Tullk was furious. He watched livid the locals celebrate whatever they were celebrating feeling furious and worried. They'd been knocked out by some punk, left in swamp, woken up to find the ship gone and to make matters worse now the boys had gone to ground meaning their tracking signal was now useless. All of this culminating with the reality that Yondu was going to have their hide. But while that was worrisome the fact was they were missing again. Though he didn't have a soft spot for them unlike the Capt, he still didn't think they were too bad so he was worried about them.
"Now what?" Oblo asked his gaze going over the crowd in the hopes of finding the boys not that'd it do him any good he'd checked. "We ain't got the boys now."
"We head back," Tullk said the bitter taste of defeat thick in his mouth. "Captain Yondu will know what to do."
"He'll gut us," Oblo shivered as they turned away from the parade walking back to their ship. "He's gonna kill us."
"I know but we ain't got no choice," Tullk signed as he briefly turned back gazing at the cheering crowds. Those boys were going to be the death of him. "He said either git the boys or we comin' back. Bounty hunters will git 'em. Make no mistake."
"You say so," Oblo shrugged looking resigned. "But I reckon those boys won't be found for a while."
"Yeah," Tullk sighed. "I git the impression too. It's gonna be a while before we see those boys again..."
"Okay," Peter said as they left Naboo space quickly jumping into hyperspace. "So it's gonna be you and me. Shmi and the others will get the ship?"
"That's the plan," Obi-Wan agreed. "Unless you've got an objection to that?"
"Nope," Peter shook his head. Count on Obi-Wan to at least ask. Yondu didn't even bother to ask for another opinion or even for a plan come to think of it.
"So we're ship shopping for a possible mother ship?"
"Yes Ani you are," Peter said to him. "Feel fortunate that I include you in that considering that stunt you pulled."
"Stunt?" Shmi's voice became glacial as she walked up the ladder having put Ahsoka to bed. Not that Peter could blame her this was an exhausting kind of day. "What stunt?"
"Kid flew a ship and took out the droid control ship nearly getting himself killed," Peter helpfully said even as Anakin looked at him with a slight scowl. "Hey," he barked at the boy. "I told you to stay outta trouble."
"And I told you I couldn't help that," Anakin bite back. "It was on autopilot and what was I supposed to do?"
"Stay out. Look the fact you were a help to the battle is good and no it wasn't your fault," Obi-Wan interjected. Anakin sagged with relief while Peter felt a little flat footed at being told off considering that Obi-Wan was vehemently against him going to fight.
"But consider how worried you made everyone," he continued. "Sure you helped but at the same time you could've been killed. All I'm saying is if you find yourself in a jam then be smart about it. Stuff like this kills people and just because you're lucky now doesn't mean it will hold up later. Got it?"
"What he said and more," Peter added. "We care about you doofus and we worry okay? So don't do stupid stunts. Understand?"
"O-okay," Anakin said softly clearly not used to people outside his mother and Qui-Gon caring about him. "Got it, I'll be careful."
"You'd better," Peter said giving him a rare serious look. "I mean it."
"Getting back on topic we're going to drop you off on Nar Shadda in the morning," Obi-Wan said as he looked at the map they'd gotten at the Temple. "Then we're heading to Cato Neimoidia. Then we're completing the mission and start recruiting."
"Neimoidia...like those guys that attacked the Naboo?"
"Yeah but he ain't part of the Trade Federation leadership according to Roz," Peter told Jazre. "He's got nothin' to do with them."
"He'd better, because he's with the murderer that killed Jinn...I'll gut him pay or no," Jazre said with dark promise.
"That assassin was a Sith," Obi-Wan replied. "I don't think he or the Trade Federation for that matter have anything to do with it."
"Sith?" Anakin asked. "What's a Sith?"
"A follower of the Dark Side," Obi-Wan said. "They use passion for strength and power to dominate over others."
"So...passions are a bad thing?" Peter asked. "I mean you can be passionate about justice. Passion ain't all bad."
"That's true but most of the time it can lead to sense of self righteousness and arrogance. Passion is something that Jedi try to avoid," Obi-Wan said. "I mean think of it this way, if you let passion get in the way of your thinking then wouldn't that cause issues for us?"
"Fair enough point," Peter conceded. "So you ain't allowed to feel anything?"
"No," Obi-Wan shook his head. "That's a common misconception. We can feel but we learn to control ourselves so as not to let our emotions get in the way of things that we need to do. So when the Jedi say release your feelings to the Force what they mean is confront your issues, examine them, deal with them and then let it go. Part of being a Jedi is the betterment of a person. So we can feel emotion we just confront and control them."
"So you don't let your heart think so you use your head," Peter said echoing a common phrase that Yondu used to teach him when his was younger.
"Exactly, also the Sith want to rule the galaxy."
"Oh...OH! So they're like Skeletor or Megatron? Dude that's not good."
"And mesa thinkin' that wesa loss for who Mr. Skeletor issa now okeday?"
Peter looked his confused audience sighing that no one understood his references. Oh boy was that going to have to change in the future. "I mean they're the bad guy like Ming the Merciless. Bad hombres."
"Yes Peter," Obi-Wan said with amused grin. "They're the bad guys. Next time use something else like the legendary Lord Momin or Prince Humperdink or Vizzini."
"Good to hear whatever y'all talking about," Jazre said yawning. "So we're going to this Nar place?"
"Yes, it's known as the Smugglers Moon. It's a haven for people like us in the galaxy."
"So is it a base candidate?"
"I'd choose Batuu to be honest for that," Obi-Wan shook his head as he answered Jazre. "It's the furthest planet so it wouldn't be so hard to get to."
"Like a refueling station," Peter said catching Obi-Wan's train of thought. "So we use it to refuel then go into the Core."
"That's the idea."
"Sounds like a plan," Jazre agreed turning towards the ladder.
"Wesa going dere to get ship?" Jar Jar asked finally speaking up. "Mesa tinking that wesa be better off in Republic."
"No," Shmi shook her head. "That would be foolish. We did just leave Republic space and chances are our faces..."
"Particularly yours," Peter pointed at Anakin who had the good grace to look sheepish. "Are probably splashed across whatever passes for news there. Besides we ain't gonna be using the mother ship for a while until we get a decent sized crew. So we're starting at the bottom."
"Oh and as for news the main hub is called HoloNet news Peter or HNN for short. There are some smaller affliates like NEXU network or INW or PBUS."
"So it's like CBS, PBS or ABC at home only kinda of?"
"Earthian stations," Obi-Wan said to Jazre. "You'll get used to him spouting out random Earthian stuff."
"Hey what can I say man? I like to reference Earth a lot," Peter said with a shrug. "It's my home planet after all. Ain't gonna forget it."
"Milky Way Galaxy, it's an M-class planet. Way out of the way of the Nova or Kree Empires or so I figured since they've never invaded far as I know...Anyway long story short, I was kidnapped from there when I was a kid actually."
"Yeah Ani," Peter said to the boy's shocked face. "I was kidnapped so count your blessings that you have your mom and people that care about you at all. I got stuck with pirates that threaten to eat me if I did something wrong. So think about that the next time you think of getting into a jam like that."
"Oh," Anakin breathed clearly caught off guard by the admission. "Is that why...?"
"Uh huh, that's why I worry."
"Well I worry because I've seen war zones," Obi-Wan said drolly. "I've seen people killed. Killed people, participated in massacres, seen the aftereffects of massacres. So I've been around the block being a slave soldier and all."
"Ah," Jar Jar said with understanding coming over his face. "That's why yousa suggested that mesa people dying when wesa were at Otoh Gunga?"
"Well thatsa explains it."
"Good," Peter said clapping his hands so he could gain the attention of those present. "Now that we've established this. We'll be assigning tasks now. Ani, you help Jazre with the ships preferably one we can pilot with skeletal crew until we can fill up the roster. Shmi and Jar Jar you've got babysitting duties and supply run. Keep a good eye on Ahsoka she's a crafty one. Obi-Wan and I will take care of the deal and the job."
"I'll negotiate," Obi-Wan chimed in.
"Well duh," Peter rolled his eyes. "Any tom-fool would know that."
"Is he that good?"
"Ah Jazre," Peter smiled at him. "He'd sell your ship and your mother right under you so fast your head would spin."
"Well then," Shmi said with a smile. "May I suggest we get ready for the trip. Sleeping would be a good idea considering that we've all had an exhausting day today."
"Alright, to bed and then tomorrow to Nar Shadda and Cato Neimoidia."
Waking up was interesting considering that he heard noises outside his room. He shook his head groggily trying to figure out when and what was going on. Then the memories of yesterday asserted themselves into his mind calming him. He was on the Milano with Jazre, Anakin, Shmi, Jar Jar, Ahsoka and Peter. They were going to drop them off on Nar Shaddaa. Quickly he put on this clothes and walked out to the smell of breakfast cooking. Shmi smiled as he entered the kitchen with Ahsoka following behind him bopping into in her excitement to get to the seat. Obi-Wan smiled at her enthusiasm as he sat down. Shmi put a plate of food which he nodded in thanks.
"Have you eaten?" He asked as he began munching on his breakfast.
"Yes," Shmi answered. "I decided that it would be best if I eat before preparing for everyone."
"You'll need it," Obi-Wan agreed rubbing Ahsoka head playfully. She squeaked and stuck out her tongue at him retaliation. He not one to back down from a challenge stuck out his tongue and crossed his eyes for good measure making Ahsoka giggle. Shmi tutted at the two before returning to her cooking.
" 'Morning y'all," Peter slurred as he slumped in. He'd clearly enjoyed his long sleep since his hair was sleep-tossed and messy. He slammed himself into a nearby seat and began rubbing his eyes in an attempt to walk himself up. No surprise for Obi-Wan since he knew that Peter wasn't much of a morning person. Well not until he had a cup of caff then he'd be fine.
"Morning sleepyhead," Obi-Wan teased. Peter shot him a glare. Shmi brought him a cup of caff which he quickly gulped down. Once finished his eyes looked more awake and alert. Jazre, Jar Jar and Anakin followed a few seconds later and soon all of the save for Shmi ate their meal.
"Did you eat?" Peter asked once his wits had returned to him. "I can handle the cooking if you want to eat."
"I've already eaten thank you," Shmi said giving him a smile. "No worries."
"Alright we remember the plan?" Obi-Wan asked. All of them nodded save Ahsoka. Ah that's right she was sleeping at the time.
"Okay the plan is that Shmi, Jazre, Anakin and you," he pointed to her. "Are going to Nar Shaddaa while we head to Cato Neimoidia. You'll stay with Shmi and mind her. Understand?"
"Okay!" Ahsoka said as she gave him a Ravager salute. "I'll be good I promise!"
"Groovy, now lets get ready," Peter said as he finished up the last of his breakfast. Wiping his mouth he pushed out his chair and began to head for the cockpit. Obi-Wan quickly finished his food and promptly put his and Peter's dishes in the sink before following him up.
At the cockpit Peter had just pulled out of hyperspace and was approaching the muggy planet. Peter angled the ship and soon they were the atmosphere and saw. A dirtier version of Coruscant.
"Cheery place," Peter quipped. "I mean the smog adds such character to the place."
"Blame the Hutts," Obi-Wan shrugged as he checked the navigation to see a hanger that they could safely drop the others off. "They polluted the moon and just leave it as is."
"Joy," Peter sighed.
"Sounds like what I've heard about Nowhere to me," Jazre commented as he joined them.
"Yousa place is odd mesa tinks."
"I think we can all agree on that," Shmi nodded as she crossed her arms. "So you're going to drop us off here?"
"Yup," Peter said as he followed the route that Obi-Wan lead him down. "So get ready. We need a ship and some supplies. Got it?"
"I'll help out that's a promise," Anakin swore.
"You'd better," Peter replies as he set down on a loading platform that Obi-Wan had pointed him to. Obi-Wan handed the remaining peggats and Republic credits while Peter gave comlinks so they could stay in contact with each other. Once they'd been equipped Jazre lead the group to small armory to arm themselves and then down the gangplank away from the Milano. Anakin waved at them as the group walked away.
"Well now we've got an appointment at Cato Neimoidia," Obi-Wan said once the others were out of view.
"Yup let's not keep the dude waiting."
Anakin was eagerly looking at all the ships around them. Now they were planet side they or rather Jazre and he were now looking for a mother ship for them while Mom, Jar Jar and Ahsoka grabbed some supplies elsewhere. Anakin looked over the various models looking for one that could not only host the Milano but also host a huge crew because he had a feeling their crew was going to get bigger like really big. Fortunately they had enough peggats to cover the cost for the most part. Even so Jazre still wanted to go cheap.
"Cheap is good," he'd told Anakin as he lead him down to the more lower end yards once they'd split up. "Means if you got more, they'd be willin' to bargain with ya. More expensive you git the more you have to barter down that don't look good to nobody unless you're a stellar con artist."
"Alright," Anakin agreed as his gaze traveled over the ships in the lots. Many looked at least serviceable but there were several that looked like junk in every sense of the word. They walked down aisle steadily rejecting each one with them getting not closer to finding a mother ship.
"Can I help you?" A voice called out. Looking behind them they saw a Duros approaching them. "Is there something specific you're looking for?"
"Just browsing," Jazre brushed him off. "I'll let you know if I need help."
"Take your time then," the Duros shrugged as he walked off. Jazre nodded to him before continuing his looking with Anakin following. For the next two hours they looked over various ships and weighted in the pros and cons of the ships. Finally after their last dead end Jazre sighed explosively.
"Shot," Jazre muttered as he looked over the various ships in the yard. "This is such a pain. Might have to call that salesperson if we ain't got no ship soon."
Anakin silently agreed with him. Looking for the right size was important if it was going to be a mother-ship. The Milano would have to be able to dock with...Suddenly an old freighter he hadn't noticed before soon caught his attention. It looked like a huge old merchant ship of a Mon Cala make. It certainly looked big enough to accommodate them.
"What about that one?" He asked pointing the ship. It looked old and battered but with a little fix up they could turn into a working mother-ship. It would be slightly pricey but doable if they did it right. "It's a fixer upper but we could get that working and use it."
"Huh that one eh?" Jazre looked at the ship approvingly. "Don't see no other deal that'd be good. So reckon it should be fine."
"Good choice," the Duros said walking towards them. "It's got a few steering issues but I got this for a steal. And I'm guessing you're looking for a mother ship."
"You'd be right."
"You take credits?" Anakin asked.
"Get all kinds on Nar Shaddaa so yes I do."
"Good," Jazre smiles at him. "Now let's get to business."
Ahsoka was thrilled. She looked around the marketplace tugging at Jar Jar's hand while Mama Shmi bargained for their supplies. They'd been given a small amount that would last for a bit. Or so she'd been told. Ahsoka just was excited to be around Jar Jar and Mama Shmi.
Suddenly as she looked around the world or at least how she saw it slowed down to almost a standstill. Then she saw someone's hand shot out as Mama Shmi was about to pull out her money. Without hesitation she lunged letting go of Jar Jar and tackled the being to the ground. It was a Wookiee who squealed with fright as Ahsoka wrestled the money from their grasp. It was then the world sped up to normal and Ahsoka heard her name being called out by Jar Jar and Mama Shmi.
"Ahsoka! Let them go Ahsoka," Mama Shmi commanded. Ahsoka reluctantly let go of the Wookiee who groaned and snarled at her. Ahsoka just glared at the being feeling a myriad of emotions flooding through the Wookiee.
"Theysa be grabben the mulas," Jar Jar said as he snatched the peggats from the Wookiee's hands.
"I can see that," Shmi commented. She leaned over and smiled at the Wookiee child.
"Hello there little one. Are you hungry?" Shmi asked as she leaned over to the being. The being nodded tersely. "Well that won't do. Do you have any family?"
The being's anger and shame began to cool and their shoulders slumped as they shook their head. Ahsoka looked at the being startled. That person was like her? Aw that was sad. Ahsoka grabbed the Wookiee and gave them a big hug. Peter said hugs help people feel better and the Wookiee soon began leaned into her.
"I see," Shmi placed her hand on the Wookiee's shoulder. "Would you like me to buy you something?"
The being's head shot up as they barked what Ahsoka guessed was a yes. Shmi smiled at them and extended her hand while Jar Jar smiled and extended his which Ahsoka grabbed. Together they walked into the crowds of the marketplace looking for a place to eat.