Oren peered back towards the large saucer ship with a small smile. He was happy to see his baby running again after the little incident in the swamp. Nara had proven herself that day and afterwards with her cleaning. The near human would rarely admit it, but he often gushed about his student and her progress--she was shaping up to be an amazing Jed and he couldn't be more proud. To show his gratitude, he had opted to bring her along as he helped deliver a few medical supplies to an old Jedi that lived among the people.
Tatooine was blazing hot and no matter how many times he came to this dust bowl, the heat would get to him. He wore a simple synth hide jacket and a pair of smugglers pants which were tucked into a pair of black boots. With the recent news going on, he would hide his saber in his jacket and make no intention of who he was to the public. "Well Nara, it's your first mission--excited?" He'd ask with a raised brow.
"I'd be a little more excited if it wasn't so damn hot," she grumbled, looking out across the sand-blasted planet. The sun seemed to beam down incessantly on them both, and everything around them. The air looked wavy with all that heat, which was an entirely new sensation for Nara. Seemed like her destiny was to get a crash-course in every kind of extreme weather, from pouring jungle rain to searing-hot desert.
Nara had actually ditched her coat, on the advice of Oren. She wore a pair of lighter-brown trousers, with a matching top. The buttons were undone at her collar bone, just to get a little more air. The grey-white half-robe over her top half could unfurl out and let a little more air in, if it needed it. She'd asked around the temple for what'd be best on Tatooine and this was the cobbled-together aesthetic she'd managed. Of course, she had her blaster pistol at her hip and a pack over her shoulder.
"I'm a little worried about Three-B, is he gonna be fine in the ship?" she asked, looking a little anxious. She'd left him in there, snoozing on the console in the cockpit. She assumed it'd be too hot to bring him out. He wasn't the sturdiest of droids and Nara'd been having scary thoughts about him melting, or his board frying in the heat.
Nara's reaction the blazing twin suns reminded the aging Jedi of his own journey to the planet. When he was a student he was forced to walk across the great dune sea with no water, and only the force to guide him. "You know, I could make you do what my master had me do on this planet...or I could wait and take you to Hoth to do it," he'd chuckle as they walked among a small crowd.
It was particularly hot, and he could feel himself burning up in the short sleeve button down that he wore, his pilot's vest only adding to the heat. "He'll be fine..you fixed the cooling interior air flow valve a few weeks ago," he'd say with a chuckle, though it would quickly fade as he thought about it, "You did...didn't you?" He'd pretend to look shocked, but secretly he knew it's fine.
"It's too late now," he'd tease, "We need to meet with Master Jun, he's been aiding the sick and the helpless with stims and medical treatment. It's just a simple delivery." But, was anything ever just that simple?
"Yeah, find another padawan if that happens. The last time you gave me a test, I ended up knee-deep in swamp mud," Nara complained, folding her arms around herself as she did. Her eyes narrowed with the sunlight, still unused to a place where the sun just keeps beaming right at you jeeeeeez.
"Oh yeah, I totally fixed that. Yeah," Nara replied, pulling her face a little when Oren wasn't looking. She did remember doing something to it and then the ship got colder. Either she'd fixed it or she'd accidentally beached the coolant conduit and gassing them all. Judging by the fact they were both still breathing, Nara reckoned she'd done alright.
"Just a simple delivery," Nara mimicked, swinging her arms around while they walked through the desert town. Checking out whatever she saw around her, whether it was a shady-looking guy lingering in shadowy alleyway, or a few kids running in and out of the crowd. She clutched onto her bag instinctively. World might be different but the scams are all the same she thought to herself, smirking.
"Looks like Master Jun's gonna need more than a few more stims to sort this place out," she said, mainly to herself. "Guess a Jedi Master can't do everything though, right? You always take me to the nicest places."
Oren's feet would shift through the sand as they walked along the trails that lead through the clay city. "Not every place can be Nar Shaddaa or Nal Yeshu," he'd chuckle as he peered towards the bright blue sky, "It's natural here..even if the people are a bit rugged." He would peer towards the old blasted up walls and the rough looking citizens that passed them by.
"Master Jun can handle himself, a Jedi can only heal or do as much as they are able to..we aren't perfect," his eyes would peer towards his student. They were only a few blocks away from arriving at the location. "I heard from Three-B about your last delivery," there was a reason he mentioned the planet Yeshu.
"What's his name?" He'd smile as a soft chuckle escaped his lips, "He sounds like a badboy."
Nara's hands slipped into her pockets as she kept looking around, taking everything in. This travelling around the Outer Rim thing was sure taking her to a great variety of run-down places. "More's the pity," she sighed, before the name Nal Yeshu came up. She said nothing, determined to look straight ahead like it hadn't meant anything.
"Oh, you did? Wasn't very eventful." She shrugged like it was no big deal. Still focused straight ahead. "I don't know who you're talking about."
I am going to have some harsh words with my droid.
"He wasn't really anybody important. Just someone who got in the way," she tried to explain, without looking too closely at Oren. If she looked, he might be smiling. And if he was smiling, Nara might have punched him. "Stupid helmet too," she muttered, folding her arms in frustration. "Are we there yet or what?"
Oren would raise a slight brow at the revelation, somewhat shocked, but he couldn't truly be surprised. Nara tried her best to hide her feelings from the Jedi, but he knew her all too well, what little secrets they had were non-existent. He was skeptical though, Mandalorians were brutes and thick headed, but so was his Nara--maybe they would be a good match for each other?
"Well, I'm happy for you," is all he'd say as he slid into the small medical center. The rooms were run down and and all around them were old worn cots. An aging master sat with a cane in the corner, his body shaking as he leaned in to get a good look at the two of them, an ancient chuckle escaping his lips.
"It's been ages my boy," Jun would rasp, "and who is this...your student?"
Oren would peer towards his padawan, prodding her towards the Jedi, "Go on now..introduce yourself."
"You're reading waaaay too much into it," Nara shared, but that was the last thing she wanted to talk about. Oren was like, her dad. If her dad was a weird, wise, unfunny guy with a penchant for robes and not... well, not dead. She followed him into the medical center, watching as the old master leaned in to look at them both. Nara stepped forwards when prodded, looking back over her shoulder with a foul glare.
"Yeah okay you don't need to poke me..." she complained, rolling her eyes before turning back to the older master. "Hi. Yeah. I'm Nara, Oren's padawan." She managed to get a slight bit more respect in her voice when talking to Master Jun. He obviously needed a lot of help with this place, judging by how much he was shaking. Maybe he just did everything by the Force and just sat there, smiling and shaking while the patients healed around him. And rocks floated, don't forget the rocks.
"We've brought you some more supplies, y'know, help top you up," she said to him, unfolding her arms finally, "with the 'blessings of the Jedi council.'" She even put the finger-quotes around the part about the council.
Reading too much into it? Yeah right, Oren knew Nara like the back of his hand. The girl was a fire spirit, and had the sharpest mouth this side of the galaxy, if he was really some no life, she wouldn't have talked about it so much. Oren wasn't dumb, he was practically her father at this point. "Okay kiddo, well if you need to borrow the ship, let me know." He'd tease.
Though his attention would turn towards the interaction between Jun and Nara, she mentioned the supplies, but looking around it seemed there was very little. "Speaking of.." His voice was pointed, "Where are your supplies?"
Jun's hands would fold in his lap as he tilted his shaking head, "My boy...my supplies have been stolen from me," he'd cough, "I'm afraid in my old age, I haven't been able to do much..a twi'lek by the name of Ja'quesh...he took them."
Nara scanned the room with Oren, looking at what Master Jun seemed to have. Not an awful lot. She'd presumed that it'd be a little, y'know, sparse, what with it being a Jedi-run clinic on a world like Tatooine, but being that empty obviously meant something a little different.
The poor old Master looked so frail, upset and helpless that Nara didn't know whether to pat him on the back or shake him by the shoulder. You're a Jedi, shouldn't you be throwing a rock at this guy until he gives you your stuff back?she thought, but calmed herself. Probably wasn't right to chastise Master Jun like that. Left alone on this dry, rough planet...
"Okay so... who is Ja'quesh and where does he hang out?" she asked Master Jun quickly, meeting his tired, rheumy eyes. She started thinking back to how people used to run on Nar Shaddaa. Ja'quesh sounded like just the sort of asshole that she used to know well. All swagger, aggression and stupid attempts at thievery. "Because we're gonna go find him and politely remind him about how charity should work."
She looked over her shoulder towards Oren, eyebrow raised. "I mean, that's what we're going to do, right?"
Oren didn't need the force to know what Nara was thinking, the young spirit would throw herself at any mission. But, to the near Master, it seemed things weren't always so black and white, but he didn't say anything. Tatooine was a desolate world, and it was one that always more than one story within the sands.
Jun would close his eyes as he slumped back in his chair, "Why do I feel you don't mean those words Miss Nara?" The old man would croak, "If you persist...Ja'quesh lives within the Calumndi slums..it's dangerous there though." He would sigh as he opened his eyes. "Are you sure you want to do this?"
Oren would peer towards the girl, stepping out of the decision, "This one is for you to make."
"I mean what I say," Nara fired back. The words weren't said harshly, but there was intent behind them. Don't doubt me. "I'm real sure. We'll get them back," Nara told him with a nod. Just before she turned back around, she looked the old master in the eyes. "And I'm not a Miss. Nara will do, thanks."
She caught Oren's gaze as she whipped round, walking back out of the little clinic into the searing sunlight. "Like I was gonna be able to say no. Oh sorry to hear your supplies have been stolen, bad luck, well see ya later!" She shivered despite the heat, feeling a chill run through her. Something that felt a little off...
"Calumndi slums," she said to herself, thinking about the next step. "Well... I need to find a cantina. Or something like it. Or just anywhere there are people." A plan was running through her head, staring straight on as she bit her lip and thought. You can find anyone with the right words. Especially scummy criminal types. I should know, right?
Oren would frown at the outburst from Nara towards the old master, it seemed she was always quick to jump the gun on certain things, even if someone didn't particularly mean anything bad by it. As the two of them would step outside, the future Jedi Master would sigh, "Look Nara, Master Jun is very old...can you at least try to be a little nice to him?"
She always had a bit of a rough streak to her, and he only hoped it would lower slightly with age. I really want you to become a knight, but the Council is going to hold this against you if you keep to this. He would peer towards the Girl and then off towards the expansive clay city. There were people all around them, stores and shops. It would be up to her to figure out what she wanted to do.
All around them people walked and talked, "You're leading this mission, I am simply following," So quick to act and to judge...often the force and reality is far more different than what we believe. He would keep these thoughts to himself as he let Nara lead him through the city.
"I'm not being nice?" she asked, frowning as she looked up at him, before she met his gaze. There was a lot of... judgement in that look. Friendly judgement. Supportive judgement. Just... not something she could deal with that well. That feeling and sensation of shame. She had to look away for a second. "Yeah, okay. You're right. He doesn't deserve that." She scuffed her boot on the floor like a naughty child... which is exactly what she felt like.
To distract her from that hot feeling in her cheeks, she kept walking through the slums, taking in the air. The baking heat. Looking around at everyone she saw... whether they were traders, hocking their wares in the shade beside the buildings, people coming and going, or just generally shady looking people. She already had thoughts in her mind about what this Ja'Quesh would look like. She pictured a real scumbag, dressed in stolen leathers with scars. Maybe an eyepatch too.
I did this all the time on Nar Shaddaa. You've just got to be insistent.It might've taken a while for it to bear fruit though, so she started small. She walked up to a trader, hands on her hips. Looking over the wares there.
"Hey, you seen Ja'Quesh around? He said he had some stuff for me, some kinda deal?" she said casually, conversationally. We're all friends here. Ja'Quesh? I've known him for years, practically raised together, so tell me where he's hiding. "Nothing big, just... you seen him?" The guy behind the stall just stared, shaking his head as Nara shrugged and moved on.
The key is persistence. Just let it get out there, and be ready. If Ja'Quesh was the kind of guy that she was thinking he was, then he'd have people passing on info. She tried it on another trader a couple of blocks away, before turning back to Oren as they stood in front of the cantina.
"Let's get a drink and wait, it's real hot," she said, a little too loudly. Deliberately so. "I'm sure he'll turn up somewhere, boss."
Oren walked with the girl, his brow raised slightly as she walked through the slums with some confidence. It seemed she wasn't scared to mingle with the lower rung members of society, but at the same time, her confidence seemed a bit too strong. The ways she spoke to that trader, sounded like it was out of one of her holo-programs she would watch on the Condor, with the heavy acting and unrealistic dialogue.
"Have you ever considered that Ja'quesh isn't a criminal?" He'd ask with a raised brow, "Or do you assume everyone that steals is just a thug working for a syndicate?" He'd pose to her, trying to challenge her worldview. Asking around like this would get her into trouble on certain planets, and it was best to stand back and observe, to make oneself part of the environment.
"Yes, Master, I tend to assume most people who steal medical supplies from elderly men are some form of criminal," Nara replied, staring back with her own raised brow. "I never said anything about a syndicate, I just thought that somebody around here might know the guy. And it might have told us what kind of person he is." Though, annoyingly, he had a point. Nara had rushed to conclusions. It was obvious from her face that she'd realised this, because she'd blushed and looked away from him. I hate being wrong. I really should stop doing it.
Nara stepped into the cantina with Oren, fanning herself in the relative shade of it as she made her way to the back to wait. "Okay then, so... we can wait? See what happens? And hope I haven't managed to piss off half the slums?" she suggested, slipping into a seat as she looked around the clientele, keeping an eye out. Particularly for any Twi'lek men. She leaned back, looking into the distance as she thought over things in her head. A slightly frustrated look on her face as her brain fought over the right method, the right way to go forwards. While her mind chewed on what Master Oren was saying. She had a distinct feeling she was making an idiot of herself... again.