounced happily about as he followed the long line of children walking to the transport.

    "Toms, shut up!" The blonde girl grabbed hold of the boy's arm and pulled him back into place. "Why can't you just be normal!"

    "Who wants to be normal?" Toms smirked cheekily up at her, batting fair lids over clear blue eyes. "That's boring! Hey," he declared in a loud voice. "Have you heard this one? A Corellian walked into a bar - OWWW!"

    "Trust it to be a Corellian." The girl sniffed. "And that was feeble."

    "You need to lighten up, Izzy-wizzy!" Toms beamed at her.

    "DON'T call me Izzy!" the girl glowered at him.

    "Why? It's your name."

    "It is NOT my name! My name is Isadora!" she harrumphed at him. "And you are just a?a?Gamorrean pig!"

    Toms stuck out his tongue at her. It wasn't a very mature thing to do but he didn't care. Isadora deserved everything she got for being such a meanie to everyone.

    "A pig walks on four legs and you walk on two, but the last pig that I saw looked very like YOU!" Sang Toms in a happy voice.

    "Urgh!" Isadora bellowed before moving up the line to be rid of the annoying initiate. "You are such a pain!"

    Toms shrugged and turned to his friend Kelda, a tall, lanky girl with a serious expression.

    "What did I say?" he wondered, shoving his hands into his pockets.

    "You said she looks like a pig. Maybe that had something to do with it." Kelda replied, not really caring.

    "But she does! Her nose turns up at the end?"

    "Toms, you're going to have to learn some tact." Kelda sighed, tugging her shoulder bag on her arm so that it would sit comfortably.

    "What's that?" the boy frowned. "I thought that's what you pinned flimsy sheets to the walls with."

    "TACT, Toms. Not tacks." Kelda rolled her eyes. "It means you ought to pay attention to what yo
  10. mouse2

    mouse2 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 29, 1999
    I love that the padawans are all dragging their feet and acting like initiates! Is this punishment sutible to the crime?? I think not! ;)

    Good ol' Toms! Does that boy ever get a saying right? But I love that he doesn't! And he's right! Izzy-knickers is a meanie! :D
  11. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    HEHEHE... good old Toms and Izzy... ;)

    *can't wait for the Greeness to start...* :D
  12. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    'hell hath no fury like a woman's corns." --- my reply is very slow in coming at the moment. I laughed so hard at that line it just pure tired me out!! [face_laugh] [face_laugh]
  13. Jemmiah

    Jemmiah Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 5, 2000
    (Written by The Musical Jedi and Jemmiah)

    Qui-Gon and Mace began herding the initiates onto the transport requested by the Council for this endeavor. Glancing back at the Padawans, Qui-Gon started to get annoyed by the way they still were lagging back.

    <Come on> he called to them, <None of us want to be here any more than you do, but we all have to take it in stride. Remember that you?re all setting examples for these initiates. Now move!>

    The group of Padawans herded forward, climbing onto the bus. Qui-Gon turned to Mace. "How are we going to organize this? Group the kids up with a Padawan and you and I take a larger group?"

    Mace grinned. "It?d teach the Padawans some responsibility. How many initiates do we have? 28?"

    "Yes, that?s right; ten five-year-olds, eight six-year olds, seven seven-year-olds, and three eight-year-olds," Qui-Gon replied, taking a quick head count, "plus the five Padawans, sitting sullenly in a corner."

    "And a partridge in a pear tree. You know, what ever happened to good old missions to warring planets and try to get them to have peace with one another?" Mace asked, looking dejected.

    "I don?t know. I just don?t know," Qui-Gon replied. "All I know is that if we ever catch up with our little green friend, I say we take away his stick and make him in charge of their games for an afternoon or three."

    Mace grinned. "Sounds like a plan to me."


    The transport climbed upwards, launching itself effortlessly from the landing pad nearest the temple gardens and up into the cloudless sky, waiting to join one of the many long lines of air traffic above. From below the queues appeared to intersect each other as if part of some bizarre dance, forming pretty patterns amidst the perfect blue backdrop way above the tall buildings and towering skyscrapers. Once waiting in turn, chugging along with speed to rival an inebriated snail, the novelty well and truly wore off?

    So Obi-Wan thought as he reflected on his ill-luck for what seemed like the thousandth time in the space of a single hour, disliking intensely the fact he was stuck in a transport that swarmed with excitable initiates who were ooooohing and ahhhhhing at every vehicle that went past. Had he ever been like that, he wondered bleakly? And when had his sense of wonder disappeared?

    There was an old Corellian saying that bad luck went in threes. Well, Jemmy's leaving for Corellia certainly fitted into that equation. Then there was the added misfortune that he was stuck, squeezed inside an airbus like one amongst a herd of Nerf's going to market! Not exactly the best thing that had happened to him, especially seeing what had occurred the last time he had visited the zoo. Yes, that had been a few years ago now - but the mental scars remained?

    "You're thinking of her again." Tssked the condescendingly amused Jay Abran, who had been forced to squeeze his well-made physique between that of Obi-Wan and the slightly less muscle-bound form of Simeon Cates. "Force, it must be love!"

    "It's not love." Simeon shook his head in disagreement.


    "It's masochism." Ignoring the heat that radiated from Obi-Wan's eyes Simeon continued; "What else can it be when you enjoy getting bits of glass vase removed from your scalp? At least I'm assuming he enjoyed it: let's face it, if he keeps coming back for more he's gotta be a masochist."

    "Shut up Simeon, please?" Begged Obi-Wan, not knowing how much more he could take without going stark raving mad. He tried to call upon the force, attempting to calm him and control his anxieties, but there was just too much going on all around him. The children, usually so well behaved and diligent when in the care of the crèche masters had suddenly become bouncing coils of spring. From behind him Obi-Wan could feel Qui-Gon's eyes firmly on his shoulder blades. Was he trying to sense the cause of his apparent disquiet? That his thoughts - just as Abran had said - were dwelling upon Jemmy and the fact that he wouldn't see her for months and months?

    Or possibly never aga
  14. mouse2

    mouse2 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 29, 1999
    Methinks that they are all not too far away from turning sith!

    And who wouldn't be! ;)
  15. Calamity Jinn

    Calamity Jinn Jedi Padawan star 4

    May 23, 2000
    Lovely to see this again! :D

    Maybe I'm just imagining it but I think I detect a tweak here and there with some added bits. Either way, it's brilliant stuff! :)

    Poor Obi! Stuck with Isadora! ;)
  16. Jemmiah

    Jemmiah Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 5, 2000
    Posted by Jemmiah


    "Qui-Gon, please, slow down!"

    Mace Windu had to raise his voice over the squealing, happy laughter of two six year olds who were running round and round him in circles like he were a giant tree, one trying to tag the other. He watched as yet another of them tried to hide underneath his robe, fleeing from all the rough and tumble.

    //Did I ever have that much energy// he wondered briefly? //And if I did, where did it go?//

    "Come on out from there." Mace assumed his sternest, most masterly voice. "It's against the temple rules to hide under a Jedi master's cloak, especially when he's in it."

    The children slowed gradually, frowning at the revered jedi's statement, and the little one came out from his hiding place - although his expression was clearly one of skeptical defiance. He stared up at Mace, quizzing him through a squinting eye, trying to work out if he were telling him the absolute truth.

    "I've never heard of that rule, Master Windu, sir." he stated in disbelief.

    "Would I lie to you?" Windu replied, crouching down to the boy?s level and making a crossing motion over his heart.

    The brows furrowed as the child considered this. "Padawan Kenobi says that you are one of the most accomplished fibbers that the Jedi order has ever seen," he quoted word for word, "I heard him say so to Padawan Cates and Padawan Abran in the transport on the way here." The boy scratched his head. "Is that good Master Windu? I thought Jedi's weren't s'posed to fib."

    Windu's mouth dropped open. This was getting interesting...

    "Oh, did he? And what else did Padawan Kenobi have to say?" Mace dropped his voice inticingly lower, trying to draw the child into confessing everything that he knew.

    "That if Master Jinn found out that you'd been helping him to sneak off and meet his friend in secret that he'd have both your hides used as temple crash-mats." He beamed radiantly.

    Pride glowed on the little boy?s face. He was, so it seemed to Mace, one of those annoying kids with perfect recall: and every word - every inflection and rounded vowel - was repeated to recreate Obi-Wan's smug tones. Unfortunately, the child DID have a point. Denying his involvement in the whole matter of the Kenobi/Gleshan affair would be easy enough...but it would also be a total lie, and one that Qui-Gon would try to string him up for should he ever find out...

    "Padawan Kenobi has a very big mouth." muttered Master Windu testily under his breath. "He's also irritatingly sure of himself, in which respect he's just like his master."

    Mace glanced over his shoulder to see the man in question enduring in stoic, Jedi fashion a session of hair pulling by little Sabra-Ni Gil, a dark haired youngster with an unfortunate tendency to not fully control her bladder properly. As they had both found out to their cost.

    Words formed in Windu's mind. <Mace> they said, <help me! >

    The master straightened up, sighing. One thing that this whole unfortunate episode of enforced childminding had proved was that he did not miss looking after a padawan. It was so tricky to get right, even when relying on the force to guide his hand. And in all honesty Mace couldn't be sure he'd ever got it right in the past with his own what chance did he have with the creche children? They weren't even his to reprimand!

    Something he was quite pleased about...

    //Let's see if this diversion works// he thought, straightening back up.

    "Who's for more Candyfloss?"

    The screaming in the affirmative of eight high pitched voices almost caused Windu not to hear the shrill, un-Qui-Gon-like cry of <More! > from his friend. Mace waved the criticism off, but Qui-Gon would not be dissuaged.

    "Tell me, Mace, have you ever seen eight projectile vomiting kids? It's not a pretty vision. All that pink and green fluffy stuff cannot be good for them, and you want to give them MORE?!"

    Mace shrugged. "They like it!"

    "You'll regret it," Qui-Gon ventured as he staggered towards Mace, trying to disentangle Sabra-Ni from arou
  17. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    hehehe... too great. :D
  18. JediClare

    JediClare Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 8, 2001
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Utterly hilarious! Poor Mace, poor Qui-Gon, poor Obi-Wan, poor all of them! I think Qui and Mace will regret their decision to buy the Initiates more candyfloss, LOL.

    And can't wait to see how they'll get back at Yoda. :D
  19. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Jul 7, 2000
    Awww.. just reading this again brings back thoughts and memories of such happy times. :D :D Yep Mace and Qui sounds like a couple over the hill parents!! [face_laugh] [face_laugh]
  20. mouse2

    mouse2 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 29, 1999
    "I s'pose we ought to be moving." Qui-Gon offered.

    "S'pose so." replied Windu.

    Neither made any move.

    Am I getting old? Because I tend to do that. Or am I just lazy??

    I'll go with the second option. Plus now I have a right and an excuse to be lazy! ;)

  21. Jemmiah

    Jemmiah Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 5, 2000
    Jemmiah Gleshan sat fidgeting as she waited for the transport to take her to the zoo. In all honesty, it wasn't perhaps the venue she would ordinarily have chosen to say goodbye to her boyfriend. Obi-Wan had been strangely persistent however, and considering the circumstances surrounding her imminent departure for Corellia, Jemmiah had deemed it more gracious to do as he wished...

    She'd not made many friends outside the temple since her arrival several years ago, but that had never bothered her. There was Rela of course, and Spider: both of them her closest confidants, but she'd always been a loner by nature, always having to rely on herself, and people tended to pick up on that and stay away. No matter what she did, Jemmiah just couldn't shake the habit, even after all this time.

    Then there was her beloved guardian Evla Sovalla, who had taken her in and adopted her as her own, putting her own needs before all others, for which Jemmy had boundless gratitude. She cared for her foster parent very much: but she had never truly fitted in; at least that was how it sometimes felt. Not just on Coruscant, but on Corellia and then Nargotria, where Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had first found her.


    He'd been such a good friend to her over the years, understanding her occasional bouts of frustrated temper, the overly high spirits, and the endless pranks. Long before they had become lovers in a literal sense there had been some bond between them; they'd both known it was there...perhaps it always would be, even were they to travel their own separate paths in time. In many ways he acted as her conscience when faced with difficult situations, but he was so often away on field missions and this made it unbelievably difficult without him. She couldn't admit it to him though...she just couldn't tell him how badly his and Qui-Gon's absence from the temple affected her, for it would only prey on his mind. He in turn might worry about her, and that might be the death of him...

    A jedi needed to concentrate at all times on the task at hand, and Jemmiah knew that Qui-Gon did not fully approve of his padawan's devotion to her. She was sure the older jedi viewed her relationship with Obi-Wan as an unnecessary distraction, although the strength of the young man's feelings was yet to be truly tested. Did he worry about her when they were separated? For her part she missed him very much, especially during her once yearly stay on Corellia with her Uncle.

    She dug her nails into her hands when she thought that tears were about to spill from her eyes. Tears were useless and only let others know that you were weak and vulnerable, but for once Jemmy was tempted to give in to her emotional side: the reason being that she was due to embark on that particular journey to Corellia once more.

    Tomorrow, infact.

    She didn't mind her Uncle...not really. Sometimes he had an unfortunate manner with other people, such as Qui-Gon, if there was an obvious clash of wills. Kelik Mathers was blunt without being impolite; curt whist being courteous. It was just his way. To his friends and family he was generous and kind most of the time, and was ruled by an overwhelming love of his late sister, Jemmiah's own mother. As Thena Gleshan's only surviving child this did mean Jemmiah tended to get a little pampered and spoiled...

    The defeat he'd suffered to Qui-Gon and Evla in the custody case must have irked him, but he had been warm and supportive of her once an agreement had been reached regarding her future. There had been an initial period of over a year whilst endeavors were made to locate any living relatives, all fruitless as it happened, in which she had formed a bond of sorts with Evla, and who had in time decided to offer her a roof over her head. Qui-Gon Jinn had supported the decision, being loosely speaking the one who had championed her cause in the first place...even Yoda seemed to have an inexplicable liking for her.

    Her horror could not be expressed in words when her Uncle was eventually located, and he and his wife had filed
  22. mouse2

    mouse2 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 29, 1999
    LET ME IN!

    Jemmy, I think you may be eating those words in a little while.

    Although it will be a fun trip! ;)
  23. JediClare

    JediClare Jedi Padawan star 4

    Oct 8, 2001
    "Clerks are dull...and politicians and the like. Public servants...and Jedi. How about a nice Jedi boy? I always did fancy me a Jedi. So well mannered. Always so obliging, happy to help you, in a comatose sort of way..."

    //I must remember to set you up with a certain Jedi master// Smiled Jemmy to herself. //Two hours with you and I just know he'll be fighting you off with that stick of his.//

    :D LOL!

    Obi-Wan was not having a good time. One of the initiates had stuck a Candyfloss stick up their nose, which had broken off leaving part of the offending object still there. The Sith would be easier to fight, he thought, grinding his teeth as he tried to peer into the little boy's nose. He had only one thought as he looked wildly round for help.

    LET ME OUT!!!

    [face_laugh] Poor Obi-Wan peering up the kid's nose...
  24. Miana Kenobi

    Miana Kenobi Admin Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Apr 5, 2000
    //I mean, it's not as if I go around smashing up people's property or attacking people...//

    LMAO!!!! [face_laugh]

    Too great, Jem!
  25. Jemmiah

    Jemmiah Jedi Master star 5

    Mar 5, 2000
    Posted by The Musical Jedi & Jemmiah


    Mace Windu glanced around the small initiates massed around his feet. Taking a quick count, the blood in his face began to drain. ?Qui-Gon?? he said, glancing around hastily. ?We?re missing one.?

    Qui-Gon was kneeled on the ground tying a shoelace of a younger boy who kept wiping his nose with the back of his hand. His head shot up to look at his friend?s face, hoping to see mirth in his eyes. ?You?re kidding, right?? he said, finishing with the shoelace and producing a handkerchief from a pouch on his utility belt, which he thrust at the boy. The boy took it, looked at it, and then tied it around his head like Qui-Gon?s hair, mimicking him.

    ?Sith, no, not at a time like this. We?re missing an initiate,? he replied, counting the group for the third time. ?I only get seven heads each time I?ve done this.?

    ?Force. The little green troll is really going to have our hides if we don?t find him,? Qui-Gon replied, taking another count for himself. Running a hand through his hair, he turned around, frowning at the little boy who was doing the same. He stopped, blushed a deep red, bowed his head modestly, and proffered the handkerchief back. Qui-Gon didn?t pay attention long enough to notice. ?Sith!? he muttered under his breath. ?I?ll go look for him. You keep an eye on them and don?t let them out of your sight!?

    Mace shook his head, wondering how he was going to occupy the group. ?All right, but you owe me on this.?

    Qui-Gon looked back grimly. ?If I don?t find the kid, it doesn?t really matter, now does it?? he replied anxiously.

    Settling off into a crowed, Qui-Gon traced the steps that the group had taken back towards the entrance. Suddenly, he caught sight of medium-sized, chestnut-haired girl.

    //Jemmiah?// He thought wonderingly to himself. //What is she doing here?//

    He saw her glance furtively around, check a chrono hanging on a wall, and then set off determinedly in down one of the paths.

    Suddenly, a small set of hands latched onto his leg.

    ?Daddy!? a high-pitched voice squealed. Looking down in surprise, Qui-Gon saw a young blond-haired, blue-eyed little boy attached to his kneecap. The little boy looked up and paled, fear etched across his face.

    ?You?re not my daddy,? he trembled, letting go. Tears began to form at the edge of his eyes, and he rubbed a chubby hand across his face, trying to get rid of them. ?Where?s my daddy? He?s gone! He left me! I?m never going to see Mommy or Daddy again!!? the little boy began wailing at the top of his lungs. He cried even harder.

    Feeling terrible about causing such grief, Qui-Gon stooped down until he was eye level with the boy. ?I?ll help you find your daddy,? he said gently. People began to stare at the oddly dressed man and the screaming little boy.

    He pushed at Qui-Gon and looked angry. ?No, you?re not my daddy. Go ?way!!?

    Glancing to his left, Qui-Gon stared at a pair of knee length boots and the dark blue of uniform pants. Looking up, he saw a security guard, tapping his billy club against the palm of one hand.

    ?Is there a problem here?? he asked sternly.

    Qui-Gon opened his mouth to speak but never got the chance. ?He?s not my daddy!? the little boy wailed again, tears streaming down his checks. ?I can?t find my daddy or my mommy!?

    The guard looked humorlessly at the Jedi Master. ?And what?s your story??

    ?I?m here with initiates from the Jedi Temple, and one of them got separated from our group. I went looking for him and this little boy grabbed onto my leg, thinking I was his father, then went into hysterics,? Qui-Gon replied, looking hopeful. The little boy continued crying noisily.

    ?Uh-huh,? the guard responded dubiously. ?Sir, you need to come with me. I think you and I need to have a little chat about the wrongs of kidnapping innocent children.? He produced a pair of arm restraints and put them on the Master?s wrists. ?Come with me, son, we?ll find your parents and keep you away from this nasty, mean, old man.?

    Unceremoniously, Qui-Gon w
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