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Take Two!
So Long, Farewell…
By Jemmiah

"Oh, Anni…it's wonderful!" Shmi half gasped, pride glowing in her eyes at her son's achievements. She'd steeled herself to watch during the race, found the courage from somewhere…yet all the time that worry was at the back of her mind. What if her son was killed? What would have happened then?

Thankfully, her precocious offspring had proven himself a worthy champion. Sebulba's name was mud now and then there was this wonderful amount of money that Anakin had just dropped into her hands.

"Now I can make my dreams come true!" she giggled.

"Mom? Sorry, I don't understand? What dreams?"

Qui-Gon knelt down by the fair-haired boy and ruffled his hair.

"Your mother is no longer a slave. She has been freed! She'll be coming back to Coruscant with myself and my apprentice."

"That's fantastic…wait a moment." Anakin scrunched up his face. "I'll be going too, won't I?"

"I'm sorry, Anni. I tried to free you but Watto wouldn't have it."

Qui-Gon looked at Shmi.

"Are you packed?"

"And ready!" grinned the dark haired woman. "All those stars…I'm going to be the first one to see them all!

"But mom," Anakin's lip went all wobbly, "will I ever see you again?"

Shmi stared at him as if he had grown an extra head.

"You must be joking! Nine years of looking after you? I think I'm due a little fun, isn't that right Master Jinn?"

"Precisely." Qui-Gon gave Shmi a peck on the cheek. "Come on, let's go!"

Anakin trailed his mother out onto the streets and watched in disbelief as she took Qui-Gon's arm.

"He's following us." Qui-Gon said in annoyance.

"Shhh!" Shmi hurried her step. "Don't look back!"
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