A Near Miss

Coruscant, the city-planet, hung out the viewport as the Phoenix Moon dropped out of hyperspace. The first thing that Tso thought was just how great it felt to actually be piloting a ship from one system to another. He had done it. It was his ship, and he had flown her from Naboo to Coruscant without incident. Now, for some reason, the entire view of Coruscant seemed so much more beautiful. All of the ships that crowded the lanes were not a nuisance but a masterpiece.

Tso flipped a switch on his control panel and announced, “We’ve arrived over Coruscant. According to Space Traffic Control we’ll be arriving planet-side within the hour.”

“Great, Tso,” remarked Brin’tac over the com-channel in return. “Thank you for the update.”

Tso leaned back and sighed. He had never felt so complete. This was home. He could feel it. This was where he belonged. Grabbing the controls he moved the Phoenix Moon into the traffic lanes and waited.

It was night on Coruscant when the Phoenix Moon set down, and since most of the members of Geldar’s team had no real purpose for returning to the planet they all abandoned Geldar to his task and went to enjoy some much needed recreation time. Tarrsk, Satchal, Lialla, Nyarchagga, and Tso had said they were most likely heading for the gambling tables at some local pub while Brin’tac said he would probably make contact with a former associate of his. Feeling a little lonely, Geldar tried to ignore the desire to join the others, and he decided that he shouldn’t resent them for leaving him. They probably all figured that Geldar would want to see his father alone and that they’d just get in the way.

The travel across Coruscant’s skyscape was slow and agonizing. The entire trip Geldar felt as though he would never arrive. Then, as the air-taxi arrived at the apartment complex where his father lived, his anxieties began to press in on him all the more. Now was the time to inform his father of the terrible tragedy that had befallen them. He wasn’t at all sure he could handle this terrible task. He didn’t want to see the pain in his father’s eyes.

The turbolift dropped to the twenty-seventh floor, and Geldar made his way slowly to the reception droid behind the counter. Since his father was a person of some importance, he had the entire twenty-seventh floor as his personal quarters equipped with many rooms for greeting high ranking officials and the like as well as he and his wife’s bedding chambers, a few guest rooms, and other necessities for living.

The droid behind the counter, R-D05, greeted him with a pleasant, male voice. “Welcome, Master Geldar,” the droid said upon recognizing Geldar. “It is a pleasure to see you once again.” Then, suddenly, the droid’s voice fell into sorrow. “My condolences to you upon losing your mother.”

Geldar stopped cold, and for several moments he couldn’t speak. “My father already knows?” he asked the droid as deep regret and sadness came over him.

“I’m afraid so,” said R-D05. “He learned of it about a week or two ago. The ambassador from Kashyyyk had notified him upon his arrival here. I’m afraid the ambassador was quite embarrassed after he had learned that your father had not been made aware of the situation. They had assumed that since you were involved in it that you had told him, and that the two of you had already properly mourned for her. Your father was quite at a loss. I believe his grief was beyond words.”

Geldar’s heart nearly ripped out of his chest. He had not had the chance to tell his father, and now his father had been forced to hear of it from some ambassador from Kashyyyk. He lowered his gaze to the floor. This was terrible. How could he have let this happen? He should have told his father the moment he’d come to Coruscant. So what if the Supreme Chancellor and Master Windu had called for him. They would have understood if he had not gone immediately. He could have met up with his comrades later.

And yet, his father would understand. He had done what he’d had to do. He had been called on a mission of the highest regard. He had helped protect the Supreme Chancellor, and he was helping to bring about the capture of a murder and kidnapper. Surely this justified not having the time to tell him.

“No,” he told the droid aloud. “I should have at least taken some time to see him. This was my mother’s death!”

“No sense regretting the actions of the past, Master,” R-D05 replied. “We must look to the present and future.”

Geldar shook his head. “You’re right. There’s nothing I can do about it. Where’s my father now?”

“I’m afraid he’s gone to Kashyyyk to visit her grave,” the droid responded somberly. “I’m afraid he won’t be back for some time. He’s taken about a month’s vacation to grieve.”

Geldar winced. This wasn’t right. He should have been the one to tell him. On top of that, he should be with his father now helping him to cope. Blast the Jedi sometimes! He cursed. “All right, R-D. Thanks for the news. I’ll be returning as soon as I can. Please tell my father I’m deeply sorry that he had to hear this news from someone else. I meant to tell him, but...well...Just tell him I’m sorry.”

“As you wish, Master Geldar. I will explain to him your deepest and most sincere apologies.” Then the Jedi Padawan bowed and fled to the turbolift as fast as his legs could carry him. As the doors shut, closing out the sight of his father’s personal suite, he felt large doors closing on his heart. Such a terrible guilt was now plaguing him, and he hoped that somehow his efforts to locate the Dark Jedi would make up for it. Shaking his head in disappointment he closed his eyes and tried to meditate on the Force.

The Phoenix Moon’s stay on Coruscant didn’t even last the night. Shortly after Geldar had returned and had locked himself away in the room he and Tarrsk shared, the others came back as well. None of them were particularly pleased with their stay on Coruscant. Nyarchagga and Tarrsk had played a game of Sabbacc with a couple of sore-losing Barabel, and a fight had ensued. The officials arrived, and everyone was arrested. Brin’tac had learned of the arrest after Nyarchagga had sent Gnat to tell him about it, and Brin’tac had been forced to bail them all out. All of the money Nyarchagga had won in the games had been used to bail them out, so they wound up with nothing in return for a night of trouble.

This put the entire group in a foul temper including Lialla, Tso, and Satchal who had been arrested along with the others because they had tried to help defend their comrades. It was a tremendous mess that only the skilled diplomat, Brin’tac, was able to get them out of. He even managed to save Satchal from being reported to the Jedi Council for his actions, and although everyone was grateful to the Bothan, no one was particularly happy with Nyarchagga, who had gotten them into the entire mess.

Therefore, as the Phoenix Moon set out for Darga Prime, no one spoke. In fact, it wasn’t until the ship was well on its way through hyperspace that anyone even so much as inquired about Geldar’s attempted meeting with his father.

The End

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