Saga The Gift: A Siriwan Story Ch.32 Epilogue - Complete

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  1. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    1. What happens when 13 year old Siri Tachi has visions while in the caves of Ilum concerning herself and Obi-Wan's future. A Siri-Wan story taking place from Jedi Apprentice era through Tatooine.

      I re-posted the first few chapters of the story so the chapters are complete.


      Title: The Gift - A Siriwan Story AU
      Author: Obimom
      Timeframe: Begins in Before the Sage, continues in Saga to Tatooine
      Characters: Obi-Wan, Siri T, Adi Gallia, some Qui-Gon and Yoda
      Genre: Drama & Romance
      Summary: At the age of thirteen, Siri had visions of herself and Obi-Wan's future in the caves of Ilum.
      This is mostly a Siri and Obi-Wan centered story - events, missions etc are touched on, familiar events mentioned but not gone into much detail. I just wondered what would Siri do if she knew some things about her future and Obi-Wan's future, and how this knowledge might affect the future.
      This may not update as regularly as my previous stories since I am now working full time, but it is completely written, so it will be finished.
      Dedicated to the many Siriwan fans...you know who you are...
      And as always, Thank you Val for the beta and suggestions!
      THE GIFT
      Chapter 1: Ilum
      Ilum was cold. Not just cold, it was freezing. It was an ice world set in a remote part of the galaxy, tucked away and unseen by most, but a refuge for the Jedi and their Padawans. Atop the tallest icy cliff and protected by the Gorgodons was a crystal cavern, the destination of masters who brought their young Padawans on a journey to find their crystals and build their lightsabers. In many cases, a young Padawan found more than light saber crystals, they found warnings and truths about themselves, and sometimes visions of their future.
      Jedi Master Adi Gallia brought her 13 year old Padawan, Siri Tachi, to Ilum to take her first journey into the caves, to seek her crystals and to see what the force embued cave might show her. It had been two days since they had arrived and they had taken the option to land their small transport on the ledge in front of the cave rather than climb the sheer icy cliff. The Gorgodons scrambled, flew about and made a fuss. Adi wielded her lightsaber only to keep them away from herself and Siri, and along with her force persuasion, soon settled them down. Adi and Siri then made their way into the mouth of the cave. There the master had squeezed the young padawan's shoulder in encouragement and sent her on her way.
      Adi now sat in silent meditation just inside the entrance to the cave, the sharp blue sky behind her a constrast to the bright, sparkling ice that lined the ledge and surrounded the mouth of the cave. Gorgodons slept peacefully around the ledge and inside the cave entrance, having been assured two days ago that these two small strangers meant them no harm.
      Adi sighed as she meditated. She chose not to meddle in what Siri was going through; Siri would tell her what she would when she returned. This was an exercise in patience, it would do the young Padawan no good to make her feel hurried. She had to find her own way, in her own time. Meditation kept Adi reminded of this lesson. Patience. Peacefulness. Serenity. The cool air blew in and nipped at her from time to time, and she could sense the snores and breathing of the creatures behind her, but nothing would disturb her. Siri needed her Master to be calm and at peace.
      Deep in the recesses of the cave was Siri. Her small frame was barely visible in the darkness, but whenever she found a room filled with crystals, which seemed to glow and sparkle with their own light, her shoulder length blonde hair would shimmer. The visions of long dead Jedi and their dire warnings, which she had found on the first day of her journey had frightened her, and then annoyed her. She had stomped away impatiently.
      "I don't have time for this! I need to find my crystals!" she had said to herself.
      But then she remembered her Master's admonition; to listen to the warnings and discern if they were true for her or not, and don't be overly alarmed by them and to move on peacefully. She had settled down then and taken her time, forcing herself to remain calm and patient.
      Late in the second day she had stumbled into another room filled with crystals. Her blonde hair shone like a halo in the crystal's light, her blue eyes reflected the sparkle of the stones. She had already been through so many of these caves and had not found her crystals, she had prepared to move on when she stopped. She had a feeling that she should stay. She carefully made her way to the center of the room, a clear space in the middle surrounded by hundreds of crystals of different colors. She looked around, turning her slim figure 180 degrees, gazing at the brilliance in the room. She listened again to the force and knew this was where she needed to stay. She finally sat down in the middle of the room and prepared to meditate.
      As she closed her eyes, she felt the pull of the force lulling her into a dreamlike state. Her breathing slowed as she felt the air shimmer around her. She felt herself floating, perhaps in space, maybe in time, she wasn't sure, but soon she felt she was in a different place. Her eyes felt heavy, but she slowly opened them and was amazed to find herself in the middle of a battlefield, lying on the ground with burning buildings nearby. She was in dreadful pain and knew she was dying. Someone held her; embraced her. A soft quivering voice, velvet and cultured in spite of the distress in it, spoke gently over her.
      "Siri, please don't die. Don't leave me. I can't bear it."
      She heard herself say "Of course you can, Obi-Wan. You will go on. You have to. You have much to do yet.
      Obi-Wan! Obi-Wan Kenobi was the one holding her so tenderly, weeping over her? She looked up into the face of an adult man, his ginger hair and beard surrounded a face soaked in dirt and blood, but she would know those eyes anywhere. His blue/gray eyes held something she thought she would never see. They held love, and heartbreak. She wanted to reach out to him, to assure him that this was only a vision, but she found she couldn't. Instead she pressed something into his hand and murmured "I will always be with you. I love you."
      She shook herself and was back in the cave. She shivered and found that she had wrapped her arms around her legs and tears had been falling down her face. Obi-Wan? They love each other in the future? All he is to her right now is a friend and usually a nuisance, although she would never admit to him that she found him very cute and his changeable eyes mesmerising. Does she admit this to him sometime later on? She hoped not. The code forbade this kind of attachment. And she was...she was dying.
      "This is how I die? On a battlefield with Obi-Wan Kenobi holding me? Surely this vision must be wrong," she mumbled to herself.
      She settled herself, feeling that there was more.
      Soon she felt herself drifting again; felt the same shimmer as before, and then suddenly a wall of heat slammed into her, and she gasped. She opened her eyes to find the temple burning. She gasped, horrified at what she saw.
      Younglings fallen over the temple floors, strange looking armored soldiers that blasted at anyone who tried to stop them, and in the center was a lone figure swinging a lightsaber. She couldn't tell for sure, but it looked like he swung it at an initiate. No,it couldn't be! She closed her eyes tightly in horror at the vision, and then felt the intense pull again.
      She was thrust again into the shimmering vortex, and she could feel the heat becoming more and more intense. When she began gasping and feeling as though she would choke in the intensity of the heat, she suddenly stopped. She opened her eyes again.
      The burning temple had become a raging lava field with two men battling desperately, their lightsabers clashing violently against the sizzling red flow of molten ash. She recognized one of them as Obi-Wan, but did not recognise the other. Her heart began to pound as she observed Obi-Wan fighting desperately, passionately. He seemed determined but heartbroken. She didn't understand that, but before she could ponder it the two combatants faded from view, and then to her horror a dark, helmeted visage rose from the lava, harsh mechanical breathing echoed through the lava bed, and in his dark gloved hand was a red lightsaber.
      She blinked, and suddenly she felt a tug as the vision changed and she was now on a blazing desert, the heat still intense but not as dangerous as on the lava planet. There she saw an older, grieving Obi-Wan standing in front of an old hovel, his cloak masking most of his face as he shielded himself against the harsh suns and wind. She observed him gazing at the setting of the dual suns. When she looked more closely at him she was struck by the loneliness and grief in his eyes.
      She blinked and opened her eyes. She was back in the cave, shivering in the sudden chill after experiencing so much intense heat in her visions. Tears stained her cheeks.
      "What was all that about?" she wondered shakily. "Why did I keep seeing Obi-Wan?"
      "Connected, you and Obi-Wan are."
      Startled at the strange voice, she looked around but saw no one. "Connected? But attachments are forbidden."
      "Yet connected you are," the mysterious voice whispered.
      "But I died! And all those horrible images. Is that what Obi-Wan is going to go through?"
      "Those are events that will take place after your death. They cannot be stopped. Yet your future is connected to his."
      "What does that mean? I'll be dead!" She demanded. She didn't like cryptic messages or visions that made no sense.
      "Obi-Wan Kenobi will be in the center of these events. He will lose everything he holds dear, yet he will stand true. His light will not burn out. He will survive, and the future of the Jedi will be in his hands, and in yours if you choose to be part of that future."
      "How can I be part of his future if I'm dead!"
      "A blessing and a comfort to him you will be if you choose wisely, child. When you are older, understanding will come."
      The voice went silent and Siri sat, stunned.
      She didn't know what to make of any of this. Somehow, in their future, she dies and Obi-Wan suffers great loss, but somehow they are connected, even after all of that. She shook her head and rubbed her hands against her temples, trying to comprehend.
      Suddenly she felt very drowsy. She laid down in the center of the cave and soon was in a deep, dreamless, force induced sleep, wrapped in a peaceful aura. After several hours she awoke, the visions and the voice seemed far away. As her eyes opened, she became aware of two violet colored stones glowing more than all the others. They seemed to be calling to her. She rose up and went forward, bent down and plucked them up. She gazed at them as they sparkled and shimmered in her hand. She felt the rightness of them.
      These were her crystals.
      TBC
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    2. obsessedwithSWJedi Grand Master

      Member Since:
      May 24, 2005
      Im a SiriWan fan!
      A blessing and a comfort to him you will be if you choose wisely, child. When you are older, understanding will come.?
      It will be interesting how this works into the story without changing the cannon events, at least the post implies that you will be adhering to them. I really like writing from Siri's poiint of view, ObiWan always comes across hotter IMO.
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    3. GkilkennyJedi Grand Master

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      Mar 27, 2004
      Great beginning, I like siri/Wan=D=
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    4. LilyHobbitJediJedi Grand Master

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      Aug 29, 2005
      I'm intrigued with this so far, and I can't wait to see what is coming next.
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    5. Jade_eyesCombos and Word Whiz Host
      Game Host

      Member Since:
      Aug 31, 2004
      Hi there! This is interesting! I love fics where things change when one knows the future enough to rewrite the present and avert tragedy :cool:

      Obi-Wan is one of my fave Saga/OT characters.

      In fanfics, I love it when he finds happiness and solace and Siri always seemed a great fit for that.
      Jade_eyes is willing, eager & ecstatic to provide gooifying moments of vaporizing squee!, & inspire splentab ff authorly talent! [:D] Then I can d'awwoon! for sure! [face_dancing]
      Kyp/Eliziya - even her name is lovely! :* :D
      Spock/Nyota - my heart & soul's eternal exquisite delight! [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

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    6. earlybird-obi-wanJedi Grand Master

      Member Since:
      Aug 21, 2006
      Nice I like SiriWans
      word artist, paint artist, whatever artist
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    7. serendipityaeyJedi Master

      Member Since:
      Jan 24, 2004
      Great start, the vision of them together in her last moments was so moving [face_love] I can't imagine how hard it would be for a 13 year old Siri to see all of this, but I look forward to seeing how it will affect her. I loved the words of wisdom, Obi-Wan is meant for duty and sacrifice, but he deserve support and comfort at the same time. Very sweet and nice :)
    Last edited by obimom, Aug 3, 2013
  2. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Ch. 2 Keep Your Mind On The Here And Now

    Master Adi Gallia finally stood and stretched. Her body felt taut and restless after two days waiting and meditating. She wandered out to the mouth of the cave, wrapped her robe more tightly against the cold chill of the night and gazed up at the starlit sky. She breathed deeply the frosty air and glanced over at the Gorgodons. She had come to appreciate the presence of the sleeping creatures; their bodies provided a measure of warmth that kept her from freezing.

    She reached into her robe and pulled out a protein bar. She tried not to think about how long Siri had been in the cave. Some padawans had been known to take many more than two days to accomplish their journey. Adi was prepared to wait it out and had plenty of nutrition bars to keep her going.

    As much as she tried not to think about it, she couldn't help but look forward to a hot bath, a hot meal and a nice warm bed. Yes, anything warm sounded really good right now.

    "Keep your mind in the present," she admonished herself ruefully. She thought about her friend, Qui-Gon Jinn and about how he was forever going on about staying in the "here and now".

    Well he didn't have to sit in a freezing cold cave for two days waiting for his padawan. As she recalled, Obi-Wan had found his crystals and completed his journey within 24 hours. Siri won't like hearing that she took longer than he. "They are so competitive," she thought to herself. "But in spite of all their bickering and striving against each other, they really are very close," Adi mused. "If they weren't Jedi, one would wonder if they weren't destined to marry."

    She grinned to herself at that very unlikely thought, then stretched again and prepared to walk back inside and sit down when she heard a rustling sound coming from the mouth of the cave. She turned to find Siri, face white in the pale moonlight, emerging from the cave. With satisfaction, she held her newly completed lightsaber out to her master. Adi noticed her eyes had a happy, but slightly haunted look in them. She wondered what Siri had seen.

    Later in the transport heading back to Coruscant, Adi waited until the ship jumped to hyperspace, then went back to sit with her Padawan, who had been unusually silent during the trip home.

    Adi took Siri's hand and gently prodded. "Do you want to talk about it? Can you tell me what you saw?"

    Siri glanced at her master, her confused eyes evidence of the turmoil roiling inside her. After what seemed like a long while she answered hesitantly.

    "Mainly what I saw was Obi-Wan!"

    Startled, Adi wondered at that. "Why did you see Obi-Wan in your visions?"

    "I don't know, really. A voice in the cave said that we are connected in the future, but I don't understand how. I - I..." she finally shrugged her shoulders, her eyebrows knitted on a young face marked by a troubled scowl.

    "I saw my own death."

    Adi gasped. "Oh Siri.".

    But Siri shook her head in protest.

    "No, it's ok, Master. That's not what's bothering me. It's just that this voice kept telling me I will have a part in Obi-Wan's future, but how can I if I'm dead?"

    She studied her master's face as though looking for the answers that eluded her.

    Adi didn't say anything for a long while. She didn't know what to say. This was just as much a puzzle to her as it was to Siri.

    She was grateful however that Siri didn't seem overly alarmed about seeing her own death. Although it was unusual for a padawan, especially as young as Siri to see a vision of how they die, it was not unheard of, and young Jedi from birth are taught as part of the code that there is no death, there is the force. That they have nothing to fear in death, and part of a Jedi's life is knowing any mission could prove their last. They were taught to be prepared and accept it. Siri was no exception.

    Finally Adi took a deep breath, and after blowing it out slowly, said gently, "You do understand that the future is always in motion. How many times have you heard Yoda say that? These things you saw may not necessarily happen." She made herself relax and grinned at Siri, hoping to see Siri's bright smile in return.

    But Siri only glanced away and shrugged matter of factly. "I'm not sure about my death part, but the rest the voice said was going to happen, that it cannot be stopped."

    Adi couldn't help but be a bit skeptical. She had seen many Knights and Padawans be convinced of something they had seen only to find out it wasn't what it seemed.

    "I don't really know about that. What did you see exactly?"

    Siri sighed. She looked at her master tiredly. "If you don't mind Master, may I tell you later, with Master Yoda?"

    "Certainly! And forgive me, my dear, I should have realized how tired you must be. You rest now, we'll be home soon."

    Sitting on cushions in Master Yoda's chambers, Siri had just finished telling Master Yoda and Adi everything she had seen in her visions. Adi and Yoda had looked at each other at the mention of a future connection with Obi-Wan.

    "Sounds suspiciously like an attachment, but that can't be, can it?" Adi asked, shaking her head.

    "I know!" Siri said, "That's what I said to the voice; that attachments are forbidden. It only said, "Nontheless, connected you are!""

    "Argued with the voice, did you, young one?" Yoda said, and grunted his amusement.

    "Change the will of the force, you will? Hmmm?"

    "But surely the force can't be telling Siri to have an attachment with Obi-Wan...can it?"

    "Know much, we do, about the force. But know everything, we do not. Sense I do that there is a purpose in this, but revealed to me, the force has not."

    Yoda leaned toward Siri, his large eyes focused on her. He lightly tapped her with his gimer stick. "Reveal to you, the force will, when time it is."

    Siri nodded. "That's what the voice said to me, Master Yoda, that when I am older, understanding will come."

    "Yes, understanding," nodded Yoda. "In the meantime, about it worry not, young one. Your mind on the here and now keep, as fond of saying our good friend Qui-Gon Jinn is." Yoda's eyes gleamed in light affection and amusement at his little joke. Adi smiled.

    Then Yoda leaned back seriously. "Special to the force, young Obi-Wan is, although he is not more than any other Jedi. But glimpses I have seen: Much he has to do, much suffering will he endure. Much darkness I see in the future, and to the future of the Jedi, connected Obi-wan is. Chosen by the force, he is."

    Adi gasped. "You're not saying he's the chosen one, are you?"

    "Say that I did not!" Yoda stamped the floor with this gimer stick. "What know I of chosen one? A mystery that is still. But chosen, nontheless Obi-Wan is. Understand it I do not. Sense it I do."

    After a moment, Yoda continued softly. "Your vision of the burning temple, troubles me it does, young one. Meditate on it, I will."

    He rose from his cushion, motioning to them. Adi understood that they were being dismissed. Adi and Siri bowed to Yoda. They thanked him and said good night then retreated to their quarters.

    Yoda sighed. Yes, the future is always in motion, but darkness lay ahead. Much darkness, and somehow Obi-Wan stood in the center of it. A steady light that remains to stand against the darkness. But clouded the future is, hard to see, to discern. He clasped the gimer stick tightly, pulling it in to himself as his head bent in troubled thought. Then he grunted softly, turned toward his bedroom, and retired to meditate.

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 19, 2012
  3. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 3 Back To Normal

    Siri returned to her daily routine of classes, training with her master and the trainers, friends and fun. The weeks flew by and gradually she was less haunted by memories of her visions during the day, and the nighttime dreams soon ceased. They became distant; something she could think about with the remote analysis of her mind rather than the sharp wavering emotions of her heart.

    She had been a little relieved to learn that Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were away on a mission and not soon expected back. She didn't think she could have faced Obi-Wan with the visions about him still so fresh. Now she looked forward to their return home.

    One morning she was getting ready for a day of classes and training when her thoughts turned again to Obi-Wan. It had been so long since she had seen her friend and she realized she was missing him.

    "He seems so far away, sort of like those visions I had of him," She chuckled to herself.

    She picked up her robe and bag, opened her door and stepped into the common room of their quarters. As she put her things on the chair, Adi spoke from the kitchen.

    "Oh, Siri, I just heard. Master Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are returning from their mission today."

    The bag nearly toppled to the floor as Siri suddenly began to tremble, feeling the color drain from her face. She steadied her bag and gripped the back of the chair to steady herself.

    "Obviously, I'm not as past this as I thought," she thought to herself. She took several deep breaths to calm her thumping heart.

    "Siri? Did you hear me?" Adi called from the kitchen. Siri closed her eyes and swallowed hard. She could vaguely hear the clink of dishes as Adi was setting breakfast things on a tray.

    Adi came into the common room with the tray in her hands. "Siri, what's wrong? Are you all right?"

    She nodded. She had regained her composure, approached the table and sat down. "I'm all right, Master, but I guess I'm a little nervous about seeing him again..you know, after Ilum."

    Adi took Siri's hand and patted it. "I understand Siri, and I know it may be difficult for awhile, especially since Yoda has cautioned us not to reveal anything of your visions to either Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan. And I agree with him. It seems needless to put them through the burden of this information. Yoda said that if Obi-Wan needed to know any of this, the force would tell him.

    Siri nodded. "I understand, Master, and I agree. It's just, what I saw...I..."

    "Look, what you saw is years in the future, and maybe not at all. Remember, right now he's just a boy, a fellow Padawan, and your friend. That's all you need to be concerned about. Okay?"

    Siri thought for a moment, then relaxed. She grinned. "Yes, Master. I think I can handle that."

    "Good. Now eat your breakfast so you're not late for class."

    The day proved to be difficult. She had been distracted most of the morning, and as the afternoon approached, she found her nervousness returning. She tried to use the force to quell it, but it did little good. She had to admit she was still nervous about seeing Obi-Wan again.

    It didn't help that several times that day she had been scolded by the teaching masters about keeping her mind on her work. She was usually so studious, seldom earning reprimands.

    One of the teachers, in a fit of exasperation, had finally scolded, "What has gotten into you today, Padawan Tachi? If you weren't a Jedi I would think you had a boy on your mind!"

    The other girls giggled and she blushed.

    "I'm sorry, Master, it won't happen again."

    Siri bent her head to her work, but from the corner of her eye she saw one of the other girls turn to her friend and whisper, "Obi-Wan Kenobi is coming back today."

    The other one whispered, "Ah..that explains things." They glanced at her and grinned. She made a face at them and buried her self in her work, ignoring how warm and flushed she felt.

    It didn't get any better later in the training room. Hidden in a corner of the fresher getting ready for lightsaber drills, she froze when two Padawan girls entered the room. She recognized one of them as the girl who helped out in the med unit part time.

    "Yeah, he was brought in this afternoon pretty injured."

    "He's ok, isn't he?"

    "Oh, sure, he'll recover. They didn't get him too badly."

    "Poor Obi-Wan! He sure seems to find all the trouble, doesn't he?"

    Their voices faded as they disappeared into the fresher stalls.

    "Oh no!" Siri hurried out to the practice arena and found her Master.

    "Is it true? Is Obi-Wan injured?" She pictured poor Obi-Wan lying helpless in the med unit, bandaged and scarred, maybe needing surgery, maybe ... she looked up into her master's face to find amusement glinting in her eyes. She dropped her head and blushed. How silly she must seem right now. She wanted to disappear into the patterned floor at her feet.

    "It's all right, Siri, I know you're concerned about him, but he's fine."

    "But I heard he was really injured."

    "You know how rumors can make things worse than they are. Obi-Wan was cornered and had to defend himself. There were too many and he ended up a little battered. He has a couple bruised ribs and a sprained wrist, but he's fine. Master Qui-Gon said he ran in just in time to see him down the last attacker."

    "May we go see him?" she implored.

    "Later. He's been treated in the med unit, now he's resting in their quarters. Qui-Gon has invited us over for dinner."

    Relieved, excited and still a little nervous, Siri went into her lightsaber lesson with renewed energy. She couldn't wait to see Obi-Wan that evening.

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

    Later, the door opened and Obi-Wan smiled, inviting them in. His wrist and ribs were wrapped, and his eyes shone brightly despite the bruise around his left eye.

    "Shouldn't you be in bed or something?" Siri asked as she entered behind Adi.

    "I'm not helpless," Obi-Wan growled. He led them to the common room. "May I get you anything to drink, Master Adi?"

    "Thank you, but you can sit down, Obi-Wan. You may not be helpless, but you are recovering. I'll help myself." She went into the kitchen where Qui-Gon was busy with the meal.

    "Well, I heard you won a fight against how many? Twenty?" Siri teased as they sat, Obi-Wan on the sofa and Sir in the chair across from him.

    Obi-Wan shrugged nonchalantly. "Oh, more like 10 I guess."

    "Sounds pretty fair," Siri said. They grinned at each other. She gazed into his large luminous eyes and sighed. The nervousness had vanished. It was good to see him again.

    "So, what happened then? Did the mission go badly?"

    "No, actually the mission went fine. We were finished and getting ready to come home. I had gone out to say good-bye to some kids I had met while there, and a group of boys came up to us and one of them accused me of "stealing his girl". He shook his head incredulously. "We had only talked one evening, but I guess she made some comments to him to make him jealous. I was just talking to them, and next thing I knew I was being attacked. The jealous boyfriend said he was going to "mess up my pretty face." He grimaced.

    Siri grinned in amusement. "Yeah, I can see that!"

    "Hey! It's not that bad!" Obi-Wan protested.

    Siri gazed at him, shaking her head with a smirk. "And you didn't see it coming? What, you weren't focused on the here and now, or was the boyfriend not so ...um..wrong?" She leaned forward a little, enjoying the irritation that began to flush his cheeks.

    "It wasn't like that. It was a friendly conversation mostly, the accusations and fight didn't happen till the very end. I didn't see it coming..my defenses were down." Obi-Wan suddenly dropped his eyes. He obviously regretted letting his guard down.

    Siri relented from her teasing and sat back.

    "So, no weapons or anything?"

    "No, just a good old fashioned fist fight," Obi-Wan said, looking up at her with a slight smile.

    Qui-Gon and Adi came in from the kitchen at that moment. "Siri, set the table, will you?" Adi set a bowl on the table then went back to the kitchen.

    Siri stood and went to get the dishes and utensils. She noticed Obi-Wan stood as well.

    "Master, can I help?" she heard him say.

    "No, Padawan. Remember the healer said not to use your wrist at all for 24 hours, and your ribs need a chance to heal."

    Siri felt badly for him. She knew he disliked being idle, and it made him uncomfortable to not be doing something when everyone else was busy. She went to him and put the utensils in his unhurt hand.

    "Here, you can set these down while I set the plates," she said.

    He smiled at her, glad to have something to do. Together they circled the table, Siri setting the plates and napkins, Obi-Wan placing the utensils on the napkins with one hand. He had to go back around again to straighten them, but they were quickly finished. Qui-Gon brought in the main dish, and they sat down to eat.

    As they filled their plates, Qui-Gon said, "Imagine my surprise when I went down to the recreation area of the place we had been staying to find Obi-Wan fighting the last boy, the others sprawled around the room." Qui-Gon chuckled. "I stepped in just as Obi-Wan punched that boy back and left him lying on the floor. I didn't even realize he was injured till we were half home."

    Adi clucked disapprovingly. "Hiding injuries again, Obi-Wan?"

    Obi-Wan blushed. "They were nothing. I didn't think I needed to say anything about them."

    "Bruised ribs and a sprained wrist are not "nothing", young man," Qui-Gon admonished. "It's not like you to get into a fight like that, but I figured you had a good reason. To find out you were attacked by all those boy I understood you needed to defend yourself, and I'm proud of you for not using your abilities to hurt them as you could have."

    "Well, I was trying not to, and they weren't armed," Obi-Wan said. "I was trying to make them back off, but some of them were insistent. They didn't like being beaten by one boy."

    "Probably not, especially when he's so "pretty", quipped Siri. Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and made a face at her and she laughed. The masters laughed with her.

    The four of them enjoyed a pleasant dinner together. Obi-Wan couldn't eat as much as he usually did, but he and Siri enjoyed the teasing banter.

    A few times, Siri's thoughts briefly turned to her visions and she found herself almost staring at him. She saw again those blue/gray eyes full of tears and looking down at her with so much heartbroken love, and she couldn't believe that the man in her vision was the same boy who sat at the table so young, happy and full of life. She was lost in her thoughts for a moment and Obi-Wan noticed. Puzzled, he nudged her and asked if she was okay. She shook herself and nodded, saying she was fine.

    Obi-Wan nodded and took another bite. He then looked up at her with a grin and said, "Oh, I meant to ask, how did your trip to Ilum go?"

    "Ilum?" Siri glanced at Adi, who smiled encouragingly at her. She looked at the food remaining on her plate and nodded. "Fine. It went fine."

    Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon exchanged a quick glance. Obi-Wan then said, "Well, can I see it?"

    "See what?" Siri looked at him, confused.

    "Your lightsaber, silly. You made one didn't you?"

    "Oh, yes. Yes I did." Siri unclipped her lightsaber out and handed it to Obi-Wan. He stood and turned it on. The violet light came to life and he swung it around the room for a moment.

    "Nice. I like the color, too."

    "Thanks," Siri said. She hooked the saber back to her belt and sat back down.

    "Did you have any visions while there?" Obi-Wan asked.

    Siri stiffened and looked at Adi, who watched her with eyebrows raised slightly.

    "Well...I had a few...but they were really nothing. Just stuff about my...my future and all."

    "Thats all right, Siri, you don't have to tell us anything you don't want to share," Qui-Gon said.

    Obi-Wan nodded agreement. "Right, Siri. Sorry, I guess I was out of line."

    "No, it's okay, Obi-Wan," Siri said quietly, pushing her plate away. She still had a few bites left but found she couldn't finish it.

    "Ah, I do believe we have dessert," Qui-Gon announced, rising from his seat and heading for the kitchen.

    "May I help, Master?"

    "You stay right there, Padawan."

    "I'll help," Adi said, rising and giving Siri a little squeeze on her arm as she left the room. After they were out of the room, Obi-Wan glanced at Siri.

    "I really am sorry, Siri, I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable." Obi-Wan looked truly ashamed of himself.

    "Quit worrying about it," Siri said, punching his arm lightly. "It's fine. So tell me, did anything else exciting happen on your mission besides you getting into a fight?"

    The rest of the evening was spent in comfortable friendship.

    Siri surreptiously watched Obi-Wan as they ate their dessert and talked. His dimpled smile lit up the room and his eyes sparkled when he laughed. His ease with his Master was warm and comfortable and his teasing banter with him as well as with Siri had them all laughing.

    By the end of the evening, the two Padawans had challenged each other to a spar. The masters said they would set it up as soon as Obi-Wan was allowed. The evening ended pleasantly, and Siri felt at relaxed and comfortable with him as well as his Master.

    "Masters Yoda and Adi are right," she thought to herself. "I won't worry about my visions or the future now. I'll enjoy this time with Obi-Wan and our other friends. The future will see to itself."

    Her dwelling on it would not help her understand. Understanding would come later, when it's time.

    tbc
  4. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 4 Mission of Discovery

    Over the next couple of years the Padawans were busy with missions, classes, training, and much meditating. When at the temple at the same time, which was not often, Obi-Wan, Siri, Garen Muln, Reeft and Bant were inseparable. Many hours they spent together sparring, eating, playing jokes on various members of the order, and laughing.

    Several evenings found them anxiously awaiting word when one of them became sick or injured. Although they all had their share of mishaps, it seemed Obi-Wan came home injured more often than the others, and it became a running joke between them. Siri wondered sometimes if Obi-Wan's future destiny would be thwarted by his untimely death. Would she even have to worry about whatever kind of connection they may have later?

    As they grew older, the Padawans were often away from the temple for lengthy periods of time. The five friends were seldom able to be together as often as they had been. Siri and Obi-Wan, with their Masters, had gone on several missions together over the past two years and as a result the two had become much closer.

    Adi watched silently, but saw no sign of anything more than close friendship between them.

    Qui-Gon was simply happy that Obi-Wan had someone he could consider a best friend. He himself had treasured his close friendship with Tahl, who had died a few years earlier during a mission. He still missed her, and loved her.

    He knew something could someday happen between Siri and Obi-Wan, but he trusted his Padawan enough to make the right decision.

    As time passed, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon were away more often on long, dangerous missions, sometimes being away for several months. Siri didn't have time to think about him very much as she and her master were also being sent on longer, more intricate missions.

    It was over a year later before Obi-Wan and Siri saw each other again.

    Shortly after Siri's sixteenth birthday, it was announced she and Adi would be going on a mission with Master Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. Siri was excited to see him after so long. He had become a senior Padawan while Adi and Siri had been away on their most recent mission, and she was looking forward to finally congratulating him.

    At their mission briefing in the council room, Siri learned they were to go to the planet Astar, a tribal planet in the Solari system. They were to find a tribal village, the Pellan, and investigate why the villagers were attacking other villages. The leaders in the main city of the planet seemed unconcerned about finding any answers. When they were finally persuaded to send out a party to investigate, they were attacked. Several of the party were seriously injured and one died. The rest of the investigating party returned to the city with their injured and the leaders decided to contact the Jedi temple and ask for help.

    While Master Windu discussed the matter with the four Jedi, Siri surreptiously glanced Obi-Wan's way. He stood tall and serene, his eyes serious and focused on the masters' and their instructions. But she could swear a couple times she had seen his eyes glance her way. She felt a nudge from her master through their bond.

    "Focus, Padawan."

    "Yes, Master." Chagrined, Siri blushed and re-focused her attention on the masters.

    The next time she saw him was when they boarded the transport that would take them to Astar. He turned as she entered and his eyes widened a little, lighting up when he saw her. He grinned. "There you are! I wondered where you've been." He approached her, lightly brushed her arm, then dropped his hand. He backed away slightly, then said, "I've missed you."

    "I've missed you, too, Obi-Wan. Your braid is longer!" She gazed at the plait which now reached almost to his waist.

    "Yeah." He grinned as he glanced down at it. "Qui-Gon says I'll have to tuck it in my belt if it gets any longer."

    Siri laughed softly.

    Then she really looked at him. He was, if possible, even more handsome. His bright blue/gray eyes had a more serious look in them, but still shone with light. His face was more mature, but still had that boyish charm that could always take her breath away. She became aware that he was appraising her in a similar fashion.

    Obi-Wan seemed to realize what he was doing and suddenly straightened his shoulders, looked away and said, "Well, I'd better see what I can do to help Qui-Gon."

    Siri nodded and started to look around for her master when she heard Master Qui-Gon's voice.

    "Hello Siri!" he called cheerfully as he came from the back of the transport. "Obi-Wan, time to ready our ship for take off.

    Obi-Wan turned immediately to his master and said, "Yes, Master!" He gave Siri a quick smile and then went to his tasks.

    Siri sighed and helped put away the gear.
    **********************************************

    A week later Siri found herself alone with Obi-Wan and lost in the woods.

    "How did this happen?" she wondered to herself, but she knew.

    The four Jedi had been travelling on foot through dense jungle to find the village where they were to meet the leader of the Pellan tribe and try to find out what was going on. They had landed two days earlier and had been surprised to find little assistance. They were given a map, and the instructions to "go this way till you find it. Much forest, watch out for wild animals." But no guide volunteered, so off they had gone.

    They marched through a dense forest thick with long reaching branches, full of chatter, twittering, hawking and creeping sounds. Siri and Obi-Wan walked together behind their masters, and often one would poke the other to point out a furry woodland creature with long sharp teeth skittering up a tree, or other creatures and interesting flowers along the way.

    At one point as they walked, Obi-Wan had punched Siri's arm excitedly and she looked up to see a large bird covered in brilliant blue, red, yellow and purple feathers perched on one of the large crooked branches. Its long plumage dipped down into the undergrowth of the forest and its long dangerous looking beak opened with a call that was shrill and intense. Its sharp gaze pierced the woods around it. The group had stopped their trek, gazing in admiration at the beauty of this extraordinary creature. The bird closed its beak and suddenly lifted itself off of its branch and with long, graceful wings it spun and soared, quickly reaching the top of the forest, then its long tail brushed the tops of the trees as it flew away. Siri was mesmerized. She had never seen anything like it. Even Qui-Gon had seemed awestruck by it. He loved the living force as it sang to him in these woods, and he seemed to be most in tune with their surroundings.

    As they walked, Master Qui-Gon told them about the different kinds of trees and foliage they came across. They watched as he picked strange looking blue leaves off of a plant he had seen. Later when they camped he made tea out of them.

    Pungent, Siri sipped gingerly at the bitter, woodsy flavored drink. Her mouth puckered and her eyes watered at the unpleasant taste. She glanced at Obi-Wan, who had been watching her with amusement. He took a larger gulp and his eyes widened as he swallowed hard, then began coughing, his face turning a funny shade of red. Siri giggled.

    "Sip it, Padawan. This kind of drink cannot be drunk hastily."

    "I noticed," Obi-Wan sputtered as his face returned to its natural color.

    He glanced again at Siri and grinned. "I'm used to this. Master is always finding some concoction to make tea out of. It's not really so bad," he whispered to her.

    "Thank you, Padawan. I take it you like it then?" Qui-Gon said from his perch on a nearby rock.

    "Now, Master, don't get the wrong idea. I said it's not so bad. Not like that tea we were served that time on Dantooine."

    He turned to Siri, crinkling his nose distastefully "I didn't sleep a wink all night."

    Siri gasped. "Did it make you sick?"

    "Not me! Qui-Gon. He was up all night long, running to the fresher. He woke me up every time he did."

    "Well, I couldn't be the only one having all the fun," Qui-Gon growled.

    "Yeah, thanks a lot. I only took a few sips, Master drank three cups. But I had to pay the price of being his bunk mate in a very small room. It's a wonder I stayed awake through the rest of the meetings."

    "Impudent brat. Just wait till you have a padawan, Padawan," he said, wagging his finger at him.

    Everyone was laughing by then, and soon Master Qui-Gon had joined them.

    They slept under a canopy of trees, the stars able to peek through sporadically as the night wind blew. They took turns keeping watch but sensed no danger and passed a quiet night.

    They resumed their trek early the next morning. After another long day of hiking they knew they were within just a few hours of the village that had been accused of the attacks, but Qui-Gon had decided that due to the late evening they would camp again that night then reach the village the next day in daylight. After a supper of cold food and water, they had bedded down for the night. Master Adi had taken first watch, then Obi-Wan had relieved her a few hours later. Siri had been sleeping lightly. She had become aware of him out there, alone and watching and had considered joining him, but fatigue won out and she had drifted off to sleep again.

    Suddenly she jumped with the urgency of the force's warning. She leaped to her feet to find Obi-Wan already up, his lightsaber on. He shouted to Qui-Gon, who had already awakened, and he, along with Master Adi, were on their feet. All lightsabers were out and blazing.

    It was a group of tribal villagers, of average height and stocky. They wore nothing but threadbare britches and their bare chests were tatooed in colorful designs, their dark hair was long and covered in the feathers of the beautiful long plumed bird they had seen the day before.

    As one the tribesmen roared and attacked them, their sharp teeth bared and dark eyes gleaming with lust and fury. They were screaming and brandishing rough hand made swords. A few were firing at them with outdated blasters and hurling stones from slingshots.

    The Jedi deflected the shots and tried to disarm without hurting them. They were gaining the upper hand against their attackers; a few had been killed, but most were rendered unconscious and some were injured, when suddenly Siri heard a cry from Adi. She spun around and to her horror, her master was being dragged into the woods by several of their attackers. The men fled with her, screaming and shouting as they went.

    "Master!" she screamed, and started to run to her, but Qui-Gon shouted, "No! Wait, Siri." He grabbed Siri's arm and pulled her to Obi-Wan.

    Qui-Gon then grabbed Obi-Wan's arm and spoke to him in their bond.

    "I don't want to alarm Siri, but they seem to be after the women. I sense danger for Siri as well. I don't think she should follow them, but I need to follow them to find Adi. Obi-Wan, please stay with her. Find a place to hide and I'll be back as soon as I can."

    Obi-Wan started to protest but Qui-Gon was stern.

    "No! Not this time. Keep her safe, that's all I'm asking right now, okay?"

    Obi-Wan nodded, his face worried and intense and Qui-Gon knew he understood. He nodded, let go of a Siri, turned and ran into the forest, going in the direction of the now retreating voices of the jubiliant men.

    Siri suddenly turned and ran away from Obi-Wan, trying to catch up to Qui-Gon, but Obi-Wan out ran her and grabbed her, holding her firmly.

    "Let me go, Obi-Wan," she cried, squirming. "I need to find my master!"

    "You heard him, you need to stay with me."

    "Why?" She turned on him, her eyes sparking. "She's my master, Obi-Wan. Don't tell me you wouldn't go after them it if was your master!"

    "Of course I would, but I trust Master Qui-Gon and besides," he turned toward the woods worriedly, "we don't have much of a choice now."

    A renewed noise was heard from the forest and she turned with him to find more of the wild tribesmen running toward them, eyes blazing and weapons brandished.

    "Did Qui-Gon know about this?" Siri spat as she ignited her lightsaber and stood defensively against the attackers.

    "I don't think so. He was sensing something, but I don't think this was it."

    Obi-Wan stood with Siri, as their blue and violet lightsabers stood out against the darkness surrounding them.

    The men paused a moment, staring at the strange Jedi weapons, then with a cry they attacked.

    Obi-Wan and Siri stood back to back in a symphony of light and dance, they were driving their attackers back when suddenly something exploded in a cloud of smoke at their feet.

    Siri stopped with a cry, her lightsaber falling to the ground. She gasped and felt herself losing consciousness. At the last moment she felt Obi-Wan put his arm around her and then both crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 22, 2012
  5. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 5 Terror In The Night

    Voices. Far away and foreign, drifting in and out of dark unconsciousness. A rhythmic thumping that went straight to her head with every beat. Jostling, a feeling of floating, an almost sickening sensation of motion.

    Siri opened her eyes.

    She was upside down it seemed, looking at the ground. Panic gripped her for a moment, then she realized with new horror that she had been thrown over someone's shoulder like a bag of grain and was being carried in the dark to who knew where? The thumping was the vibrating sound of the tribesmen feet as they marched together in the forest, every stomp on the ground jarring her whole body. Half in panic, half in anger she began to struggle.

    "Let me go!" she demanded, beating against the back of the man who was carrying her. Suddenly a sharp swat landed on her backside and a gruff command in a language she didn't know stilled her. She raised her head and glanced around. She was surrounded by dozens of Tribesmen, all fierce and determined. Even as a Jedi, she knew she could't fight them all. She sank against the back of her captor, resigned.

    "Where is Obi-Wan?" she said to herself worriedly. She didn't know if he was captured also, or...worse. She shook her head. "No. He's not dead. He won't die here and neither will I."

    She knew this wasn't their destiny. But where was he? She reached out with her senses to find him.

    There. Somewhere behind them. She could feel him faintly, but she didn't know if he was also a captive or if he was trailing. She closed her eyes and concentrated on releasing her fears into the force. She couldn't lose hope. They would get out of this somehow. She was certain of that.

    After what seemed like hours, the tribesmen stopped and the man dropped her unceremoniously to the ground. She huffed angrily as she landed on her seat, and the men grunted laughter. She sneered at them.

    Soon one of them approached her and gave her some food. Since her hands were free, she reached out to take what looked to be a burnt piece of meat. She sniffed it and then gingerly tasted it. She wasn't hungry, but she knew she needed her strength, so she ate it. It was tough and took a bit of chewing, but the taste wasn't bad. After she swallowed the last bite, the man offered her a drink. The water tasted bitter, but she drank it gratefully.

    Afterward he crouched before her and she stared back at him warily. He grinned at her, his mouth a dentists nightmare of missing and rotting teeth and his dark eyes roaming her body hungrily. He mumbled something Siri couldn't understand, then he pointed to himself, nodding eagerly. He then pointed to her and then to himself, nodding again, eyes pleading and eager.

    Horrified, Siri backed away from him and reached for her robe to wrap it more tightly around herself. Instead her fingers grasped air and she quickly searched around herself, wondering what could have happened to her robe. She soon realized it had been lost somewhere in the woods after she had been taken. She then crossed her arms over her body against the man's continued oogling and felt with her fingers for her lightsaber.

    "Drat!" she cursed to herself. She didn't have her lightsaber either. She then remembered dropping it when she had passed out. She could only hope that Obi-Wan was able to find it.

    The tribesman leaned in toward her, and alarmed she leaned away from him. His hand reached to her and she flinched, feeling a sudden wave of disgust roll over her. He grabbed her head to hold her still and she closed her eyes, not wanting to see what was about to happen, but he merely began stroking her blonde hair. She opened her eyes again to find him now looking at her with admiration and she felt as though she were a prized pet being admired by her owner.

    Suddenly the man who had been carrying her pushed him away and barked angry words at him.

    What transpired next was a violent argument in a language she had never heard and then punches were being thrown. The other men gathered around the fight, cheering and yelling.

    She realized they were fighting over her, but she didn't care to stay and see who the victor was. She began to slowly scoot on the ground toward the woods. She watched the men carefully as they became more involved with the fight and paid less attention to their captive.

    She was close to the woods and was preparing to spring away when she felt something behind her. Determined to get away, she spun around, her hands raised, ready to defend herself when Obi-Wan grabbed her arm and put his finger to his lips motioning her to silence.

    She was never so happy to see anyone in her life.

    Silently, Obi-Wan pulled her by the hand and they ran as fast as they could away from the tribesmen. Only after they were deep into the woods far away from them did they hear their angry cries ring through the forest. Their fight had apparently ended and they just realized that they had lost their prisoner.

    They heard the stampede of feet and blaster fire as the men ran shouting into the woods, trying to find where their blonde prize had disappeared.

    Obi-Wan and Siri kept running deeper into the woods using the force to sense a broken root sticking up or a wild animal. Leafy twigs and sticky things caught in their hair. Siri could only imagine what those were. She really didn't want to know.

    Obi-Wan suddenly stopped as a huge fur covered creature advanced from between two large trees. Siri's heart caught in her throat. The beast was gigantic; easily several feet taller than Master Qui-Gon. It stood on hind legs and had 4 huge hairy arms with large deadly claws coming out of the ends. The thing roared, its massive, razor sharp teeth gleaming in what little moonlight showed through the trees.

    Obi-Wan and Siri stood frozen. She then sensed Obi-Wan reach out to the beast with the force. After a few heartstopping minutes, the beast closed its mouth and shook its head. It slowly backed away from them then dropped onto its six huge paws, turned and passed them by, paying them little attention. The two waited till the creature was out of sight then Obi-Wan squeezed Siri's hand and together they put as much distance between themselves and the beast as they could.

    After several long minutes of running for their lives they clung to each other and pushed each other onward, feeling that they couldn't go another moment. Their clothes and hair were damp from the cool night air and the terrors behind them. They suddenly heard the distant sound of the beast's roar and the terrified screams of the men. They stopped and stared at each other a moment not able to speak as they gasped for air. The forest suddenly grew quiet.

    Obi-Wan bent over, his hands resting on his knees as he took deep gulps of air. Siri leaned against him and gasped in almost painful heaves, trying to tame her pounding heart.

    Finally Obi-Wan stood up and looked around. They were in a clearing, and the sounds of pursuit were no more. The village men, those who had escaped the beast, had apparently given up for the night.

    Obi-Wan and Siri stood for a long time listening to the force and to the forest. Finally convinced that the danger was now passed, they quickly gathered a mound of leaves and brush then collapsed together on their soft, leafy bed. The crescent moon shone overhead giving very little light in the clearing, but Siri could make out Obi-Wan in the dim light. Lying on his back looking up into the trees, his chest rose and fell with ever increasing control. His face was drenched in a sheen of sweat, his mouth slightly parted as he continued to recover from their night run. As she gazed at him she became aware that his eyes had shifted and he was now studying her under half closed lids.

    She reached out and took his hand. He squeezed her hand lightly and gave her a small, reassuring smile.

    Her thoughts then turned to the dangers they had just passed through; the tribesmen, the beast, even the forest itself and not knowing where their masters were or if they were all right.

    She may be a Jedi and able to go do many remarkable things, but she was still human with human emotions.

    As impossible as it seemed to Siri and as much as she tried to fight it, telling her self to stop it, to get a hold of herself, she finally gave in to her emotions. Whether from terror, exhaustion or worry she didn't know, but in a moment of unwelcome weakness she suddenly leaned in against Obi-Wan, buried her head against him and quite unreasonably wept.

    To her surprise her actions brought no rebuke for her lack of Jedi control but instead his arms went around her and he held her, rubbing her back and soothing her. The dark forest was silent except for the soft sounds of Siri's weeping, the occasional rustle, chirps and croaks of unseen nocturnal creatures and the far away call of a lonely bird.

    The soft night air felt cooler and Siri shivered, wishing for her robe. At the same moment, Obi-Wan shifted his weight and shook himself out of his with a sheepish apology. He covered them both in the robe and she snuggled against him, her head on his shoulder and her body pressed next to his. He gently wrapped his arms around her. She felt utterly safe with him. His strength comforted her and she was warmed not only by the nearness of him but also by his care for her.

    Her silly emotional display now spent, they lay together and enjoyed the warmth of each other, listening to the silence all around them. After awhile she started to ask him how he escaped, but his soft steady breathing told her he had fallen to sleep. She closed her eyes, feeling his chest as it now rose and fell with the steady rhythm of slumber and soon she had also succumbed, oblivious to the curious forest creatures who approached and sniffed at these strange beings who had invaded their home.
    ***************************************************

    Qui-Gon Jinn followed the men almost to their village. They didn't seem to be harming Adi, but he wanted to rescue her before they could.

    They pulled her to the center of the village then offered her some food and drink. Qui-Gon watched silently, looking for an opportunity to break into the group without risking Adi's life.

    Soon a tall man with a wood ring fixed around his head stepped out of one of the houses. He stepped toward the men who bowed to him.

    The chief looked Adi up and down then gruffly spoke to her in their language. Adi stood proudly and said, "I do not understand. Do you speak Basic?"

    The Chief scowled darkly at her then glanced at the man who had brought Adi forward and spoke a command. Qui-Gon did not understand what he was saying except for the words "common language" and a name that sounded like "Gomar".

    One of the tribesman from the crowd of men stepped forward, bowed and spoke to his chief in Basic.

    "We have brought this woman, Lord. She will make a good wife, no?"

    "Hmph." The man turned back to Adi and looked at her closely, examining her headdress. He grabbed her shoulders and force her to her feet then turned her around, looking her up and down. Then he made her face him and forced her back to her knees.

    "What tribe are you from, Woman?" he asked gruffly, staring haughtily down at her.

    Adi's anger was palpable to Qui-Gon, but he admired her ability to control it in front of the Chief.

    "My name is Adi Gallia, I am a Jedi Master from Coruscant. I demand that you release me immediately!"

    The Chief stepped back and glared at her. He raised his hand threateningly and Qui-Gon braced himself to jump in and help her. The Chief apparently changed his mind and lowered his hand again as he seemed to consider the authoritative nature of Adi's words.

    "What is this Jedi Tribe that they allow a mere woman to be a master?" scoffed the chief.

    "Mere woman?"

    Qui-Gon could see Adi fighting to remain calm. She was usually not easily ruffled, but being captured and carried for so long in the middle of the night was apparently taking it's toll on her. Although she did retain control of her emotions, Qui-Gon thought it was time to step in.

    "Perhaps I can help." Qui-Gon spoke out and stepped out of his hiding place in the woods. The men snarled and started to attack him, but was stopped by a command from their Chief. They parted to let him through.

    Qui-Gon bowed to the Chief. "I am Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi Master. I am a companion of Master Adi Gallia." He appraised the Chief curiously. "May I ask, where did you learn the "Common Language?"

    The Chief stared silently at Qui-Gon as though trying to decide if he would answer him. Finally he spoke.

    "I am Talon, Chief of the Pellan tribe. I learned Basic when Gomar came back from the city after living there for a year. He taught me, and most of our warriors."

    He gestured toward Adi. "Is she your woman?"

    "My...?" Qui-Gon swallowed his surprise. "No! She is a free woman, a Jedi Master and a respected member of our Jedi High Council."

    "Then perhaps she would make a fitting wife for the Chieftain; a Queen to rule with him!" suggested the one called Gomar.

    "No!" Adi said sharply, rising up with authority. The chief glared at her in surprise and raised his hand to put her back in her place, but Qui-Gon stepped forward and putting his arm out stayed his hand. The two men stared at each other for a moment. The chief finally lowered his hand and backed away, but his eyes spoke of merely tolerating the Jedi for the moment. Qui-Gon knew they had best be careful. He moved and stood next to Adi. Her lightsaber was in her hand and her chin was raised defiantly. She glanced up at Qui-Gon and stilled her emotions again.

    She looked at the Chief and softened her manner diplomatically. "As inticing as that sounds, I'm afraid I cannot. I am a Jedi, and we do not marry! We are peacekeepers. We serve the galaxy."

    Among the astonished murmuring of the men, Qui-Gon interjected. "Perhaps we can be of help though. Tell us why you are kidnapping women to be wives."

    Before Talon could answer, they heard a rustle of noise from the nearby woods. Several bedraggled, exhausted men staggered into the village, a look of defeat on their faces.

    "Storg! You were supposed to bring the young maiden. Where is she?"

    The man called Storg staggered to the chief and fell to his knees.

    "Forgive me, my Lord, but she got away. We gave chase, but the young man helped her. They ran like graceful Bondos through the woods; we were unable to capture them."

    "Obi-Wan! Siri!" exclaimed Qui-Gon, exchanging a worried look with Adi. "Where are they now?"

    "They are somewhere deep in the woods, if they survived. A great Boonte beast came after us, it surely went after them also."

    "We need to get to them!" Qui-Gon said urgently to the Chief.

    The chief had shifted his stance and had softened his hostile demeanor. He spoke with curiosity to Qui-Gon.

    "You said you would help us. We were attacked four months ago by a far away tribe. All of our women and girls of marrying age were taken, many men killed. The neighboring tribes would not give us new women, so we have been taking them."

    "So that is why you have been attacking the tribes." Adi said thoughtfully. She looked around the village. "Where are the women you've captured?"

    "Those we have managed to capture are sleeping in one of the houses. They know not to come out unless called upon," the Chief replied, his attention focused on Qui-Gon even though Adi had been to one to speak.

    "Could you not have appealed to the planet leaders?" Qui-Gon asked him. "Your man spent a year in the city. Surely you could..."

    The Chief's eyes sparked angrily at the mention of the planet leaders. He raised himself up haughtily once again, his head held high. "Tribal matters are of no concern to the city dwellers. I did ask them for help, but they refused. So our attacks intensified and apparently they called you Outworlders to help." The Chief spat the words in disgust.

    One of the men cursed in his native tongue and the Chief smirked in agreement. He translated to the Jedi:

    "They are worse than women and criers like babes for their mam."

    One of the tribesmen shouted, "We have no need of them, or of you! We will get what we want."

    The men bristled as one and seemed ready to charge the Jedi. Qui-Gon and Adi held their lightsabers defensively, but the Chief waved his arms and barked a command in their native tongue. The men backed down bitterly, mumbling to themselves as they glared at the Jedi.

    Qui-Gon strode up to the Chief. "I agree. They should have handled this themselves, but since we are here and now our young ones are lost in the woods, if you will agree to help us find them maybe we can help you with your problem."

    "Qui-Gon!"

    He turned to face Adi, whose brows were furrowed in concern. "You can't promise this. We are talking about people with free wills. I cannot condone the taking of girls against their will in order to marry men they know nothing about! It's barbaric."

    "No more so than their women being taken," Qui-Gon argued. "But I agree and I have no intention of letting them "take" women, but perhaps another arrangement can be worked out."

    Chief Talon, his eyes wide in astonishment as they darted between Qui-Gon and Adi, said, "Your ways are very strange. That you could talk and reason with a woman as though with another man, and this woman could be a leader in your tribe."

    "Are there not free women in the city?" Qui-Gon asked.

    The Chief looked at Gomar.

    "A few, but I paid them little mind," Gomar said, bowing to his Chief. "They were of no concern to me."

    The chief nodded in approval at his tribesman.

    Talon stood thoughtfully, then seemed to make a decision. He turned to Qui-Gon.

    "If you can help us, we will help you."

    Qui-Gon nodded and the two men bowed in agreement.

    "Come!" Shouted the Chief to his men. "Light is almost upon us! We will help the strangers find their young ones. Their women are off limits; they belong to the Jedi Tribe. This Jedi has promised us wives if we will help them."

    The men cheered and rallied themselves at first light to march back into the forest to search for the two Padawans.

    Qui-Gon glanced at Adi's raised eyebrows and shrugged. That was not what he promised, but they couldn't worry about that now.

    They had to find Obi-Wan and Siri and he prayed they were all right.

    tbc
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 22, 2012
  6. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 6: We Will Do What We Must

    A clammy, cold dampness invaded Siri's sleep. As she woke up, the early morning chill assaulted her face, making her nose tickle. With her hand she rubbed her nose furiously, then sneezed twice. Turning her head around, she glanced quickly back at Obi-Wan. He was lying on his side facing her, his left arm bent under his head as a makeshift pillow and his right hand resting on the ground in front of him. He was still sleeping. Using the sleeve of her already damp tunic, she rubbed her face as best as she could, cleaning off most of the moisture.

    "There, that feels a little better," she thought to herself.

    She also was on her side, her back to Obi-Wan. She ducked her head deeper into the robe, retreating from the cold and relishing the feel of the warm body pressed next to her. The ground also had a dampness to it, but with the robe tucked tightly around her and Obi-Wan so close, she felt warm enough. She didn't want to move from her cozy cocoon. Obi-Wan shifted slightly in his sleep and his right arm slid around her waist and pulled her closer. She thought for a surprised moment he might have woken up, but shortly realized he was still sleeping and unaware of how intimate their position was.

    With a sigh she settled in and was trying to sleep again when she became aware of rustling movements and soft munching. She froze as her eyes slowly opened. She stretched her head slightly and peeked around Obi-Wan's arm to see what new menace threatened.

    The morning sunlight peeked frostily through the trees sparkling with diamond droplets. She blinked sleepily toward the soft noise she had heard, then breathed a sigh of relief. Not far from where she and Obi-Wan lay were three large docile beasts; nothing like the frightening creature of the night before. These were four footed beasts with reddish brown coats. Their huge antlers made them look almost lopsided, as though they might topple over. They contentedly stripped the leaves and bark off of the trees and chewed slowly, their teeth lazily grinding the hardness of the bark into mulch before they swallowed. They turned at her slight movement and gazed at her, their large mellow brown eyes staring disinterestedly, then with soft snorts that hung in cloudy puffs in the air, they turned again to the more interesting breakfast in front of them and moved on to another tree.

    She watched them for a little while, taking comfort in their gentle grazing with no fear evident in them. She then turned her attention back to Obi-Wan.

    She shifted her body, slowly turning so as not to disturb him and soon she was on her back, gazing into his face. His features were relaxed, his brow at ease as long eyelashes rested against his cheeks. She resisted the sudden urge to run her fingers along shapely lips and a chin with an almost irresistible cleft.

    She pulled away from him slightly. Something inside her fluttered and she was suddenly disturbed by feelings she suspected had always been there but was now waking up inside of her. She knew she had always cared for him and she knew the code about attachments, but something more was happening here. She wondered if this was what the visions had hinted at so many years ago..this growing feeling inside her, this warmth and fondness for Obi-Wan that she was sure would be against the code if she examined it more closely. This had little to do with hormones, she knew, despite her admiration of his features. This was something deeper, more solid. She knew she would always feel this way about him.

    She pondered these strange, new feelings and planned to talk to her master about them. She turned her head away from him and gazed again at the gentle beasts as they sauntered further into the forest. She relaxed again and may have even dozed off when she felt him stir. Fully awake again, she turned her head toward him as with a yawn he blinked sleepily awake. At the sight of beautiful sapphire eyes the nervous flutter returned. She couldn't take her eyes off of him. He was gazing at her with something she had never seen before but which seemed strangely familiar. She hardly dared to breathe; she was sure he could hear the pounding of her heart. Her mind swirled at the absurdity of it all.

    Here they were lost in a strange forest, not knowing where their masters were or if they were all right, but somehow she knew all was well. She would not be anywhere else at the moment.

    As Obi-Wan continued his silent gaze, she knew he was experiencing the same feelings as she. His eyes grew softer, gentler and was full of that naggingly familiar something.

    Then it hit her.

    This was the look his older self had gazed at her with in her long ago vision, but then the look was mixed with grief. Now, this same look was mixed with curiosity and wonder. This was the look of love.

    He blinked, then sensuous lips broke into a shy grin. His arm which had still been around her now moved slowly up to caress her cheek. He then slowly, hesitantly leaned toward her and gently, almost fearfully touched her lips with his.

    The feelings which till now had fluttered mainly in her belly now shot through her, making her feet tingle and her head spin. She gasped as his lips brushed against her cheek then found her mouth again. He hadn't truly kissed her yet, only brushed her mouth with his, his lips slightly parted.

    She wanted him to kiss her fully, but was too overcome to speak. Instead her arms reached around him and she grasped his head. As she did so, her earlier thought came back to her, that his had little to do with hormones.

    "Yeah, keep telling yourself that," she thought to herself as she pulled him down to her and grabbed his lips with hers. Their kiss was intense and emotional as each explored the other's mouth. Neither wanted it to end, but finally, gasping, they pulled away from each other. Obi-Wan looked at her, his intensely blue eyes wide with a strange mixture of confusion and desire. She could feel his heart pounding with hers, and the force entwined around them. They felt a deep connection form between them and the seeming approval of the force was surprising. This revelation made Obi-Wan's eyes open even wider and Siri wondered at what was happening. They gazed at each other for a few more minutes, still panting, then Obi-Wan sighed and leaned his head against her shoulder.

    After several moments, he finally spoke.

    "This feels like an attachment," he mumbled into her shoulder.

    "Yes." Siri's voice was barely above a whisper.

    "Attachments are forbidden."

    "Yes." She grasped the back of his head with her fingers, not wanting to hear the obvious conclusion, but knowing she had to.

    "We are Jedi, we can't do this."

    "I know." She let go of him, then lightly stroked his hair.

    Obi-Wan finally looked up into her face, his eyes so blue only moments ago now almost gray, a mixture of love, despair and confusion swirling in them.

    "Then why does this feel right? Why do I sense the force's approval?"

    Siri thought about Yoda's words from years ago. She said, "Much we know about the force, but everything we do not know. Yoda said that to me one time."

    "What are we to do then? I can't deny the feelings I have for you, nor can I deny the connection I feel with you."

    "I can't deny my feelings for you either, Obi-Wan. What we will do is be the best Jedi we can be. Continue to do what we need to do." Siri was never more sure of anything in her life, although it broke her heart to speak it at the moment. It meant that this moment was passing, that it was too soon. For what she wasn't sure. This was something the force was doing and she knew it had something to do with her visions. Someday the time would come and then she would know.

    He was now gazing at her steadily. She fought back tears and smiled softly, stroking his face with her hand. She noticed the light, soft stubble on his chin and ran her fingers over it. He took her hand and kissed it softly.

    "Can we be Jedi, knowing and feeling what we do?" he asked, his eyes moist and troubled.

    "Yes," Siri nodded adamantly. "I believe the force has connected us for a reason which will be made known later. For now, we will do what we must. And we must be Jedi."

    Obi-Wan nodded. He shook himself and sat up and Siri sat up with him. He was quiet for awhile, meditating lightly. She could feel him sending his feelings into the force. He finally opened his eyes and nodded again.

    "You're right." He grinned at her hopefully. "To be with you as a Jedi is enough...I think."

    "Yes. For now," she whispered softly. She wasn't sure Obi-Wan heard her, but he suddenly stood up and stretched, then smiled at her.

    "Well, then lets make a fire and get warm, and eat something..." Obi-Wan suddenly stopped, listening.

    "It's Master. He's trying to find me." Obi-Wan stood still for a moment longer, then looked at Siri and smiled.

    "I sent him a message that we are all right and somewhere in the woods. He's using our bond to find us. Master Adi is with him. He said to wait here."

    Siri nodded, relief lighting her face. "I know. I felt Master Adi too. She's safe."

    Happily, Siri jumped up and helped Obi-Wan gather sticks and kindling.

    A small fire was soon blazing, warming them against the chill still in the air. They ate protein bars Obi-Wan had in his robe and drank some water from his canteen.

    "By the way, besides my robe I'm also missing my lightsaber," Siri said worriedly. "I was knocked out and likely dropped it close to where we were fighting them. We did so much running in the dark, I don't... "

    "Oh, yeah!" Obi-Wan stood and reached under his robe.

    "Your lightsaber, milady," he announced, unclipping it from his waist and handing it to her.

    "You found it? Why didn't you give it to me before?" Siri enjoyed the feel and weight of her lightsaber in her hand once more, and then clipped it to her belt.

    "Well, we were a little occupied before and then when we were finally able to stop, we were exhausted. I didn't think about it till just now when you mentioned it. Anyway, I found it when I came to and went after you. It was on the ground near me."

    "Then they didn't take you?"

    "No, they left me lying there," Obi-Wan said, shaking his head. "It was strange, but they didn't even tie me up, nor did they know to take our lightsabers. They must not know much about us, and apparently it's only the women they were after."

    Siri shuddered. "I think I know for what purpose. Those two men were fighting over me when you found me."

    Obi-Wan nodded, smiling. "I'm glad they were. It gave us our chance to get away." He then looked at her soberly and said, "I was so worried about you. I didn't know what they would do, but I could imagine. I couldn't bear it if anything had..." he hesitated, his eyes clouded for a moment.

    "And nothing did," Siri said, taking his hand. "Thanks to you."

    His face brightened and he nodded at her. The sun was shining through the clearing now, the dew was drying and it was getting warmer. Obi-Wan kicked out the fire.

    They then settled themselves to meditate. They could hear the rustling and chirping of various woodland animals around them. The sun was higher and warmer and a soft wind blew, rustling their hair. Siri brushed her hand over her hair and pulled off dried mossy looking stuff. She looked at Obi-Wan, and he had it on him also. Funny she hadn't noticed it before. It was all over their clothing also. She had other things on her mind, she decided. Smiling, she reached over and brushed the strange stuff off of him also and he grinned at her.

    They had just settled back down when both of them felt a warning and stood in alarm, looking toward the woods.

    TBC
  7. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 7 Of Rescue and Women

    Voices could be heard in the woods; a mixture of basic and the Pellan language they had heard before. Obi-Wan and Siri glanced at each other, concerned. Although the force wasn't necessarily warning them of danger, they were alert and apprehensive of the oncoming rush. They stood defensively with their lightsabers ready, but not ignited. Obi-Wan moved in front of Siri protectively as the tribesmen from the night before suddenly rushed into the clearing where they stood.

    Siri was both annoyed and touched, but before she could react the tribesmen had them surrounded.

    There were about thirty of them, but instead of attacking, they shouted "They're here! We found them!" They seemed to be waiting for something. Obi-Wan drew Siri close to him and put a hand protectively on her back. He brandished his lightsaber in front of them.

    "See how he protects his woman!" exclaimed one of the men.

    Siri glanced wide eyed at Obi-Wan, whose expression had changed from wariness to surprise and embarrassment.

    At that moment, Qui-Gon and Adi broke through the crowd.

    "Master!" both Padawans said at once.

    "I've spoken to their Chief," said Qui-Gon, indicating the villagers. "We have an agreement. They won't attack us now."

    The Padawans grinned in relief and ran to their masters. Siri reached Adi and threw her arms around her.

    "I'm so glad you're all right, Master!" Siri said.

    "I am as well. And you?" Adi looked her over with concern. "I know they took you also. Are you all right?"

    "I'm fine. They started fighting over me, and I escaped. Obi-Wan found me and we ran into the woods to get away from them."

    Adi gazed at her intently then glanced at Obi-Wan, then again at Siri. "And...? Anything else you want to tell me?"

    Siri blushed. "Can we talk later, Master?"

    Adi nodded. "Of course."

    Siri whispered, "How...?"

    "I sensed intense emotions from you this morning, Padawan."

    "Did Master Qui-Gon sense anything from Obi-Wan?"

    "If he did, he didn't say."

    Siri nodded, then they walked together toward the men.

    They approached Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, who had greeted each other with claps on the shoulder. Qui-Gon pulled on Obi-Wan's braid and said something Siri couldn't hear, but she saw Obi-Wan's grin in return. As the women stopped to stand with the men, the Chief approached Qui-Gon and said,

    "We have found your young ones. Now you must keep your promise."

    "Yeah, take us to our wives!" shouted one of the men in the crowd. Siri and Obi-Wan exchanged puzzled looks.

    "Wives?" Obi-Wan said to Qui-Gon. "Master, what are they talking about?"

    "We made a deal with the Pellan tribe. They helped us find you, now we must help them find wives!"

    If the situation hadn't suddenly become so serious, Siri might have laughed at how ludicrous that sounded.

    "Master, how can we find wives for these men?" Siri asked.

    "I don't know. Qui-Gon got us into this, I'm interested in seeing how he figures this one out," she replied. Siri sensed Adi had not been in agreement with Master Qui-Gon on this, and she couldn't blame her. She had never heard anything so ridiculous.

    "We don't know anything about finding mates for people," Siri protested. "What was he thinking?"

    Adi shook her head, but did not speak. She was focused on Qui-Gon, waiting for him to speak. Siri glanced at Obi-Wan, who looked as puzzled as she felt.

    Qui-Gon was in a short but intense discussion with Chief Talon, and then the Chief took a step back, his face one of reluctant acquiescence. He spoke to his people.

    "We will go back to the village, where Master Jinn will use our communications system. We will convene a meeting after evening meal to discuss this."

    The men mumbled and looked suspiciously at Qui-Gon and the Jedi, but they were peaceful as they escorted the Jedi back to the village.

    The man who had approached Siri the night before with the food sidled near and reached out to touch her. Obi-Wan saw this and moved in between them, preventing the tribesman's action. Disgruntled he backed away and scowled at Obi-Wan. Undaunted, Obi-Wan put an arm protectively around Siri and gave the man a look that could be understood in any language. The man backed further away and melted into the crowd of men.

    Qui-Gon glanced over and saw what Obi-Wan had done. His look was one of curiosity, but he didn't say anything. Siri hoped Obi-Wan wouldn't be in trouble later, but she was glad he had stepped in.

    Along the way, Qui-Gon had been talking quietly with Chief Talon. The chief then motioned for the group to turn deeper into the woods, apparently away from their destination. Siri wondered what was going on.

    An hour later her curiosity was answered when they came to the clearing where the four Jedi had been camping the night before. Qui-Gon waved Obi-Wan, Adi and Siri forward and the four of them quickly gathered their sleep rolls and travel bags that had been left in the ruckus of the night before. They had been miraculously undisturbed although they had an earthy smell to them.

    The travel bags now slung over each shoulder, the Jedi rejoined the waiting tribesmen and their journey to the village continued.

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

    Several hours later they arrived at the village. Siri saw rows of small houses dotted in a rough square. One long house stood at one end, which she took to be for meals and meetings. At the other end was another house slightly shorter than the long house.

    In the center was a pit for fire, a well, and other tools used in the village, but what was missing were women. She noticed a few children standing shyly in the shadows of one of the larger houses. Suddenly two fearful women darted out and pulled them in. They glanced worriedly at the Jedi, then shut the door.

    "Who are they?" Siri whispered to Adi, who had noticed them also. "I thought there were no women here."

    "They have captured a few women who stay together in a house. Perhaps that is where they are staying," Adi responded.

    They stopped at one of the houses at the end of the square. Chief Talon stood in front of it and said,"This house is unoccupied. You may stay here while you are in our village. Meet in the long house in three hours. We will have a meal, then we will talk."

    Qui-Gon bowed and said thank you and the Jedi stepped inside. Siri immediately noticed the dimly lit house was only one room sparsely furnished with one bed, a chair and a small table.

    "Where is the fresher?" she asked. All she had been able to think about as they neared the village was a hot bath.

    "There is no fresher here. There is a community house at the other end of the village for taking care of bodily needs," said Gomar, who had stepped in after the Jedi. "You may use it at any time you wish, Miss, as long as no men occupy it. The old women and little ones who were not taken often use it in the afternoon before cooking the evening meal."

    Siri glanced uncomfortably at Adi who patted her shoulder reassuringly.

    "I'll go with you, Siri. Don't worry." Then she turned to Gomar and bowed. "Thank you."

    He nodded to her slightly, then turned to Qui-Gon. "If you will follow me, Master Jinn, I will show you to our communications center."

    Obi-Wan asked, "Shall I come with you, Master?"

    "No, Obi-Wan, go with the women to the fresher house."

    "Master?" Obi-Wan exclaimed in alarm, his face turning a bright shade of pink.

    Amused, Qui-Gon smirked at Obi-Wan.

    "To wait outside for them. To watch and make sure no one disturbs them."

    Qui-Gon then turned to Adi's indignant stare. "And yes, Adi, I know you and Siri are perfectly able to take care of yourselves, but we are in a strange village with...er...desperate men. They promised they would not attack again, but we don't want to take any chances, do we?"

    After a moment Adi nodded, her face softening. "I guess you're right. And I guess I would feel better knowing Obi-Wan is standing guard for us."

    Siri nodded agreement, then glanced at Obi-Wan. The strange flutter she had felt that morning suddenly rose up in her again. She pushed it down and focused on her Master.

    Qui-Gon and Gomar headed for a small hut standing behind the Chief's house.

    Obi-Wan, Siri and Adi headed for the fresher house, the other long house Siri had seen when they entered the village.

    When they reached the fresher house, none of them could sense anyone inside, but to make sure Obi-Wan called inside to announce their arrival. Hearing no response, he gingerly opened the door and peeked inside. He hesitated a moment, then slipped inside. Siri and Adi waited silently.

    After a moment, Obi-Wan's head popped back out of the door and announced. "Looks like it's all clear. It also looks like someone has already laid out a bath of hot water for you." He glanced inside almost enviously, then stepped out and stood with the door open for Adi and Siri.

    "Enjoy!" he said, breaking into his most charming grin. Siri grinned back at him and they entered.

    The room was empty except for a stall for changing, another stall for relieving oneself, a shelf and a large bath tub in the center. The water was still steaming and there was a small fire in an earthen stove off to the side with another cauldron of water sitting on it. Siri wondered who had prepared the water for them, but was grateful for it.

    Siri was just entering the hot bath when the door creaked. Someone was entering!

    "So much for Obi-Wan's protection," Siri hissed as she ducked into the bath.

    "Hush. I don't sense danger." Adi said, turning toward the opening door.

    An elderly women hobbled into the room followed by a young girl. The girl carried a bucket of water which she added to the cauldron. She looked at Siri and smiled.

    Siri returned the girls smile. "Hello! My name is Siri."

    The girl nodded and pointed to herself. She spoke in their strange language and Siri wished she could understand. The girl looked to be about 11 years old, her dark hair was long and tangled and she wore only a simple tunic which wrapped around her thin body.

    The old woman grinned toothlessly at the surprised Jedi, who relaxed.

    She could not speak Basic, but she spoke to the girl in their language who ran to grab soap and other bathing supplies from the shelf in the corner. Siri and Adi then understood that the girl and old woman were there to help.

    Adi said to Siri, "It's too bad we can't communicate. This could have been an opportunity to ask them about the other women."

    Siri nodded, then relaxed into the tub, enjoying the hot water.

    The four Jedi approached the meal house at the appointed time.

    Siri felt so much better after bathing and putting on fresh Jedi clothes. She had hand washed her other clothes and they were now hanging outside their temporary home to dry. Adi had bathed also, and then Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon went to the fresher house while Siri and Adi shook out the bed rolls and hung them to air out. Then they rested.

    Qui-Gon had told them of his plan for the village men. Adi seemed a little dubious, but all hoped the men would agree with this as it seemed a logical, if perhaps a bit unconventional, solution for their problem.

    As the four approached the door to the meal house, they were stopped by a guard who brandished a spear. He gestured at the two women, shouting wildly. Adi and Siri backed up and looked questioningly at Qui-Gon.

    Chief Talon came to the door and backed away his guard. He turned to Qui-Gon.

    "Women are not allowed in the eating place until the men have departed. Then they and the children may eat."

    Adi opened her mouth indignantly but Qui-Gon shushed her. Her mouth snapped shut as she glared at Qui-Gon.

    "We understand, Chief. We do not wish to offend your people."

    He turned to Adi apologetically. "I'm sorry Adi, but we're getting ready to throw so many changes at them. Would you and Siri mind waiting?"

    Irritated, Adi sighed. She crossed her arms and glanced at Siri, who shrugged and nodded to her. Adi glared again at Qui-Gon, then finally nodded. "Of course, Qui-Gon," she finally said. "Come Siri, we'll meditate while the men have their meal and meeting." She turned and walked away, Siri following. She glanced back at Obi-Wan, who stood looking at her regretfully. He nodded to her with a slight smile then turned with his master and entered the house.

    As they walked back to their house, Adi sighed again. "I'm sorry, Siri. I'm not usually so easily rattled. This village has really tried my patience with their attitude about women."

    "I understand Master," Siri replied. "I've never seen this kind of treatment of women before, have you?"

    "Oh, I've heard it still exists in remote areas of the galaxy, but I never thought I'd encounter it myself."

    Siri glanced at her master teasingly. "I do understand how you feel, Master, but I must say I've seen a side of you I don't think I've ever seen before. I didn't think anything could get to you!"

    "Well, now you know my hidden secret. I'm not perfect." Adi laughed lightly. Then she looked at Siri curiously.

    "For now, let's meditate awhile and then we'll talk."

    Siri nodded. The way her master had said "talk" told her what the subject would be.

    As if in confirmation, the fluttering inside began again as her thoughts briefly turned to Obi-Wan. She threw her head back and shook herself, than crooked her arm with her Master as they approached the house. After retrieving the bedding and Siri's clothes, they went inside.

    A door that had been slightly ajar as the women passed slowly closed.

    It was late when Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan returned to the house. They brought with them some of the same kind of meat Siri had eaten the night before along with some roasted root vegetables and water. While they ate, Qui-Gon told them how the meeting went.

    "It started out peacefully enough," Qui-Gon said, "But it got a little heated when I told them my plan."

    "I'll say!" Siri interjected. "We could hear the yelling clear down here!"

    "Yes, they did get a little upset.."

    "A little upset!" Obi-Wan said, "I thought I was going to have to fight them all off to protect you, Master!"

    Qui-Gon grinned. "Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but it did take a while to calm them down so I could talk to them."

    Obi-Wan opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. Siri smiled. She could see Obi-Wan wanted to say more, but obviously thought better of it.

    Qui-Gon's plan was to bring the city leaders in along with the leaders of the five closest tribal villages to negotiate about the situation with the Pellan tribe. He wanted to set the captured women free and let them decide if they would return to their homes or stay if any one of them fancied one of the men. He also suggested that they negotiate with the other tribes to allow a series of meetings between the Pellan men and their neighboring tribal women and let the women and men make their own decisions about marriage.

    The Pellans were nearly up in arms over the idea of allowing women a choice in the matter. It took a bit of diplomatic persuasion to make them see the logic and benefits of this. Chief Talon and his men finally agreed to wait and talk with the city leaders and the other tribal leaders to see what they would say about it.

    Siri watched her master's face. She could see that Adi was not happy about the situation. She finally said to Qui-Gon, "I don't like this. The women are still being treated little better than chattel."

    "I know Adi, and I agree, but we can't expect these men to change overnight. However you have to agree that this is a step in the right direction, can't you?."

    Adi nodded. "I suppose so. I guess this is better than nothing. But remember the other tribes still need to agree to this."

    Siri watched her Master and Qui-Gon continue to discuss the situation. Then she glanced at Obi-Wan whose focus was on his Master. She thought about the conversation she had had with Adi shortly before the men returned to the house.

    She had told Adi everything that had happened that morning, and the strong connection she and Obi-Wan now shared. She also had told her of their decision not to act on their feelings, but to set them aside and continue their training as Jedi, knowing that that is what they were meant to be.

    Adi had commended Siri on their decision, and cautioned her not to worry about what had happened, but to know that the force would guide them.

    Siri had agreed, knowing that the force had been with them that morning. She decided to store what had happened away with her visions and to content herself with knowing that some day at the right time things would be made plain to her.

    "And so, it appears we will be here for quite awhile at least," Qui-Gon was saying as Siri's thoughts returned to the group.

    Siri suddenly noticed the single bed in the room. It was big enough for two. Two of them would have to sleep on the floor.

    Obi-Wan, seeing her glance, stood up. "Master, what are we going to do about sleeping arrangements?"

    "Well, I suppose Master Adi and Siri can take the bed..."

    "And why is that?" Adi's hands were on her hips as she faced Qui-Gon.

    "It just seems the right thing to do," Qui-Gon answered.

    "Why don't we draw lots?" Siri suggested.

    Obi-Wan's eyebrows shot up. "Draw lots? Master..?" he looked to Qui-Gon as Siri, annoyed, just stared at him.

    "Well why not?" Adi said, nodding toward Siri. "Siri and I are just as capable of sleeping on the floor as you men. We've done it many times."

    Siri nodded agreement. "Yes, and it's only fair."

    Qui-Gon thought a moment, then nodded. "You're right. Obi-Wan, go outside and pick three long sticks and one short stick. Whichever one of us picks the short stick is the team who will take the floor."

    With the agreement made Obi-Wan was soon back inside, hiding four stick in his hand, only showing the four ends evenly displayed. They were quickly chosen and Siri held the short stick.

    She and Adi pulled their bed rolls out and laid them out on the floor. They were soon lying down, ready to sleep. Obi-Wan looked unhappy and extremely uncomfortable as he laid down on the bed, while Qui-Gon seemed to take it all in stride.

    Goodnights were said and the lights went out. Siri laid awake, feeling the hardness of the floor beneath her.

    She heard Obi-Wan moving on the bed restlessly. She listened for a moment longer and heard him turn restlessly again with a slight grunt. When he finally became still, her thoughts returned to the night before when she had lain with Obi-Wan on a cold hard ground. She felt again the warmth of his body next to hers, and in a half sleep was feeling once again the soft, passionate touch of his lips on hers. The fluttering stirred inside her again, and she turned onto her side.

    Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Obi-Wan, who seemed to be muttering to himself. She heard the rustle of the blanket as he turned again on the bed and groaned softly.

    She stifled a giggle when she heard Master Qui-Gon's exasperated growl, "Obi-Wan, will you please lie still and go to sleep?"

    "I'm sorry Master, but I can't stand this!" Obi-Wan said a little too loudly.

    Adi stirred next to Siri and mumbled. "What's going on?"

    "Obi-Wan is restless, Master," Siri whispered to her as Obi-Wan sat up and relit the lamp on the table.

    "I'm sorry Master," he said again as Siri and Adi sat up, blinking at the sudden light. "I just can't sleep knowing that Master Adi and Siri have to sleep on the floor. I know they are fellow Jedi and that I shouldn't feel this way, but it just doesn't feel right."

    He turned to Adi who was looking at Obi-Wan with arms crossed and eyebrows raised.

    "Please Master Adi, couldn't Master Qui-Gon and I take the floor and let you two sleep here?" Obi-Wan was so earnest that Adi's stern look softened into amusement.

    "Oh, by all means!" she said with a flourish, tossing her bedroll covering aside. "Be it far from us to cause Obi-Wan to lose sleep because he can't let go of his chivalrous tendencies."

    Siri laughed as Obi-Wan ducked his head with a grin. She and Adi stood up and moved their bed rolls to allow the men to place theirs down.

    Qui-Gon lowered himself to the floor with a light growl, and shook his head at Obi-Wan as he turned to find a comfortable position.

    Obi-Wan turned to his master worriedly. "You're not mad at me are you, Master?"

    "No, Obi-Wan, I'm not mad," Qui-Gon said, tugging playfully on Obi-Wan's braid. "I was wondering how long you would be able to put up with that arrangement, knowing you as I do." He laughed quietly.

    Obi-Wan grinned. Qui-Gon then lay down and Obi-Wan followed suit, turning on his side facing the bed.

    Adi and Siri had climbed into the bed, which Siri decided was actually not that much better than where she had been. She laid on her side facing Obi-Wan on the floor. Adi had already fallen to sleep, and as Siri reached up to douse the lamp again, her eyes fell on Obi-Wan. He was lying quietly, not really smiling but gazing at her with eyes tender and full of love. She returned his soft gaze for a moment then sighed. She turned the light out and tried to push thoughts of Obi-Wan to the place where she kept her long ago visions, back into a deep corner of her mind to wait patiently for their appointed time.

    TBC
  8. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 8 Treaties & Choices

    The next morning, the four Jedi stood in front of their temporary home talking over the days planned activities. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan were going to help the tribe prepare the village for the coming dignitaries and tribal leaders. Adi and Siri would try to contact the women and see if they could help them, but they were to stay mainly out of sight.

    Siri, who had been listening to the discussion, glanced up and saw Obi-Wan looking at her. She stepped a little closer with a smile.

    "I guess you two will be busy with all the preparations you'll be doing," Siri said.

    Obi-Wan nodded. "I'm sorry you and Adi aren't allowed to help more. Really, if we were going strictly by the village rules, we shouldn't even be seen together out here."

    "Yeah, I find that interesting," Siri said. "They took these women to be wives, yet they are kept locked away unseen in a house. I wonder why?"

    "Oh, I think we'll know the answer to that before too long," Obi-Wan said.

    "Come along Obi-Wan, the men are waiting," Qui-Gon said as he turned to head toward the work area.

    "Yes, Master," Obi-Wan replied. He flashed Siri a grin and said, "Guess I'll see you tonight."

    Siri grinned back, then her eyes lit up in surprise as she felt a quick touch of the force from Obi-Wan. The connection they had flickered for a moment then was quickly gone. She smiled again at him as he turned and followed Qui-Gon. Siri turned to join her master when she noticed a shadow in a slightly open door. She stopped and then took a step toward it when the door quickly slammed shut. She looked at the door a moment, wondering if she should knock but thought better of it, at least for the moment. She ran to rejoin Adi.

    A little later, Siri and Adi had been meditating when they heard a timid knock on the door. Siri jumped up and opened it. The old woman who had been at the bath house stood grinning at them, beckoning them to follow her.

    Adi and Siri nodded and quickly joined her, closing the door behind them. The woman lead them to the same house where Siri had seen someone closing the door earlier. When the old woman opened the door, they stepped into a house with about 8 women and several dirty, hungry looking children. The children were of various ages, from about 2 years old to the little twelve year old girl who had helped them in the bath house. She looked to be one of the oldest and was helping to take care of the younger children.

    Two of the women were near the age of the old woman, the remaining six were younger. Most looked to be in their twenties but the youngest of the women looked only a few years older than Siri. She was pretty with dark hair and eyes. She approached the Jedi with a smile.

    "My name is Tamah. You can work with us!"

    Adi and Siri readily agreed, welcoming a chance to work and glad that they could communicate with at least one of the women.

    The next few days were busy. While the men readied themselves for the meetings, the women, unseen by the men during their busy work days, gathered food and prepared the meals, taking food to the meeting house close to mealtimes and leaving it there for the men. Then they fed the younger children and put them to bed, which were mainly thin pallets on the floor. After that they took turns cleaning the bath house and then bathing. They ate a little during the day, but mainly waited until after the men had left the meeting house to clean up after them and gather leftover food for themselves and the older children.

    Adi and Siri were appalled by these conditions, but said nothing as they worked with the women, hoping that Qui-Gon's plan would bring lasting change to the village.

    Siri became friends with Tamah during those days. Through Tamah, Siri learned that she had been taken two weeks ago from her village while picking fruit. The other younger women had been taken some weeks earlier from their homes.

    The older women and the children were who had been left behind when the village had been raided some months ago by a distant tribe. Several men had been killed and all the marriageable women, married or not, had been taken away.

    "Why didn't the Pellans go after their own wives and women when they were taken?" Siri wondered.

    "They did. They pursued them for weeks, but the tribe who took them was fierce and cruel. They came from far away, some think from the stars. When the men tried to overtake them, many were killed and in retaliation some of the women were found beheaded. The tribe came back broken and heartsick."

    At Siri's surprised look, Tamah added, "I realize this doesn't make a lot of sense, but you must understand that before the raid, the women could move around the village more freely. The married men loved their wives and they lived together in their houses with their children. It's true that the women don't have the same status as the men and are largely treated like property, that women are not given choices as far as mates and the married men seldom ate meals with their wives but were expected to join the men for meals while the women ate separately with the children, but this total isolation has only happened because of the raid and because of them taking women."

    "How do you know all this if you were just captured a couple weeks ago?" Siri asked.

    Tamah blushed, but didn't answer.

    "I'm sorry, that was rude of me.."

    "No, it's ok," Tamah said, her voice low. "I have been talking to someone."

    She then went on to tell Siri that when Chief Talon came up with the idea of finding new wives for the men, he had declared that no tribesman could choose a wife from the captured women until they had enough women for all who wanted a wife. He feared that their hearts would no longer be with their brothers in helping them find and capture women if some of them took a wife too soon.

    They were to be all kept in the house till the time came to be brought out and chosen, partly for their protection and partly to hide them.

    Tamah grew sad when she told Siri this, and Siri's heart went out to her. When she asked her what was wrong, Tamah hesitated. Then she whispered,

    "The older men will get to choose first. Two of them want me." She shuddered, close to tears. Siri nodded, remembering all to well the feeling of having a man much too old for her ogling her and wanting to touch her.

    "I'm afraid I will never be with my true love," Tamah whispered solemnly.

    Siri was surprised. "Is he at home in your village?"

    Tamah shook her head. "Oh no, he is here. He is the youngest of the tribesmen." Her eyes sparkled with thoughts of him. "Our tribes are close, and we played together as children. That's another reason I know so much about what the tribe was like before the raid. Mika and I have loved each other for a long time. He taught me the language of the stars, learned from his father. He wants to take me to the city to begin a new life when we are are able to be together... if we are able to be together," she finished softly.

    Siri was happy at the thought of Tamah possibly leaving this oppressive lifestyle. Then something occurred to her. "So he's the one you've been talking to. When have you two been able to talk? Is he Gomar's son?"

    Tamah nodded vigorously. "Yes! He is so handsome, and our love is real. He comes sometimes late at night and we talk outside the back door. We have to be careful, if we're caught, he could be whipped and I...I...killed." Her face fell again, then after a moment she continued.

    "Being the youngest, he will have last pick of the women." Her eyes grew lost and lonely as she gazed at Siri.

    "You know what it feels like, don't you?"

    Siri shook her head, puzzled. "I don't know what you mean."

    "Yes you do. I watched you from the door. You and that boy with the strange tail on his head. You look at each other with love."

    Siri blushed and glanced at Adi, who was busy helping the older women prepare the food. She hadn't realized they were that obvious.

    "I...I...we're Jedi...we're not supposed to love.."

    Tamah nodded. "I know. I heard Master Adi say that to the Chief the night she was captured. We were awed by her bravery in talking to the Chief the way she did." Tamah paused, then continued.

    "So you know what it is like to love and not be able to embrace it, don't you?"

    Shaken, Siri swallowed. "I..I guess I do..," she whispered.

    Tamah nodded. "I have hope now. You are here. You and Adi and your men. You're here to help. Maybe.." hope flushed her face a moment when an older voice sharply spoke to her.

    Tamah stood. "Come on, we have to help take the food to the meeting place. We have to be back before the men come in."

    After the food had been laid out on the table in the meeting place, Adi and Siri bade the other women good night and went to their house to talk and wait for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.

    "Our men," Siri snickered to herself.

    The village soon grew crowded with the visiting tribes and the city leaders. Fierce tribal men strode through the village, some angry and demanding to see their women. Qui-Gon convinced them to wait until the meetings, assuring them that their women were well taken care of. Overdressed city leaders strode though the village, eyes darting everywhere, not missing any detail.

    The meetings began in the meeting house after morning meal and continued until late at night, and lasted for several days. In the evenings, the women slipped in the back way unnoticed, quietly leaving food on a back table behind a partition that had been put up for the meals. They then slipped back out again, unseen and unnoticed by men too caught up in their arguments to know that anyone had been there. The women remained silent in the house and tried to keep the children quiet as they strained to hear even a brief sentence of what was being discussed.

    Two weeks later, after many loud meetings with angry shouts and Qui-Gon's calm, authoritative voice sounding in the middle, an agreement was finally hammered out.

    The tribal leaders finally agreed to Qui-Gon's plan; to let their women meet with the men of the Pellan tribe and make their own decision. It was a landmark decision for the tribes, and the city leaders promised to oversee them, and leave behind teachers and negotiators to help. They promised protection for the tribes against any further attacks by strange far away invaders, also promising to train and equip the tribesmen with modern weapons. They then threatened swift retribution against any tribe that went back on it's word and attacked anyone, or refused any couple who wanted to be married.

    At last the evening came when the women were called to meet with the men. They stood nervously in the center of a circle of all the men, Siri and Adi stood to the side with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.

    A few of the women gasped tearfully at the sight of their loved ones, but remained still as Chief Talon spoke.

    "According to our agreement in the Pellan tribal meetings, we will release these women to you, their families, on the condition that we be allowed to meet with your women in a more...," he glanced sideways at Qui-Gon and the city leaders, who nodded encouragingly to him. "In a more civilized manner."

    He faced the women in the circle. "You have been given a privilege, you women. Master Qui-Gon has convinced us that it is in our best interest to allow you free choice of your mate. We will see if he is right, but for now and according to our treaty, let it be so. You may choose to go to your families, or you may choose one of us. Choose now, you women."

    There was a slight growl in his voice, but he was a man of his word and like it or not, he would not stop what was happening.

    Four of the women ran to their families, crying as they fell into the arms of their husbands or other family members. Two of them hesitated. One of the women walked slowly to one of the Pellan tribesman and took his hand. He smiled widely and nodded. Her family stood surprised, but silent.

    Then Siri held her breath, watching Tamah.

    She stood facing her father. She went to him and bowed, then spoke to him in their language. His face took on an astonished look, almost becoming angry. Then he softened and dropped his hands and nodded. Tamah smiled and ran to him, hugging him tightly. Then she turned and ran to Mika, the young tribesman in the village. Siri was surprised she hadn't noticed him before. He was a little older than Tamah, young and handsome, not yet marred with tattoos and toothlessness. He threw his arms around his new bride to be.

    Siri was surprised to feel tears stinging the corners of her eyes. She felt a warm, slightly trembling hand on her shoulder. She looked up to find Obi-Wan standing next to her, watching the scene with a mixture of emotions playing on his face. He dropped his hand and glanced at her, a slight smile on his face. Then his attention returned to the scene before them again, his face smoothed over in a mask of determined stoicism.

    The next day, the Jedi were packed and ready to leave. The city leaders was providing them transport back to the city where their ship was waiting.

    As Siri walked toward the transport, she heard a shout. She turned and Tamah ran to her and threw her arms around her.

    "Thank you! Thank you! I am so happy! I knew your coming was a good thing."

    Siri smiled. "But I didn't do anything. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.."

    "No, you and Master Adi did much. You showed us how strong women can be. And we are grateful to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan for what they have done for us." Tamah stood, tears on her face. "We will not forget you."

    "No we won't," said her fiance, approaching and taking his beloved's hand. "We will be married in a few days, then I will take my bride to the city, where we will begin a new life."

    "Oh, I couldn't be happier for you!" Siri exclaimed. Obi-Wan came to stand next to her and grinned at the young couple.

    "This is Mika," Tamah said happily, as Mika put his arm around her.

    Obi-Wan grinned, "We've met! We worked together on the second fresher house." Mika bowed his head at Obi-Wan. "What will you do in the city?" Obi-Wan asked.

    "I will be working during the day and going to school at night. I plan to go into business someday. I've known for a long time that I didn't want us to spend our lives here in the villages. I am grateful for what you have done for our people though. Maybe finally they will make some long needed changes, especially concerning their attitudes about women."

    "You helped your people attack other villages and take women," Obi-Wan said not accusingly, but curiously.

    "Yes. I had no choice at the time as I was the youngest with no voice. I was waiting for my moment to step up and say something. I hated what we did, and how the women were treated."

    Mika turned to Siri and grinned. "I was watching you as you worked your way toward the woods that night they were fighting over you. I was thinking about sneaking away and helping you, but I saw Obi-Wan was there. I was happy you got away."

    "Thank you," Siri said, then turned her attention back to Tamah.

    "What will you do in the city?"

    "I will also get a job, and go to school," Tamah said. She looked up at Mika and beamed.

    "I know it won't be easy, but we are determined to make it."

    Mika nodded, then said, "Who knows, maybe one day we'll be going to the stars. Maybe we will visit you on Coruscant."

    Obi-Wan grinned with a slight bow. "We would be honored. You are welcome anytime."

    They heard a sound behind them and turned to see Adi and Qui-Gon standing at the doorway of the transport.

    "It's time to go, Padawans," Qui-gon said.

    "Thank you, Master Jedi, for all that you did for our people," Mika said solemnly.

    "I'm glad it seems to be working. I wish only the best for you and your people," Qui-Gon said with a bow. "And with young people like you and Tamah, I have much hope for the villages future."

    At Mika's silence, Qui-Gon added. "I know you have dreams for yourself and Tamah, Mika, and I do understand you need to start a new life in the city, but after you have been educated and trained there, you should consider coming back here to help your people. These recent changes are a bit drastic and sudden, but it's only the beginning. You saw how much it took for the older men of your tribes to agree to what we have done. Your people will need you and Tamah, and others like you to help build a new life here too, for the men as well as the women."

    Mika bowed. "You are very persuasive, Master Jedi. I believe it is why you were successful in our meetings. I will consider what you have said."

    "That is all I ask, Mika. I believe you and Tamah could be the beginning of a new generation for your people."

    "Indeed, Master Qui-Gon. And be assured we are not the only ones who want to see change come to the villages."

    Qui-Gon smiled. "Then I am optimistic indeed. May the force be with you." He turned and entered the transport.

    Obi-Wan said good-bye to Tamah and Mika, then followed Qui-Gon. Siri started to follow when she felt a tug on her sleeve.

    She turned again and faced Tamah, who glanced at Obi-Wan as he went inside. She drew Siri into another hug and whispered,"He is very handsome. You two make a very nice couple."

    Siri hugged her back but didn't say anything. She didn't know what to say to that.

    Tamah backed up and took her shoulders, gazing into her eyes. "I'm sorry, but I'm a hopeless romantic, Siri. I know what you said about the Jedi, but I can't help but hope that someday it might work out for you."

    Siri nodded and swallowed a sudden lump in her throat. After a moment she said, "Good-bye, Tamah. Good to meet you Mika. May the force be with you." She bowed slightly, then turned and entered the transport, leaving behind this very strange and disturbing mission.

    The next day the Jedi were aboard their own space transport taking off for home.

    "Do you think the treaty that was signed will last?" Obi-Wan asked Qui-Gon as they took off.

    "Only time will tell. I know Mika and Tamah have dreams of living in the city, and they should for awhile to get their education and experience. But I hope they will return to the villages and help their people. We only started the process. It is young people like them who will make the lasting changes. I was very encouraged to learn that there are more young people wanting change."

    Adi nodded agreement. "I was also encouraged by that. I would hate to see them revert back to their ways of treating women like property to be bartered and used."

    Obi-Wan and Siri hadn't been able to really talk alone since they had been rescued. Finally they found a moment in the small galley while Qui-Gon was at the helm and Adi was resting.

    They sat at the small galley table in silence for a while, just enjoying being together again. Obi-Wan placed his hand over Siri's, a shy smile playing over his lips.

    "Is this still real? Between us I mean," he asked her finally.

    Siri nodded, feeling the warmth of his hand over her and seeing the affection evident in his eyes. "My feelings haven't changed," she said.

    "Qui-Gon spoke to me the evening we were rescued," Obi-Wan finally said. "He wondered if anything had happened. I told him, but that we are Jedi first and will not break the code. We will remain friends." His face scrunched slightly, then relaxed. Siri knew he wished things could be different, as did she. She thought about what Tamah had whispered to her at the transport. She knew they could be together if they chose to leave the Jedi, but she also knew that wasn't an option for either of them.

    "I also spoke to Adi, and told her the same thing," Siri said. She didn't go into how much Adi knew because of the visions years ago.

    Obi-Wan nodded. "Qui-Gon said he trusts me to make the right decision."

    Siri nodded her head but didn't say anything. Obi-Wan squeezed her hand lightly, then let her go.

    Their conversation turned to making plans to see Garen and Bant if they were at home, catching up with class assignments and making a date to spar.

    They returned to Coruscant and life returned to normal, but Obi-Wan and Siri were forever changed because of what had happened between them. They now carried within them a deeply hidden understanding of their true feelings, but several years were to pass before they spoke of it again.

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 24, 2012
  9. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Glad to see this reposted and running again! Can you PM when you update with the new parts please?
  10. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Thanks, Luna, Yes, I'll be happy to. I shouldn't be much longer. I'd probably have it done by now if I weren't working so much overtime.
  11. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 9 "Home Again"

    10 Years Later

    Early morning sunlight shimmered its way across the silvery smooth surfaces of the Coruscant skyline. Golden fingers danced with sparkling light across the ever moving stream of air transports zooming through the clear morning sky, and then reached in to gently caress Siri's face as she sat, taking in the morning glory that was uniquely Coruscant. She quietly sipped her morning tea, basking in the warmth that made her face glow. She loved this time of the morning, and relished being able to enjoy it again.

    She had missed Coruscant during the two years she had been away. Shoot, she missed any sunrise on any planet. Two years on a slave vessel in space with only short, violent stops here and there to cause heartbreak and chaos for the inhabitants of the planets they had landed on was not exactly the comforts of home.

    Home. This was a word she had almost thought she wouldn't use again. Her mission as an undercover slaver aboard Krayne's vessel had been gruelling, filled with danger and near misses. More than once she had lain in her bunk thinking of Coruscant, the Temple, Yoda, Master Adi, Obi-Wan.

    Obi-Wan. How she had missed him. She had dreamed of him often, thinking of him when some unruly ship mate had tried to have his way with her. Those rude, obnoxious beings who howled at her, pinched and pawed at her and tried to corner her at an opportune moment was nothing at all like her gentle, caring, never pushy Obi-Wan. If these brutes had even a tenth of Obi-Wan's "chivalrous tendencies", as her Master had put it years ago, she would have felt a lot safer.

    As it was, only her wits had saved her during those uncomfortable times. Certainly the Captain of the vessel never raised his hand to help. Krayne would just leer and laugh with them when she slapped one of them down, but thankfully he never forced her to submit to them. He just thought it was great sport to see her fight them off. Her sheer strength and stamina, and some subtle force persuasion had saved her many times. Then she would stand strong and belligerent, but inside her heart was breaking, longing to see him again and to feel his arms around her.

    Once, not long after after her mission had begun, she had thought she felt him through the strange bond they shared. He was looking for her, but she couldn't respond. She had closed herself off from him, hating herself for doing so, but realizing it was far too early, and far too dangerous to bring him into it. She had to steel her mind against him and complete her mission. No matter what.

    Now, two weeks had passed since she had been able to finally end the mission, to call in backup and make arrests, to free the beings who had been captured for slavery. Her most satisfying moments had been to see former slaves reunited with their loved ones. She had come home triumphant. The Council had commended her and awarded her with knighthood and then they had given her time off: time to re-acclimate to Jedi life, time to rest and greet friends and time to heal. She was seeing a mind healer regularly for awhile to deal with the emotions, danger and actions she had experienced while being on a pirate ship.

    She had been disappointed when she had returned home to the happy, welcoming arms of Master Adi and other friends to find that Obi-Wan's arms was not among them. He was away on a short mission.

    She had spent a long evening talking with Garen who had fill filled her in on everything that had happened to Obi-Wan.

    She had been deeply saddened to learn that Qui-Gon had been killed right after she had left, two years before. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon had been enroute to Naboo when she and Adi had staged their "falling out".

    Obi-Wan had returned to the temple: grieving, newly knighted, and with a small boy following a step behind him, a new padawan braid barely passing his ear. Garen had told her that the temple had been almost giddy with the excitement of what had happened on Naboo, and that Anakin was Obi-Wan's new padawan, bequeathed to him by a dying Qui-Gon, who considered the boy to be the Chosen One.

    She had been astonished at everything that had happened to Obi-Wan and feelings had stirred deeply within her, a gut wrenching churning mixed with awe and dread. The visions she had seen years before seemed to dance before her eyes as a tingling sensation traveled up her spine.

    Siri sipped the last of her tea as she thought about how Obi-Wan must have reacted when he returned home to find she and her Master had fought and that she had left. "What timing," she moaned to herself. "He must have felt that I had abandoned him too."

    She cringed at the thought and then stood and stretched fully.

    She headed into her kitchen as her mind turned again to what she had heard on Ilum that day: that Obi-Wan was to be in the center of much upheaval in the future, that he was going to lose everything, but that he would survive. Later Yoda had said he was chosen, but not the chosen one, and she remembered that somehow she would have a part to play in this future. She and Obi-Wan were connected, they loved each other, but she still didn't know how this would impact the future, or if it had anything to do with it at all. Maybe their love was just a byproduct of the connection they shared, and there was nothing more to it than that. She didn't know.

    She had learned as she grew that a connection didn't necessarily mean attachment, but she couldn't deny the feeling of approval she and Obi-Wan had felt when they had kissed and expressed their feelings for one another so long ago in the woods on Astar when they had fled from the Pellan tribe.

    "I can't try to figure it all out right now," she decided to herself. "But it does appear that at least one thing Obi-Wan has been chosen for is to be the master of the Chosen One, and how strange is that? He is so young. One would think the council would want the Chosen One to be trained by someone older and more experienced."

    Garen had also told her that Obi-Wan had killed a Sith, the being who had attacked them on Naboo and had killed Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan had watched his Master fall and then fought for his life and defeated him.

    Siri had swallowed a lump in her throat as she considered what Obi-Wan had been through, and was almost annoyed when Garen had seemed quite jubilant about it.

    "Obi-Wan is the first Jedi in over a thousand years to kill a Sith," Garen had told her, nearly boasting in his friend's accomplishment. "And now many in the temple call him 'the Sith Killer'. The younglings look up to him as a hero."

    "And I'm sure he doesn't like that." She knew him well enough to know he didn't seek self glory or adulation.

    And then he had been knighted and assigned The Chosen One.

    "Poor Obi-Wan," she thought to herself as she rinsed out her cup and set it on the counter. "What a lot to put on him all at once. I'm sorry I wasn't here for him."

    She knew Garen and Bant had been there for him, and she was grateful for that.

    She couldn't wait to see him when he returned to the Temple. How surprised he would be because he, along with the rest of the temple except for the Council members, thought she had left the Jedi after a severe disagreement with her Master.

    She had felt so badly having to leave Obi-Wan in the dark about it, and Garen told her that Obi-Wan had been so upset he had spent some time trying to find her to talk her into coming back. Only after Yoda had sternly warned him to "let her go" did he finally stop. This confirmed the brief moment when she had felt him two years ago.

    She hoped he didn't neglect his new padawan to search for her, but she couldn't imagine him doing that.

    She wondered again when he would get home. She was trying to think of a way to surprise him. She would talk to Garen and Bant, maybe together they could come up with something.

    There was a knock on her door and she answered it. Garen, a tall young knight with dark hair that brushed his shoulders and friendly dark eyes, stood with an easygoing smile in the doorway.

    "Ready to go to breakfast?"

    "Sure," Siri answered and stepped out, closing her door behind her.

    "Bant is meeting us in the cafeteria. Reeft is here too, he's going to join us."

    "Oh good! It's been ages since I've seen him. But no Obi-Wan yet, huh?" Siri asked casually.

    She didn't miss the twinkle in his eyes. Garen had cornered Siri one day not long after they had returned from Astar. He had needled her to "spill", saying he knew there was something more between her and Obi-Wan besides friendship. Exasperated, she had finally dragged him to Obi-Wan's quarters, and the three went for a walk and talked about it. Garen knew how seriously they took their vows to the order so other than an occasional light ribbing, he never mentioned it after that.

    "He's not here yet. We expect him and Anakin in a day or two. Won't he be surprised when he sees you!" Garen laughed.

    "Yes, about that," Siri said, smiling as they arrived to the lifts that would take them to the cafeteria.
    ******************************************

    Obi-Wan was tired as he and Anakin hauled their gear to their quarters. As usual Anakin was a bundle of energy. Did he ever get tired? Obi-Wan shook his head.

    "I was probably no different at his age."

    After putting away their gear, Anakin was jumping around the room, bouncing off the furniture and chanting, "We're home! We're home!" In his energetic romp through the room, he suddenly stopped and faced Obi-Wan. "Master!"

    "What? And stop bouncing off the furniture. You're an eleven year old Padawan."

    Anakin stood still, offended. "I'm nearly twelve!" he said indignantly. "In two weeks!"

    "Then act like it! Now what do you want?"

    "Can I go see if Tru is home?"

    "May I."

    "Yes, Master. May I go see if Tru is home?"

    Obi-Wan paused, then nodded. "Sure, go ahead. Just be back in time for evening meal."

    Anakin shouted "Yay!" and bounded out of their quarters.

    Obi-Wan sighed. "I'm still young," he thought."I shouldn't be this tired. Maybe I should try bouncing off the furniture..,it might do me some good."

    He grinned at the thought. "What would Siri think..." he stopped, sadness gripping him for a moment.

    "Siri."

    His comlink beeped just as his thoughts turned to the evening meal.

    "Kenobi."

    "Obi-Wan! Welcome home!" Garen's voice was friendly and humorous. Obi-Wan smiled.

    "Hey Garen, what's up?"

    "Well, nothing much. Just thought I'd like to see you. It's been awhile."

    "What. A couple of weeks and you miss me? What's up, Garen, what do you want to do?"

    "Well, if you and Anakin can come to my quarters for evening meal, that would be a start."

    Obi-Wan laughed. "You? Cooking? What has the galaxy come to?"

    "Ha - ha, I'm not that bad. I've been known to turn out a decent meal. Be here at 7."

    "All right then, I'll warn, er, tell my Padawan."

    "Hilarious. See you later."

    Obi-Wan grinned as he closed his comlink. It would be good to see old friends again. He wondered who else might be there. His thoughts drifted again to Siri and the same pang he had been feeling since she left wrenched his insides.

    It had taken a long time for him to accept that she was gone; had never even told him she was leaving. He often wondered if it was because of him that she left. Did she and Adi's disagreement have anything to do with their feelings for each other? He wasn't vain enough to think that everything was about him, but they had a connection that couldn't be denied. Maybe Siri and Adi had a falling out about it and Siri had decided to leave.

    But he never understood why she didn't try to contact him, even to say good-bye. "Maybe it was for the best," he said to himself for the millionth time.

    He shoved thoughts of her away and contacted Anakin, then took a shower.

    As he was dressing, Anakin burst through the door and Obi-Wan ordered him to the fresher.

    He finished dressing and looked himself over in the mirror. His hair was getting longer, and

    he had recently decided to grow a beard. It was just now getting fuller,and he stroked it thoughtfully. This took some getting used to. It really changed his looks. Gone was the boyish face, in its place was a more mature looking adult man, which had been his intention. He thought he might gain more respect from his Padawan if he more looked the part.

    He sighed. Ah well, it had been a thought anyway.

    He straightened his tunic and grinned. He felt refreshed and more energetic.

    Yes, it would be good to spend an evening with old friends.

    "Hurry up, Padawan, or we'll be late!"

    "Coming Master!" called out a voice from a very steamy refresher.

    Fifteen minutes later Master and Padawan left their quarters and headed for Garen's.

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 24, 2012
  12. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 10 Surprise! Part 1

    Obi-Wan and Anakin exited the lifts on Garen's floor, laughing at a joke Anakin had told. Obi-Wan had decided earlier that not every moment had to be a teaching moment, so he had relaxed his usual "Masterly" demeanor a little and had allowed Anakin to be himself for a little while without lecture or rebuke.

    "Anakin is really a delightful boy," Obi-Wan mused to himself. "If I could only just relax once in a while with him."

    Being the Master of the "Chosen One" was not an easy task and Obi-Wan realized that with the burden of that knowledge he all too often used a rather heavy hand when dealing with Anakin.

    Anakin was chattering away about a light saber drill he had participated in when Obi-Wan slowed his pace and then stopped, a sudden apprehension gripping him. He took a few short, panting breaths; feeling as though someone had just punched him. Obi-Wan glanced around and saw no one. He stretched out with the force but couldn't feel anything definitive, just the usual quiet bustle of Temple life.

    "Where did that come from?" he wondered to himself. Whatever this sudden apprehension was, it was very elusive. Not really a warning, more like an anticipation of something, but whether good or bad he could not tell.

    "Master! What's wrong?"

    Obi-Wan looked at Anakin and noted the boy's face pinched with concern. He took a deep breath, blew it out and smiled at him.

    "I'm fine, Anakin. I just had...I don't know..a funny feeling, thats all."

    "Oh, one of your 'bad feelings,' right?" Anakin face relaxed, then smirked into a teasing grin. "If you're afraid to eat Master Garen's dinner, we can go down to the dining room."

    "There is no fear," came Obi-Wan's automated reply.

    Blast! There I go again. Obi-Wan grinned and tugged Anakin's braid. "Except when it comes to Garen's cooking, that is."

    He then chuckled softly. "We've survived questionable cuisine before, we'll survive it again."

    At Anakin's appreciative giggle, Obi-Wan added, "Besides, it wasn't exactly a 'bad feeling'. It's just...well, it almost feels like I'm going to see someone, or someone may need me..someone I haven't seen in a long time. I don't know, it's very vague."

    There! He felt it again, and this time he thought he sensed something..a presence he hadn't felt in a long time. It had spiked for a moment, and now was gone. Could it be? He glanced around again, then at Garen's door.

    Is she...? but he shook his head against it. His earlier thoughts of her must have rattled his senses. She's gone. It did no good to pine for her and feel things that weren't there. What kind of an example could he be to Anakin if he couldn't let go of past feelings and..yes, he admitted to himself, attachments.

    He pushed the thoughts away and smiled again at Anakin, whose eyes were large with worry, his grin now hesitant and unsure.

    "Don't worry, Padawan, I'm fine. We're here to enjoy an evening with friends, let's have a good time, even if Garen's food may or may not be edible, ok?"

    "Well let's get there then!" Anakin declared, bouncing ahead of Obi-Wan, then glancing back at him.

    At Obi-Wan's raised eyebrows, he broke into a cheeky grin and demurred, "Oh, sorry Master, two steps behind and slightly to the left."

    As he slipped back into place beside his master, Obi-Wan tried unsuccessfully to suppress a grin as he shook his head and muttered, "Impertinent brat."

    Obi-Wan was warmed by the responsive sparkle in Anakin's eyes. In the stories he had told Anakin about his adventures with his former master, he hadn't left out Qui-Gon's favorite expression for his sometimes cheeky Padawan. The pleasure he sensed in Anakin at the familiar phrase left them both quiet and filled with thoughts of the man who had meant so much to them.

    "Obi-Wan! Anakin! How nice of you to come, and welcome home!" Garen waved his arms with a flourish, inviting them in to his apartment.

    Obi-Wan grinned at Garen's display, and clapped his shoulder. "Good to see you too, my friend," he said.

    Obi-Wan heard a squeal of delight and turned just as Bant threw herself into his arms.

    "Oooh, I missed you so much!" she said, hugging him tightly. Obi-Wan returned her hug, and then back away and eyed her quizzically.

    "I'm glad to see you too, Bant, but I wasn't gone that long, and you know our missions right now are pretty tame because Anakin is still too young for anything more right now."

    "Oh I know that, Obi-Wan, but I always miss you when you're away."

    Anakin had slipped past the two and was heading for the living area when Bant turned to him.

    "Don't you go away, young man, I want a hug from you too!"

    Obi-Wan grinned at Anakin's longsuffering countenance, then turned his attention to Reeft, who had been patiently waiting behind Bant.

    "Reeft, old friend, how good to see you! It's been a long time!" Obi-Wan and Reeft shook hands, then Reeft placed his hand on Obi-Wan's shoulder affectionately.

    "Yes, it's been awhile. I've been playing around in the outer rim."

    "Yes, I heard! I want to hear all about that."

    "You got it. I didn't know I was going to run into so much danger. I would have asked you to come along as backup if I had."

    "I would have if it were possible, Reeft, if I could have left Anakin here. He's not cleared for anything other than easy, routine missions right now."

    Anakin, who had been released from Bant's affectionate hold, had been listening to the two knights.

    "I wish our missions were dangerous. Most of our missions right now are boring," he whined.

    Obi-Wan shot him a warning look about the pout in his voice. "Now Anakin, in good time. There will come a time when you'll wish we were on one of these "boring" missions."

    "Not me!" Anakin declared. "I like lots of action! I can't wait!"

    Obi-Wan sighed. "Alas, I'm afraid that is too true," he lamented to the snickering of his friends.

    As they entered into the living area, Obi-Wan shrugged out of his robe and motioned Anakin to do the same.

    Anakin dutifully carried their robes to Garen's room while Obi-Wan accepted a drink offered by his host.

    "Excuse me while I get the rest of the food, dinner is almost ready." Garen turned to head for the kitchen.

    "May I help with anything?" Obi-Wan asked him.

    Garen shook his head. "I have Bant to help me. Just relax and visit with Reeft, we'll have dinner out in a little while."

    Obi-Wan thought he noticed a slight grin on Garen's face as he disappeared into the kitchen. He wondered what that was about, but sat down in the small living area across from Reeft.

    "Well, Reeft, it looks like now is as good a time as any to tell us about your mission," Obi-Wan said. Anakin nodded eagerly as he sat down next to his master.

    "Well, it started out peacefully enough. It looked like it was going to be an easy job, but Knight Jared and I found ourselves being chased by terrorist assassins trying to stop us from protecting the Prince.."

    "Whoa..a Prince?" interjected Anakin.

    "Yes. He's a very young Prince, only about 15 years old, but there were attempts to kidnap him to force his father to sign a treaty that would have given the neighboring kingdom too much control over the planet. You see..."

    As Reeft continued his story, Obi-Wan noticed Anakin's rapt attention to every word. When Reeft began telling about the attempted capture of the young prince and the Jedi's rescue and ensuing fight against the terrorist group responsible, Anakin had leaned forward, barely holding onto the edge of his seat, totally focused on Reeft as he anticipated the next words.

    "If only I could get Anakin's attention this completely," he thought to himself ruefully.

    So enthralled were they on Reeft's tale that they all jumped when a sudden knock sounded on Garen's door.

    Reeft immediately stood, mumbling, "Already? How time flies." He headed for the kitchen, calling behind him, "Obi-Wan, you get the door and I'll let Garen know that someone is here."

    Anakin stood puzzled, glancing between Reeft and his master.

    Obi-Wan's gaze followed Reeft into the kitchen, then he glanced at Anakin. He wondered why they didn't sense anyone's approach to Garen's door, and why he couldn't feel anything now. He wondered at the strangeness of it all.

    There came a second knock on the door. Anakin asked, "Master, you want me to get it?"

    "No Anakin, stay there. I have a feeling it's for me."

    He went to the door and paused for a moment.

    "Ok, Garen, what are you up to?"

    He reached out and opened the door.

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 24, 2012
  13. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 11: Surprise! Part 2

    "Hello, may I..." Before Obi-Wan could finish the sentence, he found himself lying flat on his back, gaping at a cloaked figure standing over him.

    "Master!"

    Obi-Wan heard his distressed Padawan's voice behind him and shouted, "Anakin, no! Stay where you are!" Although the figure was completely shrouded and he could feel no force signature, neither could he feel any danger. This person was not a threat, except perhaps to his dignity in front of his Padawan.

    The figure pounced to land on him, but he rolled away. He jumped to his feet and turned to face his attacker only to find himself being tackled again. Both of them fell to the floor as the strange intruder tried to pin him down.

    Obi-Wan rolled himself over and threw the Jedi off of him, then grabbed swinging arms and tried to pin the figure in a hold, which he now knew to be female. The smaller figure wrested herself away from him.

    Panting, she stood and slowly circled him. He crouched in a defensive stance and watched her, waiting for her next move.

    He continued to wonder if this was Garen's doing. Seeds of revenge were popping into his mind but he shook them off for later. He needed to focus on this present game. Who is she and what favor did she owe Garen to agree to this charade?

    She was slowly advancing and he opened his mouth to speak to her when she suddenly charged at him and then unexpectedly dropped low, swung herself around and caught his legs, sending him flying to the floor again. She then pounced on top of him, trying to pin him down. Instead he grabbed her arms and rolled her over and pinned her down with his body. He held her arms above her head, his face very close to hers and they lay still, both huffing breathlessly. Somehow the hood was still over her head, and Obi-Wan still could feel nothing from her.

    After a moment, he found his voice and whispered hoarsely, "Who are you?"

    "Why Kenobi, don't you know me?" came a muffled but familiar voice from under the hood.

    Obi-Wan felt her lower her shields, and a connection he hadn't felt in over two years burst upon him. Using one hand while continuing to hold her hands with the other, he swiftly pulled the hood back from her face and before he could react, she planted a swift but passionate kiss on his lips. He felt lightheaded in astonishment as realization dawned. Overcome, he loosened his grip on her and she threw him off with a gleeful "Hah!", her eyes sparking in merriment.

    He landed on his back and laid still, staring at her as though she were a ghost.

    "Siri!"

    She began to laugh, and her laughter rang in the room and then was joined by the laughter of others. Bewildered, he turned his head and saw his friends gathered in the room, gripping each others arms as they nearly danced, faces beaming, tears streaming from Bant's eyes. He noticed Anakin standing nearby, confusion on his face and still in a defensive stance, but only just now realizing his master did not need defending. He turned his attention back to Siri, who was sitting on the floor. Her laughter had subsided into soft giggles as she stared at him.

    "You should see your face, Kenobi!" Siri finally gasped, wiping away a tear.

    Obi-Wan slowly sat up, his heart pounding in a way he hadn't felt in years.

    "Siri."

    He didn't know whether to laugh or cry. He wanted to be angry for the way she had announced her presence, but what he wanted more was to grab her into his arms and kiss her with a passion that after two years of hearbroken separation was suddenly reawakened.

    He became aware of Anakin's questioning gaze, and sent reassuring thoughts to him that everything was all right. He suddenly realized that whatever he did, he could not display such passion in front of his Padawan, or his friends. He closed his eyes a moment and brought his emotions under control. Then he opened them again and staggered to his feet.

    He approached Siri, his hands reaching out to her. She gazed up at him soberly and put both of her hands in his. He pulled her up slowly, gazing into bright blue eyes that only moments ago had sparkled in laughter, now they shone with the slightly amused tenderness he had thought he would never see again. They stood face to face, just gazing at each other.

    He slowly reached up and his fingers gently played over the red streaks still in her hair.

    After several moments he felt he could finally speak.

    "Siri," his throat felt constricted, but he managed to choke out the words. "I...I thought.."

    "As did everyone except the Council," she said, her voice quivering slightly. "I had a special job to do that required me to be totally hidden. I'm sorry, Obi-Wan, but it was necessary."

    Garen spoke up from behind them. "But she was successful, she's back and now she's been knighted."

    Obi-Wan glanced at Garen. Then he looked again at Siri, the sheer amazement of having her back now filling him with a gladness he hadn't felt in years. Once again he wanted to grasp her in his arms and hold her tightly, to nuzzle his face in her hair and cover her with kisses. It took every bit of control he had to keep from it, so he just stood there, grasping her hands and grinning like a man just given a reprieve. She finally pulled her hands away from him and reached up to his face.

    "Look at you!" She stroked his beard, her eyes twinkling. "Garen, you didn't tell me about this."

    "Well, so you both got a surprise," said Garen, laughing.

    Obi-Wan had forgotten she hadn't seen him with a beard yet. He stroked it as he asked a little anxiously, "What do you think? Do you like it?"

    Siri's eyes lit up in an impish glint as she leaned into him and whispered. "Hmm..I don't know. I'll need to give it a more thorough test." She winked at him, and he grinned.

    "Come on, you two, enough with the flirting. It's time to eat!" Garen announced.

    Everyone moved as though just released from some kind of spell, and began to take their places at the table.

    Anakin still stood where he had been, staring at his Master with a curiosity Obi-Wan knew he would have to answer later. He grimaced inwardly, wishing this display hadn't taken place in front of his impressionable Padawan, who he had been diligently teaching about the code and attachments.

    He guided Siri to Anakin. "Siri, this is Anakin Skywalker, my Padawan. Anakin, this is Knight Siri Tachi, a very good friend."

    Obi-Wan didn't miss the quickly subdued smirk on Anakin's face as he bowed to Siri. "I'm happy to meet you, Master Siri," he said.

    As Anakin raised himself back up, understanding dawned on his face.

    Obi-Wan shot him a warning look, but Anakin ignored it. "Isn't this the knight you went searching for a couple years ago?"

    Obi-Wan sighed inwardly. "Yes," he said, glancing sideways at Siri's smirk. "Yes she was, Anakin. For a short while. I didn't know she was on a secret mission. But I had you to take care of so I had to stop. Now, let's sit down and hope Garen's food is edible."

    "Hey now!" Garen quipped from the table where he was stirring a pot of Bantha stew. "Watch it, Kenobi, or there will be no stew for you!"

    "Good! More for me!" Anakin quipped as he sat down at the table. "I'm hungry!"

    "See? Your Padawan has faith in my cooking." Garen filled a bowl and placed it in front of Anakin.

    "He hasn't tasted it yet."

    Anakin laughed as Garen, in mock offense, said, "That's it. None for you!"

    Obi-Wan only gave him a toothy grin as he pulled out a chair for Siri.

    "Ooo! Such a gentleman!" she quipped as she took the seat he had offered her.

    "Well, you know me," Obi-Wan said demurely as he sat down next to her.

    "I certainly do, and I like it for a change. Being around a bunch of filthy animals for two years, I missed being around men who didn't look at me as a .." she glanced at Anakin, "as a..."

    "I understand," Obi-Wan said with some concern. "Um...are you all right? Did anything...?"

    "No, nothing happened and I'll tell you about it later," Siri said, dipping her spoon into the stew that had been placed before her.

    With everyone seated and steaming bowls of stew served, the conversation turned to catching Obi-Wan and Anakin up on Temple news and then trading stories about recent missions. Obi-Wan noticed Siri didn't say much while they ate, but she seemed to enjoy hearing everyone's stories.

    Obi-Wan told them about the mission he and Anakin had just returned from. The story was short as the mission was largely uneventful.

    Anakin sighed. "See? Boring. I want to hear about Master Reeft's mission again!" He looked eagerly at Reeft, who smiled, but said,

    "I don't think Obi-Wan has heard about Siri's secret mission yet."

    "Yeah, that's right! What kind of secret mission?" Anakin looked eagerly at Siri.

    "Well, I went undercover on a slave ship with a captain name Krayne. My mission was to gather enough evidence of his slave practices to have him put away for good..." She stopped when she noticed a sudden change in Anakin; a dark, glowering scowl had replaced the eager, friendly light in Anakin's eyes.

    "Anakin, is something wrong?"

    Obi-Wan cleared his throat and said softly to Siri, "Qui-Gon found Anakin on Tatooine when we stopped to find the part for the hyperdrive for the Queen's ship. Anakin was a slave."

    "Oh, that's right. Garen told me." She looked at Anakin, her eyes soft and sympathetic. "I'm sorry, Anakin, but I want you to know many captured slaves were freed and sent home by the time I was finished."

    Smoldering, Anakin whispered, "Then you stopped him?"

    "Yes, my mission was a success, except that he was never brought for trial. He died while trying to escape. He fired at one of the arresting officers, and the officer shot him and killed him instantly."

    "Good!" Anakin exclaimed in satisfaction. The others in the room gaped in stunned silence, their eyes moving from Anakin to Obi-Wan and back again.

    "Anakin! That is not a proper response." Obi-Wan's rebuke was harsher than he intended, but Anakin's reaction had disturbed him.

    "I don't care. He was evil! He came to Tatooine when I was seven and took some of my friends and one of my friend's mother. He killed whoever got in his way. The only thing that would have made him dying better was if I had done it."

    "We will discuss this later, Anakin," Obi-Wan said sternly, barely containing the exasperation he felt at his Padawan's lack of control.

    Siri glanced at Obi-Wan, then she reached across the table and took Anakin's hand. He looked up at her, the glower in his eyes had dimmed somewhat but anger still churned within him, tinged with a deep sadness.

    She squeezed his hand gently and said, "I do understand, Anakin. I was around him for two years. But know this, he is gone, and many, many slaves were freed. Some I took home myself, including a few of them to Tatooine."

    Anakin's eyes widened, and Obi-Wan saw something pass between his Padawan and Siri. They shared a first hand knowledge of what slavery was, and what Krayne was. It was an understanding between them that he knew neither he nor anyone else in the room could understand.

    Anakin softened, and nodded his head. Obi-Wan could feel the powerful emotions which only moments ago had made Anakin rigid with fury and the air practically spark with electricity now dissipate into the force. Anakin's body relaxed and he broke into a timid smile. Siri pulled her hand away, dropped it to her lap and smiled back at him. Relieved and grateful to Siri, Obi-Wan reached under the table and quietly grasped her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. She responded with a return squeeze, then they let go. The stories resumed. Siri shared some funny moments that had taken place during her mission, and soon they were all laughing again, Anakin included.

    After dinner, everyone crowded into Garen's small kitchen while Obi-Wan washed the dishes. Siri rinsed them then handed them to Anakin, who dried them then handed them to Bant to put away. Reeft hung in the background munching left over dessert while Garen cleaned his stove. Suddenly everyone could feel the force gather around the sink where Obi-Wan stood. A stream of water shot out of the sink and hit Garen square in the face.

    "Hey!" he sputtered, wiping the water from his face as everyone laughed.

    Shocked, Anakin stared at his Master. "I thought you didn't approve of frivolous use of the force!"

    "Well, Padawan, in certain situations there are exceptions," Obi-Wan replied in his most authoritative teaching voice, tinged with humor. "In this case for someone who set up his best friend to be attacked by another best friend..."

    "Hey, don't blame this one on me, Obi-Wan, it was all Siri's idea."

    "Oh? Is that so?" Obi-Wan turned to Siri with one eyebrow raised, and grinned impishly at her while swirling the water with the force.

    Siri backed up with a laugh, "Oh, no you don't Kenobi. You'd better not."

    "And why not?" The water rose a little higher, swirling into a funnel.

    Everyone backed away from the swirling water, grinning eagerly at their playful banter. Anakin was watching in wide open amazement obviously enjoying a side of his Master he rarely, if ever, saw.

    Obi-Wan worked the water up a little more, shaped it into a shaft and then using the force bent it so that it was aimed right at Siri. He admired his handiwork for a moment, then looked back at Siri mischievously.

    "Kenobi," Siri said as she backed a little further away. "I'm warning you...don't."

    She tried to sound ominous in her warning, but the laughter in her voice made that effort largely unsuccessful.

    Obi-Wan swirled the water more, then it reached out into the air, slowly approaching Siri's face. She stood with her arms crossed, staring Obi-Wan down, daring him to continue.

    The tip of the water reached Siri's face, then nipped at her nose before it retreated back into the sink and dissipated.

    Siri wiped the water off her nose with her hand as everyone laughed.

    "Aw..he chickened out!" Anakin groaned, holding his sides. "I can't believe it."

    "He did no such thing, Anakin," Siri said. "He's just too much of a gentleman to have done that to a woman. Now, YOU, on the other hand.."

    A sudden spire of water again shot out of the sink and Anakin stood gasping, water covering his face and dripping down his front.

    "Master!"

    "Who said I did that?" Obi-Wan said with a grin.

    "Master Siri?" Anakin looked at her in surprise.

    "Me? You don't know that."

    "Then who..?"

    "I guess you'll never know," Garen said, laughing.

    "Well, then, if you can do it, I can..."

    Water again shot out of the sink and this time everyone except Anakin had water dripping down their fronts. Everyone sputtered, Bant squealed in delight, then Garen cried out, "Look at Reeft!"

    Everyne turned to look at Reeft. He stood gasping and wide eyed in surprise, a mushy mixture of cake and water smeared his face and ran down his front.

    "Oh, my!" Bant said softly as she grabbed a cloth and took a step toward him. Just as they met and Reeft reached for the towel, Bant's feet flew out from under her and she landed with a thud on the wet, slipperyfloor. Reeft in surprise had reached out to catch her but instead found himself tumbling along side of her. The others gasped and tried to help, but the slippery floor proved too much. Soon there was a jumble of arms and legs as five Jedi tried to untangle themselves from each other. The task was proving too much as one by one they collapsed in fits of giggles. Soon the giggles became bouts of laughter with shouts of "Oh, my, I can't take this!" Anakin stood to the side, red faced and tears streaming as he observed his master with his friends in all sorts of compromising positions.

    "I can't believe this! I never thought the Jedi could be like this! This is great!"

    "Well, we didn't intend for this to happen," his Master mumbled from under a jumble of legs. He squirmed and his head popped out. "And besides! What are you doing still standing?"

    With a flick of the force, Anakin found himself sprawled in the midst of the company to the chorus of fresh peals of laughter.

    The merriment finally died down enough for everyone to extricate themselves, and after brushing and drying themselves and each other off, they finished cleaning Garen's kitchen.

    All too soon it seemed the evening was drawing to a close. The friends all stood in a circle, not speaking but relishing their moments together. None knew when they would all be together again, if ever.

    Finally, in mock seriousness Reeft spoke to Garen.

    "Well, Garen, thank you for an enlightening and stimulating evening. I'm sure I'll be a better Jedi after tonight. "

    "No doubt," Garen answered stoically with a nod and smirk. "I do hope we all learned our lesson about the frivolous use of the force, right Obi-Wan?"

    "Oh, indeed." Obi-Wan stood as though he had just lectured a group of Padawans. "Now Anakin, let this be a lesson to you."

    Anakin grinned and nodded. "Yes, Master. You have taught me well."

    "That's what I'm afraid of," Obi-Wan said dryly.

    After a responsive laugh from everyone, Bant said, "Now, Obi-Wan, there's nothing wrong with showing Anakin that even Jedi are not immune to a bit of fun and frivolity. I can't remember when I've laughed so much!"

    All nodded and readily agreed, then saying good night, they finally departed Garen's quarters.

    Siri leaned toward Obi-Wan and quietly said, "Come over in a while so we can talk, ok?"

    Obi-Wan nodded, found out where her new quarters were, then joined Anakin at the lifts.

    He sensed Anakin watching him. He knew he had some things to talk to him about. He and his friends hadn't behaved like that since they were Padawans, and he was concerned they hadn't been a good example for a young boy like Anakin.

    "Don't worry, Master, I enjoyed tonight. I'm glad to see you're human!" Anakin then gave him a sly grin. "And I want to hear more about Master Siri!"

    Obi-Wan groaned inwardly. Siri would have to wait a while. It could be a long night.

    TBC
  14. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 12: Coffee Conversations

    Siri gazed outside her window at the passing stream of traffic in the night sky. She hugged herself and sighed.

    She had rushed into her quarters, quickly picked up the small clutter she had left earlier, showered and dressed in her most comfortable travel nightclothes, the kind that could be worn around mixed company with no raised eyebrows, and then had put a pot of caffe on the stove to heat. That had been an hour ago.

    She glanced at the chrono on her small kitchen counter and sighed again. Make that an hour and fifteen minutes ago.

    It wasn't like Obi-Wan to be so late, but she knew he wouldn't have delayed for no reason. She also realized that he now had a padawan, a rather unorthodox Padawan to boot, to think about.

    She drew herself up and returned to the stove, flipping off the heat under her now overdone caffe.

    "I can't wait all night," she said to herself. "I'm tired. I'll just make him take me to breakfast in the morning."

    She reached to flip off the light when she felt him at her door. Then she heard a soft knock.

    "Well, it's about time," she said, grinning as she opened the door.

    Obi-Wan stood there, a rueful smile on his face. "I'm sorry I'm so late," he said as she invited him in. "I'm surprised you didn't just go to bed."

    "I was about ready to," she answered, going to the kitchen for two mugs. She poured the black overcooked liquid into the mugs, crinkling her nose. "I learned to like this stuff while on Krayne's ship, but I think I overdid it."

    Obi-Wan had settled on her small couch. He turned as she spoke, folding one leg up onto the cushion and resting his arm over the back. She handed him a mug and sat next to him, facing him as she curled her legs under herself. .

    They quietly sipped the hot, black liquid. She grimaced and glanced up at him, chagrined.

    She watched Obi-Wan swallow, pinching his lips together as though forcing the liquid down.

    "I'm so sorry, this is awful. You don't have to drink it if you don't want to."

    He grinned at her, amused. "Nonsense. It's not that bad. I've had worse. Remember, I've been the victim of many of Qui-Gon experiments with teas."

    "I remember, but surely none were as bad as this. Those were teas, not caffe."

    He grinned again. "Oh, I've had some teas that were darker and stronger than this, remember the Povanian Root tea incident?"

    Siri groaned. "Oh yes! How could I have forgotten?"

    Qui-Gon had purchased the tea in an exotic tea shop on an outing in the shopping district on Coruscant. The foul smell of the tea had permeated the whole sector of the living quarters, driving fellow Jedi out into the halls and causing Master Windu to shout in a booming voice,

    "Qui-Gon Jinn, cease this odiferous assault at once or I will personally ship you to Hoth on permanent assignment!"

    As they remembered the now infamous incident, Obi-Wan told her how mortified he had been and had wondered if he would ever be able to face any of his friends again, but his unflappable master had merely bowed to Mace's fuming visage and replied, "Ah, Master Windu, so glad you came. Care for a cup? It's quite delicious!"

    "I thought Mace's head was going to explode right at that very moment," Obi-Wan said.

    They laughed heartily at the memory.

    "So I guess my caffe isn't so bad after all!" Siri said finally.

    Obi-Wan nodded and raised his cup to her, grinning. "Not at all. This is ambrosia compared to that sithly stuff."

    She took another sip of her caffe, feeling better about her "non" incident, when she noticed Obi-Wan's expression subtly change. She watched as he silently took a sip and then gaze into his cup thoughtfully. The story about Qui-Gon had stirred memories of him. Garen had told her about how Obi-Wan had watched his beloved master die on Naboo. She couldn't imagine how horrible it must have been to watch that fibrant life ebb away.

    He rubbed the rim of his cup silently, his eyes far away and slightly haunted with pain and grief.

    She reached over and touched his arm. He glanced up at her, his eyes softening as he focused on her again.

    "I'm sorry..." he began.

    "Don't be," Siri shook her head. "I'm so sorry I wasn't here when it happened. I should have been here for you." .

    He in turn shook his head. "No you shouldn't have. You had your duty. You were where you were supposed to be, even though at the time I...we all...thought you had left."

    She knew he had been hurt by her leaving, and regret tinged her a moment, but she quickly vanquished it. "I hated not to tell you," she said, "but I couldn't. I couldn't tell anyone. I felt so badly for you. Garen told me how you tried for awhile to find me."

    Obi-Wan nodded, then his eyes fell on her again. "Yes, until Yoda told me to let you go. I had other responsibilities."

    Siri nodded. "Anakin. Garen told me everything. How did you do it? So many sudden changes; Qui-Gon, fighting that Sith, then being knighted and getting a Padawan, all in a few short days."

    Obi-Wan shrugged. "I don't know. I just did, that's all. It was overwhelming for awhile. I didn't agree with Qui-Gon at first that Anakin was the chosen one and had to be trained, but when he...when he asked me to train him, I couldn't say no. It was his dying wish." Obi-Wan stopped and Siri waited.

    "At first, I agreed out of a sense of responsibility to my master, but when I saw Anakin, when I found out how he single handedly destroyed the mother ship over Naboo, I knew. I felt it. The force was strong in him. Qui-Gon had been right. He is the Chosen One, and I determined I wouldn't let Qui-Gon down. Now, two years later, I don't know what I'd do without Anakin. I truly care about him. I realized after we had been back at the temple for awhile how wise Qui-Gon had been, because it turned out..." He paused; a wondering light of realization in his eyes... "that I needed Anakin as much as he needed me."

    Siri nodded thoughtfully, then said, "And what about Anakin? How has he adjusted to life here at the temple?"

    "It hasn't been easy for him," Obi-Wan answered, his brow creased slightly with concern. "Oh, in Saber drills and anything having to do directly with the force, he has excelled. He caught up and even surpassed most of his age mates in no time at all, but studying, meditation and having to sit still in the classrooms...well, that's been difficult. He was not trained from a baby to practice Jedi stillness the way the other initiates were. I've been called to conferences with the instructors more than once." Obi-Wan grinned sardonically.

    "Has he been able to make friends?"

    "At first, not really. The other initiates seemed to resent him at first, a few were jealous, because of his abilities and also apparently because some had hoped to be my padawan!" Obi-Wan's eyes widened with a humorous glint. Siri noticed that he seemed almost surprised that any initiate would want to be his padawan. She smiled to herself. He always was one to undervalue his own worth.

    Obi-Wan continued. "Over time he has managed to make a few friends, particularly Tru Veld. Tru is a good friend to him."

    Siri nodded. "I'm so glad for that, but..." Her brow knit as she tried to think carefully how to speak her next words. "You seem so young to have taken on such a huge responsibility. I mean, The Chosen One! Wasn't there another, more experienced Master who could have taken him on?"

    Obi-Wan shrugged, his face determined. "Qui-Gon asked me to do it, and I"m doing it" She then noticed a twinkle in his eyes as he added, "Besides, I tried to get Yoda to take over as his Master but he just told me, "'Too old am I to run after one as energetic as young Anakin. Young and strong you are. Equipped for this task you are. Chosen you are.'"

    Obi-Wan shuddered slightly. "'Chosen you are', he said. That makes it sound so ominous to me."

    They grew quiet, sipping their caffe and deep in their own thoughts.

    Long ago visions of future events flashed before Siri's eyes; a galactic war, a burning temple, a mysterious being fighting with Obi-Wan on a fiery planet, great evil to come, and then Obi-Wan alone on a dry, desert planet. She closed her eyes against these thoughts. Maybe Anakin will help stop this future insanity. Maybe he will be the one to change everything.

    She opened her eyes to find Obi-Wan had leaned back against the end of the sofa, eyes half closed, watching her silently. .

    Something fluttered in her in a way she hadn't felt in years. She slowly put her mug on the table next to Obi-Wan's and shifted closer to him. She reached for his arms and he sat up, eyes shifting from grey to blue, never taking them off of her. She gazed into those mesmerising depths of swirling color. Then her eyes dropped to his beard, newly grown and neatly trimmed. She reached up and touched his beard, her fingers gently stroking the soft hair around his mouth. Then her thumbs gently passed over his lips. They were soft and slightly open, she felt his breath, warm against the tips of her thumbs, and then he gently kissed them. The flutter inside her increased in intensity. Her hands dropped to his chest where she felt his heart pounding, seemingly in beat to her own. She drew closer to him, felt his arms as they wrapped around her, their strength making her tremble slightly as her heart increased its tempo. She wrapped her arms around the back of his neck and lightly pressed her lips against his. She then backed away slightly, waiting breathlessly. He in return leaned to her, his lips brushing hers, searching and experimental. Breath passed between them as they paused, trembling and hesitant, and then he pulled her to himself and kissed her fully, impossibly warm lips caressing hers with a passion she didn't know could exist. Sensation exploded within her, bursting from her middle and traveling all through her body. Her toes began to tingle and her insides wrenched in nearly agonizing desire. Lightheaded, she gasped, feeling as if she might just die right there in his arms, in the heat of the moment. She sensed that something was about to happen, one way or the other. She knew that he sensed it too.

    Then she felt his arms loosen. Felt his hands tremble as they reached for her shoulders and slowly, reluctantly but firmly, push her away from him. Dazed, she sat back, panting as she gazed at his flushed face, his lips parted and chest heaving with rapid breaths, his eyes wide, pained and determined. The room was suddenly stifling and she needed cool air. She jumped off the sofa and raced to her patio door, flinging them open. Cool night air swept away the burning passion of the moment.

    She felt Obi-Wan approach behind her and together they stepped outside and stood, basking in the soft night breeze.

    They stood in silence for a long time, watching the never ending stream of night traffic, lost in their own thoughts.

    Finally, staring out into the night, Obi-Wan said, "You know, Anakin and I talked about this."

    "About us kissing?" Siri asked with eyes wide in mock innocence.

    A crooked grin was her reward. Then he said, "No, about attachments and the code."

    "Oh. Well, thanks for in ruining the moment," she said flippantly.

    "Oh, I think you already did that when you jumped off the couch and opened the door," Obi-Wan said wryly. "But I think it needed to be done."

    Siri said nothing for a moment, but drew closer to Obi-Wan, standing at his side. They gazed silently once again at the night sky, gazing at what few stars could be seen in the everlasting light of Coruscant.

    "He made a statement to me," Obi-Wan said finally, his eyes following a large brightly lit passenger skyliner which swept by in the distant fly lanes.

    "Who? Anakin?"

    Obi-Wan nodded. "After we talked about his anger issue, he said to me, 'You love her, don't you?'"

    Siri waited a moment. When no more was forthcoming she said, "And?"

    He turned and looked at her. "I said yes."

    Her heart skipped a beat. There it was. What they knew was between them for years was now in the open.

    She reached for his hand and felt it close around hers, caressing her fingers.

    "What did he say?" she asked finally.

    "He thinks we should get married," he replied, giving her an ironic grin.

    "Did you explain to him about the code? About..."

    He nodded. "I explained that love to the Jedi was to be for all, but the kind of love between two people is forbidden by the code, because of attachment. He didn't understand it. He thinks that if two people love each other, they should get married. It's what they did on Tatooine. I tried to explain about how attachment can lead to the dark side..."

    "You don't still believe that do you?" asked Siri. She had been unsure of that belief for years, sometimes even wondering if it was used to scare vulnerable padawans away from love. She looked at Obi-Wan, watching him think about her question. Finally he said, "I really don't know anymore, Siri, but I had to explain the code to him. Explain to him that even though we may ...we may love each other, we can never act on it. We are Jedi. That will always come first."

    He turned to her, resolve pushing away the pain that still glistened his eyes. "That is why what happened tonight can not happen again. We cannot let our emotions take us..that way." His brow furrowed as he turned again to gaze at the night sky.

    Siri said nothing for awhile, thinking about what he said. Finally she nodded.

    "I understand," she said softly, pulling her hand out of his.

    She went over to her patio lounge and straddled it, sitting down with her hands over her head. The exultant passion of a few moments ago were now replaced with the pain of knowing he was right. She had felt the approval of the force, but that didn't matter. They still had a commitment to the code they had pledged their lives to.

    She felt him approach, felt him slip behind her, straddling the lounge as he sat down. She leaned back against his chest and pulled her legs up in front of her. He wrapped his arms around her and she in turn draped her arms over his.

    "That doesn't mean we can't still be close though," he whispered.

    "Of course," she replied.

    Silently, together they watched the ever moving sky.

    They were awakened by the beeping of his comlink. Siri blinked in the first light of dawn just beginning to peek through the skyline as a sleepy voice behind her answered it.

    There was silence, and then a response from him. "I understand. I'll be there in an hour."

    They moved off the lounge and stretched.

    "The council needs me to accompany Master Ton'So on a mission. The Jedi who was scheduled to go with him is unable to." He hesitated. "I can't take Anakin. What..?"

    She smiled at his bewildered dilemma; he wasn't used to this kind of problem. "Don't worry about Anakin. Garen and I will watch over him. Just go."

    Obi-Wan nodded gratefully at her and they went through her apartment to her door. He paused as he opened it, glanced back at her with a slight grin, and was gone.

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

    Three days later, Siri was awakened early by an urgent knock on her door. Grumbling, she dragged herself out of her bed and sleepily went to her door. She opened it to find a very worried Garen with an extremely distraught Anakin standing next to him.

    "We received word from Master Ton'So this morning. Obi-Wan went missing 18 hours ago."

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 25, 2012
  15. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Chapter 13 "Tug of War"

    Siri gazed at the planet Tagon as she guided their Jedi transport closer into the atmosphere. The report she and Garen had read earlier said the air was thin but breathable, but by the beautiful azure swirls mixed with green, gold and red, it didn't look to Siri as though breathing would be that much of a problem, but she had made sure she had her rebreather with her.

    In that same report Siri had also learned that the Kapantu were rocklanders which was across the sea from the Wabura, where the Jedi were headed. The Kapantu original homeland was a rocky, barren part of the planet where they mainly lived on small animals, berries that grew on thistle bushes, and wild homma plants.

    Waburans, on the other hand, lived in the greener side of the planet where vegetation was much more plentiful, and pasture animals could be raised for food and other essentials. The two races had historically traded with each other, and many times Kapantuans would come to live with the Wabura, and occasionally a Waburan would live with the Kapantu.

    About twenty odd years ago the Leader of the Kapantu, Barak, decided he wanted total rule of the planet, so he brought invading forces and attacked the Wabura. Barak underestimated the Waburans, thinking they would just lay down and be defeated, but Samek, the leader of the Wabura, raised up his army and fought back. At first his was largely a defensive strategy, but over time, he also grew greedy for power and decided he and the Wabura would be the better race to rule the planet. Thus the war became more fierce and bloodier and just about destroyed the Waburan part of the planet. The war largely died down over time; reduced to mainly skirmishes and wars of words.

    Samek of the Wabura was the first to suggest bringing in the Jedi to negotiate for peace.. Barak had reluctantly agreed.

    The transport broke through the atmosphere as it descended toward the Waburan side of the planet. The gorgeous celestial colors of a moment ago were replaced by harsh orange, green and brown land scarred by years of war.

    Worry flickered inside her as she searched the surface of the forsaken planet. Somewhere down there Obi-Wan was missing. She reached out with her senses, but could not feel him, not yet anyway. He's not dead, this is not his time, she reminded herself again.

    She glanced back at the small med bay in the back. Garen had been busily preparing it for their possible patient. "Possible," she scoffed, "More like probable." She hoped he hadn't been hurt, but knowing Obi-Wan... well, they came prepared.

    She guided the transport to the landing bay below, following the coordinates given her by Master Ton'So. She had just landed and was in the process of switching off the controls when she heard a sudden commotion in the back.

    "Hey! What are you doing back here!" she heard Garen's astonished voice cry out.

    "I'm sorry, Master Garen, but he's my Master. I couldn't let you go without me."

    Siri groaned. Anakin. How did he stay hidden through the nearly 24 hours trip without them sensing him?

    Quick footsteps pounded their way to the front and she turned to find a stubborn, determined padawan being led by an exasperated Garen.

    "Look who I found hiding back in the med bay!"

    "I heard. Anakin, how did you shield yourself long enough that we didn't find you till now?"

    Anakin shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly. "Easy. It was something I discovered when I was a slave. I did it all the time on Tatooine, and sometimes spent hours hiding when I didn't want to be found. I do it sometimes at the temple when I don't want the other kids to know I'm there."

    Siri gazed at him for a moment. He really was a remarkable boy, but still...

    "You shouldn't have stowed away, Anakin. Do you know how much trouble we could get into bringing you on such a dangerous mission without the council's approval? You have not been cleared for these kinds of missions yet."

    Anakin's head went up defiantly. "He's my master. I want to help find him."

    Siri sighed, remembering similar words she had spoken years ago on Astar when her own master had been kidnapped.

    "I do understand, Anakin, but you still shouldn't have come. Do you know how angry Obi-Wan will be when he finds out you're here?"

    Anakin nodded, breaking into a smile. "I don't care! I hope he's mad at me, it will mean he's ok."

    Siri looked at Garen and shrugged her shoulders. "I guess we should contact the Temple."

    Garen nodded. "Agreed."

    Twenty minutes later the three Jedi disembarked from the transport and made their way to the waiting Jedi standing several feet away.

    The Twi'lek Jedi Master was tall, his skin a light orange. His head tails hung almost to his waist and twitched impatiently as he watched the Jedi approach.

    "Trouble?" he asked finally, glancing disapprovingly at the young boy accompanying them. Anakin stood, his head slightly bowed. He was a little more subdued after the rebuke he had just received from Master Yoda.

    Garen nodded. "Anakin stowed away. We just found him. Yoda said to keep him close and do not let him get into any fights, if we can help it. He said Anakin's disobedience will be dealt with when we return."

    "I should think so." Ton'So gazed at Anakin a moment. He looked as though he wanted to say more, but decided against it. He turned his attention to Siri and Garen. He talked as they walked to his ground transport, Anakin following behind silently.

    "The first full day we were here, we met with both sides. The Waburans are our hosts, led by their Leader Samek. They were the ones who asked us here. The Kapantuans had agreed to this, but when we met them they seemed hostile and distrustful of us. They kept saying we would side with the Wabura and that the Kapantu didn't stand a chance. Master Obi-Wan had tried to reason with them, saying that we would only be neutral and help them come up with a treaty that would be equitable to all, but the Kapantuans would not be persuaded."

    "We finally ended the meeting and went to dinner. The force was agitated, we both felt it; that something was terribly wrong. The two parties don't seem to really want peace. Each party wants ruling control of the planet, that's what they've been fighting over for years. Our discernment of the situation seemed to suggest they want to use us to gain the upper hand over the other, not bring real peace."

    "We were discussing if we should stay and try to talk with them, or leave. Obi-Wan thought we should at least give it a day or two to see if negotiations could be worked out, but I wasn't sure. After dinner, I was ready to go to bed. Obi-Wan said he wanted to meditate for awhile and not to wait up for me."

    "I went to bed, not feeling anything was wrong at the time, but a couple of hours later I was awakened by a disturbance in the force. I saw Obi-Wan had not returned. I searched in the garden where I thought he would be and I felt him there. I also felt a great disturbance, like there was a fight. Obi-Wan was no where to be seen. I followed his signature to the edge of the garden toward the forest, and there it stopped. I could not find him anywhere. We heard nothing from him for two days, until yesterday, I received a holomessage from Barak of the Kapantu. I will show it to you when we get to the rooms."

    They arrived to the transport and Ton'So entered to sit in front next to the Waburan driver. Garen stepped aside for Siri. Just as she stepped forward to enter, she felt a slight nudge on her shoulder. She turned to find Anakin gazing at her worriedly.

    "Master Siri, I don't feel him."

    Anxiety gripped Siri for a moment as she searched for Obi-Wan in their connection. She and Garen exchanged worried glances. Then she said, "I can't either, Anakin, but don't worry, we'll find him."

    "But what if he's.."

    "He's not," Siri said sharply. Then she glanced at Anakin and said more gently. "He's not, Anakin. We would know it if he were, understand?"

    Anakin nodded and they entered the transport.

    The trip to the hotel was quiet. Ton'So obviously did not trust their driver with their conversation, and Siri agreed. She gazed out of the window.

    The world they were on appeared at one time to have been a beautiful place. Trees that used to be full and healthy now hung limp and dead in the bleak landscape. The land was marked and scarred, many houses burned and in various stages of ruin. Siri saw a few houses still in livable condition, smoke rising solemnly out of old and battered chimneys.

    The place made her feel sad. Did the fighting leaders not realize what they were doing to their people? Couldn't they work things out for peace? She thought about Ton'So and Obi-Wan's first meeting with them, and Obi-Wan's disappearance. "Apparently not," she thought to herself ruefully. All she wanted to do right now was find Obi-Wan and go home.

    They arrived at the hotel, and Siri noted the run down condition of the two story building. It look as if at one time it had enjoyed a prosperous tourist business, with old, torn up posters advertising festivals and events. She spotted a small, but fairly well kept garden in the back, probably the garden Obi-Wan had gone to the night he disappeared. The hotel had been damaged by the war on one end, but was largely still operational.

    The driver pulled up into the front and the Jedi disembarked. "Why do they insist only one or the other of the factions should rule?" she asked quietly to Ton'So as they gathered their gear.

    "There is a distinctive difference between the two races which has been a large part of the separation and dissent. As a result each race believes they are better than the other, which is why each believes they would be the better rulers of the planet." Ton'So was a bit disdainful as he answered. "You're about to see this difference in just a moment."

    From the front of the building stepped out a small group of beings. They were all alike, tall and wiry, with pale yellow skin and large dark green eyes. They had no hair, but the one thing that marked the two groups were their ears. Both groups sported sharply pointed ears, but on one group the ears were a pale green color and the other group had reddish, almost orange ears.

    "Are you serious?" she thought to herself in amazement. "This is the only difference between them yet they are fighting with each other?"

    A represenatative from each of the factions jostled each other for position to be the first to greet the Jedi.

    The green eared being won out and smugly spoke first. "Welcome! I am Simon, representative of our illustrious and noble leader, Samek of the Wabura." He bowed in a flamboyant gesture with his arms swung out to his sides. He almost hit his companion, a red eared being, who ducked and glared at him. Hostility pressed between gritted teeth as he murmured, "Watch it, Prana-brain."

    "Just stay out of my way, Hommahead," Simon spat through the plastic smile he displayed to the Jedi.

    The red eared being grunted and pushed Simon aside as he stepped forward and also bowed to the Jedi.

    "Greetings. I am Megara, representative of our most illustrious and much more deserving leader, Barak of the Kapantu. We are so sorry you had to come under such circumstances. We can assure you that we have looked tirelessly for your missing friend. We do hope no harm has come to him."

    His welcoming smile rang with pompous insincerity and Siri bristled at their false sentiments. They obviously cared not at all about Obi-Wan but more about impressing the Jedi to win approval for each of their sides in the conflict. This irritated Siri and she wanted only to be away from them so they could search for Obi-Wan.

    She glanced at Ton'So who looked as though he didn't believe a word they said, and rightly so, Siri thought to herself. She reigned in her growing impatience and spoke to them diplomatically.

    "Have either of you had any news as to his whereabouts?"

    Both shook their heads ruefully. "Alas, no."

    Simon drew near to the Jedi and whispered, "Although I do not put it past the Kapantu to have taken him. They are devious, and would do anything to hinder peace. That's why the Wabura should rule."

    "I heard that you sneaky, underhanded algae-brained gadeng!" Magara said belligerently, his red shaded ears seemed to turn a deeper, almost blood red color in his anger. "It is just like you to throw accusations about us! Why, I wouldn't put it past your lot if you took the Jedi, to make us look bad. We should be the rulers of Tagon!"

    Siri almost couldn't hide her disgust. She glanced at Anakin who looked as though he wanted to throttle both of them. She caught his eyes and silently urged him to be still.

    She then looked at Garen, who was stiffly polite and his face showed no emotion, but in a voice slightly tinged with contained anger, he suggested they go inside so the Jedi could freshen up.

    "Oh, of course, of course! How rude of us! You must be tired after your long trip. Tongo!"

    A green eared young man ran swiftly and bowed to Simon. "Yes, father?" He seemed open and friendly, not conniving like his elders. Siri cautiously decided she liked him , and wondered if they might be able to trust him.

    "Take the Jedi upstairs to the rooms that were assigned to them. Then come back down and help your mother prepare a lunch for them."

    "Yes, Sir." He bowed again, then gestured to the Jedi, who followed him.

    He seemed to be about 19 or 20 standard years, and walked with more confidence and dignity than his father. Siri wondered if the young man had not been tainted by the greedy poison of his elders, or was he just better at hiding it.

    He led them upstairs and showed them to their rooms. After he left, Garen turned to Ton'So and said, "What I really want.."

    Ton'So put his finger to his lips and cautioned Garen to silence. Garen obeyed and the three new arrivals quietly watched Ton'So as he scanned the room.

    Ton'So first looked outside the door. Seeing no one, he closed and locked it. Then he looked around the room. Siri could feel him searching and she searched with him. He stopped and stared at the lamp at the side of the bed. He went to it and pulled out a tiny listening device.

    He destroyed the device and then searched again. After finding two more and destroying them, he was satisfied the room was now clean.

    "This is the third time I've found them here. They hide them in different places, but I always find them."

    He took out a holodisc and showed it to Garen. "Is this what you wanted to see?"

    Garen took it from him and examined it. "Yes. Who gave it to you?"

    "I was searching in the nearby villages for Obi-Wan yesterday and a Kapantuan approached me. He shoved the disc into my hand, then ran away. I saw it was a holodisc and returned immediately to my rooms to view it."

    "Do the Wabura know about this?" Siri wondered.

    "Oh,no. As you can tell, I don't trust them any more than I do the Kapantu. They both could have been in on this and that is what I was wondering at first, but this disc showed me that it is probably only the Kapantu's doing. However that doesn't exonerate the Waburans...the Kapantuans merely beat them to it, in my opinion."

    He took the disc from Garen, and accessing his portable holodisc player, he entered it and pushed the control button. The disc came to life.

    The image was blurry at first, but then cleared, showing Obi-Wan unconscious and tied to a bed. His arms were chained above his head on the headboard, and his legs were pulled apart with his feet strapped on each corner at the end. He looked relatively unharmed, to Siri's relief, although he did have a black eye, but the most disconcerting thing was the force suppression collar fixed around his neck.

    "Cowards," she muttered to herself.

    The image moved, and a large, older Kapantuan, richly dressed in red robes ornamented with jewels dug from his Kapantuan homeland, approached the bed and nudged Obi-Wan, who slowly woke up. He seemed sluggish and unable to focus right away, which concerned Siri.

    "You Jedi came here to help the weak minded Wabura take over the planet," the being said accusingly. "We know you are here to help them win the war and gain complete control of Tagon."

    It took Obi-Wan several seconds to answer. When he did, his voice was weak and faltering. "We came here to help both parties negotiate for peace. We would help both of your groups form a lasting treaty giving each equal share in the leadership."

    "Lies!" Boomed the speaker. The hard sound of the slap across Obi-Wan's face caused Anakin to start in alarm and Siri to wince. Garen was still as they watched. "We know you are helping them, but you must realize that they would totally ruin our whole planet. Their leadership would bring us to doom."

    "So the war you have fought for the last twenty years would have nothing to do with the ruin of your planet?" Obi-Wan asked dryly, his voice gaining strenght as he spoke. "And kidnapping me would make me sympathetic to your cause?" Obi-Wan gazed defiantly at his captor.

    His interrogator ignored Obi-Wan's questions and said, "We want you to help us take control of the planet. They have the other one, we have you. That makes us even now, doesn't it?"

    Obi-Wan stirred and raised his head incredulously. "You would have me fight against my brother Jedi to help you gain the advantage? I refuse. It is obvious neither group really wants peace. Both of you had hoped to use us as pawns in your quest to rule. It will not work. You cannot use Jedi this way. Let me go and my partner and I will leave. The Jedi will not return unless at some time both of you are ready to negotiate for real peace."

    Having spoken his piece, Obi-Wan's head fell back onto the bed. He began taking large gulps of air, trying to breathe. Siri thought about the thin air of the planet. So far it had not bothered her or her companions, but exertion seemed to be taking it's toll on Obi-Wan.

    "Sedate him again. Keep him under until I say otherwise," growled the red earred speaker.

    As another Kapatuan in a doctors coat moved with a syringe in his hand, Obi-Wan struggled, but exhaustion quickly overtook him and the syringe went into his neck. Within moments he was unconscious again, his head dropped to one side. The being who administered the syringe then brought forth an IV bag filled with solution. He undid one of Obi-Wan's arms from over his head, then examined it to find a vein. Upon finding one, he jabbed the needle into Obi-Wan's arm, taped it down and adjusted the IV. The solution began to drip. He left his arm dangling free, figuring there was nothing Obi-Wan could do in his unconscious state, although the rest of his limbs remained bound.

    "There, that will keep him out until we get what we want, or..." the speaker looked into the holocamera ominously. "We kill him."

    Siri felt a sharp grip on her arm and glanced to find an agitated Anakin staring at the small holovid, his emotions swirling in a vortex ranging from intense anger to frantic worry for his Master. She herself felt like the universe was closing in on her, and the sight of Obi-Wan so helpless was almost more than she could take, but thoughts of her visions kept her in balance. He would survive this she knew. Somehow, they would get to him in time. She squeezed Anakin's hand trying to send him assurance and returned her attention to the hologram.

    The Kapantuan leader stood in front of the holocamera, blocking their view of Obi-Wan. "I am Barak, leader of the Kapantu, and future leader of this planet. Oh yes, I said future, because you are going to help me win control of Tagon."

    "I have tried for two days to convince this Jedi to help us win control. It didn't start out like this. Oh no, we were very amiable. We gave him a place to sleep..this room in fact. He wasn't bound as he is now. He was our guest."

    He spoke as though his skills as a gracious host should not be brought into question. Siri was almost dizzy with disgust. Bringing her emotions quickly under control, she made herself focus on the being speaking.

    "Oh, it took many of us to convince him at first. He put up a good fight, tossing my soldiers around like they were youngling dolls, but my best man finally shot the syringe into him and then we were able to put the force suppression collar on him, which we purchased from a dealer when we found out the Jedi were coming. This helped him to be much more agreeable to our invitation."

    The red eared leader's face then twisted into a snarl. "But he is very stubborn. No amount of talk could persuade him to help us."

    Barak stepped closer to the holovid camera, and his pale yellow face filled the screen, his ears a bright grenadine. He was practically snarling; a threatening glare was in his eyes.

    "So now here is the deal, Jedi. You help us win control of the planet, or he dies. He will be kept under sedation until the summit meeting three days from the making of this holovid. If at the summit you fail to help us win control, my assistant here will be ready with a poisonous solution, which will be added to the sedative already going into his system. His death will be quick and relatively painless."

    The his mouth twitched, as though trying to hide his amusement.

    "Well, probably not painless. He might suffer some convulsions. In his position he'll likely choke on his own vomit, so we'll see which kills him fastest; the poison or suffocation." The Kapantuan could no longer hide his pleasure of thinking he had the upper hand. He broke into a diabolical grin, his green eyes glinting with assumed assurance of his success.

    "It's up to you. Oh, and don't try to rescue him. I know you Jedi are clever, but any hint of his rescue will result in his immediate death. All you will find is a corpse. So if you want him back alive, I suggest you cooperate. See you at the summit!"

    The being bagan laughing as the holovid ended.

    Siri, realizing her face was wet with tears, raised her hand to wipe them away. She glanced with concern at Anakin,whose grip on her arm was becoming painful and his anger was palpable. She glanced at the other two Jedi, who had also noticed and was staring at Anakin. Garen turned, and pulling Anakin away from Siri, gripped him by both of his shoulders. He bent into Anakins face and spoke firmly but gently to him.

    "Anakin, anger will not help him. You must release it now."

    He waited, and a tense moment passed as the Jedi wondered if Anakin would obey. Finally they felt the anger begin to subside. Siri watched as Anakin fought to bring his strong emotions under control. She worried that he would put Obi-Wan and them all in jeopardy with some reckless act. He was too young and untrained for this. They would have to make him understand how important it was for him to obey. Obi-Wan's life depended on it. After a moment she put her arm around him and tried to comfort him. He seemed to relax a little, and Ton'So began to speak.

    "The third day is tomorrow," Ton'So said gruffly. "The summit begins one hour after breakfast."

    "What are we going to do?" Anakin cried out. "We have to find him!"

    Siri squeezed his shoulder gently. "We will," she soothed. "We aren't beaten yet, and neither is he."

    She looked hopefully at Garen, who nodded. They knew their friend. He would not give up, and neither would they. They would find his location and somehow rescue him.

    They had to.

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Sep 25, 2012
  16. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Beginning now, at last is the next "new" post for this story. Please let me know if you want to be PM'd for future chapters. I hope this was worth the wait. :)


    Chapter 14: Unexpected Help

    Siri gazed gloomily at the barely touched food on her plate. Tongo had announced the midday meal shortly after the Jedi had viewed the holovid but Siri found she didn't have much of an appetite. She just didn't feel like eating while Obi-Wan lay helpless, tied to a bed under sedation.

    He had looked healthy enough; she had seen no indication of bodily injury except for the bruised eye, probably from fighting his captors at the start. Normally Obi-Wan could always find his own way out of just about any situation he found himself in, but the fact they kept him tied down, under sedation and with a force collar around his neck had insured he would be unable to do anything about his situation.

    She glanced over at Garen. She noticed that with his jaw clenched his demeanor was stiffly polite tinged with irritation, but somehow he had managed to eat most of his food and along with Master Ton'So had kept the conversation going with the two dignitaries. She felt badly that she had said barely a word since they sat down.

    "What an attitude," she scolded herself silently. "Straighten up and act like the Jedi you are instead of some sullen teenager who wants her way."

    She glanced up at Anakin across the table from her and almost snorted. Like Anakin.

    He also had barely touched his food. He was slumped slightly in his chair and staring at his plate, idly using the force to move bits of his food from one side of his plate to the other, impatience broiling under the surface of his demeanor.

    "Yeah, what a great example I'm setting for his Padawan," she thought to herself disdainfully. "Well, that's going to change now."

    As though sensing Siri's gaze upon him, Anakin looked up at her with dim, sullen eyes.

    She decided right then that despite their lack of appetite they needed to eat something to have the strength for the task that lay ahead. She scooped up a forkful of the food and raised it to her lips as she looked at Anakin. He straightened in his chair and nodded slightly in understanding and did the same. Between the two of them they managed to eat half the food on their plates.

    As she took another bite, she noticed Megara, the Kapantuan representative, looking at her curiously. She knew he wondered if they had seen the hologram. She figured he knew they must have. She gazed at her fork, suddenly having a most un-Jedi like compunction to throw the thing into his insipid face, pin him down to the floor with the force and demand that he tell them where Obi-Wan was.

    She shook off the forbidden and not totally unpleasant thought and sighed. They would have to play along with this charade while Obi-Wan's life hung in the balance. She faked a small nodding grin to him and took another bite, trying not to choke on it.

    The lunch was finally ended and they left the table, the representatives wishing them good luck in finding their friend.

    Their sentiments rang hollow in Siri's ears, and a sharp retort nearly escaped her lips, but she clamped her mouth shut. Representative Megara then cleared his throat.

    "What does he want now?" Siri thought with annoyance as she turned again to face him with the others. He smiled as he said softly, his dark green eyes sharp with pointed meaning, "I do hope your friend comes to no harm."

    He gazed at the Jedi a moment before turning away and joining his companions on their way out.

    The Jedi looked at each other, the hidden threat was not lost on any of them. Crossing her arms, Siri glared after the representative and wondered idly where that fork had gone to. Her thoughts were interrupted by a sudden burst of commotion in the room. Anakin was angrily rushing the retreating dignitary, but Garen was faster and blocked his way.

    "No, Anakin," Garen growled, his arms held out against Anakin's rush. Anakin stopped, faced pinched and reddened, his eyes blazing.

    "Let me go!" Anakin snarled between clenched teeth. "He knows where my master is."

    "I know that," Garen said sternly, "but your attacking him will only make it worse for Master Obi-Wan. There is another way. Stand down, Padawan Skywalker! Find your center." Garen grabbed Anakin's shoulders and gripped them tightly, eyes boring into him, willing him to obey. Anakin stared back at him, stubborn will wrestling with stubborn will, until finally the padawan relented, his shoulders relaxed against Garen's grip. He retreated, sullen and glowering. "I'm sorry, Master Garen, you're right. There is another way," he said, not quite convincingly, but good enough for Garen.

    Master Ton-So stared at Anakin, shaking his head slowly, his disapproval ringing in the force. Then he motioned for them to follow him. As they left the building, Siri quickened her steps to match Garen.

    "You mean to say that my idea of using my fork to nail that barve to the floor would have been a bad idea?" she murmured.

    Garen glanced at her, one eyebrow lifted. "Knight Tachi, do I have to restrain you too?"

    "I'd like to see you try, Knight Muln, and besides, I am in perfect control."

    He grunted a short laugh, and she smirked at him.

    They felt silent as they followed Master Ton'so to the garden, where Obi-Wan was last known to have been.

    The garden must have been lovely at one time, Siri surmised to herself as they entered. An almost dried up pond was in the middle, dead or dying foliage surrounded the pond, the only part still showing any beauty was a rock garden at the far end. It had a bench, and it was there that Siri suddenly felt Obi-Wan's force signature. A pang gripped her as she realized how much she missed him. Anakin tugged on her arm and she turned to find his eyes wide with excitement.

    "He was here!" he said, "I feel him! All we have to do is follow the trail..."

    "If you recall, young Padawan, I've already tried that." Master Ton'So intoned somewhat impatiently. "I felt him the first day he disappeared, stronger than what you feel now. I followed it out of the garden, then it stopped abruptly."

    "Do you think that is where they put the force suppression collar on him?" Garen asked.

    "It must have been. He had to have been unconscious, because I don't think they would have gotten it on him otherwise."

    "Then what shall we do?" asked Siri. "Do you have any idea at all?"

    They heard a rustle behind them and turned to find Tongo approaching. He stopped pensively, waiting.

    "Yes, may we help you?" Ton-So said, not unkindly.

    "I - I think I may be able to help you," Tongo said, glancing at each one in turned. He eyes stopped on Siri. "I have some friends...we want to help you find your comrade."

    "Why?" Siri asked warily.

    Tongo glanced around a little nervously, then drew closer to the Jedi. "I can take you to my friends where we can talk safely. Everything will be explained."

    Siri searched him with the force. After a moment she turned to Garen and said softly, "I think he's telling the truth. I feel no deception in him."

    "I agree," said Garen, nodding. "We will come with you, but won't you be missed?"

    "I have the afternoons free from duty. This is when I meet my friends. "

    The Jedi looked at each other then Ton'So nodded. "I've tried everything else, I think this may be our only choice, but I cannot go. I have to prepare for tomorrow's summit."

    Ton'So then turned to the Jedi soberly. "You do realize I will not break the code just to save one Jedi. It is not the Jedi way to put one in power over another, ours is only to help bring equitable peace. I don't know why these beings thought we could do otherwise."

    "Because they are ignorant of the Jedi," Tongo said bitterly. "They only know the Jedi has some strange powers and they help beings in other worlds. My father had heard someone say that the Jedi put the government in place on his home world, and he thought the Jedi could help put Samek in power here."

    "What planet?" asked Garen.

    "Kallista."

    Ton-So shook his head. "No, we only helped them negotiate for peace. They came to the decision of government with the help of the Senate after the peace treaty was signed. The Jedi had nothing to do with that part."

    Tongo nodded. "I thought so. You see, both sides are no better than the other. They each thought they could use the Jedi for their own purposes. They pretended to want peace and raised the hopes of the citizens, but they only hoped to use the Jedi over the other." The disgust in Tongo's voice was evident.

    "We will come with you," Siri said, "but we don't have much time." She looked at Ton'So. "We do understand, Master Ton'So. Obi-Wan would not want us to compromise the code just to save him. He will do what he must, as must we."

    "You understand?" Anakin said incredulously, staring at Siri. "You of all people? Don't you care that my Master might die if we can't find him in time? Master Ton'So has to..."

    "No he doesn't," Siri said to him sharply. "Of course I care, Anakin, but Master Ton'So will follow the code, as will we. Master Kenobi wouldn't want it any other way. We cannot allow attachment to cloud our judgement, Anakin."

    Siri's heart fluttered at her own words, realizing the truth of them. If they couldn't find Obi-Wan, and Ton'So does what is right, it could cost Obi-Wan his life. She would have to let him go. She swallowed hard. Obi-Wan's destiny was not here, she knew, but the future was not written in stone. They did need to hurry if they hoped to find him in time.

    Ton'So nodded. "The best I can do at the Summit tomorrow is stall, but otherwise if they demand a decision from me, I will have to make my stand." He stared hard at Anakin who seemed to wither slightly under his stare. "No matter what the outcome."

    Tongo cleared his throat. "Let's go then, the meeting will be starting soon."

    Ton'So nodded at them. "May the force be with you," he said. Then he turned toward the hotel.

    "And with you, Master Ton'So," Garen said. Siri gestured for Anakin to follow Garen and she brought up the rear. They followed Tongo out of the garden.

    Shortly after they began their walk, Siri sensed danger. She stopped and looked at Garen. He nodded and searched their surrounding. Tongo stopped to watch curiously. Garen slipped away from the group and was soon out of sight. They waited anxiously for his return.

    Siri felt the danger leave and looked up expectantly to find Garen returning to them.

    "We were being followed," he confirmed. "I just met him and gave him a strong suggestion to forget all about us and return home to his family. He agreed." Garen grinned and winked at Siri.

    Siri nodded with a smirk. "Well, I'm certainly glad he agreed to it."

    Tongo stared at Garen, confusion on his face. "What do you mean, he forgot all about us and returned to his home? He's abandoning his assignment!"

    "It's a little something we can do to - um- persuade beings in the right frame of mind."

    "Oh. Well, why can't you do that with the leaders?"

    "We don't use this gift lightly, nor to persuade governments, otherwise we would be what your leaders thought we were. But it does come in handy in potentially dangerous situations or where we could be discovered when we don't want to be, understand?"

    Tongo thought a moment, then slowly nodded. "I understand and I am glad you did that. Our location could have been compromised."

    He turned again and continued to lead them into the woods. Siri, Garen and Anakin kept their senses tuned to their surroundings, ready to encounter any other disturbance should it come.

    A little under an hour later, Tongo, having led them deep into the woodland areas away from civilization, led them to a hidden bunker. It looked like nothing more than a hilly area covered with trees and foliage, but he approached the foot of this hill and made a strange animal noise. He made this noise a few more times, and Siri realized his call was in a specific pattern. Soon an answering pattern was heard, and part of the dirt mound trembled. It slid to the side, revealing a duracrete door. The door slowly opened and a pale yellow face peered out at them.

    Siri noticed his red ears and started. Had they just walked into a trap? She glanced at Tongo, but could not sense any deception.

    "Tongo, you set us up!" shouted Anakin, whose emotions had not yet been fully trained into Jedi stoicism. Garen placed a firm hand on his shoulder

    Alarmed, Tongo shook his head. "No, no! Our group is made up of both Kapantu and Wabura, all of us wanting an end to this war and to live peacefully as one people."

    Siri felt the utter sincerity in Tongo's sentiments. She nodded and the Kapantuan opened the door wider, allowing Tongo and the Jedi to enter.

    They entered a cool, dark cave like structure. Rough steps led downward, and the Jedi followed their host down until they entered a large room filled with Tagonians, both Kapantu and Wabura.

    Siri was amazed as she observed both races of Tagonians milling about. She heard talk and some snatches of light laughter. Her jaw dropped when she observed families standing together; a Kapantu mother stood with her Waburan husband, their three giggling children chasing each other around them. She noticed that one child had his mother's ears, another his father's and the youngest had a strange blending of both.

    She felt a stir behind her. Tongo spoke softly.

    "Years ago, before the war started, Kapantu and Wabura had peace. It was common to see mixed marriages, for we didn't think of each other as different, despite our ears, we thought of ourselves as Tagonians. It was the war and our leaders' insistance that one was better than the other that changed all that." Bitterness crept into his voice as he spoke.

    "You were very young when the war began, weren't you?" Siri asked him.

    "I was a baby when the war started. As the years went by, I grew more and more unhappy with the war and the part my father played in it. All I could see was that both sides were really the same. I couldn't understand why my father and Samek along with the Kapantu were trying so hard to put a wedge between us. When I turned seventeen, the war was still going pretty strong and my father wanted me to join the fight. That's when I sought out answers. I met a Kapantu girl who brought me here. I've been a part of this ever since."

    "What is the purpose of this group?"

    "We are here to declare our citizenship as Tagonians. We have been building an army to overthrow both leaders, if the need arises. We have studied, trained, and prepared ourselves for the day that we can put a stop to our leaders' insane propaganda. We feel the time is now because of you Jedi being here and the summit. I think we can help you find your friend at the same time when we make our move."

    Siri nodded as their attention was diverted to an approaching young female Kapantu. Her red ears deepened in their color as she neared Tongo. He grinned widely at her and they embraced.

    "I'm so glad to see you," the female said. She turned her attention to the Jedi. "Hello, I'm Kondra."

    Siri nodded to her and said, "Hello. I'm Siri and this is Garen and Anakin. We're here to find our comrade, Obi-Wan Kenobi."

    Kondra's face darkened somewhat and she nodded. "I know, and I know..."

    She was interrupted by a chime in the front of the room. They turned to face the front where a tall Kanpantu stood.

    "If everyone will come to attention, we will get this meeting started."

    Kondra and Tongo moved to find their places in the front row. They gestured for the Jedi to join them. Kondra whispered to Siri as they went.

    "Don't worry, we'll help you."

    People moved quickly to find seats. Tongo and Kondra sat in the front row and the Jedi sat next to them. Behind them, a few children began fussing at the insistent tugging of their parents. One baby began to wail, and a Waburan woman gently rocked her baby as she apologetically left the room.

    If this was a war room, Siri wondered why children were allowed. It seemed more like a meeting of families at some kind of religious ceremony than a meeting to discuss taking over the government.

    Siri turned to glance at Anakin sitting next to her. She noted a scowl on his face and could sense impatience in him. She knew he thought they should be out looking for Obi-Wan. Her suspicions were confirmed when he spoke.

    "This is taking too long! How are we going to find him if we're sitting in some meeting?"

    She whispered to him. "Patience, Anakin. I think we'll find answers here."

    He stared at her a moment but didn't answer.

    She smiled at him and patted his shoulder. "I know you're anxious about him and so am I, but we must follow the leading of the force and I feel we're in the right place."

    He slowly nodded and looking down at his lap said, "Yes, Master Siri."

    Garen leaned over and whispered, "Do you sense like I do that they know more than they're saying?"

    Siri nodded. "And I think we're about to find out."

    Garen leaned back into his seat as silence fell among the people. The Kapantu stood to speak.

    "We welcome the Jedi into our midst. I am Shamse, the leader of our little uprising." He grinned as he said this and a few titters of laughter was heard in the crowd.

    "They are here to find their friend, who as you know from our last meeting, was taken by Samek."

    A murmur rose in the crowd as people commented and acknowledged the truth of what the speaker was saying. He shushed them down and then turned to where the Jedi were sitting.

    "Kondra, do you have any new developments?"

    Kondra stood. "Not really, sir. He is in the same condition as before. I've been keeping an eye on him.

    "Is he still sedated?"

    Kondra nodded. "Yes, sir. Unfortunately, my father will not relent in that respect. He doesn't trust him."

    The three Jedi stared at Kondra, stunned.

    "You know where Master Kenobi is?" Siri and Anakin said at the same time, then Siri added, "Samek is your father?"

    Kondra turned to the Jedi. "Yes, and we have been working on a plan."

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

    Strange, fitful dreams slowly gave way to hazy awareness. Far away voices could be heard in the waning darkness, and an uncomfortable feeling of nausea swept Obi-Wan as his heavy eyelids slid open. The room spun and he quickly closed them again. Warm, comforting hands stroke his forehead and cheeks as a female spoke.

    "I think he's coming around, Dr. Pau."

    "It takes a little while for the sedative to wear off enough for the patient to regain consciousness," a male voice said, his nervousness evident as his voice wavered.

    There was an uncomfortable pause, then the male spoke again. "Are you sure this is a good idea, Kondra? If your father catches us, it could mean his death as well ...as well as...my ..family's."

    Obi-Wan could sense a shift as her hands left his face. Obi-Wan chanced the opening of his eyes again to see the female called Kondra move to Dr. Pau's side and place a hand on his arm in sympathy.

    "Don't worry, Dr. Pau. . I just want to speak to him a moment. We won't do anything till we know your family is safe."

    Dr. Pau nodded, then seeing Obi-Wan he said, "I think he's fully awake now."

    Obi-Wan tried to move his arms and legs but they were still chained. His one free arm could be moved some, but it was hindered by the IV still hooked into him. He looked hopefully at the Kapantuan female as she smiled shyly down at him.

    With this dreadful collar on he could not tell if she were sincere or not. He could barely feel the force. He tried to speak.

    "Are you...?" but his voice was a dry crack and he began coughing fitfully. She moved and was soon back with a cup. She placed it to his lips and he sipped the cool liquid gratefully.

    "Just a little, now," Dr. Pau cautioned. "If he drinks too fast, his body could reject it."

    Kondra nodded and pulled the cup away. Obi-Wan laid his head back down, then waited till he thought he would be able to speak again.

    "Are you putting yourself in harm's way to help me?" Obi-Wan finally managed, his throat still dreadfully dry, but he could at least speak now. This was so much worse than the last time they brought him around.

    "How ...how long have I been...under?" he wondered.

    "Almost three days"

    Longer than the last time. No wonder he was having more difficulty this time.

    .I'm so sorry, Master Kenobi," Kondra said. "Yes, I'm taking some risks to wake you up, as is Dr. Pau, but I wanted to talk to you, and give you a break from this awful sedative my father is forcing on you."

    Obi-Wan glanced at Dr. Pau. "Your family?"

    Dr. Pau's worried eyes lifted to Obi-Wan's, and he nodded. "Myself, my wife and two children were kidnapped the night they brought you here. We were brought here and my family was locked up in the lower dungeon. I was brought up here to tend to you. They told me my family would die if I did not do what I was told."

    Dr. Pau's head hung in shame as he said,"I'm so sorry, Master Kenobi. I did not know what else to do. My family..."

    "No need to apologize. You did what you had to." Obi-Wan said to him. Compassion for this man..this man who he now knew to be a good man in a very bad situation, touched Obi-Wan.

    "But, if the plan does not work, I may have to..." Dr. Pau stopped, and gestured toward the IV, but could not speak anymore.

    Obi-Wan gazed at Dr. Pau's troubled face. He did not want to die. He knew it was not his time. He thought about Anakin, who needed him, and about Siri. What would it do to her should he die. But he couldn't think about that, they were Jedi, trained from a very young age to accept death should it come. It still didn't make it easy, he thought, remembering how hard it was during the weeks after Qui-Gon's death, but it was part of being a Jedi.

    No, he thought to himself, it's a part of life.

    He realized attachment meant more than not wanting to let go of others, but also meant not wanting to let go of life because of others. Ideally Jedi should have no attachments so that should death come to them it would be easier, knowing that they would not be leaving loved ones behind. They could let go more easily and accept the will of the force. Well, unfortunately, he was coming to realize that at least some attachment was a way of life, no matter how much the Jedi tried to control it with a code. Even if Siri were not a factor, he still had Anakin, and he didn't want to leave him.

    He gazed again at Dr. Pau's grief stricken face.

    Still, sacrifice is part of a Jedi's life, and this man's family was in danger. If rescue didn't come in time, he would never live comfortably knowing his life was spared at the expense of innocent people.

    Resolved strengthened him as he spoke.

    "You will do what you must, for your family. Do not feel shame for that, Doctor, I will not blame you nor curse you in my death."

    Dr. Pau's dark green eyes widened in surprise. A slightly green tear slowly slid down his cheek as he nodded.

    Obi-Wan turned his attention to Kondra. He could see that she was Samek's daughter. She looked to be about twenty standard years of age, but she did not have the cruel edge to her that her father had. Her face was soft with sympathy and compassion.

    'You mentioned a plan?"

    "Yes." Kondra drew near, fear evident on her face. She looked around the room and Dr. Pau opened the door to check. He turned and nodded to her.

    She leaned over Obi-Wan and whispered. "We..that is myself and Dr. Pau, with his family, have been part of a secret organization planning to take over the two factions and begin a peaceful government. We were close to finally making our move with this summit taking place tomorrow. When you were kidnapped, and Dr. Pau and his family taken, we had to shift our plans to try and include the rescues."

    Obi-Wan nodded, pondering this hopeful news.

    "Tomorrow is the summit meeting. Master Ton'So will be there. We have a plan in place, and if everything goes right, we'll have Dr. Pau's family safe and will get you out of here. Some other Jedi arrived today, they will be helping. They said they are friends of yours."

    Obi-Wan's heart lifted at that news, but before he could ask about them, Dr. Pau spoke.

    "We considered if I should awaken you and try to free you tomorrow, but we thought it would be too risky, Samek has many soldiers still loyal to him and there will be many guards here tomorrow. I do not have the key to that collar. Samek is keeping it with him. I'm sorry..."

    Obi-Wan reached out with his one free hand still attached to the IV machine and patted his arm. "It's all right, Doctor, I understand. Don't worry, my friends will be here. Don't do anything that would put your family in danger, but wait until the right time."

    Kondra glanced nervously at the closed door. "Father will be here soon. I'm afraid we have to put you under again, Master Kenobi. I'm sorry." She bent over Obi-Wan and said softly, "but one of your friends, Siri Tachi, told me to tell you not to worry, that she won't let you get away this easily. You owe her after this." A smile touched Kondra's face despite the seriousness of the situation.

    Obi-Wan grinned. Siri is here.

    Dr. Pau released the sedative again. Obi-Wan laid his head back, thinking that he might not sleep for at least a week after all this.

    "The problem with this kind of sleep," Obi-Wan thought hazily as the sedative took effect, "is that it's not a peaceful sleep imbued with the force...ah well...Siri is here..." darkness overcame him again and as he sank into unconsciousness he vaguely heard the thundering voice of Samek. Then he knew no more.

    TBC
  17. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Loved the "water fight" frivolous use of the Force - and the lesson "taught" to Anakin.
  18. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    Obi-Wan always thinking of others. [face_nail_biting]
  19. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love the new update and like Dr Pau
  20. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Thanks for the reviews! Here's the next chapter.


    Chapter 15 The Coup

    The early morning was chilly with a touch of dew still in the air. Siri rubbed her hand against her damp face and was reminded of another cold dewy morning when she and Obi-Wan had been lost in the woods for awhile. It was then they had discovered their love for one another. It seemed like such a long time ago now, but it had only been about nine years.

    "That's all?" she thought to herself as she stifled a sudden sneeze. Kondra glanced at her. Siri apologetically shrugged and glanced quickly around. No one had seen them. Good. She determined to keep her mind on the "here and now" as Master Qui-Gon had been fond of saying. It wouldn't do to be discovered when they were on the verge of finally rescuing Obi-Wan.

    Siri, Kondra and the rest of their team were crouched, hiding behind foliage several feet in front of the large, ancient structure standing before her. This was Samek's house, she had learned the previous night. And this was where Obi-Wan was being held.

    21 years ago Samek had come to the Waburans land, supposedly seeking peaceful relations with the leader of the Wabura. His people had been traveling back and forth between the two lands for years, many staying to marry and raise families. Samek had been a young leader then, only recently taking the helm from his father who had died and passed the leadership on to his son.

    He had purchased this house, the oldest and largest in Wabura, which had at the time been up for auction as the former occupant had died, leaving no descendants. A historical group had wished to purchase it to make into a museum, with its long Waburan heritage as well as ancient dungeons that hadn't been used in many years - until recently. They had been disappointed when this young, brash Kapaturian leader had out bid them, declaring this to be his new "home away from home."

    One year later, this same house became his battle operations headquarters as he had secretly brought in soldiers and leveled his first attacks on Wabura. Thus the war had begun.

    Siri had learned all this in the after meeting the night before when they had stayed to plan the rescues for today. Kondra had been emotional when she told the story. She had not yet been born when her father had purchased the house, but had been born only within three months after the war began. Her mother had died in childbirth, never accepting her husband's tyrannical ambitions to rule the whole of Tagon. She had become weaker and sicker as her six month pregnancy had progressed, worry and distress having robbed her of her health, despite her husband's assurances he only had the best interest of Tagon at heart. Her weakened body had not been able to overcome the strains of labor, and she had died only minutes after Kondra had been born.

    Siri had been saddened by Kondra's story when she told it the previous night. She could see that Kondra loved her father, but like her mother, she had strongly disagreed with his ambitions. Siri detected a deeply hidden sadness, and some resentment in Kondra. She had wondered if Kondra had forgiven her father for her mother's death.

    When the discussion had turned to the summit and rescues for the next day, Siri had been impressed and heartened when she saw the hundreds of Tagonians, of both races, standing at attention and ready for orders. They had been trained indeed and were ready for action. They had been split into three groups, the largest group was lead by Shamse. They were to head for the Summit, one hour away by transport. Tongo was in that group. They already had people on the inside, pretending loyalty to one leader or the other, ready to take action once the upheaval began.

    It had been decided that the Jedi would go with Kondra and the second smaller group to her father's house. Transports had been provided for them for the 40 minute trip. The third group had been dispatched to round up citizens for the uprising and to uproot factions of still loyal soldiers of both sides and arrest them.

    Siri, Garen and Anakin had had to pretend dejection and failure when they had returned to the hotel late that night. Representative Megara had been smug when he saw their faces, expressing sympathy at their distress.

    It was very late when they explained everything to Ton'So. They had discussed leaving Anakin with Ton'So for the summit, but Anakin would have nothing of it. He wanted to be there for his master. The adults finally agreed, deciding that Anakin would have found some way to escape and join them anyway, so it would be better for him to be there and part of the plan. Ton'So also had expressed his desire to not be distracted by a young and undisciplined padawan when he needed to be focused on the task at hand.

    The Jedi had only slept a few hours when very early the next morning, before sunrise, they had awakened and quietly slipped out of the hotel to meet Tongo at their rendezvous. He took them by speeders to the next rendezvous, where they organized with their groups and went their separate ways.

    Now Siri sat with Kondra and other members of their team, waiting for the signal from Garen and Anakin, who had gone with a few of the team members to overtake the guards surrounding the outside of the house. They had to work quickly and fight their way down to the dungeons to free Dr. Pau's family.

    As soon as they received the signal, Siri, Kondra and the rest of the team were to enter the house and fight any opposing forces to get upstairs to Obi-Wan. Garen, Anakin and the rest of their group would meet them. Siri silently prayed that the force would be with them and all would be successful.

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

    The summit meeting had begun over an hour earlier and Master Ton'So stood at the head of a long table, the Waburians lead by Barak and his aide Simon on one side, and the Kapaturians, with Samek and his aide, Megura, at the other. He stood watching the two warring parties, listening to their accusations and barbs. He had tried several times to intervene and bring them to silence to begin peaceful negotiation, but the two factions were stubborn in their arguments as to which side would best serve Tagoa as Supreme Rulers of their planet. Finally Barak of the Wabura turned to Ton'So and demanded,

    "What about it, Master Jedi? Which of us would be the better to rule? Which one of us will you back?

    Samek gazed at Ton'So, his eye glinting as he said, "Yes, Master Jedi, do tell us."

    This was it. Ton'So cleared his throat.

    "I am not here to name a ruler, only to bring a peaceful resolution for both parties," Ton'So began.

    Samek stood defiantly, "Surely you know the consequences of your refusal to cooperate with us.."

    Ton'So's head tails twitched as he held his anger in check. He declared, "I will not compromise myself nor my status as a Jedi to appease you, not even for the life of one of my brothers. He, as well as I, understand that to be a Jedi means at times to make difficult choices that could cost a life, but we will do what is right, no matter what the consequences. He understands that, and would have it no other way."

    Samek was nearly choked with anger as Barak stood, shouting.

    "I knew it! I knew you kidnapped the Jedi." Almost gleeful, he turned to Ton'So. "Now you must see.."

    He was stopped by the sound of shouts and blaster fire outside the door.

    Samek eyes narrowed. "Master Jedi, where are the other Jedi?"

    Before Ton'So could answer, the door flew open. Shamse, Tongo and an army followed, blasters pointing at all of the party.

    Representative Simon's eyes grew wide with surprise. "Tongo! What are you doing?"

    Tongo stood tall, his blaster pointed at his father and the other members of the summit. "I'm sorry, father, but your war is over."

    To the surprise of the dignitaries, most of the soldiers on both sides also turned their blasters toward the leaders as Shamse said,

    "The people of Tagon have commissioned us to place you both under arrest for unlawful warmongering, causing dissension among our people and various acts of war crimes against the people of Tagon. Please remove your weapons and surrender."

    Finding themselves outnumbered and most of their own soldiers turning against them, the leaders and their aides slowly released their weapons and surrendered.

    No one noticed as Samek's hand slowly moved to a communicator at his belt. He pushed a button, it flashed red momentarily, then was silent. He stood smugly, staring at Master Ton'So, a satisfied grin playing at his mouth.

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

    The room was quiet. Too quiet, Dr. Pau thought, as though the very atmosphere was bracing itself for the tumult soon to come. He glanced nervously at the guard standing inside the door, watching both Dr. Pau and the sleeping Jedi.

    He glanced at his patient and hoped fervently that Shamse, Kondra and the Jedi were successful in rescuing and ending this awful war. He missed his family and worried about them.

    He moved slowly toward the bed where Obi-Wan lay, glancing at the guard as he did so. He reached out and adjusted the IV. He paused for a moment, his hand on the machine. One quick movement, and the IV would be out. Obi-Wan would have a fighting chance should things not go well.

    His hand tightened on the machine as he thought of his family. The Jedi had told him not to do anything to endanger them, but he was a healer, not a killer. He gazed at the sleeping Jedi's face. This man was kind; a good man. He had done nothing wrong. He was willing even to die so his family could live. With a trembling hand Dr. Pau wiped the moisture from his eyes. He felt breathless and almost dizzy as he considered his options and risks.

    The sound of a sudden bark from the guard made him jump.

    "What are you doing there Doctor?"

    "N - nothing," Dr. Pau stammered. "Just adjusting the tube."

    "You had better not try anything, Doctor, or you know what will happen to your family."

    Dr. Pau nodded nervously. "Yes..yes, I know. I'm just adjusting the tube, that's all."

    A tiny twitch of his wrist as he held the tube going into Obi-Wan's arm, and the needle had loosened. a tiny pull, and the needle, hidden by the gauze covering it, lay harmlessly on the Jedi's arm.

    There. Dr. Pau prayed he did the right thing. He finished adjusting the equipment and was turning to move away when he saw the communicator sitting on the side table. It flashed red. His heart stopped.

    He slowly picked up the communicator and read the words, "Kill him now," flashed repeatedly on the screen.

    He hands shook as the communicator slipped from them and fell to the floor. He gazed with dread at the prepared syringe by the bedside, filled with the toxin that would kill the Jedi.

    Heart pounding, he reached out for the poison. His hands were shaking so badly he didn't think he could complete the task if he wanted to.

    "I can't do it." he thought to himself...but his family. His family was counting on him. He held the syringe up, tapping the contents lightly.

    The guard had moved with interest to the bedside, anticipating what was about to happen. Dr. Pau stood over the Jedi. He noticed a slight movement of Obi-Wan's arm. He was beginning to come around. Dr. Pau put the syringe to his arm, but stopped.

    "No. No, I can't." He stammered as he backed away.

    Angered, the guard roughly pushed Pau backwards, causing him to land on the floor.

    "You just signed your family's death warrant, Doctor!" he spat out as he grabbed the syringe and rammed it into Obi-Wan's arm.

    TBC
    Last edited by obimom, Oct 4, 2012
    Gkilkenny likes this.
  21. Valairy Scot Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    Oh why did the guard have to take an interest in the silent communicator - if he hadn't noticed it, the doctor could have stalled.
  22. Gkilkenny Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2004
    star 4
    Panic does that to you. Come-on Obi-Wan wake up quickly before the poison takes effect
  23. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Come on Obi and fight the poison. A great cliffie
  24. Luna_Nightshade Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jan 25, 2006
    star 5
    Very exciting ending to the last chapter! I did come to like Dr Pau, and I hope Obi-Wan can get them out of this mess. Great updates--good to be caught up!
  25. obimom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2010
    star 4
    Yup, wish the guard had been one of those inattentive type guards, but I think he enjoyed his job a little too much. ;)
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