It was just before 0600, when Nomi and Dash set out for Tarik. The embassy wasn't far away and they were on foot.
"Any idea what Tarik could want from us, Nomi?" His wife inclined her head and looked at him. "I don't know Dash, but it seemed urgent."
They've finally reached the embassy. At the entrance a security droid stood guard. With a wiry voice he addressed the arrivals: "Please set your weapons aside."
Dash opened his holster reluctantly, removed his blaster slowly and put it in the box situated next to the droid. "Thank you very much. I announce the ambassador your arrival.
" He walked over to a little wall mounted com unit and spoke.
Meanwhile Dash nudged his wife and whispered: "What about your lightsaber?" Nomi whispered back: "It seems the weapon is so unusual that the droid didn't recognized it."
Shortly afterwards the double door opposite the entrance area opened and Tarik appeared.
The winged non-human run to meet them and hugged Nomi first and then Dash.
"I'm pleased to see you. Come, we go in a room where we are undisturbed."
The Jedi and her husband followed Tarik to a small room at the end of a small hallway. He waved inviting. "Come in, my friends. The room is bug-proofed.
I've something to tell you, what no one else is supposed to hear." He laughed his chirping laugh that Nomi hadn't heard for ages. "Take a seat, please.
" He pointed invitingly at a living room suite, situated in a corner of the windowless room. His guests sat down, while the ambassador fetched some drinks from the bar.
Dash has already made himself comfortable, while Nomi was about to sit down. Tarik looked with wide eyes at her. "How have you managed to bring the lightsaberround my security droid?"
Nomi grinned. "You should reprogram him, Tarik. He was only aware of Dash's blaster."
Tarik sighed. "It's not distrust, my friends, but since Tai-Lin Karr's murder I'm cautious. Especially because I am, like him, with the Populists.
When I've learned that you are on Hosnian Prime, I took the opportunity to speak with you." He drew a deep breath.
"The peace treaty with the remnants of the Empire isn't the flimsiplast worth it is written on, Nomi.
There's something going on, the defamation of senator Organa, the assassination of Tai-Lin Karr through an Imperial sympathizer... it isn't by chance.
And what is the senate doing? Nothing! Populists and Centrists tear each other apart. They won't see the danger of a revitalized Empire." He sighed.
"What I tell you now must be strictly between us."
Nomi and Dash nodded. "Senator Organa is secretly building an organization called Resistance. She's seeing the danger and doesn't want the New Republic being defenseless.
Me and a few other Populists support her as much as we can. Through neat manipulations we were able to equip the Resistance with weapons and fighters.
Not these outdated X-wings we've flown during the Civil War, but the newest model, the Incom T-70 X-wing fighter. It's faster and heavily armed. It's much better than our jalopies, Nomi.
The Resistance needs good pilots like you." He looked expectantly at them.
Dash shook his head. "No, Tarik. We're too old for fighting, my friend."
Tarik smiled about Dash's remark. "You never get to old to battle for peace and justice. Even 80 standard years old Admiral Ackbar had joined the Resistance." He winked at Nomi.
The Jedi shook her head like her husband. "We can't, Tarik. It isn't about the age, as Dash convince you to believe, there are personal reasons, my friend."
Tarik knew too well that it wouldn't make sense to probe more. He knew his old friend's stubbornness, which she even as a Jedi hadn't lost.
Therefore he waited patiently, if Nomi would tell him about those personal reasons. And it paid.
"Our children are missing."
Tarik wrinkled his forehead: "But I thought the four are at Luke Skywalker's academy."
Nomi shook her head. "The academy is gone. It was destroyed and there were many casualties. Luke had told us before he vanished.
" She felt what her old friend was about to say, when he looked doubtful at her. "I am sure that our children are still alive. I would have felt, when they were dead, Tarik."
The ambassador stood up. "I'm sorry that the Resistance has to do without your support. Maybe you have second thoughts, when you've found your children. I hope so.
Nevertheless it was a pleasure to see you again. Is there anything else you need?" Nomi and Dash denied.
They stood up too and Tarik accompanied them to the embassy's entry area. Nomi hugged her old friend and fellow soldier warmly. "May the Force be with you.
" Tarik returned the hug, while Dash retrieved his blaster from the box the security droid gave him.
"May the Force be with you and your children."
He tapped his forehead, when a thought had crossed his mind. "Why I'm thinking about this only now? You could ask Maz Kanata about your children.
Maz Kanata's castle on Takodana is a rendezvous point for smugglers, bounty hunters and all kind of space travelers. Maybe someone of them has heard about your children.
As Jedi they can't maintain a low profile in these times." Dash put out his hand. "Thanks for the advice."
Nomi and Dash left arm in arm the embassy. Tarik looked a long time after them. Then he turned around to the security droid.
He would reprogram it, so it would be able to identify lightsabers as weapons. Sighing he began his work.
When they had arrived at the Outrider Dash went to the small bunk and slumped on the cot.
Relaxed he leaned back. "So, we've all settled, Darling. We can finally search for our children." He wrinkled his forehead.
"Do you think it's true that the Empire breaks the treaty and arms again?"
Nomi, who was packing her overnighter, looked up from her task. "I don't know, but Leia always had a sure feeling for imminent danger. She won't have built the Resistance on a whim.
It could be true after what Tarik told us about the goings-on in the senate. I've a bad feeling about this, Dash."
Her husband nodded. "Wouldn't we searching for our children I would sooner rather than later join the Resistance." Nomi gave him a peck on the cheek. "Same here, Darling.
" Dash laughed and ruffled her slightly grayed copper red hair. "What did Tarik say? You never get to old to battle for peace and justice."
Nomi caressed gently his face and traced the wrinkles there. Then she took her packed overnighter, in order to go to the Aquarius. "See you on Takodana, Darling. Fly casual."