Four days had passed, and the only thing the Jedi had succeeded in doing was avoiding the items the senators threw at them. Andriya could tolerate a person who didnít immediately respect the JediĖrespect should be earned, anyway--but it was difficult for her to tolerate people who attempted to physically abuse the Jedi--especially the particular Jedi that happened to be her brother. So far, the senators hadnít thrown anything at her, but she wasnít sure if that was because she was a woman or on the Jedi Council.
Whatever the reason had been, on the fifth day, the senators didnít seem to care anymore. They threw something--she wasnít sure what it was--very large at her. Andriya calmly stood her ground as the object soared through the air toward her. Before it hit her, she drew her lightsaber and cut it cleanly in two, then stopped the two halves with the Force and let them fall to the ground.
Theyíre in for it now, Halsten thought. Andriya was, in his opinion, the sternest member of the Jedi Council, and made good use of it.
"Senators, we will not tolerate such abuse. We are not animals nor playthings sent here to amuse you. We are here to help mediate your conflict and reach a decision agreeable to both systems. I am aware that we are Ďoutlanders,í however, we come in peace, and apparently grave danger to ourselves, to help you put a rest to your feud. If you truly do not want peace, simply say so and we will be on our way. And if you do not begin negotiations soon, we will leave of our own accord, and any further wars will be your own affair, ruled unresolvable by the Empire."
The two senators were stunned into silence. Andriya turned off her lightsaber, which sheíd forgotten was on, but was glad for the effect it had added. "And now, if youíll permit me, Iíd like to use a hypercomm or holoprojector."
"Th-thereís a ho-holoprojector in thatís r-room," Nezwish stammered, pointing to a door behind Andriya.
"Thank you." She walked into the indicated room, found the holoprojector, and contacted the first person she could think of--Depa Billiba, another member the Jedi Council.
"Andriya? Is the treaty signed?"
"I wish it were--itís not even drafted yet."
"What has happened?"
"Nothing. Thatís the problem. The only thing the senators seem willing to do it throw things at us."
Andriya nodded grimly. "It doesnít look like were going to make any progress. They donít want peace and theyíre not ready to compromise."
"Then why would they ask for Jedi?"
"Target practice?" she guessed.
"I trust they have not hurt any of you."
"No, not at all. They didnít throw anything at me until just a moment ago."
"You gave one of your infamous lectures, did you not?" A smile played across her lips.
"Indeed I did. Can I have some assistance here?"
The smile faded. "I am afraid not."
"Iím sure the Council members are busy, but any other Jedi?"
Depa shook her head. "The Emperor has detained all outgoing traffic."
"Why?" Andriya exclaimed in surprise.
"We have been told there was a breach in a prisonís security. It will be several more days before all the escaped prisoners are captured. Then, I believe, they will all be transported to other prisons and air traffic will re-open."
"Is incoming air traffic allowed?"
"By all means. It is regulated as usual."
"Hm." Andriya paused. "I know of one Jedi and his Padawan that are here. What other Jedi are on Mirnka right now?"
Depa turned her head and addressed someone else in the room, asking who ever it was to check the Jedi records. They both waited in silence for the response. "Is Obi-Wan Kenobi the Jedi you referenced?"
Andriya nodded. "Donít tell me that heís--" She stopped short.
It was Depaís turn to nod. "He and his Padawan are the only Jedi currently living on Mirnka."
"It doesnít say."
Andriya sighed. That was going to make it difficult. Myndex would make it even more difficult. "Can you transmit their records to me?"
"I shall try to transmit them. I do not believe that the effort would fail."
"Please transmit them, then. Oh, and could you include anything that looks pertinent--old student records and the like?"
"Oh, and a holo of each, please. I may have to ask around."
"Static or moving?"
"Static. Thank you so much, Depa."
"I wish I could help you more."
"Is there anyway you could contact any of the Jedi off Coruscant?"
Depa shook her head. "We are not allowed outgoing messages, either. No matter where it originates from."
"Emperor Palpatine canít be serious."
"He is all too serious."
Andriya shook her head in disbelief. "May the Force be with you. It seems like youíll need it more than I do."
"May the Force be with you." The holo transmission ended just before something hit Andriya--there werenít any prisons on Coruscant. "Why is traffic really stopped?" she whispered to herself as she waited for the files to arrive.
Myndex walked in. "Whatís wrong, Andi?"
"Weíre it--thereís no help for us from Coruscant."
"A Ďprison breakí on Coruscant--all outgoing traffic is detained. No messages out, either."
"There arenít any prisons on Coruscant."
"I know." They looked at one another grimly.
"What about Jedi on the planet?"
"Just the one we know."
"Yeah!" Myndex cheered softly. "You will get to see him!"
"Maybe," Andriya said.
"What is it?" he asked, pointing to records transmitted.
"Just a few records from Coruscant." Andriya wondered if Depa had included a few newsholos about the situation on Coruscant. Depa was a close friend, and she would probably try to satisfy Andriyaís curiosity. "Iím going to go look these over," she said as she copied the flies to a datacard. "You keep an eye on the children, okay?"
"Iíll watch the senators."
Andriya smiled slightly and left for her room in the Conference Center.
"The Mirnka Superior star system is home to two inhabitable worlds--Mirnka and Ishka Minor. The star the system centers around, Mirnka Superior, is a class six star. It emits radiation that may damage the human eye. The radiation is so strong on Mirnka that humans are advised to wear visors at all times when outside. However, the radiation is not harmful to human skin on either planet." The encyclopedia entry ended there. It was the last pertinent record. Andriya had already skimmed Obi-Wanís and Anakinís records. All that remained was making the holocubes and viewing the two newsholos Depa had included. She switched from using a datapad to a holoproj for the last two tasks. The holocubes didnít take very long to make.
The newsholos were suspiciously vague. They did not mention the fact that there were no prisons on Coruscant--none that the public were told of, anyway. They also did not post descriptions or names for any of the missing convicts. It was clear that the Emperor really had some ulterior motive in stopping traffic.
Andriya made sure she had her visor, a few credit chips and the holocubes. "Poor Myndex," she sighed. "Heíll probably think heís failed Master Yoda and me." She laughed to herself. "If only he knew that heís facing that Ďgreat dangerí now." She put the visor over her eyes and left the Convention Center.
For a few seconds, Andriya couldnít see anything--the glare shocked her eyes so. But her eyes adjusted and she began to ask passers by if theyíd ever seen the men in the holos.
A man stood across the avenue, watching her ask several people. The man crossed the street and addressed Andriya.
"Miss, youíll never find anyone like this."
She didnít like his rude tone, but she needed the help. "Maybe you can help--have you seen either of these men?"
He barely glanced at the holos. "No. You have to ask the children. Or use their names. You have to prove youíre not a bounty hunter to an adult."
"A bounty hunter!" she exclaimed. "Well, what if I were a bounty hunter?"
"How do you know that?"
"Youíre a Jedi."
"Iím glad someone around here knows that."
"No adult will trust you--do you know their names?"
"Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker."
"Yes or no will do. And do you know what they do for a living?"
"I know what they do; Iím not sure how they make a living," she joked.
The man didnít laugh. "Ask the kids. You know too much about them for the adults to trust you."
"Thank you," she said as he turned away.
"Youíre welcome. I hope you find them."
Andriya looked around for children. She saw a group of about eight kids outside of a store and hurried over to them. "Hey, kids, come here!"
The kids left their toys on the ground and crowded around her.
"I need your help."
"We can help!" they cried, but not in unison.
Andriya held out the holocubes. "Have you seen these men?"
The children took the holos and examined them in silence. Andriya had an idea.
"They should have one of these," she said, holding her lightsaber handle high above the childrenís heads and igniting it.
The children clamored with recognition as Andriya turned it off and put it away. Andriya knew the children never should have seen the lightsaber--it was not to be used with that many people around and even in small groups, it should only be a last resort and a defense. Iíll have to talk to them about this, she resolved as the children scrambled to collect their toys. They returned the holocubes to Andriya before running off in search of Obi-Wan and Anakin. Andriya hoped she knew what she was doing--and she hoped that man knew what he was doing and she hoped these children knew what they were doing. She hoped Myndex and Halsten knew what they were doing. And while she was at it, she wondered if the senators even knew what they were doing.
The class six star that gave life to the planet was well on its way to the horizon when Andriya, still following the same eight children, sensed Obi-Wan. They would still have a way to travel before getting there, but she knew they were going in the right direction.
Mirnka Superior had just dipped below the horizon when their party crested a dune and came within sight of the house. There wasnít much to say about it--that was how a Jedi was supposed to live, anyway.
"Okay, kids, I can make it from here," she said. Obi-Wan stepped out of the front door and waved to her. As Andriya waved back, the children, who had not left when she dismissed them, suddenly flung themselves at her, grabbing her legs, her clothes, or anything else they could reach. Sighing in resignation, Andriya began to mete out three credit chips to each child. It wouldnít buy them anything, but they didnít care. Satisfied with their reward, the children dispersed, leaving Andriya and Obi-Wan alone.
Andriya was at a loss. She didnít know precisely how to greet Obi-Wan. She hadnít seen him in two years, and even then, that was the first time sheíd met him. While she was attracted to him, she didnít know exactly how he felt about her. She was pretty sure heíd attempted to present her with some flowers, but she hadnít realized it at the time. Pretty stupid, she thought, referring to herself.
Obi-Wan bowed. "Hi," he called as he straightened.
"Hello." Andriya finally approached.
"May I ask a favor of you?"
"Anything," she said, perhaps a little too quickly.
"Iíd like to use you in a test for my Padawan. I know itís not standard, but heís not a standard Padawan."
"Youíre not a standard master," she said, surprising herself. "Iíll be happy to help. What do you have in mind?"
"Just donít tell him who you are."
"No, your job."
"Oh," Andriya said, fully understanding his intent. "I wish him luck."