Title: Where is the Force? Author: kalujinn Timeframe: Before the Saga Characters: Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Mace, Garen Genre: Humor Rating: G The sound of running footsteps echoed through the hallways of the Jedi Temple. The young boy glanced over his shoulder, then slowed his pace a bit, confident that he had eluded the angry cook who was in pursuit of him. As he rounded the corner, he ran directly into a tall man clad in field tunics and a dark brown robe. It was like running into a wall. The boy bounced off the man and landed in a heap. The boy's gaze traveled up and up the form before him until he reached the man's face. He was old. By the looks of his wrinkles, he was very old. His long brown hair was drawn back from his face with a leather thong, and he wore a neatly trimmed beard and mustache. "Obi-Wan!" Master Windu's voice drew the boy his attention. Observing the cross look on the man's face, he leapt up and bowed respectfully to the Council member. "Master Jinn, our resident holy terror, initiate Obi-Wan Kenobi." The boy bowed to the other man, who acknowledged his gesture with a slight nod. Then, remembering the stolen cookies he held in one hand, he began sidling away from the two men. "Just a minute, young man," Mace's words drew him up short. "Yes, Master Windu?" he asked, his high voice quivering a bit. "I believe Master Jinn might have a question for you. You see, Master Jinn," the dark-skinned man turned to his companion, "Obi-Wan has acquired quite a reputation in this upcoming class. He's very bright and learns quickly. However, he tends to get into a good bit of trouble, he and his friend Garen. Seems they are pranksters, those two." "I see," the other man remarked, his voice soft and cultured. "You should be wary, young man, of giving into temptations to be naughty. Naughtiness leads to the dark side." Obi-Wan did not see the amused look that crossed Master Windu's face briefly. He gulped as the tall man crouched before him, bringing himself into eye level with Obi-Wan. "I have a very serious question for you, Initiate," Qui-Gon said, a solemn look upon his face. "Tell me. Where is the Force?" Obi-Wan gasped, looking from Master Jinn to Master Windu and back again. He could not reply. "Obi-Wan. Tell Master Jinn. Where is the Force?" Master Windu prompted him again, expecting the initiate to recite the basic tenet of the Jedi code. Obi-Wan stood gaping, shaking his head back and forth in mute distress. "Obi-Wan," Master Windu's tone was much more powerful this time, demanding an answer. "Where. Is. The. Force?" Obi-Wan trembled briefly, then turned and fled in panic. As he rounded the corner, he heard Master Windu call out to him, "If you don't know, maybe your friend Garen does. Ask him!" "Really, Mace," the other man said, his voice fading in the distance, "If you're going to work with the initiates, you might consider growing your hair. That bald look is quite intimidating." ----------------------------------------------------------------- Obi-Wan dashed into the dormitory room, and slamming the door, leaned against it panting. "What's wrong?" Garen asked, looking up from his desk. "Dude, we're in *big* trouble this time! The Force is missing and they think we did it!"