Obi-Wan's proud parents were anxious to get home and call him by his righful name. Though it seemed a little awkward at first, it soon simply rolled off their tongues. Snowan loved the word. She could practically taste it. Obi-Wan himself seemed satisfied enough with the name, though all of it he could pronounce was a burble of "Obi Obi" over and over again. He would learn it soon enough.
The next morning, Obidan was akakened by the flashing light and soft buzz of an icoming transmission from the hol-board. He tried not to wake Snowan, and it seemed as thought he hadn't. He made his way across the room and flipped the projector switch to on and mashed the recieve button. The image of his brother Karn flashed before him on the platform. He watched intently as Karn explained to him that a fire had ravaged the home of their father, Ben. He'd lived alone for six years since the death of his wife, Lis. Now he needed his sons to help him while he recovered from his serious burns. Obidan had always felt that it was unsafe for Ben to live alone, but the old man insisted on being completely independant. Quickly, Obidan began to pack his things. He must leave immediately. Snowan woke and together, they rewatched the message. Obidan decided to take Owen with him. He and Obi-Wan had only seen their grandfather several times and he would immensely enjoy the journey. And the time with Obidan. Before the sun had risen, Obidan had taken Owen, kissed Obi-Wan's soft cheek, and bid Snowan and his home farewell for at least two months.Chapter Four
Nearly a week had passed before they heard from Obidan and Owen. The hol-board alerted Snowan to a message during their morning meal. She picked up Obi-Wan, went into her bedroom and quickly activated the board and received the message. Obidan's form appeared before her. Obi-Wan squealed with delight. He did not fully understand the hologram and tried to reach out to the beam and touch his father.
"Snowan?" Obidan's words came through loud and clear.
"Yes Obidan. It is I. Here is Obi-Wan also."
Obidan looked at Obi-Wan. You could see how much him missed him.
"Hello, my little son." Obadin cooed. "Hello, Obi-Wan."
"Hello, father." Obi-Wan called. He reached out again to the beam.
"Obidan, how is Ben?" Snowan asked.
"He is ailing Snowan. He needs us badley."
"When do you suppose he'll be well enough for you to return. We miss you terribly."
"I really cannot say. " He turned his head for a moment. " Owen wants to say hello also. He's been homesick, though he won't admit it."
Owen appeard in the hologram beside his father.
"I have not" he insisted. He tried to look brave. Snowan smiled to herself. That's my little Owen, she thought. Strong to the end.
"Hello, my darling." Snowan said to Owen.
"Hello, mother. I miss you." He was obviously fighting back tears.
"Don't worry Owen. You'll be home with me very soon. I'll see you then."
"Why, you're having fun aren't you?"
"Oh yes!" His face suddenly brightened. "Yesterday, Uncle Jayce took me fishing down at a huge pond and I found a from as big as my hand! Father said I could keep it."
"That's wonderful Owen! I hope you're having a wonderful time."
Owen then stepped out of view and Obidan continued.
"I love you Snowan. I'll be home with you soon. Give Obi-Wan my love."
"I love you too, Obidan." She said.
She picked up Obi-Wan and as he waved goodbye, the hologram faded away. Two short beeps sounded, signaling the end of the message and reminding Snowan to switch off the receiver.
Life went on as normal, even if there was only half the family. Snowan's life now revolved around Obi-Wan. His presence was so powerful, despite his youth. He simply enchanted her. The two of them celebrated his third birthday alone except for another hol-board transmission to his eager brother and father. She tried her best to make up for their absence with a special meal, a trip into town, and a gift: a pendant made by her grandfather, the tragic Tam. It was carved out of ivory and, to the best of her knowledge, carried no significance, other than the fact that it once belonged to Obi-Wan's great-grandfather. Obi-Wan was a little puzzled by it at first, but he wore it angelically and often toyed with the smooth diamond shaped piece. He never attempted to take it off.
Though Obi-Wan was only three, his intelligence soared. Snowan was so proud to be his mother and she lived him with a firey passion. Once a week, he accompanied her into town to the fund house where she drew the money they needed to live on while Obidan was away. It came from the large inheritance left to them by Lis. They walked down the smoothly paved sidewalk. Obi-Wan curiously observed everything. A young woman had set up a fruit stand about a block from their destiniation. Obi-Wan did not ask for any piece of it . Snowan caught the desiring look that her brown-haired love shot in that direction. "Obi-Wan" She cooed. "Would you like some fruit?"
He smiled and nodded up at her. She she took him over and he selected a small piece from the cart. He eyed it happily as they walked on. She was happy just because he was happy. She knew his needs and wants and usually fulfilled them before he could even ask. They were relatively few and far between and he remained content and unspoiled. She would buy him the great Red Moon of Cress if she could. They continued throught the streets and arrived at the large fund house. She released Obi-Wan's hand as she began to deal with the assistant at the window. Today she was starting a new account: A savings for Owen and Obi-Wan. She wanted everything for them. She began to feel terribly sick with longing for little Owen. She'd been without him for so long... Her thoughts were jarred away when she realized Obi-Wan was no longer by her side. Momentarily alarmed, she spun around and caught site of him standing to the side only a few feet away. He crawled up onto a low wooden bench and continued to nibble on his fruit. She sighed, relieve, and turned back to the teller. Only a few seconds had passed when she sensed something else. She cocked her head back towards her son. He was fine, but not entirely alone. About six feet off to the right stood a man. He wore simple tan and brown robes, his strong, stern features partially hooded. He made no move towards Obi-Wan, but only stood there observing him. Snowan didn't know how to react. Clearly, he meant Obi-Wan no harm. but why was he staring at him? Should she say something? Or ignore his gazes at her son? A minute passed. Two. She finished her business with the teller and gathered her credits. She'd decided to confront the man. She took a step and looked bravely up. Obi-Wan was rolling several stones around on the bench, but the man was gone.Chapter Five
Obidan sent word that Ben was recovering and he and Owen wouldn't be gone for more than another month. Another month without them, Snowan thought. That would make 5 months in all. She turned back to little Obi-Wan for comfort. She hadn't lost the uneasy feeling she'd gotten since she'd caught the strange man eyeing her son. But she was determined to forget that now. She returned to her sewing. Though she had the ample weekly funds, she'd taken a job reparing and tailoring clothes in her home to help support them. she was nearly done mending a poncho for a local farmer whose wife had brought the damaged article in the day before. The door buzzer sounded. That must be her now, Snowan thought. She hastily completed the last two stitches as she rushed to the door. She depressed the weathered round button and raised the door.
"Come in, please." She started, cheerfully. "I've just finished..." But her words trailed off as she viewed the figure in her doorway.
There he stood. She knew it all along. He'd come again. The occurance wasn't behind her as she'd hoped. And there she stood, terrified, face to face witht he man she knew wanted something in her son. But what? The man nodded politely, filling the entranceway. He started to speak, but Snowan cut him off.
"Why are you here." She asked in her steadiest voice. The alarm obviously radiated from her face. She knew it showed, and it worried her.
"Please, my dear lady, don't be afraid. I come in peace." The man said, lifting his hood to reveal a 50ish face with once solid dark brown hair and a bit of a beard. He stood very tall and muscular. "If I may enter..."
Snowan, though she was clearly no match for this man should he truly be set on entering, blocked his way.
"What do you want." She asked in a low voice, for she feared Obi-Wan would hear her and come to find her.
"I wish to speak with you." He said. He gaze fixed steadily on her and didn't falter. Even as he said this, part of her fear suddenly vanished. Part of her eased.
She stepped aside and the man entered into the house.
"Now," he said, "About your son."
Snowan's breath caught in her throat.
"What?!" She could only frantically whisper the word. She knew she should have never let him in. Now it was too late.
She was so confused. Perhaps he was a kinapper? But then why would he bother to show up at the front door? A slave trader maybe, here to capture a strong young boy. That still made no sense. She wished Obidan were here. Just then, Obi-Wan entered the den. Snowan was filled with fear. Now was the man's chance, but he made no move towards Obi-Wan. Everyone was still.
"Please, let us sit and talk." the man said.