Obi-wan groaned lightly as he sat up. His head hurt some because of the drugs. He looked about the dark cell and spotted Qui-gon. Quickly he rushed over to him and rolled him onto his back. “Master!”
Qui-gon opened his eyes and tried to keep his gaze straight. Their captors had drugged him again. “Obi-wan… you need to get out… and fine Ninde…”
“But what about you Master?”
“I’ll be fine…” Qui-gon’s eyes closed again as he drifted off into sleep. Obi-wan sat back and put both his hands on his head. He was going to have to get out with Qui-gon’s help… but how? He had no weapons. All he had was a few of his standard issue equipment and perhaps a few things Ninde had given him…
An idea suddenly struck him.
Obi-wan reached into his back pouch and dug around some until he found what he was looking for. It has been a special capsule that Ninde had made back at the Temple. She had said it was an experimental sleeping agent but that she didn’t know if it worked or not. He had said that he was going to test it for her. Well better now then never. He would just have to wait for the prefect moment. And that would come when the guards came to give both Qui-gon and himself another dose of drugs.
“Are you sure this is going to work Master Oria?”
“I’m not sure Ninde but this is the best we can come up with for the time being. We don’t have much to work with and what we do have is almost unhelpful.”
“We don’t know what numbers they have that are armed. We also have no clue how tight the security is. And most importantly we don’t know where they are located.” Arianne added to help her Master out.
Ninde sighed and sat back. “I don’t like waiting like this. What if something happens to them?”
“They still want you Ninde. You yourself said that they were still trying to take you alive. They don’t know that reinforcements have come yet. We have to take advantage of all this. Patience is the key.”
`Patience is the key…’ That is something Ninde was always saying to Obi-wan and she knew Oria was right. Anymore patience was the only key that they could use now. It had turned into a waiting game. A game of patience and wits where lives were at stake. Ninde sighed and leaned helplessly back against the tree. “Fine… I’m just not at ease with leaving Obi-wan and Qui-gon there.”
“None of us are Ninde,” Oria said as she placed a hand on Ninde’s shoulder. “But it is the only thing that we can do for them.”
The door creaked open and three guards walked in. Obi-wan was on the floor, pretending to be asleep. He was the first one they walked towards to give the drug to. As they neared Obi-wan shot to his feet and tossed the capsule to the ground in front of the guards. The moment it hit it created a small explosion and a green gas poured from it. Obi-wan took a deep breath and watched as the guards dropped to the floor. He immediately ran from the room and only let out his breath once he was sure the sleeping agent would not affect him.
As he ran he was spotted by guards who began to chase after. He would have fought them but he was unarmed and there were too many. So he ran through the corridors as fast as he could manage. He rounded a corner suddenly and skidded to a halt. There before him stood several armed men with blasters that were pointed dead for his heart.
“Give up Jedi.”
Reluctantly Obi-wan put up his arms to surrender. He really didn’t have a choice in the matter.
After having carefully disguised themselves as peasants Arianne, Oria, and Ninde had made their way into the city in which the Capitol rested. It was really a shame that the city looked like this. It was a decaying wreck with garbage scattered throughout the streets. Anything of past beauty had all but been destroyed or was fading away. There was graffiti on the walls and the people were dressed poorly. The only ones dressed decently were the soldiers. Aside from the occasional alien everyone here appeared to be mostly human. Humans who had been degraded to such a point that they were content to be lap dogs. And the saddest part about all of this was the simple fact that this must have been happening for the past several generations on this planet. Why were people always so content to live this way? Ninde didn’t know if she would ever understand.
AS though she had read her thoughts Oria started to speak. “Most of the time living is the only thing people care about. Survival is all they care about so they are willing to give up their basic rights for it.”
“And they give up free to live… I don’t know if I could do that.”
“As a Jedi it may be different to envision ourselves in such shoes because we have seen much and have done much. Some of us have even given freedom to the enslaved and liberated entire planets from an enemy force. Most people dream of such things happening on their planets but the truth is heroes are hard to find in these days of age. And Jedi are being spread thin.”
Ninde thought for a moment, “do you believe there is any way to help this planet? We are Jedi we should do what we can. I don’t like seeing people degraded down to such levels just to keep their lives.”
“That we should but there is nothing we can do. We are but a small force and the difference we can make will be little if any.”
Not by their standards. To give them a breath of freedom would show them what they could have and they’d revolt against the ruling powers.”
“And that would cause a Civil War Ninde. That is not something we can be responsible for.”
“But by helping them we can create allies to help us save Obi-wan and Master Qui-gon.”
“True but there are too many risks. We must do what we can to save your Master and partner and nothing more. Doing anything more or staying here long then needed could result in the death of us all. I don’t mind dieing but you young ones still have a life ahead of you.” Oria stopped and looked about. “Let’s get onto a roof and see if we can get a better look.”
They turned into an ally way and Ninde helped the other two get up onto the high roof first. She then stepped back and made sure no one was watching before she ran towards the wall and jumped. She got about half way up before having to place a foot against a window ledge and force herself to launch higher. She then used the force to carrying her up to a flag pole. She grabbed it, swung around on it, and came to perch on the top. From there she only had to leap a little to reach the top. She grabbed onto the edge of the roof and pulled herself up easily.
Once she had climbed up they began to survey the area. A large commotion from the center of town drew their attention. Quickly they leap from roof to roof and it did not take long to reach the place where all the commotion was coming from. They went only as far as they dared before dropping onto their bellies and crawling the rest of the way. It was the Town Square and it was full of people. There was a man standing at a podium in front of the crowd and Ninde recognized him immediately… It was Balank.
“And I pray that we shall be handed weapons upon which we can fight the evil Jedi with!” Most of the crowd remained silent but there were a few who cheered as though in approval.
Oria sighed, “you see Ninde… Even if we could offer help they would not except it. He has brainwashed them into thinking we’re the enemy. They would rather kill us then except our help.”
“I bet there are rebels though. This might only be an act to keep from dieing. As you said they’re willing to give up anything to survive. I guess dignity is just as expendable as freedom.”
Arianne grinned some, “she has a point Master.”
Oria shook her head lightly, “kids.”
Balank continued, “and today we have a special treat. I give you the Jedi who was a partner in crime with the one who took my brother’s life!” He turned and motioned to a group of people. They in turned drug someone up onto the stage. It was Obi-wan and Ninde instantly felt sick to her stomach. He was shirtless and the men dragging him had tied him to two poles. One of the guards then took three steps back and uncoiled a whip from his belt. He rolled it out to it’s full length and began to whip Obi-wan’s bare back. Obi-wan’s cries echoed throughout the Square and Ninde began to climb to her fee, reaching for her lightsabers as she went. The entire time her back began to sting as past pains began to come back to her. When she was captured by Balank’s brother she had been whipped and beaten severally. She knew the pain Obi-wan was going through right now.
Oria immediately snatched out and pulled Ninde back to the ground. “No.”
“I must help him Oria. This is all my fault. Had I never said let’s take a short cut to get out of that place we wouldn’t have killed Balank’s brother.”
“That doesn’t matter anymore. We don’t know who’s on our side and if we go down there now we could all die. Don’t you see that?”
“Then go back to the camp if you wish. They want me. Perhaps I can make a deal, a trade even. Me for them.”
“You know they won’t keep with any agreement they make. Deceit is tightly knit in Balank’s mind and you can’t overcome it. They must be doing this to draw you out.”
“Yes and the longer they wait the more they inflict pain upon Obi-wan and Qui-gon. I cannot let it continue.”
“You have no choice! The moment they get a hold of you you’re all going to die. Please don’t go.”
“But…” ninde looked over at Obi-wan, tears rimming the edges of her eyes.
Another hand was rested on her shoulder and Ninde looked into Arianne’s eyes. They were full of understanding but a firm determination to do as her Master wished. Oria began to speak and Ninde looked back to her. “They will be alright. If I know anything it is that those two are strong and we’ll hear from them soon. We must wait and let them make the first move. Once they have then we’ll know exactly what to do. Is that understood Ninde?”
Balank gazed over the crowd and growled lightly. “She isn’t coming…”
“Are you sure my Lord?”
“Yes… Take him and lock him up in a separate cell. I don’t want him with his matter. Ninde has gained a bit of wisdom and is not going to blindly attack anymore. We need to keep her guessing if we are to succeed in capturing her.”
“Alright my Lord.”
Obi-wan was drug through a series of corridors and thrown into a cell that was dark and cold. He shivered some as he looked back at the guards. They tossed him his tunic and belt before slamming the cell door shut. He slowly sat up and pulled his tunic on. The fabric brushed against his new wounds and he winced some… But he knew he’d be fine.
A sudden movement caught his eyes and he turned his head to see a boy about his age. The boy had dark hair, blue eyes, and was dressed in dirty rags. He stood and walked towards Obi-wan. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah I’ll be fine. Who are you? What are you doing in here?”
“The name is Tome Valin. I am in here because my father, Ken Valin, was the leader of the resistance group on this planet. They captured us two weeks ago and my father has been put to death.”
Obi-wan stood and bit his lower lip some as he strapped his belt on. “I’m sorry…”
“It’s alright. He died for a great cause and knows I will take it up for him. My only problem is… I am to be executed on the eve of tomorrow night. Tell me… did you clearly see the path you took to get in here?”
“Yes I did.”
“Tell me would you be interested in escaping this death pit with me? Usually if you don’t escape it as soon as you can you die.”
“How do you propose we escape? I already tried it once and there was no success.”
“We wait until only the main guard is the only one awake. There is only one guard standing watch at night. The rest either go to their quarters above ground or they go out drinking with their pals.”
“And that’s going to leave us with a large enough time span to escape?”
“You bet. I’ve been watching their shifts and whatnot. All you have to do is act like you’re dead. I’ll cry to the guard and the one tonight is dumb enough not to go get back up. Once he’s inside the cell I’ll knock him out and we’ll lock him in here. After that you can show me the way out?”
Obi-wan was about to say yes when he suddenly remembered Qui-gon. Could he really leave him behind? “I’ll have to think about it Tome.”
Tome rolled his eyes, “you’ll be wasting valuable time but alright. By the way I didn’t catch your name.”
“My name’s Obi-wan Kenobi.”
“Nice to meet you,” Tome said as he sat down in the corner of the room. “Don’t take too long Obi… I want to live past tomorrow night.”
Obi-wan sat down in the opposite corner and pulled his knees up to his chest. Could he really just leave Qui-gon here? Sure he may still be drugged but wouldn’t it be great if they could leave together? What if this kid was wrong? What if they didn’t get out? What if Obi-wan’s actions brought death to Qui-gon? As far as Obi-wan knew his master was still weak and defenseless. Could he really just leave him? Sure Tome was in a lot more trouble but Obi-wan didn’t know him. Maybe he should have paid more attention to Qui-gon’s and Yoda’s lessons… Or perhaps even closer attention to Ninde’s lectures. He might know what to do if he had. But could he just leave his Master behind and run? The inner torment was tearing him in so many directions. The Jedi in him told him to go but the person in him told him to stay.
“A Jedi’s strength comes from the Force Obi-wan.” Obi-wan looked up as he heard the voice but saw no one. That’s when he realized it had been Qui-gon speaking through the Force. `Go without me padawan. I am stronger than you may think. Go find Ninde and then return for me. I will be ready.”
Obi-wan nodded, “yes Master.” He said lightly. He then opened himself to the Force and tried to find Ninde… but he was unsuccessful in reaching her. It was almost as though she wasn’t there. Her presence was a dark void in which any attempts to find her were lost.
Tome had walked over to him and kneeled down in front of him. “The guards have changed and most of them are either asleep or out drinking now… Are you coming or is it just going to be me?”
Obi-wan slowly stood and straightened out his tunic some. Tome stood and they both stood at about the same height. Obi-wan looked into Tome’s eyes for a long moment before answering. “It’s now or never… Let’s do it.”
Sorry if there are tons of typos and whatnot. I sent this off to my editor and never got a reply so I don’t know how bad all the typos are. Sorry also for the ammont of time it took to get this up. Thanks to life and all it’s never ending joys *grumbles some* I was not able to get on and completely type all this up. Life has me running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off and I dont like it. Not only that I also had another case of writer’s block. I get that a lot and I dislike it… a lot. I hope to have the next one up shortly. Perhaps I’ll actually finish this story before I die. Well I hope you enjoyed. ,,