by Aundrea Ascencio
Before the fall of the Galactic Republic, and the rise of an Empire across the galaxy, I had never heard of the name Obi-Wan Kenobi, and my knowledge of the Jedi Order was painfully limited.
On my home world...a certain volcanic moon in the Outer Rim Territory...we rarely dealt with Jedi, and when we did, the negotiations were straightforward and to the point.
Just long enough to keep one side from stepping too hard on the other's toes.
We were an ally to the Republic, and agreed to protect their interests in the Outer Rim, if they protected ours in the Senate.
Usually that involved two things. Legislation and Taxes.
Our legislative agreements were based on letting us have our own laws, including those that were debated in Coruscant.
We were also given tax leniency on our most profitable exports, such as diamonds and other volcanic minerals, like aluminum ore and gold.
Since most of the precious minerals found in the galaxy could be mined in the volcanos surrounding my world, we were a territory whose bad side the Senate didn't want to be on.
We agreed to remain a strong Republic military ally in the Outer Rim, and the Republic agreed to contract us as their top contributor for mineral production.
It was good business.
Before the rise of the Empire, my world was one of the richest territories in the Outer Rim.
And for the most part, we were out of the direct reach of the Republic when it came to more controversial business contracts dealt under the radar,
like secretly exporting goods to parties the Senate wouldn't approved of.
In a way, that's how I ended up on Polis Massa.
A good deal gone really bad.
And after it, I needed a place to hide. A place where no one would recognize my face.
Where they wouldn't think twice about the alias I gave them, or my inexperience with "practical" jobs that fell outside my original duties on my home world.
A place where they wouldn't ask too many questions about what those "duties" were, as long as I could get the work done wherever they put me.
The Kallidah Archeological Research Base was just that kind of place.
The inhabitants of the astroid belt believed Polis Massa was actually a planet at one time, and after some mysterious cataclysm,
the planet was destroyed and rearranged itself into an astroid belt.
The base was established to research the cause behind the planet's death, and after generations of scientific study, there were still no leads.
The work was steady, and no one would ever bother to invade the territory in search of...well, me...
because no one would think twice about a back-galaxy astroid belt built on the hopes and dreams of a dead-end "science project".
So for a girl like me, it was the perfect way to blend in, but only if I could make myself look like everyone else, and pick up practical skills like chemistry and pharmacology.
Once I got my hands dirty with those, I marketed myself to the scientists at Polis Massa and they took me in.
I originally applied as an archeological chemist, and was perfectly happy (and safe) working on the base for a standard year.
But then, without warning or election, the Sith regime swept the galaxy into darkness.
And since the heart of the threat was far away in Coruscant, I had no idea how this change in leadership would eventually redefine my life, like the lives of so many others it had destroyed.
After Emperor Palpatine's "Order 66", and the ascent of the Galactic Empire,
the base on Polis Massa became a safe haven for waves of Jedi refugees who had flocked to our medical facility for treatment and protection.
When I learned what happened to the Jedi Order and those who openly defied the new Imperial Rule, I couldn't hide behind fear anymore.
I couldn't sit there and blend into the background with my medical beakers, ignoring what was going on around me.
I probably should have, but I didn't.
Despite the danger I knew I was putting myself in by stepping out into the open, something had to be done.
I couldn't exactly jump into a starfighter and take on Imperial forces in the skies, but I could give Palpatine the finger by committing other such treasonous acts in protest of his Empire.
I volunteered as a supply clerk on the base to help treat those who needed medical attention, and used my knowledge in chemistry and pharmacology to mix medicine and inventory supplies.
I was in deep concentration, mixing an antiseptic-viral hybrid solution for our inventory, when I caught a whiff of smoke and ash floating by me.
It made me pause over the beakers I was working with, bringing back memories of my home world, and gutting me with a sharp pang of sadness and nostalgia.
If it hadn't been for that trigger, I probably wouldn't have glanced up at the man in sandy colored robes and a long brown cloak,
storming through the hallway outside the transparent glass walls of my hospital unit.
His face was coated in sweat and he looked exhausted, as if he'd just taken on an entire Sith army and barely escaped with his life.
His tunic was covered in ash, and from where I sat, I could pick out charred little holes in the fabric where volcanic embers had ripped through his tunic.
His tunic was covered in ash, and from where I sat, I could pick out charred little holes in the fabric where volcanic embers had ripped through his tunic
When I saw the unconscious woman he was cradling in his arms, I dropped the beaker in my hand and ran from my work table to meet him outside.
If I had known he was a Jedi, I might've thought twice about my actions as I approached him, but I didn't always recognize his kind.
I wasn't thinking at all about who this man could be or how it would affect me in the near future. A Jedi wasn't my first assumption about him.
After all, it wasn't just Jedi that we treated on the base, but any refugee trying to escape the overreaching grasp of unchecked political tyranny.
I myself was a refugee, though it wasn't the Empire I was running from.
For me, there were more threatening things to be afraid of in the galaxy, and being captured and taken prisoner by the wrong people was one of them.
However, when I first laid eyes on Kenobi, I couldn't look the other way. There was something different about him. I couldn't put my finger on it, but it was there.
Something tragically beautiful. Like one who has seen and endured things that no one will ever begin to understand.
Like you could learn something about endurance and understanding by studying those eyes.
And pain. There was a hint of that too. Well hidden within him, but I of all people could understand that unspoken language.
At first, it was my rebellious nature that drove me to him, but then I felt this strange kind of force pulling me closer.
A magnetic attraction, like a lodestone snapping to metal, or a planet worshipping its sun. A calling. As if fate had been waiting around for this meeting to happen for me.
The will of some star-crossed destiny encoded into my life.
And I was a slave to its purpose.
I met the captivating gaze of fate in the placid blue eyes of a quiet Jedi Knight gazing back at me.
I saw my own story in his eyes, and in the way he held this woman in his arms, who was too young and too beautiful to be in that position.
It was someone he cared about. Someone important.
I didn't know for sure what she meant to him, but I understood his pain. Because once upon a time, I'd been in the exact same situation he was in, and it too had been my pain.
I knew exactly what he felt as he raced toward me with the young woman in his arms.
Though I was fully aware of the unnecessary attention I'd be drawing to myself, I knew I had to do something to help him save this woman.
When I finally met him in the hall, the woman barely had a pulse, but I could still feel her life tapping faintly against my fingers.
"What happened?" I asked, my brown eyes gazing up into the grayish blue ones that now watched me intently.
"We were attacked while departing from the planet Mustafar."
I quickly inspected the swelling purple bruises that encircled her delicate porcelain neck, a definite sign of ruptured veins and internal bleeding.
And to my horror, I recognized the outline of broad forceful finger marks imprinted into her skin, as if she'd been brutally strangled. What monster could do such a thing to her?
My eyes then scanned over her full, rounded abdomen, which indicated that time was now racing against me.
"How long has she been unconscious?
" I asked him, but that's when I spotted the glinting hilt of a lightsaber hanging from his belt, which up to that point, had been hidden from me under his cloak.
Only then did I realize I was dealing with a Jedi, and what a huge mistake I had made by putting myself in his path.
I had to keep moving. I couldn't wait for his answer.
Not only was time against me to save the unborn child, but every moment I stood there under his studious gaze, my safety was put at greater risk.
Yet despite the fear he provoked in me, I would not abandon this patient, not in my hospital, not on my shift, and not when her life was hanging in the balance like this.
"She'll need oxygen administration immediately. Unit A2 is open," I told him, marching toward my hospital unit again as he followed me.
I sent out a page through comlink for the medical droids working my shift, and began turning up the oxygen concentration in the room.
"What's her name?" I asked, snatching my recently mixed stock of antishock ampules, stress tabs, and pain killer serum from my work desk.
"Padme," he answered calmly, though his keen eyes followed my every frantic move around the unit, especially all the vials and medical instruments I carried with me.
I knew they made me look scary, so I tried to put his mind to ease.
"It's alright," I smiled reassuringly at him. "She's in good hands. I'll do everything in my power for her, Mr..."
"Kenobi," he replied, gently placing my patient onto the bed centered in the room. "Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Hi all, I'm new to this site, and I haven't figured out how to add a new chapter yet, so I'm just going to post chapter 2 as a separate story. Look out for that post soon!