Lions and Tigers and Padawans, Oh My! (Reissued)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Jemmiah, Jul 4, 2000.

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  1. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Sigh. I have to repost this, too. It's all upside down and inside out and missing extremely funny bits without which it makes no sense whatsoever. That's if you hadn't given up the will to live whilst trying to pick your merry way through other merged topics! So, here is the reissue. The all singing, all dancing special edition.

    With fewer spelling mistakes!

    *****************************

    Posted 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".
    "Only!"
    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 months..." The voice trailed off as Qui-Gon's expression became tight-lipped.

    Jemmiah Gleshan, the little Corellian girl that had somehow managed to attach herself to his apprentice on a mission some seven years ago. At the age of ten, she had returned to Coruscant with them, eventually finding herself a home with Mistress Evla, one of the minders in the initiates? crèche. She had been Obi-Wan's girlfriend for sometime now. That had been until two months ago, when a heated argument between his Padawan and the young lady in question had led to Qui-Gon witnessing what seemed to be an unwarranted attack on his apprentice's person.

    As if breaking in to his thoughts, Obi-Wan hesitantly ventured "You're not still angry at her, are you?"
    "She smashed you over the head with a vase, Padawan!"
    "I'm not likely to forget"; Obi-Wan replied dry
  2. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by HEALER LEONA:

    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.
  3. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by THE MUSICAL JEDI:

    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 ride to the zoo was relatively uneventful, despite the loud chattering of the initiates. The Padawans stayed in their corner, discussing quietly what they?d like to do to Yoda on their return. The two Master sat in the middle, keeping an eye on both groups. Soon they arrived.

    Pouring out of the taxi, the initiates immediately began to charge the gates. Hiding a grimace, Qui-Gon yelled at them to come back. The group returned dejectedly, looking as though the animals would be gone before they got there.

    Glancing at Mace, who gestured for him to start, Qui-Gon cleared his throat. ?You will be divided into groups to walk around the zoo with, four initiates to a Padawan.? Obi-Wan looked up sharply, sending his master a heated look, which Qui-Gon ignored. ?Mace Windu and I will have a group of eight. You must stay with your Padawan at all times. Padawans, if you have any troubles, and they had better be real problems,? he added, a sharp edge in his voice, ?you know how to contact us.?

    Mace listed off the initiates that were to go with each Padawan, and then gestured for them to head to the entrance. ?Let?s go!? he added at the end when everyone had their groups.

    Sending Qui-Gon harsh thoughts, Obi-Wan turned to the other Padawans before the initiates descended on them. ?May the Force be with us,? he said quietly, ?because we may all be Sith by the time this day?s over.?

  4. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    Obi-Wan looked furtively about him, trying to make sure that all the initiates he had been given charge of were still with him. A slight tugging on the arm of his cloak alerted him to the presence of the eldest of the children in his group.

    Isadora Lucey.

    He shuddered. She had singled him out immediately as her favorite padawan, and when Qui-Gon had added her to his group (which the apprentice could have sworn his master had done on purpose) he had cursed heavily and for a considerable amount of time. And then hoped the insults he'd directed at Qui-Gon had been shielded well enough for them not to be heard. His command of swear words had increased steadily over the years, especially Corellian ones, something Qui-Gon seamed to blame on his friend Jemmiah.

    Oh, how she had taught him!

    He smirked to himself once more. What would Qui-Gon have said if he had known that with Master Windu's help, he had managed to get a message to the young lady telling her to meet him outside the Gurnaf enclosure in just under an hours time?

    He would not be best pleased, he decided. But a Jedi never ran from the battlefield. Well almost never.

    The tugging on his sleeve continued, and he was met by two blue eyes that contained nothing but eternal adoration. The sun reflected off a mass of blonde ringlets that momentarily blinded Obi-Wan when he looked down into the child?s face.

    "How old are you?" she asked the apprentice, her eyes raking the squirming padawan up and down leaving Obi-Wan feeling like one of the exhibits behind the force field barriers. The question stopped Obi-Wan in his tracks. Here was one battle that he was more than ready to run from if the chance arose!

    "Twenty-one. That's far too old for you" he griped mercilessly. She took no notice of the answer, merely content to follow him around with a rapt expression. "That's O.K. I like older men" she sighed.

    I think I feel sick, thought Obi-Wan. This is not my idea of a fun day. My friend is leaving Coruscant and I ought to be saying goodbye...properly. Instead I've been stuck with a group of kids with runny noses and candyfloss in their hair. And the questions! They never stop! My master was so lucky having me for a padawan. I was perfectly behaved. Rarely got into trouble...well, apart from that time during the Master/Padawan sack race during the temple sports day. How was I to know that they weren't sweets? Sith, I wish these kids would just go away and leave me alone.

    Somewhere at the back of his mind he heard a groan. His Master was evidently having problems of his own.

    Good.

    He caught a glimpse of one of the other padawans, 19 year old Simeon Cates, with a child hanging round his neck. He was slowly being throttled, judging by the interesting shade of purple the young man was turning, but this only seemed to add to the delight of the young initiate, as did the rapid gasps for breath.

    Even better.

    Obi-Wan was in a foul mood. Let them all suffer, he thought. I don't care if this is leaning towards the dark side! The only thing I'm sorry about is that Master Yoda's not here. I'd really love to tell him what he could do with that stick of his...

    "Have you got a girlfriend?" asked Isadora, tugging once more at his robe.
    "Yes!" snapped Kenobi irritably. Not that he was sure if Jemmy would care for that label, but if it would get this little monster off his back, it was well worth it.

    The little girl stamped her foot. Hah! That's got her worked up, Obi-Wan noted cheerfully. He watched as she tried to impress him with a flurry of eyelashes and a casual flick of golden hair.
    "I'll fight her for you" she remarked, unimpressed. Obi-Wan felt that if he had a proverbial tether; he?d long since reached the end of it.

    "I really hope someone claims you as a padawan", he told the little girl nastily, "Because when you are, you'll have to have all that hair cut off, and then what will you do?"

    Isadora shrugged. "Don't mind, 'coz then I'll look more like you with short hair" she sighed dreamily.

  5. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    "Qui-Gon, please, slow down!"

    Master Windu had to raise his voice over the squealing laughter of two six year olds who were running round and round him in circles, one trying to tag the other. He watched as another of them tried to hide under his robe.

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

    "Come on out from there. It's against the temple rules to hide under a Jedi master's cloak, especially when he's in it."

    The children slowed gradually, and the little one came out from his hiding place, staring defiantly.

    "I've never heard of that rule." 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 eyes squinted 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?"
    "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."

    Pride glowed on the little boy?s face. He was 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.

    "Padawan Kenobi has a very big mouth." muttered Master Windu. "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. Let's see if this diversion works, he thought.

    "Who's for more candyfloss?"

    The screaming in the affirmative of eight high pitched voices almost caused Windu not to hear the <More!> from his friend.

    <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?!>
    <They like it!>
    <You'll regret it; I'm warning you.>
    <Look, just shut up and leave the thinking to me. Weren't you ever a kid? Besides, when they're eating their mouths are full and they can't talk>

    Pause.

    <Good idea>
    <Yes, well. Deviousness is one of my stronger points, or so I've been told already today.>
    <Let's just buy them the stuff. My hair's being pulled out in clumps and the rate this little girl's going I'll soon be resembling you! >
    <Very amusing. >

    The walked over to the vendor, and bought an array of multi-colored and sugary confections. Qui-Gon was still not convinced. To quote his Padawan, he had a very bad feeling about this. Then they made their way to a large ceramic tiled seating area, whilst the children ate and played, staying in the masters line of vision as instructed. Mace sat down, groaning.

    "I'm getting old, Qui." he stated flatly.
    His friend smiled at him. "You ARE old, Mace."
    "And what does that make you?"
    "I have a Padawan to train. Just trying to keep up with Obi-Wan helps me stay in shape." He poked Windu in the tummy. "You're getting flabby, my friend."
    "I'm not flabby!"
    "You couldn't keep up when we climbed that hill to the Reptalon enclosure." He finished smugly.
    "I can out-last you any day!"
    "Want to bet on that?"

    Windu looked uncomfortable. "Jedi don't bet."
    "Coward."

    He looked into the large field opposite. It contained some rubbery looking, brown scaly creatures of disproportionate size with a single large horn on its nos
  6. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    Jemmiah Gleshan sat fidgeting as she waited for the transport to take her to the zoo. Not perhaps the venue she would ordinarily have chosen to say goodbye to her boyfriend.

    She'd not made many friends outside the temple since her arrival several years ago, but that had never bothered her. She'd always been a loner, always having to rely on herself. She just couldn't shake the habit, even after all this time. There was of course her 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 fitted in.

    Not just on Coruscant, but on Corellia and then Nargotria, where Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan had first found her.

    Obi-Wan.

    He'd been such a good friend to her, understanding her occasional bouts of frustrated temper, the overly high spirits, and the endless pranks. He was so often away on field missions, and for her part she missed him very much 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. She was due to embark on that particular journey once more.

    Tomorrow, infact.

    She didn't mind her Uncle. He had been kind and supportive of her once an agreement had been reached regarding her future, but 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 Mistress Evla from the temple crèche, and who had 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 for custody. Qui-Gon had been distraught on Mistress Evla's part. The lawyers not unnaturally leaned towards her uncle. Obi-Wan had been her only true source of comfort. A fellow child who could understand a child?s tears.

    Her savior, she grinned at the thought, had been Yoda himself. She never knew what he had said to swing things her way, but her Uncle had relented; realizing that it was important that she should have the choice in the direction her future would take. She had chosen Coruscant. But part of the settlement had been an insistence that for four months of the year, she spend time with her Uncle and his wife.

    And their three sons.

    The transport shuddered as it continued its journey. She hated public transport, part of the legacy of not liking to get too close to people, and here she was, surrounded by beings with the most raucous voices imaginable... and with the most dubious personal hygiene. Literally trapped. Squashed between two bulky figures whose elbows insisted on digging into her side at all times, forced to listen to their inane conversations. Sith, how she wished the transport would arrive!

    She took a calming breath, trying to remember what Obi-Wan had taught her about stress control. One didn't have to be a Jedi to meditate and think relaxing thoughts. But, Jemmy thought grimly, it probably helped. He'd assisted her with all manner of things. How to bite her tongue in difficult situations. How to be considerate to other beings less well off. In return, she'd taught him all her best Corellian swear words.

    She'd thought it a fair exchange.

    In truth, Jemmiah didn't think Obi-Wan's lessons had done her very much good in the long run. The temper management one had been a disaster. Only two months ago she had smashed him over the head with what she could only describe as a rather mingy looking glass vase.

    Unfortunately, Qui-Gon had seen the deed committed. She had apologized on the spot, offering to pay for damages, medic bills, only to be met by stony silence. As Master Jinn had wrapped a towel round his apprentice's bleeding head, she
  7. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by THE MUSICAL JEDI:

    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 Jinn?? 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 was hauled to the containment area. Sith, I?m
  8. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    IhatethisIhatethisIhatethisIhatethisIhatethis!

    Simeon Cates chanted those lines over and over again in his mind, as if he'd invented an alternative Jedi Temple mantra. It didn't give him the least bit comfort. It didn't relax him. He felt as if the force had deserted him in his darkest hour.

    How he wished those rotten kids would do the same!

    In the space of an hour, he'd been kicked, punched, throttled and had to endure the most humiliating assault on a certain part of his anatomy, as a result of which he felt sure that producing children may well be an impossibility should the right lady ever appear on the scene. But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

    He hated kids. With a passion.

    This miniature swarm of Sith had taken advantage of the fact that he was completely clueless when it came to entertaining children, Jedi or otherwise. The fact they had rudimentary force skills had made the matter worse. They had found out quite early on that he was extremely ticklish, and boy, had they made him pay.

    Things had started off badly, he decided, and declined progressively thereafter. He had somehow rounded the little vrelts together and marched them over to the Ankula enclosure, a species of colorful, shaggy haired rodent that stood some three feet off the ground. Well, he thought, THEY had marched.

    HE had limped.

    The urge to whimper became a very strong one when he recalled the next stage in the whole sorry affair. The kids had tried to get as close to the force barrier as possible, in order to get as good a view of the creatures as possible. Only the animals in question were not to be seen. According to the data screen outside the enclosure, the inhabitants had just started their hibernation cycle.

    Reading it was one thing; telling it to four disappointed children was another. Simeon just stood there, trying to get his head round the idea of fate conspiring against him. Who would have thought that Ankula's hibernated?

    He wished he were an Ankula.

    He sighed, scrunching up his dark, almost black eyes, wishing he wasn't here. Right now, he should be back at the temple with the healers, learning from An-Paj and the other Jedi who were skilled in all things medical. He had been proud to be taken on as an apprentice healer; he felt that his strength lay with trying to help combat all suffering, sickness and misery. He had said as much. But then An-Paj had taken him to one side, congratulating him on his noble ideals and ethics, before he proceeded to tell him that generally speaking, Jedi healers were the most miserable beings that inhabited the galaxy, which inturn helped them to cope with the job.

    "Be miserable," he had said to Simeon Cates, "that way when the patients see how depressed you are, they feel a hundred times happier with their own situation." And then he had winked.
    "Are you miserable, An-Paj?" he had asked, entirely confused.
    "Of course I'm miserable," he replied deadpan, "I've got six wives, haven't I!"

    Well, if being miserable was a pre-requisite of being a good healer, he was well and truly on the way to being the Universe's finest.

    The kids had got restless. They had decided that if the Ankula's were not coming out to play, they would have to manufacture their own entertainment.

    They had pelted him with candyfloss.

    During his attack, Simeon wondered briefly if Obi-Wan was fairing any better. He didn't really care, if he was honest, he just needed to be able to converse with somebody whose idea of a good time did not include coating him in sugar-based, edible fluff!

    His mind made up, he pulled the recalcitrant kids along behind him, ignoring the cries of protest, not to mention the strange looks he was beginning to garner. A piece of green floss had attached itself to his eyebrow. He left it there as a mark of his martyrdom, for all to see.

    Yes, he thought, let Obi-Wan see how I'VE suffered, as he limped off to find his friend.

    IhatethisIhatethisIhatethisIhatethisIhatethis...

    *********************

    "No!"
    "Pleee
  9. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    "...And this is the Murrit enclosure." the keeper indicated with a general sweep of his arm.

    Mace Windu felt as if he was glowing. Infact, he felt positively radiant. In many ways, this was his greatest triumph since he had gone from Padawan to knight.

    The kids were quiet!

    He'd cracked it! The little horrors were listening attentively to the animal keeper, literally hanging on his every word, excited at the chance to actually mingle with the creatures and see them face to face instead of behind a force barrier. It had taken a little persuasion on Mace's part for the eight strong private party of master and initiates to be allowed into the enclosure itself, but the keeper had taken pity on him and agreed, on condition that everyone was silent and well behaved.

    The keeper had stressed the well-behaved part, Windu had noticed, before fixing him with an "OR ELSE" kind of look. But then again, if you couldn't trust a Jedi to remain calm and placid in times of chaos, who could you?

    If only Qui-Gon was here to see this wondrous transformation from hellions to little angels in one fell swoop. Mace wondered if his friend had had any luck with locating the little boy, and found himself glancing at his wrist chrono.

    I hope he finds him soon, he thought, hissing through clenched teeth. Yoda would have them dismembered if they didn't. Or worse still, assisting the temple cooks for a month...

    He was brought back to the present by a quite deliberate kick to the shin. "You're not listening." the little girl hissed at him. Frowning, as he rubbed his injured leg, Mace tried for appearance sake to look interested. After all, if the kids could stay quiet, he could stay awake.

    Maybe.

    It appeared that they were just past the Murrit breeding season, but for as yet unexplained reasons the egg production of the impossibly hairy creatures had been extremely low.

    "It's probably because we had to move them to a larger enclosure earlier in the year." explained the keeper in hushed tones. "Murrit's are very territorial creatures. They don't like a lot of disturbance to their surrounds. We think that by moving them we may have stressed them slightly, hence the low egg production."

    Sabra-Ni held up her hand to ask a question. "Why do they lay eggs? They've got fur."
    The keeper smiled. "That's a good question. Usually, it's birds and reptilian creatures that lay eggs..."
    "And spiders." whispered one of the older girls.
    "Yes." agreed the keeper, slightly annoyed at the interruption.
    "And fish." muttered another girl.
    "Yes, thank you." glared the keeper, with a just-who's-the-expert-here-anyway look about him. "However, this is a prime example of how truly diverse nature is. Murrits are warm blooded, lactating animals that just happened to lay eggs. Nobody knows why."
    "Because eggs go better with toasted bread!" giggled Sabra-Ni.

    Mace recalled Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon's earlier urge to hit their heads off various walls and supporting structures and found that it was all he could do to stop himself from walking over to the nearest tree to do likewise.

    "Why are they so far away?" little Kelda Rosset asked in disappointment, pointing to a group of suspicious looking Murrits hovering some forty feet away.

    "Well, because they don't know who you are," the keeper tried to console her gently, "They're used to myself and the other keepers, infact they're quite tame. They're hanging back to see if you're a threat to themselves and the few eggs they've managed to produce."

    As he spoke, one of the male Murrits started to edge its way forward out from the tall grasses where they were congregating. For some reason Mace couldn't fathom, it seemed to have fixed its beady eyes firmly on him...

    The keeper continued cautiously, "Murrits make very protective parents. They have special grips on their feet like suckers, that help to grip hold of their eggs. They secrete a rather foul smelling glue-like substance from glands in their paws that allow them to do this. Once the Murrit father has at
  10. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    "Our sneak-thief has taken the bait."

    An-Paj shot out of his seat is if burned. Grabbing his cloak, he hastily made his way across the marble floor, footsteps echoing as he moved towards the direction of the storeroom.

    Got you now Cates, he thought, you thieving little vrelt.

    Not that An-Paj didn't like Simeon. He was in most respects a hard working, indeed almost over-zealous individual, whose first concern was usually with his patients. Except that recently, his mind had been elsewhere altogether.

    The healer had no direct proof that Simeon had been stealing the medicinal alcohol from the stores, but it did seem a likely bet. There was no telling how long it had being going on for, as whoever was responsible covered their trail fairly meticulously. But this time, An-Paj would put a stop to it once and for all. He grinned.

    It had been one of Yoda's more enterprising ideas.

    Hurrying towards his colleague who was awaiting An-Paj's arrival, he subconsciously rubbed his hands in glee. He would need proof of guilt.

    And this time he would have it.

    I'll show you what true misery's really like, Simeon. By the time Yoda and I are finished with you, you'll be begging to go to Bandomeer.

    Ferdi Xadaani met him by the door. "Look. He's replaced it with a flagon of water." she smiled. "Oldest trick in the book."
    "Hmmm." nodded An-Paj. "He won't be up to playing tricks of any kind for a long time, let me tell you."

    She looked at him suspiciously. "What have you done?"
    "It was Yoda's idea, really. I can't take any credit." He smiled enigmatically. "I informed our resourceful friend that we had a thief in our midst, and he suggested that we add a little something to make his drink a bit more interesting. Oh, nothing harmful, I assure you. In small doses, it'll just give him a bit of a green-ish coloring. And maybe a slight belly ache."

    She stared at An-Paj. "How did you know he'd take the right one?"
    "I doctored the lot." An-Paj said simply. "There's plenty more where that came from."

    Padawan Healer Dimallie caught up with them outside the door. "Did it work?" she breathed in anticipation.

    "Apparently so. Provided you dosed them as I said, I think we'll have no problems picking the guilty party out."
    "Oh, yes," she smiled, delighted at being able to assist the great An-Paj, "I put in three heaped spoonfuls of Sandolomide, just as you said."
    "Between all the flagons?" An-Paj somehow felt the need to reassure himself. He had a very bad feeling...
    "No...in each of them. Wasn't that what you wanted?" Alarm seemed to root her tongue to the roof of her mouth.
    "In each of them." repeated An-Paj.
    "Yes." she swallowed.

    An hour seemed to pass as An-Paj stared ahead of him at nothing in particular.

    Finally, he pulled out his com-link.

    "Master Yoda? I think we have a problem."

    *******************

    "Bad news, this is." Yoda frowned.
    "Indeed, Master."
    "Harmful, it is?"
    "Master, not to put too fine a point on it, if he drinks the whole lot he's going to be up there flying with the Mynocks. I warned you how strong it was."
    "True, this is."
    "Not to mention the fact that the coloring will probably take months to fade from his skin."
    "Serve him right, it will!"
    "Maybe. But Master, I am a healer. I'm supposed to make people better, not make them ill. I'm sure the Jedi council has rules against poisoning padawans."
    "Know some who would benefit from it, I do." muttered Yoda.
    "Master?!"
    "Joking, I was."

    An-Paj pursed his lips. "I hadn't really expected to have to do another padawan stomach pumping exercise, which is what this is going to turn out to be if we can't get hold of Master Jinn and Master Windu."

    He cut the connection off quickly. It was not one of the most glorious moments in An-Paj's glittering career.

    Yoda snorted, annoyed. Yet another person had put him on their hit list. He decided that now would be a very good time to practice that cough he was trying earlier...

    *******************

    "This thing's getting very hot." Wind
  11. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    "Look, I'm telling you the truth."

    Qui-Gon Jinn could not believe the bizarre, not to mention downright embarrassing turn for the worse his fortune had taken in the last hour or so. His eyes were shut tight in a mixture of disbelief and frustration. No matter what he did, or how he explained it, his questioners were not interested in learning the truth. It was a closed subject; as far as they were concerned, he was guilty as charged.

    And he was deep in Bantha dung.

    At the back of his mind, several strains of thought seemed to crash off one another simultaneously, causing a dread to spill over into his present predicament. A lot was going on here... Mace Windu sometimes managed to find trouble in the most unusual circumstances. Obi-Wan seemed to attract it like a magnet! And Jemmiah...she had a tendency to court trouble as if it were a way of life!

    The thought made Qui-Gon edgy. The fact that she was here had to be more than a mere coincidence and he didn't like it one little bit. Then of course, there was the problem of the missing child. Yoda would be heartily displeased. The temple could not afford another scandal, after that "indecent exposure" incident. Qui-Gon would never get onto the Jedi council now.

    He smiled. Something good had come from today's little escapade after all.

    He brushed the thought away from his mind and reprimanded himself for allowing it to surface in such a potentially crucial situation. He was forever admonishing his Padawan for not focusing on the present, and here HE was, allowing the force currents not merely to guide him but to plague him with those infernal "bad feelings" his apprentice seemed to complain of on a regular basis.

    Qui-Gon wrapped himself within the living force and breathed deeply.

    The bad feeling remained.

    His tormentors looked at him scathingly from across a small table, clearly trying to intimidate him.

    "Sure," said the burly, balding man who had helped to march him to the detention area. "You're a Jedi. So you keep saying." He gestured to another of the on duty security men standing behind his shoulder, making little circular movements by the side of his head. "We've got a right lunatic here, Charnan."
    "Looks like it." grinned the other man, who seemed to be enjoying the whole affair. The burly man leaned back in towards Qui-Gon. "Know what I think?"
    "Tell me." sighed Jinn.
    "I think that if YOU'RE a Jedi", he waved to a nearby enclosure outside of the building, "I'M a pile of Gundark manure."
    "Interesting point of comparison." Qui-Gon said neutrally.
    "Don't get smart, mister. You're in plenty of trouble as it is without digging a deeper hole for yourself. We don't much care for child abductors on Coruscant."
    "Nor should you. But I'm not a child abductor," Qui-Gon repeated for the umpteenth time, "I'm a..."
    "A Jedi knight." The security man interrupted. "Yes, we've heard it all before."
    "And yet you don't believe me."

    The man folded his arms and sat back in his chair, studying him. "No way are you a Jedi. You're hair's far to long. Whoever heard of a Jedi with long hair? Any longer and you could be mistaken for my sister. Minus the beard, of course."

    Qui-Gon's irritation grew stronger at the flippancy. "Why won't you listen to me?"

    The security man scratched an armpit, considering. "OK. If you're a Jedi knight, then you could say, for example...levitate that crate of frozen fish out in the yard there."

    Qui-Gon looked out the window to where two workers were helping unload a transport of its crates.

    "I could." He replied placidly, looking directly at the man's face.
    "Well, go on then."
    Jinn shook his head. "That would be a frivolous use of the force."
    The man smirked. "Is that right? All right, then. How about we contact the Jedi temple and ask them if they're missing a Jedi master?"

    Qui-Gon tried to push down the growing bile he felt gathering in his stomach. There was no way he wanted ANYONE at the temple to find out. Especially not Yoda.

    "I'd rather you didn't." He replied,
  12. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    Mace could feel rather than see the ever-growing presence of the onlookers on both sides of the Murrit enclosure, catching the hushed muttering and covert whispers from the gathering crowds.

    And the laughter.

    Oh, he'd heard THAT all right. It was extremely difficult, he thought, to retain any semblance of dignity when you had a large, smelly creature composed almost entirely of hair trying to win the Coruscant Zoo Parent of the decade award by taking up residence where he wasn't wanted. And Mace had to hand it to this fellow; he'd really forged a strong relationship with the top of his head.

    Every few seconds, the Jedi?s thoughts turned to Qui-Gon Jinn. Like where was he now? Where was the missing child?

    And how long would it be before Mace could give him a good kicking?

    Damn him for leaving him like this! All he'd done was shown a little bit of enterprise, and what did he get for all his pains? A furry ass hanging over his face.

    He hadn't realized initially which end was which, but any confusion on the matter ended very swiftly for him when the keepers had, after huddling in a tight scrum to discuss their plans - not that they seemed to have any - retreated round his back with a large stem of Dilarberries to tempt it off his head. But the greatest plans of Murrits and men seemed doomed to go spectacularly awry when the berries had produced the inevitable consequences. Yes, if he'd had any doubts about what end he was facing, they stopped there. His one consolation was that nobody could see his face.

    That had seemed such a long time ago now, and Windu cursed with all his might his ill luck. It happened every time he and Qui-Gon went out socially. They would both get into trouble, yet Qui-Gon would always come out smelling of rose petals. He always came out smelling of...

    In this case, quite literally.

    More ruminations from the keepers drifted his way, but from what Mace could gather they didn't seem to have any new light to shed on the case. His nosed twitched, and he felt the urge to sneeze.

    Trust me to be allergic to Murrit hair, he thought.

    Despite his quivering nose, Mace thought he could smell something other than Murrit hair and excrement and the faint brush in his mind of another presence just by his shoulder. A non-Jedi mind.

    "Why are you still here?" he spat, fury coloring his voice at the continued torment that only this particular being could bring.
    Jemmiah pouted. "That's nice, I must say."

    Ever since the keepers had let her in to the enclosure, Jemmy's inventive Corellian mind had been working overtime to come up with a solution to Mace's problem. She liked Mace. Even if she liked the new hairy Mace even better.

    "I thought you could do with some moral support."

    He swallowed, guilty for snapping at her. "I'm sorry for being abrupt. It's just that I'm not at my best at the moment."
    "I can imagine the view's not very stimulating either." he heard the muffled reply through his tangle of newly acquired hair.
    "Not unless I was another Murrit, no." muttered Windu. "I mean it. Thanks for staying."

    THAT'S MORE THAN CAN BE SAID FOR SOME PEOPLE, he thought.
    "That's OK."

    Mace heard the Murrit yawn. "It's getting rather settled, I'm afraid." Jemmiah tried to find a suitable level of gravitas in her voice, and failed miserably. Mace didn't answer at first. And when he did, he didn't sound pleased.

    "Perhaps you should go and keep an eye on the kids." He stated. "Take them round the rest of the zoo."
    "Why? They seem to be having a very good time as it is."
    "Is that right."
    "Oh, yes. Infact, young Sabra-Ni said she hadn't ever had such a good time."

    Mace growled. "Weren't you meant to meet Obi-Wan?"

    The young lady nodded, blinking those large copper eyes that seemed to have such an effect on everyone. "I'll find him. But this is much more entertaining."

    Mace sighed. If only they'd taught him this sort of thing at the temple. But there had been no suggestions as what to do when a wild animal glued itself rear first
  13. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by DAGAN CONNER:

    Ocen-Bai Talz looked around him. He was surprised at how well the trip was going.

    "Everybody done?"
    "Yessss." his charges chorused.
    "You sure? I don't want any accidents."
    "We're sure."
    "Good. So what do you want to do now?"
    "Can we feed the ducks again?" "I wanna see the duckies!"
    "Again? That's where we just came from."
    "Pleeeeeeaase?"
    "Oh, all right. Do you still have some credits?"
    "We do."
    "Come on then."

    As they walked, Ocen-Bai contemplated his good fortune. His group of initiates seemed to be obsessed with ducks. That made it easy to keep track of them. Even better, they all appeared to have good bladder control. Quite a relaxing trip, all in all. Well, once they'd settled down from the excitement of a zoo. They reached the duck pond.

    "Don't give all your pellets to any one ducks, kids. Too much food for any being is bad."
    "Even a Hutt, Bai?"
    "Even a Hutt."

    Ocen-Bai sat down and relaxed. The kids had been feeding the ducks for over an hour now, and didn't seem to get bored. This trip had turned out to be a great idea. He glanced at his chrono. Only an hour 'till I have to get them to the exit? Wow, this has gone fast. He decided it was time for a head count, just to be safe.. One, two, three, four.. five? Wasn't there only four before?

    "Hey, umm.." Darn it, what's his name.. "uhh.." Arrgh. Forget it. "Alderaanian kid?"
    "I have a name."
    "Sorry, but I don't remember it. Anyway, weren't you with the Masters?"
    "Yeah, but Master Windy saw you here, and said I could come feed the ducks, if you didn't get upset. Please let me staaay."
    "You're sure you okayed it with Master Windu? You're not trying to lie to me?"
    "You can ask Windy yourself."
    "Not that I don't trust you, but it's best to be sure." He pulled out his comlink. "Master Windu?"

    No response. "Master?" Still nothing. "Hello? Is anyone hearing me?" Silence. Ocen-Bai examined his com.

    "Darn. Power's dead."
    "Can I please stay?"
    "Okay. You can stay." He's going to be a Jedi, right? So he wouldn't lie to me. "Kids, we've got a bit less than an hour left, so start saying bye to the duckies."
    "Do we haaave to?"
    "Yes. You want to be Jedis, right? A Jedi always keeps his word."

    His original four agreed rapidly, but the fifth.. "I want to stay longer!"
    "No, we can't disobey."

    Great kids. Really obedient. Actually.. Obedience is normal, in a kid under ten, isn't it? Or..

    "Hey, how about getting something to drink on the way out?"
    "Sure."

    They do sound kind of dazed.. Force! Didn't that food vendor realize I was kidding, when I asked if he could slip a sedative in their lunch? If he didn't.. This is bad. Very bad.

    I wonder how the others are?
  14. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    "Where in the name of Yoda's toasting fork have you been?!!!"

    Jemmiah could almost hear the exclamation marks in her friend's voice, and Obi-Wan's face made for an interesting study in both annoyance and relief. She swept downwards from the grass embankment, holding her shawl tightly around her shoulders until she reached the bottom of the verge where the bench was that Obi-Wan and a seemingly comatose Simeon were sprawled upon in un-Jedi like fashion. He half arose from his seat, but she waved him back down, trying to place herself between the two weary figures by squashing herself in.

    "Budge up!" she frowned as Simeon just looked glazedly at her.
    Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow. "Pardon?"

    She matched his stare before conceding the point. Politeness. Right.

    "Budge up, PLEASE!" she repeated, copying Obi-Wan's educated and precise tones. When she received no response from Simeon, she reached over and tipped up his crossed legs, so that Simeon went rolling off the bench.

    "You never really grasped the concept of consideration to others, did you?" Obi-Wan said dryly. He looked at Simeon, wakening somewhat from his stupor.
    "Just leave him there," smiled Jemmy. "He looks happy enough to me."

    Obi-Wan placed his hands on her shoulders. "Where were you?" he asked, the urgency back in his voice. "I was getting more than a little worried."
    "Well, as you can see, I'm fine." she reassured him. She looked back down at the sprawling mass on the ground that was Simeon Cates who, it seemed, was making an intense inspection of her feet.

    "What's his problem?" she wondered out loud. "I know, he's one of those foot fetishists, isn't he? You sure no how to pick your friends, huh?" As she spoke, she caught Simeon with an extremely daft expression on his face making a delighted thumbs up sign and pointing to her feet. Obi-Wan groaned inwardly.

    "What's he been drinking, and where do I get some?"
    Obi-Wan shook his head. "I thought you told me you'd sworn of alcoholic binges. Especially after last time."
    "That wasn't my fault. Your friend Abran spiked that drink." she paused, looking at Simeon. "He wasn't much better. Kept going on about Dimallie."
    "Dimallie!" Obi-Wan's face lit up. Of course! No wonder Simeon had seemed so distracted of late. Oh, the agony of unrequited love...

    "You were well gone," muttered Obi-Wan, "and from where I was you were really making the most of it."

    She wrinkled her nose. "Was not!" she said, indignation beginning to set in.
    "Oh, yes? How do you explain the earring episode?"
    "I don't remember." she replied far to swiftly.

    Obi-Wan smirked. "You pulled it from your ear, dropped it down the front of your top and said to anyone within shouting distance "I appear to have lost my earring. Anyone want to help me find it!"

    She blinked.

    "I wouldn't have minded so much," grumbled the padawan, "except every male in the cantina started to form a line!"

    Jemmiah pinched his cheek playfully. "Awww, bless him. He's jealous." She broke off to look at him more closely. Something about him seemed a little bit different...a bit...green.

    "Ben, are you feeling ok?" she asked hesitantly.
    "A little light headed," muttered Obi-Wan, "and these damn kids aren't helping in the least. They won't stop fighting and yelling and..."
    He caught her smile.

    "You're not very good with kids are you?" she snorted.
    "And you are?"

    She began to feel uncomfortable. "What makes you say that?"

    Obi-Wan stood up and discretely slipped his arm through hers when Simeon wasn't looking. They started to walk a few paces. "Just something that Qui-Gon said. Remember that time he was joking that children should be seen and not heard? And you said that you didn't think they should be seen either!"

    The mention of Qui-Gon seemed to completely dampen the conversation.

    "I think he saw me on the way in." she stated.
    "What!"
    "Which means he's going to put two and two together and realize we've been sneaking around behind his back. Although I think we'll be fine for the moment
  15. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:


    "I need to grow more arms," muttered Jemmiah as she wandered back over the hill laden with as many plasti-cups of caff as she could fit in her grasp. From what she'd seen of Simeon, she didn't think she'd asked the vendor for enough of the stuff either. Master Jinn was going to go ballistic...if he ever caught up with them. She really hoped that Simeon and Obi-Wan would sober up before he did, but Jemmy didn't hold out much hope of that. When was she ever going to get to talk to Obi-Wan?

    She remembered the look on the face of the vendor when she'd asked for seven cups of caff "as black as Sith, please." He'd given her a knowing look. Alcohol was not permitted in Coruscant Zoo. But that didn't really stop any determined revelers...and it certainly hadn't on this occasion. Oh, Simeon was in deep poodoo this time. She began to lengthen her typically loping, Corellian stride as the caff began to burn her arms through the plasti-cups. The nearer she got to where she had left the little group of padawans and kids, the more she began to tense. Something wasn't right here...

    There was a sound carrying on the wind, a sound that Jemmiah didn't think was usual within the confines of a zoo.

    Singing.

    The loping stride became a gallop as she retraced her steps over the embankment and then descended, only to face a clearly revived Simeon, waving his hands about in animated fashion to the kids, who it seemed, he had lined up in three neat rows. The singing was coming from the kids. If you could call it that. Jemmiah didn't think she had ever heard such a collection of tone deaf individuals in one place at a single time. It was not surprising that the temple didn't have a choir.

    She walked over to Obi-Wan; who not for the first time today was sitting holding his head in his hands.
    "What happened to him?" Jemmy asked incredulously. "When I left him he was barely able to see out of his crossed eyes!"

    Obi-Wan didn't look up. "He recovered somewhat about five minutes after you left." He hissed. "And he's been in Hyper-Space ever since!"

    Jemmiah frowned. "The ungrateful wretch. What do I do with all this caff?" She glanced at Simeon dancing about maniacally and caught sight of his face. He looked much, much worse than he did when she'd last seen him.

    "Burning blazes!" she stared.
    "What?" mumbled Obi-Wan.
    "He looks like he should be swimming in the amphibian pool with the Madalese Emperor toads!"

    That kicked Obi-Wan's self pity to one side. He looked up at his fellow padawan. He was a distinctly unhealthy shade of green. There was no mistaking it.

    "Sith! He looks like Yoda's better looking twin brother!" Obi-Wan's mouth fell open. What was going on here, he wondered?

    There was a brief pause, as he caught Jemmiah looking at him, overly long.

    "Err...I don't know how to tell you this, Ben, but..."

    He caught sight of his own hands. They weren't as bad as Simeon's, but they were tinged with perhaps the slightest hint...

    "Uuuurgggh!"

    It seemed the only thing Obi-Wan could think of to say that was appropriate to the situation. He decided that cowardice was the better part of valor, and covered his face once more. He just wanted to hide.

    "Is this death?" He wailed to Jemmiah.

    She considered. "Sith, no. Death is when Master Jinn catches up with you two for being inebriated whilst in charge of these darling little squidlings here."
    Obi-Wan glared. "Suddenly, everyone's a comedian today."

    It must have been that drink, he thought to himself. Hellfire, what had Simeon put in it? How much did he have?

    "Where's Abran?" Jemmiah wondered.
    Obi-Wan's only answer was another groan. "You just HAD to ask that, didn't you?"

    *****************

    Menali-Jay-Abran had one main fault. It wasn't impudence like Jemmiah. It wasn't recklessness like Obi-Wan, or slap-dash casualness like Simeon Cates.

    It was self-importance.

    At twenty-two, he was the oldest of the padawans selected for today's little trip round the house of horrors, and as such very much regarded h
  16. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    Cut it out!"

    The sound of boots slapping down hard and fast against the permacrete followed by a high pitched whining, panting and howling echoed through the rare aquatic mammal enclosure, turning heads and stopping visitors in their tracks. The powerful frame of Jay Abran hauled itself past row upon row of plasti-glass exhibit windows, using his superior speed and longer legs to power himself out of the reach of the little monsters snapping at his feet.

    What HAVE I created? Abran wondered.

    So much for his great trick with the force. It had proven to be far more successful than he had ever anticipated. Instead of having a last minute laugh with the initiates he found himself being pursued by a pack of five over-excited, not to mention hungry, children. At first he'd taken it as a joke. But not anymore. The bite mark on his wrist was proof of that!

    He reached the end of the underground passageway and dove up the stairs, taking them four at a time. The little horrors were less agile, but determined for all that and continued their hunt with dedication bordering on obsession. Nearly there, thought Abran as he hurtled towards the top steps, smelling the fresh air that indicated his objective: FREEDOM.

    The path that stretched before him forked into two, and for a brief moment Abran was at a loss which direction to take. The right route led backwards to the Flipperphants and Five-Eyed Whalmerans, whilst the left led straight on towards the Fur-toes, Florriwings and Murrits. Mentally tossing a credit chip he opted for left and bolted as if his life depended on it...

    *****************

    Isadora Lucey watched as padawan Kenobi tried his level best to make his feet move in the same direction, as he went after his "friend". She'd noticed with dismay the faintest of green tints creeping onto his face, and frankly, you'd have to have been blind not to notice the color of padawan Cates complexion...it was therefor with considerable satisfaction that she'd seen how thoroughly ill Obi-Wan's lady companion had appeared. She began to hope against hope that whatever it was that had afflicted the two apprentice's was highly contagious, and that her rival might get very sick and possibly even die!

    The thought cheering her, she edged away from her fellow initiates and followed the direction that Obi-Wan had taken, at a very discrete pace. Something was going on here, something very secret. And Isadora was determined to find out what!

    ****************

    "It's not my fault!" came the panic stricken voice at the other end of the com-link. "I was joking. I mean, when you say to someone you've never met "Sith, I wish there was a sedative you could give these little swamp-creatures", you don't really expect someone to actually do it! I mean, not ACTUALLY, so that they?re doped to the eyeballs, or so that they can't move a muscle. It's not the sort of thing you'd expect when you go to the zoo, I mean one minute we were having a great time feeding the ducks..."
    "Bai, you're ranting," Qui-Gon tried to calm the distraught padawan, "now, just take it easy. Take a big breath."

    He heard the exhalation through the com-link. "Good. Now let's start again. You say that the children have been drugged. Yes?"

    Bai nodded miserably then remembered that Qui-Gon couldn't see him. "Y-Yess." he gulped.
    ?Where are you??
    ?By the duck pond, where else,? Bai replied sourly.
    ?Alone??
    ?Yes?No. There?s that Alderaani kid that Mater Windu said could join our group.?

    Windu and Qui-Gon exchanged glances. ?Our missing initiate!? yelled Windu. He snatched the com-link away from Qui-Gon. ?What the hell?s that kid doing with you?!! We?ve spent nearly the whole damn afternoon looking for him!?
    ?You mean I spent the whole afternoon looking for him,? muttered Qui-Gon, feeling his tender eye gingerly with his hand. ?You had other more pressing things to deal with.? He smiled sweetly. ?Such as getting close to nature.?
    ?You?re never going to let this one go are you?? groused Windu.
    ?Not for the next few months, no
  17. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    By the time Obi-Wan caught up with Jemmiah, neither of them seemed to be in a particularly coherent state, the former bent double having been violently sick only moments before, the latter with his hand clasped to his skull as if in a struggle to keep his balance. His feet didn?t seem particularly interested in following the dictates of his brain, but he reckoned that was probably reasonable, as his head seemed to be working to a different agenda anyway.

    He approached his friend cautiously, daring to reach out a steadying arm to grasp her hunched shoulders, and wondering if they might not both collapse in a heap as a result.

    ?Are you all right?? He winced as his hangover began to kick-in. Whatever Simeon had poisoned him with had worked very swiftly. They would need a miracle to hide this little incident from Qui-Gon.

    She slowly turned to stare at him, shaking, her hand resting on her stomach as if fearing another attack of nausea. ?All right?? She couldn?t believe what he?d said. ?Do I look like I?m all right? Well, DO I??

    He attempted to placate her by sliding his arm round her shoulders, but she was having none of it, and shook him off as easily as if he?d been made of air. ?Let go.? She hissed at him, before jogging a few steps away.

    ?Jemmy?!? Obi-Wan called.
    ?Forget it!? She shouted over her shoulder, and continued to walk away towards the mock-farmyard in the children?s area.

    Obi-Wan struggled to think what to do. Vaguely, his foggy brain told him that leaving the drunk and disorderly Simeon in charge of ten young children was possibly not the smartest thing he?d ever done. On the other hand, he had promised to speak to Jemmiah regarding her departure to Corellia, and something warned him that if he messed this up now, he might never get the opportunity to sort things out. Whilst his mind was telling him to go back to check on Simeon, his legs had already gone off in pursuit of his friend.

    Thank-you, legs. Obi-Wan thought groggily.

    Jemmiah had reached the barnyard. There seemed to be nothing but stray feathers and vast quantities of straw as far as the eye could see, but she decided it would do very well until her stomach quit griping at her. She sat down next to the wooden wall, folding her legs underneath her. The straw felt warm. What she wouldn?t give to just go to sleep and wake up in four months time!

    Her solitude was disturbed, as she knew it would be, by the unsteady figure of Obi-Wan. He rested his head momentarily against the open doorway, then seemingly gathered his wits and lurched over towards the lone figure huddled in the straw. She looked so young, he thought, almost as how he remembered her when they?d first met. Steadily, he lowered himself to sit beside her. Jemmiah didn?t even look at him.

    ?Feeling better?? He asked hesitantly, after he thought a seemly amount of time had passed without discourse.
    ?Some.? Was the only answer he got. He stared at her. ?You don?t look too good, if you don?t mind me saying.?
    She faced him again. ?What do you expect? There was Cherryblade in that stuff wasn?t there??

    He looked surprised. ?Sith, Jemmy. Not you as well!?
    ?I am SO allergic to Cherryblade. I?ll be sick all the way back to Evla?s apartment.? She looked hopefully at him. ?Maybe if I die they won?t make me leave tomorrow.?

    Obi-Wan looked at her intensely. ?I think we?re all going to be pretty sick. Simeon looks like a tree frog, and I think it was whatever was in that flask that caused it.?

    She considered. ?Great. So I get to be green as well as ill, yes??

    He shook his head. ?I?m nowhere near as bad as Simeon, but I didn?t have all that much. How much did you take??
    ?Hardly a mouthful?, she said ruefully, ?and I brought it back up anyway.?
    ?You should be fine, then.? He smiled. ?Simeon?s the one that?s going to have to explain why he looks like a walking color chart.?

    She gave a quick laugh, careful of her sore stomach muscles.

    ?What are you going to do about??
    ?Corellia?? She finished. ?What can I do? I have to go. Th
  18. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by THE MUSICAL JEDI:

    Qui-Gon Jinn and Mace Windu rounded a corner, coming across a very green padawan and nine little initiates. Mace raised one eyebrow as Simeon turned to the pair, a foolish grin on his face. The eight children in their group went out to mingle with the other nine. Qui-Gon glanced at his friend. ?You take Simeon and I?ll talk to our delinquent?? he asked. Mace shrugged running a hand over his head, as though trying to scrub something off of it. Qui-Gon stifled a chuckle at the movement, remember the earlier events, earning a glare from his counterpart.

    ?You take Simeon,? Mace retorted, feeling confident he had finally received the better end of the deal. A dark look crossed Qui-Gon?s face, making his one dark eye look fearsome then disappeared. He gave a nod and headed over to Simeon, who had seated himself in a drunken heap on a park bench.

    The padawan looked at the master as he sat down beside him. ?Jemmiiss sssearinsom, mmmm, mmmeniiiiiiisssssbotssssss,? he commented, his speech slurred beyond understanding. Qui-Gon blinked, startled.

    ?What was that? In Basic, this time, preferably,? he responded, trying to figure out what he was saying. Simeon hiccuped and nudged Qui-Gon in a secretive way which made him wary.

    ?Jeeemmmmmmmi. Ahhhhhhh?? he began, hiccuping again. ?Heeeeeerboooootssss . . .? he said, gesturing to his feet. Then, he winked at Qui-Gon, who was now thoroughly confused.

    He shook his head. ?Jemmiah?s boots? What are you talking about?? Simeon opened his mouth to make another response, but Qui-Gon waved him into silence. ?Never mind, never mind, that?s not important right now.?

    Giving the padawan another good look over, he got an idea. He hauled the padawan to his feet and lugged him to a nearby decorative pond, where a few ducks floated some distance away. Lowering the padawan to the ground, he thrust Simeon?s head underwater, feeling the icy liquid flow over his hands. Then, he pulled him back out; the padawan coughing and sputtering incoherently, his entire head completely wet.

    ?What in Sith do you think you?re doing, drinking a controlled substance while you?re supposed to be watching initiates?!? he asked quietly, although his voice was firm and unyielding.

    Looking terrified at the master, some of Simeon?s wits returned. ?And why is your skin greener than Yoda?s? What is in the stuff you drank??

    Glancing around for an escape, Simeon found Qui-Gon?s hand holding his arm tightly. ?I . . . . ah . . . .? he stalled, having no good explanation for the questions. Suddenly, Isadora ran up to the pair, giving the damp Simeon strange looks.

    ?Master Jinn!? she cried, tugging on his robe.

    Giving her a look and then giving one to Simeon for good measure, he responded. ?Just a moment, I?m talking to Simeon right now.? Simeon gulped at the emphasis on talking.

    Isadora shook her head, looking urgent. ?But Master Jinn . . .!?

    He cut her off. ?Haven?t you learned to listen to your elders? I will talk to you in a moment when I?m finished with Simeon,? he said firmly, his blue eyes flashing with pent-up annoyance.

    ?Jemmiah?s going to have a baby! She?s in the barn with your padawan!? she blurted out, then instinctively took a few steps back at the look on Qui-Gon Jinn?s face.

    His face was a mask of cool fury, his eyes having taken the tint of ice. Simeon felt the grip on his arm increase slightly and squirmed under the pain. He could feel the master shaking with anger and frantically began to wish that he, too, could move away. Suddenly, Qui-Gon let go of his arm and stood stiffly. ?You and I will finish our talk momentarily,? he said harshly, giving Simeon a look accompanied with a mental image of what would occur if he disappeared in Qui-Gon?s absence. Then, the master turned, the picture of deadly grace.

    Isadora?s terror-filled face turned to one of smug satisfaction as he began to make long, stiff strides towards the children?s barn. Simeon rubbed his arm painfully as he watched the master go, suddenly sobering up. May the Force
  19. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    Qui-Gon strode doggedly towards the farmyard barn, a thousand conflicting thoughts playing in his mind. His gut reaction to Isadora?s little bombshell was disbelief, followed in rapid succession by anger and hurt.

    And above all else: betrayal.

    The fact that his padawan had been going behind his back to see Jemmiah had been bad enough, but then to have been so irresponsible?the consequences of his actions would have a knock on effect for many, many people. Then there was the child. What if?

    The child might be force sensitive.

    Would Jemmiah stand by and let her child be taken from her? And what of his apprentice? He still had many years of learning ahead of him. It could be several years before he took his trials. This was not what was needed right now. Bitterness welled in Qui-Gon like a hot spring. And also something else.

    Guilt.

    He had thought he had taught Obi-Wan better. And as for Jemmiah? she had always had a wild streak. His anger at her intensified. It was her fault. Obi-Wan was never disobedient, not before this little incident. Well, he thought unsympathetically, let her suffer the consequences of her folly.

    He breathed out. He was lying to himself, he knew. They were both as guilty as each other. His padawan was NOT perfect, nor had he ever pretended to be. And by keeping them apart, Qui-Gon had made the situation into what it was. Yes, he must suffer some of the blame too.

    He could sense Obi-Wan as he neared the barn entrance, but he was equally sure that his apprentice had not sensed him. Shielding tighter than he had ever before, Qui-Gon continued his approach. He spotted the pair of them lying amidst the straw, eyes closed, in a quiet embrace, and once more had to keep a tight reign on his anger. No longer finding the need for stealth, Qui-Gon walked soundlessly to the middle of the barn before letting go of his shielding altogether.

    Realization hit Obi-Wan like a bucket of water in the face. A surge of terror spiked in him as he recognized the oh, too familiar presence of his master, and he sat bolt upright. Jemmiah blinked and followed suit, and the horrified expression on her face was something that Qui-Gon would remember for some time to come.

    ?Mmmmaster.? Stammered Obi-Wan in fright. ?We didn?t expect to see you??

    ?So I see, padawan.? Qui-Gon fixed him with a look betwixt disgust and coldness.
    ?Master Jinn,? Jemmiah began, her voice raw, ?It?s not what you??
    ?Spare me the ?It?s not what you think? routine, Jemmiah. I?m not stupid. Don?t think,? he paused to dart an icy look at his padawan, ?that I don?t know about your secret assignations.?
    ?Master?? Obi-Wan began.
    ?I?ll speak to you later, Obi-Wan. Right now I?m going to have a little talk with Jemmiah.?
    ?But??
    ?I said out, padawan.? He breathed dangerously.

    For a moment Qui-Gon thought he would refuse to go, but then he saw Jemmiah squeeze his hand so quickly that the movement was barely perceptible, but he caught it all the same.

    At this signal of acquiescence, Obi-Wan reluctantly, and decidedly unsteadily, got to his feet. He looked from master to his friend and then back again.

    ?I?ll wait outside.? He stated in a challenging tone.

    ?No you won?t.? Qui-Gon replied. ?I have a lot to say, and you look as if you?re about to fall flat on your face.? He folded his arms to meet his apprentice?s challenge. ?I?d go back to your friend Simeon. He could do with some moral support right now, and by all the stars you are both going to need it by the time Yoda and I have finished with you. You may go, padawan.? He dismissed Obi-Wan as if he were a child.

    When Obi-Wan had left, he turned to an extremely pale Jemmiah Gleshan. She was shaking, and looked like she were about to collapse, but Qui-Gon?s annoyance was extreme.

    ?I know about your little secret.? Qui-Gon stated simply.

    He watched as Jemmiah?s expression went from apprehension to distress in one swift stroke. ?He promised me!? She yelled as if her mind were about to snap from the shame. ?I made him swear not to s
  20. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEDI KYLENN:

    ?JAAAAY-EE-DEE-EYE! It?s fun to train with the JAAAY-EE-DEE-EYE-YI!!??

    Oh, Abran is reaaaaly gonna get it this time!

    Padawan Kylenn rolled her eyes and put her head in her hands as Imri-Doric and Fabran launched into their 32nd rendition of ?J.E.D.I.? while a third, an E.T. called Runa, bobbed his head and pulsed his finger-light along to the rhythm.

    I?m never going to forgive him for teaching these little Sithlings that hideous song! Alright, just for this I?m going to freeze his underwear in carbonite!

    She and her close friend Abran were near opposites of each other; he was the consummate showman while 17-year-old Kylenn was among the more reserved members of the Temple. While his antics often raised concern among the other Jedi, particularly Master Jinn, she found him rather amusing and, admittedly lived vicariously through him. She wasn?t necessarily shy, she just preferred to watch and listen rather than jump immediately into the thick of things; a trait she had, at least in part, picked up from Yaddle. The Jedi Master had rescued her as an infant while on a mission to negotiate a dispute between a band of smugglers and the regency of a small Outer Rim planet and had maintained an almost motherly relationship with her even after another knight had chosen her as a padawan.

    Kylenn smiled wanly as a passerby chuckled at the little Jedi dance show going on in the middle of the walkway.

    She could use some of Yaddle?s patience about now.

    Or a big THUNK on the head.

    She looked over at the remaining child, a 5-yr-old Wookie named Zibacca sitting on the ground next to a bench with his legs curled up underneath him. He was quietly playing with a set of Corellian Fighter Pilot action figures he had pulled out of his Happy Hutt lunch box.

    *Sigh* At least one child isn?t behaving like a crazed Wampa on stim.
  21. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    Master Jinn hurried Jemmiah gently but firmly back towards the errant group consisting of his padawan and Simeon Cates, along with their group of ten initiates. He remained quietly concerned. She had composed herself admirably, wearing a mask of calm that would have fooled anybody.

    Except Qui-Gon.

    Well, his padawan too, he amended ruefully. The last seven years had fled at such an alarming rate that the Jedi master didn?t know where they had disappeared to. He couldn?t pin down a specific time when the young lady by his side had turned from being the undernourished, scrawny little child his apprentice had rescued into the attractive woman that he now saw.

    He?d missed her birthday; he realized, amidst all the trouble his silent rebuke had caused. She would be seventeen now, maybe not so much a child after all. But her pallor and general behavior made him feel worried on her behalf. He sensed relief from her. Relief that they were now speaking again. Apprehension for what he might do to Obi-Wan. Well, she had every right to be concerned on that score. He hadn?t even begun to think what he was going to say to him. Overriding all these powerful emotions was fear. It was not usually something that could be sensed from her. He saw her pull her shawl around her for warmth, and in return he tightened the grip on her shoulder.

    She looked up in gratitude at the small gesture of comfort, but it was a cautious, wary smile that she returned to him. She?d always found trust a problem, possibly why she had few, if any friends other than Obi-Wan. And considering her life on Nargotria, Qui-Gon thought sadly, it was hardly a surprise.

    He remembered so many of the incidents, or ?scrapes? as he had called them, that had helped to forge a bond between them of sorts. The floor-scrubbing escapade, when Obi-Wan had been wrongly accused of causing a fight in the temple between himself and master H?darri?s padawan, and had been set the onerous task of washing the walls outside the Jedi?s apartment. Not to mention all the adjacent apartments as well. Jemmiah had known full well that Obi-Wan had not been even remotely guilty and had refused to abandon him to his punishment, helping him with his chore. ?Make a good job of it,? master H?darri had said in a threatening tone to them.

    Well, she certainly DID make a good job of it.

    Whilst Obi-Wan worked on the walls, Jemmiah worked on the floor. She paid special attention to the patch of floor directly outside H?darri?s door. She?d got a real shine to it, reflected Qui-Gon with the merest hint of a smile.

    The master had walked briskly out to inspect the work and had gone sliding down the corridor like a Gabali puck against ice. He?d gone crashing into master Yoda on the way, and when their momentum had stopped, Yoda had simply said ?Hmph!? and rapped him hard on the knee with his stick.

    Qui-Gon had caught up with Jemmiah the next day, and found her to be in a distinctly un-repentant mood. She was re-washing the walls that Obi-Wan had been cleaning only the day before.

    ?What in blazes are you doing, child?? He?d asked in puzzlement.

    She didn?t so much as look at him, instead her eyes seemed to be fixed intensely on a single speck of dirt on the wall that wouldn?t budge.
    ?Punishment.? She sighed in her lilting accent.

    Qui-Gon?s frown had grown. Had master Yoda set her this task? Surely not, she had Yoda well wrapped round her little finger. Everyone knew that the troll was especially fond of her.

    ?Punishment?? Echoed Qui-Gon?s voice.
    She nodded, still not looking at him. ?When you do something wrong, aren?t you s?posed to pay for it??

    Jinn?s bafflement extended further. ?I don?t understand. Who set you this punishment??
    ?Nobody.? She replied.
    ?You?re not making a lot of sense.?

    Jemmiah had smiled. ?I?ve been up since early this morning cleaning these walls so that I can honestly say that I have atoned for my sins.?
    ?Why, what have you done?? Qui-Gon asked uneasily.
    ?Nothing.? She smirked. ?Yet.?

    The door to H?darri?s apa
  22. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by JEMMIAH:

    Padawan Kylenn stared. There?s something funny going on here, she thought?

    She looked all about her. There was nothing different. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just that feeling: the one that said ?I don?t know what?s wrong, but something nasty is gonna happen any second? persisting and tugging at her. Abran would call her an over-imaginative idiot. But then again, that was a particular criticism that had been leveled at him on numerous occasions.

    Well, the idiot part at least.

    Still her force sense screamed at her, and every passing moment heightened her anticipation of possible lurking dangers. The kids were still singing, still dancing and making altogether too much noise. Stars, this particular group must have thought they?d touched lucky when they had been assigned to her, because there was no way that Master Jinn or Master Windu would have let them get away with this kind of din.

    She watched the Wookie initiate enjoying himself, clapping in time to that silly song of Jay Abran?s. If she never heard it again it would be too soon. It was forever ingrained in her brain, she feared, and as for those silly actions?

    What is wrong? Why am I so nervous?

    Was it because of the children? She could never understand how people could dare have offspring. The fear she felt for the initiates was overwhelming, and they weren?t even hers! Certainly, there was no way she could pass the Wookie off as her own. Jay Abran would no doubt have something to say about that, some sort of obscene joke.

    She wished he were here.

    I wish I were like him, sometimes, she thought. I know there?s a time for diplomacy and tact, skills I have been told I possess. But what I wouldn?t give to have his confidence! How does he do it?

    Padawan Kenobi?s friend has that same, easy-going charm, too. She has so much vivacity and wit, singling her out from any number of people. Jemmiah could walk into a cantina and turn heads.

    Padawan Cates has been known to turn stomachs. Perhaps she had been lucky after all. He had that horrible thing he did with his toes?

    STOP WORRYING!!!

    She couldn?t help it. The urge to contact Master Jinn was overwhelming, and her hand fell instinctively to her comlink. But there was no reason to, and Master Jinn had said only to do so if it were urgent. She swallowed.

    BUT I KNOW SOMETHING?S WRONG!

    Get a grip of yourself, she chided. What on Coruscant could go wrong at a zoo, for Sith?s sake? The kids were safe, having the time of their lives away from the discipline of the temple. None of that disgusting so-called nutritious gloop they served initiates as food. Nothing but happiness at being with their friends. Just one look at their cheerful faces told her she was right. They trusted her completely.

    And that was why they were able to enjoy themselves. Free from harm, secure in her capable charge.

    She didn?t feel capable.

    She made up her mind, and thumbed the comlink. ?Master Jinn, it?s padawan Kylenn here. I..I know you didn?t want us to contact you unless it was a dire emergency but I have this awful feeling that??

    Looking upwards, Kylenn froze. The comlink fell from her grasp and onto the ground.

    Watching her from amongst the trees was an extremely large eye.

    **************

    Master Windu was tempted to utter a string of expletives for not the first time that afternoon, as he looked at the semi-conscious form of padawan Kenobi. He was fairly unresponsive, even after they had forced some lukewarm caff down his throat.

    Well, actually most of it had gone down his chin.

    The spectacle had drawn a crowd of curious initiates, all circling Obi-Wan for a better look.

    ?Is he dead?? asked Toms as he wiped his nose on his sleeve.
    ?Of course not!? muttered Isadora, standing on her tiptoes. ?If he were dead they wouldn?t be making him drink that caff, would they??

    Sabra-Ni stood next to Mace. ?Master Windu, what does ?Up the stick mean??

    Mace?s eyes bulged. ?Pardon??

    The little girl continued. ?I heard padawan Cates say that pada
  23. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    Posted by OPIE WAN CANOLI:

    Boy, that little guy can drive, An-Paj thought as he clung to the dashboard of Yoda's airspeeder. Beside him, Yoda dodged a slow-moving skiff, downshifted, and made the small engine scream with full throttle.

    "Almost there, we are. Enjoying this, I am, hehe, hm", Yoda said as he swung the steering wheel, and somehow made the speeder go even faster.

    An-Paj's jaw dropped. Impossible! This model- the aptly named Incom Padawan- only has a 350-klick top speed. An-Paj should know. That gearhead initiate who broke a leg last year could bore to galactic standard on the topic of airspeeders.

    An-Paj's reverie stopped when Yoda pulled into the zoo parking lot, abruptly stopped, and just as abruptly spoke.

    An-Paj became the only human alive who had heard Yoda swear- and what a swearer! But with good reason, An-Paj thought as he looked at the scene in the lot. Police cruisers were everywhere, some on their sides or roofs. Animals were wandering around, dazed by the flashing lights. Others were chasing assorted sentients. And he didn't even want to think about what that Bantha was doing to the Temple hoverbus. Well, the bus is big and brown. Not furry, though. Much more of this, and the Bantha won't be, either.

    "Our work, we have cut out for us."

    Once again Yoda had brought An-Paj back to the moment.

    "No poodoo," An-Paj said.

    As if on cue, a pikobi that had decided Yoda's speeder hood was a nice cozy spot to watch the mayhem issued an odd squishy noise, followed by an odder smell.

    "Poodoo," Yoda stated flatly as they started toward the gates.
  24. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Where's the rest of it? And you aren't the only one who had posts that were brutally amputated or merged with other threads to form strange, frankenstein-like monstrosities with no rhyme or reason to them. Many of us have suffered so, and appreciate the re-issue. :)
  25. Jemmiah Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2000
    star 5
    The eye blinked.

    Padawan Kylenn felt as if she had grown roots. The urge to run conflicted strongly against the equally powerful urge to stay completely frozen to the ground on which she stood. As both hidden creature and padawan observed each other, the initiates played not so very far away, completely oblivious.

    That, thought Kylenn, is one monster eye. And monster eyes usually came attached to monster beings. She didn?t know what that thing was, but she would give any odds it wasn?t a Corellian tree squirrel.

    OK. Think.

    It?s big. Not all big things are necessarily carnivorous. But her force sense was telling her that it probably was. And anyway, why would it bother watching them with such interest if it was a vegetarian? What sort of creature would be that big? It would have to be something taller than a Bantha?about the same size as, say, a Rancor.

    A RANCOR?!!

    She felt her blood turn into a river of ice. Did Coruscant zoo have a Rancor? And if it did, WHAT THE HELL WAS IT DOING OUTSIDE ITS ENCLOSURE?

    Probably got bored of the all-keeper diet and thought it would try padawan for a change, her inner voice mocked. She glanced up at that big, dilating eye. It was looking towards the children. No doubt, the loud noise, dancing and cavorting was proving highly interesting to the hidden observer.

    She HAD to stop them.

    Inching backwards, step by painfully slow step, Kylenn did not remove her eyes from the trees.

    *********************

    ?Master Jinn.?
    ?Hmmm??

    Qui-Gon did not stop for a moment. If he?d been in a hurry to reach Kylenn before, his pace most certainly did not slack now. Infact, his concentration had never seemed stronger. Jemmiah noticed how he kept his eyes fixed upon the ground as he walked. He must be doing something with that force stuff of his, she thought. Either that or he was trying desperately not to notice all the half-naked people that suddenly seemed to line the pathways.

    Jemmiah?s eyebrows quirked upwards.

    ?Forgive me for saying this Master Jinn, but haven?t you noticed the number of undressed beings that we keep running into??

    His step became brisker. ?I had, yes.?
    ?There?s an awful lot of them.? She frowned, staring at yet another one of the long coat brigade. ?Sith on a stick! You could hang your laundry out to dry on??

    Qui-Gon caught hold of her arm and started to pull her along. ?Just keep moving.? He said under his breath.

    Jemmy complied, but kept looking around her. ?There?s women amongst them as well.? She puzzled as she stared at the figures.
    ? Are there really.? Qui-Gon continued not to notice like the dutiful Jedi he was.

    A devious smile spread upon Jemmiah?s face. ?That one looks just like Master Depa Billaba!?
    ?Hmm...er..what??

    Qui-Gon?s head snapped up in surprise.

    ?Ha, ha!?

    Jinn responded by pulling her even more quickly along the path. ?Very amusing, Jemmiah.? He growled. ?Although I can?t put you over my knee, don?t think I?m not tempted.?

    Jemmiah snickered. ?Padawan Abran said that to me once.? Her expression sobered. ?I hit him.?

    Pity you didn?t hit my padawan, thought Qui-Gon, then we might none of us be in this mess.

    ?I don?t see what?s wrong. If these people want to ditch their clothes, why not let ?em. It must be a very liberating experience.? She continued after a while.
    ?I?m sure it is,? replied Qui-Gon, ?except that there?s a time and a place for everything, and this doesn?t strike me as either.?
    ?Perhaps.? Jemmy conceded, seeing that Qui-Gon was about to lecture her about staring at the convergence of naked people. Out the corner of her eye she saw that one of them had a sign strategically placed over a rather personal area. It said: NAKED AND PROUD OF IT. And right next to him was a small, pear-shaped woman, holding a similar placard which read: IT?S GOOD TO BE NUDE.

    ?I know,? grinned Jemmiah. ?It?s a perverts convention.?

    Qui-Gon was thinking furiously. Somewhere at the back of his mind he remembered that there had been a recent dispute between the zoo and a group of so calle
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