Before Living History - Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan mission - COMPLETE - Parts 1-34 - 26-Aug-2013

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ardavenport, Jul 7, 2013.

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  1. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
  2. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    = = = Part 24


    Lowering his head, Obi-Wan nodded again. He knew and accepted that the Sith were the embodiment of evil. But he did not know what he would sense if a Sith suddenly appeared to him. And he could sense that Qui-Gon was not telling him everything he knew; true knowledge of the Sith was potentially corrupting and not shared with Padawans.

    He lifted his head. "No, Master. I do not. But I will follow your teachings. And learn."

    Qui-Gon's hand squeezed his shoulder, a brief, intense acceptance. "We will learn together." He looked away. "But for now," his tone lightened, "we will eat."

    They crossed to the food prep area. Obi-Wan grimaced down at the black mark on the floor left by his careless lightsaber. He knew what they would be doing during the three days of rehearsal. Meditating (possibly about Sith, or possibly not) and training. Obi-Wan trained every day, with Qui-Gon, with other Jedi and alone; he could feel the difference in himself from just a year ago. Aside from being physically taller, he was stronger, the Force coming to him more naturally, though he was still far from the ease and skill that his Master commanded. But they were not on Coruscant. And it seemed a wasted opportunity to only do the same things that they in the Jedi Temple.

    "Master?"

    Qui-Gon looked up from the root he was slicing.

    "I would like to review the local holo-media. If the Custodian thinks that they will send snooper droids here, we should know more about them."

    Qui-Gon’s lip twitched in a suppressed sneer. But he then sighed and nodded. So, after they finished preparing and setting out their midday meal, Obi-Wan slid open the compartment where he had seen the holoprojector. It was a large unit attached to the back wall of the compartment; the projector platform flipped down and out, a large vertical screen opening up behind it. Activating the small control screen, Obi-Wan saw a fairly standard menu of functions and quickly scanned through them. His eye noted one option for later: "History Play Reference Holos".

    Picking up the remote controller for the unit, he went back to the table. There was a huge selection of public broadcasts from topics ranging from teaching modules to entertainments, local sector activities to galactic events. Obi-Wan selected the most popular public information offering.

    "We’re here on the shores of the Scared Pond of Urzaro," The bluish transparent man leaned so close to his holo-recorder that his face distorted. Behind him the screen lit up in extreme color detail, a magnificent vista with a line of dark blue and green trees in the distance, the planet’s largest moon hanging like a big gray, cratered bauble domnating a blue sky reflected in a pond of brown water half covered by greenish yellow blobs of alge. The detail on the screen was so sharp that they could see tiny blubbles forming and popping on the brown scummy water.

    ". . . where yesterday," the man went on enthusiastically, "it was revealed that King Zweritmu was in fact sterile, so the entire royal lineage of the House of Tatwa are actually the progeny of the King’s cousin, a wusner herder. And I have here the Venerate Tizard and the Very Venerate Chilzom Tykrus." The holo-image shifted to the left, panning over to two men, one distinguished white haired man dressed in fitted, embroidered clothes, the other a bit stooped with long gray hair in a simple long tunic, hanging down past his knees; his feet were bare. "Excuse me, Venerate Emertis Tizard and Very Venerate Emertis Chilzom Tykus after last night’s brilliant performance.

    "Tell me, Venerate Sweritmu," the announcer addressed the finely dressed Venerate, "We all know how strict all the Living History Lands are, and especially the Swalen. So, were you neutered as part of your training, or was it part of your formal initiation?" The man opened his mouth, but nothing came out and the awkward silence stretched out.

    Obi-Wan cringed as the announcer enthusiastically went on with his intrusive questions with the Very Venerate Emertis. Qui-Gon picked up the controller and switched the feed.

    " - - - scoop bikes and single bikes and double bikes and TRIPLE bikes - - ," a broadshouldered woman in a bright yellow suit quickly strode down a row of speeder bikes as she rapid-talked down her inventory. The huge open pen behind her was filled with more of them, " - - and blue bikes and green bikes and gold bikes! Bikes with two, four and six rocket boosts! Bikes with fins! Bikes with vanes! Bikes with fins and vanes! - - "

    Qui-Gon switched the feed.

    "I can’t Morgna! I can’t!" A man with pale blue eyes and sunny blond hair pleaded to a smaller dark haired young man in a red and blue smock. "I love her. How can I ask her to - - "

    "How can you not ask her? Brayel you’re not thinking straight. The whole Cabal can see what needs to be done. Why not - - "

    Qui-Gon switched the feed.

    A tinkle of music accompanied a burst of glowing, sparklng flowers and loose holographic petals on the floor before them.

    "- - for that certain special someone in your life," a woman’s voice cooed. "From single spectacular bursts to promenade, our flower showers come in fresh and hypo-allergetic scents. Make your reservation - - "

    Qui-Gon switched the feed.

    Obi-Wan took a few bites of food while his Master cycled through the public information offereings. They weren’t that much different from the thousands of feeds available on Coruscant, except that the focus was mostly on Maarzim and its Outer Rim sector instead of the whole Galactic Republic. Commercialism was certainly alive and well on the Outer Rim. His Master’s disapproving eyes flicked his way once as he cycled through the selections.

    The back screen of the holo-projector filled with soaring views of different landscapes with ghostly transparent details rising and falling over the holo-projector. Orchestral music swelled and receded with each one.

    Qui-Gon raised the controller again.

    The screen image soared up forested hills and cresting, revealed a stone fortress overlooking a town on a hillside. A tall spire dominated it, more than twice as high as any other tower in the whole structure.

    Qui-Gon lowered the controller.

    The view circled around Naardin Castle before switching again to a dry landscape of dramatic rock formations and sparse purple vegetation. The image swooped up and down and then switched again to skim over an ocean, rushing up toward a forested island with steep vertical cliffs. The music rose, reaching a dramatic climax as the view zoomed into a black hangar opening in the rock face. Stylized text burst out proclaiming the eternal grandeur of the Living History Lands before dissolving into a shower of fading sparks that formed into a transparent mini-council of five people, seated in a circle of chairs over the holo-platform.

    "History is being made. Right now," a man with thinning hair began. He wore a suit similar to the others and he sat in a chair with a higher back, marking him as some kind of host or leader. "Four of the major History Plays, innagurating Mwetta as the new Chancellor of the Living History Lands, have been performed. Tomorrow, The Gwad, with The Mystery of the Tortorb Labyrinth . . ."

    This introduction launched a sometimes spirited and reasonably civil and serious discussion of the various major performances and the two Jedi ate their meal as it proceded. All five commentators agreed that the first Living History Play, 'The Seed' in the K’zrai Lands, had been excellent; it revealed that a small group of influential intellectuals of their day had, in fact, murdered one of their peers and used the upheaval it caused to found a charitable order of Historians that was still active in the present day. They were all united in their disappointment in the Dimara Grat Lands Play about the hidden correspondence between a musician and an explorer who was lost in the void beyond the Galactic Rim. As they mentioned each Play, the five chairs dissolved into quick holo smippets of the performances. They approved of the third and fourth History Plays with varying amounts of enthusiasm and speculated about the next performance. Then they moved on to what they expected from the final three Plays.

    "Remember, The Tragedy of Darth Yarr was originally slated to be fourth in the lineup," a woman with very thick hair shaped into a deformed cube on her head, confided to the others, "but Naardin’s slot was switched with with Swalen’s, along with Gwad and Poonkagree, to accommodate this supposed ‘epidemic’ of sephrada virus, giving them extra time and putting increased pressure on Swalen and Gwad by forcing them to go early - - "

    "Really," a man in a shiny tunic with strings of dark beads hangning down his chest interrupted, "I think the extra pressure worked to Tworin Aka’s advantage; that was one of the most energetic performances he’s directed in years."

    "Let’s hope it goes well for Titi Lwassa tomorrow night." the host added. "She is not known for working well under pressure. But," he re-directed the speculation, "will the extra time be beneficial for Ebsi Tykon? There have been rumors all season that he is not happy with his collaboration with the Mwemas, Aka and Smetin team that the Overseers forced on him."

    "Can you blaaaaame them?" a thin man with light hair standing straight up asked with elongated vowels. "Ebsi Tykon has been liiiiving off of his victoooories for yeeeeears now. He ooooonly produces good work when he’s working in collaboration with others. But he’s running out of peeeeople who will put up with his tantrums. Aka, Smetin and Mwemas have aaaaaall worked with him before and it amaaaazes me that they’re willing to do it agaaain."

    "Roobi Mwemas has not only worked with Tykon before," a woman wearing a sleeveless shirt made of disks that matched the shiny pair hanging from her earlobes added, "she’s also had an intermittent amorous relationship with him."

    "Even moooooore reason for her to want to avoid him! Reeeeeally, can you imagine? And what about these new rumors that Tykon has even insulted the Jedi Venerate from the Galactic Republic. A Venerate! A Jedi Venerate! Can you imaaaaagine?" The five chairs dissolved into a still image of Qui-Gon that started out the size of a boot and quickly inflated to life-size.

    "Confidential sources say that the Jedi tried to strangle Director Tykon during one of the auditions."

    Obi-Wan gulped his bite of grain flat and nut spread and glanced toward his Master who did not react. These people had some kind of inside information though not accurate. And they did not seem to know that he even existed.

    The Qui-Gon image fizzled out and reformed into the five chairs again with the sound of a forced laugh.

    "Ha ha ha!" The host wagged a finger at the thin man, "I think that if a Jedi really tried to strangle Ebsi Tykon he wouldn’t be going into rehersals now. Ha ha! But we can’t linger on any un-holy heresay. Blithmi," he addressed the cube-haired woman, "what can we expect from the final four performances?"

    More speculation followed. They all seemed to think that Tykon would easily do better than Hrot, the Director for the Dimara Grat History Play, 'Floor Under Floor', the one that they all did not like, but that the Majwaru History Play, the final one, would be the show piece of the whole celebrations. The five kept chatted on as the Jedi finished their meal and went to clean up.

    ". . . I caaaaan’t agree with you there. I predict that the Poonkagree Play will completely upstage them all, especially Majwaru. I think that Zratta Nuel will regret not trading places for an earlier spot. She’ll be under a lot of pressure - - - "

    Qui-Gon shut off the holo-receiver. Then he folded up the platform and slid the compartment door closed over it. Obi-Wan frowned. He had planned to select the Skyways holo next, but his chance had passed for the day at least. He knew the words even before his Master spoke them.

    "Now, Obi-Wan. Training."


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    "What are you saying? We can’t . . . we’re not . . . Just because we . . . That doesn’t mean anything. Right, Brak’cha?"

    "What matters is what you feel, Zim. And for feelings like yours, I’m not an expert. You’re the only one can know that." the elderly woman standing behind the young woman facing off with an equally attractive young man was dressed plainly in a long robe with a long loose hood hanging down her back. The holo-drama proceeded three-quarters size on the tower apartment floor. The projection system was different for the stored dramas in its library. The screen sserved as a backdrop while the scenes played out in transparent colors, sometimes as knee-high crowds, sometimes as giant transparent floating heads, emoting important scenes.

    Obi-Wan had claimed that morning of the first full day of rehearsals that they should view Skyways, since it was one of the reference dramas being used by the performers. The argument was weak in Qui-Gon’s opinion, but this was the first of three days when they would mostly not be needed. They could not leave, since they knew the Mystery. Maarzim tradition and law demanded that they remain in sequestration until after the performance. Since they were Venerates, they were technically allowed free access to the rest of the Castle, but Qui-Gon saw no reason to cause Custodian Tykon any more anxiety than she already had to deal with.

    Qui-Gon lost interest in the drama by the third scene and covertly watched his Padawan instead. He was obviously looking for any scenes where Qui-Gon appeared in the background. There were four of them and Obi-Wan's sharp eye spotted him in every one. But the most interesting development was when the lift activated and Obi-Wan hastily switched the holo-drama off. One of the Castle Custodians appeared to tend the garden. She bowed to them, begging their forgiveness for her interruption before going outside. Obi-Wan did not turn the drama back on. He just sat their, feigning meditation until the woman finished her tasks, methodically circling the entire exterior balcony and finally returning with a basket of produce. Only after she was gone and the lift hatch sealed did Obi-Wan go back to holo recorder. Qui-Gon took his seat again and said nothing about his apprentice's obvious embarrassment that anyone should catch them watching the holo-drama.

    Though he tolerated the story of the young woman falling in love with her family's hireling while persons and droids with vague and sinister motives tried to kidnap her, Qui-Gon did enjoy seeing Roetee Zhazem again. This was her work and her legacy, her life in fact. After the holo was released and her work was feted in the popular venues, she sent a small mountain of cut flowers to the Jedi Temple with a dramatic note of thanks. Qui-Gon had been away on a mission at the time, but he heard later that Master Piell and Knight Worod (who had also briefly observed the holo-drama production) used them for an exercise where the Padawans in the Temple first kept as many of them in the air as they could and then smashed pairs of them together with the best accuracy they could manage. There had been flower petals everywhere and they were quite visible in the thank-you holo that Master Piell sent back to Roetee Zhazem for her gift.

    The finale of Skyways came with a lot of speeder crashes and blaster fire, along with a near-death experience that convinced the young woman that she really did love the young man pursuing her. Master Brak'cha helped with some timely use of her lightsaber, which shocked the young woman who, though she seemed to be reasonably intelligent, had not realized that her father's 'old friend' was actually a Jedi. The young man had figured it out almost immediately.

    Obi-Wan shut off the holo-recorder as the artistic credits played, life-sized images of the characters zoomed up with the glowing text of each performer's name circling them.

    "Did you enjoy assisting in this drama, Master?"

    "I did not dislike it." He got up from his chair; his robe hung over the back, but he did not put it on. "It was an assignment and it was not unpleasant." He smiled. There were plenty of flowering plants outside along with tools for snipping off some of the blossoms.

    "And now, Obi-Wan, I have some training for you."


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    "Lunches!" PING!

    "Snacks!" PING!

    "Dinners!" PING!

    "Special Ocassions!" PING! PING!

    With each declaraction, super-charged with cheerfulness meant to convince the viewer that food tasted better when served on square and rectangular plates, a new delicacy appeared, presented on the miraculous quadrilateral dishes.

    Qui-Gon switched the feed.

    It was the second full day of rehersals and their isolation in the tower and Obi-Wan had suggested that morning, after the Castle Custodian had tended the garden and left, that they could benefit from viewing some of Director Tykon's work.

    His expression turning distinctly critical, his brows lowered, Qui-Gon's had still agreed. He claimed the holoprojector controller and they sampled the public broadcasts. Aside from the usual planetary events that could be found anywhere in the galaxy - - government construction, dramatic and picturesque crime, the atmosphere, sports, on land and in large bodies of water, star activity in the local space sector - - there was plenty of information and commentary about the celebrations in the Living History Lands. They caught most of a biographical pictorial about Director Ebsi Tykon and other graduates of the Mwemas Academy who were contributing their talents to the 'sacred revelations'. Tykon's talent had been recognized when he was a very young performer, but he became globally recognized with his acclaimed directorial debut of the History Play 'Seven, Eight, Ot'. Since then, he had accumulated a couple decades of works, writing, singing, dancing, performing and directing. The pictorial rapidly flashed through a selection of scenes that might have meant something to someone who followed Tykon's work. When the holo moved on from Tykon to other artistic contributors Qui-Gon changed the feed, landing on a succession of inane interviews and advertisements that were as bad as anything they might have found on Coruscant.

    " - - the Galactic Repulic!"

    Qui-Gon paused.

    "Look at these sweet deals!" a voice cried out. "We've got tables from Zirpok, carved from the blackest char-wood. Accents from Tidridor Five excavated from the volcanic pits of Grabru, beautifully polished, and durable; even a thermal blast won't scratch these babies." A holo of each item, transparent and twice life-size burst up from the projector. "Tables, tables, tables from the ENTIRE GALAXY."

    Qui-Gon changed the feed.

    " - - reproductions of the finest quality," a soothing feminine voice promised as a projected louging chair gently spun in mid-air, "but with all the most modern comforts. The Venerates devote their lives to keeping our memories alive. So you don't have to. And with a Twortwun ensemble . . . " Various furnishings and even whole rooms appeared with the loving narration. But Qui-Gon did not change the feed. Baffled by his Master's sudden fascination with a simple advertisement, Obi-Wan scrutinized the displayed merchandise, apparently intended for the observant Maarzim who did not want to suffer too much for History. His mouth opened in surprise when he spied a symbol, apparently the Twortwun logo, a half-filled circle partially covering a squat triangle. Together the two Jedi turned toward the portable fresher unit that they had been using since they arrived. The exterior was made of blond wood that matched the apartment's floor and pillars, dully polished and smooth with all rounded edges. On the door, like a very sublte embossing was the same circle and triangle logo.

    Qui-Gon shrugged. "I suppose it had to come from somewhere."


    = = = End Part 24
  3. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Intriguing with all the news feeds and the reproductions
  4. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Yeah, there was a gap when they weren't doing anything and it seems reasonable that the event they were attending would make the news, so that was a good time to show it. Thanks for the reply!
  5. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    = = = Part 25


    Obi-Wan was sure that he was being punished.

    He had asked to view another holo-drama that morning since their viewing of Skyways had gone reasonably well. After an erractic search for biographical information about Director Tykon they had ended that with a viewing of 'Green Leaves', a recent drama that Tykon was praised for by Yana and her friends. It had been about a man regaining the love of his family after his years of profligate excess had driven them away. Tykon played his companion, who was also re-thinking his life-style. His part was critical to the story, but small. All it told them was the Tykon was capable of portraying himself as being both loud and kind at the same time. Qui-Gon had not looked too bored by the drama, he even smiled once and he conceded that Tykon's performance was memorable.

    So, Obi-Wan thought that they could safely view another holo that the performers were using as reference material for Jedi. They still had a whole day before they would be needed for the History Play's dress rehearsal. But his choice of Two in the City had been a huge mistake.

    The two main characters were supposed to be Jedi, a darkly hued Staretisi and a pale Huctus, but they violated the Jedi Code at least three times in the first few scenes. They liked to go to parties; they shared an apartment full of useless adonments in what was supposed to be the Jedi Temple, but interiors were unrecognizable. They did secret good deeds for 'down and out' persons in the lower levels of Coruscant, often disobeying the Council's direct orders; they accepted gifts and rewards from grateful admirers. They got into fights every chance they got with persistent jokes between them about where they would accidentally stick their lightsabers and make holes in things.

    It was excrutiating. But when he got up to get rid of the offending images, Qui-Gon told him to sit down and watch. Even worse, when the Castle Custodian arrived to tend the garden, Qui-Gon would not let him shut the holo-recorder off. The woman in her low-ranking pale blue tunic only paused briefly on her way outside during a scene of the two main characters arguing about their new speeder (a gift) and who was going to drive it first.

    Humiliated, Obi-Wan sank low in his seat as the Custodian went around the garden. She could clearly see through the windows what was playing on the holo-recorder as she worked. And this holo-drama had a lot of suddenly expanding images, often going to twice normal size, nearly floor to ceiling,

    One of the worst punishments that Jedi Masters could inflict upon their Padawans was to give their Padawans exactly what they asked for.

    When the woman returned, she stopped and, seeing a pause in the noise and action, asked if Qui-Gon was enjoying the holo-drama.

    "Oh, no," Qui-Gon answered in a pleasant tone. "This is very bad. It completely mis-represents Jedi in every way. Except for the fighting, which does appear to be very accurate in form, Otherwise, this is mindless poodoo and it is quite disturbing to me that this was chosen as a reference about Jedi for the Play."

    The Custodian stood for a moment with her mouth open; Qui-Gon's conflcting words and attitude confounding her before she recovered and excused herself.

    Obi-Wan was out of his seat as soon as she was gone. "Master, may I turn this off, now?"

    Sitting back, Qui-Gon folded his arms over his chest. "Have you not been watching, my young apprentice?"

    The two Jedi characters had just chopped up a table and were trying to figure out how to stand the pieces up so no one would know they had been there.

    "I believe that your assessment of this drama is accurate and that we would be wastng our time continuing with it. Should we not be training instead?"

    Qui-Gon's eyebrows rose and Obi-Wan's body went rigid as he suppressed a flinch. The older man stood.

    "Perhaps we should train." Leaving the holo-recorder on, Qui-Gon led Obi-Wan to the large open area of floor, conspicuously crossing over the black mark from Obi-Wan's lightsaber. Facing each other, Qui-Gon pointed first at him and then at the holo. "When they start fighting again, you will follow every move that the shorter Jedi character does. I will follow the taller one.

    "We will modify our actions only to stay in place. And," Qui-Gon's eyes flicked toward the black scar on the floor, "unlike them, we will mind our blades."

    Obi-Wan gulped. The holo played on; the two Jedi characters had given up on the table pieces and now slowly approached a large closed door.

    He bowed. "Yes, Master."


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    Qui-Gon inhaled deeply, his arms folded into the opposite sleeves of his dark brown robe. The sun had just set. He stood at the outer railing of the balcony garden, the lesser moons overhead in Maarzim's sparse starfield. Nearby, three tiny fliers pecked and batted at each other over a berry bush along with some slow moving, bumbling night insects. Down below a deep and very low hum rose from the enormous shield bubble blocking the way to their usual gardens. Distant thunder rumbled from towering clouds over the mountains behind him, matching the rumble from the enormous, faintly glowing energy shields over the castle below.

    Darth Yarr's Mystery remained unresolved for him; his late afternoon meditation had brought him no new insights. The flashes of vision he'd had seemed to be connected to the Sith artifacts, especially the lightsaber. But he was unwilling to test his hosts' patience again. It would be up to the Council and the Archiveist's to determine what had really happened to the Sith Lord after they were returned to the Jedi Temple.

    Tilting his head back, he inhaled the living scents of plant, flower and soil. The apartment was a life-givng and life-sustaining place, and as far as prisons went, not an unpleasant one. He heard Obi-Wan moving inside and sensed another presence.

    "Master?"

    He turned. Custodian Tykon stepped onto the veranda with his apprentice. He bowed to the older woman. "How may I serve you, Custodian Tykon?"

    "Master Qui-Gon, I have come to beg a favor of you and your acolyte." She sighed, clasping her hands under her large bosom. "Tomorrow, I will come to escort you to the rehearsal in Tamwa Hall. Your part there is very small, only a rehearsal of your presentation to the audience. After that you will not be needed until the reception tomorrow night with the officials of the Living History Lands and the representatives from our government and this sector. I have a request, from Sebo. If you could, when you leave tomorrow morning let us move you to another room for the night before the Play? Sebo wishes to spend one last night alone in the tower."

    Qui-Gon raised his brows at such a simple request. "Of course, we would be happy to. We have very little and we will take our travel packs with us."

    Custodian Tykon smiled gratefully. "Thank-you. But I feel I must warn you, because of all the dignitaries staying in the Castle, the only rooms we have for you have, well, historically accurate facilities. Maybe not quite what you're used to on Coruscant." Her eyes darted toward the inside of the apartment. Qui-Gon laid a reassuring hand on her shoulder, leading her inside with Obi-Wan following.

    "You have been very generous to us during our stay." He gestured toward the food prep area, the sleeping areas and the fresher unit. "I can assure you that both I and my apprentice have been to many worlds with many different facilities. I am sure that yours will be most satisfactory."

    She smiled with some relief. "Thank-you, Master Qui-Gon. Your Council told us that you were very minimal and flexible in your needs, but I've had to deal with some visitors, "she said this last word in a tone that suggested a less flattering description, "who I would have expected to know where they were staying, but found reason to be unpleasant about it anyway." She went to the lift, positioning herself on it. "I will return at sunrise for you."

    Qui-Gon bowed his head to her. "We will be ready."


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    Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon both heard the lift and stood. They had eaten and finished reassembling their travel packs, now on the floor of the food prep area. Custodian Tykon rose up thrugh the floor in the circle of wood pillars around the lift. She smiled, obviously pleased to see them ready to go. She stepped off the lift.

    Obi-Wan tensed.

    Both Jedi looked around. Something was wrong. A second later an alarm sounded from outside.

    Hhhooooooop!!! Hhhooooooop!!! Hhhooooooop!!! Hhhooooooop!!!

    Running to the nearest door, Qui-Gon opened it and went out onto the balcony, Obi-Wan close behind hm.

    "Oh, NO!" Tykon followed them out.

    Not really knowing what he expected, Obi-Wan scanned the skys beyond the town. It felt like the right direction. And Qui-Gon was already looking there.

    "Master Qui-Gon, please! We have to go inside, there's been an intrusion! We cant't stay here!" Tykon pleaded over the alarm.

    Obi-Wan's eyes fixed on a small dot coming around a steep forested hill. Two dots, getting bigger. They were seekers, but they looked too small to be armed.

    "Master Qui-Gon, please! You'll just encourage them!" Tykon fretted, dithering between staying and fleeing. Qui-Gon pointed to a spot next to a large bush.

    "There."

    Obi-Wan took his position, knees bent, both hands on his lightsaber hilt, the tall leafy bush by the outside railing on his right side.

    "Wait for it to come to you, Obi-Wan."

    He nodded.

    Custodian Tykon half-crouched away from the older Jedi, trying to keep hidden from the prying seeker eyes. "Please! Come inside!"

    Obi-Wan's eyes flicked to the side, but all he saw was thick dark green foliage. An approaching whine rose over the Castle's whooping intruder alert. Qui-Gon stood at attention, his arms tucked into his robe sleeves as if in greeting to the fast approaching spy droids.

    The on-rushing whine whizzed past, the tone immediately lowering as the two seekers split up short of the apartment and circling around. Obi-Wan thought of nothing, a haze of perception in the Force covered his senses. The droids were bright, jarring points of light, zipping around in opposing arcs. The lightsabe hilt was warm in his hands.

    FFFFFffff-fffzzz-zzzz - - mmm - - ppppttt - - tttTTT!!!

    His lightsaber upswing cut the body of the seeker coming from behind him in half.

    "Wwwwhhhaaaaa - -!"

    The spy droid vocalized only half a word of surprise as the two pieces crashed and skidded onto the balcony, shedding sparks and broken bits and knocking over two potted plants. Custodian Tykon cried out and jumped back away from the half that rolled up to her feet. Obi-Wan extinguished his saber, mindful of the plants. The remaining droid whine shot upward. With Qui-Gon right behind it.

    Obi-Wan saw his Master crest over the droid, his bright green saber blade cleaving it in half as he descended past the flash and exploding sparks. He vaulted off the roof, flipped in the air over the jutting spikes and landed in nearly the same spot he had calmly stood in only seconds before. Extinguished saber in one hand, he seized Custodian Tykon by the arm, yanking her toward him. Rolling down from the roof, half a seeker droid, squealing and spitting, crashed to the floor boards of the balcony in the spot where the large older woman had been standing. The other half followed it a second later.

    Exhaling, Obi-Wan relaxed his focus, the Force fading from his view leaving only his exhileration behind. Custodian Tykon panted from the excitement, looking from one section of cleaved seeker droid to another. Patting her chest, she glared up at Qui-Gon, who had folded his arms again, his lightsaber safely tucked away on his belt under his robe. Obi-Wan assumed the same posture.

    "I cannot approve of your methods, Master Qui-Gon, but," she scanned the damage again. "I cannot say I am displeased with your results, either." She went inside and the Jedi followed. Pausing only to com to her staff that the snooper droids had been neutralized and to order a clean-up, she went down the lift first. The two Jedi followed, standing close together on the descending platform.

    Obi-Wan followed Qui-Gon, who followed Custodian Tykon down the long spiral staircase of the tower. Golden dawn sunlight shone through the windows on one side. Their boot steps echoed from the stone stairs. The sunbeams scanned up and over Qui-Gon's travel pack, a much smaller burden on the larger man's broad back than Obi-Wan's was for him. He had grown in the last year and probably would in the next, but it was clear that he would never be as tall as his Master.

    After all the delays and waiting, they were finally nearing the end of their mission. After their minor contribution to the final rehearsals, they would not be needed until the evening formalities with the dignitaries who would be attending the History Play. After that would be the day of the Play itself and the party afterwards at which they were obligated to make an appearance. Custodian Tykon had promised a transport to take them directly to the spaceport with none of the missteps and problems that had accompanied their arrival. Apparently their disorganized and poor reception, and Qui-Gon's illness, had filtered all the way up to the top levels of the planetary government. Someone had realized that Jedi had the diplomatic rank of ambassador in the Galactic Republic. Maarzim would be providing them a transport to take them directly back to Coruscant as soon as they were ready to leave.

    They finally reached the bottom and went down to the gallery where they were met by a tall young man with excellent posture , very short dark brown hair and a complexion as smooth and perfect as dark polished wood. Standing beside and slightly behind his Master, Obi-Wan scratched a spot on his chin before suppressing the impulse.

    "This is Custodian Grawden, one of my assistants," Tykon introduced him. "He will take your bags to your new rooms and then escort you there when you are finished here."

    Grawden bowed; he wore long pale tunics with a very fine line of sliver along the edges. He took their bags and left. They followed Custodian Tykon into the gallery. It had become another place.

    At one end on the left was a large, ornate security cage with several Castle Custodians and people in blue and silver body armor conferring over data terminals on a long table. Their command post was decoratively complimentary to the stonework of the Castle, and it formed a gate, blocking the staircase leading up to the gallery. On the right was a platform, stairs leading up to it to allow people to mount one of the hover plaforms lining the railing of the gallery. Around that was a crowd of people, Castle staff in blue, people in loose tunics and skirts. Obi-Wan recognized some of the faces from the stage construction crew. Most of them had signs hanging around their necks with names on them, 'Chancellor Mwetta', 'Sub-Chancellor Gemour', 'Secretary Lemwak', 'Councilor Twirot' and more. Below the gallery, Tamwa Hall had been converted into a very convincing theater with rows and rows of seats for a very large audience, the mostly black stage and seating for the musicians between them. Daylight and the tall windows were gone under false walls. Decorative clusters of artificial lights hung from the ceilings and walls. Morning or the middle of the night, it would have looked the same. Discordant musical sounds rose up from the orchestra.

    Custodian Tykon led them to the group. All of the people with signs around their necks stayed a few respectful paces away when they recognized the Jedi and the head Castle Custodian. Assistant Stage Director Eris Mwat, still unshaven and disheveled, climbed up on the platform and raised his hands for their attention, shapeless gray sleeves hanging from his skinny arms.

    When he had their attention, he welcomed them and had Custodian Tykon and her senior assistants join him. They would be herding the dignitaries for the Play the next day. The planetary dignitaries came first.

    Mwat had the people bearing the names of the Living History Lands officials line up. He pointed at a handheld comp screen and gave it and two more to Tykon and her assistants.

    Next came the Maazim Councilors, their staffs, a few off-world ambassadors and the off-world Venerates, the Jedi.

    "Now this run-through is for the stage techs to work out any problems with the presentations. Custodian Tykon will be here to help tomorrow."

    "I believe that we can remember our place in line," Qui-Gon assured him.

    Last came the Castle Venerates, Tykon and her senior staff. Each group, in twos and threes would be presented to the audience below, stepping onto their floater only after their names were announced. Then they would be carried to their viewing platforms where they would stand for a moment, bow and then be seated. The next people could not be introduced until they sat down. Black curtains had been hung by the gallery railing and now they were closed so that only the platform could be seen from below.

    Mwat's eyes scanned up and down the names on the signs, then he commed that they were ready and Tykon confirmed that on her own com that she produced from an inside pocket of her tunic. The line moved forward. The lights suddenly changed, dim to bright. One. Two. Three. Four.

    "Sentients! Communicants! Devotees!" A booming, exited voice called out, filling the huge room along with a swell of music from the orchestra. Colored light beams flashed in random directions. "Welcome! To the Naardin Castle of the Naardin Living History Lands! Welcome to the Presentation of the TRAGEDY OF DARTH YARR!!!"


    = = = End Part 25
  6. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Caught up now! I liked seeing Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon's reactions to the entertainment media that Obi-Wan was investigating. From their upbringing, it would seem utterly bizarre and ridiculous. Qui-Gon was pretty effective in steering Obi-Wan away from the stuff by allowing him access to more than he wanted. I felt embarrassed for him, seeing how mortified he was by having the gardener see what he was watching. [face_laugh]

    On a tangent, I kind of wonder if seeing the outside world through this kind of media might have made some of the Jedi feel more distanced from the rest of the galaxy. I mean, if my exposure to regular people (not politicians, rulers, etc. that Jedi more often meet) came through catching glimpses of the most popular TV in my home country right now... yeah, I could see feeling like there was nothing in common. One of the things I like about this story is that it brings up a lot of interesting questions.
    Last edited by Kahara, Aug 15, 2013
  7. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    A lot of interesting and disturbing things for the Jedi to see. What were those seekers doing?
  8. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Kahara: I imagine that the Jedi are used to being exposed to mass media based on what you see on Coruscant, but their day-to-day lives are very isolated and austere. OTOH, since they visit so many other parts of the galaxy, they have very broad experience, too. They just live in a different world and it's interesting when they run into the other ones. Thanks for reading!

    earlybird-obi-wan: The seekers were looking for just a cheap headline. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by ardavenport, Aug 16, 2013
  9. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    = = = Part 26


    The orchestra swept through a dramatic section of music. "To officially welcome you, the newly appointed Chancellor of the Living History Lands, Twees Awn MWETTA!!" A woman in tan clothes with the Chancellor's name hanging around her neck stepped forward on the platform and the lights all converged on her. She winced from the brightness and backed up a step. Mwatt's com sounded and he answered it.

    "How are they going to do this with the Chancellor?" a Person nearby asked Someone Else.

    "The Chancellor and all the others have done this for all the other History Plays. They kept the layout and the routine the same, just changed all the names for each one," Someone Else answered in the shadows where the bright lights weren't shining.

    "All right, lets try it again," Mwatt called out. The show lights went down, the music went out with a few objecting horn blasts; the regular lighting returned instantly and Tamwa Hall went back to being a huge empty indoor theater.

    There were a couple more false starts with different things going wrong. The orchestra missed their cue. Something loud crashed behind the black walls at the back of the stage. The announcer coughed. But they finally got the pseudo-Chancellor out onto her floater. Then her pseudo staff. The pseudo-senior members of the Maarzim government. The pseudo-off-world ambassadors.

    Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan took their places on the platform.

    "Venerate Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Venerate Jedi Apprentice Obi-Wan KENOBI!!" The music swelled again. Arms folded before them inside the sleeves of their robes, they both half-closed their eyes in the glare and presented themselves to a theater full of sound, lights and empty chairs. They stepped forward together and the floater took them away. It was a very smooth ride, with good inertial compensation, over to their viewing platform where they stepped off, formally stood, bowed and then sat down.

    They stayed seated while the announcer called out the Castle staff. The chairs were comfortable with plush red seats and high backs, with Qui-Gon's chair half a step higher than Obi-Wan's. They had a full view of the tilted stage on the front right side. Resting in a slot by the right armrests of each seat was a flat handheld data screen, but they were dark and wouldn't activate. The introductions were soon over, the orchestra wound down and the normal room lights came back. They could hear people calling out and talking below, but not what was being said. After a few minutes a voice that was not the announcer filled the Hall.

    "All right, we've had some problems with the recorders. We need to try it again one more time."

    Moans echoed in the Hall. Some people in the orchestra made rude noises with their instruments. The two Jedi stood and waited for their turn to get a ride back to the platform on one of the floaters. When not in use, the floaters parked themselves high up by the walls on either side of the stage.

    Back in the modified gallery, the atmosphere had turned casual, people softly chatting, making jokes. Except around the Jedi.

    Obi-Wan detected a noticeable zone of silence immediately around them. He supposed that it was because they were real Venerates and not the Castle staff that everyone else was used to. Qui-Gon stood in his formal semi-meditative pose and Obi-Wan did the same, feeling annoyed that, between his confrontations with Director Tykon and jumping out of the tower, his Master had made himself so infamous on this mission.

    The second rehearsal of their entrances proceeded with no problems and they were released when it was done, though Mwatt spoke to them briefly before they left. Since Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan knew the Mystery, they would be taken to a special, private place with the Castle Custodians for the intermission, separate even from the Chancellor and other highly placed partons. Qui-Gon thanked him and they left.

    There was a gate now blocking the corridor back to the tower and it appeard that Custodian Tykon was staying for the Play rehearsals. Unconcerned, Qui-Gon joined the others and Obi-Wan followed them through the security gate out of the gallery.

    Custodian Grawden met them at the entrance to the corridor leading to other parts of the Castle. He apologized for their circuitous route. With Tamwa Hall and its adjacent rooms devoted to the History Play, the direct path to their new rooms was blocked. On their way through the Castle passageways Obi-Wan saw much more activity than he had seen only a few days ago. Stacks of new supplies in open courtyards being distributed, people cleaning and scrubbing with old fashioned instruments, floaters of furniture and fresher units similar to one they had been using in the tower apartment. Everyone walked quickly, but they always stood aside for their escort when they saw the Jedi behind him. They finally reached a door at the end of a short corridor off a busy main one. A temporary sign designating it as a guest room covered up a more permanent plaque. Grawden opened the door and gave Qui-Gon the key slat. They first entered a sitting room dominated by a large desk and stout low chairs. The walls were dark blue with inset dark wood cabinets. Behind the desk, screened windows opened into a garden courtyard where a crew distributed boxes to a line of Custodians. Along with the scents of flowers and plants, the savory scents drifting in from outside indicated a food preparation facility somewhere nearby.

    Grawden led them into a second room dominated by a large sleeping platform in a heavy dark wooden frame, their packs rested on a padded bench at the end. He manually slid open a door and held a hand out to the fresher. There was an enormous bathing tub made of polished stone, cabinets, a big stone wash basin and another sliding door that their guide pushed open and a light came on. There was the usual seat, sized for typical humanoids, for elimination of bodily waste along with an aromatic bundle of leaves hanging from the ceiling. Grawden put his hands together.

    "Naardin reclaims all waste as it has for thousands of years. All of the Living History Lands live in harmony with the native fauna which we also preserve. All - - "

    "Eeeeeeeee-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk. Eeeeeeee-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk!"

    It wasn't loud, but it definitely came from below, from the fresher seat, along with a faint trickling sound of water. Grawden winced.

    "Just as there is an ecology that we support and are supported by up above, there is also one down below and - - "

    "Eeeeee-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk! Mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah-mwah."

    Obi-Wan suppressed a smile and he could see his Master doing the same.

    "And sometimes the below-fauna is more active - - "

    "Mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah-mwah."

    Qui-Gon raised his hand. "I trust that there are sufficient barriers between the fauna above and below? And that these facilities otherwise work in the usual way?"

    "Yes, of course," Grawden assured them with relief. "But some guests find the noises disturbing, especially at night, so we usually assign guests to the towers. Particularly this time of year."

    "This time of year?" Qui-Gon inquired.

    Grawden grimaced. "It's mating season."

    Obi-Wan lowered his head and covered his mouth.

    "Eeeee-eeee-eee-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk! Mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh."

    "It will not disturb us. We have dealt with far more challenging facilities. This will do fine."

    Such as Jedi survival training where the 'facilities' were a hole and a lightsaber. But Obi-Wan did not say anything.

    They left the fresher. Grawden offered the Castle services for cleaning any of their clothes, but they had already used the unit in the tower on the previous evening and had clean changes of clothes in their travel packs. Grawden bowed and promised to return at midday meal and later when they were needed for the official reception. He bowed and excused himself.

    "Custodian Grawden."

    Standing in the doorway, the young man turned.

    "Please thank Custodian Tykon for the use of her rooms tonight. My Padawan has told me how crowded conditions have been for you while preparing for this event. We appreciate her sacrifice."

    Grawden smiled and nodded back. "I will tell her." He left.


    %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %%


    "So, everything has been going well, during your stay on our world?" The Minister of Public Resources balanced his drink and small plate in one hand while popping golden nuggets of reception snacks into his mouth with the other. He chewed with his mouth open.

    "Yes, except for the delays, everything seems to be going well, though you would need to ask the other members of the Creative Committee for any details. My Padawan and I spent most of our time in the tower."

    "Oh, well we can't talk to them. Not before the big performance." He laughed and a little chunk of nugget came flying out. "But while you were . . . interacting with them, there weren't any conflicts or anything?" The government official looked up at Qui-Gon with inquisitive brown eyes.

    Qui-Gon gave him a minimal shrug. "Not really."

    "Ooooh." Disappointed, he sipped his drink. He had cornered Qui-Gon by a tall plant near the edge of the outdoor garden where the reception was being held. It was fairly standard for diplomatic affairs. Food. Drink. A receiving line with the new Chancellor of the Living History Lands. She was a modestly dressed, pleasant, slim, small older woman with a warm smile and very short, silvering black hair. She worked the reception line with a politician's skill and an attention to detail like a mother welcoming her new family. The Castle Custodians muttered favorably about their first meeting after their turns in the line.

    When the Jedi presented themselves to her, she smiled up at Qui-Gon; the top of her head barely reached the middle of his chest.

    "So, you're the one who is supposed to have tamed the wild and mighty Tykon."

    Qui-Gon did not answer her comment with anything more than an eyebrow raise and she did not follow it up with any questions to worm out any juicy, delectable details about what was rumored to have been going on during the auditions . . . . unlike the Minister of the Public Resources, who finally got bored with Qui-Gon's vague answers and moved on. The sky above was darkening, lanterns above coming on. The party would break up soon. It was only a formality. Afterwards, the new Chancellor and her staff would be meeting with the Castle Custodians about the mundane details of the new regime.

    By the refreshment table, Obi-Wan, holding a plate full of food, chatted with a couple of off-world ambassadors. Qui-Gon was pleased to see that his apprentice was quite skillful at deflecting the intrusive queries about the History Play auditions. He was showing some talent for diplomacy, a very positive and useful characteristic for a young Jedi. Obi-Wan disdained politicians as much as Qui-Gon did, but he had learned how to be civil with them and even see their points of view, even if they were disagreeable to him.

    From the corner of his eye, Qui-Gon saw another Minister eyeing him speculatively, sizing him up for an approach. Qui-Gon pushed himself away from the plant. They had done their diplomatic duty for the day; it was time to collect his apprentice and retreat.


    %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %%


    "Eeeee-ee-ee-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk! Mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah."

    "Pfff-kkk."

    "Obi-Wan."

    "Sorry, Master."

    "Eee-ee-ee-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk! Eeeeee-ee-ee-tk-tk-tk-tk! Mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah. Eeee-tk-tk-tk! Mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mawh-mwah."

    "Ppp-ff-pp-fff-kkk."

    "Obi-Wan."

    "Sorry, Master. Pp-fff-kk."

    Qui-Gon opened his eyes and turned to his apprentice. They sat cross-legged on the bench at the end of the sleeping platform in their temporary room. The noise was not very loud at all, but even with the doors to the fresher closed, the amorous denizens of the Naardin sewers made themselves heard. Obi-Wan had a hand to his mouth, hiding a grin.

    The biggest distraction to a clear mind to the Force was not noise, nor threat of dismemberment, hot, cold, nor even itchy clothes. It was humor. And if the Padawan started laughing then there was not going to be a lot of meditating. Worse, with more than one Padawan, the giggles were contagious. Humor and laughter were healthy, but there was a time and place for them. And this was not it.

    "You find our new surroundings funny, my young apprentice?" They had both washed and used the facilities while the noises continued, with plenty of time for Obi-Wan to adapt to the novelty.

    "Sorry. I was just imagining what their other guests must think about those creatures and what they're doing."

    Imagination was also a great distraction to the focus a Jedi needed to train.

    "I would presume that is why they lodge their guests in the towers of the Castle where the activities down below cannot be heard - - "

    "Ee-ee-ee-tk-tk-tk-tk! Eeeeee-ee-ee-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk-tk!

    " - - Perhaps," Qui-Gon unfolded his long legs. "Custodian Tykon's desk may have a holo-receiver in it and we could check the public feeds to find out more information about these creatures and that would satisfy your curiosity about them?"

    Immediately straightening, Obi-Wan assumed a more serious posture. "No, Master. That won't be necessary." He faced forward, his Padawan's lock in profile, and closed his eyes, arms resting on his knees.

    Qui-Gon quirked his own smile that his apprentice could not see. He resumed his position and cleared his mind.

    "Mwaaaaaaaaah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah"


    = = = End Part 26
  10. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    AAAAAARRRRGGG!!!!

    My DSL has gone out. :rolleyes: Won't be fixed until Tuesday. :_|Sending this from a friends internet. Will resume posting when my DSL is back up.:(
  11. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Fun with the fresher[face_laugh] and Obi-Wan's diplomatic skills
  12. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Got the new DSL box. :cool: What a huge annoyance to have my internet go out.:(:mad:Although not having that distracting internet does make more time for costume-making - I'll have to post every day to make my deadline to finish this for next week.

    And yes, young Obi-Wan can be quite the diplomat. Thanks much for reading!
  13. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    = = = Part 27


    "Master Qui-Gon." The Castle Custodian bowed to him. "Venerate Sebo, Lady of the Tower wishes to see you, backstage, before the Play begins."

    People were assembling in the gallery over Tamwa Hall. A voice had just announced that the doors were now open and that the audience was welcome to enter and be seated.

    "Is there time? Before the Play starts?"

    She nodded. "Yes, if we are quick."

    He turned to Obi-Wan. "I will return." He did not wait for an answer as he strode away with the hurrying woman, past the platform to the far end of the gallery and around a corner.

    It was a dead end.

    "If you could please turn your back Venerate Jedi M - - "

    With and impatient huff, Qui-Gon felt the Force around him, stretching out to the barrier. He waved a hand at the wall.

    "HUH?!" The woman gasped at the opening he made.

    "You said we needed to be quick." He went in first, but he waited for her to close the door behind them. She led him down metalloid, spiral stairs that had padding on the steps, muffling the sound of their descent. At the bottom, she paused fretfully and again, Qui-Gon opened the hidden door. Closing that door behind them, she led him out of a small dark room into a lighted corridor. They went toward the sounds of activity, and finally emerged through a set of double doors that slid aside, admitting them into a wide corridor of busy anxiety and fear. Peformers in costume, faces painted, perfumed and sweating, jittered through warm up exercises while technicians fussed over their clothes and hair. Someone called out a warning that the Hall was hot.

    His guide led him past improvised work spaces and panicking performers. A few startled and jumped from his passing, but most were too self-involved to note his presence at all. The Custodian stopped at a dark door with a stylized symbol of a tall tower on it. The door slid partially open and the Custodian stepped back. He went inside,

    Sebo closed the door. It was a tiny room with desk, mirrors and lights. Qui-Gon's eyes immediately went to the body-form with the Darth Yarr costume on it. And the small table with the open, triple-sealing transport container, Yarr's artifacts resting in their places.

    "You intend to use these for your Play," he accused.

    The fear left her eyes; she lifted her head in defiance. "Yes. And I wanted to warn you that Director Tykon has not given up on you playing my opposite at the end."

    "Really? And how does he propose to accomplish that?"

    She drew a breath to calm herself. "The shadow dances will be presented in pairs, the dancers coming and going on their own platforms on either side of the stage. When it is my turn, my platform witll pass by Custodian Tykon's seat and I will ascend it from there. A matching, empty platform will pass by your seat at the same time. That is your cue to join me." Her expression turned hopeful. "They'll swing around above the back of the stage, facing each other.

    He frowned. "You are working with him."

    "Yes," she hissed. "It's perfect. My final act as Venerate here. You have to do it!"

    He shook his head, suddenly disgusted. Sebo wore a black body suit, covering everything and revealing how much she was not a Sith Lord. Putting on the mask and the black and red Yarr costume would be a travesty. It would be a degrading and embarrassing final act, a sad and flabby pretend-villaim clumsily swinging around a red lightsaber up in front of thousands of gawkers.

    "No." He stepped forward, forcing her back to the wall in the tiny room. "I will not." He turned back to the box of Yarr's artifacts. "This needs to be sealed. Now. You have plenty of Play props to work with. And all the performers must have back-ups. Director Tykon will have to be satisfied with those."

    "No! They are the sacred relics! They must be in the Play - -"

    He whirled back on her. "They are not sacred!" He grabbed her arms, pushing her hard against the wall. "They are the symbols of an evil that thousands of Jedi died to banish from the galaxy a thousand years ago!" He lifted her up. She weighted nothing, her soft body yielding against him, her belly, her breasts. Suddenly dropping her, her turned again back to the box. If he sealed it, triple-sealed it, it could not be opened until it was returned to the Jedi Temple. The travesty could never happen. He raised his hand, but the box remained immobile, the holocron and lightsaber glinting back at him.

    "Where is the key?"

    "I - I don't have it."

    His head snapped back to her.

    Lie.

    He seized her again, lifting her up, pressing himself hard into her body. "You. Will. Give it to me."

    She panted back, her brown eyes wide and dialated, nearly black with fear and anticipation. They turned red.

    Everything went red.

    "Aaauuhhh!!!"

    Qui-Gon threw himself back, drawing in a desperate breath. It was icy cold. She dropped all the way down to the floor. The lights in the room suddenly shifted back to white and blue. The sweat on his face and under his clothes turned clammy. He stared down at the woman, huddled on the floor, her eyes still large and black with longing.

    Turning back to the box, he lunged, seizing the holocron with his bare hand. His own ightsaber in his other hand - - he didn't remember grabbing it - - he held up the holocron and dared to stare into it.

    There was nothing. It was empty.

    The flash of the Dark Side that had seized him was gone as if it had never been there.

    He did not even feel the clean chill from his earlier vision, so cold it was hot. He threw the holocron down, but it did not break. Even ancient holocrons were not that fragile. It just bounced and rolled under the table. Sebo grunted, climbing to her feet. He whirled back to her.

    "I will not do it. You will have to use someone else."

    Before she could speak, he slammed his hand down on the door control and left.


    %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %%


    The Hall was full. Not just with people, but with their sounds, their random, all-voice mutterings and the low, nearly inaudible rumble of air recyclers overhead.

    Obi-Wan stood in the velvety dark behind the curtains, waiting in the line of dignitaries to be presented before the Play. He wondered about Yana, her friends and all the other performers. Years of practice had led to this moment, just as a Jedi's training led to the Trials and Knighthood. He did not know if this one performance was as important to them, but it was the only equivalence he could think of.

    Through the opening at the platform he saw the lights in the Hall go down and up four times. Worried, he looked around. Where was Qui-Gon?

    Suddenly Qui-Gon appeared, the hood of his robe on, pushing past Custodian Tykon and her assistants. He did not stop to apologize as he took his place in line.

    "Master?"

    "Here." Qui-Gon grabbed his shoulders and pointed hm forward. Surprised, Obi-Wan complied. When he tried to turn around, Qui-Gon grabbed his shoulders again and pointed him forward again. "They're starting."

    The lights in the Hall went down. The crowd noise from below snuffed out.

    "Sentients! Communicants! Devotees!" the announcer began. Colored lights flashed in the hall. Qui-Gon's hands lifted Obi-Wan's hood and put it on his head. They had not rehearsed with their hoods up, but otherwise the presentations went as planned. The line moved forward and when it was their turn the audience below 'ooohed' and 'aaaahed'. They stepped onto the floater platform and it delivered them to their high viewing platform where they would watch the Play. The lights were not nearly as blinding with his hood to shield his face; that seemed to be a good choice. After their bow, they sat down, the lights left them and the next persons were introduced.

    The data screens on the handheld screen in the slots by their seat armrests were lit. It was the play roster. The opening page had just the title 'The Tragedy of Darth Yarr' and in smaller glowing text at the bottom 'The Living History of the Lady of the Tower of Naardin Castle'. Obi-Wan touched the arrows and found a primary menu of options; writing and technical credits, character names, lyrics, revelation. He tried to access the lyrics and revelation, but he got a screen that said it was 'unavailable at this time' but promised a download of the revelation, lyrics and whole play in text along with a complimentary special holo-recording download of the performance itself, after the conclusion of the Play.

    Going to the credits, he found the Creative Committee, the performers and their parts, the orchestra, the technical crew, the stage crew and builders, the holo production, the audition crew and a list of Naardin Castle Custodians and Living History Lands patrons. He scanned all the lists carefully. His name was not on any of them. Looking up, he wondered if it was important for him to be credited. Glancing to his side, he saw his Master staring straight forward, his face in shadow under the hood of his robe.

    He shrugged. It didn't matter.

    "WELCOME, welcome all!!!" the announcer's voice boomed over the applause of the audience. Custodian Tykon and her staff had just taken their seats. A huge cheer rose up. "Welcome to your HISTORY!!!" The roar increased.

    The lights dimmed, the audience silencing as if the lack of light stole their voices.


    "I am the Lady of the Tower, whose name was so dangerous it was taken from her." It was Sebo. An enormous bluish holo-projection of her face appeared over the stage, her shawl draped over her head, very faint at first, growing brighter as she spoke. "Who grew old and died there as Cloras the First rose to power and later united this world again from the chaos after the fall of the Sith Lord. I am the keeper of her name. I hold the Mystery. I live her life."

    The head lowered its eyes and faded away. The audience hushed.

    The orchestra spun up, grandly starting with an imposing overture, then switching to other tunes, fast and slow, until the medley wound down to a few instruments repeating the same refrain. Gray shapes formed on the black wall behind the stage and then resolved into projected rocks and boulders, forested hills in the background and a fortress with only a few towers, none of them taller than half the height of the body of the fortress itself, Naardin Castle in an earlier time. Real looking boulders, rocks and tall trees floated in and assumed their places. A jagged pebbled path rolled out, zig-zagging across the black stage. Two figures appeared on the left. One in blue, the other in dark gray and pale pink. They both carried lightsabers on their belts. The music rose.

    The one in blue, Keth, began to sing. Obi-Wan looked down at his Play roster and saw the words flow by on the screen.

    Keth: "We have a mission
    A Jedi mission – destroy the Sith Lord!
    Destroy the all Sith in their lairs!"

    Keth had a fine voice; he was tall and broad-shouldered, his hair reddish-blond with a high receding hairline. His apprearance had been changed, now he looked older than any of the youthful performers Obi-Wan had seen during the auditions. He waved his arms out wide as if he was declaring himself to the rocks. Then Minigan sang.

    Minigan: "We have a mission,
    A Jedi mission
    And we have come to end
    The evil Sith Lord's nightmare!"

    Then they sang together, leaping to stand next to each other, their outside arms out.

    Keth and Minigan: "We have a mission
    To defeat the Sith!
    With lightsabers and
    Wielding the Force we are with!"

    They sang beautiful harmony, the two voices complimenting each other. Minigan was shorter, slimmer with golden skin and brown hair graying at the temples, again looking much older than the performers in the auditions. Minigan was also played by a woman, though 'she' looked very convincingly masculine, obviously meant to be a 'he' for the Play.

    On either side, two floater platforms emerged high over the stage, one with a person in white accented in tan and swinging a blue lightsaber, one in gray accented in pink with a red lightsaber. Their blades were pale, not nearly as bright as the ones used in the auditions, but the black background behind them made them look bright enough. They both wore masks and 'fought' each other from opposite ends of the stage as the song continued.

    Keth stepped away, separate from his partner for his next lines.

    Keth: "This is my home world. It was my home world,
    Before-the-Jedi-came-and-took-me-to-teach-me-the-mysteries-of-the-Force,
    When-I-was-just-a-boy-of-sixteen-and-just-learning-about-girls."

    Minigan followed him.

    Minigan: "We have a mission
    Defeat the Sith Lord!"

    Keth edged away from him. Minigan hopped toward him.

    Minigan: "We have a - - -"

    Keth leaped away and the lights suddenly brightened on him, the music going loud and harsh.

    Keth: "The Jedi don't allow love or hate or avarice!
    You swear yourself to live a life of selfless service!
    And follow the Jedi Code!
    You give your life before you know what living is!
    At sixteen, sixteen, I became a Jedi!"

    Keth paused, the lights went down. He took a step back closer to Minigan.

    Keth: "We have a mission."

    They threw their arms around each other's shoulders.

    Keth and Minigan: "We have a mission
    To defeat the Sith!
    With lightsabers and
    Wielding the Force we are with!

    "We have a mission . . . .
    defeat the Sith Lord!
    What can't we do? The Force is with us!
    How could the evil Sith defeat us?
    They rule this world. Defeat the scum!
    The Dark will fall. The Light has come!

    "What can't we do? We are the Jedi!
    It is our time, we will win or die!

    "We have to try,
    We'll win of course!
    There is no try,
    We wield the Force!

    "What can't we do? The Force is with us!
    How could the evil Sith defeat us?
    Our mission is our life!"

    Keth broke away again, head down.

    Keth: "Because I'm a Jedi. . . ."

    The Jedi and Sith figures continued their dance but their platforms pulled back until they disappeared behind the tall black sides of the stage as the last notes faded.



    = = = End Part 27
    ( 'We've Got A Mission' is roughly filked from 'I've Got a Theory' from 'Once More with Feeling' - - Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)
    Last edited by ardavenport, Aug 25, 2013
  14. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Can't believe I didn't comment on this one yet. So nice that the Maarzim are environmentally sound and have a respect for the natural ecosystem of their world. I'm sure the serenity of nature will be nothing but a help to Obi-Wan's training... oh dear, I cannot quite breathe.

    "Mwaaaaaaaaah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah-mwah"

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl]
  15. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    creepy with all the Sithly things
  16. Kahara Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2001
    star 3
    Singing Jedi, I'm sure that's Qui-Gon's favorite. [face_laugh] Right after singing Sith Lords. I'm curious to see where all of this unpredictable behavior Sebo is showing comes from -- or perhaps I'm barking up the wrong tree and personal oddity from a bizarre life is all there is to it. Still, Qui-Gon's reactions to her are getting a little peculiar. Not what she was going for, but... definitely not his normal. And the thing with Tykon was worrying. Then again, maybe this has just been a long, annoying vacation and his nerves are fraying from dealing with difficult people.

    It's entertaining how this story has me eyeing half the characters and wondering if they're under their own influence. Conspiracy theories ahoy!
    Last edited by Kahara, Aug 21, 2013
  17. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    earlybird-obi-wan: singing and dancing Sithy things. [face_dancing] Thanks for the reply!

    Kahara: Qui-Gon is a bit thrown off by these flashes of the dark side. But he'll find his own way, as he does. Thanks for reading.:)
  18. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    = = = Part 28

    The two Jedi, having finished their singing, discussed how they were going to defeat Yarr, their target. Their conversation ranged over what they knew about the Sith, the Light and Dark sides of the Force, the Council and other details that sounded historically right from what Obi-Wan had reviewed about Jedi history during Yarr's time. But while they talked on the left side of the stage, a woman stealthily entered, going from rock to rock, creeping closer to the inattentive Jedi. She had dark, short shaggy hair, peppered with gray, Obi-Wan recognized the shapeless, coarsely woven Nirid costume. He consulted his Play roster. Adie Tykon-Tuzie played the parts of Nirid and Yarr, but was only credited as Nirid. And she now looked and moved completely differently now from the smiling blond woman he had met.

    Keth suddenly tensed, dramatically stepping forward.

    "I feel a disturbance in the Force!"

    Minigan alerted, the tail of his headband flapping back and forth as he looked both ways around them. "It is the Dark Side, my friend." Both of them still somehow missed seeing the woman in plain sight, spyng on them.

    Keth nodded, and conceded that the influence of the Sith Lord nearby was strong. The two wandered off the stage to the left as the woman who watched them moved to the center, the lights focusing on her, the stage behind her going dark. The orchestra played a dainty tune. The roster in Obi-Wan's lap glowed with the words she sang.

    "Jedi Knights
    See them there
    Is it him?
    Returning?
    Is it Keth?
    My old love
    Come back home
    From above.

    "When I loved you, we were both so young.
    When I loved you, we were
    Learning how to learn to love and - -"

    She raised her arms up above her head, twirled and stretched them out to where the Jedi had gone and then back to touch herself, throwing herself into the song.

    "Find ourselves
    In the dark
    Sweaty nights
    Breathing hard
    Clumsy moves
    Touching me
    Touching you
    You're my first

    "When I loved you life had just begun,
    Not just a crush or a one night stand,
    Yes, you were the one.
    I never said before you were gone.

    "You went and left this love we gained
    To a world where you would be trained
    By a Master who said, 'tough,
    That I was not good enoooo-ooough."

    She struck out at the air in frustration, but the dainty tune continued, her tone still earnest.

    "So you went
    Left this world
    Left our love
    Far behind
    Now you're back
    Now you'll see
    Things have changed
    Come to me.

    "When I loved you we were both - - -"

    "Hooooo!"

    A loud male voice calling from offstage startled her. Gasping, she turned around and then ran off. Guads in maroon and gray armor marched across the back of the stage. A woman's low voice shouted, "Hooo!". Guards ran across the back of the stage in the opposite direction, shouting. "Jedi, my Lord!" another voice shouted; another called back. "Go! Tell our Lord! I will face them! Go!" Nirid ran across the stage and darted behind one of the rocks.

    A performer in shiny silver armor accented in red, yellow, green and black strode in with black boots and gauntlets and a mostly black lgithsaber on a wide silver belt. A black cape billowed behind the Sith taking center stage to announce his intention to kill the Jedi and present the bodies to his Master, Darth Yarr. A platform of a Sith, standing proud in shiny dark gray and red, floated high over the back of the stage. The Sith - - the Play roster said it was Hulus - - spotted the girl and demanded to know why she was spying on him. Terrified, she denied it and shouted that she loved Master Yarr as much as anyone. She asked why Hulus would risk confronting two dangerous Jedi alone. Was he ready for such a challenge?

    The music resumed again.

    "A Sith's gotta do what a Sith's gotta do.
    The Dark Side will be the end of those two.
    I'll defeat them, kill the Jedi, gain my Master's love
    Soon they'll lie dead at my feet, their throats crushed in my glove - - "

    Hulus's intentions were rudely interrupted by Keth and Minigan rushing back on stage. Two Jedi figures in pale blue and pale gray tunics confronted the Sith figure, their floaters circling but never coming close to each other. Their pale lightsaber blades swung about as they struck threatening poses at each other.

    Hulus's red lightstick blade shot out, humming ominously. On stage, it was a very good imitation of a real lightsaber. Keth's blue and Minigan's green blades shot out.

    Minigan: "Stand back evil Sith, we've come to take you down!
    We'll vanquish the Dark Side and liberate this town!"
    Keth: "We're Jedi Knights who've come
    To save the day and the evil Sith will be undone!"

    Minigan confronted Hulus while Keth went to Nirid.

    Minigan: "A Knight's gotta do what a Knight's gotta do!
    This day will end with us defeating you!
    Your end is near, your time is done, you've come to meet your death!
    So face us now, it's time for your last breath."

    Hulus and Minigan's lightsabers clashed while Keth knelt, his mouth open in surprise as Nirid sang to him.

    Nirid: "Thank you Jedi Knight it must have been our fate
    That just now you came to me and you were not too late,
    But I think I know you, and I think that you know me.
    Thank you Keth for saving me."

    The two of them started singing over each other, but their melodies matched:

    Keth: "Nirid? Is it you?
    A Knight's gotta do what a Knight's gotta do!"

    Nirid: . . . "You came from above . . . ."

    Minigan dodged a close swipe of Hulus's lightsaber.

    Minigan: "Uh, I could use a little help here!"

    Keth seemed to have forgotten about his partner as he and Nirid rose together, their hands clasped.

    Keth: "Seems destiny comes with me saving you."

    Nirid: ". . . You were my first love . . . ."

    Hulus kept attacking with vicious blows.

    Minigan: "The Sith Lord's still here Keth!"

    Keth: "I'm sorry you were hurt when I left that way."

    Nirid: "My heart is beating like a drum."

    Hulus swept his lightsaber low and Minigan jumped over it.

    Minigan: "Did you notice that the fight was over here?"

    The three of them sang over each other in compliementary harmony. Minigan gained the advantage and struck blow after blow, driving Hulus back.

    Keth: "It has been years but now it seems like only yesterday."

    Nirid: "I'm seeing you again."

    Minigan swiped Hulus in the leg and Obi-Wan saw smoke and a black gash appear. he sat forward.

    Minigan: "It's do or die! Because we're supposed to be Jedi!"

    Stabbing downward, Minigan impaled Hulus in the chest. Obi-Wan sat forward. From his angle he could see that the blade did not go through, the lightstick just retracted as Minigan pushed the prop hilt in. Hulus made a very good show of convulsing and dying.

    Keth: "Finding you again makes this a bright new day."

    Nirid: "Maybe it's the dawn of a brand new day."

    Keth and Nirid were still clasping hands, staring into each other's eyes while Minigan stood over the body.

    Minigan: "What-eeeeeee-ver."

    Minigan knelt, picked up Hulus's lightsaber and put it on his belt. The music died down; the Jedi and Sith figures retreated behind the tall black walls. The crowd below cheered and applauded.

    "Great." Minigan retracted his blue lightsaber prop, He pointed it away from the audience so they could see the blade disappear but not how mechanical it looked from Obi-Wan's point of view above and on the side.

    Obi-Wan glanced up at his Master to see his reaction to such a ridiculous fight. But Qui-Gon had not moved as if he wasn't watching the Play at all. The two Jedi on stage implored Nirid to help them. It was the scene fragment that Obi-Wan heard over and over again for the Nirid auditions. Keth finally prevailed and with many warnings about the danger, she led the two men off the stage.

    The stage lights faded down, the backdrop shifting into stone walls with windows and a gallery. The rocks pulled back, replaced by tables, benches and chairs, statues and a stone archway. It looked very much like Acren Hall.

    People flowed onto the stage to an overture of new music as the lights brightened again. They twirled and danced in mock activities. The clothes of most of them were simple, flowing tunics and skirts in pale colors. Others were guards in armor and one of them was Yana. A man with his costume trimmed in dark red posed in the center of the stage. Obi-Wan saw more song lyrics appearing on his Play roster.

    Head Servant: "We live our lives in shadow,
    The Sith have given us grace,
    We serve our lord and master,
    Happy to stay in our place
    All hail to the night
    Her power is so bright."

    The other people paused in their twirling long enough to answer.

    "We all love the Sith!
    We will always be
    Grateful for her charity.
    It's you we all are with,
    For all eternity,
    You're our only diety"

    They were apparently too busy to notice Nirid, Keth and Minigan darting part way across the back of the stage, taking refuge behind a large statue. The servants and guards went about their symbolic work-dance while individuals added their voices.

    Guard #1: "We did not always serve you,
    When we lived in ignorance."

    Servant #1 "At first we didn't want you,
    And then you gave us a chance."

    Guard #2 "When your power shone,
    Brighter than any we'd known,"

    Yana was the last of the three, a big smile on her face. She had a loud, strong voice.

    Meanwhile, at the back of the stage, Nirid, Keth and Minigan darted again, but this time a couple of guards finally interrupted their singing long enough to notice and make a grab for them. They struck with long staffs, hitting both Jedi and dragging Minigan back, grabbing arms and legs and both light sabers from his belt. At the front of the stage the song continued, unstoppable.

    "We all love the Sith,
    And you love us, too.
    You just took our souls with you.
    It's you we all are with,
    Finally we knew
    The passion you brought was true
    We worship the Dark. . . . ."

    Amazed, Obi-Wan listened to the enthusiastic tribute to the Dark Side while at the back of the stage, with Nirid's help, Keth staggered to safety, a hand held up to a red patch on his forehead; he tried to turn around, but she pulled him back behind another large statue. The guards who held Minigan turned their way but did not pursue as they escaped off the stage.

    Servant #2 "Loving you is free,
    And it's compulsory."
    Guard #3 "We worship the Sith,
    Lost in ecstacy,
    Blinded by your majesty."
    Servant # 1 "Lord and only kith,
    Such intensity!
    Hail the Sith's supremacy!"

    The singers and dancers surged to the front of the stage, some of the armored guards holding up a bloodied Minigan by the arms, their staffs across his back and front.

    "We worship the Dark. . . .
    We live for the Dark. . . .
    We love the Sith Dark. . . ."

    The music ended and a guard, the one played by Yana, stepped forward and shouted the obvious.

    "Intruder!"




    = = = End Part 28
    'When I Loved You' is roughly filked from 'Freeze Ray' from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Slong-Blog.
    'A Sith's Gotta Do What a Sith's Gotta Do' is roughly filked from 'A Man's Gotta Do' from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Slong-Blog.
    'We Love the Sith' is roughly filked from 'Under Your Spell' from Once More with Feeling - - Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  19. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    An ode to the dark. This must be horrible for the two real Jedi to watch
  20. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Yes, Qui-Gon is wondering if this is suitable for young Padawans to see. Thanks for the reply.:)
  21. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    = = = Part 29


    Their song over, the guards and servants now loudly harrassed their new prisoner, who had recovered enough to stand on his own though his arms were still pinned. They accused him of sabotague, stealing and making their animals infertile. Minigan jauntily denied having ever had a relationship with any of their twugars.

    A scream from off stage startled them. More guards entered, carrying on their shoulders a flat with Hulus's body on it. They laid it on a table that they pushed to the center of the stage where people had only moments ago been dancing. After getting over the shock, the guards dragged their captured Jedi forward to view the damage and demanded that he confess to the crime. Minigan told them that he wasn't sure if this one was his, but he had a way to tell for sure. The guards and servants all fell silent, suddenly entranced by his words.

    "If you can just give me that lightsaber, I can check it against the wound on this poor fellow and we can find out if I'm the one who did it." That got a laugh. The audience clearly liked Minigan.

    The guard holding the lightsaber looked up, slack-faced and started toward the prisoner with it.

    Obi-Wan hunched his shoulders. Influencing the mind of one person or even a few was simple enough for a Knight, but a whole room full of people would take exceptional focus.

    Another guard shouted, knocked the saber aside, and cuffed Minigan. The stage crowd shouted accusations and dragged him off, calling for justice from their Lord.

    The lights dimmed, the backdrop turning dark. The furnishings floated back, but Hulus's body remained, a light shining down on it.

    A figure emerged from the darkness at the back of the stage, the lights slowly going up and the audience murmured as they recognized the black, white and red mask of Darth Yarr.

    The costume, with heavy boots and filled out in the shoulders and arms gave her an imposing body shape. Adie Tykon-Tuzie's motions and hand gestures were uttery different from her appearance before as Nirid. Obi-Wan did not think it likely that anyone would guess that the same performer played both parts.

    The orchestra started a slow somber tune as Yarr touched Hulus's face.

    "You weren't ready to fight two Jedi
    I know you loved me, but you had to die.
    You were not worthy because now here you lie
    But I . . . . "

    Yarr stepped away from the body, eyes pointed upward toward the Jedi in the audience. Obi-Wan glanced toward Qui-Gon, who remained motionless.

    "I've found another to take your place,
    Since you died so easy in such disgrace,
    And he's already felt the heat of my embrace,
    And I . . . . "

    Crossing the stage, Yarr spread her arms out as if to embrace the glory she envisioned, face turned upward.

    "I will make him my apprentice,
    A Dark Lord I'll adore.
    I will enflame his passions,
    Just as I have before.
    We will rule this world,
    And live forevermore,
    With the Dark binding our love."

    The song turned into a musical interlude as a troop of guards entered, dragging Minigan among them. The Sith and Jedi figures appeared on their floaters, the Jedi with hands bound, the Sith entreating as if pulling him in. Masked and fully covered, they were just as likely to be male or female.

    Arms held behind his back Minigan stiffened and tried to pull away as Yarr freely ran her hands over his body.

    "You swore to destroy me, but you didn't know
    The power, the darkness are not your foe.
    It is the Jedi ways that you need to let go.
    And I . . . .

    "I will love you and teach you,
    The love the Sith can bring.
    The all consuming passion,
    Better than anything,
    The ecstacy. . . . "

    Grimacing, Minigan turned his head away as Yarr pressed herself next to him, one hand fondling his crotch. The Jedi figure went to his knees as the Sith figure caressed the air with long sinuous arms.

    "Will make your sore heart sing,
    When you surrender to the Dark,
    When you surrender to the Dark."

    The music died down, the figures above withdrew. Yarr, roughly grasping Minigan's lower regions, led her prisoner and the guards holding him off the dark stage. The music diminished to the last few high notes.

    Hulus's body, still center stage on its table suddenly burst into flame. It was holo-flame, but satisfactorily bright and brought a gasp from the audience. The flames faded down, the stage going dark again, the table and remains pulling back off the stage as a light slowly came up on the right side on a cell with a bare rock wall, a narrow cot. Nirid sat forward on a small wooden stool, next to Keth, loosely covered with a ragged blanket, the bandages on his head blotched red.

    He stirred. She gave him water. When he demanded to know what happened to Minigan, she reluctantly told him that his fellow Jedi was held prisoner in the deepest dungeon of the Castle that could not be reached. Keth struggled to sit up. She begged him to rest, that the danger was too great. But she gave in and helped him sit up. A single floating platform with two figures in neutral grays and tans drifted above. They roughly mirrored the motions of the primary performers.

    Keth took Nirid's hands.

    "Will you help me rescue him?
    The Sith will surely hurt him,
    I'll do all the saber work,
    Before all hope can grow dim.
    You stay safe . . . .I could not bear to see you hurt."

    She wiped her eyes and agreed to help him. But she begged him to hide and rest until she could learn more about how the might free Minigan. He thanked her and promised her he would, but begged her to be quick. Still clasping his hands, she leaned over and kissed him as the lights went down again on that end of the stage, simultaneously coming up on the opposite side. Stripped of belt and tabbards, his outer tunic ripped in places, Minigan was chained to an enormous black frame, his arms spread wide over his head.

    Leaning forward, Obi-Wan immediately focused on ways that he might escape. The bindings on his wrists and ankles glowed, so that likely meant that the locks on them also interfered with the tactile senses. No mere mechanism could ever keep out the Force, but scrambling the perceptions of the Jedi would cut off access to it. Even thousands of years ago, a Sith would know about the energy bindings needed to incapacitate either Jedi or Sith.

    More battered and bruised, his pants ripped as well, Minigan made a minor show of testing his bonds to a slowly rising accompaniment from the archestra. Some of his smaller movements and dramatic expressions got some chuckles from the audience at first; they definitely liked him. But his testings and the music became more and more earnest. A dark figure crossed behind the frame holding him. Above the stage, two figures on shadowed platforms drifted forward on either side of the black frame.

    The lights suddenly came up on the symbolic Sith and Jedi figures above and on Yarr as she tore her hood off, revealing her mask and throwing the black robe off behind her. Minigan froze, his expression fearful for the first time.

    "You won't get away,
    From within my lair.
    Why don't you stay and play?
    And maybe take up my dare?
    I have mastered the Force's Dark Side,
    If you're good I could get you in on the inside
    So, what d'you say?
    Ask for it and I'll share."

    Yarr moved in, freely running her hands over his body. Minigan gasped, eyes wide. The figures above, though on separate platforms, mimed the action below much more explicitly.

    "It's the hottest thing
    Lust and passion shout,
    When you gotta sing,
    When you gotta
    Let it out.

    "I can tell that you do enjoy it,
    I'll bring the power on
    I bring the dark in.
    Now we're partyin',
    That's what it's all about."

    Yarr slid her gloved hands through the holes in his pants and pushed her body up and down against him. Breathing hard, Minigan's head fell back and Yarr continued singing.

    "'Cause, I know what you feeee-eeeel.
    I know just what you feeee-eeeel."

    Minigan's head snapped up. The figures above froze.

    "No you don't. You've got the wrong Knight."

    Yarr caressed his face then seized his throat, leapt back and then pulled her hand back slowly. Still choking, he gasped for breath.

    "Try to hold it back, hold it in too long.
    Then, that energy starts to come on,
    Nice and strong."

    She released her Force grip and then moved in again. Minigan's resolve faultered and the figures above resumed their distant but surprisingly intimate and graphic dance.

    "Let the Dark in, you know you want to,
    Let loose your passion and taste the taboo.
    What do Jedi know? They haven't got a clue.

    "I can sense your fear, that I turn you here.
    You'll be all you can be,
    The Jedi don't know where passion can go,
    But I can make you see.

    "'Cause I know what you feeeee-eeel."

    Above, the figures slid out of their clothes and their bodies were completely androgenous, all features smoothed down to medium brown lumps and curves. Minigan resisted Yarr, but bound to the frame he could not avoid her and he was failing.

    Minigan: "She's does not know me,
    I am only her play-thing."

    Darth Yarr: "I'll make it reeee-eeal!"

    Minigan: "But the pain is so real,
    And my lust, it is rising."

    Darth Yarr: "I'll bring you to the edge of ruin,
    You'll be mine when you let the Dark Side in."

    Minigan: "Yes, my hate, it is great,
    Have a care what you wish for!"

    Minigan snapped at his tormenter, but she just grabbed and squeezed his flesh with more enthusiasm. Hands on his shoulders and fully clothed and armored, Yarr mounted him, legs wrapped around his hips. Above, the figures on either end of the scene moved together back and forth in a highly stylized dance of their own.

    Darth Yarr: "Oh, don't tell me, that you don't love this,
    You're just dying for my lips and my kiss."

    Minigan: "Yes, I'm hot, but I'm not,
    Going to beg for your favor."

    The music crested and everyone froze for a moment. The Jedi and Sith figures went limp and Yarr climbed off of Minigan.

    "Now you're partying,
    That's what the Dark is for."

    The lights went down, the music strumming to an end. A few seconds later the audience erupted in loud applause and cheers. The normal room lights came on. Surprised, Obi-Wan looked down at his Play roster; it flashed that the intermission had started with a countdown clock for when the Play would resume.

    Judging by the length of time that the applause and cheering lasted, the audience was well pleased with the Play so far. Floating platforms had already arrived at the Chancellor's and Custodian Tykon's viewing platforms. Obi-Wan stood.

    "Master?" he asked. Qui-Gon had not moved when their floater platform arrived. Standing at the edge, Obi-Wan looked from Master to platform and back. Suddenly, the older man exhaled and stood and they both stepped onto the platform. It whisked them back to the gallery. One of Custodian Tykon's senior assistants, Temba, waited and escorted them to the end of the gallery and around a corner, away from the other honored guests.


    %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %% ]]]-x-[[[ === ]]]-x-[[[ %%


    "Well, I wasn't expecting them to use so much of what Sebo told them." Custodian Tykon blushed over her plate of refreshments with her senior assistants; they all laughed. They generally agreed that the Play was going extremely well and that it would be quite popular. Qui-Gon did not join them. The room was small, but not crowded for their small, elite group and everyone took turns with the two freshers.

    Holding his own plate, Obi-Wan stood next to him. At first, he had been uncertain about where to stand, but after he helped himself to some of the food and tea, he took his place with his Master, two anti-social Jedi in robes, hoods up.

    Qui-Gon was not sure what he would tell Obi-Wan, even if they could speak in private. Despite Custodian Tykon's blushing, the erotic scenes were highly stylized, though violent in intent. The most worrisome scenes were the ones that blatantly glorified the Sith in song and dance. Qui-Gon was quite certain that it would never be shown to any younger Padawans in the Temple and he was not sure that, at xixteen standard years of age, Obi-Wan was really old enough to watch it, either. His eyes flicked toward his apprentice who shoved a crunchy snack in his mouth. Qui-Gon sighed; Obi-Wan already knew the Mystery and was reasonably mature.

    Qui-Gon was not entirely sure if he was ready to see the rest of it. With no explanation for why he had attacked Sebo, he had feared that whatever dark influence that triggered that episode would return. It wasn't the holocron or any of the Sith artifacts. They were cold and dead. He was sure of that. It couldn't be Sebo, she had no extraordinary connection to the Force. It was possible that it was the site of the Castle itself, but if so, its influence was too subtle for him to discern.

    The lights in the room blinked, the first warning that the Play would resume soon. Obi-Wan ate his food faster.

    Qui-Gon wondered if he should simply refuse to go back. They could not force him, though his absence would be noted and possibly cause some diplomatic upset. But could he risk another episode when red clouded his vision and he wanted to grasp the Force and feel it course through his whole body and - - ?

    "Master Qui-Gon, it's time to return."

    He turned, looking down at Custodian Tykon; the white-haired older woman held up a hand, but refrained from touching him. He dreaded going back, sitting through erotic Sith scenes, singers and dancers praising the power of the Dark Side.

    He drew in a sharp breath and stared over Tykon's head.

    Of course. That was his mistake.

    He was afraid.

    Closing his eyes, he took in a deep breath and let it out slowly, letting go of the fear with it. Fear was the path to the Dark Side.

    "Master Qui-Gon, are you well? You're not ill again, are you? Should I call the Healers?"

    A moment ago, he would have welcomed the excuse to leave. But now he did not need it. He might or might not feel the touch of the Dark Side again, but he would not fear it. If it came, he would push it away like he had before, or the blue cold would take it. Whatever was to happen, would happen.

    He shook his head and smiled. "No, I am fine." Next to him, his Padawan looked up with concern. He laid a hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder. "I am fine."


    = = = End Part 29

    'Surrender to the Sith' is roughly filked from 'Standing in the Way' from Once More with Feeling - - Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    'Will You Help' is roughly filked from 'Caring Hands' from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Slong-Blog.
    'Torture Song' is roughly filked from 'Sweet's Song' from Once More with Feeling - - Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  22. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Will there be real Sith powers?
  23. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    Only the singing and dancing kind. ;) [face_dancing] Thanks for the reply!
  24. ardavenport Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2004
    star 4
    = = = Part 30


    They returned to their seats in plenty of time. Below, the audience members were still reassembling back into their seats, their low, many-voiced noise filling Tamwa Hall.

    "Master, are you well?" Obi-Wan asked when they were seated. "You seemed disturbed after you spoke with Sebo backstage."

    Qui-Gon sighed, taking a few seconds to reply. "I was . . . I am disturbed by a Play that celebrates the powers of the Dark Side. And I made the mistake of fearing what would come from it. Never fear the Dark Side, Obi-Wan. That only makes it stronger."

    "Yes, Master." Obi-Wan nodded, noticing that he had not said anything about what Sebo said to him backstage. "Is there more that you're not telling me?"

    Settling back in his seat, Qui-Gon looked toward the stage, his expression, under the shadow of his hood, almost serene. "Yes."

    Obi-Wan waited for more."

    "Is it something you can discuss?"

    "No."

    Obi-Wan sat back in his own seat. He accepted that there were things that Jedi Masters did not discuss with Padawans. But he did not have to like it.

    The lights blinked again. Looking down at the Play roster resting on the wide arm rest of his chair, he picked it up. It blinked a final warning that the intermission was almost over. A minute later the lights went down and the flashing colored lights came on, the orchestra playing a short overture, a medly of tunes from the Play, perhaps meant to allow the last few stragglers to take their seats.

    The lights came up on one side of the stage, the little cell, Keth lying on the small cot, the white bandage and reddish blond hair on the flat pillow. He stirred, turned over and sat up . . . revealing another person next to him. Nirid, still asleep.

    The music started again with a gentle tune and one floating platform returned with its two tan-gray figures, sitting close, facing each other, hands clasped. Keth pushed himself up and began to sing.

    "Here's a story of a boy
    Who knew that he was special,
    Did not notice there was more
    Than my duty to the Jedi's call."

    He touched her face. Her eyes remained closed, but she smiled. Somehow his touch, nor the singing, nor the music, woke her.

    "Now that I have found you
    I can see that there is more,
    Like those special moments,
    Things that are missing,
    Like your kissing me before."

    The figures above kissed, and when they touched, it was with affection, not lust, though it was no less erotic than the last song. Keth leaned down, touching her lovingly and she finally woke, sitting up partially, eyes fixed on her lover as he caressed her face.

    "Though I am a Jedi
    I know of tender loving,
    And sharing dreams, you and me
    Of having you in my arms is all,

    "That I ever want from you.
    Your love is all I need.
    No power is so great,
    No Force above you,
    And I'll love you all the more.

    "So, come to me, my lovely Nirid."

    They kissed and embraced and sank back down onto the cot together, their motions mirrored above by the two masked, androgynous figures. The lights went down on their end of the stage, the floater above retreating. They came up on the other side. Minigan, still bound to the black frame, more blused and haggard, the middle of his tuni torn, revealing red stripes, whip-marks on his exposed skin. He still had his boots, but his pants were ripped as well, scarred and bruised skin underneath.

    He lifted his head; his eyes were wild. All the good humor had left him. The music rose ominously.

    "Any dolt with half a brain
    Can see the galaxy is just insane,
    And the Force is just a lie.
    Indifference would make you cry,
    And all loyalty morphs into your bane.
    Listen close to everybody’s heart
    And feel that treachery.
    Hopes and peace are shattering apart
    With crumbling certainty."

    The lights came up on the right side of the stage. Nirid sat up over a sleeping Keth while Minigan finished his verse.

    "I cannot remain Jedi!
    With my world filled with dark and lies,
    And it’s plain to see
    Evil inside of me is on the rise."

    The Sith and Jedi figures appeared above, the Sith dancing with angry sharp motions, the Jedi with smooth harmonious ones. Nirid joined the song.

    "Look at him,
    I never thought I would begin
    Question the things that I believe,
    That tender love was just naïve,
    A greater love I should achieve,
    And I believe
    There’s love in everybody’s heart,
    More than lust and greed,
    I know there's more to my part.
    I've found a higher need."

    "Can I now dare to love Jedi?
    Is the galaxy growing wise?
    ‘Cause it seems to me
    Some kind of harmony
    Is on the rise."

    They sang together in harmony, different words on the same melody and Obi-Wan had to consult the Play roster to catch it all.

    Minigin: "Any dolt with half a brain,"
    _ Nirid: "I don't know,"
    Minigin: "Can see the galaxy is just insane,"
    _ Nirid: "If this new love will show,"
    Minigin: "‘Cause the dark is everywhere."
    _ Nirid: "And I wonder where this could go."
    Minigin: "Keth abandons me without a care,"
    _ Nirid: "But suddenly I feel this glow,"
    Minigin: "So soon the dark in me is all that will remain,"
    _ Nirid: "And I believe,"
    Minigin: "Listen close to everybody’s heart,"
    _ Nirid: "There’s love in everybody’s heart,"
    Minigin: "And feel that treachery,"
    _ Nirid: "More than lust and greed."
    Minigin: "Hopes and peace are shattering apart,"
    _ Nirid: "I know there's more to my part,"
    Minigin: "With crumbling certainty."
    _ Nirid: "I've found a higher need."

    They both straightened as if finding their resolve.

    Minigin: I cannot remain Jedi!
    _ Nirid: Can a Sith dare to love Jedi?
    Minigin: With my world filled with dark and lies,"
    _ Nirid: Is the galaxy growing wise?"
    Minigin: And it’s plain to see,"
    _ Nirid: ‘Cause it seems to me,"
    Minigin: Evil inside of me is on the rise."
    _ Nirid: Some kind of harmony is on the rise."

    The lights faded and the figures receded. The applause from the audience was loud and appreciative and the lights did not come back up until it had died down. Only the left side of the stage was lit, Minigan apparently limp, hanging from the frame.

    Guards came in carrying buckets and equipment. One of them was Timoz Wemi. Some went to the back of the stage and made water noises while the others took up defensive positions around Minigan, keeping well out of arm's reach. A guard came forward with a hose.

    "B-b-b-llll-uu-uuuugh!" Minigan revived quickly to the stream of water. He shook his head, splattering water everywhere, his graying brown hair dark and flat against his head.

    "Oh, that's so refreshing!" he called out with his old good humor. Two guards with white cloths fixed to the ends of poles started scrubbing him. Minigan went to his toes shouting that he was ticklish especially when one went between his legs. His squeals and giggles calmed and he flexed his muscles when they finished.

    "Ooooh, I might be mistaken, but are you all keeping your distance for a reason?" He conspicuously sniffed toward one of his armpits. The crowd laughed. "Is it meeeee?" The guards ignored him. One of them, he had a yellow insignia on his shoulders that the others did not, took out a box containing a shiny black mound.

    "Lord Yarr wishes you to be made more presentable," he called out, standing well back from the frame. With the toe of his boot, he tipped over the box, its contents falling over. It appeared to be clothes; there was a pair of black boots. "You are to be her next . . . distraction." He spat in Minigan's direction.

    "Oh, I'm not very good at distractions. Couldn't we just start with lunch?"

    "Silence, Jedi scum!" The guard slowly approached. "You will be dressed. And plumped. For our Master. And when she is done with you, when she has crushed and squeezed and stripped every morsel of pleasure from you, you will beg for more. Before she ends it. And your bleeding remains will be thrown out to the caraks." He leaned close, jabbing a black club under Minigan's chin. "Because that is all you are good for."

    The prisoner grinned.

    "Ooooh, but I am good for so much more than that. Can't you see it in my eyes?" Minigan's expression turned feral. The guard froze, drawing out the silence between them. Weapons ready, the other guards alerted, but hesitated.

    "Tell them to lower their weapons," Minigan locked his eyes on the now blankly-staring guard commander.

    "Lower your weapons."

    "Louder!"

    "Lower your weapons, now!"

    The guards obeyed and Minigan stared each of them down. "Now, you can see that I am good for so much more." They dropped their blasters.

    "Release me!" The guards complied. Then Minigan ordered the others to chain up their leader to the frame. After they did that, Minigan jabbed the lead guard with the his own club under his chin, forcing his head back.

    "You," Minigan told him, "Might be good for something." Snatching up the man's blaster, he whirled around and shot the other guards. They were blank blaster shots; no one died on the stage, but the performers made it look dramatic, throwing their arms out as they fell and twitched. Minigan strode to center stage as the orchestra started an ominous tune.

    "I was lost in a moral dilemma 'cause at first
    I saw you through my vows to the Jedi Code and I
    killed Hulus, your apprentice, and then you, it's true
    You're a Sith, you're evil - so how can it be that you
    Have shown me the Dark?

    "I've a brand new way
    Now I know the why
    Now I have the power
    I am no Jedi
    I did not understand
    Now I see the Dark,
    It's the Sith Lord's way."

    He kicked one of the bodies aside as he strode back and forth, declaring his new purpose.

    "All those times that I sacrificed myself were a waste
    And fighting for the weak - listen, honestly I've spaced
    There's no good, there's no right, I know that justice is through
    Now the future's is mine and I owe it all to you,
    Who showed me the dark.

    "I've a brand new way
    This is my new face
    Now the Dark Side's rising
    And I know my place
    I'm gonna kill Darth Yarr
    Gonna take her place
    It's the Sith Lord's way."

    He shook his fist, arm raised high, then saw the box of spilled clothes; he knelt, grasping the black fabric, holding it up like a prize.

    "And when I show Keth the evil me
    He will kneel, he will plead, he will beg me
    To leave the Dark but I have touched the spark
    Of the power that comes from lust and pain so naturally."

    Minigan leapt to his feet again, his eyes gleaming.

    "I've a brand new way
    Now I know the why
    Now I have the power
    I am no Jedi.
    Though the Force is strong
    Now I see the light,
    And it's Dark as night . . . .
    It's the Sith Lord's way."

    The lights went down as Minigan crouched again tearing the clothes out of the box.


    = = = End Part 30


    'Keth's Love' is roughly filked from 'Penny's Song' from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Slong-Blog
    'On the Rise' is roughly filked from 'My Eyes' from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Slong-Blog
    'Sith Lord's Way' is roughly filked from 'Brand New Day' from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Slong-Blog.
    Last edited by ardavenport, Aug 23, 2013
  25. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love the singing and your poems in these parts
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