Japor — Chapter 1 Rating: PG-13

You wish to know what happened? Fine I will tell you. First let me set the stage, It had been about three years since the resolution of the Killik fiasco, and Adumar, Adumar was still two years off. But we're not here to talk about Adumar are we; you want to know about Tahiri. Like I said, it was about three years after the Killiks were dealt with that my Dad assembled the Jedi for a Concave. He felt it was an appropriate time to bring wayward Jedi home. Three Jedi in particular.

I could feel the tempestuous rolling in the Force as soon as the three Jedi stepped off the transport. After all, these particular Jedi had been exiled to Dagobah for years at that point. No one knew if they would accept the Council's wisdom, but Dad thought that with him calling another assemblage of the Jedi that it would be a good time to try and bring them back.

Dad is big on that forgiveness thing.

I barely remembered the three from before their exile, and I did not remember her at all. Not surprising, when you consider how much time she spent on Zonoma Sekot. All alone on Dagobah all those years, I wonder if it changed them. I'm sure if I asked Jaina then she could tell me, but it's not that important anymore.

I peered around my fellow padawans remembering not to wander to far from my Master, yet another point in my life that I was wishing that I was ever so slightly taller. If there is one thing that is bad about being a Skywalker, it is the height.

I looked back at my Master, I knew he was dubious on whether or not the time away had changed them, but it was not his decision to make. I remember the fervor with which he argued with Dad on this whole thing. He did not want them coming back, even now; were it possible I think Jacen would have them still on Dagobah.

Then I saw her. There was nothing specific that I noticed in that first sight, except her beauty. Later I would remember little details such as she was not wearing shoes and the three faint scars on her forehead. But at first, it was just the sheer wonder of seeing her. As she walked past us, she turned toward Jacen, and coolly greeted him. While they were exchanging their insults, thinly veiled as pleasantries, I just stared. I was, oh, thirteen at the time, which meant that she, was twenty-six almost twenty-seven, but that did not matter one bit to me. She was beautiful.

When I felt Jacen slightly push my back, I belatedly realize that he had introduced me and I was supposed to say something.

"Are you an angel?" is what tumbled out of my mouth, much to my horror. "I, I read about them, they are supposed to be the most beautiful creatures in the galaxy. They're from the moons of Iego I think."

Great, there she was, beautiful beyond belief, and I'm giving her a lesson in exobiology. At that point, I felt a twinge in Jacen's Force presence. I had assumed it was amusement at my stumbling.

"Aren't you a funny little boy?" Is what she replied.

Although it was spoken as a question, it was more of a statement of fact. I swiftly pulled the Force back in around me to ensure I did not broadcast the hurt I felt at her reply. I'm good at hiding in the Force.

I fell behind Jacen as we headed into the assembly. There was Dad looking serene and calm in his Jedi robes. I looked around, and saw her, just a few seats over, one row ahead. Everything about her seemed so, alive, her Force presence just radiated peace and compassion while at the same time nearly bubbling over with a, a vibrancy that I had never felt before. It was almost as amazing as her physical features. For the first time, I was glad I had the Force.

Keeping my own Force presence blanketed I probed her. I reveled in her presence. I did this, knowing neither my Master nor my Dad would be able to feel me probe her. Knowing full well I could do it to either of them, and they would not notice. I knew this from experience. As I said, I'm good at hiding in the Force.

Imagine my surprise when she turned to me and gave me a wink and a quick smile.

The horror I had felt at my brilliant comments to her earlier was a minor thing in comparison as I felt my checks start to burn and I slumped slightly lower in my chair. Of course I would do anything to get that smile turned on me again, the embarrassment of getting caught could not overshadow the joy that smile caused me.

I'm pretty sure some of that joy leaked out into the Force. I'm sure of this for two reasons; the first is that Tish, a female Rodian Padawan sitting a few seats down from me, suddenly giggled. Loudly. Secondly, I felt a twinge in Jacen's Force presence. Again, I assumed it was amusement this time due to my embarrassment.

As the assembly ended, I got up and made a dash for the door as fast as decorum allowed. After all, it wouldn't look good for my Dad if it was seen that even his son tries to run his way out of meetings, but I had something I wanted to do.

When I got home, I began digging through my boxes and belongings. I had remembered getting something on Naboo a few years earlier that I wanted to give her. At last I found it, I held it up and let the thin strip of leather which holds it play out.

A small intricately carved piece of Japor wood covered with curls and swooshes. Like a child's conception of a river. Japor is one of the few plants that can be found on Tatooine, and there is something about Tatooine which allows it to grow, which means that it cannot grow anywhere else. Back then a single pound of it could buy a new speeder bike. A desk made entirely from it could get you a brand new star cruiser. What this snippet was doing on Naboo, I have no clue, but the Force thrummed when I found it and I knew I had to get it.

When she winked at me that was when I knew why I had gotten it. It was to be a gift for her.

I rushed out to look for her, and found her sitting in one of the meditation gardens. She smiled as I approached, and once again I marveled at that bright beautiful smile.

"I have something to give you." I began as I held out the small wooden icon, "it will bring you good fortune."

"Wow Ben, It's beautiful." She then graced me with another of her smiles, as she moved to put it on.

I smiled in return and opened my mouth to say, "As are you." After all, I wanted to be smooth like Uncle Han. Well at least that is what I opened my mouth to say. Unfortunately that Skywalker luck struck again, for what came out was "I'm going to marry you."

I'm still not exactly sure what emotions crossed her face, but I could feel the pain that started rolling off her in the Force. I reached out to her as she took off at a run. The one word that I could understand as she ran off was "Ani."

Looking down I noticed a single drop of water on the stone pathway, shining slightly in the direct sunlight.

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