"Master are you sure about this?" Jedi Padawan Russell Figgins asked, his voice full of confusion. They had landed on a backwater world in the Outer Rim. They were currently walking toward their destination, a moisture farm several miles outside the space port. The 19 year old Russell was different from other Padawans, he did not wear his hair in a braid, for it was too short and he sported a dark goatee. And he did not wear the training clothes, he opted for a brown sleeveless tunic, sleeve guards that went from his wrists to elbow and dark brown pants and boots. And instead of a blue or green lightsaber his was yellow. "The council did not order us to come here."
"No they did not my young apprentice, Gordian Viks was one of my closest friends when I was stationed here with my master years ago, I have come to visit for a few days." Master Rajma Quimm replied. She was a blue skinned Twi'lek, she resembled Jedi Master Aayla Secura in most ways except for the long scar that ran diagonally on her face, to most people this would seem unsightly but Russell thought it just added to his Master's beauty. "Here we are."
Coming around the bend in the dusty road they were met with the sight of a large moisture farm, different from the ones on Tattooine, those looked dead compared to this. All kinds of plants grew everywhere, he could see several were heavy with delicious fruit. On their approach to the main part of the complex two figures came out to greet them. The first was a squat man, his graying hair was stuck up in places, a thick moustache was on his face. His work clothes were dirty with dust and oil, possibly from working on the machines or a speeder. The girl following was chubby and slightly shorter than Russell, she had light red hair that was tied up in a ponytail, her face and shoulder were covered with freckles. She wore a faded blue dress and brown work boots.
"Rajma Quimm it's been too long." Viks' exclaimed moving forward to hug the Jedi Master.
"Yes I can tell." she replied with a smile. "You've gotten old."
Viks' laughed loudly at this and slapped the Twi'lek on the back.
"Well we can't all be eternally beautiful like you Twi'lek's." he replied, mock sarcasm in his voice. Russell thought this was an insult and looked expecting to see his Master angry but her face was light up with a smile.
"Oh Gordian this is my Padawan Russell Figgins." she said, indicating him. He did not have much time to react before Gordian had seized his hand in a vice grip and shook it vigorously.
"Pleasure to meet you young Jedi." Viks' replied, looking back he ushered the girl forward. "And this is my pride and joy, my daughter Misty."
He took her hand gently in his and leaned down to place a soft kiss on the back.
"A pleasure to me you." he said, his voice growing nervous.
"And a pleasure to meet you Master Jedi." she replied, causing his face to go hot.
"He is not a Master yet." Rajma said, patting the Padawan on the back. "But he will be I can assure you of that."
"Master Viks'!." a servant called from the building. "Lunch is ready!"
"Ah yes right on time come lets eat." Viks' said, walking toward the building, Russell swore he could see the man salivating. "I'm famished."
Later that night found Russell outside practicing his combat skills. He imagined the Sith Asajj Ventress before him and ignited his lightsaber. He swung and ducked the blows from the Sith before leaping over her and pivoting to slash at her again. He'd watched all the Holocron's the Jedi Temple had on her and studied her fighting style carefully and devised a counter to her moves. He spent well over three hours ducking and rolling, hacking and slashing at his imaginary foe nonstop until he was finished. Wiping the sweat from his brow he was alerted to another presence by soft clapping, turning he saw Misty standing in the doorway.
"How long have you been standing there?" he asked, embarrassed at being caught.
"The whole time." she replied, walking over he noticed she had a towel in hand. As he wiped himself off she reached out and ran her fingers slowly down the length of his left forearm. "What it that?"
Russell averted his eyes and pulled the guard down to reveal a long jagged scar that ended at the base of his palm.
"When I was young a Sith attacked my home, she carried two lightsabers. When I tried to escape she pinned me to the floor and branded me with the tip of her blade and said that I will always remember this day. After that she killed my parents and fled." Russell said, looking back toward her, she could see rage in his eyes.
"Who did this?"
"Asajj Ventress." he replied, pulling the guard back up. "But that's in the past I don't let it rule me. Seeking revenge will only lead to more hurt."
For the next several days Russell spent most of his time training out in the backfield, coming in only to eat, sleep and bathe. At night he would sit in his room and talk to Misty about the Temple and all the worlds he'd seen and smile when her eyes lit up. On the night before their last day at the Viks' farm the two walked through the fields down to the river, removing their boots they sat on the bank and soaked their feet in the cool water.
"Your leaving tomorrow aren't you?" Misty asked, breaking the silence that had been growing, taking Russell by surprise.
"Yeah I am. Master Quimm says that we need to return to Coruscant." he replied, turning his head to look at her. "I'm going to miss you."
She didn't reply to this just avert her eyes and licked her lips. He was about to ask if she was alright before she leaned forward quickly and captured his lips with hers. Taken back slightly finally gave in and kissed her back, wrapping his arms around her. Later they lay there naked in the dark, both content and happy. Neither thought about the heartbreak that the morning sun would bring them.
"Are you sure you need to leave my friends?" Viks' asked, looking like an overgrown child that had been told he was moving.
"Yes, the Council need us back on Coruscant as soon as possible." Quimm replied, hugging the shorter man. Misty stepped forward and grabbed Russell's hand and placed something in it. He looked to see a blue stone, smoothed flat tied to a piece of leather.
"What is this." he asked, looking the item over.
"It was my mother's." she replied, smiling sweetly.
"I can't take this it wouldn't be right." he said, holding it out, but the girl only closed his hand and pushed it back.
"Yes you can, it will protect you." she replied. He looked it over once again.
"I can't wear it, I might lose it in combat." he said, before an idea struck him. Carefully untying the knot he loop it through the bottom ring of his lightsaber. "There now I won't lose it."
"How do you know that?" she asked, a smile on her face.
"Because a Jedi is never without their lightsaber." he replied.
"Come my young Padawan." Quimm said, turning and walking away. "It is time to go."
Turning to follow he waved over his shoulder as they walked down the road. When they reached the spaceport and boarded a cargo ship Russell finally spoke.
"So what's next Master?" he asked, Quimm looked up from her meal and smiled at his enthusiasm.
"Nute Gunray has been captured and being transported to Coruscant from Rodia. You will be in the escort team along with Master Luminara Unduli and Skywalker's Padawan Ahsoka Tano." she replied.
"Why me Master aren't their enough Jedi on the detail?" he asked.
"You can never be too careful my young Padawan." Quimm replied. Russell retired to his quarters to await the docking procedure. He sat on the floor and meditated, his mind was calm and clear. A soft rapping came from his door, pulling him out of his meditation. Getting up and opening the door he was greeted by Quimm.
"Your ride is here." she said.
"Thank you Master." he replied, using the force he pulled his lightsaber to him and quickly walked past the Twi'lek and made his way to the docking bay.
"Master Luminara why are we docking?" Ahsoka asked, confusion in her voice.
"We are picking up another Jedi to assist in security." she replied.
"Do you know who it is?" Ahsoka asked, Luminara shook her head.
"No, all I do know is he is the Padawan of Master Rajma Quimm."
They were alerted to a presence by footsteps and turned to see Russell walking towards him. They both looked him over, not knowing what to make up him.
"I'm Russell Figgins, Master Quimm said you needed my help with Viceroy Gunray." Russell said, snapping them back to reality.
"Yes I'm Luminara Unduli. And this is Ahsoka Tano." Luminara said. "We are pleased to meet you Russell."
"Thank you, I will go and assist the Clones with guarding Gunray." he said, turning away he started off down the hall.
"Go with him." Luminara said.
"Huh?" Ahsoka said.
"Something about that boy bothers me." she replied, "Keep an eye on him."
"Yes Master." Ahsoka replied, and jogged off to catch up with the older Padawan. When she caught up she looked and saw a blue stone hanging from Russell's lightsaber.
"What's that?" she asked.
"Something I received from a loved one." he replied, turning the corner they came to Gunray's cell, surrounded by several Senate Commando's led by Captain Argyus and several Troopers led by Commander Gree.
"Take a break boys." Russell said, the Commandos and Troopers complied except for the commanding officers. "I gave you an order gentlemen."
"Sorry sir but General Luminara gave us strict orders to guard the Viceroy." Gree replied, standing rooted to the spot.
"As much as I'd like a nap I have to agree with Commander Gree." Argyus added. "We can't go against orders."
So he and Ahsoka stood on the opposite side of the hall. Leaning against the wall he look in at Gunray. He couldn't wrap his mind around something this easygoing looking could be so evil. After several months going from planet to planet in the Outer Rim his Master had never mentioned the Jedi being involved in this. Blaster fire caught his attention and he looked to see several battle droids turn the corner, he barely dived for cover before they opened fire again. Gree collapsed with a yell but Argyus hit the floor at the last second. Ahsoka ignited her lightsaber and charged the droids.
"I've got this stay here!" she shouted, slicing the closest droid in half and running around the corner. Standing back up he looked to see Argyus checking on Gree, who groaned weakly.
"He'll be fine. Strange the blast should've killed him but they only dented his armor and severally bruised the flesh underneath." the Commando said.
"Take him to sickbay I'll guard Gunray." Russell ordered.
"Yessir." he replied, gently helping Gree to his feet the two slowly made their way toward the sickbay. Russell stood in front of Gunray's cell, looking back and forth every few seconds. He listened as the Viceroy stood and made his way toward the shield.
"If you let me out I will buy you a planet." Gunray said softly. Russell smirked at this, to anybody this would sound like a pretty good offer. But he knew the Separatist would abandon him the second he got the chance.
"That's sounds like a good deal Viceroy." he said, turning around to face the prisoner. "But I just can't find it in me to believe you. What with you being a Separatist and all."
The Viceroy scowled at this.
"You are making a very grave mistake my young friend." Gunray said, turning his back he walked back to his seat. Russell shook his head and turned back around in time to see two red lightsabers cut through the roof of the command room down the hall and his hand instinctively fell to his lightsaber to see who jumped down.
"Asajj Ventress." Russell seethed, anger welling up in him. The Sith cocked her head slightly.
"Do I know you Jedi?" she asked, stepping down to the floor. Russell reached up and lowered his armguard to reveal his scar. "Yes now I remember, you squealed like a baby when I did that to you."
Russell ignited his yellow lightsaber.
"Yeah I wonder what you'll do when I kill you." he retorted, the female Sith scowled.
"Come on then boy!." she exclaimed, charging forward. Russell let out a yell and charged forward. He swung his lightsaber and she blocked it and swung with her free one, causing him to duck. Sweeping his leg he tripped her up but Ventress back flipped and landed with grace. "That the best you got?"
"No I just wanted to see what you could do witch." he replied, leaping forward he slashed at her again. When she flipped again he reached out with the force and slammed her to the ground. Leaping up in the air he came down and would've driven his lightsaber into her throat if she hadn't rolled out of the way in time, driving his blade into the floor. Seeing an opening Ventress charged raising her sabers, she came down at him.