The Jedi's Slave: Advocate
The tone on the communications module interrupted Lara's tears, which thus far had continued like raindrops. Jar Gon glared at it, then at her, reached up to key the message as she melted into silence. The face of the Jedi Council secretary appeared.
"Sir Jar Gon, your presence is requested at an immediate meeting of the Council. It is further requested that you bring..."
She paused, clearly not wanting to be disrespectful to a superior.
"... your slave girl Lara with you"
"Is this really necessary? We have business to attend to of the highest importance"
Lara suppressed the urge to start crying again.
"I'm afraid those are my directions. If you wish me to tell the Council..."
Again she paused.
"No, that wont be necessary. We'll be there as quickly as we can."
The link was shut down, and Jar Gon busied himself with reprogramming their destination in the autocar's nav system.
"Don't think you get away with anything"
His voice was still angry. They were silent for the rest of the trip.
As they ascended to the top of the building where the Jedi Council met, Lara was startled to sense a number of conversations. One thread, dominated by a fairly young voice, was arguing against the right of a Jedi to have a slave of any type. Several older voices were raised against him, but his arguments made up in volume what they lacked in fact. She realized with a start that they were speaking of Jar Gon's and her relationship.
A second thread questioned what she was and how she could be a member of the sisterhood when she was a human.
Yet a third questioned whether or not she could be a loyal citizen if she was a member of the sisterhood.
It was easy for her to maintain a knowledge of all three of the threads. She sensed Jedi (she assumed they were Jedi - who else could they be?) moving between the threads, sometimes speaking, sometimes not. She was curious - she had always had the ability of knowing what others thought, but it had never been quite like this. She could as well have been in the room listening to them speak.
At last they arrived - she followed Jar Gon into the council chambers. She looked around. Immediately she was able to identify the members she had sensed, as well as a group of other Jedi, younger, clearly not a part of the council. It was an eerie feeling. She sat on the floor at Jar Gons feet, considering the possibiliities. She looked up at him - he was deep in thought, obviously wondering how to deal with the situation. She tugged at his cloak.
"Master, may I have your permission to speak"
"Huh? Yes of course" he responded, not really paying attention.
So like a man, she thought. She rose, slowly walked across the floor. As the only woman in the room, she knew, sensed, that all were looking at her. She stood before the leader, bowed, and asked his permission to speak. His gaze travelled thoughtfully over her body. She sensed his curiousity.
"Yes, Lara, speak you may"
"Thank you Sir"
She turned slowly, facing them all...
"Know This, Jedi. I come to you as a free woman, a citizen of this Republic. As a free woman, I have certain rights..."
A young voice rose
"Why must we listen to her. She has no standing here..."
She turned to the leader.
"I have your permission to speak, Sir. Must I have his also?"
"Of course not. Ben Kor, silent you will be. Listen. Something you might learn"
"Thank you Sir. As I say, I have certain rights. One of those rights is to give myself in whatever way I wish to whomever I wish. It may be to the person I love, to the person who loves me, the best of course is both. I may give myself as a slave to Sir Jar Gon. If I choose to do that, if I make him my master, it is not because he took anything. He did not take me as a slave. I have thought of him since I first saw him at fourteen. And I determined then that he would be mine. As much as I would be his. He had no choice - I was thrust upon him. Those of you who are married, or have concubines, know that when a woman determines she will have something, you had best not get in her way. We will have what we want"
She paused - a gentle chuckle passed around the room as each man considered his experiences.
"Before I ever started, I researched the matter of Jedi and slave girls. It was common for hundreds of years. That it changed recently was custom, not law. That it changes back is custom as well. There is nothing to prevent me from offering myself to him as his slave, and nothing preventing him from accepting as my master"
She paused. She could sense assenting thoughts around the room. The young one still was angry - she wasnt sure why - but she knew she had the rest of them.
"As to my being a member of the sisterhood, yes I am."
She heard the expected gasp, paused for a second.
"I did not seek this. I did not desire it. It was as thrust upon me as I was on my Master. It has allowed me to understand much - it is a different way than the force, but it is powerful just so. It is a linkage between species and races that we don't now have. It allows us connection in a different way, a different goal. I realize that it may be frightening to you because only females may be members, but then there are few female Jedi either."
She paused, again getting a wave of small chuckles.
"It happened as a result of my status as a slave girl, and it was an important part of the relationship we have with the Ordelians. I have thought about this much, and I have come to the conclusion that it was not an accident. That it was intentionally manipulated to provide an additional way for them to reach us. I believe that this should be allowed to continue, and I urge you not to interfere. That this has happened to me, part of a Jedi's household was no error, no accident. There will be others, I'm sure."
She stopped, deciding how best to continue.
"It has forced me into a place of deciding how much to share with my Master. There are things which we, as members of the sisterhood, need to keep to ourselves. I made a mistake and was not honest with him. For that mistake, after we leave here, I will be punished. But for the future, you must suggest the laws that allow women who become part of the sisterhood to keep those secrets they must. Other women - your wives, daughters, concubines - must not be placed in the same position. For make no mistake, I have no doubt, they will be."
She sensed them considering her words. That was the best she could do.
"Finally, I must state in the strongest terms possible that I am a loyal citizen of this republic, Nothing, not even the sisterhood, could change that. Thus far I have seen nothing that makes me feel that they want that. Should that change, I will be here to give you warning if you wish. But I do not expect that. You must accept that any human woman who becomes part of the sisterhood will stay loyal, caring, and a part of our world. She will be enhanced, not diminshed."
Again she sensed that she had their assent. Now they must act accordingly.
"Thank you, Jedi for listening to my words"
The leader stood and walked to her, took her hand.
"Lara - thank you for your words. Much you have given us to consider."
She bowed, turned and returned to sit at Jar Gon's feet.
He whispered in her ear.
"So why in the hell aren't you a lawyer. You make a good one. How did you guess exactly what to say, what to argue"
She knelt up, whispered in his ear.
"Master I could sense all their arguments on the way up the building as if they were talking to me. There were three main groups talking..."
He looked at her sharply
"You could separate all three? That is hard for me to do"
"Of course Master - they were transparent. It is no different than fixing your dinner while deciding what to wear to seduce you while thinking about the bills..."
She stopped at the expression in his face.
He stood and walked to the leader, bent down, and whispered in his ear. She saw much nodding.
Jar Gon returned.
"Come with me. I want you to take a few tests..."
Yes, it is late. Let me tell you about my Saturday. I spent much of the day with four women in the family driving down to San Diego to visit a member of the family (younger than I, which always gets to you) who is dying of cancer. It is likely that for most of us this will be the last visit. So it was not a really good day. The schedule got me back to Marina Del Rey at around 5 pm, plenty of time to finish my Friday piece.
Then, imagine our surprise when we get a cell call from another family member who stayed home. It seems the Station Fire has changed direction. We now have a cousin and her daughter in the car who are at the edge of the mandatory evacuation zone. Whoops. We head home (from 90 minutes away) full tilt boogie. Oh, and we have to stop once to pick up cars from our central meeting point.
We separate. I offer my apartment as a place to stay. It is grateully accepted, since almost no where (except the evacuation animal shelters) will accept a dog, which, by the way, is in the back yard of the house. We are heading towards the 210 when I start hearing a lot of scanner traffic. Some idiot is on the overpass ready to jump, so they shut down the 57. It takes forever to get to an off ramp, longer yet to figure out which way to go to get to the freeway I want. The rest of the way I listen to the helo pilots and fixed wing aircraft coordinating their drops, and the ground guys trying to work up the hill. Finally we get there.
At least the street isnt barricaded. It looks major - fire trucks all over, the flames clearly visible - maybe a mile away, and coming down the mountain. Most people headed out, cars packed full. Spectators driving in (this is LA, remember), standing around in groups of 50 with still cameras and video's on tripods. We get there, the women run in and (as far as I know) packing and conferring. I stay in the car because the smoke hurts my damaged lungs. I wait. And I wait. Finally, I give up and go in.
The mother and daughter have decided that NOW is the time to tear into each other about issues dating back to childhood. NOW? I'm tempted to backhand both of them and send them to their cars, but I guess they have to work it out. But now? After a couple of "I cant stay in the same house with her" I give up - I'm having a hard time breathing, always a fun experience. Finally we leave. We get home close to 11, and start watching the news to see how much worse its getting.
So no, I couldnt get it done last night.
This is one of the few cases where I had to go over 250 words. I dont know of any way to break up a soliloquy without it coming across reading stupid, so I had to let the whole thing out. Next week, I promise, 250 or less.