Title: I Hate My Job
Author: Diane Kovalcin
Timeframe: JA
Characters: Docent Vant, initiate Obi-Wan
Genre: JA books
Keywords: JA, Obi-Wan, Docent Vant
Summary: A new Docent learns about how hard a job can be when she is forced to tell an initiate that he has failed to find a Master and must leave for Bandomeer.

Notes: This was first conceived in the Writer's Resource Thread The Laboratory

I hate my job! Really, really hate my job. Now, most people would think that working in the Jedi Temple as a Docent would be an exciting dream come true - almost as good as being a Knight. Yeah, sure. I thought that, too...once.

Stupid dreams.

Little did I know that my old fantasies would mutate, making me the villain here, ruining poor child's hope of ever becoming a Jedi Knight. Orders for Bandomeer for some young boy, not chosen and almost thirteen, and I have to deliver them. Damn, just call me dreamkiller. Yeah, I hate my job.

When I was very young, I used to imagine that I was a Knight - a guardian of peace and justice - going off to save worlds without end, playing the heroine to the cheers of millions, wielding my trusty lasersword to rescue princes and battle pirates. I was quite shattered when I found out that the Jedi took you as an infant or not at all. And you had to be Force sensitive as well. True, I had some small powers of insight, could feel when someone was lying and, sometimes, could step out of the way of danger but little else...certainly not enough potential for the Jedi. I moped for days afterwards until my parents bribed me with new holovids and my dreams were forgotten. Almost.

Older but not wiser, I thought seriously of going into the Security Forces. I still had visions that I could do some good, helping the helpless, defending the weak, but after one bout of trying to help stem a fistfight between a bully and his victim, I changed my mind quite suddenly. Found out, to my chagrin, that I was a bit of a coward and really didn't like pain much. So much for that fantasy. I was almost relieved that I hadn't gone to the Temple. What would the Jedi have done with someone who faints at the first sign of blood? I have to shake my head at the foolishness of it all.

By the time I was an adult, my dreams of going to the Jedi Temple were pretty much dead, gone the way of all childish wishes. I studied hard at the University and became an accountant. Not very exciting but it helped pay the bills.

Then one day, my childhood fantasy came true. The Jedi Order was looking for someone to keep the accounts at their central headquarters. The salary was minimal but it included food and lodging. And I would be living at the Jedi Temple. How could I say no?

Before you could say Coruscant, I was unpacked and installed in a small - read micron size - room but I was there.

The Temple was amazing - filled with light and a sea of brown-clad Knights, so much movement and energy. The first few days, I got lost more times than I care to count but I was happy... happier than I had been in a long time. I was living my dream. Who knew it would turn into a nightmare?

At first, I kept pretty much to myself, trying to find my way around the place, making nice to my boss, doing a first-rate job on the accounts. I got several thank yous from the Knights who came into the office and even Master Windu noticed me, although I was completely tongue-tied around him. What could you say to one of the Members of the Jedi Council? Hi, how are you, how do you get your head so shiny? I just nodded and smiled and said not a word. But he did give me an odd look as he left. Hopefully, he hadn't read my thoughts.

Then this last week, one of the other Docents left for personal reasons and I was told to take his place. I was eager to show them that I could do the job well. Until I found out what the job was.

My job, now. Blast!

My boss was quite clear, explaining just how the Jedi Order operated. How they took infants from the parents, telling them that their child would be raised at the Temple, educated and cared for, and that when they grew up, they would be serving the Republic as members of the Jedi family. Probably made it sound as though each child would be cherished and grow up to become a great Jedi Knight. Why else would a parent give up their own flesh and blood?

Well, it doesn't quite work that way. And so when I learned about one of the little deep dark secrets of the Jedi, it made me sick.

Seems that there was a small catch in that scenario of goodness and light. If the child wasn't chosen by a Master to train by his thirteenth birthday, he gets sent off, away from his home and friends and works for the Agri-Corps or maybe the Healer's Association. Certainly, the kid doesn't remain here.

I didn't like it at all. I kept asking questions, kept thinking that I had it wrong, that it wasn't what I thought it was. But it was and it was awful.

And then my boss told me that I was going to be the one to tell the child that he was to go. So the Knights didn't even have the courage to tell the kids themselves. Let someone else do the dirty work... and that someone would be me.

I was trapped. I couldn't leave because I'd given up my old place and I couldn't afford to take a transport back home. Stuck well and fast. I protested, of course, but my boss politely pointed out the financial realities and shrugged. Someone has to do it and I was it.

And so, here I was, standing in front of that little initiate's door, holding the datapad that would end his dream of becoming a Knight. Blast! I kept thinking that it was better to just get it over with. Yeah...

Knocking once, I entered his room and introduced myself. Damn, the kid was really cute with expressive grey-green eyes and soft red hair, dressed in his little initiate uniform. Adorable and I was about to break his heart. He was sitting on his bed, bandaging himself from some fight. Obviously, he wasn't expecting the news that I delivered. His eyes grew huge as he read the datapad and started protesting, saying that he had four weeks until his thirteenth birthday, that he should have more time to find a Master, that he didn't understand. He read the datapad again, sick with despair. His orders were quite explicit; be on the ship, Monument, in the morning and, once he reached Bandomeer, report to the Agri-Corps for assignment. Shaking his head at the news, his small body was quivering in shock and he looked bewildered.

I tried to do my best, tried to remind him that it wasn't the end of the universe, that the Republic needed healers and farmers just as much as Jedi Knights. I told him to pack his bags and say goodbye to his friends, that he would not be returning. He looked devastated and so alone. My job done, I backed up, closing the door quietly behind me. I could hear the sobs through the thin durasteel. Leaning against the door, blinking back my own tears, I shook my head in disgust. Damn.

He was just a young boy with a dream and I had destroyed it. And back at the office, there were four more notices, four more little ones whose dreams were about to die. Oh, yeah, Docent Dreamkiller, that's me.

I hate my job, I really do and tomorrow, financial realities or not, I'm looking for a new one!