Seven years after The Phantom Menace
As strange as the idea seemed, the Jedi social gathering appeared to be going wonderfully. At least, that's what Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, thought. Well, Obi-Wan would have to admit that Anakin's opinion was just a guess--he'd lost track of him a few moments before. But that was okay, the dining hall was completely safe, filled with Jedi. Hopefully, the galaxy would be safe with the few Jedi on patrol now.
Speaking of patrol, Obi-Wan was glad to be back with the Jedi after his absence--time spent on the planet Mirnka, training Anakin. Anakin was doing well for the most part. But it was very different from Obi-Wan's training not too many years ago.
Growing tired of thinking instead of socializing, Obi-Wan looked around for some of his peers. The first person he noticed was ten meters away, engaged in what appeared to be muted conversation with Depa Billiba, a member of the Jedi Council. Obi-Wan didn't recognize the woman, but felt compelled to meet her. He tapped the closest person on the shoulder.
The person turned around with a confused, but friendly smile. "Hi," he greeted Obi-Wan warmly.
"Hello. Do you think you could help me a little?"
"Sure. What do you need?"
"Do you know who that woman is?" Obi-Wan asked, pointing.
"Yeah--that's Master Andriya Delvee."
"Master? Jedi Master?"
"Yep--she was just appointed to the Jedi Council."
"Thank you. By the way, I'm Obi-Wan Kenobi. What's your name?"
"I'm Myndex Delvee."
"Delvee? Any relation?"
Myndex nodded proudly. "She's my older sister."
"Really? Could you tell me more about her?"
Myndex hesitated slightly, recalling the recent attack on his sister's quarters. Even though he hadn't fully developed his skills in reading people with the Force, Myndex decided that the other Jedi in the hall must have. "Well, she's twenty-two and we were both born on Coruscant. She was just appointed to the Council a few days ago, to replace Ki-Adi-Mundi." Myndex lowered his voice. "We suspect he was killed by Sith."
Obi-Wan nodded grimly, recalling his encounter with Sith Lord several years ago.
"She's in charge of giving advice on security and tending the 'Jedi Nursery.'" Myndex abruptly changed the subject. "Are you hungry? I'm starved. Do you want anything to eat? I'm about to get some food."
"No, thank you. But thanks for the information."
"Any time." Myndex turned away and disappeared into the press. Obi-Wan looked around, but it seemed that Myndex's older sister had done the same.
The following day, Obi-Wan nervously paced the corridor outside the Jedi Council Chamber. After a few minutes, the doors opened and someone stepped out. To his disappointment and relief, it was not Master Andriya Delvee but Master Mace Windu.
"I'd like to offer my assistance to the 'Jedi Nursery'," Obi-Wan said, still unsure as to what the nursery was. He'd never been in anything called a Nursery per se . . . that he could recall, at least.
"That would be excellent," Master Mace said evenly. "They're planning an excursion to Alderaan later tonight, and Master Andriya would appreciate help. I'll let her know. Obi-Wan Kenobi, isn't it?"
"Don't you have a Padawan?"
Obi-Wan nodded again.
"I suppose he could go with you. . . . Or he could train for a little while here. Master Yoda is about to start a new class, and the excursion will only last for five or six days."
"I think Anakin would benefit greatly from time spent with Master Yoda."
"Excellent." As Master Mace returned to the meeting room, Obi-Wan realized that he'd never once asked why Obi-Wan was suddenly interested in the 'Nursery.' It was a good thing, too, because Obi-Wan was pretty sure he wouldn't condone Obi-Wan's going if he knew Obi-Wan wanted to get to know Master Andriya better. It seemed a very un-Jedi thing to do. Then again, Master Mace was a Jedi . . . he--or even the whole Jedi Council--might already know.
"What?!" Anakin exclaimed, a hurt look in his eyes.
"It's only a few days."
"But we'll lose time!"
"Anakin, calm down. You won't lose any time--Master Yoda is an excellent teacher. And what about Amidala? If you have any free time, you can try to catch up with her." Obi-Wan reluctantly mentioned Anakin's sweetheart, desperately trying to appease his Padawan.
Anakin was not satisfied. "I still can't believe you're abandoning me for some girl."
"She's not--I'm not abandoning you."
"I knew it! Whoever she is, she's much too young for you."
"She is not and it's none of your business."
Anakin narrowed his eyes, glaring at him. Finally, he turned on his heel and marched out of Obi-Wan's room.
"What's gotten into him?" Obi-Wan asked himself, turning back to his packing.
Andriya was a little late getting the children to the loading area. Obi-Wan didn't have a chance to even introduce himself as the six students were herded onto the ship. In fact, Andriya concentrated so much on the children that the adults weren't even able to greet one another until they were both seated in the cockpit.
"Hi," Andriya said nonchalantly as she began the initiatory sequence. "I don't believe we've met. I'm Andriya Delvee."
"The kids are Rika Allmyac, Veya Kareel, Siydo Pradivi, Tigo Baylind, Wherkane Awestat, and Kinter Vosay."
Obi-Wan said nothing.
"Don't worry, it'll come."
Obi-Wan wracked his brain in search of some topic of conversation. He'd planned on asking her about her recent appointment to the Jedi Council, because she was only twenty-two, after all, but once he was in close quarters with her, her strong presence and command of the Force silently quelled any questions. It was just as well, however, since she appeared to be totally engrossed in piloting until they hit hyperspeed.
Sighing as she slid back in her seat, Andriya finally relaxed. "So," she began, turning to Obi-Wan. For a moment, it didn't seem like she had anything else to add, but Andriya was only pausing. "Don't you have a Padawan?"
How does everyone know-- Obi-Wan didn't finish the thought, remembering the fact that both people who'd guessed that were Jedi. "Yes," he answered, nodding.
Andriya just looked at him, waiting for him to continue. After a long pause, she continued instead. "How's training going?"
"Pretty well. Anakin is very strong in the Force."
"Didn't he want to come along?"
Andriya raised an eyebrow.
"I didn't tell him he could. I thought it would be better for him to stay and study under Master Yoda for a few days."
"Yes, that should be beneficial. Where are you training him?"
"It's an Outer Rim Territory."
"Does it make a good training site?"
"Fair enough. It's basically just a vast desert."
Andriya contemplated his words. It was clear that she was considering mass training options for Jedi with his description. "What do officials say? Do they know you're training there?"
"Not really. But it's . . . not a part of the Empire, exactly."
"Oh. Why there?"
"It's like Tatooine--the planet we found him on."
She dropped the idea of training options. "So I take it he's--what did you say his name was?"
"Anakin. Anakin Skywalker."
"And I take it Anakin is doing well."
"Definitely. He's quite eager to learn."
"Eager?" Andriya said skeptically, sensing that the word choice wasn't quite case-appropriate.
"Perhaps a little impatient."
"To the point of being angry?"
"He was upset when I told him I was leaving."
"That's not good."
Rather than pressing the matter, Andriya hoped Obi-Wan would be concerned enough to take care of it when they returned.
"Well," she yawned, "I'm tired. How about you?"
"I haven't gotten any sleep in days--or has it been weeks?"
"Have you really had no sleep?"
"None. Look at my eyes."
Of course, Obi-Wan obligingly leaned closer to her. He could see that her eyes were very bloodshot. He could also see that her eyes were a very pretty shade of blue. But before he noticed anything more, she closed her eyes and sat back in her seat. She sighed and covered her eyes with one hand. "What do you think of that supposed Sith attack?" she asked in a low voice.
"The Jedi guards were killed--you didn't know Tetch-Com Nabtom and Roc Klephra, did you?"
"I don't think so."
"Roc was my Padawan. For a little while, anyway," she murmured, barely audible. "Anyway, whoever it was broke into my room and ransacked it. They also got into some of the other Councillors' quarters, too."
"What were they after?"
"I don't know. All I could find missing were a few holographs. They only had sentimental value. I don't know about the other council members."
"And you have no idea who or why?"
Andriya shook her head. "I have repeatedly recommended some form of automated security, but my requests are always ignored or shot down."
Andriya nodded. She suddenly pulled out two lightsabers.
"Two?" he asked.
"Mine," she said, turning on the white lightsaber in her right hand, "Roc Klephra's," she finished, turning on the orange one in her left hand.
"Oh," Obi-Wan murmured. He opted not to mention Qui-Gon's lightsaber, which he'd kept even after constructing a new one for himself.
Andriya switched them both off and put them away. "Well, I'm ready for bed." She stood and exited the cockpit.
Obi-Wan sat back in his seat, pondering what little he knew about Andriya Delvee. Within a few seconds, Andriya's presence in the Force, which was impossible to ignore, suddenly . . . stopped.
Is she . . . dead? he barely dared to think. But that was the only explanation for the sudden end of the powerful Force concentration.
Only Sith. Obi-Wan drew his lightsaber, but didn't switch it on. Slowly, he made his way to the cockpit door. It slid open. "Master Andriya?" Obi-Wan hissed into the shadows which met him.
"What?" she mumbled sleepily.
"Are you okay?"
"Yes; I was just getting to sleep."
"Sorry. . . . What happened?"
"What do you--oh, yeah. Look at it this way. You can turn that lightsaber on and off, can't you?"
Obi-Wan nodded, not quite following her.
"I can do that with the Force."
"But . . . how?"
Obi-Wan remained silent as he probed the darkness to see if he could sense her at all. Finally, after a few moments of searching, he was able to detect a very faint presence. She was there all right, but Obi-Wan had to strain to perceive that. In fact, it was easier to tell by her breathing, which was becoming more even and slow.
"Go to sleep," she whispered. "Ease your mind and get some rest."
As disconcerting as this had been, Obi-Wan had to admit that he was tired. He found an empty bunk and laid down.
"Oh, and please wake me if anything goes wrong."
"Yes, Master Andriya. Good night."
"Good night, Obi-Wan."
They were both silent for a moment. "Obi-Wan?" she ventured.
"Don't ever call me Master again."
"All right . . . Andriya."
"That's better. Good night."
"Good night." Well, he thought, at least she can't read my thoughts now. He smiled self-assuredly before drifting off to sleep.
When Andriya woke up, she could tell they'd landed. Obi-Wan entered the room and she looked up at him, still rubbing her eyes.
"We landed," she stated.
Obi-Wan jumped slightly. "Oh, you're up."
"We landed," she repeated.
"Yes, we did."
"I believe they said it was Trigavyk, Alderaan."
"I think so."
"We couldn't land anywhere else."
"Obi-Wan, I agreed to take these children to Alderaan if and only if we could stay as far away as possible from Trigavyk."
"Why? What's wrong with Trigavyk?"
"Why didn't you wake me up when we were landing?"
"Because you said you were tired."
Andriya slowly drew in a breath. So I'm in Trigavyk again. . . . So what? It'll be okay. Just avoid the reason you vowed never to come back, she told herself. "It's okay." She sat up and shook her head. "Thanks for letting me sleep."
"You're welcome." He stood in the doorway for a few seconds longer, then walked back out as Andriya yawned and stretched.
"I just hope they destroyed it," Andriya murmured once she was alone.
They didn't. In fact, it was the first thing Siydo and Tigo noticed.
"What's that?" they exclaimed in awe.
"It's the old Trigavyk House," Andriya replied as quietly as she could.
"What was it?" Kinter asked.
"It's where some important people lived. They were relatives of the rulers of Alderaan."
"What happened to it?" ventured Veya.
"It caught fire and burned."
"Were the relatives okay?" said Wherkane.
"No. They died."
"How do you know all this?" Rika asked skeptically. "Are you just making it up?"
"No, it's true."
"Andriya!" exclaimed someone behind her. She turned around and found herself face to face with Bail Organa.
"Hello, Bail," she greeted him warmly. They hugged one another.
"What are you doing here?"
"I told you we were dropping by."
"But I thought you were going to Aldera."
"Our plans changed. Children, this is my cousin, Prince Bail Organa. Bail, these are the 'Jedi Nursery'--Rika, Veya, Siydo, Tigo, Wherkane and Kinter. And this is Obi-Wan Kenobi, a Jedi Knight."
"It's a pleasure to meet you all," Bail said, smiling at them. "Aren't you children proud of Andriya being made a member of Jedi Council?"
Rika nodded, the only child to respond.
"Did you know that Andriya is also a member of the Royal Family of Alderaan?"
Half of the children shook their heads.
"Don't be surprised if some of the locals call her 'Princess Andriya.' And be sure to see Trigavyk Falls and Trigavyk Park." Bail waved to the children to say good bye, and they waved back, as Bail took Andriya's arm and pulled her aside.
"Are you sure you're okay about being here again?"
"I think so. . . . But why haven't you razed the Trigavyk House yet?"
"It's become a national monument of sorts. They always did like your family."
"Frankly, I find it disturbing. People died there. It's inconsiderate to us--the family."
"I know, I'm sorry. I just wanted to invite you to a state dinner tomorrow night. Would you like to come?"
"Can the children attend?"
"Of course. That's what they're here for. Your 'friend' can come, too."
"He's not my 'friend,' he's here to help me out. But we'll all be there. Thank you for the invitation."
"It always stands for you, Princess Andriya."
"You're a member of the Royal Family of Alderaan."
"I can't forget with you around."
"I have to go, I have a meeting."
"We'll see you later, then."
"All right, good bye!" Bail raised his voice to address the children and Obi-Wan as well as Andriya.
"Bye!" the children chimed together.
"Princess?" Obi-Wan greeted Andriya after they'd put the children to bed that night.
"What happened to 'Hello'?"
"Why didn't you tell us before?"
"It wasn't important when we weren't going to Trigavyk. And it's not that important now."
Obi-Wan almost asked her about the family in the Trigavyk House, but decided against it. Again, he was glad she couldn't sense his thoughts.
"What do you know about Sith?" Andriya said, changing the subject.
He shrugged. "What every other Jedi knows. . . . Once I fought one."
After a long silence, Andriya spoke. "Aren't you going to tell me the story?"
"Do you remember--no, I suppose you're too young."
"Don't worry about it, just tell the story."
"It was a few years ago. I was Qui-Gon Jinn's apprentice at the time. We encountered a Sith Lord who had a double bladed lightsaber. Qui-Gon died during the confrontation, but I was able to defeat the Sith."
"End of story?"
"I know you can do better than that at story telling."
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. "That's not important. I said he was a Sith Lord. That means that somewhere out there is his apprentice--there are always two."
"Or his master," she muttered, crossing the hallway. "We all have to be on our guard," she said more loudly. She turned on her Force sense for a brief second, checking the area for any threat to the six children in her care. Satisfied that they were safe, she returned to her Force insensitive state.
"That doesn't bother you, does it?" she asked Obi-Wan.
"A little," he admitted. "Does it bother the children?"
"Only Wherkane. She's the only one that's really Force-attuned." Andriya turned away and typed in the access code on a control panel next to a door. The door slid open, revealing sleeping quarters. "Here are your quarters. I'll see you in the morning."
Obi-Wan crossed the hall and entered the room, but turned around on the other side of the doorway.
"Thank you for coming with us," Andriya said from the hall side of the doorway. "You've been a really big help."
Obi-Wan could not recall a single thing he'd done to help, other than keeping the children from jumping over Trigavyk Falls. "You're welcome," he said anyway.
"Bail invited all of us to a state dinner tomorrow night. Would you like to attend?"
Obi-Wan shrugged. "I don't see why not."
"Good. Good night."
"Good night," Obi-Wan said as the door slid shut between them. He realized that she never gave him the access code to his room. She either forgot, he thought, or doesn't want me leaving my room. If she had said she didn't want me leaving my room, I'd stay . . . but she never said that. . . . Besides, I need the access code. With that thought in mind, Obi-Wan left his quarters in search of Andriya.
Andriya didn't seem to be cooperating. Even straining, Obi-Wan couldn't detect her anywhere in her room. He could, however, sense a very strong presence somewhere near the burned-out Trigavyk House next door. Obi-Wan ventured out into the night. The first thing he noticed was the open door of the Trigavyk House.
"Andriya?" he called softly as he could, leaning into the house.
"Here it is!" Obi-Wan heard the echo of Andriya's triumphant whisper and walked further into the house.
"Andriya?" he called again. To his right, Obi-Wan heard the sound of a lightsaber being ignited and tensed.
"Relax, Obi-Wan, it's just me," Andriya told him, using the yellow-bladed lightsaber for light.
"What are you doing?"
"Looking for something. I found my father's lightsaber."
"So, this was your house."
Andriya shook her head. "My parents moved here when I was four, after leaving Myndex and me at the Temple." She lowered the lightsaber so she could look at the floor. Obi-Wan saw it was covered with black ashes.
"They admitted you at four?"
"My father had been my master up until then. He trained me very well. I was apprenticed at six, and reached Knight at nine."
"Nine?! I wasn't even--that has to be some sort of record."
"I think the record was six. Maybe seven."
"How long have you been a Jedi Master?"
"Five years. Almost." Andriya stooped to pick up a holocube and tucked it in her pocket. She headed for the door.
"Let's get out of here before we get caught."
Obi-Wan silently followed Andriya out of the house.
"Why were you there?" Andriya asked.
"I need the access code to my room."
They continued in silence, and it seemed that Andriya wasn't going to give it to him.
"Are you going to tell me the code?"
They reached his door. Using her back as a shield, Andriya entered the access code. "Good night, Obi-Wan."
"Why won't you give me the access code?"
"Because I want you to stay in your room."
Since she'd said it, Obi-Wan decided that he would stay in his room. "Good night, Andriya," he said as he entered the room. The door slid shut behind him.
The following afternoon, the "Jedi Nursery" was walking in Trigavyk Park when Andriya pulled Obi-Wan aside. "Obi-Wan, will you go get the children some cokada?"
"Sure," he said, walking off.
The children and Andriya stayed where they were, waiting for a period of time that was far too long.
"Children, I'm going to find Obi-Wan. Stay here, don't talk to anyone, and whatever you do, do not pick the flowers."
When Andriya returned, without Obi-Wan, she found the children on their hands and knees in the field, picking blue flowers. Obi-Wan returned, without cokada, in time to hear Andriya say, "I told you not to pick the flowers." Contrary to her admonishing, Andriya simply sat on the park bench and supervised the harvesting.
Obi-Wan tapped Andriya on the shoulder and she looked up at him. "Andriya, I don't know what cokada is."
"Oh, sorry. I'll go get some and you watch the kids."
Andriya returned quickly with a bowl of cokada. Obi-Wan presented Andriya with a bunch of the blue flowers and a sheepish smile.
"Thank you, Obi-Wan," she exclaimed, trading him the bowl for the flowers. "But you shouldn't have done that." Andriya cast the flowers into a pile of other picked flowers. "The children should really learn to take their own punishment."
"They picked the flowers, got caught, and now they have to pull the weeds." She raised her voice so it would carry for all the children to hear. "When you're all done, we have some cokada for you."
When the children were done, they ate the cokada on the way back to their hostelry, where they were supposed to relax for a little while before going to dinner.
Yoda spoke to Andriya while she was meditating.
Return to Coruscant, you must, Andriya.
"Why?" she replied.
Missing, Anakin is. Find him, Obi-Wan must.
"Only Obi-Wan can find him?"
Tried, we have. Return now, you both must.
"I'm leaving now," she said just before breaking from her meditation. "Fine, fine, fine." Andriya left a holomessage for Bail with her regrets. Using the Force, she called to Obi-Wan.
What's wrong? he replied.
"Anakin's missing. Yoda's called us back to Coruscant because you need to look for him."
And we're leaving now?
"Yes. I've already told Bail we had to leave on Jedi business. I'll get the children."
Before night fell on Alderaan, the visitors were headed back to Coruscant.
"It was nice meeting you," Andriya said after they'd disembarked. "I suppose you need to go about your business."
"Yes, I'd better start looking. Nice meeting you, too." Obi-Wan shook her offered hand.
"Thank him, children."
"Thank you, Obi-Wan," they chorused.
"You're welcome, children." The last image Obi-Wan had from his first meeting with Andriya Delvee was a picture of her standing with the six children, all waving to him, before he turned away in search of his Padawan. He hoped it wasn't just wishful thinking, but his last impression of Andriya from their first encounter was that she was sorry to see him go.
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