Komari sat in the main hold of the starship Wintarr, going over the reports again.
The reports had been clearly redacted, apparently to avoid hinting at the main source's identity. It didn't obscure the source's observations of Galidraan very much, and Komari snorted at the concluding of one section. I am aware that governments seldom work so well as we might like, but it seems to me that the situation on Galidraan may require some looking into.
Yoda's source certainly had a gift for understatement. And came across as young and naive, yet also thorough and resourceful. Intel was confident that the 'Joanna Matchley' who'd apparently owned the salvaged datapad had been one of the recent colonists to Galidraan. That little venture, colonists killed in a hidden military base near the capital, Galidra, had to be one of the odd factoids making Yoda counsel caution.
How close those Mandalorians had come to killing Kenobi made her less inclined to caution, but letting that impact her, other than as a reminder of the risks of caution, was very unJedi.
Master Qui-Gon took a seat next to her, datapad in hand, and said "You seem pleased."
Did she? "I'm looking forward to checking on Kenobi."
Qui-Gon blinked. "Obi-Wan Kenobi?"
"He's one of the Medical Corp Jedi on Galidraan. From his messages, his studies are going well, though of course not so well as he'd like. I felt him in danger some days ago. That's must've been the battle with Mandalorians. He claims to be alright, but it'll be good to confirm that with my own eyes. Had you not read that part yet, Master?"
"Not yet." He raised his datapad, still in the process.
Komari accepted that. There was over a day yet before their arrival. "It's near the end," she said.
Master Qui-Gon skipped to it, and Komari meditated, practicing the body-examination meditation that Obi-Wan had insisted she work on.
She'd long since learned it, of course, but mastering it to the level needed for healing was giving her fits.
After twenty-some minutes, Qui-Gon broke the silence. "His conduct reads as exemplary, if aggressive. You say you felt him in danger?"
"It was brief, but the Force was clear. I was proud of how calm he was, except for short moments at the beginning and the end. It seems his actions would've done any Padawan proud."
"What's done is done. There's no need to re-litigate his lack of selection."
"I wasn't intending to. But I think you know that if I had been a Knight already, I would've taken him on as my Padawan. If he were a year younger, I'd be impudently nagging the council to let me take the Trials so I could take him on if he had no other options. I saw a great Knight in him. I'm pleased to see evidence that he has the talent and drive to follow two paths at once."
"Perhaps," said Qui-Gon, "but only to an extent. To truly master a subject, one must focus upon it. But it's impressive that you felt his danger from so far away."
Komari said, "He contacted me through the Force the next day. Just to show he was alright." Komari reached out with the Force, her breathing slowing, and did not find Kenobi so hard to find. She felt him notice her attention, and respond in kind.
Komari said, "Kenobi. Kenobi. Do you hear me?" After a long pause, Komari shook her head and said to Master Qui-Gon. "Words are beyond us, it seems."
"We're still many lightyears away." Qui-Gon frowned. Komari saw that the Master was struggling with whether to believe her or not. Few if any Master and Padawan pairs could've managed that.
She said, "Would you like to learn Kenobi's Force Cycling Technique?"
"Kenobi... the way he meditates?" said Qui-Gon.
"It's more than meditation," said Komari.
"I've seen it. It seems dangerous. Rather than centering himself in the Force, he centered the Force around himself."
Komari said, "I'm tempted to say the technique accomplishes both at once, but that's not quite right. To be honest, we don't yet fully understand it, though I am growing closer."
"You've learned it yourself? That's foolish. It may at first be merely of interest, but 'mere interest' in dark techniques has led many astray."
"I am studying it under the supervision of Master Yoda and my own master, neither of whom regard it as a dark technique, only a difficult one."
"Master Dooku is learning it?"
Master Dooku walked in, having apparently heard the end of the conversation. "I'm failing to learn it, as yet. A great deal of ingrained habit must be overcome. I suspect I'm too old to ever become truly comfortable with it. We are more than prepared to forbid Komari from using it if such proves necessary, but thus far it has not. You might give it a try, my old Padawan. I believe it would suit you."
Komari doubted Qui-Gon would. It would mean admitting he should've taken Obi-Wan on.
Obi-Wan spent four days inside the house, only occasionally going out into the yard, as Master Dorla disapproved of it. That didn't bore him, particularly. He could tolerate weeks of it. But considering recent events, he didn't find it relaxing either.
He meditated, trained with his lightsaber, with Andi and without her. He nagged her into giving his 'weird' meditation another try, and spent more time studying one on one with Master Dorla than he had in weeks.
The news took his attention from the developing routine.
Unconfirmed rumors said that the two captured suspects from the Slight Plaza massacre had been being transported by armored speeder when the speeder had been attacked, the driver and guards killed, the prisoners freed and whisked off.
It felt off. A lot of things felt off. And a Jedi taskforce was coming. Master Dorla had told him so.
Andi and Master Dorla were both in their rooms.
He went into his own, and changed into street clothes that in no way identified him as a Jedi. He grabbed his bag, and, working hard to forget Master Dorla's order to stay inside, left the house, eating up the pavement with quick strides, and sat to wait at the nearest airbus stop.
He'd studied the city map. He knew where the spaceport was.
Obi-Wan climbed to a high walkway to get a better look around. The main passenger port, all nice and shiny. The larger, industrial complex for freight after it. The stubby area next to it which housed Galidraan's tiny patrol fleet. In the distance, the pre-fabricated hangers that had been dropped with Galidraan's original colonists two centuries ago and had long since been left to decay.
He could wander around it for hours and hours, and Master Dorla kept comming him.
Obi-Wan answered the comm, said, "Yeah, I'm fine, don't worry, bye," and turned his comm off. He would be in a lot of trouble later, but that was later. Best to focus on the here and now.
He set off for the military complex. He couldn't go inside, probably, but who knew what a circuit of the fence might reveal to a Jedi? He didn't know what he was looking for, only that something was off, and there had been a spaceship that was connected to what was off, probably, and where would you look for a spaceship other than the spaceport?
He needed half an hour of fast walking to reach the military complex, and its proved to be electrified, with razor wire on top. The guards on the other side looked through him as he walked around it. He saw grass, hangers, a few small ships, one being worked on. A double-line of men and women jogging. One ship landed, and two took off, both headed, as best as he could tell, for space.
Nothing of note. He had thought of sneaking inside, but he was being watched. Not just by the watchers too, but by others he couldn't see. Being watched was a distinctive feeling, and military watchers, he was finding, made him particularly antsy.
He peeled off when he completed the circuit, and headed for the industrial section, the edge of which was just across the street. A lot more was going on there. Lifts. Large machines transporting great quantities of massive boxes. Some of the machines had actual wheels, which was cool. He'd never seen wheels on any sort of vehicle before. Not in person, at least.
But by the time he'd reached the far end of it, he'd had his fill of it, and it was probably more efficient, time wise, to continue on to the old abandoned spaceport anyway, so he did that rather than making the full circuit around the industrial section.
As he approached the abandoned section, the trees grew larger, gnarlier. Grass overgrown, the road rough, little plants expanding cracks in the duracrete.
Obi-Wan was used to old buildings. The Jedi Temple on Coruscant was thousands of years old. When he'd focused, the sense of those many generations had risen like wind from the lower levels.
Next to that, the abandoned hangers were young. But they were neglected, allowed to fall apart, to age into disrepair and senility, having never been designed for the long term in the first place. Gaps showed in the roofs.
The fence around them was new, with new razor wire on top, but that wasn't surprising. They'd have to replace it every now and then, to keep kids out.
Still, his eyes caught on the square of old buildings that had probably been the center of the place in its heyday. Overgrown. Mossy. Holes here and there.
Nothing distinguished it, except the feeling that he was being watched.
As the Jedi taskforce reverted from hyperspace as near to the planet as hyperspace could take them, they received an urgent message from the Governor. Intelligence services had located the Mandalorians, apparently in the process of preparing for an assault on a town of innocent colonists. The Governor was requesting immediate intervention.
Komari didn't like the sound of that. She knew her master didn't either. Yoda had advised caution and distrust of the Governor, and now the Governor was rushing them into combat. But they couldn't not defend the town.
Accordingly, they re-routed away from the spaceport, their original destination.
I'm struggling mightily to not imagine datapads as iPads. Maybe I just should.
I saw The Last Jedi. There were many booms and bangs and lots of angsty shouting, and I found it very boring. And I thought it made the Original Trilogy futile. And it made Luke lame. And the Force weird and easy. And I thought that Rey was a pretty good main character, and the movie was curiously uninterested in treating her like one.
I'm concerned that they're going to try and do a mirror image of Anakin's arc from the prequels. Kylo Ren is evil for the first two movies, then goes good and saves the Jedi and everyone loves him and he's revealed as the true main character.
Excuse me as I vomit.
But if you liked it, good on you!
Yes, originally, Qui-Gon didn't go to Galidraan. He was going with Obi-Wan on age-appropriate missions instead. Or at least, missions that were supposed to be age-appropriate before they got out of hand. Now, he has no Padawan.
Sorry for the late update. I shouldn't leave it hanging in the middle of an arc.