Chapter 16: Captive!
I can’t believe it! I’ve broken down one of her walls! Yes!
‘Hey not to be rude, but do you mind if I have a bit of space for a little while? I need to.... Um..... Meditate...’ She seemed almost embarrassed to say it, but I didn’t mind.
‘Sure, talk to you later.’
I walked out of the hut, grinning madly! I felt like I was as high as a cloud, but I had no idea why. Admittedly I had hoped to eventually become her friend and now that I was I just.... It makes me feel happy to know that she didn’t hate me.
Still, with the way things are going around here I’m sure we will both need a friend at some point, much like today, and I am honestly looking forward to seeing her in battle. From what I saw when she took down those boys who were bullying me back at the Temple before all of this started it is clear she has some major moves and who knows, maybe she’ll teach me some of them.
That would be so awesome!
‘Rendal.’ I instantly came down from my cloud and hit the ground hard as I almost ran into my Master.
I really need to keep my eyes open to whats going on around me otherwise I am going to become a danger to society!
‘Yes Master?’ I asked looking up at him.
‘May I talk to you in my quarters?’
The two of us walked into his hut and he turned and looked at me, a serious expression on his distinguished face.
‘Now Rendal, I don’t blame you for wanting to go out and explore this beautiful and fascinating planet, but next time you decide to all I ask is that you come and find me. I am sorry about Master Skywalker, he was just worried about the two of you when he found out you were missing, I know his way of showing it isn’t exactly conservative, but he means well.’
‘I understand that, Master and I assure that I will come and tell you if I ever leave camp again.’ I nodded.
‘Good lad.’ He patted my shoulder and I walked out.
I watched as Rendal walked out of Obi Wan’s tent; I knew Obi Wan wouldn’t punish him, but it wasn’t my place to make judgement. Besides he probably handled it better than I did, making Alexa feel bad was no way to improve our relationship and I should have been calmer about the situation. After all he had said they would find their way back and they did. Indeed, that simple fact reminded me of how I should trust in my old Master more often.
All the same we needed to do something, if Rendal was getting bored and looking for other things to do then I’d say the majority of us are getting restless and the time to make our next movement was upon us. What did that mean?
A reconnaissance mission.
I gathered our troop together and told them of my idea.
‘I agree.’ Obi Wan nodded. ‘We need to study the Separatists and their routine so we can find a weakness and attack at the precise moment.’
I looked around at the members of the group and thought about who should go and scope the base out.... I thought that Tila who, Ahsoka told me, was very flexible and stealthy so she could move around without being seen. Then I continued to scan the others until my eyes came to rest on Obi Wan who glanced at Alexa. My eyes narrowed suspiciously at him, wondering why in the galaxy he thinks I would allow Alexa to get that close to a place where she could be tempted to make rash decisions.
I mean what if she tried to do something stupid and take them on herself, or try and breach the perimeters by sneaking in! No! There is no way I am letting her anywhere near there until I can be there with her to make sure she is as safe as possible! Besides she’s already gotten into trouble once this morning!
‘Is there anyone who wants to go and check out the base?’ I asked looking for volunteers.
‘I will.’ Ahsoka put herself forward.
‘Me too.’ My eyes snapped to look at my padawan who nodded solemnly.
‘Not a chance.’ I shook my head.
‘I want to go. I need to feel like I’m doing something!’
‘Fine.’ I sighed giving in. ‘Well go in pairs, Ahsoka and Connas will go first, followed by Tila and Graffin and last, but not least Alexa will go with Arc.’
I held back a growl, this was not what I wanted!
There is no way I am going to go creeping around a Separatist base with some freaky guy that I barely know!
‘What about me, Master Skywalker?’ Rendal asked, somewhat timidly, though I could tell he was trying to be brave.
‘You will be staying here with myself and Master Kenobi for the moment.’ Anakin replied.
‘Very well.’ The boy nodded, I could sense his disappointment that he wouldn’t get to go check it out.
‘Then it’s settled.’ Master Kenobi decided and that was that.
‘So when do we leave?’ Ahsoka asked.
‘As soon as you’re ready, we’ll go in intervals so you come back in half an hour and we’ll send Tila and Graffin out again in two hours.’
‘Alright then, come on Connas lets get going!’
The two of them then left the camp, headed for the village of Damerel and I am actually more than a little jealous, though I know I will get back there soon enough.
I was about to head back to my hut when Rendal came over, his sadness rolling off him in waves as we walked.
‘Don’t worry, you’ll get a chance soon. My Master is just a little sore about earlier.’ I murmured.
‘Is it that obvious?’
‘If you mean how disappointed you are, then yes it is.’
‘Like I said, you will get to go there and scout and kick butt eventually, trust me.’
‘If you say so.... But I get the feeling Master Skywalker doesn’t really like me.’
‘I don’t know, he’s just weird sometimes.’ I shrugged as we sat on the ground beside my mat.
‘I guess you’re right.’ He drooped.
‘Ah! Lighten up please! You’re sadness is starting to smother me!’ I exclaimed, my voice becoming slightly whiny.
‘Besides, you’re starting to remind me of.... Well.... Me!’
‘Heh. Oops.’ He gave me a small smile as I tried to cheer him up.
‘Come on, just think of how many clankers you’re gonna bust up!’
‘Yeah! We’ll take out squadrons of them!’
‘I bet I can take down more than you!’
We had sat there talking for quite sometime, getting to know each other and it turns out we have more in common than I realised; our taste in music is similar, we enjoy many of the same food, we both enjoy hitting things occasionally and we both enjoyed sweets, though it is clear that Rendal had eaten far more of them than I had and he even promised to buy me some once we got back to Coruscant! This really is beginning to look like a long-lasting friendship!
But I know that I still need to be careful, even those who seem like your best friend can crush you and leave you. A lesson I learnt a long time ago.
So caution is still advised in my situation, but I put it out of my mind for the moment because right now I am about to go back to Damerel and I need to have all my senses in tune with what’s going on around me.
Of course Anakin insisted on reminding me only to look and observe, but not to try and engage them or do something rash.
‘Yes, Master.’ I nodded.
He then went to speak to Arcturus and the two of them also had a brief conversation before the Devaronian-Zabrak turned to me expectantly.
‘Lets just go.’ I growled walking past him and towards the other village, anxious to see how my people are surviving.
Arc had made several attempts to try and talk to me, but I ignored them and soon enough he took the hint and decided it was a waste of time and left me alone. I was grateful for that because while I might have to walk with him that as much interaction as I intend to have with him, I am only doing this to get a better grip on the situation.
Once we arrived at Damerel I was shocked to see that it looked even worse than it had only a few days ago, the women that I was able to see looked even thinner, their bones almost poking out of their skin, and the children were either sick or dying from the disgusting, inhumane, conditions of their prison. My normally cold eyes blazed with fury as they landed on the scum who was responsible for all this suffering; Count Dooku himself.
I had only ever heard about him from Jenifire and Lorryn, but seeing him now he was exactly as they described, all that way down to his strange, almost gentlemanly demeanor, but I could see the evil that lurked in him and how it enjoyed seeing the Togruta’s suffer!
I felt my nails bite into my palms as I growled from behind the shrubs, at this point I would have liked nothing more than to race over there and kick that Count so he falls flat on his face in the dirt, then stomp on his neck and brake it!
However I knew that would only make the situation worse and being able to control my anger was key to a Jedi’s life. So I sat still and quiet as we watched them, making sure to make mental notes on how the droids moved around the perimeter, how often they changed over, where Dooku went when he wasn’t outside with them. Along with doing that I tried to see any weak spots in the building the people were being kept in.
Arcturus and I stayed for our designated time of half an hour, after which Arcturus and I headed back to camp, but after following him for a while I snuck away and came back! Just as I got comfortable again two battle droids dragged a young boy kicking and screaming into the compound.
My eyes widened and I bit my lip to hold back a gasp; that was the boy I had seen in my vision!
The droids bought him before Dooku who looked down on him, distain shining in his eyes, as the boy was dropped to his knees.
‘Now young man, what’s this I hear about you trying to contact someone outside this facility?’ Dooku asked, the boy shook his head profusely.
‘I didn’t! I swear I didn’t!’
‘Well my sources say you did, they say they saw you steal a communicator and call for help..... Now why would you do that when we have this lovely village for you to live in where we take care of you?’
‘I didn’t steal anything!’
‘Listen to him! If he claims he didn’t do it then he didn’t!’ A riot was starting with the other Togruta’s who were being held there.
‘That boy has never stolen anything in his life!’
‘Leave him alone you coward! Pick on someone your own size!’
The droids silenced them by firing multiple shots at the building with their blasters.
‘I will ask you one more time, who did you contact?’ Dooku stood over the young boy menacingly.
‘I didn’t contact anyone on a communicator, I promise! It’s the truth!’
‘Oh you promise do you?’ The boy nodded. ‘Then I promise this won’t hurt too much.’ The man looked to a nearby droid. ‘Shoot him.’
‘No!’ A scream sounded from the rainforest.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t mine.
In an instant a figure raced out of the trees and attacked Dooku! His movements were a little sloppy at times, but not bad, though it was obvious that emotion was blinding him and inhibited his focus. Wait a minute!
Rendal!?!? No! What is he doing?!
He got several good hits at the Count, but he was soon taken down!
‘I..... I should get back and tell.... No don’t do that.... Um.....’ I began to panic as Rendal was beaten before my eyes and there was nothing I could do to help him!
‘Was this who you contacted?’ Dooku asked the boy as the droids grabbed hold of my friend.
‘No! I told you I never contacted anyone!’ The boy shouted.
‘Then who are you?’ Dooku looked Rendal up and down, taking in his rather ruffled appearance. ‘A Jedi..... Or rather a Padawan Learner. How quaint.’ He smirked.
‘I’m terribly sorry to interrupt, but I believe murdering innocents in cold blood is illegal and I thought you should know.’ He gave his own quirky smirk.
‘Ah, I am very glad to know this, thank you for telling me. Now if you would be so kind as to tell me who your Master is and where he is that would be duly appreciated.’
‘Ah now that’s a little more difficult you see as my Master abandoned me a long time ago and I’m afraid I don’t remember his identity.’
‘Is that so? Maybe I can clear your amnesia for you. Bring him inside.’
‘Roger roger.’ The droids nodded and began dragging him away.
‘Uh sir? What about the boy?’ Another droid asked.
‘Put him with the others.’ The droids did as they were told and I watched as my new friend disappeared into another building.
‘What should I do?’
Oh cliffhanger! What will happen next? No one knows!