What is your problem?! Astin grumbled at himself. Just blowing up on people?
It wasn't like him at all to get so angry over things like a job, but he was seriously freaked out at this point. That Jedi girl he met yesterday had had some weird dream about him and some kid at the wizarding school so now he was expected to go off and fight the incoming Sith fleet? Okay, sure. Because he enjoyed dying on a regular basis. Except he definitely didn't. He had to admit he was a bit... unnerved by the idea of flying – truly, none of the soldiers had since landing on Earth those hundred or so years ago. But he wasn't afraid of fighting. All the stories he'd learned throughout training told him that the Sith deserved to be taken down at least a few notches. The only problem he really saw was flying off to fight the entire armada with just himself, Jaina, and some wizard/jedi/something-or-other kid he'd never met.
So he hadn't really been thinking when he yelled at them and stomped out of the Council Hall. He had someone to protect – he couldn't just fly off in search of something in some unknown place because the Council told him to. They weren't even his superiors. But the way Jaina had looked at him... She had these dark eyes that just bore right into him, practically pleading him to join them.
He was pacing and running his hand through his hair – nervous habits of his – when Jaina walked out, looking furious.
"Captain!" She called as she neared him, "Couldn't you have let them finish explaining things?"
"I know what they wanted. For me to drop everything and fly into space after some ship which we don't have a location for." He rolled his eyes. "Doesn't seem like a good basis for a mission if you ask me."
Astin paused and raised an eyebrow at her, before continuing to pace back and forth across the hallway. For some reason, her eyes on him made him feel almost guilty. Like she deserved to have him help her. "Stop using your Jedi mind tricks on me."
"I wasn't. Honestly." She shook her head, raising her hands in a mock surrender, "All I'm trying to do is get you to walk back into that Council Hall and consider the mission more seriously."
"I don't see why it's my job. Pick someone else."
"I cannot, Captain. The Force gave me a vision of you, myself, and Padawan Brem. It is not up to us who is involved."
"It is not an option for me to leave." He replied cautiously. He was in no mood to go about telling his life story.
Jaina studied him for a few moments before replying with, "Whatever is an issue, I can assure you we will take care of it."
"You're not asking what it is?"
"It is not my place, Captain. But if you give us something to go off of, I can make sure it is handled well. If it is that important to you." She nodded solemnly.
"It means everything." Astin told her. He took a step towards the Council Hall, and gestured for her to lead the way back inside.
As soon as they were in the Hall again, he immediately regretted going back. He should have just sent her to talk to them, probably. He scanned the room before his eyes settled on Jaina once more. He didn't understand why she was so wrapped up in the whole Jedi lifestyle. She didn't talk normally, so had strange dreams... Yet now any child who was what they called "Force Sensitive" could choose to remain at the Jedi Academy or to go to Hogwarts. Most seemed to keep stock in their traditions for they tended to go to Hogwarts, even if offered the chance at becoming a Jedi. He was beginning to see why. Astin's parents had never trusted Jedi, and had sent him off to Hogwarts. He'd graduated easily, being extremely bright in the classroom. But five years later, things had changed. Now he was an officer for the New Republic, instead of working at the Ministry because of what had happened. They didn't ask questions, he found. Even now, ten years after, he still shuddered at the memory.
"...Provided we help him." Jaina was finishing up as he came back to the present.
The other Masters were watching him closely he realized, and stood a bit taller under their gazes. "What is it you require help with?" Master Bristol asked, breaking the silence.
"I have someone I need protected. They could be given a job transfer, or even placed in my position here. I just have to know that they're safe." Astin attempted to explain without giving too many details.
"Putting him here may not truly be as safe as you hope. If the Sith make it here and find us, they would undoubtedly head the the Academy first, Captain." Astin turned his head as Master Cata spoke to him.
"She, actually. But nonetheless, she would be here with the Masters. She is a witch and could defend herself – I doubt the Sith would see that coming." He attempted.
"He's right." Jaina nodded, "Perhaps this girl could help your defenses while we are away."
"If this is the only way to get you to agree to the arrangement, it shall be done. Bring her in with you the morning you leave. In two days' time." Master Katarn said to Astin, nodding judiciously.
When the other Masters left, they allowed Astin and Jaina the time needed to talk. "Those two days will be plenty of time to meet up with Brem and prepare to leave."
Astin sighed and looked out the windows of the Council Hall. "Well, I guess there's no turning back now."
"A bit late for that, I'm afraid, Captain." Jania said lightly.
"Yes, well, let's hope you have another... vision. Otherwise we'll be roaming around the Milky Way like lost pets." He groaned at the thought.
"I have a feeling that if the Sith are looking for us, we won't be roaming for long.." She replied as she walked out the door, leaving him to his thoughts.