1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Saga Descent Into Darkness 'AOTC AU' (Updated 12/9/2013) Now posting Brand New Content!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by jacen200015, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Title: Descent Into Darkness
    Author: jacen200015
    Timeframe: AOTC
    Genre: AU
    Characters: Obi-Wan, Zane (OC), Anakin, Padme, Xanatos and others.
    Summary: The Senate is terribly divided and the Separatists threaten war. As the Republic descends into chaos, Padawans Anakin and Zane find themselves making choices that could affect the future of the Republic and the Jedi Order. Sequel of Family Bonds.
    Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars, I'm just borrowing it for a while. Also any mention of dialogue or descriptions from the Attack Of The Clones novel are not of my creation, I just borrowed them for emphasis and story telling purposes. I make no profit from this, (A big thanks to bek for helping me out with making this part clearer). I also don't own any of the Dune quotes and any other things of Dune that creep in.
    Note: So i decided to do some minor revision work and will be posting each chapter as i make the revisions/corrections. Please Read and Review :)




    Zane lay on the soft grass of the garden and enjoyed the humid warmth and the singing birds. It was his favorite place to come to early in the morning, before everyone else woke up. He felt at peace here in the garden. Here he let his worries and frustrations drain away. But it only lasted for a short time, for when he left the garden to begin his daily routine, all the worries and frustrations would come rushing back to him.

    He had spoken to Anakin about this and he agreed, for he felt the same way. A brief period of peace and then it felt like the darkness was trying to drag them into its current. It was worrying, and didn’t help all the other concerns in a Jedi’s life. Privately Anakin had told him how, ever since he left Tatooine, a coldness gripped him. Anger still came easily to him, and Zane confessed silently that anger came easily to him as well. Oh, but he wasn’t about to let his master or his father find out.

    His father did know about Anakin’s anger issues and attempted to have Zane go on most of their missions with them in hopes that his presence would help Anakin to think before he reacted. Alas, it has not solved the problem, only dampened it. Of course, having two boys with anger issues each trying to keep the other from doing something stupid didn’t really work. A few bad events were avoided, but it wasn’t the best way of dealing with the issue.

    The darkness was ever pulling at them, ever grabbing at them with its sharp claws of power. The darkness tempted Anakin to strike down the slave trader Krayn, but Zane asked Anakin if the slave trader deserved a quick death and so Anakin backed off. The slave trader was brought to trial, but on his way out of the courtroom he was shot and killed by a relative of one of his former slaves.

    There were other incidents on other missions that were close ones, but there were the missions where Zane would be the one getting into trouble before Anakin. They got yelled at more than once, but Obi-Wan always had a valid reason to being angry and frustrated at them. No matter how hard they tried, something would set them off and they would go headlong into something without informing Obi-Wan.

    There was a time when Anakin tried to humiliate Ferus, who had improperly fixed Tru’s lightsaber by not saying anything, but Zane had seen the mistake and fixed it. Later on, Anakin realized how stupid he was after a vicious battle. Ferus was using Tru’s lightsaber – and if it had gone out, someone would have gone to defend him and probably would have been shot to death in the process due to the viciousness of the fight. It was a secret kept between him and Anakin after that.

    Then, there was Qui-Gon, Zane’s master. He just knew something was wrong with him, but he would act as if nothing was wrong, and Obi-Wan would not reveal anything. It was annoying – at seventeen years old he wasn’t a child anymore. He could take it. Why did they refuse to say anything to him? He saw through the excuse that the Council wanted Qui-Gon to stay in the Temple and teach classes. He was not dumb. Qui-Gon never went on missions anymore, not since Naboo ten years ago. Even when Zane went to get his lightsaber crystal, he went with Obi-Wan and Anakin under the excuse that Obi-Wan wanted to be the one to do it since Zane was his son.

    The list could go on and on. Over the years he had finally come to the conclusion that the Jedi were a bunch of hypocrites. He had told Anakin this and he agreed. Anakin had come across an interesting statistic that actually showed that there had been a decline in the amount of Jedi in the Order over the years. Together they concluded that the Order was dying.

    Research was done on several Jedi who lived hundreds of years ago. Jedi Master Simikarty, they found, had written papers about the Jedi code that became highly popular and influenced the future Jedi of his time. Part of his texts included things like how masters should have limits in their number of apprentices and that there needed to be an age limit where padawans could and couldn’t be taken to be trained. Eventually his writings were fully accepted as canon.

    Then there was Jedi Master Kagoro, who insisted that Jedi should not have personal belongings. Jedi Master Odan-Urr, however, was more heavily scrutinized, for it was he who revised the code almost four thousand years ago in an attempt to make it easier for Jedi to understand. Unfortunately it was not at all clearer, but for some reason, Jedi had accepted the new version for almost four thousand years now. The original code before that, however, had existed for more than four thousand years!

    In the old days, Jedi got married and had kids. In the old days, there were dark Jedi like there were now. In the old days there were Sith roaming about as was the case now. The change in the code, the attempt to make it clearer, had not done an ounce of good, and yet the Jedi still followed it.

    The original code read: Emotion, yet peace. Ignorance, yet knowledge. Passion, yet serenity. Chaos, yet harmony. Death, yet the Force. It had a different meaning than the current code: There is no emotion, there is peace. There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is no passion, there is serenity. There is no chaos, there is harmony. There is no death, there is the Force.

    The original code accepted that there is emotion, but one can be at peace, whereas the current code seemed to reject the idea of emotion and said that there was only peace. The contrasts could go on. Master Odan-Urr did write some helpful teachings but his view of the code and what it means was flawed. Anakin thought he could correctly explain the original code in a way that was understandable, but he felt that he was not the right person to do it. Even if he was, he said, it was not the right time.
    As he pondered these things, Zane found himself engulfed in a vision.

    Water dripped slowly down a rock wall, falling and bursting as it hit the water below, causing ripples to form and spread outward. His vision flashed with a bright light as the image shifted and changed. People he knew and didn’t know and places he knew and didn’t know flashed before him. He saw an explosion of a ship, saw Shmi Skywalker take her last breath, a desert planet with two moons, the current chancellor in his office sitting at his desk, Xanatos staring out his window in his office, the death of many Jedi, hundreds and hundreds of battle droids.

    As quickly as the vision came, it left, leaving Zane sweaty and breathing heavily like he had just run a marathon. He wiped the sweat from his face with the sleeve of his cloak and then simply remained still as he evened out his breathing. He closed his eyes again and drew on the Force to help calm him and to help him relax despite the disturbing vision that he just had.

    “What are you doing?”

    Zane slowly opened one eye and then the other and saw a familiar face with dark brown eyes, black hair and light brown skin looking down at him. “Aren’t you up early?” he asked the four year old.

    Mari giggled and shook her head. “It’s after 0800.”

    Oh frell. I’m late! Zane quickly got up and straightened his tunic and robe, brushing off bits of dirt and grass that clung to his clothing.

    A small hand tugged at his cloak. “Will you eat lunch with us later?”

    Zane glanced down and saw a mop of auburn hair and a pair of gray eyes peeking through the bangs of the four-year-old. “Maybe tomorrow. Now I really got to get to class.”

    “You said that yesterday,” Mari said, crossing her arms.

    “Yeah, I heard you say it,” stated Chian, a light brown Nikto with green eyes.

    Zane sensed the other members of the bear clan start to approach him and quietly groaned. Twenty against one, better make a run for it. He pried Thaddeus’ hand off of his cloak and then ran for the garden’s exit.

    The bear clan younglings watched Zane run off before going back to finding a meditation spot. Thaddeus’, nicknamed Tad, walked over to Mari, who had a datapad in her hand. “Where did you get that?”

    “It was in Zane’s pocket,” Mari responded as she examined the simple, black, rectangular pad.

    “He’s gonna miss that,” Chian stated, his face serious.

    Mari smiled. “I know.”

    Tad frowned, looked back over his shoulder, and then back to Mari. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

    Mari shrugged and handed Tad the datapad. “Keep an eye on it for us.”

    Taking the datapad, Tad retreated deep into the garden where his favorite meditation spot was. He glumly sat on a smooth rock that was just his size, next to a small rippling brook. He turned the pad over and over in his hands. It was Zane’s class pad that contained homework assignments, papers, reading material, and even a private journal. Zane was not going to be happy at all. Worst off, Tad would automatically be blamed for swiping the datapad since he had it in his possession.

    He attempted to meditate, or at least stay still and quiet, but he was filled with too much nervous energy. Making a decision, Tad hopped off of the rock and dashed for the garden’s exit, but didn’t have to go far before he saw Zett walking past the garden’s exit. “Zett!” He called.

    Zett stopped and looked at Tad. “Yeah, aren’t you supposed to be with your group?” the seven-year-old asked.

    Tad nodded. “Yes, but Zane dropped this after he left the garden.” He handed Zett the datapad.

    Zett hesitated before taking the datapad. “I’ll get this to Zane for you.” Noticing Tad’s worried expression he added, “I won’t tell him it was you who gave it to me.”

    “Thank you,” Tad said with a smile and then dashed back into the garden.


    Anakin paced the cockpit with a restless energy before sitting back down in the cockpit chair and resetting the hyperspace coordinates for the final jump. There was a nagging feeling in the Force, a sense of foreboding. Almost like the feeling he was getting in his dreams about his mother, but this one was different, not at all related to the dream.

    Patience, he reminded himself, but it did little to settle him. Leaning back into the chair, Anakin mentally examined the different possibilities for the nagging sensation.

    He had been having some disturbing dreams about his mother. In his dreams, his mother would become as fragile as glass and then would shatter. Over and over again, this dream kept playing in his head – every night for the past two weeks, give or take a couple of days. But as he noted earlier, the nagging feeling was not related to his mother, although he did feel a great amount of worry and concern for her.

    Maybe it had something to do with Padme being on her way to Coruscant to address the Senate based on a rumor he had heard over the comms.? No, somehow he knew that she was safe – the nagging feeling felt more like someone was in danger, someone very close was dying.

    “You reset the coordinates!” Obi-Wan Kenobi said after entering the cockpit and checking the console.

    “Just to lengthen our time in hyperspace a bit,” Anakin explained. “We’ll come out closer to the planet.”

    Obi-Wan sat down heavily in the co pilot’s seat, massaged his forehead from the oncoming headache, and then gave Anakin a hard glare. “Anakin, I know you far outrank all the pilots I know of in piloting skills, but what do you think would happen if everyone decided to do what you just did to shave time off travel time? Especially in a place as congested as Coruscant’s travel lanes?”

    Anakin’s face pinched as he thought the scenario through his head and then he gave Obi-Wan a chastised look. “I’m sorry Master.”

    Obi-Wan’s face softened as he accepted the apology. “I know that you’re anxious to get home. Three long missions back to back without a rest is tiresome, I agree. I’m hoping the Council will give us some downtime.”

    “That would be great, Master.” Anakin’s lips curled up a bit in a smile. “And I can tell Zane that I got away with jumping the ship real close to the travel lanes.”

    “You didn’t get away with it. You can’t change the coordinates in the middle of a jump!” Obi-Wan retorted, glaring at Anakin again. “Never do this again,” Obi-Wan warned, and he turned around to leave the shuttle’s bridge.

    “Even if someone we know is dying?”

    Obi-Wan halted midstride and spun around, his shoulder length hair flying.

    Anakin looked out of the viewport and his gaze took on a distant look. “It was a small nagging sensation before, but as we get closer to Coruscant it almost feels like a sucking void in the Force.” Anakin sighed and shook his head. “I’m not sure how to describe it. The sensation is different when a non-Force-sensitive dies.”

    Obi-Wan made his way back to the co-pilot’s seat and slowly sat down, noticing the expression one has when they fall into a trance-like state.

    With an extremely loud, sharp intake of breath, Anakin came out of his trance, his eyes wide and his heart pounding furiously.

    That was when Obi-Wan felt it, an irregular pulse of his bond with Qui-Gon.

    Together they voiced Qui-Gon’s name in horrified realization.

    Obi-Wan looked back at the coordinates again, forgetting the scolding he had just given Anakin. “How much longer before we reach Coruscant? Can we get there any faster?”

    “About five minutes,” Anakin said as the ship shuddered as it neared the hyperspace exit coordinates.
  2. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Chapter 1

    Zane found the bear clan after his last class and headed straight for Mari, who was playing a ball game with a Wookiee and a Nikto. “Mari, where is my datapad?”

    Mari threw the ball to her Wookiee friend. “You didn’t eat lunch with us.”

    “That’s not a good excuse,” Zane said sourly.

    “I saw Tad with it while we were in the garden,” Mari said as she caught the flashing brown ball before it sailed over her head.

    Breathing out a sigh of frustration, Zane looked for Tad and found him drawing on a large sheet of paper in the corner of the room while lying on his stomach.

    “Thaddeus, where is my datapad?” Zane asked, trying to keep the irritation out of his voice.

    “I saw Zett Jukassa take it,” Tad said after briefly looking at Zane.

    Turning about on his heel, Zane stormed out of the bear clan quarters and headed for the clan he vaguely remembered Zett being a part of. This is ridiculous.

    He entered the Draigon Clan quarter’s and immediately found Zett studying a solar system coming from a small projection. “Zett, did you by any chance find my datapad?”

    Zett looked up and frowned, “Didn’t Whie Malreaux get it to you? After one of the younglings in the bear clan gave it to me, I bumped into Whie. He said he could take it to you for me.”

    Of all the rotten luck. What is this, a bantha chase? “Do you happen to know where Whie usually is at this hour?” he asked the brown haired, blue eyed boy.

    “He’s probably in the south riverbed garden,” Zett answered.

    Zane nodded his thanks and left. Yes this is a bantha chase, but it better not be wild if it turns out the bear clan still has it.

    Forty-five minutes later, after talking to four more initiates and three padawans, Zane found out that his datapad was now safely in the quarters he shared with his Master.

    “Rough day?” Qui-Gon asked as Zane entered the apartment.

    Zane plopped down on the couch, causing the abused seat to squeak in protest, and laid his head back. “If I had gone on that mission with Obi-Wan and Anakin, then I wouldn’t have had a rough day!” he answered, his annoyance leaking through his shields.

    Qui-Gon set the datapad he was reading on an end table beside his chair and studied Zane. “Calm yourself. Getting angry doesn’t fix anything.”

    “I’m not angry, just annoyed,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest.

    “It’s close enough,” Qui-Gon responded. “Would you like some tea? There is some hot water on the stove.”

    “No thanks.” Zane stood up picked up his datapad from the coffee table and headed for his room.

    Qui-Gon sighed and stood up to go make himself some tea. He made it halfway to the kitchen when a sharp, numbing pain ran through his body, taking his breath away. He stumbled and leaned against the doorway as he struggled to regain his breath. The room tilted before him and his ears rang. His legs failed him and he crumbled to the ground.

    Zane sensed that something was wrong through the Force as he heard a loud thump and tossed his datapad on the bed before running out of the room. He found Qui-Gon on the floor and saw that he was unconscious. “Master?” He checked his pulse and found it faint.

    Taking his comlink off his belt, he keyed in the code for the healers and quickly told the receptionist that Qui-Gon needed medical help.


    Anakin landed the ship in the Temple’s hanger and then quickly initiated the shutdown. Obi-Wan was already headed for the ramp and was halfway through the hanger by the time Anakin caught up to him. They raced to the healers’ ward, where they sensed Qui-Gon and Zane, all the while being careful not to knock anyone down.

    They slowed as they approached the room Qui-Gon was in and entered. Inside, they found Qui-Gon hooked up to monitors, with a breathing mask over his nose and mouth. Zane was sitting in a chair next to Qui-Gon, watching his master.

    “Zane, how is he?” Obi-Wan asked, placing a hand on Zane’s shoulder and looking at Qui-Gon’s pale face.

    Zane wiped the tears off of his face and continued to watch his master as he spoke. “The healers say that he might not make it through the night.” He looked up at his father, his eyes shining with tears. “How long? How long has he been sick?”

    Anakin looked sharply at Obi-Wan. Qui-Gon was sick and Obi-Wan hadn’t told him?

    Obi-Wan looked down at Zane. “Qui-Gon has a disease called Kiercheuliu. He’s been getting treatments for it for ten years, but there is no cure for the disease and the treatments only work for so long. He didn’t want you or Anakin to know. At the time before the treatments began, he was only given five years to live. Due to the new treatment the healers had developed, they were able to extend that time.”

    Zane looked back at Qui-Gon, his heart aching, his gut twisting, and anger simmering below the surface. Fresh tears ran down his cheeks and then he fled the room.

    “Why didn’t you tell us?” Anakin asked, glaring at Obi-Wan through his tear-filled eyes.

    Obi-Wan sat down heavily in the chair Zane had vacated and looked up at Anakin. “Qui-Gon wanted to continue living a normal life as much as possible.”

    Not wanting Obi-Wan to see him cry, Anakin quickly left the room.


    Aeryn finished climbing to the top of the tallest tree in the Healing Springs garden and hung on tightly to a thick branch as the tree bent a little at her weight. Her waist-length braided blond hair was a mess, covered with bits of bark and leaves from where her braid got snagged a couple of times during her ascent. Sweat matted her bangs against her forehead, and her blue-green eyes were intense as she focused on keeping her balance.

    “I still think this is a bad idea,” Whie called up to her, having not gotten past the second branch.

    Scout peered down at him from halfway up the tree. “It’s a climbing tree. The branches are thick and strong.”

    Whie grumbled to himself and climbed onto the second branch. “Yeah, well I think Aeryn is disproving that idea. Did you feel the tree tilt?”

    Scout brushed a few leaves and twigs out of her shoulder-length red hair with her fingers. “It was only a small tremble.”

    “Younglings! Come on down from there. You’re not supposed to be climbing that tree, or any tree in the garden for that matter,” Barriss told them from below.

    The younglings climbed back down the tree and stood before the senior padawan.

    “We won’t climb the tree again,” Aeryn promised.

    “Or any of the other trees,” Whie added, earning a glare from Aeryn.

    Satisfied, Barriss left and continued her walk in the garden.

    Scout clapped her hands together and looked at Aeryn and Whie. “I have a good idea. Let’s go swimming.”

    “Sounds like fun,” Whie agreed.

    Aeryn sighed and released her irritation into the Force. “Okay then, we’ll go swimming.” As they left the garden, she sensed the faint presence of her brother somewhere nearby.


    Zane crawled into the opening of a grove of dwarf trees in the garden and sat in the small bare space in the middle of the grove. Branches and needles poked at him, but he paid them no mind. Drawing his knees to his chest, he wrapped his arms around his legs and touched his knees with his forehead.

    He sat this way for a couple minutes, until he was able to get some semblance of control over his emotions. He sensed Barriss nearby, but remained in his little secluded spot. He really didn’t want to talk to anyone right now.

    “You can’t remain in there forever, you know,” Barriss stated. The grass rustled as Barriss’ weight settled upon it. “I heard about Qui-Gon.”

    “Did you know he was sick?” Zane asked, his voice almost a whisper.

    “I knew that he was coming to the healers’ wing for treatments, that’s all,” Barriss answered.

    Zane stayed silent, not wanting to say anything that he would regret later. After a while, he heard Barriss stand up.

    “Don’t waste your time brooding. Your master is not gone yet. Be grateful that you have a little more time to spend with him.” With that said, she continued on with her walk.

    Zane emerged from the grove of trees and wiped away the dirt that clung to his cloak and pants. Taking a deep breath, he slowly let it out, at the same time letting the Force wash through him to help relax and calm himself even more. She was right. He should be grateful, even though it wasn’t fair.

    He walked slowly out of the garden and met up with Anakin, who had just come out of a meditation room.

    “How are you feeling?” Anakin asked.

    Zane shrugged. “Better, I think.” Zane looked at Anakin. “What about you?”

    “I still think we should have been told, but then no one knew what would happen on Naboo, and he could have easily died then.” A smile twitched on Anakin’s lips. “With what we know now, it wouldn’t have been fair if he had died on Naboo. He has given my master a lot of advice regarding my training, he has trained you, and he has been given the chance to spread his wisdom among the younger padawans and initiates in his classes, and he would patiently listen to my grumbling about my training and give me advice and encourage me.”

    “Well if you put it that way...” Zane smiled. “Then we really, really should be grateful.”

    “Indeed. While I was meditating, I remembered a saying my mom used to quote to me. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

    Zane stopped in his tracks. “How did you manage to forget that?”

    Anakin turned to face him, a frown on his face. “I don’t know. I thought I still remembered everything my mom taught me, but now I’m not so sure. It’s troubling, how much have I forgotten?”

    A chill swept through both of them as they stood frozen in the hallway. Something was coming. What it was they did not know.

    “Anakin, Zane,” Obi-Wan called, snapping them out of whatever held them in place. He walked up to them. “We have been given a mission.”

    Anakin shook his head in an effort to clear the haze in his mind. “A mission? Master, we just got back!”

    “I can’t go on a mission now, my master is dying!” Zane protested.

    “We have been requested personally, and Zane, the Council believes it is best that you accompany us,” Obi-Wan explained. “Senator Amidala is on Coruscant and has already narrowly avoided an assassination attempt. We are to go immediately to provide her with additional protection.”

    Oh, well if it’s a mission involving Padme, then I don’t mind another mission so soon. Anakin thought to himself.

    “How can it be best that I go on this mission? I should be with my master,” Zane responded.

    “We will be nearby,” Obi-Wan said with a gentler voice. “We will be leaving in thirty minutes, that’ll give you some time to spend with Qui-Gon before we leave.”

    Zane nodded and then swiftly walked away and headed for the healers’ ward. When he entered Qui-Gon’s room, he saw that his master was awake. “Master, how are you feeling?”

    Qui-Gon’s dull eyes flicked up at Zane. “Tired.”

    Zane sat down on the chair next to the cot and placed his hand on Qui-Gon’s shoulder. “You should sleep, get your strength back.”

    Qui-Gon gave a weak smile and reached up with a trembling hand to cup Zane’s cheek in his hand. “There’s no death…there is the Force. I am…proud of you.”

    Qui-Gon’s breathing sounded heavy and harsh to Zane’s ears. Fresh tears threatened to spill from Zane’s eyes. He took his master’s hand and kissed it. “Why does it have to hurt so much?”

    “It will pass…in time.” Qui-Gon said as his eyelids fluttered closed.

    A tear escaped Zane’s eyes and landed on Qui-Gon’s hand. He laid his master’s hand back onto the bed and gave him a kiss on the forehead. The monitors continued to beep and Qui-Gon’s chest continued to rise and fall, but in the Force, Zane felt the end drawing near for his master.
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Hi, I like your OCs =D= and will be following this closely. Happy Qui-Gon was able to have more time to impart wisdom and compassion to the padawans, especially Anakin and Zane. :D
  4. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Thank you. :)

    Nyota's Heart

    Chapter 2

    Xanatos sat at his wooden dark brown desk and slowly opened a container filled with tiny packages of an orange substance. What was it the woman had called it? Natural mélange? He took one of the packages and unwrapped it; it was the size of his little finger. A cinnamony smell tickled the hairs in his nose as he took a whiff of it.

    Popping it into his mouth, he chewed the mélange and marveled at the delightful taste. It was pleasurable and exciting and dangerous at the same time. Soon he would be on Coruscant, delivering Qui-Gon a box of mélange. He would make Qui-Gon addicted to them and be the only person who had any source of mélange for him.

    It was a clever idea, especially since it was possible that the mélange could cure Qui-Gon. Ah, but the cure had a cost, for once one was addicted they could not stop taking it or even try weaning themselves off it, because if they did they would die. Qui-Gon dependant on him for survival – it was perfect revenge.

    Xanatos closed the box. It wouldn’t do if he himself became addicted to it, but it tasted so good. It made him feel good. It had been many years since he had contact with the Jedi except for Zane and Anakin, who contacted him somewhat frequently when they were in between missions.

    The boys were still totally oblivious to his deviousness. Powerful as they were, they were still so gullible.

    Soon he would have his revenge. Soon.


    Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Zane navigated their way through the Senate apartment complex for the turbolift they needed to take to Senator Amidala’s apartments. Zane and Anakin walked behind Obi-Wan, still in a solemn mood except for Anakin – whenever he turned his thoughts to Padme, his mood lifted. In the Force it was like someone turning a lightswitch on and off.

    Zane chewed on his tongue, trying not to let Anakin’s sudden mood changes bother him. By the time they reached the turbolift, Zane had had enough. “Will you make up your mind already, Anakin?”

    Anakin gave a little jump and looked at Zane with a startled expression. “What?”

    Obi-Wan entered the turbolift and looked at Anakin and Zane. “Both of you need to be paying attention to the here and now. We have a mission to complete, that is our focus.” He pressed a button to keep the doors from closing. “Now let’s go.”

    Anakin and Zane entered the lift and the doors closed behind them. Zane chose to stand facing away from Obi-Wan and Anakin, staring out of the clear glass of the turbolift that provided a view of the descending night. Normally he had fun watching and feeling Anakin’s different moods through the Force, but today it just grated on his nerves. He could shield, but then Obi-Wan would question him about it, and he really didn’t want to talk with his father yet.

    “You seem a little on edge, Anakin,” Obi-Wan noted as the turbolift began its climb.

    “Not at all,” Anakin replied, not sounding at all convinced. He was triying to focus on the mission as Obi-Wan had told them to, but then he’d start wondering – would Padme recognize him? Would she still like him?

    “I haven’t seen you this nervous since the incident on Tysoon eight.”

    Anakin shook his head and focused instead on the conversation, a smile twitching at his lips. “That was different. The Mayor’s daughter was plain creepy and I was younger then.” And I shouldn’t be as nervous as I was then. I know Padme, she is loving, caring, and keeps her promises. I know that she is a good person.

    A smile twitched at Obi-Wan’s lips and Zane just frowned at the conversation, his mood darkening further.

    “You’re sweating,” Obi-Wan noted. “Take a deep breath. Relax.”

    “I haven’t seen her in ten years, Master. What do I say to her?”

    “Anakin, relax,” Obi-Wan reiterated. “Clear you thoughts. Don’t leap over the pond or you’ll fall in. Take the stepping stones across.”

    Anakin took another deep breath and focused on the meaning of Obi-Wan’s words. One step at a time. Next step is to exit the turbolift.

    Obi-Wan glanced over at Zane, who was pointedly ignoring them. “Zane—” He walked the short distance over to him and placed his hand on Zane’s shoulder.

    “I should be with him,” Zane said.

    Obi-Wan sighed and looked out the turbolift to see the Temple in the distance. “Do you remember when you told me about the teacher you told to go to the healers because you felt that something was wrong with her?”

    “What does that have to do with anything?” Zane said in a tear-choked voice.

    “She went to the healers and told them what you said. It turned out that she had the same illness Qui-Gon had, except it was more advanced when she found out. Based on what she told the healers about what you said, they were able to develop a better treatment, but because her illness was so advanced, the treatment didn’t work. The healers used this new treatment on Qui-Gon, giving him ten more years – ten more years, Zane,” Obi-Wan told him.

    Zane swallowed hard. “I know I should be grateful, maybe I did help extend his life, but…” He paused and then looked at Obi-Wan. “My bond with him is slowly fading, strands slowly breaking away, his presence is so weak.”

    “I know,” Obi-Wan replied, brushing a tear off of Zane’s cheek with his thumb. “It doesn’t make it any easier. Some say this way is better than a swift break, but I think it depends which one someone experiences first. We have said our goodbyes but he’ll always remain in our hearts.”

    Zane nodded, taking a deep breath and slowly releasing it. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone, there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

    As Obi-Wan talked with Zane, the lift doors opened and Anakin stepped outside, thinking it best to let them talk in private. Anakin had only stepped halfway to the door across the way when it slid open and a finely dressed Gungan, wearing red and black robes, stepped into the corridor.

    “Greetings Jedi, mesa representative Jar Jar Binks.”

    “It’s good to see you again, Jar Jar Binks. You have made it far since Naboo I see” Anakin responded.

    The Gungan studied Anakin for a moment before he lost all sense of proper manners for a diplomat and shrieked. “Nooooooooo!” He clapped his hands together. “Ani? Nooooooo! Little bitty Ani?” Jar Jar ran forward and grabbed the padawan in a tight embrace before pushing him to arms length and studying him from head to toe. “Noooooooo! Yousa so biggen! Yiyiyiyi! Ani! Mesa no believen!”

    Anakin’s cheeks grew red in embarrassment. “Hi, Jar Jar.”

    Jar Jar swept Anakin in a hug again and then spotted Obi-Wan come out of the turbolift. The Gungan abruptly released Anakin and started leaping as if the floor had suddenly turned into hot coal. “Obi! Obi! Obi!” he cried, tongue and ears flapping, as he rushed forward to hug Obi-Wan. “Mesa so smilen to see’en yousa! Wahoooo!”

    Obi-Wan smiled politely as Jar Jar released him, though his brief glance at Anakin showed that he was a bit embarrassed. “It’s good to see you too, Jar Jar.”

    Zane, meanwhile, had snuck out of the turbolift behind Obi-Wan until he was facing the Gungan’s back. “No hug for me?”

    Jar Jar spun around, almost hitting Obi-Wan with his ears and stopped dancing around as he studied the third person. He took a good hard look and his eyes widened. “Little Zane? Noooooo! Little bitty bitty Zane? Noooooo.”

    Zane’s cheeks grew red as he also smiled politely. “That’s me, except the little part.”

    Jar Jar squashed Zane into a bone crunching hug.

    Obi-Wan chose that moment to intervene and gently but firmly grabbed Jar Jar by the arm. “We have come to speak with Senator Amidala. Could you show us to her?”

    Jar Jar backed away from Zane and his duck-billed face took on a more serious expression. “Shesa expecting yousa. Ani! Zane! Mesa no believen!” His head bobbed a bit more, then he grabbed Anakin and Zane by their hands and pulled them along.

    Thankfully, Jar Jar let go of them once they neared the living area of the apartment. Zane looked around and saw that the room was very tastefully decorated, with cushy chairs, artworks, and cheerful colored walls. He saw one of the handmaidens and Padme’s security captain. The captain wore the regular Nubian military garb: a blue uniform under a brown leather tunic, with black leather gloves and a stiff cap to complete it. The handmaiden standing next to him wore the regular simple handmaiden clothing that all of Padme’s handmaidens wore.

    Then he saw Padme, who was taller than he remembered, wearing black and deep purple robes, no face paint, with her hair piled neatly on top of her head. He glanced at Anakin and saw that he was absorbing her with his eyes.

    “Mesa here. Lookie! Lookie!” Jar Jar screeched, even though Zane sensed that the Gungan was trying hard to keep himself under control. “Desa Jedi arriven.”

    “It’s a pleasure to see you again, M’Lady,” Obi-Wan said, moving to stand before the beautiful young senator.

    Anakin and Zane stayed behind Obi-Wan, one on either side of him.

    Padme took Obi-Wan’s hand in her own. “It has been far too long. But I must warn you that I think your presence here is unnecessary.”

    “I am sure that the members of the Jedi Council have their reasons,” Obi-Wan replied.

    Zane continued to watch Anakin out the corner of his eye. Yep, he still likes her.

    Padme wore a resigned, accepting expression at Obi-Wan’s answer, but a look of curiosity replaced it as she glanced behind the Jedi Knight, to the young padawan standing patiently to Obi-Wan’s right. She took a step to the side, so that she was directly in front of Anakin. “Ani?” she asked, her expression purely incredulous, her smile and the flash of her eyes showed that she needed no answer.

    Anakin’s heart pounded hard in his chest and he sensed her spirit leap, the slightest of flickers, but he sensed it.

    “Ani,” Padme said again. “Can it be? My goodness, how you’ve grown!” She looked down and followed the line of his lean body, tilting her head back to emphasize his height, and he realized that he now towered over her.

    Zane watched in interest, mentally giving Padme and Anakin scores. One point for Padme.

    “So have you,” Anakin answered awkwardly, as if he had to force each word from his mouth. “Grown more beautiful, I mean.” He cleared his throat and stood taller.

    Negative two, Anakin, but one point for trying to save yourself, Zane thought.

    “And much shorter,” Anakin continued teasingly, trying unsuccessfully to sound in control. “For a senator, I mean.”

    Anakin, you just screwed yourself, negative two points for you.

    Anakin noticed Obi-Wan’s disapproving scowl and sensed Zane’s hidden laughter, but Padme laughed any tension away and shook her head.

    “Oh, Ani, you’ll always be that little boy I knew on Tatooine,” she said.

    Zane bit his tongue hard to keep from laughing out loud. Five points for Padme. So the total is Anakin negative three and Padme six.

    Anakin looked down at the floor, his embarrassment only heightened by the looks he knew that both Obi-Wan and the Captain were throwing his way, as well as the hidden laughter he sensed from Zane.

    “Our presence will be invisible, M’Lady,” Anakin heard Obi-Wan assure Padme.

    “I’m very grateful that you’re here, Master Kenobi,” the Naboo Captain put in. “I'm Captain Typho, head of Her Majesty's security service. Queen Jamillia has been informed of your assignment. The situation is more dangerous than the senator will admit.”

    “I don’t need any more security,” Padme said, addressing Typho initially, but turning to regard Obi-Wan as she continued. “I need answers. I want to know who is trying to kill me. I believe that there might lie an issue of utmost importance to the Senate. There is something more here…” She stopped as a frown crossed Obi-Wan’s face.

    “We’re here to protect you, Senator, not to start an investigation,” he said in calm and deliberate tones.

    Tired of being completely ignored, Zane spoke. “Of course that could change. If another assassination attempt were to happen and we got a lead of some kind, the Council may extend our duties to investigate.”

    “Shouldn’t we have a better idea of what might be going on, Master?” Anakin said, looking at him inquiringly. “I mean, I’m sure there are people already looking into this, but what if the senator is correct and there is something more sinister going on? A weed continues to reappear until it’s yanked by its roots, and if you don’t take care of that one weed, soon there will be many with deep roots.”

    “We will do as the Council has instructed,” Obi-Wan stated. “Unless the situation changes, we are simply to protect.”

    Anakin and Zane accepted Obi-Wan’s response, although they felt that they should do some form of investigation anyway.

    Padme smiled at them. “If you’ll excuse me, I will retire.”

    They all bowed as Padme and Dorme exited the room.

    “Well, I know that I’m glad to have you here,” Typho offered, moving closer to the group. “I don’t know what’s going on here, but the senator can’t have to much security right now. Your friends on the Jedi Council seem to think that miners have something to do with this, but I can’t really agree with that.”

    “What have you learned?” Anakin asked.

    Obi-Wan folded his arms into the sleeves of his tunic. Maybe a little more information wouldn’t hurt. But this still was not to be an investigation.

    “Not much,” Typho admitted. “Senator Amidala leads the opposition to the creation of a Republic army. She’s very determined to deal with the Separatists through negotiations and not force, but the attempts on her life, even though they’ve failed, have only strengthened the opposition to her viewpoint in the Senate.”

    “And since the Separatists would not logically wish to see a Republic army formed…” Obi-Wan reasoned.

    “We’re left without a clue,” Typho said. “In any such incident, the first questioning eyes turn toward Count Dooku and the Separatists.” A frown crossed Obi-Wan’s face, and the captain quickly added, “Or to some of those loyal to his movement, at least. But why they’d go after Senator Amidala is anyone’s guess.”

    “And we are not here to guess, but merely to protect,” Obi-Wan said, in a tone that showed he was finished with this particular line of discussion.

    Typho bowed, hearing him clearly. “I’ll have an officer on every floor, and I’ll be at the command center downstairs.”

    After Typho left, they began to do security checks and become familiar with the chambers in the apartment.
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Great update. Loved Anakin's flusteredness. ;) Everyone is very much IC. =D=
  6. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    This is an interesting twist. Obi-Wan having a child? Who is the mother? More soon
  7. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Thank you. :)

    Thank you. Siri Tachi is Zane's mother. :) The first story in this story arch is "Family Bonds". I'll probably repost that one later this month and I'll let you know when i do :D

    @Nyota's Heart Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 3

    After Obi-Wan left to go to the lower levels to check on the captain’s security measures, Zane approached Anakin. “Who do you think may be behind it?”

    Anakin stared out of the widow for moment and then looked at Zane. “I’m not sure. It can’t possibly be Count Dooku, and it can’t simply be disgruntled miners. A Separatist with a grudge perhaps?”

    Zane shrugged. “It could be, but there’s no strong proof. A senator makes a lot of enemies.”

    “I feel there is more to this than a simple assassination attempt. What if there’s a more sinister motive? What if someone wants war to break out?” Anakin said.

    “The four D’s? Disruption plus demoralization plus distraction equals devastation. The disruption could be the discord in the Senate. The distraction could be the attacks on the senator.”

    “Or demoralization can be the attacks on the Senator. To destroy the hopes that the dispute with the Separatists can be resolved peacefully,” Anakin put in, a frown forming on his face. “We should get a hold of Xanatos and see if he can find out something.”

    Zane nodded. “Yes, I was just thinking that.”

    Anakin glanced toward Padme’s bedroom.

    “Negative three and six,” Zane said with a smirk as he followed Anakin’s gaze.

    Anakin looked back at him. “What?”

    “You scored negative three and Padme scored six,” Zane responded.

    Anakin rolled his eyes. “Give me a break. I’ll choose my words better next time.”
    “Want to bet on it? You already dug yourself a good hole to hide in,” Zane said.

    “Just wait until you get a crush on a girl. Then you won’t be laughing,” Anakin responded.

    “I should add another two negative points for inappropriate time and place in what you said.” Zane grinned and Anakin just scowled.

    Anakin walked over to where the security screen and flicked it to the one that showed the inside of Padme’s bedroom. Padme was pulling back her covers, her long brown hair flowing down her back. He stared, totally fixated on her until she draped something partly over the lenses of the camera. “Hey.”

    Anakin opened the door to her bedroom and stepped inside. “You know, covering the camera lenses does not help us do our duty to protect you.”

    Padme drew her robe back over her nightgown as she sat on her bed. “I programmed Artoo to give out a warning if there is an intruder, Anakin. I am sure your Jedi senses will be able to detect anything amiss without the aid of the security camera.”

    “Yes, but—”

    “Look at it this way. I’ll be the bait, you catch the assassin and we can get to the root of these assassination attempts. Now I’m going to get some sleep,” Padme said, dismissing him.

    Anakin left her room and released his annoyance into the Force. “She’s so stubborn.”

    “And she’s stressed,” Zane added as he stood near the window. “I don’t think the attention you’ve been giving her is helping much.”

    “She could use a distraction,” Anakin pointed out.

    Zane shook his head, holding back a laugh. “What would your mother say? Speaking of your mother…” Zane paused and then looked at Anakin. “I had a vision this morning, it was mainly brief flashes of different events. In one of the flashes I saw a disturbing image involving your mother.”

    Anakin braced himself. Did Zane have a similar vision that he had been having? Was his mother really in serious trouble? His skin prickled as Zane continued.

    “I saw your mother die.” Zane said.

    The door that connected the corridor to the apartment slid open at that moment and Obi-Wan walked into the room. “Captain Typho has more than enough men downstairs,” he said. “No assassin will try that way. Any activity up here?”

    “Quiet as a tomb,” Anakin replied absently, his mind still absorbing what Zane had told him. His stomach churned and nausea crept up his throat. “I don’t like just waiting here for something to happen.” I have to do something.

    Obi-Wan shook his head and took a viewscanner from his belt that would let him see into Padme’s room.

    Turning to face him, Anakin said, “Padme…Senator Amidala, covered the cam. I don’t think she liked me watching her.

    Obi-Wan’s face tensed and he let out a little growl. “What is she thinking? Her security is paramount, and if compromised—”

    “She programmed Artoo to warn us if there’s an intruder,” Anakin explained, trying to calm Obi-Wan before his concern could gain any real momentum.

    “It’s not an intruder I’m worried about,” Obi-Wan countered. “Or not merely an intruder. There are many ways to kill a senator.”

    “We know that, but we also want to catch this assassin,” Zane said.

    Obi-Wan looked at Zane and back at Anakin incredulously, his eyes widening in shock and disbelief. “You’re using her as bait?”

    “It was her idea,” Anakin protested. “Besides she had a point – we can sense any danger without the aid of a security camera. Don’t worry. No harm will come to her. Zane and I can sense everything going on in that room. Trust me.”

    “It’s too risky,” Obi-Wan scolded. “Besides, both of your senses are not that attuned.”

    Zane immediately felt defensive and knew Anakin felt that way too. Was Obi-Wan implying that they were arrogant about their abilities?

    Anakin answered in a suggestive tone. “And yours are?”

    Obi-Wan could not deny the look of intrigue that crossed his face. “Possibly,” he admitted.

    Anakin smiled and nodded, and he faced the window and closed his eyes, falling into the caressing waves of the Force, and focused on Padme’s sleeping presence.

    Zane frowned. Now what was that about? There were times when he just didn’t understand them, especially when he was included in something that was usually reserved only for Anakin and Obi-Wan. Was that supposed to be a private joke that only they understood? He looked back out the window and concentrated his senses to pick up any hint of danger to Padme.

    “You look tired,” Obi-Wan said to Anakin as he stood beside him.

    Anakin gave a little shrug. “I’ve been having trouble sleeping for awhile now.” Will he agree that it is a vision or will he just say that it’s a dream?

    “Because of your mother?” Obi-Wan asked.

    “I don’t know why I keep dreaming of her,” Anakin answered, letting a little frustration come through in his voice. “I haven’t seen her since I was little.” I know why, she’s in danger, that’s why. /Okay, Zane, your turn./

    /Why do you keep insisting that Obi-Wan is not going to believe that it’s a vision?/

    /Because he has dismissed my other visions in the past and I would rather not start a debate about visions and dreams. You know this./

    “Your love for her was, and remains, deep,” Obi-Wan said, unaware of the silent conversation between the two Padawans.

    Zane opened his eyes and looked over at Anakin and Obi-Wan. “I think it’s more than it appears to be. I have had a brief glimpse of her death this morning when I was in the garden. Perhaps we should look into it?”

    Obi-Wan rubbed his chin and then crossed his arms. “I will speak to the Council at the next opportunity. If the Council can’t be persuaded to have someone look into it, then we’ll have to think of something else.”

    “Thank you, Master,” Anakin said.

    /Maybe you should give him more credit./ Zane suggested.

    /Maybe./ Anakin answered, wondering about the fact that Obi-Wan was willing to do something.


    Xanatos slipped into the Temple from the very bottom, several layers down. This would be a good escape tunnel if the Jedi paid any attention to it. He stepped over broken pieces of the walls and attempted to avoid the wet mossy spots. You would think they would learn to have a back door, but oh no, they think that are all powerful, that they can defend the whole Temple from a possible attack.

    An hour later, Xanatos was in the healer’s ward. Having found a brown robe in one of the store rooms, he looked just like any other Jedi. He had the hood pulled up so no one could see his face and had made sure he hid any darkness that would alert the Jedi.

    He entered the room and locked the door behind him. Turning on the light, he then sat down on the chair next to Qui-Gon, who was fast asleep. Taking a quick look at the monitors, Xanatos saw that Qui-Gon’s vitals were way too low. “It seems I have come right on time.”

    He took the container that he had hidden under his cloak and opened it. Taking a pinch of the mélange, he opened Qui-Gon’s mouth and sprinkled a bit in. Qui-Gon swallowed it down, unaware of what he was being fed. Xanatos filled a cup with water from a small fresher adjacent to the room and dripped some into Qui-Gon’s mouth.

    After the first small pack of mélange was finished, Xanatos sat back in the chair and looked at Qui-Gon’s vitals again. The seconds slowly ticked by and Xanatos absently began tapping his fingers on the arm of the chair. He took out another package and began the process again several minutes later.


    Zane drew himself out of his meditative state and found an intriguing conversation going on. Why was it, as much as his father and Anakin disliked politics, they managed to start arguing about politics and politicians?

    “…don’t forget that she’s a politician. They’re not to be trusted,” Obi-Wan cautioned.

    “She’s not like the others in the Senate, Master,” Anakin protested strongly.

    Obi-Wan eyed him carefully. “It’s been my experience that senators focus only on pleasing those who fund their campaigns, and they are more than willing to forget the niceties of democracy to get those funds.”

    “Not another lecture, Master,” Anakin said with a profound sigh. He had heard this particular diatribe repeatedly. “At least not on the economics of politics.”

    Obi-Wan started speaking again, or tried to, but Anakin abruptly interrupted.

    “Please, Master,” Anakin said emphatically. “Besides, you’re generalizing. I know that Padme—”

    “Senator Amidala,” Obi-Wan sternly corrected.

    “—isn’t like that,” Anakin finished. “And the Chancellor doesn’t seem to be corrupt.”

    “Palpatine’s a politician. I’ve observed that he is very clever at following the passions and prejudices of the senators.”

    “I think he is a good man,” Anakin stated. “My instincts are very positive about…” He trailed off, his eyes widening, his expression becoming one of shock.

    “I sense it too,” Obi-Wan said breathlessly, and the three Jedi exploded into motion.

    Zane was the last one to enter the room and saw Anakin slash two large centipede creatures in half. He heard Obi-Wan shout something about a droid and saw the older Jedi leap through the blinds, right through the window, shattering the glass. Zane blinked and watched as the droid, and Obi-Wan hanging from it, sped off.

    Zane barely registered Padme and Anakin speaking as he rushed from the room to go find a speeder. Of all the crazy…


    Fifteen minutes after Xanatos had given Qui-Gon the second package of mélange, Qui-Gon slowly opened his eyes, his face still ash colored. “Xanatos.” he croaked out, his voice so low that Xanatos barely caught it. “You’re alive?”

    “You really did forget about my last visit, didn’t you?” Xanatos shook his head and then tugged off the hood. “Yes it’s me, alive and well.”

    Qui-Gon’s eyelids fluttered closed and then opened again. He could feel himself getting weaker and his eyes could barely register what was in front of him. The only thing he could rely on to tell him what he saw was the Force.

    Xanatos frowned and took another packaged piece of mélange from the container. He broke it in half and put it to Qui-Gon’s lips. “Chew this.” Expecting resistance, Xanatos was startled when Qui-Gon actually complied. Has he forgotten that I have threatened to kill him before? Is he so far gone that he doesn’t care anymore?

    Qui-Gon chewed and swallowed the stuff and his tangled thoughts loosened. “Never should have…left you…I failed you.”

    Xanatos shifted uncomfortably in his seat. This was not what he had planned on happening. He was not expecting a confession from Qui-Gon. “Enough! I am here to get revenge. This mélange I have been giving you will heal you, but it will also make you addicted to it. I am the only one who has a supply of it, and if you don’t take it once you’re addicted to it, then you will die. Since I know you would never think of suicide, you would become dependant on me and I will have my revenge.”

    Qui-Gon managed a weak chuckle as he stared at Xanatos with now sightless eyes. “Would that…make you happy?”

    Xanatos’ face grew red. His carefully made plans were quickly coming apart. “I’ll turn Anakin and Zane to the dark side, then! They trust me completely, it would be so easy.”

    “Would that…make…you happy?” Qui-Gon repeated, his breathing becoming more labored.

    Pale blue eyes flashed to the readouts. Xanatos shut off the monitors with the Force before looking back at Qui-Gon. “Why would you care?”

    Qui-Gon lifted his hand with all the strength he had left, his hand trembling from the effort as he touched Xanatos’ cheek. “Not pur…fect. All mmake…mus…takes….” The rest of what Qui-Gon said came out completely garbled and then his whole body seized up and his arm fell.

    The last remaining strand of the bond Xanatos had with Qui-Gon snapped and a strangled cry escaped his mouth. No, no, no, no, no! He can’t be gone, he can’t! Xanatos gently lifted Qui-Gon’s arm and placed it on the bed under the covers. He closed Qui-Gon’s eyelids with his hand and wiped away the sweat on his face.

    Standing up, Xanatos placed the container on the seat so that he could pull the covers up over Qui-Gon’s face. Hot tears escaped his eyes and dripped down his cheeks. He’s gone. Why do I feel so numb?
  8. Falcon

    Falcon Chosen One star 10

    Feb 7, 2002
    Qui Gon died while they were protecting Padme? :(
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Hahahaa! Revenge isn't sweet served hot or cold. Duh! :rolleyes: Glad they'll look into Anakin's worries about Shmi, hope it is in time. And they really need to pay attention to any premonition/hunch that says the Chancellor is a fraud and a villain :p =D=
  10. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Yeah :(

    and here comes the next chapter :)

    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 4

    “Not that one, this one!” Anakin snapped at Zane as he jumped into a yellow speeder with an open cockpit.

    Zane ran back to the speeder he had passed and jumped into the passenger seat next to Anakin just as the speeder roared to life and began moving.

    Anakin narrowed his eyes as he flew the speeder off of the platform and into the busy Coruscant traffic. He pressed his foot harder against the gas pedal as he calculated where Obi-Wan could be. Searching within the Force as he flew, Anakin pinpointed where Obi-Wan was and turned right and up a lane.

    A few minutes later they spotted Obi-Wan hanging onto the sides of the droid, but they only managed to get a few feet closer before the droid blew apart and Obi-Wan fell.

    Zane gripped the seat as Anakin sent the speeder downward, the wind stealing his breath away.

    Anakin angled the speeder underneath Obi-Wan, still going down so that Obi-Wan could land without breaking anything. His eyes narrowed and his grip on the steering controls tightened even more. Soon a reassuring thump sounded on the back as Obi-Wan landed, and then they were zooming off after the assassin.

    “Hitchhikers usually stand on the platforms,” Anakin informed Obi-Wan. “A novel approach, though. Gets the attention of passing traffic.”

    Zane looked behind him as Obi-Wan slipped into the back seat. “We almost lost you there,” he said.

    “No kidding. What took you guys so long?” Obi-Wan asked.

    “Oh, you know, Master,” Anakin said flippantly, hoping it would settle Obi-Wan down. “I couldn’t find a speeder I really liked. One with an open cockpit, of course, and with the right speed capabilities to catch your droid scooter. And then you know, I had to hold out for the right color—”

    “There!” Obi-Wan shouted, pointing up to a closed in speeder that the assassin had been near.

    Anakin swerved to head for the indicated speeder and narrowly avoided several shots the assassin made with his blaster pistol.

    “If you’d spend as much time working on your lightsaber skills as you do your wit, young padawan, you would rival Master Yoda!” Obi-Wan said, and he ducked, getting jostled about as Anakin cut a series of evasive turns.

    “I thought I already did.”

    “Only in your mind, my very young padawan,” Obi-Wan retorted. He gave a little cry and ducked reflexively as Anakin dived in and out of traffic, narrowly missing several vehicles. “Careful! Hey, easy! You know I don’t like it when you do that!”
    “Sorry, I forgot you don’t like flying, Master!” Anakin said, his voice rising at the end as he took the speeder down suddenly to avoid another blasterbolt from the stubborn bounty hunter.

    “I don’t mind flying,” Obi-Wan insisted. “But what you’re doing is suicide!” His words nearly caught in his throat, along with his stomach, as Anakin cut hard to the right, then dropped suddenly, punched the throttle, pulled back to the left, and lifted the nose, zipping the speeder up through the traffic lane and back in sight of the bounty hunter—only to see another line of blasterbolts coming at them.

    “Whoa! Good move,” Zane told Anakin, a grin on his face. He looked over his shoulder at Obi-Wan. “Relax, Anakin has it all under control.”

    At that point the bounty hunter dived to the side suddenly, and the eyes of all three Jedi widened and their mouths opened in screams that were drowned out by a commuter train crossing right in front of them.

    Obi-Wan tasted bile again, but somehow, Anakin managed to avoid the train, coming out the other side. Obi-Wan looked over to his padawan, to see him assuming a casual, in-control posture.

    “Master, you know I’ve been flying since before I could walk,” Anakin said with a sly grin. “I’m very good at this.”

    “Just slow down,” Obi-Wan instructed, in a voice that suggested that the dignified Jedi Knight was about to throw up.

    Anakin ignored him, taking the speeder in fast pursuit of the assassin, right into a line of giant vehicles. Around and around they went, cutting fast corners through the traffic, over the traffic, under the traffic, and around the buildings, always keeping the assassin’s speeder in sight. Anakin took his craft up on edge, skimming the side of one building.

    “Would you rather I drive, Obi-Wan,” Zane suggested.

    Obi-Wan shook his head, “You’re just as bad as he is!”

    “Yeah, well I’m not the one who jumped out a window to catch a droid,” Zane pointed out.

    “The assassin is getting desperate,” Anakin stated, his face now a serious mask.

    “Great,” Obi-Wan answered dryly. “Oh wait,” Obi-Wan added when the speeder in front dived into a tram tunnel. “Don’t go in there!”

    “Too late,” Zane said as Anakin sent the speeder zooming in and then right back out, a huge rushing train chasing them.

    Obi-Wan screamed about as loudly as the train was blowing its horn. “You know I don’t like it when you do that!”

    “Sorry, Master,” Anakin answered unconvincingly. “Don’t worry. This guy’s gonna kill himself any minute now.”

    “Well let him do that alone!” Obi-Wan insisted.

    “We want to catch him, not win a podrace!” Zane shouted above the noise.

    They watched as the assassin zoomed right into traffic, soaring the wrong way down a congested lane. Anakin went right behind.

    Both speeders zigged and zagged widely, frantically, the occasional blasterbolt shooting back from the lead one. And then the assassin cut fast, straight up, a tight loop that brought the assassin behind the three Jedi.

    “Great move,” Anakin congratulated. “I got one, too.” He slammed on his brakes, reversing trust, and the assassin’s speeder flashed up right beside them.

    And there was the assassin, firing point blank at Obi-Wan.

    “What are you doing?” Obi-Wan demanded. “He’s going to blast me!”

    “Right,” Anakin agreed, working frantically to maneuver away. “This isn’t working.”

    “Nice of you to notice.” Obi-Wan dodged, then lurched as the speeder dropped suddenly, Anakin taking it right under the assassin’s.

    “He can’t shoot us down here,” Anakin congratulated himself, but his smile lasted only the split second it took for their opponent’s new tactic to register. The assassin swerved out of the traffic lane and shot straight for a building, coming in at an angle to just skim the rooftop.

    Obi-Wan started to shout out Anakin’s name, but the word came out as, “Anananananana.” Anakin was in control, though, and he slowed and lifted his speeder’s nose just up over the edge of the rooftop.

    Zane’s eyes widened as he saw another obstacle that showed itself almost immediately, a large craft coming in low and slow. “Take the corner!”

    “It’s landing!” Obi-Wan shouted, and when Anakin didn’t immediately respond, he added desperately, “On us!” It came out, “On uuuuuuuuuuuuuus!” as Anakin brought the speeder up on the edge and zipped around a corner, clipping a flagpole and freeing its cloth contents.

    “Clear that Zane,” the seemingly unshakable padawan said, nodding down to the torn flag, which had caught itself on one of the speeder’s front air scoops.

    Immediately Zane crawled out of the cockpit and laid gingerly on the front engine. He bent to the side, down low and tugged the flag free, and the speeder lurched forward, nearly dislodging him. “Yikes!” Zane yelped and backed himself back into the cockpit. “Careful!”

    “Sorry, Zane.”

    “He’s heading for the power refinery,” Obi-Wan said. “But take it easy. It’s dangerous near those power couplings.”

    Anakin zoomed right past one of the couplings, and a huge electrical bolt had the air crackling all about them.

    “Slow down!” Obi-Wan ordered, “Slow down! Don’t go through there!” But Anakin did just that, banking left, right, left.

    “What are you doing?”

    “Sorry, Master!”

    “Uh, Anakin,” Zane said, his eyes wide.

    More bolts crackled all about them. Right, left, right again, up and over, down and around, and somehow, incredibly, out the other side.

    “Oh, that was good,” Obi-Wan admitted.

    “That was crazy,” the rattled Anakin corrected. The older Jedi glared at him, caught a glimpse of the greenish color that had suddenly come to his padawan’s face, and then just put his head in his hands and groaned.

    “Okay, we can all agree that that was downright insane,” Zane commented. “It’s a good thing we didn’t have supper.”

    “Got him now!” Anakin announced. The assassin was sliding his speeder sidelong around a corner between two buildings up ahead.

    And Anakin went right around behind, only to find the lead speeder stopped and blocking the alleyway, the assassin leaning out the door, blaster pistol leveled.

    “Ah, blast,” Anakin remarked.

    “Stop!” Obi-Wan told him, and both ducked as a line of bolts came at them.

    “No, we can make it!” Anakin insisted, punching the throttle.

    Zane felt bile rise in his throat and swallowed hard. “Yeah,” he croaked out, agreeing with Anakin even while his stomach did not.

    Anakin dived his speeder under the assassin’s, barely missing it, then went up on edge, slipping through a small gap in the building. But there were pipes there, and no level of flying could put the speeder safely through them. They bounced sidelong, then flipped end over end, narrowly missing a giant crane and clipping some struts. The damage brought forth a giant fiery gas ball, nearly immolating them, and in the uncontrolled spin that followed, they bounced off yet another building and the speeder stalled out.

    Anakin winced, expecting a line of curses to come at him, but when he finally glanced over his shoulder at Obi-Wan, he saw the Jedi staring straight ahead, eyes wide and unblinking, and saying, “I’m crazy, I’m crazy, I’m crazy…” over and over again.

    “But it worked,” Zane responded with a grin. He looked over at Obi-Wan, “We made it.”

    “It didn’t work!” Obi-Wan yelled at both of them. “We’ve stalled! And you almost got us killed!”

    Anakin looked down at his hands and body, and waggled his fingers. “I think we’re still alive!” He grinned, trying to disarm his fuming master, but Obi-Wan seemed as if he was about to explode.

    “It was stupid!” Obi-Wan roared.

    Zane looked at Anakin. “I think we better find a quicker way to get this assassin,” he calmly said, his face relaxed but a bit green.

    Anakin worked wildly, trying to restart the speeder. “I could have made it,” he protested sheepishly. His confident expression strengthened as the speeder roared back to life.

    “But you didn’t! And now we’ve lost him!” Even as Obi-Wan finished, a barrage of laser bolts rained down around them, setting off explosions that rocked them back and forth. The three Jedi looked up to see the assassin zooming away.

    “No, we didn’t,” a smiling Anakin said. He took the speeder up, the sudden thrust violently throwing them all back in their seats. They came through the area of smoke and carnage with several small fires burning on their speeder. Zane slapped at the flames on the control panel.

    Again they chased the assassin on the main travel lanes, dodging and turning fast about incoming traffic. Up ahead, the assassin cut fast to the left, between two buildings, and Anakin responded, going right and up.

    “Where are you going?” a perplexed Obi-Wan asked. “He went down there, the other way.

    “This is a shortcut. I think.”

    “What do you mean, you think? What kind of shortcut? He went completely the other way! You’ve lost him!”

    “Master, if we keep this chase going, that creep’s gonna end up deep-fried,” Anakin tried to explain. “It would greatly help Senator Amidala if we can find out who he is, and who he’s working for.”

    “Oh,” Obi-Wan replied, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “So that’s why we’re going in the wrong direction.”

    Zane grinned, having already figured out Anakin’s plan.

    Anakin took them up and around, finally settling into a hover some fifty stories up from the street.

    “Well, you lost him,” Obi-Wan said.

    “I’m deeply sorry, Master,” Anakin replied. Again, he seemed hardly convincing, as if he was saying just what he had to say to keep Obi-Wan from scolding him further.
    The Jedi Knight looked at him hard, ready to call him on it, when he noticed that Anakin, seemingly deep in concentration, was counting softly.

    “Excuse me for a moment,” Anakin said. He stood up and, to Obi-Wan’s complete shock, jumped out of the speeder.

    Obi-Wan lurched over to the edge and stared down, watching Anakin drop – about five stories – before landing atop the roof of a familiar speeder that was zooming beneath them.

    “I hate it when he does that,” Obi-Wan muttered incredulously, shaking his head.

    Zane scooted over into the pilot’s seat, not at all fazed at Anakin’s stunt. “Do you want to sit in the front?”

    Obi-Wan slipped into the seat Zane had vacated as Zane chased after the assassin that was now trying to shake Anakin off of the speeder.

    “Cool idea, don’t you think?”

    Obi-Wan glared at Zane. “It could have been done sooner.”

    Zane shrugged as he moved the speeder down to the correct level behind the assassin. He saw Anakin’s lightsaber fly through the air and caught it. “Here, hopefully he won’t need it too quickly.”

    Obi-Wan took his padawan’s lightsaber and shook his head. “You and Anakin are too reckless sometimes.”

    Zane angled the speeder down to the street where the other speeder was plummeting. “And you jumping out of the window to catch that droid wasn’t?”

    “Okay, so maybe that was a little reckless,” Obi-Wan admitted as they landed on the street. He caught sight of Anakin on the street and called out to him.

    Zane and Obi-Wan hopped out of the speeder and walked over to Anakin.

    “Anakin!” Obi-Wan said, pointedly holding Anakin’s dropped lightsaber in his hand.

    “She went into the club, Master!” Anakin breathed out, the adrenaline surge from the wild ride making him antsy to continue the pursuit.

    Obi-Wan placed his hand on Anakin’s shoulder and gave a gentle but firm squeeze. “Patience,” he said. “Use the Force, Anakin. Think.”

    “Sorry, Master.”

    “He went in there to hide, not run,” Obi-Wan reasoned.

    “Yes, Master.”

    Obi-Wan held the lightsaber out toward his student. “Next time try not to lose it.”

    “Sorry, Master.”

    Obi-Wan pulled the precious weapon back as Anakin reached for it, and held the young padawan’s gaze with his own stern look. “A Jedi’s lightsaber is his most precious possession.”

    “Yes, Master.” Again, Anakin reached for the lightsaber, and again Obi-Wan pulled it back, never letting Anakin go from his scrutinizing stare.

    “He must keep it with him at all times.”

    I know, Master,” Anakin replied, a bit of exasperation creeping into his tone.

    “This weapon is your life.”

    “I’ve heard this lesson before.”

    Obi-Wan held it out again, finally relinquishing that awful stare, and Anakin took the weapon and replaced it on his belt.

    Zane rolled his eyes, careful to only let Anakin see it. “Come on, let’s just go get this guy. We’re all feeling an adrenaline rush right now.”

    Obi-Wan led the way into the gambling club and Zane walked beside Anakin.

    “I think he finds the lectures relaxing,” Zane commented in a low voice.

    Anakin nodded. “He does seem to have calmed down. I guess I overdid it this time.”

    Zane grinned. “But it was fun.”

    Anakin playfully swatted at his head and Zane ducked. “Only because I was the one he was shouting at the most this time.”

    “Do you see him?” Obi-Wan asked as they entered the loud, bustling club.

    “I think he’s a she,” Anakin said.

    “Then be extra careful,” Obi-Wan said.

    “And I think she’s a changeling,” Anakin added.

    Obi-Wan nodded to the crowd ahead of them. “Go and find her.” He started the opposite way.

    “Where are you going, Master?”

    “To get a drink,” came the short response.

    Anakin and Zane blinked in surprise and looked at each other.

    “You did overdo it,” Zane said, shaking his head as Obi-Wan went to the bar.

    “Let’s go find that assassin before he gets too many drinks,” Anakin suggested before they separated and began milling through the crowd.

    Obi-Wan watched them for a bit from his seat at the bar out of the corner of his eyes. He signalled to the bartender, then watched as a glass was placed in front of him and amber liquid poured in.

    “Wanna buy some death sticks?” came a guttural voice from the side.

    Obi-Wan didn’t even turn to fully regard the speaker, who wore a wild mane of dark hair with two antennae twirled up from his hair like curly horns.

    “Nobody’s got better death sticks than Elan Sleazebaggano,” the ruffian added with a perfectly evil smile.

    “You don’t want to sell me death sticks,” the Jedi coolly said, waggling his fingers slightly, bringing the weight of the Force into his voice.

    “I don’t want to sell you death sticks,” Elan Sleazebaggano obediently repeated.

    Again the Jedi waggled his fingers. “You want to go home and rethink your life.”

    “I want to go home and rethink my life,” Elan readily agreed, and he turned and walked away.

    Obi-Wan tossed back his drink and motioned for the bartender to fill it up.

    Zane caught Obi-Wan starting on his second drink and then continued to move through the crowded room. He stopped walking when he heard an odd rush through his ears. The people, the noise, the club, everything faded, to be replaced by an endless desert of rolling dunes. The air tasted dry, but had a spicy smell to it. He heard a sound of water dripping but he saw no sign of any water as he turned around trying to find the source.

    It was a startled shock when he came out of the vision to the intense noise, crowd, and smells in the club. He blinked, trying to reorient himself and then after a second or two realized he must have missed something when he saw Anakin and Obi-Wan leaving the club.

    He hurried to catch up to them and saw that they had captured the assassin. He reached them just as Obi-Wan began to attend to the assassin’s arm.

    The assassin awoke and growled ferally, wincing in agony, all the while staring hatefully at the three Jedi.

    “Do you know who it was you were trying to kill?” Obi-Wan asked her.

    “The senator from Naboo,” the assassin said matter-of-factly, as if it hardly mattered.

    “Who hired you?” Zane asked.

    Her answer was a glare. “It was just a job.”

    “You will tell us,” Anakin responded, his voice hard.

    The bounty hunter snorted. “The senator’s going to die soon anyway,” she said. “It won’t end with me. For the price they’re offering, there’ll be bounty hunters lining up to take the hit. And the next one won’t make the same mistake I did.” Tough as she was, she ended with a grunt and a groan.

    “This wound’s going to need more treatment than I can give it here,” an obviously concerned Obi-Wan explained to the two padawans.

    “Who hired you?” Zane asked the bounty hunter, throwing the full weight of the Force into his question. The strength of it surprised Obi-Wan, even Anakin. “You will tell us…Now!”

    The bounty hunter glared at Zane, but lips twitching, she started to answer. “It was a bounty hunter called—”

    They heard a puff from above and the bounty hunter twitched and gasped, and simply expired, her human female features twisting grotesquely back into the lumpy form of her true Clawdite nature.

    The three Jedi tore their eyes away from the spectacle to look up, and heard the roar as they watched an armored rocket-man lift away into the Coruscant night, disappearing into the sky.

    Obi-Wan looked back to the dead creature and pulled a small item from her neck, holding it up for Anakin and Zane to see. “Toxic dart.”

    Anakin sighed and looked away. So they had foiled this attempt and killed one assassin. But it was clear to him that Senator Amidala—Padme—remained in grave danger.

    Zane straightened and looked away toward the direction of the Temple. The adrenaline rush from the chase was dropping and Force sense relaxed to its regular state. He used the Force to further relax himself, to clear his mind, and then stiffened when he felt an absence, a discoloring of the Force indicating that a Force user had recently passed into the Force.

    A knot settled in the pit of his stomach and his mind went numb as he detected the absence of his bond with his Master and the absence of his presence in the Force.

    Anakin followed Zane’s gaze to the Temple, his eyes becoming wet as he too sensed that Qui-Gon was gone.
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Ooh, one threat taken care of, but it sounds like there'll just be more later. [face_worried]
    Falcon likes this.
  12. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    That is indeed the way things are looking.

    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 5

    Anakin and Zane stood next to the window, looking out into the dark night that was lit up by buildings and speeders. It was a world that never seemed to sleep. Obi-Wan was sleeping on the couch, snoring loudly, not loud enough to wake one up but enough to keep one from falling asleep.

    “Two bounty hunters,” Anakin mumbled. “One hired by the other. Why? Why didn’t the original bounty hunter attempt to do the deed himself?”

    Zane shrugged. “I’m not sure, but it is odd. Something larger than we can see is going on here.”

    Anakin pressed his lips together in a thin line, his mind churning through different possibilities. “The Council will have to start its own investigation now. The toxic dart should be a good lead. I’m pretty sure that other bounty hunter was wearing Mandelorian armor.” He turned his head to look at Zane. “What happened to you in the club? You didn’t react at all when the assassin attempted to shoot Obi-Wan.”

    “Is that what happened?” Zane sighed and looked at Anakin. “Did Obi-Wan notice?”

    Anakin shook his head, “No, he was preoccupied with the assassin.”

    “I had some kind of vision. It was odd because it was like I slowly travelled into it and it was as if I was not really in the club at all. The place was sandy like Tatooine, but the air had a spicy smell to it. There was a sound of water dripping, but when I looked for the source I could only see more sand dunes. After that I came out of it.”

    “I’ve never heard of a desert planet that has a spicy smell in the air before. Desert air is usually just dry. Why would you have a vision about it?”

    Zane looked back out the window. “I don’t know, but it’s somewhat similar to my first vision I mentioned earlier. There was dripping water, but in my first one I could see it drip from a rock and into a stream. I also saw a desert planet that had two moons. There were many other parts of the vision, but most of it was brief glimpses. There were a couple of things that did stand out, the ones I mentioned already and a few others.”

    Anakin watched as Zane took a deep breath before continuing.

    “I saw battle droids, many hundreds of them and I also saw many dead Jedi in some kind of arena,” Zane revealed.

    “The Separatists?” Anakin asked, his face becoming grave.

    “The Trade Federation is allied with the Separatists, but I’m not sure if it means they’re planning a war. The future is always in motion,” Zane responded.

    “Zane, if the Separatists are planning to go to war against the Republic despite negotiations, then the Military Creation Act will certainly be passed.”

    Zane looked at Anakin, his face serious. “It doesn’t make sense, the Separatists demands are negotiable. Why would they want a war?”

    “Profit? The belief that they can make a better government? I don’t know,” Anakin responded.

    They walked around the room, quietly contemplating. Finally, several minutes later, they stopped near the center of the room.

    “I’ll take the first shift,” Zane stated, nodding in Obi-Wan’s direction. “Let’s let Obi-Wan sleep. It won’t be long till morning anyway.”

    Anakin nodded. “Good idea.” He went to lie down on the other couch.

    Zane went back to the window and stared out of it, his senses stretched out for any sign of danger.


    Tad wandered through the corridors with his brown fuzzy blanket over his shoulders, easily slipping by the few Jedi he saw roaming the halls. When he reached the quarters he was looking for, he used the Force to press the correct combination of numbers on the pad. The door slid open and he walked inside the dark room.

    “Quigy?” he called, but there was only silence.

    “Why are you looking for Master Jinn?” a strange voice in the darkness asked.

    “I had bad dream.” Tad turned around, trying to find the source of the voice.

    Springs creaked as a heavy weight settled upon them and Tad looked toward where he knew the couch was. In the faint light he could see the outline of a man. “Who are you?”

    “A friend. Come and sit down, tell me about your dream,” the man said.

    Sensing no threat, Tad complied and scrambled onto the couch. “There was a bad man. He had a glowy red lightsaber. He hurt Quigy.”

    The man’s brow furrowed. “What do you mean by hurt?”

    Tad shrugged his small shoulders. “He hurt. He was in a tank but no bacta was in it.”

    “Can you describe the bad guy?” the man asked.

    “He had white hair, a beard, and a mustache. He not happy.” Tad said. “I need tell Quigy.”

    The man slowly shook his head, sadness radiating from him. It was just a bad dream, nothing more. Qui-Gon was dead, nothing could hurt him now. “It was just a bad dream, nothing more.”

    Tad shook his head, “No, me need to tell him.”

    “Youngling, Master Jinn is not here. He…” The man searched for the right words. “He went away to explore the Force.”

    Tad scrunched up his nose. “Zane go with him?”

    “No, Zane went on a mission with Master Kenobi and Padawan Skywalker,” the man explained.

    “I can call Quigy,” Tad said, hopping off of the couch and heading for the comm station.

    “He doesn’t have a comm with him,” the man said. “Master Jinn is an excellent swordsman. He won’t let any Sith get him.”

    “Really?” Tad asked, turning back to the man.

    “Really. Now, you need to be getting back to bed.”

    Tad yawned and nodded. “Okay.”

    The man watched Tad leave and then waited a few minutes before leaving the apartment himself. He had some investigating to do. While the dream may have just have been a dream, it gave him something to do. His people on Telos could handle things while he was away – it wasn’t like he had anything to do except paperwork.


    Anakin looked out the window as the night sky slowly gave way to the sun. Morning was almost upon them. Behind him, Zane and Obi-Wan were fast asleep on the couches. He looked toward the Temple and felt a pain in his heart. Qui-Gon was gone, now one with the Force.

    When he had gone to get Zane, Qui-Gon was asleep. He went over to Qui-Gon’s bedside and said his goodbye. The older Jedi had awakened then, and told him how proud of him he was.

    Anakin took a deep breath and slowly let it out. All things die and even stars burn out, he reminded himself. Was his mother close to death? Was it her time to die too? He sensed his master waking up and then approach him a few minutes later.

    “Did you get some sleep?” Obi-Wan asked.

    Anakin nodded. “We thought we would let you sleep, so Zane and I took shifts instead.”

    “Ah, that explains why I wasn’t woken up,” Obi-Wan said, scratching his bearded chin.

    “Master, when do you think I’ll be ready to take the trials?”

    Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow and studied Anakin’s face. “Eager to get rid of me?”

    “Not at all, Master. I was just wondering. Since Zane is without a master now, I thought that maybe you would like to complete his training.”

    “The Council will assign Zane a master to complete his training. As for your trials, maybe about four more years. You will need to complete several solo missions before the Council will allow you to take your trials,” Obi-Wan explained.

    “Master, do you truly think my mother is in danger?” Anakin asked, finally asking what was weighing on his mind for a couple of hours.

    Obi-Wan buried his hands into the opposite sleeves of his cloak. “Visions are always tricky to decipher, and caution is warranted. In this case, I see no harm in investigating to see if there is any truth to the vision about your mother. In fact, perhaps it’s time you did visit her.”

    “Would the Council agree with that?” Anakin asked, suppressing a bubble of excitement.

    “It depends. We are in the middle of a mission right now, and if your mother is in danger now or soon will be, then someone else must go to check on her and you may lose your chance,” Obi-Wan answered.

    Anakin nodded. He turned to the couch when there was a muffled thump on the floor.

    Zane mumbled something incoherent and picked himself off of the floor.

    “Did you sleep well?” Obi-Wan asked, also turning to look.

    Zane sat down on the couch and rubbed his eyes with his hands. “This couch is not made for sleeping on,” he grumbled, sitting back against the couch and closing his eyes. He reached out to feel the tattered remnants of his bond with Qui-Gon and his eyes stung with tears.

    Obi-Wan sat down next to Zane and wrapped an arm around him in a hug, kissing the top of his head. “The pain will pass in time.”

    “I dreamed about him,” Zane finally said after a few moments. “It felt so real. He was alive and healthy and we were meditating in the usual place in one of the gardens.” Zane wiped at his eyes and looked up into Obi-Wan’s eyes, seeing that his eyes were also shimmering with unshed tears.

    “He will always be with us, in our hearts. Now, why don’t you go freshen up, as soon as we escort Senator Amidala to the Senate we have to meet with the Council.”

    Anakin watched as Zane left for the refresher and then sat down next to Obi-Wan. He was about to say something, but he decided to remain silent and be a comforting presence instead. Sometimes it was best to just stay silent.

    Obi-Wan was thankful for Anakin’s presence. He closed his eyes as he thought of the happy times. But alongside the happy times came his last memory of Qui-Gon. It was before they had left for the Senatorial apartments. Anakin and Zane had said their goodbyes and were waiting outside.

    Obi-Wan sat down in the vacant chair and pulled out a small tin from a secret pocket in his cloak. He studied Qui-Gon’s features, the rise and fall of his chest as he breathed. He no longer needed the breathing mask, but his health was still declining.

    “Master.” He brushed back a strand of hair on Qui-Gon’s forehead.

    Qui-Gon’s eyes flickered open and he smiled weakly. “Obi. Have I ever told you…how proud I am of you?”

    Obi-Wan smiled, his eyes betraying his sadness. “Of course, Master.”

    Qui-Gon caught a glimpse of the tin in Obi-Wan’s hands. “What do you have there?”

    “Something I got a long time ago.” Obi-Wan slid the cover off of the tin and the smell of cinnamon wafted out. “It’s called mélange, it’s harvested from a planet in the unknown regions. It’s a type of spice and once was a valuable commodity. It’s said that in large quantities it can have an intense psychotropic effect. There once were two groups of people called Bene Gesserit and Fremen who would use it to initiate clairvoyant and precognitive trances, access racial memory, and heighten other abilities. A side effect of this spice is that while it can also extend human lifespans by hundreds of years, it is extremely addictive.”

    At Qui-Gon’s questioning look, Obi-Wan added, “For the entire time I have had it, I have only eaten three pieces, not enough to get addicted.” Obi-Wan shrugged his shoulders. “I thought…maybe, just maybe it can help you, or at least take away your pain for awhile.”

    “Don’t get caught with it,” Qui-Gon advised. Obi-Wan had a good head on his shoulders. He could be trusted with something like that. He studied Obi-Wan’s face and then looked at the tin in his hands. It couldn’t hurt. He was dying anyway. “One piece.”

    Obi-Wan unwrapped one piece of the spice and handed it to Qui-Gon.

    Qui-Gon took it and slowly chewed it. Swallowing the last bit down, he started to feel its relaxing affects and a floating feeling. His connection to the Force was enhanced and he was able to draw more of it to him. “Thank you. It is enough.”

    Obi-Wan nodded his head and closed the tin and put it back into his hidden pocket. “Is there anything else I can do for you, Qui-Gon?”

    Qui-Gon smiled and squeezed Obi-Wan’s hand. “What more can I ask for? I have trained two wonderful padawans, helped you train Anakin, gotten to know your children, and so much more. I am proud of all three of you.” Drowsiness settled upon him once more. “May the Force be with you.”

    “And with you too, Qui-Gon.” Obi-Wan kissed his master’s forehead in farewell and left.

    Obi-Wan shook his head of the memory. He needed to keep his focus on the mission. Oh, but it was so much easier said than done.
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Aww, the bittersweet emories. [face_thinking] =D= You can feel the sense of loss but also the connection and warmth between Obi-wan, Anakin, and Zane. :D
    Falcon likes this.
  14. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Indeed :)

    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 6

    Zane listened to the steady drone of Obi-Wan’s voice as he updated the Council about what happened last night. Next to Zane stood Obi-Wan, and on the other side of Obi-Wan stood Anakin. This part of missions always bored him, but it also made sense since you can’t question a datapad that holds the report.

    Zane looked at the Jedi Masters. Their gazes were focused on Obi-Wan as they listened and asked questions. His gaze drifted to the scene outside the massive window and the voices became a low murmur.

    A gentle prodding from his father through their bond brought his attention back to inside the room just as Yoda began to speak.

    “Track down this bounty hunter, you must, Obi-Wan,” Master Yoda said as the others passed the toxic dart about.

    “Most importantly, find out who he’s working for,” Mace Windu added.

    “What about Senator Amidala?” Obi-Wan asked. “She will still need protecting.”

    “Handle that, the two padawans will.”

    Zane inwardly frowned while keeping on a neutral look. This should have been Anakin’s chance for a solo mission. Why can’t I go with Obi-Wan instead?

    “Anakin and Zane, escort the senator back to her home planet of Naboo,” Mace added. “She’ll be safer there. And don’t use registered transport. Travel as refugees.”

    Anakin nodded as the assignment was explained, but he knew immediately that there would be a few obstacles to such a course. “As the leader of the opposition to the Military Creation Act, it will be very difficult to get Senator Amidala to leave the capital.”

    “Until caught this killer is, our judgment she must respect,” Yoda replied.

    Anakin nodded. “However she cares deeply about this upcoming vote, Master,” he replied and then waited, knowing that his reply would serve as a reminder to how stubborn Padme could be.

    “Go to the Senate and ask Chancellor Palpatine to speak to her,” Mace responded.

    Anakin nodded in acceptance.

    “Masters,” Obi-Wan began, “when will the funeral be held for Master Jinn?”

    The mood in the room went from neutral to somber, revealing that Qui-Gon’s loss had also affected the Council.

    “Depending how long the autopsy takes, two weeks from today at least,” was Ki-Adi-Mundi’s solemn response.

    Obi-Wan and the two padawans bowed their heads and Yoda bowed his head in indication that they were dismissed.

    Once they were in the turbolift, Anakin spoke. “When are you going to ask them?”

    Obi-Wan scratched his bearded chin and then folded his hands into the sleeves of his cloak. “I will speak to Master Yoda before I begin my investigation. We may get a better result that way. If not you both have my permission to go to Tatooine after you arrive on Naboo. However . . .” He paused letting that word sink in. “. . . since both of you are supposed to be protecting Senator Amidala, you will have to speak to her about going to Tatooine. If she says no, then you must remain on Naboo.”

    “Thank you, Master,” Anakin answered, confident that Padme would agree about going to Tatooine.

    “I’m sure Senator Amidala won’t mind, since she is not going to enjoy the idea of leaving anyway,” Zane added.

    “Remember that your primary mission is to get Senator Amidala to Naboo and keep her safe,” Obi-Wan said. “Once you find out that your mother is safe, you must return to Naboo. It won’t do if the Council hears that you took Senator Amidala to Tatooine.”

    “Yes Master, and thank you,” Anakin responded as the turbolift stopped and the door slid open.

    They stepped out of the turbolift and Obi-Wan watched as they headed down the left corridor, a reminiscent look on his face. He was jolted out of his thoughts when another turbolift door slid open and the steady tap of a stick along with footsteps alerted him to Master Yoda’s presence. He also sensed Master Windu behind him.

    Obi-Wan gave them a small nod of respect and they began walking down the corridor to the right.

    “Your padawan has progressed very well these last few years,” Mace began. “Still, the council has reservations about him taking solo missions.”

    “He does tend to be reckless, but I’m sure that this will lessen as he becomes more aware of what his limits are. Frankly, I’m not certain what his limits would be – the Force is stronger in him than any other Jedi, except for Zane,” Obi-Wan responded.

    “Reckless, Zane is not,” Yoda pointed out.

    Obi-Wan shook his head. “Zane follows Anakin’s lead, but he tends to think things through more fully before taking action if given the time to. He learns from Anakin’s mistakes. Although there have been a few rare times when their roles have been totally reversed. Which brings me to my question, why did you assign them together to protect Senator Amidala? Wouldn’t it have been better for Zane to go with me?”

    “Attend to your own duties, you must,” Yoda reminded him, leaving the question unanswered.

    “Yes, Master. There is one more thing.” He paused briefly before continuing. “Anakin has been having disturbing visions about his mother, and Zane recently has had a vision of Anakin’s mother dying. Can the Council send a Jedi to Tatooine to investigate and see if Anakin’s mother is in need of help?”

    “Always in motion the future is,” Yoda reminded.

    “It’s a waste of resources to send a Jedi to Tatooine just because of a possible vision. It simply could be a dream resulting from a forgotten fear that has crept into Anakin’s subconscious,” Mace added.

    “Zane had a vision too.”

    Mace looked sternly at Obi-Wan. “A simple manipulation tactic I’m sure.”

    Annoyance radiated off of Obi-Wan and he struggled to keep a neutral face. “He has not manipulated anyone for years. He learned his lesson.”

    “Die all things do,” Yoda said. “Accept that, Anakin must.”

    Obi-Wan looked at Yoda. “Should Anakin at least see her before she dies then?”

    “Attachment is forbidden,” Mace replied.

    The common people are important too, family member or not! “Yes, Master,” Obi-Wan replied. Why do they have to start quoting the code whenever they encounter a question they do not wish to answer?


    Anakin and Zane stood in the office of Chancellor Palpatine, quite comfortable as they waited for him to speak. They had visited with the chancellor before on several occasions, in hopes of gaining more insight of the workings of the senate, what issues were brought forward, and other things.

    He was their friend, but something about him kept their guard up somewhat. Perhaps it was Obi-Wan’s belief about politicians that made them put their guard up, but at the same time, they reasoned, if Qui-Gon had been friends with Chancellor Valorum, then shouldn’t they become friends with this current chancellor?

    Chancellor Palpatine had not done anything to warrant caution, but for Obi-Wan’s sanity, they would be careful.

    “I will talk to her,” Palpatine agreed, upon hearing Anakin’s request that he speak with Padme about leaving Coruscant for the relative safety of Naboo. “Senator Amidala will not refuse an executive order. I know her well enough to assure you of that.”

    “Thank you, Your Excellency,” Anakin replied.

    “So, the Council has assigned you both on this mission. Shouldn’t this have been your opportunity for your first solo mission, Anakin?” Palpatine asked.

    Anakin stiffened. “The Council knows what’s best.” He studied the chancellor’s face. “Besides, it’s rare that the Council sends two padawans on the same mission without their masters.”

    Zane nodded. “The Council may be testing us.”

    “Ah, forgive my lack of knowledge on how the Council does things. Despite the number of times I have met with members of the Council, I have still not grasped how the system works,” Palpatine responded with a warm smile. They walked away from the window, past the desk and chairs and down the steps.

    Anakin and Zane smiled behind their neutral masks. Even they did not understand the Council at times.

    “We thank you for your aid Chancellor. We should be going,” Anakin said. He and Zane gave a short bow of respect and left.

    As they left, the chancellor’s face briefly contorted into a scowl.


    Obi-Wan went on down to the archives and found that many of the analysis cubicles were in use by students and masters. It was no surprise, really, they were busy everyday. As he looked for an open cubicle, he heard someone shout his name. He turned around and saw Aeryn come out one of the cubicles.

    “I’m done with this one,” Aeryn said with a big smile on her face.

    Obi-Wan went over to the now open cubicle where an SP-4 analysis droid waited on the other side of the glass. He sat down in front of the console and the droid responded immediately, sliding open a tray.

    “Place the subject for analysis on the sensor tray, please,” the droid’s metallic voice said. Obi-Wan was already moving, pulling forth the toxic dart that had killed the subcontracting bounty hunter.

    Aeryn looked over Obi-Wan’s shoulder and watched as the tray receded to the other side of the glass. As soon as the transfer was complete, the screen that was before Obi-Wan lit up and began scrolling through a series of diagrams and streams of data.

    “It’s a toxic dart,” the Jedi explained to the SP-4. “I need to know where it came from and who made it.”

    “One moment, please.” More diagrams rolled by, more reams of data scrolling, and then the screen paused, showing a somewhat similar dart. But it wasn’t a match and the scrolling started again. Images of the dart flashed up before Obi-Wan, superimposed with diagrams of similar objects. Nothing matched.

    The screen went blank. The tray slid back out.

    “As you can see on your screen, subject weapon does not exist in any known culture,” SP-4 explained. “Markings cannot be identified. Probably self-made by a warrior not associated with any known culture. Stand away from the sensor tray, please.”

    “Excuse me? Could you try again please?” There was no hiding the frustration in Obi-Wan’s voice.

    “Master Jedi, our records are very thorough. They cover eighty percent of the galaxy. If I can’t tell you where it came from, nobody can.”

    Aeryn snorted. “You can’t even do math. What about the twenty percent you don’t know? That’s not thorough.”

    Obi-Wan picked up the dart and looked at the droid. Aeryn was right of course. “Thanks for your assistance,” he said. “You may not be able to figure this out, but I think I know someone who might.”

    “The odds do not suggest such a possibility,” SP-4 started to reply, but it didn’t matter, for as the droid began to ramble on about the odds, Obi-Wan and Aeryn were long gone.

    “Are you going to see Dex then?” Aeryn asked after slipping her datapad into the inside pocket of her cloak.

    “Yes.” Obi-Wan said, knowing where this was going to lead.

    “Can I go with you? I finished my research early and it’s almost lunchtime and I don’t have class for two hours after that. Please?” Aeryn asked.

    Obi-Wan glanced down at her and saw the hope that danced in her eyes. He gave her a small smile. “All right. First we’re going to go see Anakin and Zane, and then from there we’ll go to Dex’s.”

    “What are Zane and Anakin doing?” Aeryn asked.

    “They’re protecting a senator and will be going off planet soon.” He answered.

    “And you’re investigating, right?

    Obi-Wan nodded. “You catch on quick.”

    “I learned a new kata today,” Aeryn said proudly. “I got it right after five tries.”

    “Good for you, but be sure to continue practicing it. Just because you’re doing well with it doesn’t mean that you won’t make a mistake later. Even the best sword masters make mistakes.”

    “Yes sir,” Aeryn said, tucking that information in for future reference. “I will remember.”

    They went to the section of the Temple that contained speeders for use on Coruscant, checked one of the speeders out, and headed off to the Senatorial complex.
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Glad Zane and Anakin are on guard. [face_thinking] Sheesh, the Council works my last nerve. :p Enjoyed the Aeryn/Obi scene. =D=
    Falcon likes this.
  16. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    :) Thank you. Here is the next chapter

    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 7

    Anakin and Zane stood outside of Padme’s bedroom and watched as Padme and Dorme rushed about the room, throwing luggage together, Padme’s sharp movements revealing her mood.

    /She is definitely not happy./ Anakin commented.

    /I can see that./ Zane said as Padme stopped what she was doing to speak to Jar Jar, who had entered the bedroom. /It looks like Jar Jar gets nervous when she’s visibly upset and angry./

    Anakin nodded in agreement. /But you have to admit, his manners have improved somewhat./

    Zane snorted. /Heavy responsibility will do that, but he has far to go./

    Jar Jar left the bedroom and Anakin and Zane slowly entered.

    “I do not like this idea of hiding,” Padme said emphatically.

    “Don’t worry. Now that the Council has ordered an investigation, it won’t take Master Obi-Wan long to find out who hired that bounty hunter,” Anakin responded.

    “And while your master investigates, I have to hide away.”

    “That would be most prudent, yes,” Anakin said.

    Padme gave a little sigh of frustration. “I haven’t worked for a year to defeat the Military Creation Act to not be here when its fate is decided!”

    “That is frustrating, but life does not always let us do what we want,” Zane replied.

    Padme finished tucking a piece of clothing into her luggage and looked at Zane. “I’m sorry, I’ve been rude, I never got your name.”

    “My name’s Zane, you know, the kid that talked to you while you were cleaning Artoo after we got past the blockade around Naboo ten years ago.”

    “Oh.” Padme paused and studied Zane’s face fully this time. She shook her head, “It certainly has been far to long. So how is it you were assigned with Master Kenobi and Anakin? I know that masters don’t have two padawans at a time.”

    “My former master, Master Jinn, was unable to take field missions, so the Council tended to assign me to go on missions with Master Kenobi and Anakin.” Zane swallowed down a painful lump in his throat and excused himself. He went to stand near a window so he could regain his composure.

    Anakin watched Zane in concern and then looked at Padme. “Master Jinn died last night. The Council had assigned Zane to this mission knowing full well that Master Jinn was on his death bed.” The words came out somewhat bitterly when he said them.

    Padme looked at him stunned. Was the Council really so callous as to deny a padawan to be at his master’s side until the end? Her frustration was temporarily quenched as she focused on the two padawans instead of herself.

    Anakin walked over to Zane and placed his hand on his shoulder. He sent waves of comfort to Zane through the Force until he was able to regain his center of calm.

    “I’m sorry to hear of your loss,” Padme told them.

    “Thank you,” Zane said.

    Footsteps sounded outside the bedroom and Obi-Wan and a Jedi initiate walked into the bedroom.

    “Aeryn, what are you doing here?” Zane asked.

    Aeryn ran up to Zane and gave him a tight hug. “Daddy needs to ask Dex something, and I asked if I could go with him and he said yes!” She froze and she felt Zane stiffen as she suddenly realized what she had just said while there were others in the room who did not know of the family connection. She released Zane and spun around, red coloring her cheeks. “Oops.” She looked at Obi-Wan, who was massaging the sides of his head to ward off a headache. “I’m sorry, it just slipped.”

    Obi-Wan let out a sigh and folded his arms into the sleeves of his cloak. “What’s done is done, Aeryn.” He looked at Padme, who was looking at them all curiously.

    Padme waved away the coming explanation. “Your secret is safe with us, Master Kenobi.”

    Dorme nodded from a shadowed corner of the room as she folded another of Padme’s dresses.

    Padme smiled at Aeryn. “Is this your first time outside the Temple?”

    Aeryn shook her head. “No, I’ve been outside the Temple before, just not off planet. What’s your planet like? Does it have a lot of buildings too?”

    “Not this many buildings. We have a lot of plant life.” Padme closed up her luggage.

    “Are there climbing trees?” Aeryn asked, fascinated.

    Anakin laughed and gave Aeryn a quick hug and kiss on the head before going to grab the luggage. “You and your trees.”

    “Lots. My sister and I used to climb them all the time when we were younger,” Padme responded.

    They all left the bedroom as Captain Typho arrived to tell them that their shuttle had arrived to take them to their transport.

    Fifteen minutes later, they arrived in the industrial sector that housed many of the freight docks. Captain Typho, Dorme, Obi-Wan, and Aeryn stood outside the shuttle exit, having taken the speeder and arrived before Padme and the two padawans.

    “Be safe, M’Lady,” Captain Typho said with genuine concern. It was clear that he was not thrilled with allowing Padme out of his sight and control. He handed a pair of small luggage bags over to Anakin and gave a nod of confidence to the young Jedi.

    Thank you, Captain,” Padme replied, her voice thick with gratitude. “Take good care of Dorme. The threat will be on you two now.”

    “He’ll be safe with me!” Dorme put in quickly.

    Padme smiled, appreciating the small attempt at levity. Then she embraced her handmaiden in a great and tight hug, squeezing all the tighter when she heard Dorme start to weep.

    “You’ll be fine,” Padme whispered into the other woman’s ear.

    “It’s not me, M’Lady. I worry about you. What if they realize you’ve left the capital?”

    Padme moved back to arm’s length and managed a smile as she looked over at Anakin and Zane. “Then my Jedi protectors will have to prove how good they are.”

    Dorme gave a nervous chuckle and wiped a tear from her eye as she smiled and nodded.

    Obi-Wan stopped listening to the two women speak and pulled Anakin off to the side. “Remember what I said in the turbolift, Anakin.”

    “Yes, Master,” Anakin said, understanding the meaning behind Obi-Wan’s words.

    Obi-Wan nodded, not saying a word, and then walked over to Padme. “I will get to the bottom of this plot quickly, M’Lady. You’ll be back here in no time.”

    “I will be most grateful for your speed, Master Jedi.”

    Anakin let out a quick breath and strode forward. “Time to go.”

    “I know,” Padme responded, her tone indicating that she was still very displeased with being made to go off planet.

    Zane gave Aeryn a hug and a kiss on the forehead before grabbing the luggage he had set down. “Keep out of trouble,” he told her with a grin.

    Aeryn smiled back at him and waved. “Bye.”

    “May the Force be with you,” Obi-Wan said.

    “May the Force be with you, Master,” Anakin replied. Zane repeated the same.

    Aeryn kept waving her hand until they were out of sight and then turned around and looked up at Obi-Wan. “Can we go eat now?”

    Obi-Wan smiled, letting his serious expression melt away. “Yes, let’s go eat.”

    Aeryn skipped merrily over to the speeder and got in, waiting impatiently for Obi-Wan. While she waited, she watched as a transport began to lift off. The transport looked like half of a fish with a huge jaw – well, maybe with a little imagination. Finally Obi-Wan got into the speeder and they headed off for Dex’s diner.

    They went to Coco town, where Dex’s diner was, not far from the industrial sector. Dex’s diner was small, with foggy windows, metallic and brightly painted walls, and lettering on the door that was falling off. Despite the rugged appearance outside, Aeryn remembered that the inside was a lot nicer.

    When they finally arrived she was delighted to see it like she remembered. It was her favourite place to eat, despite the fact that the visits were rare. It was a quiet hour of the day when they entered the diner and they easily found a small table that was currently being cleaned by a waitress droid. Obi-Wan sat down on the stool and Aeryn sat down on his lap.

    “Can I help ya?” the droid asked.

    “I’m looking for Dexter.”

    The waitress droid made a rather unpleasant sound.

    Obi-Wan just smiled. “I do need to speak with Dexter.”

    “Waddya want him for?”

    “He’s not in trouble,” the Jedi assured her. “It’s personal.”

    The droid stared at him for a short while, sizing him up, then, with a shake of her head, she moved to the open serving hatch behind the counter. “Someone to see ya, honey,” she said. “A Jedi, by the looks of him, and a little kid.”

    Aeryn wrinkled her nose. “I’m not little.”

    A huge head poked through the open hatchway almost immediately, accompanied by a line of grayish steam. A wide smile—on a mouth wide enough to swallow Obi-Wan’s head whole—with huge block teeth grew on the immense face as he set his gaze on the visitors. “Obi-Wan! Aeryn!”

    “Hey, Dex,” Obi-Wan replied. Aeryn moved off his lap as he stood and headed for the counter.

    “Take a seat, old buddy! Be right with ya!”

    Obi-Wan glanced around. The waitress droid had gone about her business, tending to other customers. He moved to a booth just to the side of the counter and Aeryn sat in the seat across from him.

    “You want a cup of ardees?” the droid asked, her demeanor much more accommodating.

    “Thank you, and can you get a glass of blue milk for Aeryn and a kids menu please?”

    The droid moved off toward the counter, slipping aside as the infamous Dexter Jettster moved through the counter door, walking with a stiff gait. He was an impressive sort, a neckless mound of flesh, dwarfing most of the toughies who frequented his establishment. His great belly poked out beneath his grimy shirt and breeches. He was bald and sweaty, and though he had seen many years and did not move fluidly any longer, with to many old injuries slowing him, Dexter Jettster was obviously not a creature anyone wanted to fight—especially since he possessed four huge arms, each with a massive fist that could fully bust a man’s face. Obi-Wan noted the many respectful glances that went his way as he moved to the booth.

    “Hey, ol’ buddy!” Dex greeted.

    Obi-Wan stood up and they gave each other a firm hug.

    Aeryn stood up in her seat as she patiently waited her turn, a smile on her face.

    Dex walked over to her and gave her a gentler hug. “Hey kiddo. Finally got your old man to bring you down here again, huh?” Dex chuckled. “Say, you grew a few inches.”

    Aeryn nodded her head. “Yep.”

    Dex set her down on the floor so that she could sit next to Obi-Wan and then squeezed into the seat that Aeryn had been sitting in.

    The waitress droid was back by then and set two steaming mugs of ardees in front of the old friends and a tall glass of cold blue milk in front of Aeryn.

    “So, my friend, what can I do for ya?” Dex asked.

    Aeryn sipped quietly at her drink as she listened to the conversation.

    “You can tell me what this is,” Obi-Wan answered. He put the dart on the table, watching Dex all the time, noting how the being quickly placed his mug back down, his eyes widening as he regarded the curious and distinctive item.

    “Well, waddya know,” Dex said quietly, as if he could hardly draw breath. He picked up the dart delicately, almost reverently, the weapon nearly disappearing within the folds of his fat fingers. “I ain’t seen one of these since I was prospecting on Subterrel beyond the outer rim.”

    “Do you know where it came from?”

    Dexter placed the dart down before Obi-Wan. “This baby belongs to them cloners. What you got here is a Kamino saberdart.”

    “Kamino saberdart?” Obi-Wan echoed. “I wonder why it didn’t show up in our analysis archive.”

    Dex poked down at the dart with a stubby finger. “It’s these funny little cuts on the side that give it away,” he explained. “Those analysis droids you’ve got over there only focus on symbols, you know. I should think you Jedi have more respect for the difference between knowledge and wisdom.”

    “Well, Dex, if droids could think, there’d be none of us here, would there?” Obi-Wan answered with a laugh.

    The Jedi Knight sobered quickly, though, remembering the gravity of his mission. “Kamino…doesn’t sound familiar. Is it part of the Republic?”

    “No, it’s beyond the Outer Rim. I’d say about twelve parsecs outside the Rishi Maze, toward the south. It should be easy to find, even for those droids in your archive. These Kaminoans keep to themselves, mostly. They’re cloners. Good ones, too.”

    Obi-Wan picked up the dart again, holding it between them, his elbow resting on the table. “Cloners?” he asked. “Are they friendly?”

    “It depends.”

    “On what?” The Jedi looked past the dart as he asked, and the grin on Dexter’s face gave him the answer before it was spoken aloud.

    “On how good your manners are and how big your pocketbook is.”

    Obi-Wan looked back at the saberdart, hardly surprised.

    Aeryn was halfway done with her milk by the time the waitress droid returned and Aeryn gave her order for a bantha sandwich and keesy fries. After giving her order, she looked at Obi-Wan who was putting the saberdart away. “Are you going to have anything to eat?”

    “Mmm, that’s a good idea.” Obi-Wan looked at Dex. “Is the steak sub special still around?”

    Dex chuckled. “Today’s your lucky day. It is today’s special. I’ll go fix it up for you myself and then we can update each other on what’s been happening.” He scooted out of the seat with a little bit of difficulty and headed for the kitchen.

    Aeryn sipped again at her milk and then began to talk about a prank one of her friends had done a couple of days ago.
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Super post. I hope Padme stays safe. And oops indeed on Aeryn's slip. I'm totally looking forward to reading Family Bonds. [face_dancing]
    Falcon likes this.
  18. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Thank you and Happy Monday :)

    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 8

    Zane yawned and stretched as he woke from his nap on the thinly padded bench.

    “Did you have a nice nap?” Padme asked from a bench on the opposite side with a small table in between them.

    Rolling his shoulders to get the kinks out of them, he looked at Padme. “Very nice, and we have to spend a week on this transport.” He rolled his eyes and then worked the kinks out of his neck.

    Padme smiled. It was true the transport wasn’t very accommodating, but in a way it had a relaxing and freeing feel to it. She looked over to Anakin, who was sleeping on a curved bench that was between theirs. He was restless, she noted, wondering why that was so. It amazed her every time that when one sleeps they look completely innocent and somewhat younger.

    Zane watched Padme watch Anakin and smiled to himself. There was definitely chemistry between them. He looked over to where Artoo was and saw that the droid was having a bit of trouble. Seeing it as a good opportunity to make himself scarce for a little while, Zane left the table and headed to help Artoo.

    “No droids in the food line!” the server yelled. “Get out of here!”

    “Sorry sir,” Zane said and patted Artoo on the head. “My little droid here tends to be over helpful.”

    Artoo blatted out an indignant sound and swivelled his head.

    The server shook a spoon at Zane, causing mush to fling off it and hit random people and objects. “Excuses! I do not want to see your droid in the serving line again!”

    “Sorry sir,” Zane apologized again. “Now can we get that mush that passes for food, please?”

    The server grunted and slopped the mush into three bowls and placed a slice of bread in each. “Here, now go away!”

    “Thank you,” Zane said as he handed one of the bowls to Artoo for the droid to hold and collected the other two bowls.

    Zane and Artoo left the serving area and headed back over to the table, just as Padme was waking Anakin from his nightmare. Zane set a bowl on the table in front of Anakin and Padme and then took the one Artoo held before sitting down.

    “Are you hungry?” Padme asked Anakin when he didn’t seem that interested in the meal.

    Anakin sat the rest of the way up and a rubbed a hand through his hair, shaking his head in an effort to dispel the disturbing dream.

    “We went to hyperspace a while ago,” she explained.

    “How long was I asleep?” Anakin asked.

    Padme smiled at him, trying to comfort him. “You had a good nap,” she answered.

    Zane scooped up a bite of mush with his spoon and grimaced at the taste as he swallowed it down. “A nap is better than this mush, but…” he shrugged. “There’s food worse than this.”

    Anakin managed a small smile and scooped up a bit of the mush with his bread and took a bite.

    “It’ll be nice to see Naboo and get to enjoy it this time,” Zane remarked. “Has it changed much in ten years?”

    “No, it’s still the same. Quite and peaceful,” Padme said and took a bite of her bread. After chewing thoughtfully and then swallowing, Padme asked. “Zane, is Aeryn your sister?”

    Should have seen that question coming. “Yes,” Zane admitted.

    “I thought attachment is forbidden for a Jedi?” Padme said, looking at the two padawans.

    “It is,” Anakin said grimly, looking at Padme. “Or, so many Jedi claim. When one actually questions the code of no attachments, it really doesn’t make much sense. If one truly did not have any attachments, then they would have no loyalty to any group, they would be distant, cold, unfeeling.”

    Zane added, “From the very beginning, even before a child is born, there is the need for attachment. Attachment to the mother as it develops, attachment to the link from which the child gets it nutrients from the mother.”

    Anakin nodded and continued. “Sure one can be detached from something, but attachment will still exist in some form. There was a study once, a long time ago, where someone actually experimented to see if a child can survive with no attachment. The experiment failed because there was no attachment, no love, and as a result the child died.” Anakin paused, his eyes staring at nothing and everything. “Detachment has not solved the problems the Jedi of the past had. We have the same problems today as in the past, except now we have the rule of no attachment. Detachment is killing the Jedi.”

    Silence descended on the table except for the occasion clink of spoons against dishes as they ate. After Anakin finished the last of the bread and mush, he broke the silence. “There are times to be detached and times to be attached. The real problem of attachment is that it can lead to obsession, which can have negative consequences. The Jedi do not teach on how to deal with the negative effects, instead they teach detachment in order to avoid the problems of attachment.”

    “I get the picture,” Padme said before Anakin could continue. “So Master Kenobi doesn’t believe that attachment should be forbidden.”

    “Yes,” Zane said, leaning against the back of the bench. “Although it did take my father and my mother many years to reach that conclusion and to learn how to properly deal with a couple of the negative effects certain attachments can bring.”

    “Padme, after we get to Naboo do you think we could make a little detour to Tatooine so I can check up on my mother?” Anakin asked.

    Padme gave Anakin a warm smile. “Of course we can. It may even throw any possible assassins off our scent too.” It’s better than just sitting around on Naboo waiting for Obi-Wan to complete his investigation. “We’ll have to meet with the Queen and visit my family first so that we don’t attract any suspicions or inquires.”

    Anakin nodded. “That sounds reasonable.”

    Zane dug around in a basket that was under the table and pulled out a stack of cards. “Anyone for a game of cards?”


    Obi-Wan stood in front of one of the busts in the archive as he patiently waited for the Jedi archivist, Madame Jocusta Nu, whom he had called for earlier. He stood patiently, studying the strong features on the bust, the high and proud cheekbones, wide and alert. This was the man who had found a zigattee and had given it to Qui-Gon, who in turn had given it to Zane.

    While the action was innocent enough, he had to wonder how Dooku had gotten his hands on a Sith training device. Was there a warning in this? He didn’t know much about Dooku except that he had been Qui-Gon’s master, Qui-Gon had kept Obi-Wan and Zane at a distance from Dooku. Dooku was involved with the Separatists in some way, and Captain Typho had indicated that Dooku may possibly be involved in the assassination attempt on Senator Amidala’s life.

    From the glimpses he’d had of Dooku, he knew that this bust captured his essence perfectly. There was an intensity about the man as palpable as that which had sometimes surrounded Master Qui-Gon, especially when Qui-Gon had found a particularly important cause and would go against the Jedi Council when he felt that he was right.

    Yes, Obi-Wan had seen this kind of intensity in Qui-Gon on occasion, but what he knew of Dooku was that, unlike Qui-Gon, the man had never been able to shut it off, had always been stomping around, chewing over an issue. The lights in his eyes were ever-burning fires.

    But Dooku had taken it to extremes, and dangerous ones, Obi-Wan realized. He had left the Jedi Order, had walked out on his calling and on his peers. Whatever problems Dooku must have seen, he should have recognized that he could better repair them by remaining within the Jedi family. It will take a long time to repair things in the Jedi Order, yes, but… His eyes widened a bit as he let the possibility enter and run through his mind. If repair doesn’t work, then crush and rebuild.

    “Did you call for assistance?” came a stern voice behind Obi-Wan, jerking him out of his thoughts. He turned to see Madame Jocasta Nu standing beside him, her hands folded together before her, practically disappearing within the folds of her Jedi robes.

    She was a frail looking creature, quite elderly, and noting that brought a smile to Obi-Wan’s face. How many younger and less experienced Jedi had looked upon that façade, the thin and wrinkled face and neck, the white hair tied tight, thinking that they could push the woman around, getting her to do their studying for them, only to encounter the truth that was Jocasta Nu? She was a firebrand, that weak façade hiding her true strength and determination. Jocasta Nu had been the Archivist for many, many years, and this was her place, her domain, her kingdom. Any Jedi coming in here, even the most exalted of Jedi Masters, would play by the rules of Jocasta Nu, or they would surely face her wrath.

    “Yes, yes I did,” Obi-Wan finally managed to responded, realizing that Jocasta Nu was staring at him inquisitively, awaiting an answer.

    The old woman smiled and walked past him to regard the best of Count Dooku. “He has a powerful face, doesn’t he?” she commented, her quiet tome taking the tension out of the meeting. “He was one of the most brilliant Jedi I have had the privilege of knowing.”

    “I never understood why he quit,” Obi-Wan said, following Jocasta Nu’s look to the bust. “Only twenty Jedi have ever left the Order.” Perhaps she knows something that might either prove or allay my suspicions.

    “The Lost Twenty,” Jocasta Nu said with a profound sigh. “And Count Dooku was the most recent and the most painful. No one likes to talk about it. His leaving was a great loss to the Order.”

    “What happened?” Even Qui-Gon would not speak of it.

    “Well, one might say he was a bit out of step with the decisions of the Council,” the Archivist replied. “Much like your old master, Qui-Gon.”

    Even though Obi-Wan had just been thinking the same thing, somewhat, to hear Jocasta Nu speak the words so definitively caught him off guard and painted Qui-Gon in a more rebellious light than he had ever considered. He knew his former master had his moments, but he had never thought of Qui-Gon as that much of a rebel. Apparently, Jocasta Nu, who had her finger as squarely as anyone on the pulse of the Jedi Temple, did.

    “Really?” Obi-Wan prompted, wanting the information about Dooku, of course, but also wanting to see if she saw something more in Qui-Gon than he had. Often an outside perspective could see things one on the inside might just miss.

    “Oh, yes, they were alike in many ways. Very individual thinkers. Idealists.” She stared at the bust intently, and it seemed to Obi-Wan as if she had suddenly gone far, far away. “He was always striving to become a more powerful Jedi. He wanted to be the best. With a lightsaber, in the old style of fencing, he had no match. His knowledge of the Force was…unique. In the end, I think he left because he lost faith in the Republic. He believed that politics were corrupt…”

    Jocasta Nu paused for a moment and looked at Obi-Wan, a very revealing expression that showed she did not think Dooku as out of step as many of the others apparently did.

    “And he felt that the Jedi betrayed themselves by serving the politicians,” the Archivist stated.

    Obi-Wan blinked, soaking in the words. He knew that many, Qui-Gon included—even himself included, at times—often felt the same way.

    “He always had very high expectations of government,” Jocasta Nu went on. “He disappeared for nine or ten years, then just showed up recently as the head of the separatist movement.”

    “Interesting,” Obi-Wan remarked, looking from the bust to the Archivist. “I’m still not sure I understand.” She is implying that he left because the Republic is corrupt, not because the Order itself has problems. Is it the combination of the two? Is it possible that Dooku is planning something against the Republic, the Jedi, both? If only Qui-Gon were still alive, he would have been able to give him the answer that he needed.

    “None of us does,” Jocasta Nu replied, her serious expression melting into a warm smile. “Well, I’m sure you didn’t call me over here for a history lesson. Are you having a problem, Master Kenobi?”

    “Yes, I’m trying to find a planet system called Kamino. It doesn’t seem to show up on any of the archive charts.”

    “Kamino?” Jocasta Nu looked around, as if she was searching for the system right then and there. “It’s not a system I’m familiar with. Let me see.”

    A few steps brought them to the computer screen where Obi-Wan had been searching. She bent low, and pressed a couple of commands. “Are you sure you have the right coordinates?”

    “According to my information, it should be in this quadrant somewhere,” said Obi-Wan. “Just south of the Rishi Maze.”

    A few more taps of the keyboard brought nothing more than a frown to Jocasta Nu’s old and weathered face. “But what are the exact coordinates?”

    “I only know the quadrant,” Obi-Wan admitted, and Jocasta Nu turned up to regard him.

    “No coordinates? It sounds like the sort of directions you’d get from a street tout—some old miner or furbog trader.”

    “All three actually,” Obi-Wan admitted with a grin.

    “Are you sure it exists?”


    Jocasta Nu sat back and rubbed a hand pensively over her chin. “Let me do a gravitational scan,” she said, as much to herself as to Obi-Wan.

    The star map hologram of the target quadrant went into motion after a few more keystrokes, and the pair studied the movements. “There are some inconsistencies here,” the sharp Archivist noted. “Maybe the planet you’re seeking was destroyed.”

    “Wouldn’t that be on record?”

    “It ought to be, unless it was very recent,” Jocasta Nu replied, but she was shaking her head even as she spoke the words, not even convinced herself. “I hate to say it, but it looks like the system you’re searching for doesn’t exist.”

    “That’s impossible—perhaps the Archives are incomplete.”

    “The Archives are comprehensive and totally secure, my young Jedi,” came the imposing response, the Archivist stepping back from her familiarity with Obi-Wan and assuming again the demeanour of archive kingdom ruler. “One thing you may be absolutely sure of: If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist.”

    The two stared at each other for a long moment, Obi-Wan taking note that there wasn’t the slightest tremor of doubt in Jocasta Nu’s declaration.

    He looked back to the map, perplexed, caught within a seemingly unanswerable question. He knew that no one in the galaxy was more reliable for information than Dexter Jettster, unless that person was Jocasta Nu, and yet the two were obviously at odds here concerning their information. Dexter had seemed every bit as certain of the origins of the saberdart as Jocasta Nu was now. Both couldn’t be right.

    The puzzle of finding Senator Amidala’s would-be assassin would not be easily solved, it seemed, and that troubled Obi-Wan Kenobi for many, many reasons. With Jocasta Nu’s permission, the Jedi punched a few buttons on the keyboard, downloading the archive information on that region of the quadrant to a small hologlobe. Then, the item in hand, he left the area.

    But not without one long, last look at the imposing bust of Count Dooku.
    Falcon likes this.
  19. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 9

    The next day, after a restful night’s sleep, Obi-Wan decided to seek out Yoda to get his opinion regarding the mysterious puzzle. He didn’t have to travel far and soon was on the veranda, where he paused and simply watched the class below him. The scene was soothing to him, a reminder of innocence, an innocence he once had. The innocence he saw was enough to briefly brush off his frustration as if it didn’t exist at all.

    Master Yoda was leading twenty of the youngest Jedi recruits, children only four or five years old, through their morning training exercises, battling floating training droids with miniature lightsabers. Among the group of younglings was Tad.

    Obi-Wan was reminded of his own training and for a moment pretended he was back to being an initiate, when the only complicated things were deflecting the stinging bolts of the training droids. The youngsters wore protective full-face helmets, but it was easy to imagine all the possible emotions playing across their faces, faces still so full of innocence. It was a common cycle among the younglings as they did this training exercise. Their little minds will be intensely focused on the task, complete concentration, or as much as they could manage. Then when a blast would be successfully blocked there would be an abundance of joy. That elation would disappear as quickly as it had come when the next little bolt hit a body part. The shock would bring total distraction, resulting in another energy bolt slipping by the youngling’s guard.

    Obi-Wan fondly remembered the time when he had managed to get hit in the backside, he had been so embarrassed that day, especially when everyone said how funny he looked hopping and twisting around. It did notch down his pride, those stinging bolts tended to do that. The backside was the worst place to get hit.

    While the training was humiliating, especially since the class was located where every passing Jedi can stop and watch, it was energizing. Failures were always followed by success and each success built up confidence and which each failure something new was learned that helped bring the success. It also helped with learning new insights of the Force, to build up the connection to the Force that made them unique from the rest of the galaxy.

    Obi-Wan felt himself warm as he watched Master Yoda leading the group, just the same as he had many years ago when Obi-Wan was only an initiate.

    “Don’t think…feel,” Yoda instructed the group. “Be as one with the Force.”

    Obi-Wan, smiling, mouthed the exact words as Yoda finished, “Help you, it will.” How many times he had heard that!

    His eyes locked onto Tad, who made the mistake of looking toward Obi-Wan, losing his focus on the hovering training droid. Tad recognized his mistake a second too late as a bolt stung his upper arm. Tad let out a loud yelp and fumbled with his lightsaber as he turned to try to block the bolt that followed it.

    Obi-Wan chuckled softly. And another lesson is learned. He was still grinning widely when Yoda turned to him. “Younglings, enough!” the great Jedi Master commanded. “A visitor we have. Welcome him.”

    Twenty little lightsabers clicked off and the students came to attention together, removing their helmets and tucking them properly under their left arms.

    “Master Obi-Wan Kenobi,” Yoda said, keeping enough gravity in his voice so that the younglings wouldn’t feel mocked.

    “Welcome, Master Obi-Wan!” the twenty called out together.

    “I am sorry to disturb you, Master,” Obi-Wan said with a slight bow.

    “What help to you, can I be?”

    “I’m looking for a planet described to me by an old friend,” he explained, and he knew that Yoda was absorbing every word. “I trust him and the information he provided, but the system doesn’t show up on the archive maps.” As he finished, he showed Yoda the hologlobe he had with him.

    “An interesting puzzle,” Yoda answered. “Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing…how embarrassing.” A couple of the younglings giggled in response. “An interesting puzzle. Gather, younglings, around the map reader. Clear your minds and find Obi-Wan’s wayward planet, we will try.”

    They went into a room to the side of the veranda. A narrow shaft was set in the middle, with a hollow depression at the top. Off to the side, Obi-Wan took up the hologlobe, then moved and placed it in the hollow of the shaft.

    “Liam, the shades,” Yoda said. The young human boy quickly complied and the shades were lowered, darkening the room. The star map hologram appeared, glittering distinctly.

    Obi-Wan paused a moment before presenting his dilemma, allowing the younglings to get past the initial excitement. He watched with amusement as some reached up and tried to touch the projected starlights. Then, when all quieted, he walked into the middle of the projection. “This is where it ought to be,” he explained. “Gravity is pulling all the stars in this area inward to this spot. There should be a star here, but there isn’t.”

    “Most interesting,” Yoda said. “Gravity’s silhouette remains, but the star and all its planets have disappeared. How can this be? Now, younglings, in your mind, what is the first thing you see? An answer? A thought? Anyone?

    Obi-Wan took Yoda’s quiet cue and paused then, watching the Jedi Master look over his gathering.

    A hand went up, and Obi-Wan wondered at the quickness of it.

    Yoda nodded to the student, who answered at once. “Because someone erased it from the archive memory,” J. K. Burtola said confidently.

    “That’s right!” Tad agreed at once. “That’s what happened! Someone erased it!”

    “If the planet blew up, the gravity would go away,” Mari Amithest called out.

    Obi-Wan stared blankly at the excited group, stunned, but Yoda only chuckled.

    “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is,” he explained. “Uncluttered. The youngling is right, the data must have been erased.”

    Yoda started out of the room and Obi-Wan moved to follow, flicking his hand as he passed the reader shaft, Force-pulling the hologlobe back to his grasp and instantly the scene of stars disappeared.

    “To the center of the pull of gravity go, and find your planet you will,” Yoda advised him.

    “But Master Yoda, who could have erased information from the Archives? That’s impossible, isn’t it?” Or not. The very thought of it is troubling.

    “Dangerous and disturbing this puzzle is,” Yoda replied with a frown. “Only a Jedi could have erased those files. But who and why, harder to answer. Meditate on this, I will. May the Force be with you.”

    He bowed respectively to Yoda who had returned to working with the children and then Obi-Wan left to make preparations for his departure and within fifteen minutes was on the landing platform where his starfighter waited. Mace was there to see him off when Obi-Wan arrived.

    “Be wary,” he said to Obi-Wan. “This disturbance in the Force is growing stronger.”

    Obi-Wan nodded. “Has Master Yoda gained any insight as to whether or not this war will come about?” While the possibility had not been openly spoken, the approaching darkness was a good indication that a war was looming and that the Council would be meditating on its meaning. Master Yoda himself would be the one to personally probe the dark side.

    “Probing the dark side is a dangerous process,” Mace stated. “I know not when he will choose to begin, but when he does, it is quite possible that he will remain in seclusion for days.”

    Obi-Wan nodded in understanding and Mace gave him a smile and a wave. “May the Force be with you.”

    “Set the course to the hyperspace ring, Arfour,” Obi-Wan instructed his astromech droid, an R4-P unit that was hardwired into the left wing of the sleek, triangular, starfighter. Silently, the Jedi Knight added to himself, Let’s get this thing moving.


    It was with great relief when they finally arrived at Theed after spending a week in the rickety old transport. Zane had wondered more than once if the crew of that ship thought the people were crates of cargo instead of actual people. At least they had gotten to Theed safely.

    Theed had a softer feeling than Coruscant, which was definitely hard core. Instead of steel and other metals, the buildings here were made of stone and other materials that gave the city an earthy feel to it. The vines that grew alongside and on the buildings only enhanced that feeling. There was the smell of flowers, different plants, and fresh baked food, unlike Coruscant, which had an oily, bland, dirty smell.

    Zane, Anakin, and Padme lugged their bags across a familiar square, a place where they had seen battle a decade before against the droids of the Trade Federation. R2-D2 came behind them, rolling along easily, whistling a happy song, as if he were an extension of the comfortable aura of Theed.

    Zane noticed that Padme kept covertly glancing at Anakin, who was wearing a serene face and a widening grin.

    “If I grew up here, I don’t think I’d ever leave,” Anakin remarked.

    Padme laughed. “I doubt that.”

    Anakin shrugged. “Perhaps I wouldn’t have appreciated Naboo as much then, but Naboo was the first planet I had been on that has a large amount of water and plant life.”

    “I agree,” Zane said. “Also the Force feels so much more peaceful here. It’s almost like the gardens in the Temple, except bigger and better.”

    Anakin nodded. “The palace shimmers in the sunlight that is not blocked by pollution and doesn’t burn at high noon. The air here smells like flowers, not oily with pollution and dry because of lack of moisture.”

    “And the soft sound of the distant waterfalls,” Padme added. “The first time I saw the capital, I was very young. I’d never seen a waterfall before. I thought they were so beautiful. I never thought that one day I’d live in the palace.”

    “Well, tell me, did you dream of power and politics when you were a little girl?” Anakin asked.

    Again Padme had to laugh aloud. “No, that was the last thing I thought of.” She could feel the wistfulness creeping into her, the memories of those long-ago days before her innocence had been shattered by war, and even more so, by the constant deceptions and conniving of politics. “My dream was to work in the Refugee Relief Movement. I never thought of running for elected office. But the more history I studied, the more I realized how much good politicians could do. So when I was eight, I joined the Apprentice Legislators, which is like making a formal announcement that you’re entering public service here on Naboo. From there, I went on to become a Senatorial Advisor, and attacked my duties with such a passion that before I knew it, I was elected Queen.”

    Padme looked at Anakin and shrugged, trying not to throw all humility away. “Partly because I scored so high on my education certificate,” she explained. “But for the most part, my ascent was because of my conviction that reform was possible. The people of Naboo embraced that dream wholeheartedly, so much so that my age was hardly an issue in the campaign. I wasn’t the youngest Queen ever elected, but now that I think back on it, I’m not sure I was old enough.” She paused and locked stares with Anakin. “I’m not sure I was ready.”

    “The people you served thought you did a good job,” Anakin reminded her.” I heard they tried to amend the constitution so that you could stay in office.”

    “Popular rule is not democracy, Anakin. It gives the people what they want, not what they need. And truthfully, I was relieved when my two terms were up.” Padme chuckled as she continued, adding emphasis. “So were my parents! They worried about me during the blockade and couldn’t wait for it all to be over. Actually, I was hoping to have a family by now…”

    She turned away a bit, feeling her face flushing, and even more when she finally registered that Zane had dropped back a couple of feet to give them some privacy. She looked back at Anakin, and she felt so at ease, so comfortable with him, almost as if they had been friends for all their lives. “My sister has the most amazing, wonderful kids.” Her eyes were sparkling, she knew, but she blinked the emotion away, as she had often blinked away her personal desires for the sake of what she perceived to be the greater good. “But when the Queen asked me to serve as Senator, I couldn’t refuse her,” she explained.

    “I agree!” Anakin replied. “I think the Republic needs you. I’m glad you chose to serve—I feel things are going to happen in our generation that will change the galaxy in profound ways.”

    “A Jedi premonition?” Padme kidded.

    Anakin laughed. “A feeling,” he explained, or tried to explain, for it was obvious that he wasn’t quite sure what he was trying to say. “It just seems to me as if it’s all grown stale, as if something has to happen—”

    “I think so, too,” Padme put in sincerely.

    Zane watched them from a distance. Through the Force he could see a strong bond forming between them, a bond of love, and he wondered what consequences that would cause. He sped up as Anakin and Padme reached the great doors of the palace.
    Falcon likes this.
  20. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 10

    Padme and the two padawans easily made their way to the throne room where they were announced at once.

    Inside the throne room they were greeted by many smiling faces. Zane recognized Sio Bibble who was Padme’s trusted advisor when she was Queen and who now served the present Queen. The Queen, Jamillia, Padme said her name was, wore a great headdress and flowing embroidered robes, the same type of outfit that Padme had worn when she was Queen. There was something about the whole outfit that made any women who wore them to look so regal.

    In the throne room there were advisors, handmaidens, and guards. It seemed that Queens never tended to be alone, even on peaceful planets like Naboo.

    Queen Jamillia, standing perfectly straight so that her headdress did not topple, rose and walked over to take Padme’s hand. “We’ve been worried about you. I’m so glad you’re here, Padme,” she said, her voice rich and laced with a stronger accent than Padme’s.

    “Thank you, Your Highness. I only wish I could have served you better by staying on Coruscant for the vote.”

    “Supreme Chancellor Palpatine has explained it all,” Sio Bibble interjected. “Returning home was the only real choice you could have made.”

    Padme gave him a resigned nod. Yet Zane could tell that being told to return home still bothered her when she had work so hard to defeat the bill that would allow the creation of a Republic army.

    “How many systems have joined Count Dooku and the separatists?” Queen Jamillia asked bluntly. Small talk was not in her nature.

    “Thousands,” Padme answered. “And more are leaving the Republic every day. If the Senate votes to create an army, I’m sure it’s going to push us into civil war.”

    /It’s really that bad?/ Zane said to Anakin while listening to the conversation. /Why weren’t we told this?/

    /We’re not supposed to be investigating. Although Obi-Wan may know now that he is investigating./ Anakin responded. /It explains why she is so vehemently fighting this bill. The Republic army was disbanded soon after the Republic was formed because of the treaties that had been made that would prevent a galactic civil war….at least in theory./

    Sio Bibble punched his fist into his open hand. “It’s unthinkable!” he said, gnashing his teeth with every word. “There hasn’t been a full-scale war since the formation of the Republic.”

    “Do you see any way, through negotiations, to bring the separatists back into the Republic?” Jamillia asked, staying calm despite Sio Bibble’s obvious agitation.

    “Not if they feel threatened. The Separatists don’t have an army, but if they are provoked, they will move to defend themselves. I’m sure of that. And with no time or money to build an army, my guess is they will turn to the Commerce Guild or the Trade Federation for help.”

    /If they want war then it doesn’t matter if the bill passes or not./ Zane muttered through their bond.

    /Don’t say anything to them./ Anakin warned. /Not yet./

    “The armies of commerce!” Queen Jamillia echoed with anger and distaste. “Why has nothing been done in the Senate to restrain them?”

    “I’m afraid that, despite the Chancellor’s best efforts, there are still many bureaucrats, judges, and even Senators on the payrolls of the guilds,” Padme admitted.

    “Then it is true that the guilds have moved closer to the Separatists, as we suspected,” Queen Jamillia reasoned.

    Sio Bibble punched his open palm again, drawing their attention. “It’s outrageous!” he said. “It’s outrageous that after all those hearings and four trials in the Supreme Court, Nute Gunray is still the viceroy of the Trade Federation. Do those money-mongers control everything?”

    “Remember, Counselor, the courts were able to reduce the Trade Federation’s armies,” Jamillia reminded, again holding her calm and controlled voice. “That’s a move in the right direction.”

    Padme winced, knowing that she had to report honestly. “There are rumors, Your Highness, that the Federation’s army was not reduced as they were ordered.”

    Clearing his throat, Anakin Skywalker stepped forward. “The Jedi have not been allowed to investigate,” he explained. “It would be too dangerous for the economy, we were told. However, Zane and I believe that investigation should have been done sooner.”

    Zane stepped forward and continued. “As upsetting as a possible civil war sounds, we have reason to believe that it will be inevitable. If the bill is not passed and the Separatists do want war then they will do whatever it takes to push the Republic into one.”

    The mood in the room, already heavy, became even heavier from the revelation the two Padawans had given.

    “I am certain that my Master will find out the Separatists real motives during his investigation into the assassinations attempts on Senator Amidala. I am also certain that he will do everything he can to prevent war from breaking out.” Anakin told them.

    Sio Bibble shook his head in disgust. “Their demands are reasonable. Changes do have to be made in the Senate.”

    “It appears that way and that’s most likely what some of them truly want, leading to the theory that the one behind the Separatists is the same one who was behind the Trade Federation blockade ten years ago.” Zane responded.

    Queen Jamillia studied the Padawans for a moment before speaking. “Do you have proof to back up your claims?”

    “No, M’Lady.” Anakin respectfully answered. “However, the Sith Master continues to elude the Jedi even after ten years of extensive search. It’s not unreasonable to believe the Sith is influencing events in some manner.”

    Queen Jamillia looked to him and nodded, looked back to Padme, then squared her shoulders and firmed her jawline, looking regal in the ornate raiments—very much the planetary ruler obedient to the Republic. “We must keep our faith in the Republic,” she declared. “The day we stop believing in democracy can work is the day we lose it.”

    “Let’s pray that day never comes,” Padme quietly answered, still absorbing everything that Anakin and Zane had said.

    “In the meantime, we must consider your own safety,” Queen Jamillia said, and she looked to Sio Bibble, who motioned to the attendants. All of them, advisers, attendants, and handmaidens, bowed and quickly left the room. Sio Bibble moved near to Anakin and Zane, the appointed protectors, then paused, waiting for the others to be gone. At last he spoke. “What is your suggestion, Master Jedi?”

    “Please, address me as Jedi Skywalker, Counselor. I am still only a senior Padawan.”

    Sio Bibble gave a slight bow of his head. “My apologies, Jedi Skywalker.”

    A smile twitched at Padme’s lips as she watched Anakin respectfully, humbly, correct the Counselor. She had wondered herself how one was supposed to address a senior Padawan. “I was thinking I would stay in the Lake Country. There are some places up there that are very isolated.”

    Sio Bibble nodded in agreement. “The Lake Country is the most remote part of Naboo. Not many people up there, and a clear view of the surrounding terrain. It would be an excellent choice, a place where you would have a much easier time protecting Senator Amidala.”

    “Perfect!” Queen Jamillia agreed. “It’s settled then. Padme,” Queen Jamillia went on, “I had an audience with your father yesterday. I told him what was happening. He hopes you will visit your mother before you leave. Your family’s very worried about you.”

    How could they not be? Padme thought, and it pained her to consider that the dangers her strong positions were bringing to her were affecting other people whom she loved. How could they not? It was the perfect reminder of why family and public service didn’t usually mix. She looked at Zane and wondered how Master Kenobi was able to do it, to have a family and serve the Jedi at the same time. How did others do it who mixed family and public service together? She never understood. Not really.

    Years ago she had made a conscious and definite choice: public service or family. She hadn’t been worried about her own safety at all through these trials, willing to make whatever sacrifices were necessary. But now, suddenly, she had to remember that her choices and positions could affect others on a very personal level, as well. She wore no smile as she walked with Anakin, Zane, Sio Bibble, and Queen Jamillia out of the throne room and down the palace’s main staircase.


    Green specks danced in the darkness. The darkness was heavy, suffocating. The green specks began to whirl around, faster and faster until they became huge globs of green. The green globs imploded into orange specks, they hovered and then began to dance, continuing the same pattern as before but with different colors. The pattern became more rapid with each sequence and the darkness slowly began to lift.

    There was a deafening roar and a blast of white light. A chest began to slowly move up and down. There was a sharp intake of breath into a nose, eyelids flickered, lips parted as breath was released.

    Eyelids fully opened and blinked to moisten the eyes. Sheets rustled as the huge body sat up and stretched on the slab of metal before standing up and continuing to stretch the unused muscles.

    Whipping off the sheet from the slab, the person wrapped it around their waist and walked across the cold floor to the door.


    Zane was grateful that they had time to change before heading to Padme’s home. He always felt out of place if he wore anything other than Jedi apparel. He trailed along next to Anakin who had also changed back into Jedi robes as they followed Padme who was now dressed in a simple blue dress with a white cloak. Behind them he could hear Artoo whistling as he moved along the path.

    They left another shadowed stone archway behind them and turned to the right where there was a smaller archway that had stairs leading up to it.

    “We’re here,” Padme said suddenly, “this is my house.”

    Tiny feet pattered down the stairs. “Aunt Padme! Aunt Padme!”

    Zane and Anakin watched as Padme intercepted the two girls, kneeling down so that she could embrace them both in a hug. The taller of the pair had shoulder length, straight brown hair while the youngest had short, blonde, curly hair.

    “Ryoo! Pooja!” Padme said in delight and kissing the top of their heads. “I’m so happy to see you!” She stood up, taking them by the hand and led them to Anakin and Zane. “This is Anakin and Zane. Anakin and Zane, this is Ryoo and Pooja!”

    The girls looked shyly up at Anakin and Zane and said hello. They looked beyond the two padawans and saw Artoo chirping merrily along. Laughing, they ran over to Artoo and hugged him. “Artoo!”

    Zane, Anakin, and Padme laughed at the girls’ enthusiasm and then moved along into the house. In the entryway inside the house they were met by a woman who was a bit taller than Padme and had brown hair and blue eyes and was wearing a simple dark blue, long-sleeved, dress.

    “Sola!” Padme said and embraced her sister. Turning she introduced Sola to the two Padawans.

    Sola nodded to the two Padawans and then looked back at her sister. “Mom and Dad will be so happy to see you. It’s been a difficult few weeks.”

    Padme frowned, the reality fully settling upon her. While she didn’t let things like assassination attempts worry her, they did indeed worry her parents and sister. Taking off her cloak, she hung it on a wooden peg and the two Padawans also hung their cloaks on some nearby pegs.

    “Mom’s making dinner. As usual, your timing is perfect.” Sola said and started to walk toward the dining room that the entryway led into.

    Inside the house was simple, cool, and comfortable all rolled into one. The smell of rich spicy food traveled throughout the house, causing those who had stopped thinking about the fact that they were hungry to begin thinking it again.

    Zane walked over to a large open window and placed his hands on the smooth, cool, grey stone surface and looked outside. He saw a distant flock of birds, a couple of stone buildings and below a small, well tended garden, well, small if compared to the gardens in the Temple. He turned away from the window as he heard the sound of approaching footsteps and Padme introduced him and Anakin to her parents, Ruwee and Jobal.

    Ruwee was a tall man with short brown hair that was graying at the sides and blue, compassionate eyes. He had a plain, but strong face and was strong-shouldered. Jobal was the shorter one of the family and had brown hair that she pinned back and brown eyes.

    Jobal bade those in the room to sit down at the table before heading back into the kitchen where Sola was collecting some stoneware plates and mugs from the kitchen.

    Ruwee sat on the seat at the head of the table and Padme sat down in the chair to her father’s left and Anakin took the seat across from her while Zane sat down in the seat next to Anakin. Already on the table was a basket full of freshly baked, sliced bread.

    Soon after they were seated, Sola came out of the kitchen and placed the plates, mugs and silverware on the table beside Padme and Padme passed them around. Jobal came out of the kitchen next caring a large bowl of hot steaming rice and set it on the table

    Sola came out of the kitchen again with an equally large bowl of thick brown substance with lumps of meat in it. Zane didn’t recognize it, but it smelled wonderful. Jobal sat down in the seat across from Ruwee and a few seconds later Sola returned from the kitchen with two large pitchers of water.

    “I hope you are all hungry.” Jobal said with a warm smile.

    “A little,” Anakin answered, despite the fact his stomach said otherwise. They had passed the opportunity for one last meal on the transport in favor of looking forward to eating a home cooked meal.

    “He’s being polite, Mom,” Padme said. “We’re starving.” She finished serving herself some rice and passed the bowl to her father.

    “Well you’ve come to the right place at the right time.” Ruwee remarked as he served himself some rice.

    All was quite as everyone busied serving themselves, the only sounds were the thump of bowls being passed around and the clink of ladles scooping up food. Once everyone was served, Jobal broke the silence. “It’s so good to see you safe, we were so worried.”

    “Dear-” Ruwee said, locking gazes with his wife.

    “I know, I know! But I had to say it. Now it’s done.” Jobal said with a dismissive wave of her hand and went back to eating.

    Zane and Anakin smiled when they saw Ruwee’s expression. It seemed that not only was Jobal a fantastic hostess, she was also a very to the point type of person and when something weighed on her mind, she would more than likely speak it sooner than later.

    “Well this is exciting,” Sola said after taking a sip of water and everyone turned their attention onto her. “Did you know,” she said to the two boys, “that this is the first time Padme has brought two boys home at the same time?”

    “Sola!” Padme exclaimed and shook her head. “It’s not what you think. They are Jedi assigned by the Senate to protect me.”

    “Bodyguards?” Jobal asked with great concern. “Oh, Padme, they didn’t tell us it was that serious!”

    Padme’s sigh was mixed with a groan. “It’s not, Mom,” she said. “I promise. Anyway, Anakin and Zane are my friends. I’ve known them for years, although I haven’t spoken to them in ten years. Remember when I talked about the two boys who were with the Jedi during the blockade crisis?” Padme hoped this would distract them from the topic she did not want to discuss as ah’s sounded from her family members, but she was sorely disappointed.

    “Honey, when are you going to settle down?” Jobal went on. “Haven’t you had enough of that life? I certainly have!”

    “Mom, I’m not in any danger,” Padme insisted.

    “Is she?” Ruwee asked Anakin.

    “Yes, I’m afraid she is.” Anakin answered truthfully and sensed a flare of annoyance from Padme.

    “But not much,” Padme added quickly.

    Anakin continued. “The Senate thought it prudent to give her some time away, and under the protection of the Jedi. My Master, Obi-Wan, is even now seeing to the matter. All should be well soon enough.”

    Ruwee and Jobal seemed to relax somewhat, and Padme’s annoyance faded. The conversation turned to more pleasant topics for the rest of the meal.
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, I liked the blend here: the A/P situation; ;) the astute observations of Zane and Anakin to Jamilia; and the Naberrie family :D Their worries are totally understandable. I just wish someone would/could wise up to Palpatine's duplicity.
    Falcon likes this.
  22. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    Eventually, maybe, :D I am glad that you enjoyed the blend. :)

    I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving :) Now onto the next chapter.

    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 11

    The visit was brief as Anakin and Zane felt time was running out. After the meal Padme went to her room to pack some things she wanted from her closet while Anakin had a short chat with her father outside in the garden. Zane quietly helped with the dishes, his mind focused on the possibility of there being a war.

    After saying goodbye they headed for a private hangerbay that was reserved for Senatorial transports. Padme sent a quick message to the house in the lake country so that the servants would know not to expect them for a couple of more days. Padme allowed Anakin to pilot the ship and soon they were off to Tatooine.

    The trip was spent mostly in silence as the two Padawans meditated. Padme took this opportunity to finish reading a novel she had taken from her bedroom in hopes of finally finishing it.

    The next day the sandy planet of Tatooine appeared before them as they came out of hyperspace. They flew to the city of Mos Espa and after receiving clearance to land in docking bay 94 they did so without hesitation.

    Anakin spotted a floating rickshaw pulled by an ES-PSA droid as they left the hangerbay and quickly waved it down. Anakin gave it the address of Watto’s shop while Zane helped Padme climb aboard. The two Padawans hopped on just as the floating rickshaw went off almost like a stampeding Bantha. Down the streets it rushed, expertly avoiding the heavy traffic and blasting a shrill sounding horn whenever someone didn’t move away fast enough.

    “Do you think Watto is involved somehow?” Padme asked.

    Anakin shook his head. “I doubt it. Mom always said that Watto was safer to be with than Gardulla the Hutt.”

    Before long the rickshaw came up to the shop and Anakin told the droid to stop. As soon as the rickshaw slid to a halt, Anakin jumped out and helped Padme down and Zane told the droid to wait for them before joining Anakin and Padme.

    They entered the shop and into a midst of chaos as pit droids scrambled around the shop, doing more harm than good.

    Watto entered the shop from the back and yelled at the droids, “Go ana bopa!” and shook his fist at the droids as they shut down and snapped into their storage position. Ignoring the visitors, Watto went behind the counter and began tinkering with a droid part that was on the counter.

    “Chut chut, Watto.” Anakin greeted as he approached the counter.

    “Ke booda?” Watta said in surprise, looking up at the three visitors.

    “Ding mi chasa hopa,” Anakin offered, taking the broken droid part from Watto’s hands and expertly fiddled with it.

    Watto’s eyes widened as he watched. “Ke booda?” he asked. “Yo baan pee hota. No wega mi condorta. Kin chasa du Jedi.”

    “Mi boska di Shmi Skywalker,” Anakin bluntly stated.

    The Toydarian studied Anakin’s face carefully, wondering if perhaps it was who he thought it was. “Ani? Little Ani?”

    Anakin’s answer came as he easily twisted the machine part and the small part began to hum to life. With a wide smile he handed the part back to Watto.

    Watto took the part and then set it on the table as he exclaimed, “You are Ani! It is you!” His wings beat heavily in the air as he launched himself to the other side of the counter. “Ya sure sprouted!”

    “Hello, Watto.” Anakin said.

    “A Jedi! Waddya know? Hey, you cana help wit the Tusken Raiders who’ve—”

    “My mother—” Anakin prompted.

    Watto frowned, annoyed at getting interrupted. “She’s not mine no more. I sold her to a moisture farmer named Lars.” Something like a smile crossed Watto’s face. “Believe it or not, he freed her and married her. Can ya beat that?”

    Anakin blinked and shook his head, trying to digest it all. His mother was free? She was married? Watto actually sold her?

    “Do you know where they are?” Zane spoke up.

    Watto nodded his head. “Long way from here. Someplace over on the other side of Mos Eisley. Let me check my records.” Watto flew back over the counter and dug through a file cabinet before pulling out a large, worn, record book.

    /Anakin, Watto was saying something about the Tusken Raiders. Your mom is now living on a moisture farm, you don’t suppose that—/ He left the thought unfinished, nothing more needed to be said.

    “Ah, here it is.” Watto turned the book around so that Anakin could take a look at it.

    “Thank you, Watto.” Anakin said after taking a quick look at the location and the group began to make there way out of the shop.

    “Wait a sec, Ani. Since ya’ll headed over there. I have an R4 droid and an R5 droid out back that need to be delivered to the Lars.”

    Anakin looked at Watto and nodded his head and he and Zane went out back with Watto to collect the droids. Padme was waiting for them on the Rickshaw and helped them load the droids onto the back and tie them securely down. Anakin and Zane hopped onto the rickshaw and Anakin ordered the droid to take them back to hanger bay 94.

    Watto watched them leave from the entrance of his shop and shook his head in amazement, “Ani du Jedi.”

    Within minutes they were blasting their way out of the hangar bay and heading for the moisture farm. Anakin drummed his fingers impatiently on a buttonless area of the console as Zane flew the ship.

    Not a word was spoken during the short journey and they were soon landing a couple of feet away from the homestead. Padme ordered Artoo to stay with the ship as she followed the Padawans out of the ship and back into the glaring, unforgiving suns.

    Just up ahead they spotted a light brown man with dark hair working on a fence sensor. As they got closer, Zane noticed a familiarity in the man’s presence. “Kitster?”

    The young man looked up and after a moment a grin split his face. “Anakin? Zane?”

    Anakin and Zane nodded their heads and Kitster came forward and gave them both a hug and a slap on the back. “It’s so good to see you guys. How are you guys doing? I’ve heard a few stray stories in the cantina now and again. Did you really walk on a sentient planet?”

    Anakin and Zane glanced at each other with raised eyebrows and then looked back at Kitster. “People are telling stories about us?” Zane asked.

    Kitster shrugged. “Honestly, mainly about Anakin. There are a few who venture off Tatooine who try to find out what the winner of the boonta eve podrace is up to while they’re about their business.”

    “Master Kitster,” a metallic voice rang out. Behind Kitster came a thin protocol droid with gray weatherbeaten metal coverings. The droid walked stiffly and once in a while something creaked loudly from the droid’s joints. “Master Owen has returned from-”

    “Good.” Kitster interrupted and handed his tools to the droid. “Finish repairing this sensor please.”

    “Threepio?” Anakin said in recognition.

    Threepio turned his head to look at Anakin and jerked in surprise. “Oh my!” His arms waved in his excitement, almost clobbering Kitster. “Oh, my maker! Master Anakin! I knew you would return! I knew you would! And this must be Master Zane and Miss Padme.”

    Zane and Padme said hello back.

    “Oh, my circuits! I am so pleased to see you both!”

    “Threepio.” Kitster glared at him and the droid fell silent. Looking at the others he said, “We’d better go indoors. The sooner we can explain what’s happened, the sooner a decision can be reached on what should be done.”

    Zane glanced at Anakin who had a hardened look on his face. He tried to send reassurance through their bond but was blocked. He watched as Padme took Anakin’s hand in her own and gave it a squeeze. A feeling of doom seemed to surround and press down on them as they followed Kitster to the homestead.

    They entered the kitchen where a young man was sitting down in a chair with a cup of water on the table next to him. A young women sat down next to the young man, and an older man sat at the head of the table in a hover chair. One of the older man’s legs was heavily bandaged while the other was missing.

    “Cliegg, Owen, we have guests.” Kitster said and the people at the table looked up at them.

    “I’m Anakin Skywalker,” Anakin said. “These are my friends, Zane and Padme.”

    Owen seemed to perk up and sat up a little bit straighter. “Anakin?”

    “Anakin the Jedi,” the young woman whispered.

    Owen stood up and walked around the table and extended his hand. “Owen Lars.” He gestured to the young women sitting at the table. “This is my girlfriend, Beru Whitesun.”

    Beru nodded and said, “Hello.”

    “I guess I’m your stepbrother,” Owen said, his eyes never leaving the young Jedi of whom he had heard so very much. “I had a feeling you might show up.” The sound of the hoverchair behind him caused Owen to move aside to let the elder past.

    “Cliegg Lars,” the man said, extending his hand. “Shmi is my wife. Come sit down, we have a lot to talk about.”

    Soon they were all seated around the table and Beru was fixing some cool drinks and snacks for their guests.

    “Almost a month ago, just before dawn a band of tusken raiders came upon the homestead.” Cliegg began explaining.

    “They came out of nowhere,” Owen added.

    “We don’t know what might have provoked them.” Kitster put in before Cliegg continued.

    “Your mother had gone out early, like she always did, to pick mushrooms that grow on the vaporators,” Cliegg explained. “From the tracks, she was about halfway home when they took her. Those Tuskens walk like men, but they’re vicious, mindless monsters.”

    “We’d seen many signs that they were about,” Owen piped in. “She shouldn’t have gone out!”

    “There are always signs!” Kitster responded heatedly.

    “We can’t live huddled in fear!” Cliegg scolded Owen, but he calmed at once and turned back to Anakin. “All signs were that we’d chased the Tuskens away. We didn’t know how strong this raiding band was-stronger than anything any of us have ever seen. Thirty-one of us went out after Shmi. Five of us came back.” He grimaced and rubbed his leg, and Anakin and Zane felt the man’s pain clearly.

    “I’d still be out there, only…after I lost my leg…” Cliegg nearly broke down. “I just can’t ride anymore,” Cliegg went on. “Until I heal. Owen and Kitster take turns going out to search every day when they can, but even if we found where they have taken her, we don’t have enough man-power to do a rescue.”

    The proud man drew in a deep breath and forcibly steadied himself, squaring his broad shoulders. “This isn’t the way I wanted to meet you, son,” he said. “This isn’t how your mother and I planned it. I don’t want to give up on her, but she’s been gone a month. With each passing day we have less hope that she’s lasted this long.”

    Anakin and Zane immediately stood up and headed for the door.

    Seeing this as a cue that they were going to go look for Shmi, Owen stood up and followed them. “You can use the landspeeder. It’ll need some fuel first.”

    Zane looked at Anakin, “Anakin, I’ll go get a medkit from the ship while you and Owen get the speeder ready.” Anakin nodded at him and Zane dashed off to the ship.

    Fear gripped Padme’s heart but she squelched it with a reminder that Anakin and Zane were trained Jedi and have gone on more dangerous missions than this. Padme looked over at Beru who was standing over the tearful man, hugging him.

    “I wish he’d have come a bit earlier,” Cliegg lamented.

    Having no words to say, Padme rushed out to join Anakin and Owen. By the time that she reached Anakin and Owen, Owen was already heading back to the house and Anakin was standing near the speeder, staring out over the empty desert.

    “You’re going to have to stay here,” Anakin said to her as she hurried to his side. “These are good people. You’ll be safe.”

    Zane reached them then, having used the Force to enhance his speed. Stashing the medkit under the passenger front seat, he leaned against the speeder and silently watched the interchange between Anakin and Padme.

    Padme hugged Anakin tightly. “Find her,” she whispered.

    “We won’t be long,” Anakin promised. He went around to the driver’s side and hopped in.

    Zane climbed into the passenger seat and within seconds they were zooming off into the empty desert. After five minutes into the drive, Anakin spoke. “Owen told me that he was sure that he was close to finding the camp during his last run. We should get there by the time it gets dark.”
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_nail_biting] [face_nail_biting] I was hoping and praying they'd be on time, hope they still are. :eek: =D= =D=
    Falcon likes this.
  24. jacen200015

    jacen200015 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 11, 2002
    :D Here is the next chapter :)

    @Nyota's Heart @Jainasolorocks @snowspeeder_gunner @Force_Chick @Valairy_Scot @EGKenobi @DanaeMariSkywalker @lilacph @Yoda-i_am @GeneralKenobi7 @Ganki @Icepaw_Kenobi @littleobiwankenob @bek @Valiowk @padawan3 @AZURASKYE @Falcon

    Chapter 12

    Aeryn walked down one of many corridors of the quarters area of the Temple until she came to the apartment that she was going to. The lights in the corridor were dim as night slowly began to envelope the Temple and the surrounding area. When she reached her destination, Aeryn quickly checked her surroundings to make sure no one was watching and then typed in the code. The door slid open with barely a hiss and Aeryn slipped into the lit quarters.

    She sensed her mom was in the kitchen and after checking with the Force that her mom’s apprentice was not around, she ran into the kitchen. “You’re back!”

    Siri put the kettle of water on the stove as Aeryn embraced her and she hugged her daughter back. “Yes, for a little while.” She smiled and kissed the top of Aeryn’s blond head of hair, so like her own.

    Aeryn backed up and looked up at her mom’s face. “Will you be at the lightsaber tournament tomorrow?”

    “I’ll be there. Did you have supper yet? Bant left a casserole in the fridge, but Ferus has been delayed in returning to the Temple for a couple more days.”

    “No. Can I help heat it up?” Aeryn asked, already headed for the fridge.

    “Yes you can.” Siri said as she finished making her tea and began to prepare some iced tea for Aeryn.

    Aeryn took the casserole out of the fridge and put it into the miniheater and pressed the reheat button. “Dad took me out to eat at Dex’s last week.”

    “Really and how is Dexter doing?”

    Aeryn got the plates and silverware and set the table. “He’s well. He helped dad identify the origin of a dart.” She sat down on a chair next to the head of the table and Siri handed her a glass of iced tea. “Zane and Anakin are protecting a Senator from Naboo. Naboo has a lot of plants, I hope I get to go there someday.”

    Siri sat down on the seat at the head of the table with her tea and took a sip of the cooling liquid. “Maybe. You’ll get to visit many planets once you’re a padawan.”

    “Have you ever been to Naboo?”

    “Once briefly. It is very pretty.”

    The heater dinged, indicating the casserole was ready and Siri went to get it

    “I like it when Bant makes her casserole dish.” Aeryn said as Siri put some casserole on Aeryn’s plate.

    “Yes she does know how to cook.” Siri agreed as she served herself some. “She has been meaning to teach me how to make this casserole, but I don’t ever seem to have time.”

    Aeryn swung her legs beneath the table as she ate. “She can teach me to make it.”

    “That’s a good idea.” Siri agreed.

    “I think Master Adi Gallia is going to choose me to be her Padawan.” Aeryn said randomly, stuffing another piece of casserole into her mouth.

    Siri paused halfway to bringing another forkful into her mouth. She had been under the impression that her former Master had decided not to take another Padawan. Quickly recovering from her surprise, Siri finished another bite of the casserole before speaking. “She’s a very good teacher. Just don’t be disappointed if she doesn’t choose you.”

    Aeryn nodded. “I know. But it would be cool to be trained by your former Master.”

    Siri simply smiled even as she worried that her former Master might be reminded of her former padawan if she trained Aeryn and figure out Aeryn’s parentage.


    As Anakin and Zane traveled along the route that Owen had indicated, they passed by a burial site and a burnt out speeder, possibly the site where the farmers had attempted the rescue. The two suns made their slow descent into the horizon and before long disappeared completely. The air began to chill, bringing a welcome relief from the scorching heat.

    By the time they passed the location Owen had arrived at before turning back, Anakin and Zane had a better reading through the Force on the location of Shmi. The full moon shone down on them as Anakin slowed the speeder on top of a high dune. Zane jumped out of the speeder and scouted the area ahead and looking down of the edge of the dune he spied a Tusken encampment.

    /The encampment is below us./ Zane said, Anakin having opened his end of the bond.

    Anakin grabbed the medkit from under the passenger seat and he headed over to where Zane was. He could sense is mother even more clearly now, her pain radiated strongly from within the camp.

    They carefully climbed down the dune, using the Force to create an illusion of nothing, they crept toward the camp. They moved from hut to hut, staying flat against any of the hut walls and when there were no huts to hide behind they belly-crawled across open spaces. Slowly but surely they crept to the one guarded hut and before long were behind that hut.

    The wall of the hut was soft, but strong, Zane noted, a little bit stronger material than the other huts. Zane checked to make sure there were no tuskens inside the hut and then handed Anakin a knife that Zane had hidden in his boot.

    Anakin took it and quickly cut a hole into the tent, using the Force to enhance the blade’s ability to cut through the material. Once he finished he handed the knife back to Zane and crawled through the small opening he had made and then Zane followed right behind him after checking to make sure the guards were still unaware of their presence.

    “Mom,” Anakin said and his legs became weak. There were dozens of candles lighting up the room, and a hole in the top of the tent let in the light of the moon, illuminating the figure of Shmi. She was tied facing against a rack to the side of the tent, her arms were outstretched and bound at bloodied wrists, her face showed the weeks of beatings.

    Moving past Anakin, Zane quickly cut Shmi down and gently lowered her to the ground.

    Willing some strength back into his body, Anakin stepped forward and dropped down to the ground and cradled his mom’s head in his arms. “Mom…Mom…Mom,” he whispered softly, repeatedly.

    Zane grabbed the medkit that Anakin had dropped to the ground and opened it up. Taking out a small portable medical scanner, Zane scanned Shmi’s body to find out the extent of her injuries.

    Shmi’s eyelids fluttered open as much as Shmi could manage to get them open due to swelling and dried blood. “Ani?” She whispered back. The harsh wheezing confirmed the reading on the scanner that many of her ribs were cracked, maybe even crushed. “Ani? Is that you? Gradually her eyes focused more on Anakin’s face and a thin, weak smile came onto her battered face.

    “I’m here, Mom,” Anakin told her. “You’re safe now. Hang on. Zane and I are going to get you out of here.” His voice choked and tears burned in his eyes.

    “Ani?” Her eyes drifted until they focused on Zane. “Zane?” Her eyes flicked back to Anakin. “You look so handsome.”

    “Save your strength, Mom,” Anakin said. “We’ve got to get you away from here.”

    “My son,” Shmi went on, and she seemed to be in a different place than Anakin, a safer place. “My grown-up son. I knew you’d come back to me. I knew it all along.”

    Zane’s face was pale as he searched frantically through the medkit. The medkit supplies could only help so much. Moving her would be dangerous because of her ribs, there was evidence of eventual eternal bleeding, infection, dehydration, and possibly several other things that the scanner might not have detected. He could sense her life force dwindling with every passing second and cursed under his breath in huttese.

    “I’m so proud of you, Ani. So proud. I missed you so much.”

    “I missed you, too, Mom, but we can talk later…”

    Zane cursed again, louder this time as he took out a small injector of pain killer and a mild sedative and injected each into Shmi. “Don’t you let go now!” Zane said.

    Anakin glanced at Zane and reopened the bond he had closed again to sense waves of fear and anger, determination mixed with rising hopelessness. Zane was gifted with an unusual ability in the living Force that allowed him to detect medical conditions in a person and whether or not their death was imminent.

    Anakin knew that Zane blocked this ability to the point of shunning it which was why Zane didn’t detect that Qui-Gon’s health was going to fail. Now, Anakin could sense that Zane had unblocked this ability, resulting in the high level of emotions and stress he was detecting.

    Zane was drawing close to a breaking point, the Force swirling around uneasily, an emotion filled tumult, dwarfing Anakin’s own pain, fear, and anger. If Zane didn’t calm down, the results-. Not finishing that train of thought, Anakin reached over and gripped Zane’s shoulder in a firm hold. “Zane, this is not helping.”

    Zane’s face turned to Anakin, but his eyes looked past Anakin to something unseen. Zane’s eyes had shifted to a stormy gray and there was a blank look in them.

    Dread wormed in his gut and he looked back at his mother who was drifting into sleep from the mild sedative, but weakening with every passing second. Anakin looked back at Zane and was about to say something when a loud shrill pierced the air, a sound like a huge wave knocking onto a beach followed it and then, darkness.


    Deep in his meditations, peering through the darkside, Master Yoda felt a sudden surge of anger, pain, confusion, and other emotions surge wildly beyond control. The diminutive Master’s eyes popped open wide at the overwhelming strength of the new emotion that now mixed into the disturbance, rage.

    Making a cue noise, he lurched forward to come out of his trance just as the door opened and Mace Windu rushed in.

    “What is it? Mace asked.

    “Pain. Suffering. Death! I fear something terrible has happened. Young Kenobi and young Skywalker are in pain. Terrible pain.” Yoda slowly shook his head.


    Obi-Wan jerked awake in his starfighter as he sensed an overwhelming combination of strong emotions rip through the Force. After the wave passed him he gasped fro breath and bent his head down. Once he had regained his breath he massaged his head with his fingers as a headache blossomed. He reached out to the bond he had with his son, but found it shut closed and hot to the touch. He reached out to the bond he had with his Padawan and also found the bond blocked and hot to the touch of his inquiring probe.

    He had a sudden urge to go to his son and padawan but immediately pushed that feeling away. He had a mission to accomplish. They will be alright. I must trust in the Force.

    The farther the starfighter flew from the disturbance the more his gut twisted with guilt. Again he took the hindering feeling and released it into the Force. There are many others in need of help, but if one can’t focus on only one then nobody gets the help they need. Balance is the key, he quoted to himself a saying from one of his class instructors.


    Darra gratefully relaxed in the seat of the cockpit as she made the jump away from Ryloth. Her first solo mission had gone quite well, although it was a task a junior Padawan could have easily accomplished on their own. She was about to drift off to sleep when she felt a disturbance in the Force in the Tatooine system. Since Tatooine was on her way, she decided to go investigate. She instructed the computer to take her out of hyperspace when a safe spot opened up. As she closed in on Tatooine she detected two very familiar Force signatures coming from the planet.


    The twin suns were rising in the sky, breakfast was eaten, and chores were being done, all without a word from Anakin or Zane. Padme walked back to her ship, worry etching her face. She slept little that night as she waited for their return. A roar sounded above her and she looked up to see a small Jedi starfighter coming in for a landing beside her ship.

    The ship had barely finished its shut down sequence when the cockpit opened and a human female vaulted out of the cockpit, bright, golden brown hair flying upwards as she landed.

    Padme spied a padawan braid as the girl ran up to her, indicating that she must be a senior level Padawan.

    “Senator Amidala,” the girl said, immediately recognizing the senator as she came to a stop. “Where are Anakin and Zane?” The disturbance in the Force continued to pound at her senses and she could feel the Force urging her to move quickly.

    “They went to rescue Anakin’s mother from the Tuskens. Why, what’s wrong?” Padme asked, now believing that something was definitely wrong to have brought a senior Padawan to Tatooine.

    Rusty colored eyes flashed as the girl looked out into the wide open desert. “I’m not sure.” She whispered. “Do the Lars have a speeder bike I can use?”

    Padme nodded, “There’s one in the garage.” She quickly led the way to the garage where Owen was currently working and quickly explained the need for the speeder.

    As soon as Owen let the female Padawan take the speeder and gave her the direction that Anakin and Zane had gone, the girl jumped onto the speeder bike and roared away.

    Owen and Padme watched from the doorway of the garage as the speeder disappeared in the distance, both wondering what had happened to Anakin and Zane.
  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    A very intriguing set of developments focusing mostly on Zane and the recent arrival ;) Hope she can help. I can just bet Obi-Wan feels a load of guilt and conflicting loyalties :(