Menali-Jay Abran

From
A Night To (Almost) Remember
Excerpt by Jemmiah
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“Menali-Jay Abran?” The first woman asked, clearly dressed in a security uniform.

“Yes.” He flashed that confident, golden smile at the pair of them.

“Padawan at the Jedi Temple?”

“That’s correct.” He nodded, still smiling. “And what can I get you two beautiful ladies? To drink, I mean.” He added.

Kylenn watched the encounter with a mixture of trepidation and mirth. Jay was a tall young man, but these two made him look pretty insignificant…

“We don’t drink when we’re on duty.” The second woman, an annoyed looking brunette chipped in.

“Your loss.” Abran shrugged. “You know, I never could resist a woman in uniform.”

“That’s just as well,” the sandy haired officer said, “because you are under arrest!”

There was a gasp of astonishment from amongst the masters and padawans.

“Hold on a moment.” Qui-Gon stepped forward. “What do you mean? What is this man accused of?”

“Theft.” The second officer said.

“Of what?” An-Paj looked astonished.

“A pair of ladies stockings from the ‘Best Buy’ Fashion Department this morning. We’ve had you under surveillance all day.”

Abran’s normally bronzed skin went deathly pale.

“There must be some kind of mistake here.” An-Paj frowned. “What would this young man do with a pair of ladies stockings?”

“You get all kinds in this galaxy, sir. Believe me, I’ve met most of ‘em. Hazard of the job.”

“You told me that Obi-Wan was…” Jinn trailed off. He crossed his arms. “Take him away.” He shrugged.

“What!” Abran almost wailed. “Master Jinn! I swear it was an accident! I didn’t realize I had those stockings with me until I got back to the temple. I never stole them!”

“A likely story.” An-Paj replied, enjoying the Padawan’s discomfort. “Why else would he go into a ladies fashion store? Hang the little vrelt!”

“You told me that these,” Jinn fished out the offending articles from his pocket, “belonged to my padawan. Are you now saying that this isn’t the case?”

As the weight of the formidable Jinn stare fell upon him, Abran gulped and looked at his feet.

“Y-yes, sir.” He confessed.

“In that case, I hope you have a really comfortable cell to spend the night in.” Qui-Gon said roughly, aware that Letina Sorrell was hovering in the background with her holocam.

“But master, you MUST believe me!”

“Must I? Why is that? You’ve already lied to me today.” Jinn frowned.

“I’m sure that prison food is an improvement on the refectory’s food.” Berlingside grinned.

“Prison?” Abran squeaked.

“For at least half a year.” An-Paj put in.

“Minimum.” Depa Billaba agreed.

The two huge women officers picked up Abran by the arms and hoisted him off the ground as easily as if he’d been a rag doll.

“You are busted, sunshine!” the brunette said gleefully.

“But nevermind, we’ll look after you!” The sandy haired one said.

“But I didn’t…” panted Abran.

“These are proof!” The second said. “Unless there’s something you’d like to say to everyone here.” She indicated the gathering of startled Jedi.

Abran nodded, trying to find his voice.

“I…I just wanted to apologize for bringing the Jedi order into disrepute. I never stole those stockings,” he swallowed nervously, “but I would like to offer my sincerest apology to Master Jinn for misleading him in any way as to their ownership, and to Obi-Wan and Jemmiah for slandering them.”

“Is that it?” Number one said sternly.

Abran indicated it was.

“Well, there’s something I want to say.” She put her hands on her hips.

“What?”

“SURPRISE!”

The two officers burst into peals of warm laughter. Qui-Gon looked round to see Meri and Jemmiah giving each other a celebratory high-five, whilst Letina moved in on a clearly stunned Jay Abran to get as good a close up as she could. An-Paj and Dex Berlingside were laughing into their glasses of ale.

Jinn saw Jemmiah throw a wink at him. He couldn’t resist a smile.

“Are you saying this whole thing is a set up?” Leona looked amazed.

“You betcha’ it was!” The brunette grinned toothsomely. She walked over to Jemmiah.

“Jemmy sweetheart, I never thought I’d see the day when I’d out trick a real Jedi.”

“Good one, wasn’t it!” Jemmiah crowed. “Are you going to stick around for a drink?”

“No, me and Tilly here have got to get these costumes returned to the set before they’re missed.” She clapped the smaller girl on the shoulder. “Star’s sakes girl, I’d watch out for that one.”

Jemmiah spared a quick look at Abran, who was glowering furiously at her.

“I’d say he’s the type who would be out for revenge.”

“I can handle him.” She smirked.

Qui-Gon appeared at the Corellian girl’s shoulder.

“Well done, Jemmiah.” He said simply. “I hope Letina got all of that.”

“Thank you, Master Jinn.” She replied. “I believe she did. And much more besides.”

“That was a mean trick.” Jay Abran snarled at Jemmiah.

“If you can’t take it, don’t dish it out in the first place.” Jemmy said.

Abran scowled menacingly at her, promising much in the way of future recriminations.

This," he hissed under his breath, "has got to be one of the WORST days of my life.”