|The following people all worked or contributed to 'ANTAR' in some way:
This is for anyone who has ever experienced the joys of late night carousing, drinking, reaching your alcoholic limit, passing that limit, passing out, being dragged semi-conscious by a group of friends whose tolerance of drink seems to be never ending, falling over, doing silly things that you hope you won't recall or that they won't have photographic evidence of.
And for those who wake up the next morning following the night before only to discover that you remember the distorted, horrific partsÖor almost remember it.
This is for you.
"Iím afraid itís that time of year, my padawan."
"Oh, please. Not again!"
"POLITE suggestions." Qui-Gon Jinn emphasized.
Twenty year old Obi-Wan Kenobi mulled the problem over. He ran his hands through his short, spiky padawan hair cut as if that would somehow give him some inspiration.
"We could rob a bank." He shrugged.
"Polite and serious, if you please. Master Yoda wants all ideas set before him by tomorrow so that he can sift through the best ones."
"Itís not going to take much sifting." The apprentice grouched. "Nobody is going to come up with any ideas because they donít want to take part in these ludicrous schemes of Master Yodaís. Not after the last two occasions."
Qui-Gon had to agree with that.
"I never knew that hair waxing could be so unbearably painful." The tall Jedi Master shivered at the memory.
"We raised the most money though, master." Obi-Wan replied. "Lots of people turned up to see our agony. All the people youíve managed to upset over the years were there!"
"All what people Iíve managed to upset?" Qui-Gon looked shocked.
"Iím just telling you what Master Windu told me. Master Berlingside said he holo-recorded it. He wanted to show the initiates what would happen to them if they misbehaved."
"Iím glad our pain had some positive outcome." Qui-Gon said dryly.
"Jemmiah certainly enjoyed it." Obi-Wan muttered.
"And this is the girl that youíve chosen to go out with? A professional torturer?"
"Itíll end in tears, padawan. Sheís too young and too flighty."
Obi-Wan munched on his toast. "I like young and flighty, master."
"Yes." Qui-Gon studied him a moment, watching the seemingly innocent blue-green eyes light up at the thought, "Thatís what Iím afraid of."
"We could always have anotherÖ"
"NO! We are not under ANY circumstances having another sponsored kiss!"
"But it was really successful!"
"You must be joking, padawan! After last year? All our medical bills ended up costing the healers more than we managed to raise for them. An-Paj looked set to have us all castrated!"
"You see, master? This is my entire point; whenever we do something charitable, the whole thing goes belly up!" Obi-Wan stated, spraying crumbs all over the work surface.
Qui-Gon glared. "Why donít we have a sponsored eat? That way I could cheerfully rely on you to rob Coruscant of its entire wealth!"
"Iím hungry." Obi-Wan complained.
"You are ALWAYS hungry. Iím going to have to take you down to An-Paj and get you checked out for worms."
Obi-Wanís eyes grew as big as the plate he was staring at, and hurriedly put back the next piece of toast he had selected to eat.
"I donít know what we are going to do." Qui-Gon said morosely.
"We could ask Jemmiah.." Kenobiís voice lifted hopefully.
"No. Itíll probably involve naked mud wrestling in Chancellor Valorumís garden."
Again, he noticed Obi-Wanís smile creep back on his face.
"Please, master. She has some great ideas. You would have found the body wax a real laugh if it had been Master Windu. Or Master Billaba." He added deviously.
Qui-Gon blinked. There was an interesting thought.
"OK." He grumbled. "Ask Jemmiah. But no body waxing, tattooing, piercing or general discomfiture."
Kenobi nodded. "Iíll ask her tonight." He stood up, brushing flakes of dried toast off his clothing. "After weíve finished with the wrack and the fur-lined binders."
"Fine." Qui-Gon said absently, as he helped himself to the piece of toast that Obi-Wan had replaced. The image of Depa Billaba undergoing a body wax was still plaguing his mind. Heíd have certainly paid to see thatÖ
"Wait a moment." Qui-Gon stood up as his apprentice walked towards the fresher. "What fur-lined binders?"
Kenobi flashed a quick smile and closed the door.
"I know." Jemmiah smirked. "I know exactly how we can raise money and have a good time as well."
"How?" Obi-Wan frowned. He, Jay Abran and Kryztan Harkley were all sitting round a table in the refectory discussing ideas. So far theyíd come up with not a single serious suggestion.
"A sponsored Cantina-crawl!" She said excitedly. "Yes! Thatís brilliant, even if I do say so myself."
"It costs money to set up all those rounds of drinks." Abran pointed out. "Weíll be out of pocket before weíve started."
"I know a way round that." Jemmiah smiled, fluttering eyelashes at her three companions. "Since I had my sixteenth birthday, Iíve made it my business to frequent quite a few of these drinking establishments, and I get on quite well with one or two of the patrons."
Harkley and Abran raised an eyebrow.
"Iím pretty sure I can persuade some of them to help, seeing itís in such a good cause."
"How many?" Abran asked warily.
"Oh, fifteen, maybe twenty such places."
"Is that all?" Harkley grinned.
"No publicity," warned Kenobi, "My master has a rather strained relationship with reporters and such like."
"Yeah, I remember." Jemmiah winked. "Master Yoda beat him quite hard with his stick when they went round that obstacle course. Iíll bet he still has the scars."
"Take my advice and donít ask him." Replied Obi-Wan. "That way you might just live longer."
One of the helpers clearing away the abandoned plasti-cups and debris stopped beside their table. "I have to tidy up. Are you people going to eat anything?"
"Do we look like we want to die?" Jemmiah retorted, to which Kenobi kicked her under the table. "Err, no thanks. Weíll just leave." She added, frowning.
As they got to their feet, Abran asked something about just who was going to join them on the Cantina-crawl.
"Weíll draw up a list of people we think would be up for it." Obi-Wan said. "Letís see. Us four. Simeon CatesÖ"
"Oh, no!" Harkleyís handsome features scrunched up in disgust. "Simeon?"
"Heís a good laugh."
"He canít hold his drink." Abran pointed out.
"He canít hold a conversation." Jemmiah added. "But Obi-Wanís right. We need as many as possible and Simeonís OK."
"Who else? How about Bai?"
"The eternal worrier!" Harkley shook his head.
"Does he still suffer from thatÖyou know. Medical complaint?" Jemmiah asked Harkley.
"Apparently. I think you might want to reconsider him, Obi-Wan."
"Who else, then?" Obi-Wan asked impatiently.
"We can invite people as we go along. Any padawan over the age of sixteen whose masters are prepared to let them go out and get whammed for aÖwholeÖeveningÖ"
Harkleyís voice trailed off.
"There you have the problem." Abran nodded. "Thereís no way that our masters will ever agree to it, sponsored or otherwise."
Obi-Wan swore loudly in Corellian.
"Careful, Ben." She sighed. "People will begin to say that Iím a bad influence on you."
"You are." He agreed. "Thatís why I like you."
"Awwww!" said Abran. "Isnít that sweet!"
"Leave it out." Kenobi glared. "We still havenít decided what to do about our problem."
Harkley considered. "Itís not a problem for me. Master Berlingside would let me do it, Iím sure."
"Well, then." Jemmiah said slowly. "Thatís the answer."
"We get the masters on our side." She looked round at three blank faces. "We invite them to come too!" She tossed her long, chestnut hair over one shoulder, beaming hugely."And by the Sith, have I got a surprise in store for them!"
Sybelle stalked into the refectory looking distinctly irritated. She wandered over to the only occupied table and slumped into a chair next to Jemmiah. She rested her head in her hands and groaned.
"Sybelle." Obi-Wan smiled. "So nice of you to join us. I didn't think you got up until the rest of us had gone to bed."
"Not funny" Sybelle murmured. She sat up and collapsed backwards dramatically in her chair. The others sighed inwardly.
"Oh, I am so tired!" she exclaimed, running a hand through her tousled black hair."
"Don't tell us, you've been with that boyfriend of yours again." Jemmiah sighed.
"When are you going to tell your master that he's an infamous smuggler?" Harkley asked.
"How about never?" Sybelle retorted. "And it's none of your business either. What are you up to anyway?"
"Sponsored cantina crawl." Obi-wan told her. "Want to come?"
"You mean I get paid to drink?" Sybelle asked. "Count me in!"
"Mace!" Hissed Qui-Gon Jinn as he saw his friend come out from the council chamber. "What kind of moodís he in?"
"By "he" can I assume you are referring to our esteemed and illustrious Master Yoda? He who really should be obeyed at all times? He who is sitting in there banging his stick against the floor because nobody has put forward a decent suggestion for this years annual fund raising bash?"
"Ah." Qui-Gon muttered.
"Do you have any ideas?" Maceís hopeful expression tweaked Qui-Gonís conscience.
"I was going to ask you the same thing." Jinn shook his head.
"Well, what are we going to do?" Windu began to get slightly flustered. "I canít go back in there without a serious proposal. Heís threatened to make us sit facing the wall, wearing a dunce cap unless we find a solution!"
The image made Qui-Gon laugh. The whole council. He could just hear his former masterís voice saying; "Now, stay there you will, until idea you have." A smile broke out on his face.
"What are you looking so chirpy about?" Windu blinked.
"Itís just at times like this, I realize why I never wanted to be on the council." Chuckled Qui-Gon.
"Yeah, yeah." The Jedi master scowled. "But what do we do?"
"How about we stage a singing contest. We did one about seven years ago, remember?"
"Oh, I remember. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. Master Yodaís rendition of "Knight life" has left an indelible impression on everyone who had the misfortune to hear it." Mace rolled his eyes.
"Well, itís going to be that or nothing." Qui-Gon folded his arms. "Nobody else will come up with anything remotely imaginative. Except possibly Jemmiah, and frankly I am shuddering at the thought of what she has got planned."
"Right! Fine! I give up!" Windu threw his hands up in a gesture of surrender. "Singing contest it is. Although you might well live to regret it. Iíll go and tell Yoda the good news."
"What news is this?" came a voice from behind.
"Master!" Qui-Gon spun round. Sith! How did he ALWAYS manage to do that?
"WeÖwe never knew you were there, Master Yoda," Mace felt as if he had been caught pinching candy.
"No?" Yoda shuffled between them. "Then practice more, you should." He tapped Qui-Gon on the leg. "A suggestion you have, my padawan."
Qui-Gon gritted his teeth. He hated being addressed as padawan, especially taking into account the ludicrous height difference between former master and apprentice.
"I think you might have heard my suggestion, master. I put forward the idea of a singingÖ"
"Yes!" Yoda banged his stick down on the ground. "Good idea, this is. Accept it formally we shall." He walked slowly back towards the council chamber. "Come, Master Windu. Speak to the others, we shall."
Looking over his shoulder, Yoda called out "Knew that clever idea, my padawan would have." He said, emphasizing the word "padawan" out of sheer devilment.
"He did that on purpose." Growled Jinn.
"Itís not the time to argue. Letís go and get this thing confirmed before he starts singing another chorus of "H-A-P-P-Y, I am."
"How do you know the otherís will except it?" Qui-Gon asked.
"What, are you serious? Stay in there a moment longer than we have to?" Mace lowered his voice. "That troll knows heís got us by the.."
"Master Jinn!" The lilting Corellian voice that Qui-Gon knew only too well accosted him just as Maceís gestures were on the point of becoming graphic.
"Uh-oh. Here comes trouble." Qui-Gon said out the corner of his mouth, as a delegation of teenage padawans lead by Obi-Wan and young Jemmiah Gleshan strode towards him purposefully. "Iíve just saved your neck." She stopped as they reached the council chambers. "Did we make it on time?"
"On time for what?" Asked Mace.
"Our idea for the temple fundraiser. Itís a beauty, too."
"Iím sure it is," Qui-Gon replied with some small satisfaction, "But Iím afraid youíre too late. Master Yodaís decided to go with the idea of a singing night."
There was a concert of small groans.
"Please tell me youíre kidding." Jemmiah said in disbelief. "If he sings H-A-P-P-Y, I am" once more, I shall be forced to join a monastery."
"A monastery?" Mace queried, "Donít you mean the holy sisterhood?"
"You ARE joking! Where would the fun be in that?" She stopped when she caught sight of Qui-Gonís frown.
"So what was the big idea?" Windu asked out of curiosity.
"Cantina-crawl. As many free drinks set up as possible in every Cantina in the surrounding area. Jemmiah was going to get it all set up." Obi-Wan looked glum.
"You could do that?" Mace looked interested.
"You must be joking!" Qui-Gon objected. "Let a group of padawans loose on the streets of Coruscant to getÖ"
"Molassed?" Jemmiah offered.
"ÖThank you, I can come up with my own descriptive words."
"We would have invited the masterís, too." Jemmiah frowned. " Master Berlingsideís up for it."
"He would be." Muttered Qui-Gon.
"No, wait." Windu grinned. "The girlís on to something. This idea has got possibilities."
Jemmiah looked smugly at Qui-Gon.
"Thereís no way Iím letting my padawan go out without me. And I am NOT going to be persuaded." Qui-Gon was adamant.
"Meanie." Jemmy muttered.
"Pardon?" Qui-Gon warned.
The other council members began to file out. Adi-Gallia made a "donít ask" sign with her hands, and Qui-Gon wondered if his suggestion had been such a good one after all.
"Listen, Qui-Gon," Windu tried to persuade his friend. "Itís just what we need before this singing contest. A few quiet drinks to steady the nerves." He pulled him away from the others slightly. "And if we are with the padawans all the time, what mischief can they get up to?"
Mace could see that Qui-Gon was beginning to cave in. All it needed was a little bit of persuasion.
"Yoda will NOT like it!" Qui-Gon breathed.
"Yoda doesnít have to know." Windu smiled. "Come on, Qui! Show these padawans that we old timers can still enjoy ourselves!"
Qui-Gon was about to say that he still wasnít convinced, when he heard something drifting out from the council room.
"H-A-P-P-Y, I am,
H-A-P-P-Y, I am,
I am, I know,
I am, Iím sure,
H-A-P-P-Y, I amÖ"
"Count me in Mace!" Qui-Gon shook at the sound of Yodaís singing. "Something tells me we are going to need a lot of courage in bottle form to get through this one!"
Arya Galina stood by the window, staring out at the setting sun, a resigned expression on her face. The door slid open, and Sybelle almost flew into the room.
"Late?" her master finished. "Yes. I wouldn't mind an explanation of what you were up to."
"Me?" Sybelle asked pointlessly, since there was no one else in the room. "I was...um..."
"Practicing your singing for the fundraising event?" Arya Galina asked, raising her eyebrows.
"Right!" Sybelle smiled. "Do you mind if I skip class today? I have a lot to be getting on with. You know, with the singing..."
It wasn't working.
Arya placed her hand on Sybelle's shoulder.
"You have to start taking this seriously." she told her. "Take the easy way out, and it will lead straight to the dark side."
"Dark side. Right. Got it. Can I go now?" Sybelle asked impatiently.
Adi shook her head as Sybelle left the room. There was no hope for some of these students.
"I'm so BORED!" Sybelle complained as she and the other padawans sat in the refectory reflecting on their day.
"You skipped every class you had today. How can you possibly be bored?" Jemmiah asked.
"Have you ever thought that this Jedi thing is possibly not for you?" Obi Wan added.
Sybelle glared at him and sipped her drink.
"Jemmiah, how's planning for the Cantina crawl going?" Harkley asked, tactfully trying to change the subject. Jemmiah rolled her eyes.
"Qui Gon's coming, and he's threatening to bring Master Yoda."
Sybelle's eyes gleamed."This should be fun." She giggled.
"Sybelle," Jemmiah asked, "What exactly are you planning to do?"
*KNOCK! --KNOCK! --KNOCK! *
"Go away, I'm sick! *SNUUURRF*
Jay Abran slowly creaked open Kylenn's door and peered inside. "Oh please," she groaned, "have some respect for the dead!"
His friend was curled up on her bed, completely cocooned in a blanket save for one stray foot poking out. An impish grin spread across his face as he silently crept up to the end of the bed, eyeballing her poor, unsuspecting toes....
Struggling to unwrap herself from the blanket, Kylenn grabbed her pillow and took a wild swing at Abran, not even coming close to hitting her target. A look of mock disgust crossed her face as he just stood there and laughed.
"Oh, you think this is funny. Just wait until _you_ come down with the Corellian Death Flu..."
"If your ideas of revenge are as good as your aim, I don't think I have much to worry about."
She flopped back down, pulled the blanket over her head and groaned. Jay crawled up on her bed and settled himself in between Kylenn and the wall.
"Hey, move over," she protested. Abran scooted himself away from the wall nearly pushing his friend off the bed. "No, you dweeb, the _other_ way."
"Oh, pardon me."
"Alright, Jay, now that you've made yourself comfortable," Kylenn grumped, "is there a special reason why you stopped by or is this just another random act of torture?"
He smacked his hand over his heart, "Oh, I'm wounded...help me!" She giggled while Jay started thrashing around, "everything is going black...it's too late to save me now...I see Yoda! Wait, he's not dead. That doesn't count..."
He let out a dramatic gargle and went completely limp.
"He's dead, hooray! Maybe now I can have a normal, well-adjusted life."
Jay "resurrected" himself and gave his good friend's braid a hearty yank. "So, anyway, before my fragile little ego was shattered, Sybelle and Kryztan missed you this morning and wanted me to check in on you to make sure you didn't croak out to the Force or anything. And I wanted to inform you we've decided what this year's fund-raising activity is going to be..."
Kylenn's eyebrows shot up, "a cantina crawl? Oh, brilliant. We already have such a bad drinking reputation that some of the locals call us the 'Red-Eye Temple.' We'd better notify the officials so they can begin evacuating the city."
"Aww, c'mon! It'll be fun!" Jay playfully poked Kylenn in the ribs. "Besides, alcohol is great for killing germs; it might help get rid of that nasty flu bug of yours."
Kylenn snurfled again. "So, who is going along on this proposed misadventure?"
"So far, we have..." Jay began rattling off the names of Masters and Padawans who have agreed to take part, "...and the gruesome twosome, Obi-Wan and Jemmiah."
"Obi and Jemmy? If they want to get into trouble all they have to do is walk down the street. Anyone else?"
"Last and least, Simeon Cates."
"Cates? Sith! Forget walking down the street, he meets trouble just opening the front door! I have a bad feeling about this..."
Healer Leona walked into the infirmary in search of the Master Healer An-Paj.
Spying him at his desk in the far corner, she strode to his side.
"Slow day?" she asked, making idle conversation.
"Heaven I would call it." he replied his attention on the medical chart he was busy making entries on. "You know" he said, turning toward her, "it's been almost two weeks since Padawan Kenobi has been here. I do believe that's a record."
"That boy certainly seems to have the lost unusual luck." she agreed.
An-Paj gazed at the woman; there was obviously something on her mind.
"Is there something you need?" he asked kindly. Leona had worked under him for the last ten years. She was smart and good-hearted; two fine traits for a healer but she was insufferably shy.
When it came to the treatment of their Jedi patients she was easily able to interact, providing both expertise care and a genuinely caring bedside manner. This was as long as she was in her Healer capacity.
Though she probably knew almost every Jedi in the Temple, they all came through here at one time or another (some like Kenobi seemed to set up house here) he wasn't aware if she had any real friends at all.
"Actually, I was wondering if you'd heard about the latest charity event?"
"Oh, yes" he said with a wide smile, "a number of Masters have already been in looking for the latest in ear plugs. I, of course, suggested Alderaani silk fiber. It's almost imperceptible and will cost them a lot less."
"The singing contest is only half of it. Before that they've sponsored a cantina-crawl." she said, surprised that the news hadn't already reached him.
"A what?" he asked harshly.
"You know, where they go from one bar to another drinking." Leona explained.
"I know what it is. I'd just like to know how Master Yoda approved such an event." He was already unconsciously taking stock of every headache remedy, stomach pump and emesis basin they had.
"This could possibly turn into a worse disaster then the obstacle games." he shuddered at the thought.
Seeing her chance Leona casually made her suggestion.
"That why I was thinking of signing up for it." she said hesitantly.
An-Paj gazed at the petite woman, his brows creased.
"See, I thought that, um, maybe if a healer were to accompany them, strictly as a chaperone, of course, I could see to it that none of the participants overindulged or if they become sick are treated before they really need the infirmary."
An-Paj stared intently at the woman; he didn't need to be a Jedi Master to see there was something else behind her altruistic gesture.
"Can I ask who's already signed up for this jaunt?" he already had a good idea who was on that list.
"I overheard some of the padawans taking and I believe I heard Simeon Cates, Jay Abran, Jemmiah and a few others, if their Masters agree to it."
"Jemmiah, huh?" That would mean Kenobi would be going and the only way his master would probably allow it was if he also were in attendance. Now he saw why the sudden interest in the annual charity event.
"Well" he said with hidden amusement, "perhaps, if you think it wouldn't be too much trouble..." he granted her an opening.
"No, no master. It would be no trouble at all." she replied hastily, her hand timidly twirling the loose ends of the long braid of hair thrown over her shoulder
"Fine then. I'll put together a little medpac. Just stop by to pick it up before you leave." An-Paj resumed his work, listening to the quick steps as Healer Leona left.
A couple drinks should do the job to loosen that one up, he thought to himself, the Force help Master Jinn...
|A Night To (Almost) Remember|