“Ben. You sounded like you were in a hurry on the phone, what’s going on?”
Ben sets the tray down on the desk, moves with a measured sort of eloquence and betrays none of the excitement from earlier. But his eyes shine, and his smile is tight in the manner of someone who is about to tell a great story—or a secret. “You haven’t been to Sundari yet, have you?”
“No,” he shakes his head. Ben begins pouring tea. “I haven’t had any reason to go.”
“As it happens, I’ve found you one,” Ben promises, and hands him his cup before pouring his own, settling down into his own chair. “Tell me, what do you know of Keldabe?”
“It’s a myth,” Luke says immediately. And it’s a well-known one at that. “It... was the capital city of ancient Mandalore. It’s referred to in sources from around the Great Iron Road, but… there’s no other evidence that it ever actually existed. Old legends say it sank into the sea.” Which is silly, really, because Mandalore is landlocked, and mostly desert.
Ben hums, and carefully sips his undoubtedly scalding tea from his cup.
Luke waits, feels an edge of frustration when he is kept waiting, wondering just where Ben intends to take this. “Look, I went to some of Professor Tano’s lectures and did some reading for my thesis, but… I don’t know much about the Mandalorians. Isn’t this your area?”
Originally, Ben specialised in the same discipline as Luke, and The Jedi Code: Knights and Peacekeepers by Benjamin Kenobi is probably on every undergrad reading list on the continent, if not in the world. However, over the last decade or so, Mandalorian warrior culture has been Ben’s new passion. He is still widely in demand as a consultant and would often head out to Jedi-related finds, but lately he has frequented conferences in Sundari and Ronion alike over the ones in Coruscant.
“I believe,” Ben says, slow and deliberate, “if this lead indeed proves true, this venture could be both our areas.”
There’s a glint in Ben’s eye when he speaks next. “We’ve found Keldabe.”
A chill goes down Luke’s spine. Found Keldabe. That would be the archaeological achievement of a lifetime, were it true.
“Congratulations,” he says, genuinely. “That’s… that’s amazing. Really. But I don’t—how is this related to my research?”
“You don’t see how this is related to your research on the Jedi-Mandalorian hostilities? You wrote a whole chapter in your thesis on the possible reconciliation between them.”
“Based on a single record from Coruscant that references peace negotiations with Mand’alor the Uniter, but doesn't appear anywhere else in the world and likely didn’t lead to…” he stops as Ben’s words catch up with him and bring a sudden flash of heart-pounding clarity. “You think Keldabe is my missing piece?”
From Darasuum, a Dinluke Mummy/Dark Atlantis AU.