Category: Story, Drama, Adventure, angst, sort of H/C
Archive: Jedi Apprentice & Early Years
Spoilers: None that I can think of
Disclaimer: All recognizable Star Wars characters are the
exclusive property of George Lucas. All others belong to me.
I have no official permission to use these characters, but
I'm not being paid for it either, so that's okay.
Feedback: Yes Please!
Time Frame: 22 years before TMP. Obi-Wan is 3.
Summary: Obi-Wan is kidnapped, but his captors get more than they
Things bracketed by *'s are *italic*.
Warnings: None, really, one bad word I think. Poor little Obi
gets hurt a bit, but nothing *really* horrible. Mild compared to
most of my stories actually.
Note to Qui-Gon fans though, this story is in cannon with the
JA books and so Master Jinn is not in the picture yet and this
is an Obi-Only story.
Don't worry though, I'm working on a sort-of-sequel and that will
have Qui-Gon in it! :D
Stormy blue-green eyes gazed out from under a close-
cut crown of downy ginger hair. Small arms were folded
tightly beneath a heavy frown and little legs that could
not reach the floor swung back and forth, kicking the rungs
of the chair he sat upon.
The child watched the two arguing adults with obvious
"This is great Cyndi, just great! What in the hell
were you thinking?" the Miith'yn man raged at his younger
human companion, balling his hands threateningly.
The teenage girl flinched as if expecting to be struck
but did not back down. "Shut up Z'ior," she snapped, her
green eyes hard and determined. "And watch your language
in front of the kid. Look, Nah'boor didn't *say* the kid
was one of those Jedi brats, I didn't know until I snagged
him. All I was told was where and when, and you sure
seemed anxious enough to take the Lords' money when they
offered us the job!" Cyndi flung back at her boyfriend.
She kept herself from pointing out that she had been
against taking the job offer from the highly criminal,
highly dangerous spice-syndicate called the "Midnight
Lords" in the first place. Getting mixed up with gangs
like theirs could be very profitable, but it could also be
"What's done, is done, so we're just going to have to
make the best of it," the pretty, young redhead sighed at
"But to kidnap a Jedi... we'll have Knights crawling
all over this place!" Z'ior shook his head. Miith'yn's
looked mostly human, except for their patterned orange
skin. At twenty-one, he was five years Cyndi's senior.
"Not if we're careful," Cyndi countered. "He was
alone; nobody knows what happened, for all they know he
wandered out of the play area on his own. And we've only
got to hold him until Nah'boor picks him up anyway," the
girl glanced at the pouting three-year-old seated on the
chair watching them and decided that that was a good thing,
the child looked like he could be quite a handful.
"I not go with N'boor," Obi-Wan interjected decidedly,
having paid close attention to everything the adults had
said. "I go home. Mast'a Embry gonna be really upset with
you when she finds out you made me leave the playground.
She told me to stay. You'll be in big trouble," the little
boy warned. Deciding he had stayed here long enough, and
he was going back to the Temple *right now*, Obi-Wan slid
down off the big chair.
Z'ior grabbed the child by the scruff of his shirt,
picking Obi-Wan up and roughly depositing the little
Initiate back in the chair. "Sit still and shut up brat,"
he snarled. "You're gonna stay right here until we tell
you otherwise, got it?"
Obi-Wan's sensitive spirit recoiled at the unfamiliar
affront that the man's anger presented to his tender
senses. Momentarily cowed, Obi-Wan nodded sullenly and
settled back into the chair.
Cyndi rolled her eyes. "You've got such a way with
children Z'ior," she said dryly, surprised that the tyke
didn't burst into tears over her companion's harsh
"I don't like the little brat. He's trouble, this
whole thing is trouble!" the Miith'yn said irritably.
"I'll agree with you there," Cyndi nodded, a touch of
the I-told-you-so that she was keeping under control
sneaking into her voice. She was no less displeased than
Z'ior to learn that they had just become the kidnappers of
a tiny Jedi Initiate, but what were they supposed to do?
Put him back? She'd be caught in five minutes, and
besides, the Lords would kill them, probably literally.
"What do the Lords want with the kid anyway?" she wondered
"Got me," Z'ior shrugged indifferently, wondering the
same thing. "All Nah'boor said was something about having
some questions for him. What he hopes to learn from a baby
like that is beyond me."
Obi-Wan didn't really know what was wanted of him
either, but his small frown deepened. *More* people wanted
to ask him questions? He'd just gotten through answering a
ton of questions. Why did everyone seem so interested in
This day had started out looking quite exciting for
the tiny Jedi Initiate. Being released from the crèche for
any reason was cause for great excitement to the child, and
when he learned he was to accompany Master Della Embry out
into the city he quickly became the envy of all his
Master Embry was tall and pretty with blue eyes and
black hair. She had taken him lunch and talked gently with
him. Then she took him to the Security force station and
held him on her lap while a large man in a blue uniform
with a shiny badge on his shirt asked the young Initiate
many questions. The officer let the child play with the
badge as he gently coaxed Obi-Wan to remember something
that had happened a few days before...
Obi-Wan was puzzled, he didn't understand the
questions they had asked him, or rather, he had understood
the questions, he had simply not understood the reason
Still, he had answered as best he could, and the
officer seemed happy. Master Embry had been pleased too,
and told him that they would go out together again in a few
weeks to - to... the child struggled with the unfamiliar
word... tes- tisti- testify, that was it.
Obi-Wan wasn't really sure what that meant, but it
seemed to mean going out with Master Embry again, so it
sounded good to him. Master Embry had a few more things to
say to the officer, but they wanted to speak alone, so she
let Obi-Wan run off to play in the station's large play
area not too far away.
At first he had played with two little bothan
children, chasing each other around through the colorful
tubes and slides and romping through the clear cages of
fist-sized multi-color balls. Obi-Wan enjoyed that. He
would use bursts of the energy that he could not yet
control, what the Masters at the Temple called the Force,
to fling handfuls of the balls up in the air so they rained
down on the children like harmless, rainbow hail.
The other children's parents came for them and Obi-Wan
was left to play alone. Then... then he couldn't quite
remember what happened. He remembered Cyndi; she had met
him at the bottom of one of the slides. There was a small
bottle in her hand that that she sprayed in his face. For
a moment, he thought it smelled kind of sweet, like some of
the purple and orange flowers that blossomed in the Temple
gardens, then he didn't remember anything else until he
woke up in the girl's arms on their way here.
"I wanna go home!" Obi-Wan stayed on the chair, but
started kicking the lower rungs violently with his small
heels. "I wanna go home, I wanna go home!" he chanted, not
quite whining, but very near.
"I said SHUT UP!" Z'ior snapped, rounding on the child
and slapping him in irritated, anxious annoyance.
Obi-Wan clamed up immediately, his small eyes going
very wide. Nobody had ever struck him in anger before, not
in his entire life. Tears welled up in his innocent
turquoise eyes, but he struggled not to let them fall.
"Don't do that Z'ior!" Cyndi reprimanded. "He's just
"Not a baby," Obi-Wan huffed, his tiny chin trembling
as he tried to fold himself into the smallest bundle
possible, pulling his knees up to his chest and clasping
his tiny arms around them protectively.
"'Course you're not," the teenage girl soothed gently,
running a hand over the little Jedi's downy head. "You're
a big boy, right?" she smiled at him. "Don't worry, it's
okay, we're not going to hurt you," she said, casting a
pointed glare at Z'ior.
Obi-Wan peeped at her over his knees. His glistening
eyes were... not afraid, no, she did not see the fear that
she would expect in one so young, but his eyes were
confused and hurt as if the child could not comprehend what
was going on and why he had been ripped out of his safe,
secure world and brought here.
Cyndi's young heart went out to the child. "Hey
there, it's okay," she tried again to offer comfort, laying
her hand on his arm. "My name's Cyndi, what's yours?"
Obi-Wan did not answer, but pressed his lips together
stubbornly and pulled further back into the chair.
The child was not angry, but she could tell right away
that he had a stubborn streak a kilometer long.
Z'ior just rolled his eyes and threw up his hands.
"He's a little brat Cyndi, just let him be."
Cyndi ignored her acidic companion and continued
trying to coax Obi-Wan's name out of him. "I want to be
your friend," she coerced.
"You took me away," Obi-Wan stated accusingly.
Cyndi shrugged. She couldn't argue that one. "Okay
kid, don't tell me your name, but I can't keep calling you
'kid'." For a moment, the sixteen-year-old gazed
thoughtfully into Obi-Wan's turbulent eyes. One moment,
the child's large eyes looked blue, the next, they looked
"Boy, you're a real storm cloud," she shook her head.
"Well Stormy, I guess that's what I'll call you until you
want to give me something else that you go by." Cyndi
waited for a few moments, but the Initiate obviously seemed
to consider it too much of a confidence to give his name
away to these people who had taken him away without
permission and refused to let him go back.
"I hungry," Obi-Wan said petulantly, his face still
half-hidden behind his knees.
"Okay Stormy, let's go get you something to eat,"
Cyndi took his hand and half led, half dragged him out of
the chair towards the apartment's small kitchen area.
Z'ior flopped down on the couch to watch holo-flicks
while Cyndi tossed a couple of quick-meals in the cooker.
She sat Obi-Wan down with a bowl of soup and a
sandwich, but upon tasting the soup Obi-Wan declared that
it was too hot and acted as if she had intentionally tried
to burn his mouth out. Cyndi tried to keep her patience
and tossed a few ice-cubes in his bowl, stirring until they
dissolved. She spooned a bite into Obi-Wan's mouth only to
have it come right back out again with a disgusted
exclamation from the little boy.
"Too cold!" Obi-Wan protested.
Cyndi made a face and swept the bowl away again.
"Okay Stormy, I'm gonna heat it up one last time and you'd
better not say it's too hot again," she warned, putting the
bowl back in the cooker.
Placing it in front of Obi-Wan once more she dropped
his spoon back into it. "Eat," she instructed.
Obi-Wan pushed himself back from the table. "Not
hungry," he declared. The little Jedi was intentionally
Cyndi leveled the little boy with a withering glare.
Picking him up and carrying him over to the couch she
shoved Z'ior's feet off one end and plopped the child down,
placing his soup in front of him on a fold-out table.
"Okay kid, now watch the holo and eat your food like a
good little-" Cyndi stopped, noticing what Z'ior was
Clapping her hand over Obi-Wan's eyes she scowled at
her boyfriend. "Z'ior, he can't watch this! Put something
Z'ior muttered obscenities under his breath as Cyndi
changed the holo to something a little more kid-friendly.
An hour later, Obi-Wan's soup was cold again.
Finally, Cyndi had to hand feed the tot to get him to eat.
Afterward, Z'ior made fun of her while she tossed the
dishes in the cleaning unit. "Well, that's one thing I
never expected to see Cyndi, you making spaceship sounds
while spoon-feeding a little brat. You reaching an age
when your human maternal instincts kick in or something?"
Cyndi rolled her eyes. "Look, we gotta take care of
him until we give him to Nah'boor, so give it a rest."
"Speaking of which," Z'ior said, glancing at his
chrono, "It's almost time for you to meet his rep down by
the space dock. Let him know we have the kid, but he's
hot, we don't want to hold him long, got it?"
Cyndi nodded. "Right, I'll be back in a bit. Put
Stormy to bed as soon as the show's over okay?"
It was Z'ior's turn to roll his eyes. "Geez Cyndi, I
ain't no stupid babysitter!"
Cyndi ignored him and headed for the door.
Obi-Wan looked up when he heard the door close.
"Where Cyn'i?" he asked, slowly nursing the cup of bright
blue bubbly the person in question had given him earlier.
"Out," Z'ior said, flopping down on the couch again.
"So don't you give me any trouble brat, 'cause I ain't as
patient as she is."
Obi-Wan was silent.
Z'ior flipped through the holo channels, looking for
something he wanted to watch.
"More please," Obi-Wan said, waving his empty glass.
Z'ior ignored him.
Obi-Wan poked the man in the arm. "I thirsty, more
"Yeah, yeah, in a minute," Z'ior waved him off. Obi-
Wan waited for several minutes.
"More please," he patted Z'ior's arm, trying again to
get the older being's attention.
"Oh, go get it yourself," Z'ior said irritably.
Sliding off the couch, Obi-Wan went in to the kitchen
to do as his captor suggested, only to find that the cold-
keep's handle was too high for him to reach. "I can' reach
it," he called.
"Leave me alone!" came the irritated response from the
Pulling a tall stool out from under the counter, Obi-
Wan clambered up onto it. Kneeling on the seat of the
backless stool enabled the little boy to reach the cold-
Once open however, he found that the pitcher of bubbly
was on the top shelf, still out of his reach. Standing
upright on the stool, he reached for it, grasping the
pitcher firmly in both of his little hands. The stool
wobbled underneath him.
Now that he had the pitcher, Obi-Wan was suddenly at a
loss for how to get down from his lofty perch without using
his hands. Taking a step backward he tried to find the top
rung of the stool with his right foot. However, as soon as
he shifted his weight onto the back of the stool it tilted
abruptly, falling and spilling the little Jedi and the
contents of the pitcher he was holding all over the kitchen
floor. Obi-Wan hit his head on the floor and started
Z'ior came in to see what had caused the loud crash.
Swearing loudly at the mess all over the floor he hauled
the crying three-year-old up by one arm. "You okay brat?"
he snapped dispassionately. "Well, you'd better be, 'cause
you're worth too much to me to lose yet."
"I-I fell," Obi-Wan said, his little voice quavering.
"Yeah, I can see that," Z'ior said, making a face at
the kitchen floor which was now awash in blue bubbly.
"Serves you right for being so dumb, now clean up this
mess." He thrust a roll of absorbency sheets towards the
child as if the three-year-old was supposed to know what to
do with them.
Obi-Wan stared blankly and started to wander out of
"Oh no you don't," Z'ior stopped him. "You're gonna
clean this up, so get to it," the Miith'yn ordered.
"Don' wanna," Obi-Wan folded his arms in a pout. He
did not like Z'ior at all.
Z'ior slapped him, hard. "Don't talk back to me brat!
Do as I say!"
Obi-Wan stumbled backward. Sitting down abruptly on
the floor amid the spilled bubbly, he started crying again.
"Shut up!" Z'ior shouted, his temper beginning to run
dangerously high. "Clean it up!"
"No! I wanna go home!" Obi-Wan cried. "It's not nice
ta hit people! You're not nice, I don't like you!"
"You're breaking my heart," Z'ior mocked harshly.
Getting up, Obi-Wan tried to dash past Z'ior and out
the kitchen doorway but the Miith'yn snagged the little
human by the back of his shirt, swinging him helplessly up
into the air.
Obi-Wan kicked and struggled. "Le' me go! I gonna
tell the Masters and you be in big trouble! Le' me go!"
Obi-Wan was nearly screaming.
Z'ior clapped his hand over the boy's mouth, trying to
muffle him. He succeeded, but he also ended up
inadvertently covering the child's nose and blocking the
little Jedi's ability to breathe.
Struggling desperately, Obi-Wan grabbed the hand
that was suffocating him and bit down hard on Z'ior's index
finger to make him let go.
Z'ior howled in pain and jerked his hand away.
"Little brat!" he shouted, shaking Obi-Wan roughly and
dragging him into the living room. "I'll teach you to bite
me!" he threatened angrily, pulling off his belt and
yanking the little Jedi across his knees.
It was dark outside by the time Cyndi returned to the
dingy little apartment that she and her Miith'yn boyfriend
Z'ior was stretched out on the couch again, watching
porno-vids. "Hey, Cyndi, what's the word? When can we
dump the brat?" he called to her, taking another swig from
the bottle he was drinking out of.
"Tomorrow morning, behind the old warehouse," she
answered, heading for the bedroom. Several empty bottles
like the one Z'ior was now holding were scattered beside
the couch so Cyndi knew it would be best to keep quiet and
leave the older man alone as much as possible. Z'ior could
be down right nasty when he'd been drinking.
The Miith'yn would be pleased to see the credits their
contact had given her, but she knew from experience that it
was unwise to interrupt Z'ior in the middle of one of his
'vids when he was drunk, even for good news.
Cyndi didn't notice the tiny, huddled shape in the
corner until she almost tripped over him.
Obi-Wan sat with his arms curled around his knees, his
shoulders hunched as he faced the corner.
"Stormy!" she said in surprise, kneeling down by him.
"You should be in bed, what are you doing over here?" she
asked, turning the child towards her.
Obi-Wan's small face was streaked with tears. "Z-Z'or
tol' me ta stay h-here," he cried softly.
"How long ago?" Cyndi asked gently, wiping the tears
from under his red-rimmed eyes.
"I-I don' know. A long time," Obi-Wan sniffled. It
seemed like years, especially in his current condition, but
after what Z'ior had done to him, the child was not about
to risk incurring the irate Miith'yn's wrath again by
Cyndi cast a caustic look in Z'ior's direction, but
the Miith'yn was engrossed in his holo and was not paying
the slightest bit of attention to either of them.
Scooping the little boy up in her arms, Cyndi carried
him into the bedroom. Pulling back the covers, she laid
the child on his back and reached for the fastenings of his
Obi-Wan whimpered at being laid on his sore backside
and rolled onto his stomach.
Cyndi, not knowing what was wrong, rolled him back
over so she could reach his tunic ties. "Hold still
Stormy, you've gotta get ready for bed."
Obi-Wan obeyed, but tears of pain spilled down the
sides of his small face, wetting the pillow. "H-Hurts," he
sobbed in a small voice, his breathing hiccupy.
Cyndi looked concerned. "Hurts where Stormy? What
"M-my bottom and back," the child breathed between
sobs, trying desperately to be brave. "I' stings."
Cyndi's eyebrows knit together as she gently rolled
Obi-Wan onto his stomach, pulling his tunic up and pushing
his little pants down to get a look the problem area.
The teenager clenched her jaw when she got a look at
reddened flesh that spanned the area from the little Jedi's
mid-back down to his thighs. "Z'ior do this to you?" she
asked sadly, placing one hand gently on the child's sore,
flaming lower back.
Obi-Wan nodded into the pillow, still crying and
hiccuping softly. "Uh, huh. I-I spilt th' juice an'-an'
bit his fin'r. I sorry Cyn'i! I-I know I not s'posed ta
"Shh, shh," she soothed, rubbing his uninjured, upper
back gently. "It's not your fault Stormy. It - it's just
the way Z'ior is." Cyndi spoke from personal experience.
"N-not right ta hurt people," Obi-Wan cried as Cyndi
eased him out of his tunic and spread a clear ointment on
his sore back and bottom.
Obi-Wan squirmed and bit his lower lip, but held still
for her. Cyndi thought he was quite brave for his age.
Gently pulling the little Jedi's pants and undies back
up, the young woman shook her head. "I guess that's true,
but unfortunately not all of life is right little one,"
Cyndi's voice was sad. She wanted to flatten Z'ior for
spanking Obi-Wan so badly, but she couldn't stop him from
doing it any more than she could stop the Miith'yn from
beating up on her when he felt like it.
"I'm sorry he hurt you, I'll try not to let it happen
again, okay?" she apologized gently.
"'kay," Obi-Wan sniffled. "Cyn'i?"
"I-I wanna go home Cyn'i! Please, please take me
home!" Obi-Wan pleaded, turning small, tear-filled eyes
Cyndi felt her heart wrench. Who could resist the
tearful plea in those innocent eyes? "I can't Stormy," she
said sadly. "It's too late for that."
Obi-Wan turned his face into the pillow, his tiny
shoulders shaking with sobs.
"Oh, Stormy," she cried miserably, "Don't be that way!
I would take you back if I could, but - but it's not up to
Obi-Wan continued to cry.
"Look, nothing bad's gonna happen. There's this guy,
Nah'boor, and he just wants to ask you some questions, and
then you'll be going home, okay?" Cyndi lied to him, lied
to herself. She didn't really know what Nah'boor's plans
Obi-Wan did not answer, so the teenager tucked him in
and got up.
"Cyn'i?" Obi-Wan's tiny, tousled head popped up
urgently. "Don' go Cyn'i! Stay wi' me," he begged.
Cyndi's heart melted. "Okay Stormy, I'll stay with
you, but just 'til you fall asleep, okay?
"'kay," the child agreed, scooting over to make room
for Cyndi on the bed beside him.
Cyndi lay down partially on top, partially under the
covers and Obi-Wan snuggled up to her, resting his head
against the girl's shoulder.
Cyndi only meant to stay until Obi-Wan was asleep, but soon,
she ended up dozing off as well.
It was morning when Cyndi woke up but the sound of the
holo-vid still going in the other room told her that Z'ior
must have fallen asleep on the couch as he often did.
During the night, Obi-Wan had worked his way over
until now, instead of lying beside her, he was lying on
*top* of her. His little head rested on her breast, rising
and falling gently as she breathed. The young Initiate's
sturdy little body was light, but very warm as he lay with
his tummy to hers and she could feel his peaceful breathing
as his tiny chest rose and fell against her ribs.
Cyndi placed her hand gently on the side of Obi-Wan's
small head. His downy ginger hair felt like glimmer-silk
beneath her fingers. Obi-Wan's little hand, cradled in her
armpit, twitched gently in response to her touch, but he
did not awaken. The child was so tiny, so perfect and
Cyndi's heart ached strangely and she wondered if
Z'ior were right. Maybe it was her maternal instincts that
were making her feel this way. She had never felt a love
so pure as this before, never even imagined something like
it existed. Lying here, with the child like this, made her
feel so *right*.
She thought that for the first time she understood
what it felt like to be a mother, or at least, a big
sister. This little being that was sleeping so gently on
her stomach looked to her with wide-eyed acceptance, turned
to her for comfort, depended on her... the ache in her
chest turned painful. She was not Obi-Wan's mother, or his
big sister; she was the kidnapper who had taken him away
from where he was loved and wanted and brought him to a
place where he was abused and mistreated. To top it all
off, this morning she was going to take this precious
little boy and leave him with a man that she knew was a
criminal and a kingpin for the dangerous spice-syndicate
known as the Lords, and who knew what purpose they had in
store for the child.
Cyndi hated herself at that moment, but it was beyond
her power to change. Z'ior would never let her back out of
the deal, and Nah'boor would doubtless track them both down
and kill them if they did.
"Cyndi!" Z'ior's slurred voice snapped from the other
room and Cyndi jerked, her peace shattered.
Obi-Wan stirred and whimpered softly.
Gently rolling the child off of her, Cyndi settled the
little Jedi tummy down on the bed and rubbed the sleep out
of her eyes.
"Cyndi!" the demanding call came again and Cyndi
hurried out of the bedroom to find Z'ior struggling to get
up off the kitchen floor. He had stumbled into the kitchen
with a monstrous hangover, looking for a drink and some
medication to make his head feel a little smaller.
Unfortunately he had totally forgotten that yesterday's
little juice accident was still all over the kitchen floor
and had ended up flat on his back.
Cyndi helped him up and pulled his pills out of the
cabinet for him.
"Why didn't you clean this up last night, or make that
little brat do it? I could have broke my neck!" Z'ior
snapped, his hangover making him dangerous.
"I'll get it now Zee," Cyndi said quietly, knowing
better than to cross the Miith'yn when he was like this.
Z'ior nodded and stumbled off to take a shower.
Cyndi was scrubbing the now sticky bubbly off the
floor when Z'ior reappeared, clutching her handbag in one
hand and looking furious. Hauling her up to her feet
without preamble the Miith'yn slapped her.
"Thievin' little tramp!" he spat at her angrily and
Cyndi tried to figure out what in the galaxy he was talking
"What-?" she backed up in the face of his rage,
bumping against the kitchen counter.
"Don't you act innocent with me Cyndi Jancy!" he
shouted, pulling a fist full of credits out of her handbag.
"They paid you half our fee last night, and you didn't tell
me!" Grabbing the front of her shirt he slapped her again,
so hard he brought tears to her eyes. "No, you just
waltzed in here like nothin' happened, dirty little back-
stabber!" What he had been doing going through Cyndi's
things in the first place he didn't mention.
Dragging his young girlfriend out of the kitchen by
her hair Z'ior threw Cyndi against the wall. "Thought you
were pretty smart huh? Thought you could double-cross me
after all we've been through together!" Z'ior laid into
her with his fists.
"Z'ior, please!" Cyndi begged. "I wasn't trying to
hide anything from you, I swear! I-I didn't want to
interrupt you while you were watching your show, and-and
then I fell asleep, I-I wasn't going to hide it from you!
Please! Please stop!" she sobbed as he continued to slap
"A likely story!" Z'ior raged, striking Cyndi so hard
he knocked her to the floor.
"Stop it!" a small, but authoritative voice from the
bedroom doorway demanded.
Looking over, Cyndi saw Obi-Wan standing in the
doorway, one of the bed sheets trailing behind him.
The child still looked bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
from just waking up, but a disapproving frown wrinkled his
small features and his eyes flashed. "Stop it!" Obi-Wan
demanded again, making his way to Cyndi's side. "No hurt
"Stormy, don't!" Cyndi urged, trying to push the child
away before he got in the path of Z'ior's anger as well.
The three-year-old ignored her, standing protectively
in front of the fallen teenager. "No hurt Cyn'i," he
repeated defiantly to Z'ior.
Snarling angrily, Z'ior lashed out, aiming a hard kick
for Cyndi's midsection. At the last moment, Obi-Wan got
in-between them, catching the blow instead. Z'ior's boot
caught the tiny Initiate in the chest and abdomen. The
impact knocked the child backward, slamming him against the
wall. Obi-Wan crumpled to the ground like a rag doll and
Cyndi screamed. "Stormy!"
Scrambling over to the child, Cyndi scooped him up
into her arms, terror clutching at her heart. "Stormy!
Stormy honey, are you okay?!" For an instant, her heart
stopped beating as saw the glazed, glassy look in Obi-Wan's
wide eyes. For a moment, she thought he was dead. Then
Obi-Wan coughed and his face contorted into a mask of pain.
Holding the sobbing child close Cyndi rocked him back
and forth. "You shouldn't have done that sweetie," she
When she turned back to Z'ior there was a fire in
Cyndi's green eyes that the Miith'yn had never seen before.
"You could have killed him!" she shouted furiously. "Just
think how much *that* would have pleased Nah'boor!" she
added, knowing that would hit Z'ior closer to home than the
thought that he had very nearly snuffed this precious
little life out of existence with one blow.
"Cyndi..." Z'ior wasn't sure what to say, Cyndi had
never turned on him this way before.
"Stay away from us!" Cyndi snapped, her eyes
threatening. "I didn't try to steal nothin' from you! But
if you touch Stormy again, so help me Z'ior, you'll pay for
Z'ior actually backed down, looking a little confused.
"Hey, hey Cyndi, calm down honey..." he held his hands out
in a placating gesture. "Okay, if you say it's a mistake,
it's a mistake. Now come on, we've got to get this kid
over to the warehouse."
Cyndi took Obi-Wan into the bedroom again to dress
him. The little boy was still crying as she ran her hand
gently over his small ribcage. The child looked so
fragile, she desperately hoped that Z'ior's vicious blow
had not broken any of the tiny ribs or ruptured anything
inside. She couldn't find anything visibly wrong, so she
gently pulled his tunic back on him.
"You 'kay Cyn'i?" Obi-Wan asked between hitching
breaths as he tried to bring his sobbing under control.
Cyndi laughed. He was concerned about *her*? "I'm
fine Stormy," she assured. "How about you?"
"I 'kay," Obi-Wan nodded shakily, as if he were not
really sure. "My tummy hurts," he said, rubbing his
"I know it does Stormy," she said softly. "I'm sorry,
but... thanks," she smiled at him warmly. "Nobody's ever
tried to stand up for me before, not even myself."
"Don' let him hurt you Cyn'i," Obi-Wan shook his hand,
reaching up and wiping the tears from her cheeks with his
small palms. "You big, not little like me, you can stop
him, you don' have to let him hurt you."
Cyndi used to think differently, but now... she
wondered. She had stood up to Z'ior for Obi-Wan's sake and
he had backed down, and she felt incredibly good because of
it. Maybe the child was right. Maybe, just maybe, she
didn't have to take abuse from Z'ior and people like him.
"Maybe you're right Stormy, maybe you're right," she
"Cyndi!" Cyndi heard Z'ior call impatiently from the
"Coming," she said, picking Obi-Wan up and carrying
him out perched on her right hip.
They took Z'ior's speeder the abandoned warehouse
where they were supposed to meet their contractor. Obi-Wan
clung to Cyndi as they climbed out of the speeder.
"Some'in' wrong Cyn'i," he whispered. "Some'in' bad here,"
the little Jedi shook his head, registering instincts and
insights he did not yet know the meaning or origin of.
A large black hover-car waited for them. The moment
they appeared, a tall Twi'Lek man stepped out of the hover-
car, followed by two large whiphids toting blasters. It
didn't take a genius to figure out that the Twi'Lek in the
dark blue robes was Nah'boor. Around his neck hung a
pendent of dull, metallic obsidian, dotted with tiny fire-
gems, resembling stars. The crest of the Midnight Lords.
Obi-Wan took one look at Nah'boor and hid behind
Cyndi's legs, clutching her pants and burying his face
against the back of her calves. There was something evil
about the man and Obi-Wan knew it.
Z'ior picked Obi-Wan up and the Initiate squealed in
protest. "Cyn'i," he cried plaintively. "Bad man, don't
wanna go wit' bad man! Don' make me go wit' him Cyn'i!"
Cyndi resisted the urge to cry. "Shh Stormy, it's
okay, it'll be okay," she tried to assure, unconvincingly.
The little Jedi clung to Cyndi, wide-eyed and scared,
but Z'ior pried his tiny fingers loose and carried him to
the waiting Twi'Lek.
Obi-Wan squirmed in the Miith'yn's arms.
Nah'boor grinned at the frowning child. "You don't
like me little one?" the Twi'Lek's yellow eyes regarded the
human child's half-frightened face. "Nasty habit of your
kind I've heard, being able to see too much about people."
Nah'boor's pasty face was cold and hard. "It's too bad
really. You're just much too observant for your own good,"
Nah'boor shook his head, making his plump head-tails sway
gently. "Put him in the backseat," the spice-dealer
gestured and one of his whiphid henchmen took Obi-Wan from
Z'ior grinned, albeit, somewhat nervously. "Good luck
with him, the kid's a little brat." The Miith'yn rubbed
his finger, still sore from Obi-Wan's bite the night
Nah'boor's pale lips parted in a predatory smile.
"Don't worry, I have a feeling he won't be giving us any
trouble." The big Twi'Lek pulled out his purse.
"Hey, um, you know, you didn't tell us the kid was a
Jedi," Z'ior angled, his greed overcoming his nervousness.
"That's high risk, you know..."
"You'll be compensated," Nah'boor said flatly, pulling
a large stack of credits out of his money-pouch. "You did
a competent job," the Lord commented as he sorted
carelessly through the pile of dactaries. "The Security
Force has no idea where the child disappeared to."
Cyndi supposed she should take pride in her handiwork,
but she did not.
"There's another small matter you could take care of
for us, if you're interested," Nah'boor said, waving the
credits slightly in front of them.
"Yeah, sure, what'd ya want?" Z'ior agreed eagerly.
Cyndi didn't like it. She wanted to have nothing more
to do with the Midnight Lords. It was not as if she were
unaccustomed to crime, unfortunately. The teenager had
been a small time crook since she was eleven and ran away
from her abusive father to live a life on the streets.
Since then she had been a thief, a smuggler and a lot of
other things she wasn't terribly proud of; she had also
gone through a succession of boyfriends, all of whom
treated her more or less the way Z'ior did. Perhaps
because she did not realize that the relationships and the
abuse were neither healthy, nor normal. Yet in all her
time on the streets, Cyndi had never become hooked up in a
gang before. She had had friends who were and she saw what
it did to them. Most of them were dead now.
"My associate will fill you in on the details,"
Nah'boor said, handing the dactaries over and gesturing to
one of the whiphids.
While Z'ior greedily counted the credits, Cyndi tried
not to look at the backseat of the hover-car. Through the
darkened windows she could just see Obi-Wan, his little
face and hands pushed against the glass. He looked so darn
"What's so important about a little kid like that?"
Cyndi asked, just as Nah'boor turned to leave. The price
the Lords were paying them was incredible.
"Cyndi," Z'ior hissed. "It's none of our business."
"Hey," Cyndi huffed, folding her arms. "I'm the one
who risked my neck to get him, I'd like to know," she said
with a cockiness that she did not feel. She turned back to
Nah'boor again. "I'm interested in what a three-year-old
could know that would make a big group like the Lords want
him so badly."
Z'ior stared at her as if she were crazy and Cyndi
wondered too late if that had been a wise thing to say. It
was only that she wanted so much to be sure that Obi-Wan
would be all right...
Nah'boor however, just smiled and cupped Cyndi's chin
in one of his cold, pale hands. "You have a great deal of
spunk human, I like that," he smiled in a manner that said
he liked other things about her as well.
The sixteen-year-old did not flinch away from his
"Maybe one of these days you'll find a place in the
Lords," he said, stroking her cheek. "I could put in a
word for you..."
"You didn't answer my question," Cyndi pointed out,
intentionally not returning the Twi'Lek's interest in her.
Nah'boor gave a faint smile and withdrew his hand.
"It's nothing very important my dear," he said as if
*"Yeah, that's why you paid a small fortune to have
Stormy kidnapped. That's why you knew exactly where he was
going to be and when..."* Cyndi thought sarcastically, but
she knew she had better not push her luck with the cartel
"If you really must know, the child had the misfortune
of seeing something he shouldn't have, now, if you'll
excuse me?" the Twi'Lek mock-bowed and retreated towards
"What in the Cryion blazes did you think you were
doing asking him all those question Cyndi?" Z'ior breathed
after Nah'boor moved away. Z'ior was disgruntled,
irritated, and a little more frightened than he would like
to admit. "When the Lords are involved, you want to know
as little as possible. You don't wanna get on these guys'
bad side Cyndi."
Cyndi tucked a few strands of copper hair behind her
ear. "I was just curious," she said flippantly, although
inside, her heart was turning over and over like a restless
Hopi. "What do you suppose they're gonna do with Stormy
now, after Nah'boor finds out whatever he wants to know?"
The teenager was desperately denying to herself what
commonsense was telling her.
"Geez Cyndi, the brat's a witness, you snagged him
from the Security Force station yourself for cryin' out
loud and they didn't have him down there for a social
visit! What do you *think* they're gonna do with him?"
Z'ior said dispassionately, tucking the credits away, deep
inside an inner pocket.
Cyndi's heart wrenched, unable to deny the truth
anymore. She had just handed over a helpless baby to face
death at the hands of a group of cold-blooded executioners.
Cyndi couldn't stand herself. All she could see were Obi-
Wan's shifting blue-green eyes looking up at her, awash
with tears, but so trusting...
The teenager wished this had never happened. If the
Midnight Lords had wanted the boy dead, why couldn't
Nah'boor have just hired someone to kill the young Jedi and
get it over? Why have him kidnapped? Why give her time to
fall in love with the little boy...?
The whiphid that Nah'boor had indicated earlier now
came forward to talk to Z'ior and Cyndi about the other job
that his boss had mentioned.
Nah'boor settled his large frame onto the hover-car's
backseat, next to the tiny Jedi child.
Obi-Wan shrank away from the Twi'Lek, pressing himself
against the door. "Le' me go home," the little boy said
warily. "Please, take me home."
"In good time, in good time," Nah'boor said casually.
"We have some things to talk about first. Like what you
told the Security Officers yesterday."
"You wanna know 'bout the man tha' ran through the
garden too, don' you?" the child said, folding his arms and
drawing his knees up in what anyone who knew him recognized
as his stubborn, suspicious posture.
"That's right, you're a smart boy," the man
complimented, but even a little child like Obi-Wan could
tell that the Twi'Lek didn't really mean it.
If that was really what all this was about, then Obi-
Wan wished that he had stayed indoors after the rain last
week, like everyone else. But the adventurous little
Initiate had ventured out when the crèche Master wasn't
watching and gone for a stroll in the rain drenched Temple
gardens. There had been great puddles for splashing in and
lots of squirmies and creepers, whom the torrential rain
had driven above ground, to examine.
The child had been busily engaged in studying a huge,
hairy creeper on an Azili bush when someone jumped over the
garden wall, close by him. Obi-Wan had been so shocked at
the rude intrusion that he simply stood and stared as the
man dashed across the garden and jumped heedlessly over the
Obi-Wan was inadvertently staring at the heavy pendant
around Nah'boor's neck.
"You like this?" the Twi'Lek asked, holding the chain
out a little so that the pendant rocked gently, making the
fire-stones glitter like the stars they represented. "You
recognize it, don't you?" Nah'boor's eyes narrowed. "The
man you saw in the garden was wearing one, wasn't he?"
Obi-Wan nodded slowly, suspiciously.
"He was carrying something too child. He took it into
the garden with him, but he didn't have it when we caught
up with him on the other side. Where did he hide it, hm?
Do you remember boy, when he entered the garden, what did
"He jumped th' wall an' ran 'cross the garden," Obi-
Wan said sullenly. "He trampled Mast'a Thr'own's 'Zili
plants," the child frowned disapprovingly. "Mast'a Thr'own
wasn't at all happy..." Obi-Wan trailed off, finding the
soft fabric that the seats were covered in incredibly
"Then what did he do?" Nah'boor asked with attempted
"Then he jumped over th' other wall," Obi-Wan said
plainly, idly walking his fingers up the back of the seat.
"I mean between the two. What did he do in the garden
*before* he jumped over the other wall?" the Twi'Lek's
scanty patience was running out fast. The hover-car's
engine started up.
Obi-Wan's little mouth tightened and he regarded the
syndicate leader stubbornly with the same turbulent eyes
that had given Cyndi cause to knick-name him "Stormy".
"I don' remember," the child said carelessly. It
wasn't quite true. Obi-Wan did remember, but something,
something deep down inside was telling him that this man
was evil and that he should not tell him what he wanted to
Nah'boor grabbed Obi-Wan's little wrists, jerking the
child up and forcing the small boy to look at him. "This
is not a game little one," the Twi'Lek threatened. "Don't
think to toy with me. You remember, and you're going to
tell me! Think child! Before he jumped over the wall
again, he must have stopped, paused for a moment somewhere.
All I want to know is where. Then you're free to go home.
You do want to go home, don't you little one?" a malicious
smile tugged at Nah'boor's lips as he saw the doubt and
longing that flittered across the child's face.
Yes, Obi-Wan did want to go back to the Temple very
badly. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to tell the big man
with the tentacles on his head what he wanted to know...
Tears of indecision welled up in the tiny Jedi's big
eyes. He didn't want to do the wrong thing, but he didn't
know what was right!
Cyndi was only half-listening to the conversation as
the whiphid explained to she and Z'ior what the Lords
wanted them to do next. Although he never said so, it was
obviously a spice pick-up.
However, the young woman's attention was still held by
the hover-car a few meters away, or rather, by the thought
of it's tiny occupant in the backseat. *"I'm so sorry
Stormy!"* she thought, dangerously near tears. *"I never
wanted it to work out this way..."*
But sorry wasn't enough, not near enough. This was
all her fault! She should have never taken him, and could
not live with herself if she let this happen now.
Never again would she be able to get a night's rest in
which she did not see the specter of Obi-Wan's innocent
eyes hanging in the darkness before her, or feel the
phantom weight of his little body sleeping on her stomach.
She couldn't let him die; he had barely begun to live!
The thought came to her that she should find a
Security Officer and tell them everything, but Cyndi
quickly dismissed it. She had no idea where Nah'boor
intended to take Obi-Wan, and by the time the Security
could find them, it would be too late for the child.
No, she was going to have to do something now, on her
own, if she wanted to save Obi-Wan. Cyndi realized that
all she would probably accomplish was getting herself
killed as well, but that was better than living with the
knowledge of the horrific thing she had done.
The hover-car's engine sprung to life as the whiphid
wrapped up his conversation with them. Cyndi knew she was
going to have to do something fast.
"I'll be right back," she said quietly to Z'ior as the
whiphid headed back towards the hover-car.
Before the Miith'yn could stop her, Cyndi walked right
up to the big vehicle and knocked on one of the darkly
tinted, back windowpanes.
Nah'boor held Obi-Wan's little arms so tight the
child's hands were going numb, but the big Twi'Lek smiled
because he could see that the little Jedi's will was
crumbling. Of course, he had no intention of taking Obi-
Wan back to the Jedi Temple, or anywhere else other than
perhaps the bottom of a refuse shaft on one of Coruscant's
A knock on the window disrupted them and Nah'boor
looked up with great annoyance to see that girl again,
looking in at them.
"What do you want?" the Twi'Lek snapped harshly as the
window lowered with a mechanized whir.
"Sorry," Cyndi said sheepishly. "The kid was playing
with one of my earrings on the way over, I think he's still
got it," she said, pulling on her naked, right ear and
gesturing to the long, dangling pendant that hung from her
Nah'boor huffed in irritation. Teenagers! He could
have sworn that the girl had both earrings on when he had
spoken to her just a few minutes ago.
Before Nah'boor could protest, Cyndi reached in and
turned Obi-Wan towards here. "Hey there Stormy, you got my
earring still?" she asked, using her search as an excuse to
ease the child out of the Twi'Lek's grip.
Obi-Wan looked puzzled. "But Cyn'i..." he started to
protest that he had never *had* her earring, but she
cheerfully cut him off.
"Ah, now Stormy, no buts about it, I know you like it,
but I've gotta have it back." Cyndi's heart was pumping
unevenly and terror at the prospect of what she had decided
to do clawed at her, but she was not going to give up now.
Drawing up all the courage she could find, Cyndi's grip on
Obi-Wan tightened and she suddenly pulled the child out
through the window.
"What is the meaning-?" Nah'boor started to demand,
but Cyndi was already halfway inside the deserted
warehouse, with Obi-Wan in her arms.
The two whiphid bodyguards sprang out of the car like
jack-in-the-boxes and blaster-fire followed Cyndi through
the broken door.
The condemned warehouse had been deserted for years
and it's empty insides echoed hollowly, making Cyndi's
footfalls echo loudly in it's voluminous interior. Seeing
no chance for cover and no other way out down here, Cyndi
threw herself up the stairs on the right at full tilt,
knowing that her pursuers would not be far behind.
Obi-Wan held onto Cyndi tightly, his eyes wide at this
new development. He didn't know what to think. The last
time Cyndi had taken him somewhere, she had taken him away
from Master Embry and his home, but he desperately wanted
to get away from the nasty Twi'Lek in the blue robes...
The little Jedi decided that for now, the best course
of action was to be quiet and hang on tight, there was
little else he could do anyway.
The upper level of the rotting warehouse was broken
into a series of what had once been offices and executive
departments. Reaching the top of the winding stair, Cyndi
could hear the whiphids and probably Nah'boor too,
clamoring up the stairs behind her, just out of sight.
Swerving to the right to avoid a wild shot that barely
missed her head, the teenager tried to lose herself in the
maze of broken-down offices. Suddenly, Cyndi found herself
face to face with a wall and in a room that had no exit but
the one she had come in by. Turning back to run out of the
dead end, she saw her pursuers burst into the office just
beyond, coming fast.
Quickly slamming the door, she locked it tightly, but
knew that would not hold them for long. All they had to do
was shoot the handle...
Cyndi's mouth went dry. They were trapped. The room
was littered with trash and broken down equipment, but
nothing big enough to hide behind. A window in the wall on
their left was broken, and big enough for them to fit
through, but Cyndi took one look and knew she could never
hope to jump safely from this high with Obi-Wan in her
Violent pounding shook the door and a quick blast
melted the locking mechanism.
In a desperate last ditch effort, Cyndi slid into a
small storage closet, pulling the door shut just as
Nah'boor and his two henchmen burst into the room.
Cyndi closed her eyes and sank down the wall behind
her until she was crouching in the far corner of the closet
with Obi-Wan hugged close on her lap. Of course the Lords
would look in here, it was an obvious choice. She was dead
and she knew it, but at least she had tried...
Obi-Wan squirmed slightly and seemed as if he might
say something. Cyndi pressed a warning finger to his lips.
"Shh, Stormy, shh," she breathed in his ear, so soft that
he could almost not hear it. "We've got to be quiet. If
those men find us, they will kill us," she hissed as she
heard the three men tearing up the huge office out side.
Any moment now one of them would spot the nearly hidden
closet behind the broken filing shelves.
Obi-Wan's body tightened in her arms and Cyndi
regretted frightening the child. "It'll be okay," she lied
for his sake. "We've just got to be quiet, like a game of
hide-and-seek," she tried to put it in less frightening
terms, ones the little boy could understand.
Obi-Wan nodded in comprehension. Hide-and-seek, he
knew how to play that, they played that at the Temple all
the time. It was one of his favorite games. Of course,
sometimes it drove the poor crèche Master crazy because
some of the initiates could hide a little too well...
Yet a part of Obi-Wan knew that this was a game they
dare not lose. He closed his eyes and Cyndi felt the
little Jedi's body go ridged in her arms as he concentrated
with all the effort in his three-year-old body.
Suddenly, the door to the closet banged open and
Nah'boor's towering figure stood silhouette against the
light that poured into the darkened little area, a blaster
gripped tightly in his hand.
There was no way out, no escape for the teenager or
the little Jedi. *"I'm sorry Stormy, I tried,"* Cyndi
thought, her arms tightening around the child on her lap.
Drawing a deep breath, she waited for death to come.
Nah'boor's piercing gaze swept over the inside of the
little closet and saw nothing there. Slamming the door in
disgust he gestured to the broken window. "She must have
jumped from here, it's the only way out," the Twi'Lek
concluded. "Get down to street level and start searching,
I'll get Vi-dui and his group down here. When you find
them, kill the girl, but bring the child back to me. He
doesn't die until he answer's my questions. Got me? Than
Cyndi listened in disbelief as the gang members left
the room and she heard their footsteps fade away into
silence. She couldn't believe it. Nah'boor had looked
straight at the huddled pair, but he had not seen them.
"Gone?" Obi-Wan whispered weakly, his tiny, barely
trained reserve of strength entirely spent.
"Yes, Stormy, they've gone," Cyndi whispered back,
still in a state of shock.
"Good," the child murmured and went totally limp in
her arms, his little body shaking with exhaustion. The
hide-and-seek skill was one he knew, but the effort he had
had to put into it to make both he and Cyndi actually
invisible to Nah'boor had almost been beyond his un-
tempered abilities, and far beyond the amount of control a
child his age could usually exert.
Cyndi held him close, not daring to move out of the
closet until she knew they would no longer be looking for
them down in the street. Obi-Wan, worn out by his
exertion, fell asleep on her lap and Cyndi remained in the
closet for hours. When she finally dared to venture out,
the pitch-black of night covered Coruscant.
Sliding along, as silently as a wraith with Obi-Wan in
her arms, Cyndi made her way to a Security Force station.
She knew she was about to incriminate herself, but she had
to get Stormy to someone who could take him home, and
besides, with the Midnight Lords after her, she could
expect to live about three hours on the streets on her own.
The Officers, at the child's request, allowed Cyndi to
stay with Obi-Wan until several of the Masters from the
Temple came to pick him up.
"I'm sorry you had to go through so much Stormy, but
it's all over now," Cyndi assured. "You're going home."
Obi-Wan smiled beautificlly in a way that Cyndi had
not seen since she had kidnapped him. Throwing his tiny
arms around Cyndi as if she were the most wonderful person
in the world he giggled with joy. "Really Cyn'i? I go
home now? Thanks Cyn'i!" A thoughtful look crossed the
child's face. "'ou come too Cyn'i?"
Cyndi shook her head. "I- I've got other things I
have to take care of," she said, glancing at the officers
watching them. "But if I can, I'll visit you. I'll never
forget you Stormy."
"I not forget Cyn'i neither," Obi-Wan nodded
seriously. "An'... Cyn'i?"
"My name, Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan 'enobi."
"Okay, Obi-Wan," Cyndi smiled.
When two beings wearing tan clothing and dark brown
robes came into the room, Cyndi was rewarded with the truly
wonderful sight of Obi-Wan's entire face lighting up as he
dashed across the room and flung himself into the arms of
one of the Jedi crèche Masters.
Master Embry was the second being. Her pretty face
was drawn from concern, but it all eased away as she saw
that Obi-Wan was all right.
Then Cyndi saw a third Jedi enter, only this one was
not much taller than Obi-Wan.
Disattaching himself from Master T'ion's legs, Obi-Wan
embraced Master Yoda with the unlimited and unreserved joy
that was still natural at the child's age.
The ancient Jedi Master and the three-year-old Initiate
could look eye to eye and Cyndi reflected with a barely
suppressed grin that if Obi-Wan hugged the venerable Jedi
Master any more energetically he would risk lifting the
small, green being off the ground.
"Glad to see you, we are," Yoda assured, once he had
disengaged himself from Obi-Wan's stranglehold of a hug.
Master Ti'on picked the little Jedi up and carried him
out with Master Embry close on their heels. "Bye Cyn'i!"
Obi-Wan called happily, waving over the Jedi's shoulders.
"Come 'isit me!"
"Bye Stormy!" she called, once more reverting to the
name which was more familiar to her. "I will if I can."
Yoda did not leave, but remained behind to talk with
Cyndi listened with interest as the whole thing
finally started to make sense. Apparently, an operative of
the Midnight Lords had turned informer against his own
group and made off with a disk that had enough evidence and
records on it to put the whole syndicate away for life.
However, Nah'boor caught up with him before he could get it
to the Security.
There was a chase and the fellow jumped the wall of
the Temple Garden in an effort to lose his pursuers. He
must have had a dim view of his chance of escape however,
because before leaving the garden he had hidden the disk
amid the branches of a thickly flowering Mimsa tree. Obi-
Wan had been so quiet that the man never realized his
movements had been seen. Once outside the garden again,
the Lords caught up with him. Security had yet to find his
The disk had been retrieved and Yoda turned it over to
the Security officers now.
"And this one, happen to her, what will?" the
diminutive Jedi inquired, glancing at Cyndi with keen eyes.
"Miss Jancy has agreed to testify against Nah'boor and
the other members of the Midnight Lords and she is being
afforded full protection. She'll still have to be tried of
course, for the child's kidnapping, but I think that things
will go well for her, in light of her cooperation and her
rescue of the boy," the officer reported.
"Glad to hear it, I am," Yoda nodded. Shuffling over,
he laid one wizened hand on Cyndi's arm. "For saving
Initiate Kenobi, my thanks you have," he said, his green
Cyndi smiled hesitantly. "Y-you're welcome," she said
softly, she felt like she should call him *your Majesty* or
something, but wasn't sure if that would be at all proper.
Her eyes turned a little wistful. "Actually sir, you could
say, it was he who saved me, in so many ways."
Several weeks later, Obi-Wan was taken from the crèche
and told he had a visitor.
"Cyn'i!" he cried in delight, running into her arms
when he saw her.
"Hey there Stormy!" Cyndi said, swooping the child up
and twirling him around playfully.
"I Obi-Wan, not S'ormy!" Obi-Wan said with a bright
smile, tugging on Cyndi's shirt collar as she held him in
front of her.
"No," Cyndi shook her head, regarding his happy face
and boisterous smile. "You aren't stormy any more, are
you? Maybe I should call you Twinkle Eyes now!"
The little Jedi made a face. "Noooo, Obi-Wan!" he
"Okay, Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan, Obi-Wan," she repeated, over
and over, letting him hold her hands and bounce between
them as if she were a jungle gym.
Obi-Wan paused, looking at her thoughtfully. Then he
shook his little cinnamon-colored head. "Sounds weird ta
have you say it. Better call me S'ormy!"
Cyndi laughed out loud. "Make up your mind!" she
teased. Cyndi played with him a little longer before she
had to go.
"I came to say goodbye Stormy," she said at last.
"I'm being transferred off-planet." Her sentence for Obi-
Wan's kidnapping had been very gentle, almost a blessing
really. She was being sent to a rehabilitation colony on a
pretty little green planet far away from the dust and noise
of the city. The sentence was for a year and while there
Cyndi would be taught a profession so that when she got
out, she would have somewhere other than the streets to go
back to. They were even going to match her up with a job
when she got out.
Cyndi smiled at the little boy in front of her. Her
past was behind her at last and for the first time in her
life, she was looking forward to the future.
Nah'boor and almost all of his men had been caught,
and the Midnight Lords' operation was all but shut down.
Nobody knew what happened to Z'ior. When Cyndi took
off with Obi-Wan, he had run away as fast as he could and
for all she knew he was still running. *"Good riddance,"*
"You happy Cyn'i?" Obi-Wan inquired, studying her
"Yes, Stormy, I'm very happy," Cyndi nodded.
"Good!" Obi-Wan grinned. "Then I happy too!"
"Goodbye Stormy," Cyndi said, giving the child a kiss
on one rosy cheek.
"Bye Cyn'i!" Obi-Wan called after her as she left.
"See you again!" the little Jedi said with conviction.
Cyndi smiled at his certainty. "Okay Stormy, see you
later. Bye!" With one last wave, she took her leave and
Obi-Wan went back to the crèche were his friends were
waiting for him.