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Before - Legends Forged Bonds re-write in progress and reposted

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by The1stJediPrincess, Apr 12, 2020.

  1. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    I wrote this back on 8/1/01 and never finished the series. I started the story again here, but in March 2012 the forums moved, and the posts were truncated. In that time, I had much going on, including moving to another state with two young kids and a dog, starting a new life, AND meeting someone new and marrying him,

    That being said, I still love Jedi Apprentice stories and have thought about my unresolved plots on several fan fictions many times. Forged Bonds also has a companion diary of Qui-Gon’s musings. I might pick up that one too again.

    Valairy Scot was writing the companion diary from Obi-Wan’s point of view.

    Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's lives through the eyes of Qui-Gon's first apprentice, Skylar Malin. Hope everyone enjoys.

    Alternate Universe, I know, I know Jedi can't have attachments, however, back in 2001 that was not exactly clear. wink

    Series: Forged Bonds

    Chapter: A Time To Grow

    Author: Tbe1stJediPrincess (Originally The Jedi Princess)

    Rating: G to PG13. (Implied consensual sex, nothing graphic).

    Feedback: Please! Please! Please!

    Disclaimer: Don't own Qui, Obi, the council. Skylar and Thoran are mine.

    Skylar Malin took great care in dressing that morning. She wore her best tunic and leggings and had her new robe on the bed, ready to slip on. Looking in the mirror, she combed her hair and almost started to braid the long thin lock of hair that grew from behind her right ear. But, she decided to let someone else do the honor.

    The padawan, soon to be knight, left the bedroom that had been hers for almost twelve years. She was ten when she first became Qui-Gon Jinn's padawan. But, after this afternoon, she would no longer be his student. She would be his peer.

    Qui-Gon was seated on the couch, looking over notes for one mission or another. The Jedi Master looked up as the student entered the common room. Qui-Gon offered her a warm smile. Wordlessly, the young woman took her spot at his feet. Handing him the comb and hair ties, Qui-Gon nodded that he understood.

    And he began the task of braiding the lock that he had braided over a decade before. There was no need for words. The task was carried on in silence.

    In just a few minutes, the hair was braided, and Skylar and Qui-Gon stood up. Skylar, who stood only 5'3, looked up at her Master. Tears filled her eyes as she fought to keep control of her feelings. There is no emotion; there is the force.

    Qui-Gon gently pulled her into an embrace, "It's all right to show your feelings, Skylar, there is no weakness in that."

    Skylar nodded against her master's chest. As much as she wanted to be a knight, she would miss the man who raised her, who trained her, who loved her. She has spent half her life by this man's side. Waking up tomorrow would be very strange indeed. At the same time, the two parted and Skylar took a deep breath, "I'm ready, Master."

    Nodding, the elder Jedi replied, "Then lets not keep the council waiting, Padawan."

    Excusing herself, Skylar went to the padawan bedroom to retrieve her robe. She took a moment to reflect. The room was now devoid of everything that the young woman had collected over the years. Her whole life sat in boxes, ready to be moved to her Knights quarters later on that afternoon. The room looked the same it did twelve years ago. Taking the robe off the bed, Skylar slipped it on and walked to the bedroom door. Taking one last glance, she closed the door behind her.

    Qui-Gon was waiting at the door. Together they left the apartment and Skylar fell into place to her master's left and one step behind. In quiet companionship they walked down the quiet halls of the temple towards the council hall. It would be the last time that Skylar would accompany her Master as his student. In a short time, they would be peers.

    Skylar knelt before her master who said, "Skylar, you have been a good apprentice. But a padawan you are no longer," with delft fingers, the Jedi Master severed her braid with his lightsaber. "By the right of the Council, by the will of the Force, Skylar Malin, rise Jedi Knight."

    "Skylar, you have been a good apprentice. But a padawan you are no longer," with delft fingers, the Jedi Master severed her braid with a pair of shears. "You are now a Jedi Knight."

    The young woman looked up at her former master, his eyes were filled with pride. He put out his hand, and she took it and allowed him to help her up. Once she was standing again, Qui-Gon gave her a warm embrace.

    Later that evening, after a party with her peers, Skylar got herself organized in her new quarters. Not that she would be staying there for long periods of time. In two days she would be leaving for her first solo mission. As nervous as she was, she knew she was ready. Qui-Gon had taught her well. Then she would be expected to take a padawan of her own. Skylar already knew Qui-Gon was anticipating a second apprentice. But she did not approve of the boy who had caught her former master's eye. Xanatos was a fine student, but a very selfish boy. She only hoped that Qui-Gon would not choose him.

    A knock on her door surprised her. She had already said good-bye to most of her friends, and she and Qui-Gon were meeting for breakfast in the morning, so the young woman was not expecting anyone.

    Skylar opened the door and smiled at who she saw there. It was Thoran. Thoran Sannes was a couple of years older then Skylar, but the two had gone through some classes together. Skylar had not seen much of Thoran in the past year. Since he had been knighted, he had been on back to back missions. He had gained the reputation of a fine knight.

    But for a man who had faced down pirates and brought peace to warring worlds, he seemed rather nervous. Skylar noticed, but did not address it, she was to happy to see him.

    "Thoran, when did you get back?" She asked excitedly.

    Thoran laughed, his nervousness eased instantly, "Just now. I wanted to congratulate you on your knighting. And..."

    Thoran was cut off by Skylar's comlink sounding. She gave him an apologetic look and answered, "Pad...Knight Malin."

    It was Mace Windu, "Knight Malin, we have received word from Cromlis. The situation has grown worse. They are not able to wait and are requesting a Jedi immediately."

    "I understand, Master Windu. I'm ready and can leave now," The transmission ended and Skylar turned to Thoran, "I'm sorry. But it seems that duty calls."

    Laughing, Thoran nodded, "I see that, but let me tell you know. It gets no better."

    The two shared a laugh and Skylar picked up her travel bag. "I guess its good I'm always prepared. I had to be with the back to back marathons they gave my former Master."

    "Yes," Thoran agreed, "I know the feeling. Can...can I escort you to the landing pad?"

    "I think I would like that, " Skylar responded, "I just need to stop by Qui-Gon's first and say good-bye."

    A short time later, Skylar was standing in front of the transport. Facing Thoran, she asked him, "What did you want to tell me?"

    Thoran smiled slightly, and replied, "Ask me again sometime."

    Skylar nodded and touched his arm, "Good-bye Thoran. I will see you soon, I hope."

    With that, the young Knight climbed on her transport and left for her first mission.

    Thoran stayed on the landing pad and watched the ship take off, he then whispered, "I hope so too."
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  2. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Forged Bonds

    Chapter 2: A Time to Reflect

    Disclaimers:

    1) I still do not own, Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Xanatos, or the council.

    2) Xanatos does not have a last name in the Jedi Apprentice books, so I'm using De'Crion, which seems to be the last name of choice on the boards.

    3) Chancellor Kalpana was Supreme Chancellor before Valorum, according to Wookieepedia.

    This chapter is really just back story, so I can get into the nitty gritty of angst and maybe a little h/c thrown in for good measure. Thoran will make some more appearances too in the upcoming chapters.



    Skylar Malin's first solo mission was as successful as it was long. The Cromlians had been ready for peace and negotiations took place almost immediately after Skylar landed and continued on for almost four standard months. When all was said and done, Cromlis was at peace, and a member of the Republic.

    It felt exhilarating to be back on Coruscant and back home at the Temple. She had some time before she had to report to the council, so she made her way to the lifts that led to the living quarters. She walked the familiar halls of the master/padawan apartments. It did not take long for her to come to the door of the residence she had shared with Qui-Gon.

    She glanced at the name plate, and was not surprised to see her name had been removed. However, she was not prepared to see the new name in its place. Qui-Gon did take a second apprentice, unfortunately, it was the young man she had hoped he would not choose.

    The door unexpectedly slid open, and standing before her was Xanatos De'Crion. His black hair shorn in the standard padawan cut for human males, the beginning of a padawan braid behind his right ear. Deep blue eyes watched her with a bored expression.

    Composing herself, "Hello, Xanatos. I'm Skylar…"

    "I know who you are," Xanatos cut her off in a rude manner, "You are Master Qui-Gon's first apprentice."

    "It's good to meet you," Skylar lied, liking this boy even less, "is your Master home?"

    "Yes," was the reply as Xanatos stepped aside. "I'm his apprentice now," he added in an overconfident tone.

    "I know. Congratulations." Skylar started to step into the apartment.

    "And I will be a better apprentice then you ever were!" Xanatos added in a very low tone and turned to leave.

    Skylar stared after the adolescent, taken aback by the words he uttered to her. For the life of her, she could not begin to fathom why her former master had chosen him. Xanatos was a polar opposite to Qui-Gon Jinn.

    "Skylar! When did you get back?

    Turning to face her former master, her face broke into a smile, "Master, just now. I wanted to see you before I briefed the council."

    "Come inside and sit, I just made a pot of tea," Qui-Gon said, handing her a mug of his favorite tea, which after their years together was now her favorite as well. "Did you see Xani?"

    It was obvious that Qui-Gon had not heard the disrespectful words of his new padawan, but not wanting to mar the visit with him, she chose not to bring it up. It's none of your business anyway, besides, you know that Qui-Gon does not tolerate rudeness.

    "Yes, how long has he been your padawan?"

    "About a month, I'm very pleased with his progress." Qui-Gon answered, taking a seat next to her. "But tell me about your mission. The council was very pleased. So was the Senate, in fact, Chancellor Kalpana contacted me personally to praise your efforts. He told me I should be very proud." He warmly covered her hand with is before continuing, "and I am so very proud of you."

    All too soon, the visit ended. Xanatos had returned home just as Qui-Gon was bidding Skylar good-bye. Xanatos stood behind his master, arms folded, gazing at the woman with cold eyes. Skylar sensed jealousy in him, but oddly, Qui-Gon said nothing as he stepped back and placed his arm around the boy's shoulders in a show of affection. A very satisfied grin came across the child's face and his stare seemed to say, He loves me more then he loves you.

    Skylar knew she would need to mediate and reflect on this later, but it was now time to meet with the Council.
     
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  3. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Forged Bonds

    Chapter 3 New Beginnings

    Disclaimers:

    I made up Amaya Cas and Kaleb Faln.

    Lok is a real planet in Star Wars, so I don't own it.

    Attachments and relationships are not forbidden in my universe, but they are not encouraged either.

    "Well you did," Master Yoda told the young woman as she finished briefing the council on her mission. "Pleased we are."

    Skylar was humbled by the praise and gave a slight bow, "Thank you, Master Yoda. Master Jinn is the one deserving of credit, as he is the one who raised and nurtured me. His lessons helped me a great deal."

    "Trained well you were. Listen well, you did. Pass on what you have learned you will," Yoda told her with all knowing eyes. The other twelve members of the council nodded and awaited her response.

    There was a brief hesitation before she responded, "Yes, my Masters. I do look forward to taking a padawan of my own; however, I do not feel I'm ready."

    "What know you ready?"

    "Do you doubt your talents, Young Jedi?" The question came from senior council member Amaya Cas, a human woman of 60 years.

    Skylar considered the question, "No, my masters. I do not doubt my abilities; however, I feel there is still much to learn before I take on the responsibility of training another."

    Yoda was deep in thought, "Wise you are, young one. Wait you will."

    Amaya nodded in agreement, "In the meantime, we have another mission for you. Thoran Sannes and his new apprentice are preparing to go negotiate a peace treaty on the world of Lok. He has requested you to assist."

    Skylar heart began a rapid beat, but she immediately calmed it, "As you wish my Masters." She took the data disks offered to her and bowed to the council, "may the force be with you."

    Skylar had not yet seen Thoran since their good bye prior to her mission. She was happy to hear he had taken a padawan. Thoran was a great Jedi and a good man. They had been best friends for many years, and over the course of time, Skylar began to have feelings for him. But, as with all Jedi, the Order and duty came first.

    Walking down the halls, she heard quiet voices in an alcove. Glancing over, she saw Thoran and his new apprentice, Kaleb Faln. Kaleb had just turned thirteen. He was a boy of medium build with brown hair and eyes that were warm and bright. The eager eyes at the moment were filled with tears and he was sporting a large bruise under one eye.

    "But I didn't start it, Master Thoran," Kaleb choked out, obviously losing the fight to hold back tears, "Why don't you believe me?"

    Skylar was not surprised to hear patience in his tone as he responded, "It's not that I don't believe you, Kaleb, but Master Jinn was very clear when he told me that you were the one who started the altercation between yourself and Padawan De'Crion."

    Kaleb looked his master in the eye, and in a voice that was more frustration then disrespect replied, "He was not there, Master. It was just me and Xanatos. Xanatos was angry because I was able to beat him in a sparring match at class today. He wanted to go again, so I said yes. He was angry because I beat him again, so he hit me!"

    "So you sparred with another Padawan without a Master present?" Thoran asked, still patient, but stern. "You know that is against the rules."

    "I didn't want to spar him again, Master, but he was picking on me, telling me the only reason I won was because I got lucky."

    Thoran placed his hand on Kaleb's shoulder, "There is no such thing as luck, if you beat him, then you did it of your own accord. However, that does not excuse your behavior. You will do extra meditations tonight for your error in judgment and you are confined to our quarters until we leave for Lok."

    "But Master…"

    The boy stopped when Thoran held up his hand, "This is not open to negotiation, Padawan, or you will be left at the temple for this mission. Now, go straight home. I will be there soon."

    Kaleb bowed to his master and turned to leave, disappointment radiating off of him. As he went to pass Skylar, he stopped to give her a respectful bow before he continued on.

    Skylar gave her friend an encouraging smile, "You were good with him."

    Thoran rubbed the bridge of his nose, "You think so? I think he would beg to differ right now."

    They began to walk side by side, "only because he is a boy, and sometimes children do not realize they are their own worst enemy. Besides, anyone can see he is just too polite and respectful to disagree with you. He was fighting with Xanatos?"

    Sighing, he replied, "yes, which is bad enough, however, Master Jinn's handling of the situation really got under my skin."

    Skylar felt her stomach drop, "What do you mean?"

    "Sky, I know he is your former master and all, but he was not even interested in hearing Kaleb's side of the story. According to Kaleb and his friends, Qui-Gon believes everything the boy tells him. I never knew him to be such a fool." He stopped abruptly, afraid he was going to offend her.

    "I'm not offended, Thoran," she honestly told him. "I'm surprised too. Master Qui-Gon never tolerated rudeness with me when I was growing up. Plus, he kept very close track of me, I would have never been able to get away with a stunt like that."

    Thoran smiled as she reminisced, "He sure did keep track of you." He reached out and took her hand. Her heart skipped a beat, but she made no attempt to move her hand away. "He never let you go anywhere without a full itinerary of where you were going and who you were going with."

    His hand was rough and soft at the same time. She liked how it felt, "I know. But I guess he can't do that anymore."

    Thoran stopped and guided her into the map room. It was deserted this time of day. "I've missed you," he told her.

    They were standing face to face, she was looking up at him, "I've missed you too. It's hard to believe four months have passed. What did you want to tell me that day on the landing platform?

    Thoran did not trust himself to get the words right, so he decided to show her instead. He wrapped is arms around her waist, and lifted her up just slightly. Bending his head, his lips met hers in an explosive kiss.
     
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  4. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Forged Bonds

    Chapter 4: Learning

    A few minutes passed before Thoran and Skylar broke the kiss, but they made no effort to separate themselves. Thoran's arms were still around her waist, and her arms were up on his shoulders.

    "That is something I have wanted to do for years," Thoran quietly laughed as his forehead came to rest on hers.

    "Then why didn't you?"

    He tightened his arms around her, and replied, "Because I didn't think Master Jinn would have approved."

    Skylar slowly nodded, knowing he was correct in his assumption, "So what now?"

    "We live, we serve, and we honor our training. With anytime that is left, we love." He told her, "it will be difficult, but it can be done. Relationships between Jedi are not forbidden."

    "But they are not encouraged either," she finished for him.

    "If our commitment to the Order is strong, then everything will fall into place." He gave her a gentle kiss, "we need to trust in the Force."

    "I will trust in the Force, and I trust you Thoran," reluctantly the two moved apart. Taking a deep breath, she found her center. "I will go home and research the mission we have been given."

    "I will come by after I check on Kaleb," he told her, "there is way to much research for one person. My instincts tell me this will not be a routine mission, and we must be cautious."

    "I will get right on the groundwork. With two of us, it should not take long at all. I'll leave my door open, don't bother knocking."

    The two parted ways, Thoran to check on his brooding apprentice and Skylar to make preparations for a long night of fact-finding. They were Jedi first. The Order would always take priority. There would be time later to analyze their growing relationship.

    As soon as she entered her apartment, she put a pot of Caf on the stove and pulled out her data reader and inserted the first disk. She smiled when she heard a knock on the door, and with a wave of her hand, she opened it with the use of the Force. "I thought I told you I would leave the door open." As she turned, she was surprised to see Qui-Gon instead of Thoran.

    "Expecting someone else?" Qui-Gon asked as he stepped inside and the door slid shut behind him. He stood there with a stern look on his face and his arms folded.

    Skylar arched her eyebrow and gave the man before her a curious look, "Well as a matter of fact, I was expecting Thoran."

    "So I gathered," Qui-Gon said in his most strict Master voice, "when did you two get so close?"

    Confused at this point, Skylar answered, "We have always been close." She was wondering why Qui-Gon was acting as he was a Master who just caught his padawan misbehaving.

    "That is not what I mean, Skylar Malin," Qui-Gon articulated in a no-nonsense voice, "I know that you and Knight Sannes were together in the map room."

    Did he really just use my full name? She asked herself, knowing he had ever only done that a handful of times in their twelve years together. Skylar looked to her former master, the man who was like her father, "Yes, I was with him. Spying on me, my Master?"

    "No, of course not," he told her, impatience on every word, "Xani saw you both together, and he felt it prudent to tell me."

    Oh, I bet he did, She thought to herself annoyed. "Master, this is hardly an appropriate conversation."

    "Appropriate?" Qui-Gon demanded, "Is it appropriate for you and Thoran to be behaving like love sick fools? You know that relationships are not encouraged."

    "But they are not forbidden either," she countered in a voice a little louder then intended.

    Qui-Gon also raised his voice, "Maybe he should be less concerned with his own pleasure and more concerned with his student! Do you know his apprentice started a fight with Xani?"

    Skylar could not believe her ears. She would have never guessed that Qui-Gon Jinn could be so close minded, "what I know is there are two sides to every story, Master. At one time you were a fair man and would listen to both before you cast judgment. What has happened to you? It's like I don't even know you anymore."

    "Xani told me that Padawan Faln was jealous of his success in sparring class," Qui-Gon said.

    "And you just believed him?" She asked him incredulously, "you would never have let me get away with behavior such as that, I'm flabbergasted beyond belief you would allow this child get away with it."

    "It is not becoming to be jealous of an innocent boy."

    "I am most certainly NOT jealous of Xanatos," Skylar told him, "and if you think that child is innocent, you are plainly blind!"

    Qui-Gon was tempted to order his former student to do extra meditations for her disrespect, but of course he could not, "You had best mind your tone, Skylar. I may not be your master anymore, but I am still a Jedi Master."

    "It is not disrespect, Master," Skylar implored, "it's the truth."

    "From your point of view," Qui-Gon told her, "I have asked Knight Sannes to keep his student away from mine."

    Skylar replied, "Well that should not be a problem. Thoran and Kaleb will be leaving in the morning for Lok."

    This satisfied Qui-Gon, "Good, then you can concentrate on your duty as a Jedi. Perhaps prepare to take a padawan of your own."

    "I always concentrate on my duty as a Jedi, Master," Skylar told him, "but you don't understand, the council has asked me to go on this mission too. I will be leaving with them."

    "I hardly think that is a good idea, Skylar," Qui-Gon told her, "You will be in a position for Knight Sannes to take advantage of you. I will not have you throw away your training."

    "Who said she is going to throw away her training?" Both Skylar and Qui-Gon turned to face the door. Neither had realized that Thoran had arrived. He walked into the apartment and did not stop until he was standing next to Skylar. "I asked you a question, Master Jinn, who said anything about me being dishonorable with my intentions toward Skylar or her throwing away her training?"

    Qui-Gon, normally the epitome of Jedi calm was seething, "shouldn't you be home tending to your apprentice?"

    "I was about to ask you the same thing," Thoran said, not backing down. "But for your information my student has been punished. Even though I have my doubts about the tale Padawan De'Crion wove."

    "Are you calling my apprentice a liar?" Qui-Gon demanded.

    "Are you calling mine one?" Thoran calmly asked. A few moments passed uncomfortably, "I can assure you, Kaleb has no desire to be near your student, Qui-Gon. There will be no further issues where Kaleb is concerned."

    "I still do not feel it is a good idea for Skylar to go on a mission with you," Qui-Gon told them, "I will speak to the Council on this."

    Thoran sighed, "Do not bother, Master Jinn. I already have. Skylar and I have every intention on playing by the rules. I have already informed them on the recent change in our relationship. So long as we keep our priorities straight, there should not be a problem."

    Qui-Gon looked to Skylar expecting her to back him up as she always did. She looked at him with hurt eyes, but said nothing. He nodded to them both and left the apartment, his cloak billowing behind him.

    Skylar sat down on her couch heavily and put her face in her hands, "He hates me," she simply said.

    Thoran sat down next to her and put his arm around her, "He does not hate you. He is worried about you. How did he find out anyway?"

    Skylar gave a half laugh and sarcastically told him, "Xani."

    "You're kidding? Well, I will say this for the spoiled brat, he sure does get around."

    She leaned her head on his shoulder and he gave her a tight squeeze as they both started to laugh. After a few minutes they settled down. She snuggled next to him, and then in a voice barely above a whisper she said, "I feel he is going to hurt my Master someday."

    "You have to trust that he will see for himself one day, Skylar," Thoran gently told her. "He needs to see with his own eyes, no one can see for him."

    She bit her lip as she pushed herself off the couch. "We better get to our research."

    Skylar spent most of the trip in meditation. She had been disappointed yet not surprised that Qui-Gon did not come to say good-bye to her. But she could not think about that now. Her first priority was the peace treaty for Lok. It was a world ruled by anarchy and pirates; however, the new Lokan government was attempting to bring order to their planet. It would not be an easy task.

    The night before they were to land, both knights and padawan meditated and shared a meal. Thoran then sent his apprentice off to sleep. This left Thoran and Skylar alone for the first time since they took off.

    They sat together in comfortable silence for a few minutes. Then Thoran gently asked, "do you want to talk about it."

    "No, not really," she told him, "I will speak to Master Qui-Gon once I get back."

    "I wasn't talking about Qui-Gon," he said with a grin. He pulled her into an embrace and they began to kiss, more passionately then ever before. He stood up and gently pulled her to her feet. At that moment, she would have followed him anywhere. She loved him. They both retired to the same sleeping cabin that night.

    The next morning, they took care to wake long before Kaleb so there would not be any awkward questions. Thoran watched Kaleb proudly as he helped the pilot of their cruiser land. He had followed direction perfectly.

    Kaleb sensed something the moment their cruiser landed, and they disembarked. Thoran encouraged him to use his senses, "what do you feel, Padawan?"

    "Despair, anger, hatred," the boy responded, "they do not like the Jedi or the Republic interfering."

    Thoran nodded approvingly at his student's observations, "well done. We will need to remain mindful of our surroundings. Close your eyes, what do you see."

    Kaleb did as he was told, "a hanger bay. There is an YT-1300 freighter and two other ships." He stopped for a moment, concentrating, "plus two speeders."

    "What else?" His master gently prodded.

    "I see three ways to enter and exit." He opened his eyes and looked at Thoran hopefully.

    "Well done, Padawan," Thoran told him with a smile.

    Skylar could feel the mutual respect the two had for one another. Kaleb was good to the core. She felt very special being a part of his learning, but would keep her fair distance, so the boy did not feel like he had to vie with her for his master's attention.

    The three stood together, and moments later a greeting party arrived.

    The leader was a large build human male, "greetings Jedi, welcome to Lok. I'm Commander Daran Lore, aid to our esteemed Governor De'Jad. If you will please follow me, we will be on our way."

    Thoran and Skylar started to move towards the speeder, however, Kaleb remained still. He scrutinized Commander Lore a moment, and then fell into step behind his master. He would heed Thoran's warnings, he would be aware of his surroundings but he would not center on anxiety.

    Governor Tomis De'Jad was a small, round man. His eyes friendly as he greeted the group warmly, "Welcome to our wonderful planet."

    Wonderful? Kaleb thought. More like, desolate, depressing, ugly.

    Thoran picked up on the thoughts and sent a playful but stern *swat* through the training bond. He hid a smile as his student stood straighter and looked even more attentive. Skylar knew they were communicating through their bond, but of course did not know what was said. She was amazed at how strong their bond was after their short time together. It was almost unheard of.

    Daran Lore gestured to a conference table, "if you would all take a seat. Knight Sannes, I have made arrangements for your padawan to go to your quarters."

    Immediately Thoran and Skylar heightened their senses. There was something not right here. It was unheard of to try to separate a master and an apprentice during a mission.

    Thoran was firm when he told the other man, "Thank you, but no Commander Lore. Kaleb will stay with us."

    Thoran nodded toward a chair in between himself and Skylar. Kaleb quickly took it. Before they sat, Thoran and Skylar locked eyes, and understood that all was not well, and they could be in danger. Simultaneously they opened their own bond that had started the night before. It was new, but strong.

    Commander Lore was irritated as he said, "But these negotiations will be quite boring for a child. Plus, I'm not sure if it is appropriate for him to be hearing these things."

    Before his master could speak, Kaleb spoke up, his voice filled with respect and mature beyond his years, "With all due respect, Commander Lore. I am a Jedi and my place is by my master's side. I understand the importance of these negotiations and I assure you I take my responsibility seriously."

    Skylar smiled at the boy, and Kaleb nodded his approval.

    Governor De'Jad brought his hands together and said, "Let us begin."

    It was hours later when the negotiations finally broke for the night. They had made little to no progress. But both knew that these things took time.

    After a quick dinner, they were guided to the small two bedroom apartment that Thoran and Kaleb would share. Commander Lore then turned to Skylar, "Knight Malin, your apartment is across the compound, please come with me."

    Again, he was trying to separate them. Thoran was losing patience, "No that will not be necessary Commander. She will stay with us. I will bunk with my padawan, and Knight Malin will take my room."

    He did not feel comfortable having her so far away. His thinking had nothing to do with romance; it was him wanting them all together for safety sake.
     
    Kahara likes this.
  5. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Tahl belongs to Jude Watson



    Chapter 5: Trouble Brewing



    Qui-Gon felt guilty for not saying good-bye to Skylar, but the man was incensed with her even though he knew it was wrong to be.

    There was one person who might understand his feelings. Leaving Xanatos to his studies, he made his way to Tahl’s apartment. She opened her door and welcomed him into the common area.

    Once they were seated on the couch she wryly said, “Somehow I get the feeling you did not come here to just see me.”

    Qui-Gon ran his hands over his face, “Is it that obvious?”

    “What, that you are broadcasting for the whole temple to feel your anxiety, or the fact you have been a stubborn fool?”

    Leave it to Tahl to put the writing on the wall. Never one to take an indirect path; she would always say what needed to be said.

    “I don’t feel I’ve been stubborn,” he said half-heartedly, “Do you know she has begun a relationship with Thoran Sannes?”

    “So, I have heard,” was the reply, “do you have a problem with Thoran? I have always found him to be congenial and charming. He has a fine reputation as a knight.”

    Qui-Gon began pacing, so Tahl knew he was bothered by the recent turn of events, “I know his reputation says his is a fine knight. I just hope Skylar does not get so caught up in the moment that she throws away her training.”

    “Qui-Gon, I’m surprised at you,” Tahl gently admonished. “You know as well as I that Skylar is dedicated. I think she can handle her duties as a Jedi along with a relationship. Furthermore, don’t you feel you are being disingenuous? After all, don’t we have a relationship?”

    “That is beside the point, Tahl,” but he knew it wasn’t any different. “The Council approved for her to go a mission with him and his new student.”

    “Kaleb Faln,” she nodded, “polite boy. I’ve taught him. He is always eager to learn, always eager to please.”

    “He started a fight with Xani,” Qui-Gon told her hotly.

    “You saw him start a fight with your apprentice?” She questioned.

    “No, but Xan told me all about it.”


    “And that makes it so?”

    Qui-Gon let out an exasperated sigh, “not you too. Xanatos is an exceptional student and I’m blessed to have him. To be honest with you, I think Skylar is envious.”

    Tahl let out a skeptical laugh, “you can’t be serious. You did not say that to her, did you?”

    When Qui-Gon did not answer, she added, “you are more of a fool then I thought.”

    “Then why else would she have acted the way she did? She did not even back me up.” To himself he thought, of course not, you stupid man, you barged into her apartment full of accusations and not willing to listen.

    “Qui-Gon, you raised a confident young woman, and you should be proud,” she told him, “she could not be jealous of any apprentice you would train, especially not Xanatos. Tell me, how is the bond coming along?”

    “Slower than I would like, but it’s there.”

    “Slower than when you trained Sky?” She gently asked him.

    He merely nodded, “but it will get stronger, I know it will.”

    She grabbed his hand and he stopped pacing, she pulled him down next to her and turned him around so his back was facing her, she then began to massage his shoulders. He leaned back into her and allowed her to knead his stress away.

    “You are so tense, Qui-Gon,” she continued to massage, “how was Skylar before she left for Lok?”

    “I don’t know,” he answered remorsefully, “I did not see her or say goodbye to her.”

    Tahl did not respond. That was very out of character for Qui-Gon. She decided not to press the issue. She sensed he already felt guilty and needed time. She would be there when he wanted to talk more on the issue. She could feel him starting to relax as she massaged away all of his tension. A contented silence took the place of apprehension.

    Abruptly Qui-Gon’s comlink went off, and the quiet mood was broken.

    Aggravated, Qui-Gon pulled it out and brusquely answered, “Jinn here.”

    “Master Jinn,” came the voice of Amaya Cas, “have you heard from Knights Malin or Sannes?”

    Worry immediately overtook the Master, “ I have not. Is there something wrong?”

    “The Council has lost all contact with them,” was the reply, “it seems their comlinks are being jammed.



    Qui-Gon and Tahl made their way to the Council Hall. Once they arrived, Qui-Gon told them, “I will leave right away for Lok. I won?t wait until morning.?

    “I’ll go with you,” Tahl spoke up. He looked at her with gratitude.

    Yoda looked at him with his wise eyes, “two days for you to reach. Send another team we will.”

    ?Who is close to them?? Qui-Gon demanded.

    “Masters Windu and Kint are less then a day away,” Master Cas told him, “they are in route.” That calmed Qui-Gon a little. Mace and Darick were good friends of his. He was confident in their abilities.

    A senior padawan then entered the chamber, “Masters, there is a transmission coming from Republic Cruiser, A714. It sounds urgent.”

    Qui-Gon’s heart leapt, that was the cruiser assigned to the small group for their mission.

    Amaya nodded, “Thank you Padawan Tasus. Please send the transmission in here.” After a quick bow, the padawan was gone.

    A hologram came up of the pilot and co-pilot, but no sign of the Jedi who accompanied them.

    The pilot began to speak, “We are not really sure what happened. All we know is that Padawan Faln came running and told us there was trouble. Both his Master and Knight Malin have been taken into custody.”

    Qui-Gon felt like someone had hit him, but said nothing as the pilot continued. “He took a computer splicer and ordered us to take off telling us it was imperative for us to contact Master Yoda. I think he was hoping they would think he left with us.”

    Finally, Qui-Gon could not take it, “You left the boy there? You did not make him come with you?”

    “We have no jurisdiction to do that Master Jedi.”

    “Captain,” Yoda said, “stay in orbit in system you will. For a rescue we will prepare.” The transmission ended.

    Qui-Gon began his pacing again, “See, Padawan Faln is reckless.”

    Yoda’s ears raised a little, “Master Qui-Gon, reckless he is not. Doing his duty, he is.”

    “They have captured two Jedi Knights, what can a thirteen year old boy do?” Qu-Gon asked to no one in particular.

    “Qui-Gon,” Tahl quietly said, “Kaleb did not get captured. If he can make contact with us, he can provide valuable information.”

    Qui-Gon was not convinced, “he is just a boy. He can’t possibly know what to do.”

    Amaya shook her head, “Kaleb is clever. He will not give his location away purposely. He scored very high marks in Search and Rescue when I taught him. He is also a very skillful computer splicer.”

    “Then contact us he will. Wait we must.” Yoda advised.

    “I can’t just wait, Masters,” Qui-Gon told them. “I ask permission to leave immediately.”

    Yoda deliberated over Qui-Gon’s words and asked, “Feel Skylar through bond, hmmm?”

    Closing his eyes, Qui-Gon responded, “I do, but it is muted. She is alive, that I know. Nevertheless, she is weak and in pain. I must get to her.” He could not bring himself to say if they wait to long, it could be too late.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  6. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Chapter 6: Ghost from the Past


    Thoran was quiet and deep in thought the rest of the evening. He sent Kaleb off to bed and turned to Skylar, “Why don’t you get some sleep too, no point in all of us staying up.”

    Skylar knew he too was troubled. It would not be safe for all of them to lower their guard. She touched his cheek gently and retired to the empty bedroom. She would sleep four hours and would go and relieve him. It was about midnight when she heard an urgent banging on the door. She immediately jumped to her feet and placed her hand on her lightsaber.

    As she opened the bedroom door, she saw two guards one was speaking, “Knight Sannes, your Jedi Temple insist that you contact them immediately.”

    “Can I contact them from here?” He pulled out his comlink, and saw it was not transmitting a long range signal.

    “Negative,” the lead guard told him, “we are having communication problems.”

    He sensed Skylar behind him and she spoke to him through their newly formed bond.

    It could be a trap. She kept her face passive as she waited for his response.

    At the moment, I don’t sense anything. I will go. You stay here with Kaleb.

    Please be careful. I will wake Kaleb. We will be ready if there is trouble.

    Sky, if there is trouble, you and Kaleb are to get right to our cruiser. Do not wait for me.

    The conversation through the Force took less than 30 seconds. The guards did not even realize there was a conversation. He placed his hand under his cloak and on his weapon and followed the two guards. Skylar took a cleansing breath, and went to wake Kaleb.

    As she opened the door, she saw that Kaleb was already awake and pulling on his boots. He was clearly distressed, “Where is Master Thoran?”

    “He went to contact the Council,” she told him quietly, “are you all right?”

    “No. We need to find him and we have to get out of here!” His voice had taken on a desperate tone.

    “What’s wrong, Kaleb?” She asked him, “do you sense something?”

    “Since we landed. It’s something very dark and very elusive,” he gripped her hand tightly, “Please, we have to find Master!”

    A very loud knock on the door caused them to jump. Closing her eyes, Skylar gathered the Force around her. It did not take her long to realize that ‘e people at the door were not friendly, she also picked up on a force signature. Darkness surrounded this figure.

    She quickly placed a protective field on the door. In mere seconds she felt it dissipating. It was as if something was suppressing her power and her field was not as strong as it would normally be. This frightened her, but she released her fear into the Force and concentrated on making her field stronger.

    “Kaleb,” she gasped, “open the window.”

    He tried, “It’s stuck!” Hopelessness was in his voice.

    Skylar holding her hands in front of her with her palms out, still concentrating on keeping whoever wanted to get in, out. She was losing the battle of strength to whoever was on the other side of the door, “Keep trying,” she panted, sweat beading on her forehead, “Hurry!”

    He did as he was told, and in a moment, he was on the ledge outside the bedroom’s window. He turned to Skylar, “Sky! Come! Hurry!”

    Skylar did not dare takes her eyes off the door, she ordered him, “Go, Kaleb. Now! Do not stop for anything, get right to our ship, and order them to take off. Make contact with Master Yoda immediately.”

    “What about you and Master Thoran?” The young boy cried.

    “That is an order, Padawan.” Her face was contorted in pain, “May the Force be with you.”

    Kaleb knew he could not disobey a direct order. It pained him to comply with the command, but he would do as he was told, for now. He was already working out a rescue plan in his head.

    Skylar held onto the Force field for several more excruciating minutes. Once she was satisfied that Kaleb had enough of a head start, she gave up. Instantaneously she crashed to the floor, her strength depleted. Managing to pull herself to her knees, she raised her eyes to the six men entering the room.

    There was Commander Lore of course with his personal guards. Behind them was a figure dressed in a black cloak, the dark side radiated around him. Skylar immediately went for her weapon, but in her weakened state, she was not fast enough.

    A swift kick to her hand sent her weapon across the floor where it stopped at the feet of the cloaked figure, who stooped to pick it up. She cried out in pain and was helpless as two guards came up behind her and pulled her roughly to her feet. Two others jumped out the window to search for Kaleb.


    The cloaked figure bent and picked up her weapon. He let out a low laugh, “I knew we would meet again one day, Skylar Malin”.

    “Who are you?” The voice was familiar; however, she could not place it.

    The man removed his hood and smiled at her.

    “Drave Krusnic,” she said in an unbelieving voice, “we all thought you were dead.”

    “Oh, I’m not dead, Skylar,” he said with a disgusted laugh. “I have returned for vengeance.”

    “Revenge on who?” She asked, “surely not me or Thoran. Surely not the Jedi.”

    He laughed again, she did not like how his eyes seem to burn through her, “Of course on the Jedi and on you. You stole my future from me.”

    “I..I don’t understand,” she said.

    “Well let me refresh your memory, my dear Skylar,” he moved close to her until she was up against a wall and his body was flush with hers, “twelve years ago I sparred in front of Qui-Gon.”

    The memories came flooding back. Skylar was not supposed to be in the matches that day. She had merely stood in during one match as a favor to the creche master. She was paired with Drave, who was three years older than her. While she did not beat him, she managed to hold her own until the masters called it a draw. Qui-Gon was impressed and spoke with Yoda immediately. It was agreed Skylar would be his Padawan Learner, even though she was two to three years younger than the average human padawan.

    “Qui-Gon Jinn was supposed to pick me,” he snarled. His face was an inch from hers and she did not like him so close. She attempted to push him away, but because he was larger and stronger, so she did not have much success. She called on the Force and was terrified to find it muted.

    Drave laughed again, “You can stop trying now, Skylar. This entire wing is under control of force suppressors.”

    Skylar schooled her features. She refused to show him fear, “You can’t possibly blame me for this. We were all devastated to learn of your…death”.

    “I’m sure you did,” Drave replied. “It was actually quite easy. I planted an explosion, left behind some DNA, and just like that, I was dead.”

    “Drave, please don’t do this,” Skylar tried to reason with him. “I hate the AgriCorps too and wish students had a say in their future. The council should not have done that to you.”

    Before he could answer, the two men who went to search for Kaleb came back, “I’m sorry my Lord, but we could not find him and the Republic Cruiser has taken off.”

    Skylar breathed a sigh of relief, At least Kaleb was safe and help would arrive soon.

    “No matter,” Drave said, moving away from Skylar, “We have what we need. The Jedi will arrive soon. We need to be ready.”

    Skylar stood tall, “you have made a mistake, Drave. Qui-Gon will come for me”

    He grabbed her arm and roughly pulled him toward him, “I’m counting on it.” He planted an unwanted kiss on her mouth, “I’m counting on it.”

    She looked at him and he finally saw her distress. “By the time he arrives, one Jedi will be dead. He eyed her and continued, “The other one, broken.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh my this is wonderful!!! I like Skylar and Thoran separately and as a couple. Thoran is a great master to Kaleb.

    I adore Tahl - she is very much in character. I wholeheartedly approve of the allowance of attachments. :)

    Xanatos is as they say a true piece of work; what makes it a million times more frustrating is everyone, I mean EVERYONE, can see this but Qui-Gon!!!! :eek:

    =D=
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
    The1stJediPrincess likes this.
  8. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
  9. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, Thank you so much for your review and for recommending! Here is the next chapter!
    Cowgirl Jedi 1701, Thank you as well. I hope you like the next chapter.

    Darick Kint is my original character from my old Survival of the Fittest trilogy.


    Forged Bonds
    Chapter 7: Rescue Plans

    After Kaleb grabbed a splicer and ordered the Republic pilots to take off, he watched the cruiser take flight and took off running. He managed to make it to the maze without any trouble. He chose a rock ledge to keep watch. Nothing would be able to get to him without him knowing well in advance. He sat down on an outcropping and pulled out his data pad and plugged it into the splicer. He began to hack the compound and began analyzing the information on the screen. Something came up on the screen that worried him.

    Force suppression.

    Lord Krusnic has supplied electronic Force suppression fields for the prisoners. The Jedi will be able to sense the Force, but not call on it properly. It will not hinder him, as he is wearing a band on his wrist that will prevent any interruptions.

    “Electronic?” Kaleb said aloud. “Not much of a Dark Jedi if you have to rely on a computer to do the dirty work.”

    Kaleb then began to explore options for the best way to override the system. Taking care to cover his tracks. Once the Force suppressors were out of commission, Thoran and Skylar would be able to fight back. He was determined to have a solution in place before the other Jedi landed. Time was of the essence. He knew by now that the teams of Jedi would be arriving soon. He had a lot to do before they arrived. It was getting dark, and he was cold and hungry, but he pushed that aside and concentrated on his work.

    At about midnight, his comlink went off. He grabbed it, “Padawan Faln.”

    “This is Master Jinn; we are locked in on your coordinates. We will begin our landing shortly.”

    “Master Jinn, I’m relieved to hear your voice,” Kaleb responded honestly. Kaleb may have not liked Qui-Gon’s apprentice, but he had the up most respect for the revered Master. “I’m using my data pad to scramble their air traffic computers so they do not notice the ship’s decent. I also have information for you. I have discovered that Skylar’s and Master Thoran’s use of the Force is being inhibited by electronic force suppressors.”

    “Well done, Padawan. See you soon”

    In the ship, Qui-Gon turned to Tahl, “It seems that you were right about Padawan Faln.”

    Tahl smiled and touched his arm, “Qui-Gon, I’m surprised you have not discovered that I’m usually correct on these things.”

    Qui-Gon did not answer, but did smile and gently kiss Tahl’s forehead, his arms wrapped around her. As stoic as Qui-Gon was, she still sensed his fear for Skylar’s safety. She wrapped her arms around him in silent consolation. Neither noticed Xanatos watching them. He had a scowl on his face. He trudged to his Master and asked, “are we landing yet?”

    “We have just begun our decent.” Qui-Gon answered, leaving his arm wrapped around Tahl’s shoulders.

    Within minutes the two cruisers landed outside the maze. Darick Kint and his padawan, a seventeen-year-old human girl, Sindri joined Qui-Gon, Tahl, Xanatos and Kaleb. Tahl had wrapped a warm blanket around his Kaleb’s shoulders and offered him some rations.

    “We need to be cautious. It seems that we have a former angry initiate on our hands. Qui-Gon, do you remember a boy named Drave Krusnic?”

    Qui-Gon was contemplative for a moment, “Vaguely. If I remember correctly, he was paired to spar with Skylar the day I chose her. He was less than average for a Jedi and seemed to be always angry. The Agri-Corps was the best place for him; however, it was a shame when the Temple learned he had been killed.”

    Darick looked to his friend, “That’s just it, Qui. He is not dead. He is the one responsible for this coup against the planet’s rightful leadership and against Thoran and Skylar. It’s obvious he blames Skylar for being sent to the AgriCorps.

    Sindri was confused, “Why don’t they fight back?”

    “Force suppression,” Qui-Gon responded, “Padawan Faln had done an excellent job gathering the intel we need to pull off a rescue. Kaleb, can you hack the system controlling the suppression fields?”

    Kaleb looked at him surprised. Had Master Jinn just complimented him and also use his first name? The padawan looked up at him, “Yes, Master. I believe I can. No, I know I can.”

    Qui-Gon nodded, “Well done, Kaleb. Your master will be very proud of you.”

    No one noticed Xantos scowling.


    Skylar was roughly thrown in a holding room. She felt her ankle painfully twist under her when she landed. She held back a painful cry and glared at Drave. “What do you possibly expect to gain from any of this?”

    He slowly walked towards her, his boots clicking on the tiled floor, “I will first make your Jedi boyfriend suffer, he laughed at him with a shocked look, “Yes Skylar, I know all about your relationship.”

    She tried to reason with him, “But he did not do anything to deserve this!”

    “I know that!” He viciously replied. “But if he suffers, you will suffer. Once I am done with him, we can have a little fun,” He had a leering look on his face when he said that.

    Skylar instinctively wrapped her arms around herself in a protective manner, “So that is why you suppressed our use of the Force. You knew you could never control us without that.”

    He gave her an angry look and called out in an angry voice, “bring him in!”

    Thoran was dragged into the room and thrown to the floor. He glanced at Skylar and turned to Drave, “You better hope this field doesn’t come down any time soon.”

    Drave laughed again, almost taunting them, “My database is impenetrable.” He moved over to Skylar and pulled her up. He wrapped her arms around her from behind her and nuzzled her ear, “this will be fun”.

    Thoran was on his feet in an instant and began to move toward them in an effort to protect Skylar. He had only taken two steps before the two guards used electro-staffs to shock him. He fell to his knees, his eyes meeting Drave’s, “get away from her”.

    Drave tightened his grip on Skylar, “I don’t think so, but your chivalry is certainly impressive.” He planted a kiss on her cheek as he gave the command for his guards to continue shocking Thoran.

    Skylar struggled to free herself, “stop it!” She screamed. “Please, stop!” Drave simply smiled and continued to nuzzle her neck and cheek immensely enjoying the suffering of the Jedi Knight on the ground before him and the fright of the Jedi Knight in his arms.
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Love how Tahl and Qui-Gon share affection and consolation. :)

    :eek: [face_worried] for Skylar. Krusnic is a formidable adversary and ruthless.
    Xanatos ... I'm counting the seconds literally until Qui-Gon has an aha moment where he's concerned. :p

    =D=
     
  11. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Hi everyone, hope you like this next chapter. Feedback is appreciated. The plan is to have this segue to Qui-Gon taking Obi-Wan as his Padawan. After Qui-Gon's death, it will seque into my Siri-Wan I was never able to finish for the same reason this story didn't get finished.

    Chapter 8: The Rescue

    “We need to be cautious,” Qui-Gon told the padawans. “We will be susceptible to the force suppressors if we get to close.”

    Darick was leaning over Kaleb, who had a readout of the compound’s grounds projected from his datapad, “Here, Qui-Gon,” he said pointing. “This small outbuilding. It’s out of the way and does not seem to be in use. It will be close enough to bring down the suppressors.”

    “I can do it, Master Qui-Gon,” Kaleb told him in a solemn voice, “I just need to be closer to their mainframe computer. I need to do this. I MUST do this.”

    Qui-Gon put his hand on his shoulder, understanding the boy’s worry for his master and for Skylar. “Once we arrive, do what you need. I will leave Xanatos with you for backup. He will keep watch while you bring down the suppression fields.”

    Xanatos was seething over the small gesture of comfort and praise his master had offered Kaleb, “Master, I’d much rather be with you.”

    “This is important, “Xani,” Qui-Gon told him in a kind voice, “We will need someone provide intel from that location while we move through the compound. Now let’s move”

    “Yes, Master,” Xanatos told him in a reserved voice that masked the contempt he was feeling. He did not appreciate being a babysitter.

    “Thank you, Padawan,” Qui-Gon replied, patting him warmly on the back.

    Tahl stared at the two, studying Xanatos. She knew he was not happy with the assignment and wondered why Qui-Gon did not offer some correction to the student. She did not understand how he did not pick up on his student’s poor attitude.

    Within the hour Xanatos and Kaleb were in the outbuilding on the east side of the compounded. It did not seem to be patrolled.

    Kaleb told the masters, “I will contact you as soon as the fields are disabled.”

    Qui-Gon and Tahl split up from Darick and Sindri. The other master/padawan team would look for the main computer to permanently disable the entire compound. They would wait for the signal from Kaleb.

    In a moment, their comlinks went off; “I did it, Masters! The field is down. You have at least twenty minutes. I will keep scrambling to try to buy you more.”

    Qui-Gon responded, “Well done, Kaleb.” He turned to Tahl and said, “Time to move.”



    In the holding cell, Drave was still laughing as his guards continued to shock Thoran. He laughed as he pulled Skylar out of the room with him. She was fighting him back and was not going willingly.

    “Sorry, Thoran, but I think it’s time Skylar and I got aquatinted,” Drave said in a lecherous voice.” To his guards he simply said, “Kill him.”

    Skylar screamed, “NO” as she continued to fight the man holding her. She was helpless as she was dragged down the hall. Suddenly, she felt a familiar presence, “Qui-Gon,” she said in a relieved tone.

    Drave looked at her in shock and at that moment, the suppression fields came crashing down. Skylar had control of the Force again, and she did not waste any time using it. She pushed Drave away, however, her ankle still weak gave out from under her and she fell to the floor. Drave backhanded her and gave her to a good kick to the side. He left her there unconscious. He called on the dark side and knew where he had to go to gain back control.

    Thoran was on his feet in an instant. Using the Force, he pushed the guard closest to him at the same time calling the guard’s electro-staff to him. The other guard did not put up much of a fight and in a minute or so, the threat was neutralized.

    He went to the door and used the force to override the lock. He ran down the hall and saw Skylar’s crumpled form. He knelt down to her, grimacing at her bloody lip. He heard footsteps and stood up again ready to fight again and defend the woman he loved to his dying breath if it came to that.

    He was relieved to see Qui-Gon and Tahl. Once they reached him, he sensed danger again, “Kaleb,” he gasped.

    Qui-Gon told him, “Outbuilding on the east side of the compound. He temporarily brought down the fields.”

    Thoran was torn, his first priority should be his padawan, but Skylar was injured.

    Qui-Gon felt his struggle and simply said, “Go, get your Padawan. I will care for Skylar. I trust you to care for Xanatos as well until I get there.”

    That was all Thoran needed, as he turned to run, Qui-Gon said, “Wait.” He handed Thoran his own lightsaber, since Thoran had no weapon of his own. He gave Qui-Gon a respectful nod and took off toward his padawan.

    Tahl gave Qui-Gon an approving glance as he knelt down to tend to Skylar. Tahl pulled out her comlink, “Darick, you and Sindri need to get to Kaleb and Xanatos’s location.” Once Darick responded, she knelt to assist Qui-Gon. It was clear how much he still loved and cared for her.

    *******


    Meanwhile on the other side of the compound, Xanatos watched Kaleb tapping on keys and adjusting dials. Kaleb gave a broad smile, “Finally got it. The suppressors are disabled.” He felt his master near and was thrilled to see that Thoran’s Force signature was strong and pulsing. He turned to Xanatos, “They are safe! Thoran is coming, I feel him close by.”

    Xanatos gave a brief nod, “Finally. It took you long enough,” Xanatos was irritated he was stuck hidden away with someone he did not like instead of out in the fray of action with the real Jedi. “I would much rather be out there fighting.”

    Kaleb calmly responded, “As Jedi we should not crave adventure and excitement.”

    “Speak for yourself, Kaleb,” Xanatos told him hatefully. “I can see right through you. You are always trying to act better than everyone else. Well, you’re not better than me.”

    Blinking in disbelief, Kaleb responded, “I never try to act better than anyone else, let alone you. I’m simply being who I am and honoring the teaching my Master is bestowing on me.”

    Xanatos was going to rebuke Kaleb again, but both were interrupted with a clapping of hands at the door. They both jumped, hands on their weapons. “No, no, children,” Drave told them as he called their weapons easily to his hands.” He entered the hut, and several armed guards fell in step behind him. He continued to speak, “infighting between the youngest of padawans. How the Order has fallen.”

    Kaleb stared at Drave silently, but his eyes full of defiance. Xanatos stared at him with interest.

    Drave walked over to Kaleb’s data pad and picked it up. He glanced at the two thirteen-year old boys in front of him, “So which one of you is the genius?”

    “Kaleb is,” Xanatos replied, pointing to his peer. Kaleb could not believe his ears.

    Drave considered Xanatos and smiled. He liked this kid; he liked anyone who would sell out another, especially if the “other” was a Jedi. Drave moved towards Kaleb, “So you are the apprentice that everyone is talking about.” The youth stiffened as Drave stopped in front of him. “Well, sorry to say, Kaleb, you need to come with me.”

    “I won’t!” The boy said fiercely, “My Master will be here soon, you will be sorry.”

    Drave grabbed the front of the boy’s tunic and pulled him up to meet his face, “your master will be the one who is sorry, little one.”

    “Let him go, Drave.”

    Kaleb turned his head to see his Master, joy filled him. He tried to move out of Drave’s grip, but found the stronger man’s arm wrapped around his neck. He then felt Drave’s lightsaber hit jammed in the back of his head. If Drave ignited his weapon, it would go right through his skull. Kaleb stood very still, his eyes on his master, who gave just the slightest nod.

    Kaleb relaxed every muscle, every bone in his body. His feet slid out from under him as he slipped from Drave’s grip. The young apprentice landed in a soft heap on the floor. That was the moment Sindri was waiting for. From her position at the window, she shot Drave with a blaster set for stun.

    Kaleb jumped back to his feet and ran to Thoran who caught him in an embrace. He looked him over carefully, “Are you alright?” Kaleb nodded and Thoran moved to Xanatos, “Are you alright, Xanatos?”

    “Fine,” Xanatos responded, “Where is my Master?”

    “Skylar was injured,” he told him. “He and Tahl are caring for her and he asked me to watch over you until he gets here.”

    Xanatos nodded and said nothing, inside he was enraged. “How dare he stay with her.” He said to himself. “How dare he care for her more than me.” He promised himself he would get Skylar out of Qui-Gon’s life one way or another.

    At that time, more Jedi landed at the platform and began to round up the prisoners. They also found the rightful leadership of the planet and released them. The armed guards--knowing they were no match for the Jedi--dropped their weapons and surrendering peacefully.

    Xanatos was left alone with Drave since the man was now harmless, since he was in binders. Xanatos studied Drave as he woke up.

    Drave met his eyes, and flashed him an evil and all-knowing smile; “you understand me. You crave what I crave. You care only about yourself just like me. Perhaps I should have chosen you instead.”

    Xanatos did not say anything and left him alone. As he walked out, a team of Jedi walked in to take Drave into custody. He went out to join the other Jedi. He saw Qui-Gon helping a limping Skylar. He made a face when he saw Kaleb and Thoran go to her.

    “Sky!” Kaleb yelled as he ran up to her.

    “You have some explaining to do, Kaleb,” Skylar told him, giving him a kiss on his temple, “didn’t I tell you to get to the ship? Why didn’t you listen to me?”

    Kaleb bit his lip, “Well, Master Sky, it’s kind of like this. You told me to get to the ship and have the pilots take off. You never “actually” said I had to go with them.”

    He stood looking at his master and Skylar, who both smiled. “Nice loophole, Padawan,” Thoran told him and he pulled both him and Skylar into an embrace.

    Later, the Padawans were sent to the sleep quarters as Qui-Gon and Tahl briefed Thoran and Skylar on how well Kaleb did and how his staying behind helped the mission greatly.

    Skylar’s ankle was still sore, but she moved over to her former master and hugged him, “Thank you, Master. Thank you for coming for us.”

    Qui-Gon told her, “I will always come for you, Skylar.”


    Qui-Gon went to check on Xanatos. The younger boy hearing him coming, put on the saddest face he could. As Qui-Gon entered the room he went to his student, “Padawan, are you alright?”

    Xanatos sniffed, “I’m not sure, Master. I…I…wonder if I am important to you. You didn’t come to find me, you stayed with her.”

    Qui-Gon did not realize staying to care for Skylar would hurt the boy so much, “Of course you are important to me. You are the most important person to me in the galaxy.” With that, he drew the boy into a warm hug.

    Knowing his master could not see his face from this angle, Xanatos had a self-serving and pleased expression on his face.
     
  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
  13. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Agreed. But Xanatos is a two-faced little brat. But then I think we already knew that.
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  14. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Thank you so much for the feedback, It feels good to be writing again. This chapter is a little short, but Chapter 10 will be up over the weekend.


    Chapter 9

    Qui-Gon waited until Xanatos was sleeping soundly before he left the room. He made his way to Tahl’s room. She opened the door and welcomed him inside, “Qui-Gon,” she said with a smile, “You’re a little later than I expected.”

    Qui-Gon’s face was grim as he entered and took the cup of tea, she offered him. He sat in one of the large chairs away from the bed.

    Tahl took the one next to it, “What is troubling you, Love?” Tahl always could read Qui-Gon like an open book.

    “It’s Xanatos,” Qui-Gon replied with a sigh. “I made Xanatos doubt his place with me. I should have not stayed with Skylar.”

    “You did the right thing, Qui-Gon,” Tahl gently said, “you stayed with an injured Jedi, one who you raised from a young girl to a woman.”

    “In doing so, current padawan was left feeling insignificant to me! He asked me if he was important to me,” he said ruefully. He stood up and continued, “I do not wish him to feel that way. I should have left Thoran with Skylar. She was not even badly hurt. “

    Tahl raised an eyebrow, “Qui-Gon, you made a choice and once it was it was made; you could not make another. Skylar needed you, and Xanatos should understand that. Thank the Force her injuries were not more serious.”

    Qui-Gon nodded, sat down, and took another sip of tea, “maybe I should have been the one to rescue Kaleb and Xanatos instead of Thoran.”

    She touched his hand, “You can remake the past,” she told him gently, “speaking of Thoran, you gave him your lightsaber.”

    “His was confiscated at the time and he would need a way to protect himself and the Padawans,” Qui-Gon shrugged. “I had you to provide backup if we needed and we knew the other Jedi were close to landing.”

    “Perhaps,” Tahl nodded, taking a sip of her own tea. “Still, that was quite admirable and Thoran was very reverent and humble when he gave it back to you. Admit it Qui, Thoran is a good man and he will protect Skylar, his Padawan, and the entire Jedi Order to his last breath.”

    Qui-Gon merely nodded and stood up, “I better get back to Xani.”

    “I thought you were staying in here tonight,” Tahl reminded him.

    “I think at this time, it is best Xanatos does not feel like he must compete with others for my attention.” He walked to the door and turned back to her, “I will make it up to you later.”

    Tahl remained passive as she kissed his cheek and nodded, knowing he would not make it up to her any time soon. Xanatos was manipulating Qui-Gon and somehow only making the man see what he wanted him to see. She would meditate deeply that evening what it meant for Qui-Gon and those who loved him dearly.

    The next morning Skylar, Thoran, and Kaleb met with Qui-Gon, Tahl, and Xanatos at the landing pad. They were taking separate ships, and Skylar already had her next mission. Her ankle would be healed soon and the mission promised to be as simple as it would be boring. Thoran and Kaleb had wanted to go with her, but three Jedi would not be necessary for the short negotiations to settle a border dispute on a relatively peaceful planet. The mission would be no more that five or six weeks.

    Skylar, feeling Xanatos’s disapproval, did not embrace Qui-Gon, “Master, thank you again for coming for us. You always were my protector and I am privileged you still are.”

    Hoping to ease Xanatos’s feelings towards her she moved to him and added, “You are extremely fortunate to be in Master Qui-Gon’s care. He will do the same for you, no matter what.”

    Xanatos nodded and seeing Qui-Gon watching him, he put on his most dutiful smile, “Yes, Skylar, I am truly blessed.” Skylar’s senses told her Xanatos was not sincere, but she did not have time to reflect.

    Skylar noticed Tahl was not standing next to Qui-Gon as she normally would. She was standing next to Thoran and Kaleb. The Noorian woman had barely glanced at Qui-Gon. Skylar bowed to Tahl and did not resist when the older woman caught her in an embrace, “May the Force be with you, Skylar. I have my next mission as well. In fact, Thoran has been gracious enough to allow me to travel with him and Kaleb. They will drop me off at Reytha.”

    “Then you are in incredibly good hands”, she said. She stole a glance at Qui-Gon who stood and his face had no expression. “We will catch up when I return.”

    Seeing Skylar moving towards Thoran, Tahl said, “Come, Kaleb. Let us go see if the pilots are ready to take off.” They older woman and padawan entered the ship.

    Qui-Gon must have said something similar, because he and Xanatos entered their ship as well and in a moment, Skylar and Thoran were alone on the landing pad.

    Thoran did not waste any time and swept her up in a passionate kiss. She wrapped her arms around him and did not want to let go. But the star ships firing up their engines broke their kiss and they stood for a moment, savoring the last minutes together for a few weeks.

    “I will contact you every day,” Skylar promised him, “I love you.”

    “I love you more,” he replied stroking her cheek gently where Drave had struck her and left her bruised. “If you need anything, I will be there.”

    She kissed him again, “I know you will, but this mission will be quiet. Anaxes is peaceful and the border dispute should not take more than six weeks”.

    Giving her one last kiss, he walked up the ramp of the star cruiser and turned around at it ramp raised and the door shut, never taking his eyes off of Skylar.
     
  15. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Famous last words. [face_laugh]
     
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I hope the mission is quiet. Tahl and Qui-Gon didn't leave take on a peaceful note -- but it wasn't because of a quarrel or anything. It's because his perception is muddled. Skylar's welfare and Tahl's opinion isn't getting through. :p
     
  17. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha and Cowgirl Jedi 1701 thank you so much for reading this story. I'm so happy you like it. Please keep reviewing.


    Chapter 10

    Thoran was pacing in the Room of the Thousand Fountains. He was waiting for Skylar to meet him after her meeting with the Council. The six-week solo mission was a success and uneventful. As promised, they had kept in touch and both knew that duty would separate them from time to time.

    That did not make it any easier. He was nervous, and rightfully so. Thoran had a very important question to ask Skylar, one that would change their lives forever. He felt led by the Force and knew this was right. He sought Tahl’s advice and she assured him Skylar would be thrilled. It only made sense for them to take the next step.

    Thoran chose this place to ask her, due to its peacefulness.

    “Blasted Council,” he muttered to himself as he stood in front of the waterfall, “you would ask for her report now.”

    “I think you could use a little lesson in patience, Master Thoran,” Skylar playfully told him as she walked up the stone path to join him. He met her halfway and in seconds he had her in his arms and was greeting her with a burning kiss. Skylar was breathless when they finally parted.

    “Hmmm, maybe I should go on solo missions more often,” she told him with a smile. Reaching up she slipped her hand behind his head and drew his mouth back to hers for another kiss. This time, when the kiss ended, Thoran was the one who was breathless.

    He took her hand and they walked back towards the waterfall. Skylar closed her eyes, and took in the serenity of the room. It was her favorite place to come. When she opened her eyes, she noticed that Thoran was on one knee still holding her hand; he was looking up at her. Her heart skipped a beat.

    “I love you, Skylar,” he began, “I know we are Jedi first, but I want to take the next step in our commitment.”

    “What are you asking me, Thoran?” Skylar is not sure how she even managed to say the words.

    “I’m asking you to be my wife,” he sincerely replied, “You complete me.” He held out his other hand, which held a ring. Since Jedi were not to have many possessions, the ring was a simple band with a small stone in the center. To Skylar, it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. She slowly nodded her agreement as he placed it on her finger. Tears came to her eyes. Thoran hopped to his feet, and picking her up off the ground, he swung her around. Their laughter could be heard echoing in the room.

    A short while later, they knew they would need to go to the Council with their plans. They expected some opposition, since relationships were one thing and marriage was something completely different. They also expected expect stern warnings regarding attachment, possession, and the Dark Side.

    Yoda and Mace Windu were the only masters in the meditation room. Sensing the presence of the two young Jedi, Yoda welcomed them in, “Something to say, you have?”

    “Yes, Master Yoda,” Thoran answered,” Skylar and I have news.”

    “To marry you wish?” He questioned his eyes all knowing.

    “We do,” Skylar replied.

    “Not unexpected this is. Well you have done,” Yoda admitted.

    Still, you are Jedi first,” Mace said in a serious voice. “There is still danger remains when attachment and possession forms.”

    “Agreed,”,Thoran nodded, “however, while I am emotionally involved with Skylar, I do not and would not possess her. She is my equal, not my property. I respect her as much as I love her.”

    “Something more to add, Skylar?” Yoda gently prodded

    Skylar was confident in her reply, “Yes, I do, Masters. Attachments are a part of the Living Force. As children, we are attached to our master. As adults we are attached of our padawans as if they were our children. Attachment, so long as it is not obsessive, makes us stronger.”

    Yoda listened to both of their reasoning and his expression showed his concurrence, “correct you are. Yet, careful we must be, lose you to the dark side we do not wish.”

    “Why does attachment need to lead to the dark side?” Skylar asked him, “sometimes I wonder if attachment would be the only thing to save us if the Sith ever attempted to come to power again.”

    Mace and Yoda looked to each other and Mace gave a slight nod, “You make a compelling argument, Skylar. But what of offspring?”

    Skylar would be lying if she said she had not thought about it, but she was still young. She wanted to train an apprentice herself before she had a child. Thoran knew this and allowed her to answer, “When the Force sees fit, it will bless us with a child. I hope to be given the opportunity to take my own padawan first.”

    “Wise, you are,” Yoda told her. “Marry you may. Go; tell those you need to tell. May the Force be with you.”

    They both nodded and bowed to the older masters. They did not say a word until they were in the hallway, “That went easier than I expected.” Thoran said.

    “It did. Now who to tell first?” Skylar replied. “I need to tell Qui-Gon, but I’m not quite ready. I could also use some of Tahl’s advice.”

    Thoran grabbed her hand. “Well let’s go see her. I sought her advice too.”

    Skylar raised an eyebrow, “Oh?”

    “Well I couldn’t exactly ask Qui-Gon any advice regarding marrying you,” Thoran laughed.

    Skylar laughed too, “Good point.”

    In a few minutes Tahl was welcoming them into her apartment. She felt their happiness in their Force signatures and noticed the ring on Skylar’s finger. She had seen the ring of course, as Thoran has come to her almost as soon as she returned to the temple after her brief mission.

    “I suppose congratulations are in order,” Tahl said smiling. She took Skylar’s hand in hers and admired the ring, “See, Thoran. I told you it would be perfect for her.”

    “You were right as always,” Thoran told her warmly, “thank you for the counsel you provided me this last week.”

    “Anytime, Thoran,” Tahl told him sincerely, “have you told Qui-Gon yet?”

    Skylar bit her lip, “no, not yet. You are the first to know other than Masters Yoda and Windu.”

    Tahl nodded, “he will need to accept your decision, Skylar.”

    “I know,” Skylar replied, “I just wish he had not changed as much as he has since…”, she trailed off, not finishing her sentence.

    “Xanatos?” Tahl finished for her. Skylar nodded in reply and Tahl added, “We can love Qui-Gon from afar and meditate on what is happening, however; we can’t change his actions.”

    “Have you seen him?” Skylar asked.

    “Not since Lok,” Tahl shrugged. “I’ve accepted he wishes to devote his time to Xanatos and will not get in the way.”

    Skylar was incredulous, “You were always apart of my life and my training. My agemates use to tease me I had two masters.”

    “You are not Xanatos,” Tahl gently said.

    “I’m not,” Skylar angrily said, “so when he finally breaks Qui-Gon’s heart, what do we do then?”

    Tahl replied softly, “If that happens, we will be there for him.”

    “Maybe I would like to intervene before that happens,” the younger woman said feverishly.

    Thoran took her hand in his and told her, “Skylar, we spoke about this. He needs to see for himself. Neither you or Tahl can see for him.”

    “I suppose you’re right,” Skylar conceded. “It just isn’t easy. I suppose we should go see him now. No sense in putting it off.”

    They went to the apartment Qui-Gon shared with Xanatos hand in hand. Thoran was sending waves of peace over their bond. He hoped Qui-Gon would be accepting of the news for Skylar’s sake.

    They rang the chime on the door and in a moment Xanatos answered. He glared at the Jedi Knights standing there. He glanced at them holding hands and his trademark self-satisfied grin came to his face, “Master, you have visitors.” He moved aside to allow Skylar and Thoran into the apartment. He stood there as if he was expecting a show.

    Qui-Gon came out of the kitchen, “Skylar, you’re back.” He noticed the two holding hands and folded his arms across his chest. He also noticed the ring on her left hand and nodded to it, “is there something you need to tell me?” His voice was not the warm one Skylar remembered from her childhood.

    “We do, Master,” Skylar told him with hope in her eyes, “Thoran asked me to marry him and I have said yes.”

    Qui-Gon gave a brief nod, “relationships are one thing; however, marriage is entirely something else.”

    Thoran spoke next. In a respectful tone he said, “We know, Sir. We have asked for and received the approval of Masters Yoda and Windu.” He gave Skylar’s hand a gentle squeeze, “We will be married next week.”

    “That soon?” Qui-Gon said sharply. Turning to Skylar he asked, “what of you taking a padawan of your own?”

    “There is time for that, Master,” Skylar evenly replied. “At next years selection process, I will choose a student.”

    Qui-Gon shook his head, “And if you’re pregnant next year?”

    Skylar blushed, “I’m not planning to be, Master. I have time for that and will see the healers for precautions.” It was a little unnerving and embarrassing to be having this conversation with a man she considered a father. Xanatos’s snickering—which Qui-Gon of course did not notice—did not help matters any.

    “I suppose you have come for my approval?” Qui-Gon asked.

    “And blessing,” Skylar said hopefully. “We hope you can come to the ceremony. It will only be a few close friends, Thoran’s former master, and the Council.”

    Qui-Gon shook his head, “Xanatos and I have a mission and will not be at the temple. I accept your decision, Skylar. However, I do not approve.”

    Those words stung her heart, but she stood taller and shielded her mind from him, “I understand, Master.” Deep down she did not understand at all.

    “May the Force be with you, now if you will excuse me, I have mission to prepare for.” With that, the older man disappeared into his bedroom.

    Xanatos walked them to the door, “Don’t worry, Skylar. I will take your place in his heart no problem.” As the door slid shut, Xanatos gave her one last knowing smirk.

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

    A week later, Thoran and Skylar stood facing each other in front of Mace Windu who was officiating the ceremony. Skylar wore a simple white gown that Tahl insisted on and a veil fastened to her hair with flowers from the temple gardens.

    Talh stood next to Skylar while Thoran’s master and Kaleb stood by him.

    Skylar was grateful for Tahl’s presence, but she still wished Qui-Gon was there.

    Thoran started his vows and slipped a wedding band on her finger, “I Thoran, with the Force as my witness, take you, Skylar, to be my partner. Loving what know of you and trusting what I do not yet know. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the person you become. I promise to love and cherish you and whatever life might bring us.”

    Then it was Skylar’s turn, as she slid his wedding band onto his finger she said her vows, “I Skylar, with the Living Force as my witness, take you Thoran, to be my husband. My partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together.”

    Mace Windu started to speak, “By the power vested in me and in the Living Force, I know pronounce you man and wife. Knight Sannes, you may kiss your bride.”

    Those in attendance applauded as they kissed and Skylar felt the disappointment of her Master not being there fade. At that moment all was right in the galaxy.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
  18. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    SQUEE! Gorgeous vows and clear-sighted resolve from both Skylar and Thoran to love in a balanced, wholehearted fashion not in a possessive twisted fashion. Tahl is beautifully supportive. [face_love] Loved the discussion they had about Qui-Gon and the utter frustration of not being able to "see for him." Those are ture words but hard, so hard when you know what's coming!!! :( =D=
     
  19. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha, thank you again for sticking with the story and for your kind review. :)=((

    Chapter 11

    The first year of marriage blissfully passed. Kaleb had just turned sixteen and immensely enjoyed the closeness of the three, but wondered often what it would be like to add to add a fourth member to their family. Knowing that Thoran and Skylar were not planning on a baby anytime soon, he hinted another option at breakfast.

    “There is a sparring tournament mid-morning,” Kaleb told them casually. “I heard several masters are going to watch and possibly choose their padawan.”

    Skylar cocked an eyebrow, “Oh?” She replied, even though she had known about the competition and was planning on attending. She had told Qui-Gon she would select a padawn at this year’s selection and spent the last couple of weeks meditating on the matter. The Force told her it was time.

    “Yeah,” Kaleb continued between bites, “I was wondering, well, you know, do you want to go?”

    “Why are you asking?” Thoran asked in jest, “I have a padawan already. Unless there is something you are not telling me. Are you ready to be knighted or leaving the Order or something?”

    “I didn’t mean you, Master,” Kaleb said exasperated. “I meant Sky.”

    “He knows that, Kaleb,” Skylar told him. “Your master just has a very strange sense of humor. But to answer your question, yes, I am going. I also would like both you and Thoran to come with me, since any initiate I choose will be part of our family.”

    Kaleb broke into a grin, “I would like that. It’s about time you know.”

    She stood up to clear the table, tousling his hair, “you do know that only you can get away with telling me, it’s about time.”

    “I know,” he replied, trying to duck out from underneath her hand, but was not successful, “and you are the only one that can get away with tousling my hair.”

    As she began to load the dishes into the washer, Skylar told them, “You know how much I want you there to experience this with me; however, there is also someone else I feel the need to share this with also.”

    Thoran understood, “You’ve asked Qui-Gon?”

    “I did and I’m happy he accepted,” she told them, “he is my former Master and regardless of how Xanatos has changed him, I still love him.”
    Kaleb understood the bond, since he could not imagine Thoran not being there when it came time for Kaleb to take a student. He also could never imagine Thoran being completely cold to him as Qui-Gon was towards Skylar.

    It would also be a little tense, since where ever Qui-Gon went so did Xanatos. He did not have to like Xanatos, however, he would still respect him as a fellow Jedi. “I’m fine with it Sky,” He told her, “as long as I don’t have to sit next to Xanatos, it’s all good.”

    “Then let’s go,” she said, feeling her anticipation build. Qui-Gon and Xanatos were waiting for them on the main floor. Qui-Gon seemed genuinely pleased with the fact his first padawan was taking her own student. Xanatos seemed uninterested and bored. Qui-Gon greeted them cheerfully and it almost seemed like the Qui-Gon she knew was back.

    Xanatos gave a half bow to both Thoran and Skylar, while he and Kaleb merely nodded to each other.

    They took their seats. Skylar made sure Qui-Gon was next to her on the right with Xanatos next to him. Thoran and Kaleb were to her left. The match started shortly thereafter. About two hours into it, Skylar still did not see a student that she felt a connection with. Xanatos was not patient, “Can’t you just pick one already?”

    “I could, yes,” she told him, “but I want it to be the right fit. If I’m not careful I could end up with a conceited and egocentric padawan.” Xanatos shot her a dirty look. Skylar smiled to herself. The dig was not very Jedi like, she knew. She was also surprised Qui-Gon did not even notice.

    Thoran took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze, “Take your time, Love. The Force will show you.”

    The next two students came out and took their places on the mat. One was confident, the other unsure of himself. The twelve-year-old boy only seemed confident when he ignited his lightsaber. His name was Zac Rinda.

    He did well in the match however, he lost in the tiebreaker. He bowed humbly to the master overseeing the match and to his opponent.

    “I think that’s him,” Skylar told them enthusiastically”

    “Him? Xanatos snorted,

    Skylar did not even hear him; she was already up and making her way to the mat. As she walked away Xanatos added, “he did not even win.”

    At that point Thoran turned to him and said, “winning isn’t everything. There is also grace, humility, and honor. That boy has all three of those traits.”

    After the matches were over, Skylar presented her new padawan the group which accompanied her.

    “Zac Rinda, meet my husband, Thoran Sannes and his padawan, Kaleb Faln.”

    He gave them a shy smile and bowed to them. Turning to Qui-Gon she said, “This is my former master, Qui-Gon Jinn and his padawan, Xanatos De'Crion.”

    Zac bowed to them and Skylar noticed Xanatos studying as if trying to see his weaknesses. Of course, Qui-Gon was oblivious to it.

    “It is good to meet you, Zac, “we wish you great success in your endeavors. Skylar will be a wonderful master.”

    “Thank you, Master,” Skylar said to him sincerely. “We were about to go to the dining hall to celebrate. Would you like to join us?”

    Qui-Gon replied, “thank you, no. Xani and I have an important meeting with the Supreme Chancellor. Perhaps another time.”

    “Perhaps,” Skylar nodded, knowing that time would not come soon. She bowed to her master. She longed to embrace him, but did not know if he would reciprocate.

    Qui-Gon turned to leave, “Come Xani.”

    Xanatos waited for Qui-Gon to be out of earshot. He stopped in front of Zac and eyed him up and down, “Of all the losers in the temple, she chose you. You belong in the AgriCorps.”

    Before Skylar could say anything, he stormed off. She turned to Zac who had a shocked look on his face and his ears were red. As she was about to offer him some kind words, her husband’s padawan did instead.

    “Don’t mind him, that’s Xanatos and he is the Temple’s resident Son of a Sith,” Kaleb said nudging the younger boy.

    While Thoran did not disagree with Kaleb’s assessment, he knew correction was in order, “Padawan, you know better than to use language like that.”

    “You are correct Master, I should have said Bantha Fodder, Bishwag, or Hutt-Spawn,” Kaleb said dryly. “I’m apologize Master, but Xani deserves every single term.” He emphasized Xani in a mocking tone.

    Thoran sighed, “as my padawan, I expect you to rise above Xanatos each time you are in his presence. YOU are better than that.”

    “He knows that, Thoran,” Skylar told her husband. She usually did not interfere in Kaleb’s training, however, Thoran respected her when she did. “But I’m hungry and would like to celebrate this special time.”

    Thoran took her hand, “Yes, let’s not mar this event because of Xanatos, the Son of a Sith himself.” The younger boys busted out in laughter as they went to the dining hall.


    Within the week, Zac had settled into the apartment Skylar shared with Thoran and Kaleb. Kaleb did not seem to mind sharing his room. While it was an adjustment getting used to a second padawan living in the apartment, it was a welcomed one. Zac was as polite as Kaleb and as quirky as Thoran. He made the perfect addition to the already out of the ordinary group. Kaleb had taken Zac under his wing and in a matter of days; they were as close as brothers.

    The four settled into a comfortable routine of study and training. Skylar worked with Zac on perfecting his lightsaber form, using Kaleb as the example. Soon, Zac had abandoned Shii-Cho form for Kaleb’s own form of choice, Soresu. Zac’s previous insecurity disappeared and was replaced with a humble, yet confident demeanor. He truly felt like part of their family.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2020
  20. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Feedback is needed and appreciated.

    I hope to have Xanatos’s betrayal and Qui-Gon’s downfall re-written and posted by Sunday afternoon. After that, we can introduce Initiate Obi-Wan Kenobi.


    Chapter 12


    One Year Later


    Thoran stood in the training room, watching Kaleb and Zac in a practice duel. Skylar was in the archives researching as a favor to the Council.

    The master was silent except for times when critique was necessary. Zac was growing in leaps and bounds under Skylar’s tutelage. He also had the advantage of Thoran and Kaleb, who always made themselves available to the younger boy during his first year as a part of their family.

    Thoran and Skylar proved to be a strong team, and their padawans followed their lead. The missions assigned to the foursome ended each time successfully. Yoda was pleased with the progress, and at times it seemed he was warming up to the idea that perhaps attachments did not necessarily lead to the dark side.

    “Well done, boys,” Thoran said, calling the match to an end. Zac did not beat Kaleb, but there was no doubt that day would come sooner than later. “Hit the showers; I’m going to check on Skylar.”

    Both boys powered down their weapons and bowed to Thoran. He gave them a one-handed wave on his way out of the training room, “meet us at the dining hall. I bet you guys are starved.”

    Kaleb and Zac had every intention of doing as instructed. They put the training mat away and moved towards the showers in the gymnasium. They were joking with one another, and they were in a hurry to meet their masters for dinner.

    Slow clapping on the other end of the gym caused them to stop. Kaleb sighed when he saw Xanatos. “Well done, boys, indeed,” Xanatos said sarcastically. “Is your master blind?”

    “What do you want, Xanatos?” Kaleb asked, sensing how uncomfortable Zac was and wishing to defuse the situation.

    “You never duel me anymore,” Xanatos said, picking up a training lightsaber. “Are you afraid of me?”

    “Why would he be afraid of you?” Zac said, coming to Kaleb’s defense.

    Xanatos looked at Zac as if he was a pathetic being not worth his time, “Who asked you, brat” This is between Kaleb and I. So, what will it be, Oh Perfect Padawan?”

    “There is no Master in the training room,” Zac pointed out, aware of the rule that padawans were not to duel without a master present.

    “No Master in the training room,” Xanatos repeated, mimicking Zac. “For the love of the Sith, what do they see in you? Keep out of it, or you will get hurt!”

    Kaleb stepped protectively in front of Zac wanting nothing more than to wipe that narcissistic smile off Xanatos’s face. He may have done just that if Zac was not there. Kaleb looked Xanatos in the eye, and calmly said, “You will not threaten him, and I am not going to duel with you.” He turned and started to move away from Xanatos.

    Xanatos took this as an opportunity to ignite the training weapon and prepared to bring it down on Kaleb’s shoulders. Even though it was only an instruction lightsaber, it still would have caused a painful burn had it met its mark. Before Kaleb was able to react, Zac had his weapon out and blocked Xanatos’s blade before he could strike Kaleb. Zac was stunned at the force of the blow but did not back down.

    Kaleb swung around, igniting his weapon, “Step away, Xanatos.” Kaleb’s words were measured and firm as he moved Zac behind him again. Keeping his eyes on Xanatos, Kaleb said, “Let’s go, Zac.” This time he moved Zac in front of him and gently pushed him towards the door, never breaking eye contact with his rival.

    The two left the training room, deciding it would be better to get cleaned up in the own apartment instead of the turbo-showers in the gymnasiums.

    At dinner, they were unusually quiet and picked at their food, not eating much. Both masters took notice.

    Finally, Thoran asked, “What’s troubling you two? You barely have touched your meal, and neither of you is ever this quiet.”

    “We ran into Xanatos in the training room,” Kaleb said. “He tried to taunt me into dueling him. I refused.”

    Zac added, “When Kaleb turned his back, Xanatos went to hit him with a training lightsaber. I blocked it.”

    “When Zac blocked the blow, I got him out of there as fast as I could. Now I’m wondering if I should have stayed and put him in his place.” It was clear that Kaleb was frustrated.

    Skylar considered their words carefully, “You did the right thing, Kaleb. You protected Zac and removed him from the situation.” She did not trust Xanatos and wondered if he would one day use his hatred towards her and take it out on Zac.

    “You rose above him, Kaleb,” Thoran told him. “I’m very proud of you.”

    Kaleb shrugged, still picking at the food on his plate with his fork. Finally, he said, “I’m not very hungry. May I be excused?”

    Thoran and Skylar traded glances, Thoran nodded, “go right home.”

    “Can I go too?” Zac asked, his eyes showed concern for the older boy.

    Skylar replied, “Of course. Let’s all go home.” The woman was both amazed and annoyed with the fact that even though she had little to no contact with Xanatos, he could still bring chaos to her life and her family.

    Once they arrived home, Skylar took Zac into the kitchen with her so Thoran could speak with Kaleb alone.

    While in the kitchen, she made the four of them some tea. Skylar took this time to explain to Zac about Xanatos. “He is my former master’s padawan. Unfortunately, he is arrogant, vain, and simply not a nice person. I would prefer you to avoid him if at all possible.”

    Zac listened carefully. He had never known a Jedi who wasn’t kind. Even Master Windu, with his stern demeanor, was compassionate. “You are nothing like Xanatos.” Zac said, confused, “And I’ve heard Master Jinn was completely in-tune with the living force and had compassion towards all beings. Why would he pick him?”

    Skylar filled four cups with tea and placed them on a tray. She smiled sadly as she replied, “I do not know, Zac. But my beloved master has changed.”

    Skylar brought the tea to the living area where Thoran was quietly offering Kaleb reassuring words. They stopped speaking when Skylar and Zac entered. Everyone took a cup and quietly sipped it. It was good to be in each other’s company.

    Thoran’s datapad went off, alerting him to a message. He read it silently and turned to Skylar, “We have our next mission. Remember hearing King Didrik, the ruler of Kuat, passed away about a year ago?”

    “I remember the HoloNet report about it.,” Skylar replied. “The oldest son, Prince Delling, was to be coronated as the new ruler. That should have happened by now.”

    “Should have, yes,” Thoran nodded. “He disappeared on the eve of the coronation. Prince Delapar is now insisting on being crowned in place of his older brother."

    Skylar looked at him, “Delapar? The younger son who received a less than honorable discharge from the Republic Navy?”

    “He should have been dishonorably discharged and court-martialed,” Thorn said sharply. “the fact that he broke the Uniform Code of Military Justice has the citizens of Kuat protesting. The employees of the Kuat Drive Yards are striking. There are demonstrations in the street. Mostly peaceful, but some riots. To curb the protests, Delapar is arresting everyone who dares to attend one.”

    Kaleb leaned forward, “Everyone? Even peaceful ones?” Oppression disturbed him since he knew civil discourse was vital to a Republic.

    “When do we leave,” Skylar said as she picked up everyone’s cups and prepared to take them into the kitchen.

    “Seven days,” her husband said. “That will give us time to research the situation and familiarize ourselves with the Kuat Constitution.” He turned to the boys, “There will be quite a bit of reading and research, so go get a good night’s sleep.

    Six Days Later

    The day before they were to leave, both Thoran and Kaleb came down with some sort of flu. The healers could not explain why Skylar and Zac did not get it as well but suggested they find somewhere else to stay that night. Skylar contacted a close friend, Alani, who was on a mission. The fellow Jedi told Skylar to stay at her apartment since she and her padawan were not on Coruscant.

    Because Thoran and Kaleb would not be able to travel for at least a week, the Council decided to send another team with Skylar. Thoran was less than pleased when he heard it would be Qui-Gon and Xanatos. He immediately had a horrible feeling about the whole situation.

    As they were settling into the apartment where they would stay for the night, Skylar heard Zac’s comlink ring. She knew it would be Kaleb and decided to make herself busy, making sure they were packed for the mission so the boys could converse in private.

    “You have to watch your back around Xanatos, Zac,” Kaleb told him, his voice raspy from the flu. “Do NOT trust him under any circumstances.”

    Zac was nervous but did his best to hide it, “I will. Any other advice you could give me?” Zac was worried about the mission since he had become to know and trust Kaleb.

    Kaleb responded, “Yes. If you are separated from Skylar, and you come up with information vital to the mission, be sure to transmit it to her datapad immediately."

    “Yes, I will do as you say,” Kaleb said. “When will you and Thoran be able to join us?”

    Kaleb coughed and said, “Hopefully in a week. Now, I have to go. These stupid antibiotics the healers gave me put me to sleep. May the Force be with you.”

    "Feel better," Zac told his brother. "May the Force be with you."

    The next morning, Skylar stood with Zac waiting for Qui-Gon and Xanatos to join them on the landing platform. Skylar took the opportunity to contact Thoran. She could not help smiling at his scratchy throated response over the comlink.

    “How are you feeling?” She asked him.

    “I’m tired and miserable,” He told her ruefully. “I still wish you were going with someone else. I do not like it. I don’t like I won’t be there to make sure you're safe.”

    “Thoran,” Skylar said quietly, “We have gone on separate missions before. You can’t always be there with me. Don’t you trust me?”

    “Of course, I trust you. I don’t necessarily trust Qui-Gon’s judgment where his padawan is concerned.”

    Skylar sighed, “Thoran, you know Qui-Gon would never let anything hurt me.”

    “I don’t know when I believe anymore when it comes to the ‘All-Powerful Qui-Gon Jinn,’ Skylar,” Thoran winced as his words come out more harshly then he intended. “His clarity is usually hazy when it comes to Xanatos. I’m concerned for you and Zac.”

    “Sweetheart, you are tired, sick, and from the sounds of it, rather cranky,” She added the last part with a good-natured grin, “Don’t worry so much, we will be fine. I love you.”

    “Love you more,” she heard him say. “We will join you as soon as we can. Promise me you will be careful.”

    “Of course. See you soon.” She ended the transmission just as Qui-Gon and Xanatos arrived.

    “Is anything wrong?” Qui-Gon asked, having caught the tail end of the conversation.

    “No, of course not,” Skylar replied. “It’s good to see you, Master. It has been a while since we have worked together.”

    “It has, yet I sense your husband is less than happy with the arrangement,” Qui-Gon never missed anything.

    “He is concerned,” Skylar admitted as she followed Qui-Gon. They strapped themselves into their seats as the pilots prepared to take off.

    “Such concern and worry can be detrimental to a mission,” Qui-Gon lectured her. “A Jedi must always look at the mission as a whole. While you may save one person, how many could die?”

    Skylar was offended, but hid it well, “Master, you know better than that. After all, Thoran and I have proved ourselves a very productive team. Thoran is ill and irritable. He will get over it.”

    She and Zac took out their datapads and continued, “Now, Zac and I have researched the Kuat Constitution and the freedoms being taken away from the planet's citizens.”

    Qui-Gon took a seat next to her and pulled out his datapad, and Xanatos followed suit, “What do we know so far?”

    Zac spoke up, “Well, King Didrik died almost a year ago. Prince Delling was next in line for the throne. He, however, has disappeared. Now, Prince Delapar is demanding to be the new ruler. With his dishonorable discharge for the Republic Navy, the citizens are peaceful but still revolting.”

    Qui-Gon was impressed, “Continue.”

    Zac consulted his data pada again, “the planet was a relatively peaceful one until about the time of king’s death and Prince Delling’s disappearance. Then the government just turned on its people.”

    Skylar gave Zac and nod of approval and began to speak, “The government began arresting and prosecuting citizens for all sorts of reasons other than just protesting. Religion, social status, political standing are reasons for persecution.”

    “It does not make sense since the planet has a history of being tolerable. I could not figure out why the sudden change,” Zac added.

    “That’s because you are a kid, Xanatos said unkindly. “In my research, the wealthy have taken complete control and support Prince Delapar. They wish to tamp out the undesirables.” Xanatos fixed his gaze on Zac as he emphasized the last word.

    Skylar noticed this; however, Qui-Gon did not. She shook her head and sent a quick reassuring thought through the training bond she shared with Zac. The young woman suddenly had a sense of foreboding; this was going to be a very long mission. Like Thoran, she now had a terrible feeling about the whole situation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  21. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    If you are reading, please review. I really appreciate it!


    Chapter 13

    The one-day journey was reasonably uneventful. Except for briefings and discussing research, Qui-Gon did not often speak to Skylar. He preferred to spend his time training with Xanatos.

    Skylar kept Zac away from the other padawan and also took the time to train. Zac needed to work on his meditation skills and diplomacy. While Zac was very polite, he was passionate. Especially when he felt others were being mistreated. At times, he had trouble controlling those emotions.

    “We will be landing shortly, Zac,” Skylar told him, “You need to be prepared to witness oppression.”

    Zac nodded, “Will we be able to stop the oppression? If we find Prince Delling, maybe we could restore peace.”

    “Our primary mission is to ensure a peaceful transition during the coronation,” Skylar explained. “The Supreme Chancellor requested we investigate the disappearance of Delling off the record.”

    Zac closed his eyes and was in deep thought, “Something tells me this is all wrong. I can’t shake the feeling.”

    Skylar sat next to him, “Feeling? What is it telling you?”

    Zac sighed, “Like I am in the opposite direction of the mission.” He stood up and started to pace, a trait he must have picked up from Thoran. “The Force is telling me the only way for peace is for Delling to be king.”

    He did not tell his master the Force was screaming at him that HE was the one meant to find him.

    A few hours later, the Republic cruiser landed, and Prince Delapar’s chief of staff greeted them. “Greetings, Master Jedi,” the woman said, “I am Lady Nikita Rarr. If you will follow me.” She guided them to a waiting transport, and once they were seated, she nodded to the driver to go.

    “We are glad you are here, and we look forward to your assistance to quash the resistance of the people,” Lady Rarr said in a friendly voice, however, her sincerity did not meet her eyes. The transport went down the streets of Kuat City, the planet's capital.

    Qui-Gon replied, “we are here to ensure a peaceful process and not get involved in your planet’s politics.”

    Zac was gazing out the window, where another demonstration was taking place. He cringed when a member of the security forces used and electro-staff on an older man wearing what appeared to be a military uniform from his youth. “Even under the threat of oppression?“ He asked in a melancholy voice.

    Lady Rarr saw his discomfort, “We wish the populace would not riot; however, we must maintain order.”

    “That is not a riot!” Zac exclaimed. “The people there do not even have weapons!”

    Lady Rarr’s words were hard, “They are causing a disturbance.”

    “The constitution of this planet guarantees the right of the people to assemble and petition their government to hear their grievances peacefully,” Zac replied in frustration.

    Lady Rarr glared at Zac. She turned to Qui-Gon, who she decided was the most diplomatic, “Interesting the Jedi put so much faith into children. On Kuat, children are seen and not heard.”

    Skylar saw her padawan flush and moved in to defuse the situation, “Jedi Padawans are devoted to all life forms of the galaxy and will speak out when they see others oppressed. It is a trait we honor.”

    “Insulting the royal family is not an admirable trait at all.” She turned to Qui-Gon and said, “I trust you will keep this Knight and her Padawan in line, Master Jedi. It would be dreadful if the Jedi were to cause a Galactic incident the week of the coronation.”

    Skylar turned to Qui-Gon, expecting him to defend her, but she was disappointed, “You have my word, Lady Rarr. I will see that Knight Malin curbs her padawan's tongue.”

    Skylar schooled her features, but deep down, she felt like she was Zac’s age again. A thirteen-year-old reprimanded for speaking out of turn. Even it was the truth.

    A short while later, the transport pulled in front of the palace’s grand entrance. Standing at the top of the steps was Prince Delapar flanked by his honor guard. He descended the steps and stopped in front of Qui-Gon, who bowed to him, “Prince Delapar, I am Qui-Gon Jinn, this is my apprentice Xanatos De’Crion.” Qui-Gon continued the introductions, “This is Knight Skylar Malin and her apprentice Zac Rinda.”

    As the three bowed to the prince, Zac continued to study him.

    The prince had sharp eyes, “It is customary for one also to bow their head when greeting a member of the royal family.”

    Zac quickly averted his eyes and bowed his head. Skylar opened her mouth to speak; however, Qui-Gon beat her to it, “My apologies Prince Delling, this is Padawan Rinda’s first time encountering royalty.”

    It wasn’t right,t, of course since he had encountered and worked with royalty twice in the year he had been Skylar’s padawan. He knew better than to correct the Jedi Master. Skylar nudged him through the bond.

    It is not important.

    Zac wondered what exactly was not important. His feelings, or the fact that Qui-Gon misspoke regarding his experience. He would ask his master to meditate with him on those feelings later. He was silent as he fell in step behind Skylar and Qui-Gon, doing his best to ignore the Xanatos’s sneer.

    Prince Delapar led them into the palace and stopped, “You have time to dress for dinner for a private state dinner. “ He held out an arm extending to toward his war room, “However, beforehand, I would like to show you the security measures for my Coronation. The children need not attend; they can feel free to explore.” Delling gazed at Zac, wondering if this curious child was going to be a problem. He figured the best way to determine that would be to allow him to move around.

    “Xanatos,” Qui-Gon said quietly, “go explore, learn things. Keep an eye on Padawan Rinda.”

    As Skylar approached Zac, he said in a low voice, “I am sorry, Master.”

    She put her hand on his shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze, “It is alright, Zac. We just need to allow diplomacy to take the lead. I will see you after the meeting.”

    She turned to follow Qui-Gon. Zac watched his master join Qui-Gon at a table with a hologram of the palace grounds. Zac made eye-contact with Prince Delapar again before the door shut. This time he bowed his head respectfully.

    When the door shut, Xanatos said, “I guess I’m stuck babysitting you.”

    “I don’t need a babysitter,” Zac responded sharply.

    “Well, you have almost caused a galactic incident twice,” Xanatos replied. “So you could have fooled me. Do you have some inside information or something?”

    Zac shook his head, “Just a feeling.”

    “Well, let’s go see if we can get some facts to go with those feelings,” Xanatos said.

    Zac had an uneasy feeling, but quickly released it and calmed himself. Xanatos seemed to be very sure of his decision, so Zac followed his lead. They began to explore and soon found themselves in the private royal residence of the royal family. Upon further inspection, they found in Prince Delling’s private quarters.

    Xanatos saw a datapad on a table as they explored the rooms. He picked it up and slid it into his robe. “How good a splicer are you?”

    “Pretty good,” Zac responded, “Kaleb is much better, but he has taught me a lot.”

    “Yes, I do recall Mr. Faultless was rather good has splicing,” Xanatos said in a low voice. “Let’s go find a place to plug this thing in.”

    “We can’t get caught with this in our possession,” Zac pointed out. “Give it to me; I will download all the information onto my datapad.”

    In a matter of minutes, Zac had the two datapads hooked up to one another, and files transferred to his datapad. He put the datapad back where Xanatos had picked it up.

    “Well done, young one.” Xanatos’s compliment was like a double-edged sword. They were never sincere.

    “Thanks.” Zac simply said. “We better not stick around here much longer. Where to next?”

    “Kitchens,” Xanatos told him. “The best way to learn about who you are investigating is to spy on the help.”

    Taking care to conceal their presence with the Force, the two teenagers crept down the way they came and found a service hallway. At the end of the corridor was a huge kitchen with several cooks, maids, and butlers. The kitchen had vaulted ceilings held by thick and wide support beams at least 20 feet off the floor. Xanatos pointed to them and flicked his fingers gently towards the people in the room. They heard a cook ask, “What was that?” When the servants were distracted for that brief moment, Xanatos and Zac made a soundless leap and landed on the beams.

    “It was nothing,” a butler decided, and they went on with their conversation, completely unaware of the Jedi who were sitting on the beams above them.

    “Do you think the Jedi will learn the fate of Prince Delling?” One maid asked.

    “One can only hope,” replied the cook. “I watched that boy grow into a man; he was destined to be our king, not this sniveling younger brother of his.”

    “Shhh!” The butler admonished her. “You don’t want to be arrested for treason.”

    “Arrested for telling the truth?” The older woman asked incredulously. “Besides, we are all friends here.”

    “Yes, we are,” said one of the maids. “Yet there are many spies in this palace. We are the resistance’s last hope. We need to stay intact. The more we learn, the better chance we will have at finding out if Delling is still alive.”

    The butler sighed, “I’ve heard the Jedi are only here to ensure a peaceful coronation and transition.”

    The cook turned her attention back to the stove and stirred one of the large pots. “What good is the Jedi if they refuse to get involved where people need them?”

    No one answered her. The group quietly returned to their duties and prepared to serve dinner.

    It a few moments the coast was clear, and the two jumped down from their hiding spot and quickly returned to the main foyer. The cook's words laid heavy on Zac’s mind and his heart.

    What good can the Jedi do if they refuse to get involved where people need them?

    He needed to speak to his master, and hopefully, Qui-Gon would be open to listening as well. Looking around to make sure they were alone, Zac pulled out his comlink, “Master?”

    “I’m here Zac, did you enjoy exploring?” Skylar’s voice was smooth but almost song-like. He knew she was not alone, so he replied in a cheerful voice, “Oh, yes, Master. The palace is full of history; it was quite informative.”

    “Good to hear, my Padawan,” was the response. “It’s time for dinner, please meet Master Qui-Gon and me outside the war room.”

    The students obeyed. Neither spoke as they waited patiently for their masters to emerge. In a few moments, Qui-Gon and Skylar exited. One look at their faces, and Zac knew to keep quiet for the time being. They followed Prince Delapar to the dining hall, and each took a seat. Zac took special care to make sure he was on one side of Skylar, and Qui-Gon was on the other.

    Over the first course of soup, Delapar asked, “What do you think of my battleplans, Master Jedi?”

    “It seems to be excessive, in my opinion,” Qui-Gon stated neutrally.

    “But I must tamp out the resistance,” Delapar replied. “They are a security threat.”

    Zac spoke again, “I have been researching your planet, Your Highness. Your people are patriotic. They revere Kuat. I don’t believe they are a threat at all.”

    Delapar gave a condescending smile, “I’m sure you are the expert on planetary security as a twelve-year-old.”

    “I’m thirteen,” Zac corrected him, “and I would never claim to be an expert. It is just my opinion.”

    “Padawan Rinda,” Qui-Gon said in a voice that offered no room for discussion, “You will apologize to Prince Delapar.”

    Zac blushed, “My apologies Prince Delapar; I meant no disrespect. I would hope you would wish to end your people’s suffering as well.”

    “Padawan!’ Qui-Gon admonished him, “You forget your place and a representative of the Jedi Order and the Republic.”

    “It’s alright, Master Jedi,” Delapar said in a sickly-sweet voice, “I must say I am quite curious to hear what the young strategist has to say.”

    It was a set-up, and before Skylar could open her mouth to stop, Zac walked right into it and said, “I do not understand why you would need a battleplan against your unarmed citizenry.“

    Skylar stood up, determined to take control of the situation regarding her student. “If you would, please excuse us.” She motioned for Zac to follow her, and he fell in step behind her. Skylar was angry at herself. She allowed it to go that far. Zac was her responsibility, and she allowed Qui-Gon to reprimand him. Skylar knew he was already self-conscience. Perhaps if she had taken the lead instead, she could have spared him the embarrassment.

    They were silent as they took the lift up to the quarters assigned to them. Once they entered the main living area of the apartment, Skylar spoke sharply, “I am appalled at your behavior, Zac. What were you thinking?”

    “I was thinking we as Jedi are here for a reason,” Zac replied, “and it isn’t to stroke Delapar’s ego.”

    Skylar took a deep breath, “Zac, we are here to ensure peace.”

    “How can there be peace when the planet’s citizens are being rounded up and jailed?” Zac implored to her.

    “Zac, it is not our place to get involved in the politics,” she said calmly.

    Zac was desperate for her to hear him, “But Master, Prince Delapar said battleplan. That means people may die needlessly.”

    Skylar sighed, “Zac, you are on thin ice here. You are to not speak out of turn…”

    “We are keepers of the peace, we need to help them,” the teenager said, unable to his frustration.

    Skylar did not disagree with him, but Qui-Gon insisted they remain neutral, “You will meditate tonight on your disrespect toward me, Master Qui-Gon, and Prince Delapar.” Her tone was strict, and it broke her heart to see his crestfallen expression, but she knew she could not allow his behavior to continue.

    Zac nodded and decided to tell her what he had overheard from the cook and other servants, “Yes, Master. But earlier…”

    Skylar held up her hand, “That is enough. You are not to leave this room. After your meditations, you are to go straight to bed.”

    Tears came to his eyes, but he turned his back to her so she would not see. Of course, he was not fast enough. Placing a warm hand on his shoulder, she said, “we will talk about this further tomorrow.”

    He shrugged her hand off his shoulder and just nodded his head. With his back still towards her, he knelt on the floor, ready to begin his meditation.

    Skylar wanted to speak with him about this but knew she had been away too long and needed to return. After dinner, there would be more discussions regarding the coronation. She would speak with Qui-Gon privately about Zac’s reasons for his behavior. If they contacted the Jedi Council and the Supreme Chancellor, perhaps they would agree more should be done. She gave a loving look towards Zac’s back and closed the door. They would speak about it tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  22. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    Chapter 14

    Servants were serving the main course as Skylar returned. She had no appetite since this mission was unnerving, and her padawan was out of sorts over it. She would contact Thoran later for his advice.

    As she took her seat near Qui-Gon, he leaned over and whispered, “I trust you got your padawan under control.”

    Skylar sighed, “Master, he was not out of control, and you know it. There is deception all over; maybe he has a point.”

    “You know we need to exercise caution and diplomacy, Skylar,” Qui-Gon responded.

    They stopped speaking as a plate of nerf medallions and vegetables local to the region was placed in front of them.

    Xantos recognized the server as one of the men from the kitchen, glad Zac was no longer there. If the younger padawan remained, he would have told Skylar of the conversation they overheard. He knew Zac hadn’t told Skylar yet, because she would already be on her comlink contacting the Council.

    Skylar watched Delapar closely, and in her most diplomatic voice, she asked, “Prince Delapar, this must be a bittersweet time for you.”

    The prince held his wineglass halfway to his lips, “And why would that be, Jedi Malin?”

    With a serene expression, she replied, “You are about to become King, and yet there is no news on your brother and what may have happened to him.”

    Delapar gave no indication he had been offended, “My brother was a weak man and would have been a weak leader.”

    “You speak of him in the past tense,” Skylar gently pushed, “have your security forces obtained any news?”

    It was a fair question. However, Delapar did not expect to be questioned by the Jedi, “No, they have not. I thought the Jedi were here to observe and ensure a peaceful transition, not to question me.”

    “Of course, Your Majesty,” Skylar nodded. “Master Jinn, and I look forward to speaking to you further regarding the security of your Coronation.” With that, Skylar took a sip of water. Playing along with this man left a bad taste in her mouth.


    Meanwhile, it the apartment where the Jedi were staying, Zac finished his meditations. He did not meditate well and struggled to release his feelings into the Force. He also was hurt by Skylar not listening to him and put a shield up against their bond. He knew Skylar could force her way through it if she wanted to. He also knew she would not as she would respect his space for the time being.


    He pulled out his datapad and tried to decode the messages he had downloaded. It surprised him the codes were not complicated, and in moments he was reading about Delling’s disappearance.

    He pushed his datapad under a pillow when he heard the door open and was surprised to see Xanatos returning alone. “Where are Masters Qui-Gon and Skylar?” He asked.

    “Well, apparently, since I am only a Padawan,” Xanatos began sarcastically, “I get to return to the apartment and babysit the wayward Padwan.” He flopped down on the bed across from Zac. “What are you hiding,” Xanatos asked nodding to the pillow.

    It unnerved him that Xanatos knew he was hiding something, “My datapad.”

    Xanatos began to laugh, “Why? A padawan and his datapad go hand in hand.”

    Zac pulled out his datapad again, “Prince Delapar is responsible for Delling’s disappearance.”

    “Really?” Xanatos asked. “Do tell.”

    Zac was desperate for someone to listen to him and forgot all about Kaleb telling him to watch his back around Xanatos. “Here, Lady Rarr took custody of Prince Delling and is holding him alive so they can publically execute him for treason later.”

    “Whoa, and how do they expect to get away with that?” Xanatos asked, intrigued.

    Zac took a deep breath, “False data. They plan to show that Delapar was the honorable officer in his time with the Republic Navy and that Delling framed him for his misdeeds.”

    Xanatos did not say anything, but he appreciated that strategy. He escaped reprimands by using false facts. It was how he kept Qui-Gon and the Council praising him.

    “I need to tell Master Skylar,” Zac said, picking up his comlink.

    Xanatos used the force and pulled the comlink from him, “I think you got in enough trouble tonight. I’m taking a shower.” Xanatos grinned as the door to the refresher slid shut behind him. He knew Zac inquisitiveness would get the best of him.

    Qui-Gon and Skylar worked diligently with Prince Delapar, and he seemed to agree with some of their suggestions. Nevertheless, Skylar still did not trust him.

    “Your Highness,” Qui-Gon said neutrally, “On your coronation, we will close off the street leading to the palace and several others. This way, if there is protesting, it will be on the side streets well away from the palace.”

    Skylar added, “We recommend you do not punish your people for civil dissent. If you are penalizing your citizens and the HoloNet picks up on it, it would not look well for you.” She used her diplomacy and negation skills to make the prince believe she was looking out for his interests. While in actuality, she was protecting his people the only way she could right now.

    “Thank you, Jedi Malin,” Delapar said smoothly. “I will take this under advisement.”

    A knock on the door broke their attention, and Lady Rarr entered bowing to the Prince, “Your Majesty, please pardon the interruption. Could we borrow you briefly for a final fitting for your Coronation attire?”

    Skylar’s eyes narrowed. It was a strange time to be fitted for his clothing. However, she was sure the royal tailors have been working non-stop, and it could be what it seemed after all. Still, she did not trust anything about the events taking place.

    Skylar and Qui-Gon remained in the briefing room as the Prince excused himself. She felt a disturbance in the Force and then heard Zac desperately call to her over their bond.

    “Zac?” She called back. No reply came. There was only silence. She jumped to her feet.

    Qui-Gon quickly turned to her, “What is it, Skylar?” He asked, concerned.

    “Zac is in trouble,” she said in an anxious voice. “We have to find him! I can’t reach him over our bond!”

    Qui-Gon knew that meant the boy was likely no longer conscience since Skylar would have surely felt his death. As a Master, he knew how she felt. It is a terrible thing to have a master/padawan bond blocked.

    He reached out with his bond with his student and found Xanatos safe and unconcerned. Qui-Gon pulled out his comlink, “Xani.”

    Xanatos answered immediately, “Yes, Master?”

    “Have you seen Padawan Rinda?” Qui-Gon asked.

    “He was here when I returned to the apartment,” was the response. “When I finished my shower, he was gone. I assumed he went to find Skylar.”

    Skylar’s heart dropped. She began to pace back and forth with worry.

    In a few minutes, Delapar returned, “Is something wrong?”

    “Yes,” Skylar stopped pacing and faced the man. “My padawan is missing.”

    Delapar was very good at acting concerned, “Oh my! A missing child is not good; I will have my security team do an immediate sweep of the compound.” He stopped for a moment and turned to the two Masters, “I wonder if he wandered off the grounds. The resistance army is rather brutal.”

    Skylar studied the prince. She did not trust him, and she could tell he was hiding something. Not wanting to make him suspicious, she gave a slight bow, “I thank you for your concern, Prince Delapar. Any help you offer is greatly appreciated.” She pulled out her comlink, “If you would please excuse me.”

    Skylar stepped outside the room, and when she knew she was alone, she contacted Thoran. She was thrilled to hear that he and Kaleb were over the flu and would leave for Kuat immediately. She suddenly did not feel so alone anymore. It was good to hear his voice.

    “It’s my fault,” Skylar cried. “I knew he was anxious over this mission.”

    “We will be there before sunset tomorrow, Sky,” Thoran’s voice assured her. “We'll find him, I promise.”

    “Master Skylar, did Zac send you anything on your datapad?” The question was from Kaleb.

    “I don’t know,” Skylar stammered. “I left it in our room and have not checked. Why do you ask?”

    “I told him if you are separated from your Master and learn something about the mission, to transmit it to the Master right away.” There was worry in Kaleb’s voice.

    “I will check right away,” Skylar said she heard footsteps coming, “I will see you tomorrow.” She ended the transmission and went back into the briefing room.

    “Thoran and Kaleb are on their way,” Skylar told Qui-Gon.

    “And they are?” The prince questioned.

    “My husband and his apprentice, “Skylar told him. “If anyone can help me find Zac, it’s them. They will arrive tomorrow. Now I have to get my datapad.”


    “Wait,” Qui-Gon said, pulling out his commlink again, “Xani, please meet us in the war room and bring Master Skylar’s datapad.”

    “Of course, Master. I am on my way.” Xanatos ended the transmission.


    Delapar’s eyes darkened for a moment, and he said, “I was not aware Jedi were allowed to marry.” He was not planning on two more Jedi arriving. Their presence could unravel everything. They would need to move ahead with the executions and keep them quiet.

    Delapar responded, “ I will contact my security to start searching for the boy.”


    Shortly after the prince left the room, Xanatos arrived and handed Skylar the datapad. She, of course, would not find anything from Zac since he deleted the transmissions.

    “Thank you, Xanatos,” Skylar said. She read over her transmissions and did not find anything from her padawan. She began to feel sick. “There is nothing here.” She turned to Xanatos again, “What did you two do earlier today while you explored?”

    Xanatos moved closer to them and said in a low voice, “We found our way to the private royal residence. Zac saw a datapad and downloaded the information on his own,” he told them. “Didn't he tell you?”

    Skylar’s heart skipped a beat. Could this be what was bothering her young student? Did he feel he could not tell her?

    “No,” her response was a whisper.

    “Padawan Rinda withheld information?” Qui-Gon asked, his voice revealing have irritated he was.

    Skylar’s retort was sharp, "You were constantly reprimanding him. I can't say I blame him."

    Qui-Gon replied, “I was teaching him diplomacy.”

    “It is not your job to teach my student,” Skylar retorted. “While we are at it, Xanatos did not share this information either.”

    Xanatos sneered, “I would have, Master Skylar. As soon as we were alone, I would have been forthcoming. I would not have wandered off.”

    Skylar did not have a counter argument and was silent. She blamed herself for this.


    Zac woke a couple of hours later; he gingerly sat up, winded at the pain he felt in his ribcage. He took some deep breaths and rubbed the large lump on the back of his head. His hand was covered in blood when he pulled it away. “Ow,” he said out loud. He inwardly cursed himself for getting captured. He should have known the files he downloaded were too easy to decipher. He walked right into a trap.

    “You’re awake,” someone said quietly on the other side of the dimly lit cell.

    Zac was startled, and he moved against the wall, “Who are you?”

    The man moved into the light, and Zac gasped, “Prince Delling!” He recognized him even with his overgrown hair and beard.

    “It is me,” Delling nodded, “But who are you, Young One?”

    “My name is Padawan Zac Rinda,” told him. “I think I am the one meant to rescue you.”

    Delling gave a slight laugh, “rescue me? And who will rescue you?”

    Zac did not reply at first, and his hand went up to wind his padawan braid, something he did when he was thinking, “My braid is gone!”

    Delling nodded, “Delepar will want to execute us. He could not risk anyone learning you are a Jedi. I suppose you are the reason they have moved my execution up.”

    Zac shook his head, “NO!” He said, “We will get out of here; the Force tells me we will.”

    “Padawan, I know the Jedi well, and I respect the Force,” Delling said gently. “You are but a child. What can you possibly do?”

    Zac was tired of being reminded of his age, “I am a Jedi! I will do what the Force commands.”

    “We will need to do some planning,” Delling responded, liking this boy quite a bit. He was a master tactician and disciplined soldier. He, with a Jedi, albeit a child Jedi, would be a powerful duo.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  23. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I like this. Like, the Prince recognizes that Zac may be young, but he's not stupid.
     
  24. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    If your lurking let me know. I would love to know who is reading and reviewing. Suggestions are also welcomed. :);)=((

    Chapter 15

    If Skylar slept two hours that evening, it would have been a miracle. She finally gave up in the very early hours of the morning and moved to the large balcony of the apartment. Perhaps being outside and connecting with the living Force would help her. Struggling to find her center, she forces herself into calm and settled into her meditation position.

    A cool breeze blew on her face, and she inhaled deeply. Placing her hands out in front of her, she turned her palms up. She called Zac’s name into the Force, desperate for a response. She felt him; however, she knew he was far away, but still alive. Skylar realized that she had not bothered to listen to Zac. Maybe if she had, he would not be missing. Guilt filled her. She opened her eyes and whispered, “I will find you, Zac.”

    Qui-Gon felt Skylar’s struggle during meditation over the bond as he stood silently watching her. He briefly wondered if he should join her and assist in grounding her. Xanatos waking up and entering the common area of the area stopped him.

    “Good Morning, Xanatos,” Qui-Gon said, turning away from Skylar and facing Xanatos.

    Xanatos stretched and yawned, “Good Morning, Master. “

    Qui-Gon was pleased to see that at least Xanatos appeared to have slept well. Qui-Gon went to the small kitchen area and prepared to make tea for them all.

    Skylar sensing Qui-Gon and Xanatos decided to give up on meditating. She stood up and stood there a few minutes watching the sunrise before walking back into the apartment. She did not say anything as she moved into the refresher. Maybe a hot shower would help her focus. Feeling her head was as clear as it was going to get, she brushed her hair back and wrapped it into a simple bun on the back of her head.

    Qui-Gon gave her a nod as he handed a cup of her favorite tea prepared just as she liked. His eyes appeared to have compassion, “thank you, Master.”

    ‘The Prince wants to meet us as soon as possible,” Qui-Gon told her.

    Skylar jumped to her feet, “did he find out anything about Zac?”

    “He did not say,” Qui-Gon replied. He understood her concern. However, the coronation would need to take precedence.

    A short time later, they were in the grand ballroom. Delapar greeted them, “Good Morning, you slept well, I trust.”

    Skylar kept her features neutral but thought to herself, How could I sleep well? My padawan is missing, and my senses tell me you know more than you let on. She decided to allow Qui-Gon to do the talking for now. It would probably be for the best. She did not trust her emotions at this time.

    Qui-Gon gave a slight nod. “Thank you, Your Majesty. The accommodations you provided are quite comfortable.”

    “Good,” Delapar replied, “I do need your advice. My advisors feel with all the turmoil and a missing Jedi Padawan; we should move away from a Constitutional Monarchy to an Absolute.”

    Qui-Gon folded his arms, “That would require Parliament approval.”

    “Not if I temporarily disband Parliament,” Delapar replied. “I would like to squash the uprisings. An innocent boy is missing, presumed dead…”

    Skylar interrupted harshly, “He is not dead! I would feel it if he was.”

    Delapar gave her a sympathetic glance, “I wish there were an easy way to tell you.” He held out his hand, and in it was Zac’s padawan braid. Skylar’s hand immediately went to her mouth. When she saw some of Zac’s blood on the hair, she choked back a sob. Once again, she released her feelings into the Force, knowing it would not help Zac if she allowed her anxiety to get the best of her.

    She took the braid, “Thank you, Your Majesty.” Skylar closed her eyes, calling out to her Padawan with the Force. Hoping against all hope, he would answer her back.

    Zac felt Skylar’s Force signature. He attempted to call back to her. When he did, nausea, dizziness, and a painful pounding in his head almost overcame him.

    Prince Delling noticed and went to his side, “Are you all right?"

    “I will be, I felt my Master through our Force Bond. But they must have given me a concussion when they hit me in the back of my head. I can’t touch the bond right now.” Not just because it was painful, but because it could also cause swelling of the brain. He held back tears, refusing to behave as if he still belonged in the creche.

    Delling took pity on the boy. While he was brave and a Jedi child, he was still just that. A child. “Will you be able to follow our plan?”

    ‘Yes,” Zac said confidently. “When the guards come, I will use the Force to confuse them. As long as the resistance is ready like you say, we should be able to escape.”

    Delling told him, “The resistance is loyal to me. We will not have trouble finding allies. Once we find those allies, we will be able to contact your Master. They likely won’t come for us until well after dark. They need to keep our capture and execution a secret."

    “In that case, I need to prepare,” Zac sat in a meditative position on the hard floor. Delling watched him silently as he went into a deep meditation. Delling was impressed with his bravery and his resolve. He would be sure to tell his master how proud she should be.

    Skylar left Delapar with Xanatos and Qui-Gon as the Crown Prince worked to suspend the planet’s legislative body so he could move forward with moving his government to an Absolute Monarchy. She did not approve of the situation, and her heart told her Delapar knew what happened to Zac. He not only understood, but he was also directly involved. She held her head high as she moved toward the landing platforms. She knows Thoran and Kaleb would be landing soon.

    Her heart lept as she saw the Republic cruiser come into view. Finally, the entrance to the starship opened, and Thoran came bounding out with Kaleb close behind him. She didn’t say a word as she placed Zac’s braid in Thoran’s hand. Kaleb gasped, he could not help it. Thoran immediately took Skylar in his arms. The days of anxiety and fear had finally caught up to her; she sobbed against his chest. He rubbed her back and whispered words of comfort, “I’m here now, it will be all right. We will find him.”

    After a few minutes, she was able to speak, “Prince Delling said he is presumed dead. But I can feel him, he is far away, but alive. He has to be. I will never forgive myself if something happens to him.”

    Feeling better if they spoke in private, Thoran guided her into the cruiser to the common area, “tell me everything, no matter how small the detail.”

    Skylar recounted the first night here and the disastrous dinner and how the last time she saw him was when she ordered him to meditate. “I gave Qui-Gon too much leeway. I allowed him to discipline Zac. By the time I regained control, it was too late," she ruefully admitted.

    “So after you left him alone in the room, what happened,” Thoran gently probed.

    Skylar thought a moment, “Qui-Gon sent Xanatos back to the apartment. He made an offhanded comment about being forced to babysit the ‘wayward padawan.’"

    Kaleb interjected in a worried tone, “So Xanatos was the last one to see him?” He slammed his fist in his hand, “I told him to watch his back around him and not to trust him.”

    “Easy, Padawan, we will talk to Xanatos soon,” Thoran told Kaleb. Turning back to Skylar, “What happened after Qui-Gon sent Xanatos to the apartment.”

    Skylar continued, “We went over the Coronation plans for a while, and he was called away to a fitting for his ceremonial clothing.” She fell silent for a moment and jumped up, “oh my Force; I was such a fool.”

    “What do you mean,” Thoran asked her.

    Skylar sat down slowly and leaned over he hands in her hair, “He wasn’t gone long enough for that. He kept me distracted long enough to take Zac.”

    Thoran considered her words, “Did Zac send you any messages at all to your datapad?”

    “No,” she shook her head, “Xanatos brought me my datapad. There was nothing there.”

    Thoran and Kaleb exchanged glances, “Master Sky,” Kaleb asked her, “May I see your datapad?”

    She handed him the datapad, and he immediately plugged it into the ship's splicer. Skylar could not believe she had been so blind. Xanatos had never been honest before, why would he be honest now.

    Thoran took Skylar’s hand, “Kaleb, you see if you can find anything on Sky’s datapad. We will go to see Qui-Gon and Xanatos. “
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
  25. The1stJediPrincess

    The1stJediPrincess Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2010
    If you are reading let me know!!! [face_praying] I'm working on the next chapter now,


    Forged Bonds Chapter 16

    When Zac came out of his meditative trance, he heard footsteps coming towards their cell. He jumped to his feet, and Delling gave him a nod of encouragement.

    This is it, he said to himself. He willed himself to remain calm, trying to ignore the headache that remained.

    Lady Rarr came into view flanked by two guards, “Prince Delling, you have been found guilty of treason, and herby are sentenced to death by firing squad.”

    “That’s a lie! He hasn’t committed treason, and you know it!” Zac shouted.

    Lady Rarr turned to Zac. She said, “You, Padawan Rinda, will share the same fate. However, your body will be fed to the wild animals to hide the evidence.”

    Delling was calm when he asked, “And the boy has committed what crime?”

    “The crime of being too clever, too nosey, and a real kriffing pain in the ass,” Rarr responded coldly. She opened the cell. That was Zac’s chance, he used to force, and suddenly crates were airborne and smashing into the backs of the guards. In confusion, he used the force and pushed Lady Rarr back into her guards. At the same time, Zac called the guards blasters to him. He stumbled a bit while dizziness briefly overcame him, but he quickly recovered and tossed a blaster to Delling.

    Zac was surprised by the fact the guards, and Lady Rarr were all unconscious, he thought in his weakened state, he would only be able to daze them. It did not take Delling and Zac long to move the three unconscious figures into the cell and locked the door. “We have to hurry, kid,” Prince Delling told Zac. “They will not be out long.”

    Zac nodded, again feeling dizzy and nauseous and used the Force to push the dizziness away. The two ran down a hallway. Guards met them at the first turn. Delling wasted no time firing his blaster. Zac did the same, wishing he had his lightsaber with him. With another force push, the path was clear again. However, it did not remain clear for long.

    Twenty armed guards blocked the next hallway, and they halted. Zac quickly assessed the situation. Without his lightsaber, there was no possible way to escape. He braced for the worse. Blaster fire sounded in the air. Zac flinched but was surprised when he and Prince Delling were not injured.

    Once the blaster fire ceased, they saw a small company of soldiers. The man in the front spoke, “Your Majesty, please follow me.” Zac immediately recognized him.

    “You’re the butler who was in the palace’s kitchen,” Zac exclaimed.

    “I’m Major Tarrick Dayrider,” the man responded. “Please hurry Your Majesty; we must leave.” Tarrick was relieved he had found them before it was too late. He was also glad he had seen the young Jedi’s weapon when they first breached the prison. As they turned the corner and broke into a run, Tarrick put out his hand towards Zac, “Here, thought you might need this.”

    Zac grinned as he felt the hilt of his lightsaber in his hand. His headache was still there, but he soldiered on and pushed forward.

    *******

    Skylar and Thoran walked into the apartment provided to them by the royal family. Qui-Gon was there with Xanatos. Thoran respectfully bowed to Qui-Gon before he spoke, “Xanatos, what happened the night you last saw Zac?”

    Xanatos hid his surprise, “I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean, Master Sannes.”

    “What exactly did you and Zac talk about?” Thoran pushed.

    “We aren’t exactly friends,” Xanatos shrugged. “I would have nothing to say to that kid.”

    Qui-Gon moved next to his padawan, “Thoran, what is the meaning of this questioning?”

    “He was the last one to see Zac,” Thoran calmly said. “He was also in possession of Skylar’s datapad.”

    Skylar looked on Qui-Gon, “Zac would not have disappeared on his own. He also would send me a message if he were going to gather intel on his own.” She was silent as she waited for Qui-Gon to reflect on her words. She hoped he would hear her. She was soon disappointed.

    “This is ludicrous,” Qui-Gon barked. “Padawan Rinda was insolent from the moment we landed on Kuat. He insulted Prince Delapar…”

    Skylar interrupted him, “Master, do you hear yourself? Delapar is likely behind both the disappearances of both Prince Delling and Zac.”

    “Again, we do not have the authority to interfere,” Qui-Gon told her impatiently. “Besides, Zac left that apartment on his own accord. Had he followed protocol, he would not be missing.”

    Skylar was seething inside, “Since when do you of all people you care about protocol?”

    Before Qui-Gon could respond, his comlink went off.

    Qui-Gon answered, “This is Master Jinn.”

    Mace Windu’s voice came over the speaker, “Qui-Gon, are Skylar and Thoran with you?”

    “We are here, Master Windu,” Thoran responded.

    Mace replied, “Is Padawan Rinda still missing?”

    “Yes, Master Windu,” Skylar said. “I need to find him.”

    Mace agreed, “You do, and you have the blessing of the Council and the Supreme Chancellor.”

    This change in plans greatly disturbed Xanatos, “What of the coronation? Will Delapar still be crowned King?"

    “The coronation will be postponed,” was Mace’s solemn reply. “We have been contacted by the Resistance. There is a rescue plan to free Prince Delling as well as a boy imprisoned with him.”

    Skylar felt her hope rise, “Is it Zac?”

    “We are not sure,” Mace admitted. “But we feel it most likely is.”

    Skylar, Thoran, and Kaleb felt relief flashing over them. Even Qui-Gon seemed reassured. No one noticed Xanatos was the only one who did not seem pleased.

    “Continue with the Coronation plans,” Windu ordered. “Do not let on there is now an active investigation, and more Jedi will be arriving shortly. Windu out.”

    Thoran spoke first, “Let me go get Kaleb. I don’t want him to come here alone.” Prince Delapar was already brazen enough to take one padawan; he would not put it past him to try to kidnap another.

    Qui-Gon nodded, “Skylar, you go with them so you can guide them back. Xani and I will go to the War Room. Meet us there.”

    “Yes, Master,” Skylar told him. “We will be there soon.”

    Skylar and Thoran quickly made their way back to the Republic cruiser. They found Kaleb still studying Skylar’s datapad. He was quietly muttering under his breath in frustration.

    “I can confidently say there are erased communications on here,” Kaleb told them. “Whoever did it knew their way around your programs.”

    That meant the person who tampered with the device was familiar with the programming provided by the Jedi Temple. Xanatos was the only one with the opportunity and, as much as they hated to admit it, the motive.

    Skylar asked, “Did you find anything from Zac?”

    “No,” Kaleb shook his head sadly, “whoever did this corrupted some of the data files. I’m sorry I was not successful.”

    Skylar put her arm around Kaleb, “You have nothing to apologize for. You figured out my datapad was tampered with.”

    “I’m worried about Zac,” Kaleb said. He also wanted to admit he was afraid, but Jedi were not supposed to fear.

    Thoran was intuned to his padawan’s feelings, “We all are concerned about him. We are all probably a bit fearful.” He put one arm around Kaleb and his other around Skylar. “We are together, and together we will stand strong.”

    Skylar gripped Zac’s braid in her hand and took in Thoran’s words. They would find him together.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020