Title: Pretense Author: ardavenport (aka Ani-Chay Pinn, aka Anne Davenport) Timeframe: pre-Episode I Genre: adventure Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi Keywords Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, JA, BfTS Summary: Our Jedi run into one of the Jedi Order?s loose ends after dinner Notes: also posted on The Jedi Assembly fan fiction forum. And typo is my middle name, with missing words and errors that spell checkers don?t catch being my speciality ? if you see any, just post a reply with the what and where and I will kill them with no mercy. Disclaimer: All characters belong to Lucas; I?m just playing in his sandbox ========================================================================= ?Ah ha! I smell good fortune!? Wofaga bustled through the dark, narrow hallways to the back pantry of the boarding house. Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi followed. Their guide rounded the sturdy, round table and chairs that took up almost half of the small room. ?I won?t be a moment,? Wofaga called back to them as his green cape and pale, blue head tails disappeared through the swinging door at the opposite end of the room. Obi-Wan looked about. The room was floor-to-ceiling with dark brown cupboards and shelves stacked with supplies in sacks and jars and boxes. A neglected droid didn?t even look up at them from its alcove in one corner and only a hint of natural light shone down from the tiny, narrow window that mostly only showed the side of the next building less than 2 meters away. It was warm, but not uncomfortably so and yellowed light panels in the room?s high ceiling dispelled some of the gloom. The aroma of dinner from the kitchen beyond welcomed them. Obi-Wan?s stomach growled. He cleared his throat and folded his arms, his hand disappearing into the wide, opposite sleeves of his brown robe. Qui-Gon?s mouth curled in a hint of a smile, but he didn?t say anything about his young apprentice?s lack of control. Neither one of them had eaten anything substantial since rising many hours ago. Every time they?d started to pause for a meal, something new had come up to take them elsewhere. The day-season of this polar city made ?morning? and ?evening? into virtual concepts. Technology and artificial lighting should have rendered this time of perpetual daylight into a simple curiosity. But the natives of this city took the seasonal lack of a natural day and night as a cue to not maintain any daily schedule at all. Half their time had been wasted in just looking for people who were out shopping or eating or sleeping or partying or doing just about anything other than their appointed jobs. Qui-Gon wondered how this city managed to function at all, but it obviously did. Boisterous voices and some banging noises came from the kitchen door. Qui-Gon Jinn removed his long, dark robe, hung it over the back of one of the chairs and sat down. Obi-Wan did the same. Neither one spoke while they both gratefully settled into the silence. They?d only been introduced to Wofaga two days ago and the Twi?lek had talked every waking second of that time. It did seem to be true, about what Councilor Ikot had said; Wofaga knew everything about everyone. But getting information from Wofaga was something like looking for a gold ring in a garbage heap; you had to sift through all the gossip to find anything useful. Not even using the Force worked to focus the Twi?lek?s mind on their immediate business; underneath all his flippant and carefree manners, Wofaga was far from weak-willed. Footsteps approached and the kitchen door banged open. Wofaga returned. His dark eyes alight, he bore a wide grin on his pale face and a tray laden with food. ?And these are just the appetizers.? Their host praised the skill of the boarding house?s cook, Voreedi, while he laid out plates, cups and napkins for his guests. Qui-Gon partook only sparingly of the flavored nuts, cakes and jellied fruit while Obi-Wan, with his teenager?s metabolism, helped himself more generously.