Hey everyone, I'm sorry for the long wait. I was kind of tired and didn't have the energy for writing most of the time. Anyway, enjoy!
They both lurched forward as the shuttle decelerated, out of hyperspace. The planet in front of them was beautiful, with large patches of green and blue, half the planet covered in the light of the sun, the other half covered by the darkness of the night. Naboo.
"It's beautiful!" Barriss said. "I can only imagine what it looks like from down there."
Ahsoka chuckled at her friend's exited behaviour. She was usually so quiet and reserved, and this was a positive change. "I can certainly see why skyguy likes this planet." Ahsoka commented.
All the travel arrangements had been made yesterday, by Anakin and with help from Padmé. Ahsoka was definitely grateful that Padmé had done it, because she wouldn't know for the life of her what to do or where to go.
"Well, let's go!" Ahsoka said, and she steered the shuttle toward the planet.
They touched down on a space port a few miles from Theed, the Capital of Naboo. It was located on a flat plateau, right next to a steep slope. From where Ahsoka landed, you could oversee the entire valley.
Ahsoka and Barriss stepped out of the shuttle, both of them carrying a large travel bag. Barriss stopped dead in her tracks. "That is a beautiful view." She said.
And the view was beautiful. The sun was rising just behind them, bathing the city in its light. The stone that all the buildings where made of had the color of honey, the roofs had the green colour of rusted copper. A large part of the city was situated on a hill, and large waterfalls could be seen cascading down from one part of the city to another. Speeders rushed in and out of the capital via the roads, mostly along the main highway but some also along the smaller, branching roads. All in all, quite a sight to behold.
"I've been here a few times, but I never really appreciated this view." Ahsoka said. "You're right, it is quite beautiful."
They looked over the valley for a few more seconds before turning around and walking toward the speeder that had been rented for them. They threw their travel bags in the trunk, and got in the front seat, with Ahsoka driving.
The road led them into the next valley, along the hills. They had to drive around the large lake that was situated in the valley, but they didn't mind, as the road was quite beautiful, switching between forest and clearings where they could watch the view. There were a few small towns around here and a few houses scattered here and there, but not much else. It was quite a nice place.
Soon, they arrived at the small house they would be staying at for the week they were here. Ahsoka parked the speeder in the driveway, and they both got out, grabbed their bags, and opened the front door.
"Well, this place looks nice and cosy." Ahsoka commented.
"That it does." Barriss responded.
And it did look nice. It was a small, 2 story house. The when you opened the front door, you immediately stepped into the living room. On the left side, there was a large couch and 2 chairs, with a holo-TV facing directly towards said couch. Between the TV and the couch there was also a coffee table. On the right side of the living room, there was a circular dining table with 4 chairs, and a large cabinet stood against the wall. Next to said cabinet was a rustic wooden door that led into a small kitchen. Directly in front of the front door was the back door and a pair of large windows, overlooking the back garden and the lake down in the valley.
Upstairs, there were 2 large bedrooms with two beds each. Both of the bedrooms had large windows facing toward the garden, with smaller window on the opposite side. Each of the bedrooms had one desk with a chair, and a large closet for clothes and bedsheets and such. There was also a refresher located on the top floor. All in all, quite luxurious, but not overly so.
Soon, they both were settled in. Barriss was downstairs, checking the kitchen for supplies.
"How's it looking?" Ahsoka asked.
"We should have enough for about 2 days." Barriss answered. "After that, we're going to need to get some supplies."
"All-right, sounds good to me." Ahsoka responded. "We could go and visit Theed tomorrow and get some supplies while we're there."
"That sounds like a good idea." Barriss responded. "But for now, I need to rest. The flight has made me a bit tired."
"Alright" Ahsoka responded. "I think I'll go for a walk."
They sat opposite of eachother, eating from the dinner that Barriss had made for them with the supplies in the kitchen. It was already getting dark outside, since they where eating late. The meal consisted of a simple pasta salad with bread.
"This is pretty good!" Ahsoka said. "Where did you learn how to cook like this?"
"My master taught me how to cook, before the war." Barriss replied.
Ahsoka sighed. "I wish I had had gotten a master before the war." she said. "All that Anakin's ever taught me is how to fight, really. I mean, I understand why, but... I wish it was different sometimes."
They both went silent as they continued eating. Ahsoka noticed that Barriss seemed lost in thought.
"What's on your mind?" Ahsoka asked.
"N-Nothing" Barriss replied. Ahsoka knew that there was at least something going on.
"Yeah, that's why your thoughts seem several parsec's away." Ahsoka responded.
"I-it's not important." Barriss responded.
"Well that's obviously not true if you're thinking about it that much." Ahsoka stated. "You know you don't have to keep secrets from me, and I often feel better after talking about things that bother me. And you already know that I won't judge you."
Barriss let out a deep sigh. "Please, don't tell anyone." She said. Then she told what was weighing so heavily on her mind. "I always believed that the Jedi order stood for the right thing. For justice. For peace. Master Unduli always says that the Jedi are keepers of the peace. Protectors of those who can't protect themselves. A voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. And yet, for the past years, we have done quite the opposite. We have been fighting the war for one side instead of seeking a peaceful solution. We have not been fighting to protect the people, we have been fighting for resources, so that the wealthy and powerful can exploit those resources. We are not a voice for the voiceless, we have become so entrenched in politics that we have become slaves to the senate. Is that what we should be fighting for?"
Ahsoka sat in stunned silence. "That's... I didn't know you where having these doubts." She finally said.
"Have you ever had doubts? About the order? Or the code?" Barriss asked.
"Well..." Ahsoka thought for a second. "Did I ever tell you about Zygerria?" she then asked.
"That was the slaver planet, right?" Barriss responded.
"Yeah, that one." Ahsoka responded. "Before that mission, I thought that slavery was a thing of the past, that it was gone thanks to the Jedi. After that mission, I realized that it still very much existed, and that the Jedi weren't doing nearly as much as they should, due to the war." She sighed deeply. "After that, I started having my own doubts."
"Oh... I never knew you had doubts." Barriss said.
Ahsoka formed a small smile. "I could say the same about you." She said. "Do you think we are doing the right thing? Fighting in this war?"
Barriss sank into deep thought. The council thought they were doing the right thing, by fighting in the war. But what if they weren't? No, she thought, she knew the answer.
"No, I don't think we're doing the right thing." Barriss finally replied.
"Have you ever had any thoughts?" Ahsoka asked. "Thoughts of leaving the order?"
"It has crossed my mind a few times, but I think I should try to change the order, not leaving."
Ahsoka chuckled, she couldn't help it. "like that's ever going to happen" she said.
"What makes you so sure?" Barriss replied.
Ahsoka sighed. Then she started telling the story. "My master was a slave, as a child. Before the Jedi found him. Because of this, master Kenobi asked the council to pull Anakin off the mission to Zygerria. The council refused to do so." She shuddered. "It took my master at least half a year to get back to normal."
"Oh force, that's... Terrible!" Barriss said.
"Yeah, I know." Ahsoka sighed once again. "And it could've been prevented if the council had just listened. But they didn't."
Barriss sighed. "And if they won't listen to a master about such an issue, why would they listen to me? Especially about the war?"
Ahsoka also sighed. "I wish things where different. I really do."
"Me to, Ahsoka" Barriss responded. "Me to."
Barriss' shot up from her bed as she woke up. Outside rain was pouring down and thunder rolled. "A storm. That's just what I needed" Barriss thought. She was just getting her ear plugs off of her nightstand when the door opened. Ahsoka stood in the doorway, seemingly unsure what to do.
"Ahsoka?" Barriss asked. "What's wrong?"
Ahsoka didn't answer. Barriss sat up in bed, flicking a small light on for extra visibility. She then looked back at Ahsoka. She seemed... Frightened, somehow. And stressed. Her eyes darted around the room and her breaths where quick and shallow.
"Ahsoka?" Barriss asked once again.
Suddenly, thunder was heard from outside. Barriss saw Ahsoka flinch, and realized what was up. She quickly got out of bed. She put a hand on Ahsoka's shoulder, who flinched again. "Hey, hey." Barriss said, in a comforting voice. "It's alright, it's just a storm."
Ahsoka looked Barriss in the eyes. Light blue eyes, laced with panic, met with the dark blue eyes, full of calm concern. She calmed down, somewhat. Barriss guided Ahsoka to the bed, and they sat beside eachother.
"Are you okay?" Barriss asked.
"Yeah." Ahsoka said, with a small voice. "the thunder brings... Bad memories."
And so they sat on the bed, waiting until the storm passed. Nether of them knew how long it took, but eventually, it did.
"Alright, let's get you back to your bed." Barriss said.
"Can... Can I stay here tonight?" Ahsoka asked. Her voice was very small, and shy.
Barriss looked at Ahsoka. She didn't see the battle-hardened veteran. She didn't see the mature Jedi padawan. She saw a scared, barely 16 year old girl that was traumatised by 2 years of fighting in a war that she had no business being in. It pained Barriss to see her friend like this. Once again she silently cursed the war.
"Of course you can." She then said. "Goodnight."
Ahsoka got into the other bed in the room. "Goodnight, Barriss."
And that's it for this chapter! Those kinds of hurt/comfort scenes like at the end of this chapter are my absolute favourite to write, so I hope you enjoy reading them. Anyway, if you want to be notified of the next update, make sure to follow. As always, tips, suggestions and reviews are always appreciated, and have a good day!