A New Mission
Obi-Wan Kenobi felt a gentle prodding on his shoulder.
"Wake up, my young padawan," urged a familiar voice. Obi-Wan turned over in his bed and half opened his bright blue eyes. He saw his master, Qui-Gon Jinn, standing beside his bed.
"What is it, Master?" Obi-Wan questioned sitting up in his bed, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
"The Council requests our presence," Qui-Gon answered.
"Another mission, Master?" Obi-Wan asked jumping out of bed in excitement.
"We will find out soon enough," Qui-Gon smiled, "Now hurry up and get dressed. We shall depart for the Council Chamber shortly." Qui-Gon said, and left his padawan's sleeping quarters.
Obi-Wan quickly changed into a new tunic and then put on his boots. He quickly redid the braid hanging over his right shoulder, the mark of a padawan learner, and hurried out into the living area of the temporary residence he was sharing with his master in the Jedi Temple.
"Master Qui-Gon?" Obi-Wan called in search of his master.
"In here, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon answered from a small room branched off from the living area.
"Come sit and eat. We have time yet before we must be on our way."
Obi-Wan sat down in the small, booth-like, seating area across from his master and began picking on the various fruits in front of him. Obi-Wan absent-mindedly looked out of the window beside him, watching the many vehicles pass by through the airways of the megalopolis of the planet, Coruscant.
When the two were finished eating, they slipped on their cloaks and made their way out of their living quarters. Qui-Gon punched in the lock code on the door's key pad, and began quickly down the hallway followed closely in suit by his padawan.
"Something is troubling you, Obi-Wan," Qui-Gon stated. Obi-Wan looked up at his master, and then back down to the floor in front of him.
"Just feeling nervous, Master. I still find myself feeling intimidated when we are before the Council," Obi-Wan told his master. Ever since the time he had briefly left the Order while getting mixed up in the revolution on Melida/Daan almost two years ago, Obi-Wan had always felt that every time he was in front of the members of the Jedi Council that he was being very closely scrutinized. He still felt that he had not completely regained the trust of some of its members.
Qui-Gon nodded knowingly, "You are still young, my padawan. It is not uncommon that one of only fifteen years should share your feelings… Now clear your mind. The Council does not intend to judge you or me today."
They soon reached the entrance to the Jedi Council's chamber, where they were routinely questioned by the guards before being let into the circular room. Obi-Wan quietly followed his master into the Council's chamber, mimicking the gesture of tucking his hands into the sleeves of his cloak.
"Welcome, Master Jinn, and young Padawan Kenobi."
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan bowed before the Council as Master Yoda greeted them. Once they were upright again, Master Yoda continued.
"Summoned you before the Council, we have, to tell of another mission for you and your padawan, if choose to accept it you do."
Yoda looked to Master Windu to continue the briefing.
"We have felt a strong presence of the force from a faraway galaxy," Master Windu began, "For many months now, we have been closely watching Earth. As you already know, Qui-Gon, Earth is a planet in a galaxy that has been kept a secret from the outer rim systems and the Republic since its founding. Earth is a rather primitive planet known only to a select few Jedi as the origin of the human race."
Master Windu paused to let Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan absorb the information. Obi-Wan was both surprised and proud that his master was thought so highly of by the Council as to know of such secrets.
"Many years ago, Master Jota Evar, who had been a skilled Jedi Master for many years, came before us seeking approval to wed Ari Saydré of the Naboo. The Council discussed and meditated on the matter for many weeks before deciding that their marriage would not be good for either of them. Jota then disregarded our decision, his feelings strong for Ari, who he married despite our orders, and fled to the Earth to escape prosecution by the Council. He and his wife produced one child after settling on the planet, a daughter whom Jota named Aryyana, after his late wife, who died in child birth. In the last year of his life, Jota sent out a coded looping transmission telling us of his location and that despite efforts to repair his craft so that they could return to this galaxy, Jota and Aryyana were stranded on Earth. Jota did not want Aryyana to end up living a life of solitude so far away from anyone who could give her guidance. Jota has recently passed away of natural causes, leaving the child alone. Jota spent much time carefully training his daughter in the Jedi Arts, and though thirteen years of age and capable of caring for herself, it is not in the best interest of the child to continue to live isolated on the foreign planet. We feel Aryyana has an unusually strong connecting with the force, even at her young age. Jota and Aryyana lived in a very remote part of the planet where they came in contact with very few of the native inhabitants."
Master Windu finished his synopsis of the situation and turned back to Master Yoda.
"To go to the planet Earth and retrieve the young Padawan, your mission is. Caution you must take in retrieving the youngling, for of you the Earthlings to discover risk we cannot."
Master Yoda finished and waited for Qui-Gon's response.
"My padawan and I accept this mission of the Jedi Council."
Qui-Gon bowed, and Obi-Wan mimicked his master's actions.
"Very well," Master Windu replied, "Tomorrow you and your padawan will leave for the planet."
"No trouble convincing the youngling with you to return should you have," Master Yoda began, "Already hopes of your arrival she does. Haste, though, you must make. Not long before the Earthlings the youngling could find. If happens that does, complicated the journey could become."
Master Jinn and his padawan bowed once more to the Council and left the chamber.
"Master?" Obi-Wan asked tentatively.
"Yes, Obi-Wan?" Qui-Gon replied as they walked.
"Why has the Council kept this far away galaxy hidden?"
"That is a question to be directed to the Council itself, my young padawan," Qui-Gon answered. The two walked in silence for another moment or two.
"Master?" Obi-Wan asked again.
"How is it that the first humans arrived in this galaxy? Master Windu said that the planet was primitive, so I assume that they do not have the means to leave their galaxy..." Obi-Wan let his question trail off.
"It is said, Obi-Wan, that a long time ago, a migrant alien colony once came upon the planet and took many of the humans there as slaves to work aboard their massive starship. On passing through this galaxy, they bartered off and sold the slaves to many of the planets for supplies. As some humans started to show signs of being able to connect with the Force, the newly established Jedi Council made a movement to liberate the human race."
Obi-Wan absorbed the information, and tried to piece it together with that divulged in the meeting with the Council. Qui-Gon sensed that his padawan was beginning to tense under the thought of what could be a rather long mission, and immediately knew how to ease his mind.
"Now, enough talk of this mission, it is time for you to go practice your lightsaber techniques. Let us go down to the training chambers and find a willing partner. I hear your friend, Siri Tachi, may be rivaling you in skill now, and could be and excellent challenge for you."
Obi-Wan smiled up at his master, who immediately felt his padawan's mind ease as they walked through the Temple and down to the training chambers.
Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan arrived in the hanger early the next morning. The sun was just beginning to rise on the horizon when Master Windu came to meet with them before they set off.
"This space craft has been modified to travel the extreme distance to Earth, however there is only enough fuel for the journey there. We have loaded the fuel for the return in the hull of the ship." He paused and then handed Qui-Gon a data pad. "This data pad contains the coordinates you will need to navigate to Earth, and then back to Coruscant. It takes nearly two weeks using the hyperdrive to get to the planet. Once there, the ship will need to cool for several days before you can begin your return."
Qui-Gon looked over the data pad to find that indeed, it did hold coordinates, as well as some information about the ship and the planet, Earth. He handed the data pad to Obi-Wan as Master Windu continued.
"We will be in contact with you every few days to see how things are progressing. You will notice that the farther away from this galaxy you travel, the more delay there will be between transmissions. May the Force be with you, Master Jinn and Padawan Kenobi." Master Windu bowed slightly as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan replied "May the Force be with you." and bowed in return. Master Windu turned and exited the hanger as Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan brought their few belongings on board.
The ship was very spacious and seemed much larger from inside than it did from standing on the hanger floor, Obi-Wan noticed, complete with separate quarters for Master and padawan (including separate refreshers), a fully stocked galley and eating area, a separate living area, two astromech droids, and a cockpit fully equipped with state of the art controls and navigational systems.
"Well, isn't this something?" Qui-Gon said as he and Obi-Wan turned to drop their small packs in their quarters. The two then headed up to the cock pit where they immediately began getting accustomed to the ship's computers. Obi-Wan uploaded the data from the data pad onto the ship's navigational system as Qui-Gon started to power up all of the other systems.
"The data has been uploaded, Master." said Obi-Wan when he had finished.
"Good. Now just a few minor adjustments here and we'll be on our way." Qui-Gon said, and Obi-Wan immediately began to strap himself into his chair.
"All systems go," said Qui-Gon, now strapping into his own chair, "Ready for takeoff?"
"Yes, Master." Obi-Wan replied, and with that the engines ignited with a roar. Before long they had left the atmosphere and were in a stable flight through space.
"Setting the coordinates for Earth, Master," Obi-Wan said some ten minutes later, "Coordinates locked in."
"Initiating the hyperdrive. Brace yourself, Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon pressed a few buttons, and Obi-Wan felt himself forced back into his seat as they began speeding through space.