"Decisions" part 6 & 7/?
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Summary: Obi-Wan has to go undercover to find out more about the Kriffs. Can he join without them finding out he is a Jedi?
Warning: If you don't like Star Wars, DON'T read this story!!!
Disclaimer: All these characters are owned and licensed by George Lucas. I am making no money for this.
*Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together.
Ephesians 4, 3-4
After they had eaten, and Jallist had taken a meal to Master Belac, she returned with a small square tin.
"Sit in front of me." Jallist instructed Obi-Wan.
After he had obeyed, he asked, "What is that?"
"Turn your face to the right." She said, ignoring the question. "You will have to wear gloves, but this will take care of your face and neck." She opened the tin and rubbed a small cloth in the gray liquid/powder substance. She wiped it carefully on his face, trying not to leave streaks.
"I think it will work so long as he doesn't rub his face or neck." Qui-Gon commented from behind Jallist.
"The Kriffs aren't known to be the cleanest people anyway." She said, starting on the right side of Obi-Wan's face.
/Nor is Obi-Wan. /Qui-Gon thought.
*I heard THAT Master. *Obi-Wan complained through their link.
"When do I leave?" the gray-faced apprentice asked.
"Tomorrow morning." The Jedi Master answered.
"So soon?" Obi-Wan asked in surprise.
"There is no need to delay this mission any further." Qui-Gon responded.
"Yes Master." Was the reluctant reply.
Jallist put the finishing touches on Obi-Wan's neck. "Done." She announced, admiring her work. "You look like a true Nogarian... except for the Jedi outfit, and the hairstyle." She turned the Qui-Gon "What are we going to do with his hair?"
"We will need a hat." Qui-Gon answered.
"PLEASE don't make me wear that toque again Master." Obi-Wan pleaded.
"No, you need to look tough. And you looked 'anything' but that when I first met you, and you were wearing that toque." Jallist giggled, and Obi-Wan frowned. "I'll find one for you. You had better get some sleep though, you might need it."
"Agreed. Obi-Wan go get ready for bed." Qui-Gon instructed.
"The makeup should stay on for a long time, unless you really scrub your face. Goodnight to the both of you." Jallist said as she left.
"Goodnight." Both Jedi answered, then went to bed.
The next day, both Jedi were up early. Jallist arrived and made a quick breakfast for them to eat as Jallist gave Obi-Wan a crash-course on being a Kriff.
"And remember not to be so darn polite!" Jallist scolded, but was grinning. "The Kriffs are tough. If you want to fit in, you have to use slang and have bad grammar. And you have to be gruff. Don't look people in the eye so much, and we have to work on your posture and walk."
"What's wrong with my posture and the way I walk?" Obi-Wan asked, frowning slightly.
"Nothing if you are a Jedi, but the Kriffs don't walk or stand as straight. Jedi don't make any noise as they walk your boots just click a little. Now, go stand over there." Jallist instructed, pointing across the room. "Now, walk back here, but kind of shuffle and don't walk so straight."
Obi-Wan did as he was told, but it was harder than he thought it would be.
"Do it again. Lower your head, and don't look me in the eye." Jallist instructed.
This went on for quite awhile. Jallist ended up demonstrating how to do it. This amused Qui-Gon, who was sitting in a chair watching. After some time Jallist was finally satisfied with the walk, so they sat down, and Jallist applied the grey liquidy powder to Obi-Wan's arms and hands.
"Now, if some one asks you your name, say that it is... Anoml Min'Lu. You have lived in this city all your life, and your parents died in a speeder crash two years ago, so you worked at a stand selling hats for awhile. Got it?" Jallist asked.
"Yes, my name is Anoml Min'Lu. Got it." Obi-Wan said, repeating his new name so he would remember it.
"Now as for your speech, if they ask your name, how would you answer?" Jallist tested.
"My name is Anoml Min'Lu." He answered.
"No, no, no. You say 'I'm' Anoml Min'Lu, as if it's any of ya business." Jallist growled.
"I'm Anoml Min'Lu, as if it's any of ya business." Obi-Wan said, deepening his voice and trying not to sound fake.
"Good. Now say these, and you have to use them. Gonna, wanna, hav'ta, gotta." She instructed.
"Gonna, wanna, hav'ta, gotta." Obi-Wan mimicked, then complained, "That sounds awful. What horrid grammar."
"That's how they speak, so get used to it." Jallist insisted.
"Yes ma'am." Obi-Wan saluted.
"I think you're all set." Jallist replied, putting the finishing touches on Obi-Wan's newly grey colored arms and hands. "Just remember not to rub your face or neck too much, and wear gloves as much as possible to be sure the makeup doesn't rub off."
Qui-Gon watched and listened, rather amused at Jallist's lessons. "I packed a utility belt with some extra food rations, and other things you might need." Qui-Gon told his apprentice.
"Now go put this outfit on." Jallist ordered, handing Obi-Wan the outfit she had had made for him, so he would blend in with the Kriffs. Obi-Wan followed his orders and went to change.
"Here is a communications transmitter, so you can keep in contact with Obi-Wan. I have one too." Jallist handed the small cylinder to Qui-Gon.
Obi-Wan emerged from his room with his new outfit. Jallist looked at him and said, "Something is missing." She tapped her cheek with her finger thoughtfully. "Of course. I forgot the gloves and hat." She went to the table and then brought them to Obi-Wan. "Here, put these on, and tuck your braid up." Once he had the gloves on, Jallist noticed he was having trouble putting his braid up due to the brace for his collarbone. "Here let me help you." She arranged the hat until it looked right. "Your ponytail sticks out too far." She observed, then took the thread off that held it up. Finally when Jallist was satisfied, they left to meet with the princess before Obi-Wan went undercover.
"Princess Desmona, the Jedi are here to speak with you." Jallist formally informed the princess who sat at the table in the conference room.
"Show them in." was the short reply.
Jallist then led the Jedi into the large room. ""Princess Desmona." Qui-Gon said as both Jedi bowed.
"Ah, Master Jinn, Padawan Kenobi, it was good of you to come. Please sit down." The princess offered, giving them a warm smile. The Jedi sat across the table from her. Obi-Wan on the left and Qui-Gon on the right. Jallist had been asked to join the meeting, so she sat beside the apprentice.
"I do assume this is Padawan Kenobi?" the princess asked, looking across the table at Obi-Wan.
"Yes he is. Obi-Wan, meet Princess Desmona. Princess, meet my apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi." Qui-Gon introduced.
"It is a pleasure to meet you at last. I trust you are feeling better from when I last heard?" Princess Desmona asked.
"Yes your highness, I am much better, thank you." Obi-Wan answered.
"I am glad to hear it. Now, Jallist, would you show Padawan Kenobi to these co-ordinates after the meeting?" the princess asked, sliding a data pad across the table.
"As you wish your highness." Replied Jallist.
"How have you prepared Padawan Kenobi for his assignment?" the princess asked.
"Well your highness, Jallist tutored Obi-Wan in his speech, and how to walk. Also as you can see, she had some clothes made for him so he would blend in, and applied some cream to make his skin grey." Qui-Gon explained.
"You mean that is not his real skin color?" the princess was obviously surprised.
"No, his skin is the same color as mine." Qui-Gon told her with a smirk playing at his mouth.
"I am very impressed. It looks very convincing." Princess Desmona commented raising her eyebrows.
"Thank you your highness. I am pleased with how he turned out." Once Jallist realised how that must have sounded, her cheeks colored.
"Well now, if you are ready Padawan Kenobi, I suggest you and Jallist leave while it is still light out." The princess suggested.
"Yes your highness." Obi-Wan answered, as his Master, Jallist and himself stood, bowed, then left.
"May the Force be with you my young padawan." Qui-Gon told Obi-Wan as the three stood by a side door in the palace. Obi-Wan and Jallist were ready to depart. "Try not to get 'too' used to the way the Kriffs talk, I don't want to have to coach you back into the way the Jedi speak." Qui-Gon smirked.
"I'll try not to Master." Obi-Wan replied with a grin.
"Be careful Jallist, and if you don't mind, would you contact me when you return and let me know how it went?" Qui-Gon asked.
"Alright, I'll contact you later Master Jinn." Jallist answered, then the duo left for the Kriffs hideout.
As they were walking, Jallist pulled out a communications transmitter and handed it to Obi-Wan. "Here, this will put you in contact with Master Jinn on frequency one, and me on frequency two, you can call me at anytime, night or day." Jallist explained.
"Thank you. So once we get there, do I just go up to one of the Kriffs and ask to join?" Obi-Wan asked.
"Noo... you go up to one that is on guard, one that doesn't look too tough preferably, and ask if this it is the Kriffs headquarters. He probably won't want to tell you, so then start saying how you hate the princess, and you are trying to find the Kriffs so you could get rid of her. Hopefully this will work." Jallist explained.
"Got it." Obi-Wan said.
"Are you nervous?" she asked.
"Being nervous is being fearful, and in the words of Master Yoda, 'Fear is the path to the Dark Side.' So, no I am not nervous, I release my fear into the Force. I am at peace." Obi-Wan answered.
"Why am I at peace?"
"No, why does fear lead to the Dark Side?" Jallist questioned.
"Well, fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering."
"Oh, I think I understand." Jallist replied, then looked around and pointed. "That is it right up there."
"Thanks for your help." Obi-Wan said.
"Good, you are getting used to how they speak." She observed. "Well, I will talk to you later I guess. May the Force be with you Obi-Wan."
He grinned at that. "Thank you. Be careful on your way back." He told her.
"I will." She said over her shoulder as she turned and walked away.
/Well, here goes nothing. /Obi-Wan thought as he headed for the Kriffs headquarters.
The comm. system buzzed a few times before someone answered it on the other end. "Yes?" the voice asked.
"Master Jinn, I just wanted to let you know that we made it to the Kriffs headquarters safely, and I made it back alright." Jallist informed the Jedi Master.
"Thank you Jallist, you have been most helpful." He replied.
"It was no trouble. I'll be over shortly to make your midday meal Master Jinn." She told him.
"Why don't you take the day off and get some rest?" Qui-Gon offered.
"Thank you, but are you sure?" Jallist asked.
"Yes of course. I can make my own meal, it may not be as good as your cooking, but you deserve a day off from being my personal attendant, you deserve it." Qui-Gon insisted.
"Thank you Master Jinn, you are most kind." Jallist replied.
"Your welcome." He answered, and ended the transmission.
Obi-Wan walked towards the Kriffs hideout. He circled part of the building until he found a guard. /Well, here goes nothing. / He gulped.
"What do ya think your doin' here?" the guard asked sharply. The Nogarian towered over Obi-Wan and looked very strong.
/He might even be stronger than a wookie. / Obi-Wan shuttered slightly at the thought. It took everything Obi-Wan had to not be afraid or intimidated by the goon. /Fear is the path to the Dark Side. / The apprentice repeated in his head over and over.
"Is this the Kriffs headquarters?" Obi-Wan asked, trying to sound tough.
"A'int none of ya business. Now get lost." The guard ordered.
"I've been lookin' for the Kriffs for weeks now, and I wanna answer! Is this the Kriffs headquarters?" Obi-Wan tried again, glaring at the guard.
/Too bad the Force doesn't work on Nogarians, or I would just tell him to let me in, and he would. That would be so much simpler. / Obi-Wan thought.
"Why do ya wanna find the Kriffs?" the guard asked.
/At least I'm getting somewhere. /
"I wanna join them. I wanna get rid of that grytin' princess. I would do just about anythin' to get a new system of government." Obi-Wan told the guard.
/I was SO close to using the word 'Sithly' but they don't use that saying on this world. That would have given me away for sure. /he thought.
"Follow me." Was all the guard replied.
The guard took him through the door he was guarding. It creaked as if screaming in pain from lack of care. The guard led Obi-Wan down a long hallway.
/These people sure don't waste money on lights, or heating. /Obi-Wan observed, noticing how dim the lights were, and because he was close to shivering. /I wish Master Qui-Gon had let me take my lightsaber. / Qui-Gon had insisted that it be left behind incase Obi-Wan was searched. But if they did, he would still have to think up an excuse for having a communications transmitter, but there was no excuse for having the weapon of a Jedi. Instead, he had been given a small blaster that could be easily hidden in his boot.
The guard turned into a room with Obi-Wan following closely behind. "Griffner sir?" the guard asked. Obi-Wan could sense the guards' fear of this man.
"Wadd'ya want?" came the angry reply from the chair that was facing away from the door. The man appeared to be working on something at his desk.
"Sir, this kid wants to join us." The guard explained.
"Leave us." The guard was told.
"Yes sir." The guard said before he retreated from the room.
Obi-Wan tried to look confident and tough. The man that the guard called Griffner, stood from his chair, and walked towards Obi-Wan. The man was a few inches taller than he was, but his appearance made him seem like he could control even those who were towered over him.
"What's your name kid?" Griffner grunted with a big cigar hanging from the corner of his mouth.
Obi-Wan quickly recalled the name Jallist had told him to use. "Anoml Min'Lu." He answered.
"Where d'ya live?"
"This city. All my life."
"Hmm..." the man was obviously thinking. "Why do you want to join?"
"Because I wanna get rid of that grytin' princess. We need some people like the Kriffs in charge and get things done right for a change." Obi-Wan explained.
"I see. Can you fight?"
"Ya, I learnt to fight real well from my old man. He wanted me to join up here when I was old enough."
"Where is he now?"
"My parents were killed in a speeder accident a couple of years ago." Obi-Wan told Griffner.
"How old are you?"
"I'm fifteen, but my age doesn't matter as long as I can fight, and my abilities." Obi-Wan said, then thought, /Woops, I shouldn't use big words like that. /
"Well, we will have to test ya before we say if you're in or not. But you can stay here until then." The man grunted.
/I'm not sure if I should be happy or terrified. /Obi-Wan thought as Griffner led him down some dark, cold and junky hallways.
"Here is your room. You will be tested tomorrow morning. Food will be brung to ya." Griffner told him as he pointed to a door.
"Yes sir." Obi-Wan responded.
"It's 'Griffner sir' to you." Griffner said, as he walked back the way they had came.
Obi-Wan walked into his room. It was dirty, dark and incredibly small. It had a sleeping pallet, and a nightstand. That took up most of the room. The only floor space was where the door could swing open and closed. There was a window above the sleeping pallet.
/This makes the room feel a little less like a prison cell, and if needed, it could be used as an escape route. /Obi-Wan thought as he sat on his bed and meditated until there was a loud knock on the door.
"Wadd'ya' want?" he asked, remembering to sound impatient.
The door opened and a middle aged women walked in. "Here's ya meal kid, and I suggest that if you don't want my spit in ya soup, ya show me a little respect."
"Yes ma'am." Obi-Wan replied as she handed him the bowl of soup. He didn't recognise what type it was, but he knew he better eat it, she wasn't about to make him something else.
The women left, leaving Obi-Wan to force down the strange smelling soup. Once he was done he set the dish on his nightstand, and took out his communications transmitter. He didn't sense anyone close to his door, so he turned it on and signalled his Master.
"Yes?" Qui-Gon answered. He expected that it would be Jallist, and was surprised to hear his apprentice.
"Master." Obi-Wan said respectfully.
"Obi-Wan? Where are you?" Qui-Gon asked.
"I am sitting on my sleeping pallet in my new room." Obi-Wan said, deliberately trying to annoy his Master a little bit.
"Your room? You mean you got in?"
"Well, not exactly. I have to undergo some sort of exam to test my abilities first."
"Tomorrow morning. They sure don't waste money here Master. It is cold, and the lights are very dim." Obi-Wan decided not to complain about the food.
"Keep your focus, and be careful my padawan." Qui-Gon told him.
"Yes Master. I will try to contact you tomorrow after I am tested."
"Alright, We will talk then." Qui-Gon replied as he ended the transmission.
Obi-Wan laid down on his bed and fell asleep in only moments.
He awoke early in the morning to a knock at his door. "Yah?"
A man poked his head in. "Follow me." Was all he said, so Obi-Wan got up, and followed the man down several long hallways, and into a large room. In it there were three people. The man he had met the day before, named Griffner, a woman, and a girl who looked a few years older than himself. The guard who had led him here left after bowing to his superiors.
"Anoml, take this Electro-jabber and stand on the 'X' over there." Griffner instructed, handing Obi-Wan the weapon, then gestured the marked spot near one corner of the room. The girl stood opposite of him with her own Electro-jabber.
"Griffner, begin the fight when ready." The women told the Griffner.
"Yes sir." He replied.
/She must be higher in rank than him. / Obi-Wan thought.
"Begin." Griffner said after making sure both fighters were ready.
So Obi-Wan and the girl walked toward each other. They walked in circles around the middle of the room; each was eyeing their opponent.
"He'll never beat Komota, she is my best fighter." The women told Griffner confidently.
Obi-Wan decided to make the first move. He sprinted toward Komota, and using the Force for momentum, leaped over her head, landing directly behind her. Before she had a chance to react to his move, he jabbed her with his Electro-jabber.
Komota spun around, her eyes glowing with anger. Then she raised her weapon and aimed it at Obi-Wan's chest. But as she brought it down, Obi-Wan rolled out of the way.
As he came out of his role, he sensed danger, but never had time to react as Komota's Electro-jabber came down on his shoulder. The pressure hurt, but Obi-Wan realised it didn't given him a shock, or burned him. /My brace! Boy am I lucky I still need to have it on, that would have really hurt. /
Komota expected Obi-Wan to be in severe pain because she had hit a tender area of a body. So she was unprepared when Obi-Wan stood up right away, stuck his foot out tripping her. He then held his Electro-jabber just above her back as she lay face down.
"He did it." Griffner said to nobody in particular.
"Good job, but you're not in yet." The women said sharply.
/There's more? / Obi-Wan wondered as he stood and helped his scowling opponent to her feet.
"Your final test is to plant a bomb at the palace without being caught." She explained.
/I have to blow up part of the palace? / Obi-Wan thought in horror, remembering how he had broken his collarbone, and received a concussion when a bomb had gone off just outside of his Master's and his own room.
"You will leave immediately." The women added.
"Yes sir." He answered, remembering how Griffner had addressed her earlier.
"Komota, you will go along and make sure he puts it where he is told." She ordered.
"Sir, could we eat before we leave?" Komota asked, still glaring at Obi-Wan over his victory.
"Yah, but eat fast." She said, then left the fight room.
/Great, now I have time to contact Master Qui-Gon. /Obi-Wan thought hopefully.
Obi-Wan was escorted back to his room, to wait for his meal. While waiting, he pulled out his communications transmitter.
"Master?" Obi-Wan said into it.
"Yes padawan?" Qui-Gon answered.
"Master, I passed the fighting test, but now they say I have one more task."
"What is it?" Qui-Gon urged, hearing his padawan's hesitance.
Obi-Wan sighed, then finished explaining. "I have to plant a bomb at the palace. They will tell me where to put it once we are there so I won't have time to contact you with it's location."
There was a moment of silence as Qui-Gon pondered over this news. Finally he came up with a plan, it wasn't a great plan, but it would have to do. "Don't worry, I'll get scouts to watch for you and they can disable it when you are out of sight."
"Master, I don't know if I will pass if it doesn't go off. Besides, they might make us watch to see if it goes off." Obi-Wan didn't like disagreeing with his Master, but everything was counting on the fact that he would be accepted into the Kriffs.
"Good point. The only way is to watch for you, then evacuate the rooms near it, and let the bomb go off. As much as I would hate to stand and watch the bomb go off when I could have prevented it, I will have to." Qui-Gon said.
"Master, I have to go, I hear someone coming. I have to eat, then we will be leaving for the palace."
"Alright, we will be watching for you." Qui-Gon said, then ended the communication.
Qui-Gon immediately went across the hallway to Princess Desmona's quarters. A palace worker answered the door chime. "Yes?" she asked.
"I need to speak with her Royal Highness, it is urgent." Qui-Gon explained.
"Alright, come in." the girl held the door open, then gestured to a chair. "Please have a seat, while I tell the princess you are here."
Qui-Gon sat down as the girl slipped through a door. A moment later the princess emerged.
"Master Jinn, what is the purpose of your visit?" the princess asked as she sat in a chair opposite of him.
Qui-Gon told her of the communication with Obi-Wan. Once he had finished, Princess Desmona reached over and pushed a button on the side table.
"Chief Mettar, gather your security forces and meet Master Jinn and myself in the conference room immediately." The princess ordered into the speaker.
"Yes your highness." The chief answered as the communication ended.
"Master Jinn, to save time, would you be good enough to escort me there?" she asked.
"Of course your highness, it would be an honour." Qui-Gon replied bowing. Then the princess took hold of the arm the Jedi offered her.
Once they were seated in the conference room, the security squad entered. Once everyone was seated at the long table, the princess stood and immediately the room was silent. "I have called you all here because of a message Master Jinn received. Master Jinn, would you please repeat what you told me?" the princess asked, then sat back down.
Qui-Gon stood. "I received a communication from my apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who is working under cover at the Kriffs headquarters. He has undergone some exams to see if he is worthy of joining. But now he has one final test, he must plant a bomb here at the palace, and it must go off. They will tell him where to put it when they arrive. His mission is necessary to find out more about this gang. So we must allow the bomb to go off." Qui-Gon explained. There were many murmurs between the officers. "We must keep a lookout for my apprentice and once spotted, we must evacuate the area he is in. He is expected at any time."
"Let us adjourn this meeting an start the lookout." The princess stood, and Qui-Gon did the same. He offered her his arm again, and she gladly took it. Qui-Gon walked the princess to her quarters, then joined in the lookout.
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