A/N: Well here with chapter six, this is where things start picking up speed. As usual I do not own Star Wars belongs to Disney, brainchild of George Lucas. The only character I own is Senvrek and any other OCs, and my plot.
Chapter Six: Striking the Bargain
A Jedi never fully falls asleep. The last time Obi-Wan recalls getting a full night's sleep was just before his thirteenth life day, a gentle Force suggestion from the creche master lulling him safely into the arms of the stars and the Force despite the anticipation of getting shipped to the Service Corps weighing heavily upon his young mind, and then the Force brought security in the form of the Maverick Master, the Force pushing them together, despite the Maverick's bucking and braying.
Tonight, Obi-Wan notes, feels much the same. Perhaps it's the anticipation of never having raced and yet knowing the danger such events can pose, perhaps it's the weight of his hilt hidden deeply in his cloaks so as to remain undetected, perhaps the whir of the sand and the wind in lieu of the noise and chaos of the Coruscanti square's traffic at night or the gentle bubbling of the temple fountains.
He glances to the room opposite where he knows Senvrek to be resting, feels the miniscule unrest in the man's slight form. He then makes his decision.
He sits upon his heels allowing his cloak to billow around him as he enters the first meditation position and the Force greets him as an old friend.
Obi-Wan had never been much one for meditation as a young Padawan. The Force often provided too much for it to offer any sort of center point to his worrier's mind. But tonight...tonight Obi-Wan finds the center quickly enough. The current expands easily in his mind, and he feels something different within the gentle waves, something not quite so gentle. A rip current threatening to drag him under. He prods carefully and feels fear enough to suffocate a bantha. But this fear is not his own. Unrestrained, ill controlled, and a beacon of muddied Force energy bright enough to engulf those around it, a star exploding. And then suddenly before Obi-Wan can pull out, something frenzied latches onto him, a brief moment and a desperate cry, a child's cry.
Obi-Wan pulls out of the meditation blinking, the feeling dissipates as quickly as it made itself known and the Force is beating steadily once more with only an undertone of dread that sits squarely on Obi-Wan's heart. He looks to his right expecting to see a wry twinkling gaze, an instinctual habit, but his companion in quelling doubt, his teacher and mentor, is within republic limits and the Force does not willingly reveal her intentions on this night.
A young knight lost in his own tendrils of thought, a lesson forgotten, provides opportunity as silent footfalls stop short near the improvised sleep set up. Senvrek studies the position of his companion. A brief breeze through the open window, a rustling of fabric reveals what the young man suspected, a silver hilt attached to a belt loop. A lightsaber, the weapon of the Jedi.
The next day brings with it anticipation. It is the day of the race, but Obi-Wan finds himself alone. Senvrek is nowhere to be found, nonetheless a small meal is set out on the counter for him. He eats slowly, knowing that any effort to eat too fast prior to piloting of any kind is discomfort waiting to happen. There is something strange in the air, and although only the smallest tendril of the prior night's emotions hang within the Force, he cannot help but wonder if the two sensations are connected.
Focus. He shakes his head. If this is anything more than nerves it will make itself known in time. Dwelling is unbecoming.
Elsewhere, in the same shop, another form of bargaining is happening, and a young boy is awakened from accidental slumber as his lolling head raps against the counter and he drops the part he was cleaning.
Poodoo. Anakin thought. Watto'll have my ear for that. He jumped down and grabbed the part, and just as he was about to stand back up, he heard the sound of Watto and a customer.
"What's so important Dareen that you had to come in so early on a race day? Flaking outta the bet already uh?"
"On the contrary." This voice is unfamiliar to Anakin, at its current volume at least. The boy had heard this customer talking to Watto in whispers, recognizes the secondhand boots. This was the fellow that always bet with Watto on race days, and always lost. "Our stakes just grew my friend."
"What could you possibly have to interest me Senvrek, you as nothing but a dead weight dealer eh, nothing of value, not even a skill?"
"Not what Watto."
"I have no interest in riddles, stop wasting my time."
"I happen to know a way that you could ensure no further disruption from the Hutts."
"And what would that be?"
"An acquaintance of mine. I believe you've dealt with him before."
"I deal with lots of people boy," Watto harrumphed.
"Do you deal with many Jedi?"
Anakin backed away, biting down on his lip hard to keep from crying out. The stake raiser was a Jedi. This was...well this was wizard! A Jedi had been here? In Watto's shop. Maybe the Jedi was here to free them! Except Anakin wasn't quite sure why...the back of his neck tickled. It all felt upside down. He had the sudden urge to heave, and his head was swimming with a bunch of things he couldn't make sense of.
He tried to focus listening to terms and agreements he wasn't supposed to hear, too curious to worry what should happen if he were caught. Watto would provide the money, regardless of the outcome of the race and the man, well he would handle the Jedi.
Anakin didn't like the look on the man's face. He could read a lot of things there: guilt, anger, greed, but something just told Anakin that as the man shook hands with Watto, something other than the life of a Jedi had been bargained with. Something final.
In the shadowed halls of the Jedi Temple, the Force was unsettled. Qui-Gon Jinn, returning finally from the summit felt a tangle of desperate images, some foreboding sense, and as he went to the council chambers for the required briefing, he knew that this would be another memorable council session, but not one he would find amusement in.
A/N: So Senvrek is throwing Obi-Wan in the deep end, and Anakin overheard the conversation between him and Watto. What do you suppose this means for the upcoming race?
Next chapter: the council meeting, the race and all the "lovely" consequences as such as Obi-Wan faces the reality of his mission and makes a drastic decision.