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The Youngest Jedi: Part One

by Autumn P. Torkorgana

Ha ha ha. Hi Mina!

Andriya shifted the stack of books in her arms. She tapped the door with the toe of her boot again. Corsh was in his room--she could sense him--but he wasn't answering the door. And Andriya knew it was just to torment her. She was getting tired of standing there. If he doesn't open the door in two minutes, I'll open it myself, she thought.

"I hope you're dressed, Corsh," she called through the door. "I'm coming in if you don't open the door."

The door slid open. "Oh, hi, Princess. What are you doing here?"

Andriya rolled her eyes. "I've got the books you wanted."

"Books? You must have the wrong room, I didn't ask for any books." He reached underneath the tall stack and lifted it. Relieved to have the weight removed, Andriya relaxed her arms. Without knowing why, Andriya jumped backwards slightly as Corsh dropped the books where her feet had been.

"You may be in training, Corsh, but you can't trick a Jedi," Andriya said, harping on the fact that, even though she was two and a half years younger than Corsh, Andriya was already a Jedi Knight and Corsh wasn't even a Padawan yet. She wasn't doing it to be mean, either. Not this time, at least. But she knew Corsh had ordered those books from the library just to make her carry them up to his room because it was her day to deliver books.

"You'll have to take these books back," Corsh said.

"No, I won't. I have your order recorded. You will have to take them back."

"Did you forget what your job was, little Knight?"

"Did you forget what your job was, little farmer?"

"I will not be a farmer!"

"If you can control that anger of yours, of course not. And if you can do that, who knows, Corsh, maybe I'll take you on as my Padawan."

"That'll be the day that I die," Corsh said through clenched teeth.

"Then I guess you'll just have to start practicing." She wanted to add, "with plants," but decided not to egg him on any further. There was no point.

"You will, too, if you ever hope to. . . ." Corsh could think of no short term goal for Andriya. Sure, she probably wanted to become a Jedi Master, but she was just a little girl and had plenty of time for that.

"See you in class tomorrow," she called as she left the books at Corsh's feet. Tomorrow, it was Andriya's job to assist the instructor of the twelve-year-olds' lightsaber training. Though she wouldn't let it show, Andriya was a little bit nervous. Her real lightsaber, which she'd built over two years ago, was almost as long as she was tall. She wondered if she'd ever grow tall enough to use it properly. Everyone told her she would, but it was just one of the many problems presented to the youngest living Jedi Knight. It didn't help that she was completely different from the other kids--none of them at the Temple were even apprenticed yet, none had ever known their parents or had retained their last name, none of them were royalty--or, if they were, they didn't know it. Andriya did what she could, but the trainees her age and older, as well as the boys younger, than her teased her and taunted her incessantly. The only people who seemed to be able to tolerate her were the adults in the Jedi Temple, who didn't understand, and the younger, female trainees, who idolized her. While it was a unique experience, Andriya knew she didn't want to be an idol and an icon for her whole life--or even right now, really. Everyone watched her every move--whether it was to emulate, or waiting for her to make a mistake, or as an instructor, she could feel the gaze of each person she passed on her way back to the library.

Andriya shook off her greater anxieties and focused on the immediate one: lightsaber class tomorrow. She still had a little longer in the library, but then . . . then, she could find someone to help her. She would work on her lightsaber technique until her chosen mentor had to leave. And if she wasn't satisfied or comfortable with her improvement, she could find another teacher . . . and another. . . .

Her spirits buoyed by that solution, Andriya's step lightened as she hurried back to the library to see which Masters and Knights would be able to help her and not busy. Her thoughts thus engaged, she passed by a group of adults in the hallway without really noticing.

"Little girl!" called one of the adults. Andriya stopped, used to responding to the beck and call of her former master. She'd never used "girl," but it was always "little" something.

"Yes. . . ." Andriya waited for the man who'd called her to think of his name. "Master Qui-Gon?" she finished.

"Just out of curiosity, where are you headed to in such a hurry?"

"The library, sir."

The other three adults with Qui-Gon stifled a laugh. Andriya didn't see what was so funny.

Qui-Gon quieted his companions with a hand motion. It was clear he was the leader of this group of friends. Before Qui-Gon spoke again, Andriya assessed the quartet. They all appeared to be in their early or mid-fifties. She decided they must be old friends--maybe from their training days.

Qui-Gon continued, interrupting Andriya's appraisal. "Did Master Yoda assign you a report?" He lowered his voice gravely. "Were you disobedient?" Qui-Gon's friends tittered again.

"No, sir, I'm on delivery duty today."

"Have they extended delivery duty rotations to trainees now, too?"

Andriya drew herself up to her full height--which, she sadly noted, was barely above the imposing man's belt. "No, sir, they have not. I am a Jedi Knight."

The other adults had begun to snicker again, but fell silent as they realized she was telling the truth.

"How old are you?"

"Ten standard years."

That was enough. As she'd passed before, something had sparked Qui-Gon's interest, and now the miniature Jedi had captured it completely. Waving good-bye to his friends, Qui-Gon simultaneously gestured for her to continue on her way to the library, and he would accompany her.

"What is your name?"

"Andriya Delvee."

"And how long have you been a Jedi?"

"A year."

Qui-Gon was shocked into silence.

"Master Qui-Gon, if I can ask, are you a good lightsaber fighter?"

Qui-Gon smiled. "I'm told I am."

"Do you think you could help me?"

"With what?"

"Well, tomorrow, I'm supposed to help the lightsaber instructor, but I'm a little nervous. I need more help with my technique."

"And you'd like my help?"

Andriya nodded.

"I'd be happy to. When would you like me to help you?"

"I'm off-duty at the library in . . . half an hour. Is then okay?"

Qui-Gon thought about it. In half an hour, his Padawan would probably still be looking for and catching up with any of his old friends that were also visiting the Temple with their Masters. There would be time to track Obi-Wan down, tell him where he would be and make it back to the library to get Andriya. "It's fine. I'll meet you at the front door to the library."

"Are you sure it will be okay with your Padawan?"

Qui-Gon was slightly surprised. That was the second time she'd read his thoughts. "If it's not, we'll both be there to get you."

As long as he helped her, and she wasn't disrupting any previous engagement or appointment with his Padawan, Andriya didn't care if he brought the Jedi Council with him. "Thank you so much, Master Qui-Gon."

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