Title: Stormy

By: Cassia

Email: cassia_a@hotmail.com

Category: Story, Drama, Adventure, angst, sort of H/C

Rating:  PG

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

bargained for.


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

very deadly. 


"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

him suddenly?


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

behind them. 


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

a baby."


"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

being difficult.


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

else on."


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?"

he mocked.


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

next room.


 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-

keep handle.


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

the kitchen. 


"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

little tunic.


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?"


"Mm hmm?"


"I-I wanna go home Cyn'i!  Please, please take me

home!" Obi-Wan pleaded, turning small, tear-filled eyes

towards her. 


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

fragile looking...


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

her around.


"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

Cyn'i!  No!"


"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

murmured softly.


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

stomach unhappily.


"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

said softly.


"Cyndi!" Cyndi heard Z'ior call impatiently from the

other room. 


"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!"

Obi-Wan pleaded.


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

the hover-car.


"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

wall again. 


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 do?"


"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

lower levels. 


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?"


"Yes, Stormy?"


"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

the Officers. 


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

eyes gentle. 


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,"*

Cyndi thought.


"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.




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