Just about everything is borrowed from Dilly, what with this RP we did of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan back in the day and her love of the way that Ewan's voice squeaks.
There were a great number of Jedi with near-human form: the majority of the Order, in fact, at almost any given time in its history had been bipedal. Two arms, two feet, a frontal presentation of the visual sensory units. There were certainly more exotic Jedi, such as Oppo Rancisis and other Thisspiasian Jedi, but Form IV was, for example, designed for an agile, legged form with a relatively high center of gravity. The initiate meditation form asked younglings to put their feet underneath them and balance their wrists on their knees.
Instructors would work accomodate non-standard physical types. Masters would take Padawans with physical types very different from their own, but at the end of the day, the majority of the Order was built on the same lines. Two arms, two legs, a torso. A face that looked fundamentally human.
It didn't mean that things were the same on the inside, though.
When Obi-Wan had been a Padawan for a little more than a decade or so, Qui-Gon lost his voice for a few weeks. It was only temporary, small compared to what else he'd survived and entirely due to damage to muscles controlling the voice box and some elements controlling his voice box. Not the result of nerve damage, easily repaired with bacta injections, and if really pressed, Qui-Gon could make a hoarse, raspy noise.
It would only last for a few days. The bacta injection that Qui-Gon had received and the compresses that he was to use each night should have him in order shortly.
"But we're supposed to go on a diplomatic
mission in two
Obi-Wan could hear his voice squeaking. It was also rather loud in the low ceilings of the medic area; he'd been used to shouting to be heard over the low rumbling engine noise of their last posting, a fleet of rather noisy, old-fashioned Detterian patrol ships.
The medic droid did its equivalent of a shrug, and Obi-Wan opened his mouth to argue when he felt Qui-Gon's hand on his shoulder. The expression said to be quiet, and later, when they were back in their quarters, Qui-Gon used a composition tablet to indicate that he was fine with the mission schedule. Obi-Wan would just have to speak for his Master. Or handle things on his own.
Any negotiations would be short and relatively simple. An excellent practical mission for a senior Padawan, fine preparation for a future Knight.
Obi-Wan looked at Qui-Gon, who was tapping the words into the tablet while he held the bacta compress to his throat. Qui-Gon had typed a word into the tablet incorrectly, and he wanted to correct it, but it seemed that the key interface was sticking. He frowned at it, shook the tablet a little, then pulled the compress away from his throat to make a raspy, quizzical noise. The tablet was beyond his ability to fix; he wanted Obi-Wan to take a look at it.
Qui-Gon had to be helped out of his robes. He made faces when he sat down because of the strain that it put on his legs, and he was currently leaning against the wall because his back muscles hadn't yet recovered enough to let him sit for extended periods of time under his own power. The lights in the room were kept dim, too, because Qui-Gon master's eyes were still sensitive to strong light.
Suddenly, it was hard for Obi-Wan to swallow around the lump in his throat,
Qui-Gon's vocal system actually looked nothing like what Obi-Wan thought it would look like. He wasn't particularly familiar, of course, with vocal systems looked like. They tended not to be part of battlefield medicine, and since Qui-Gon had a bump in his throat in approximately the same place that Obi-Wan did, he assumed that his master would have the same vocal apparatus as Obi-Wan did.
Different planets, though. Hyphenated names for both, true, blue visual sensory apparatuses for both, true, but their home planets were on opposite sides of the Republic.
The medic droid showed Obi-Wan the setup: instead of the single bone with the double bands of muscle inside, Qui-Gon had two separate bones, positioned on opposite sides of his throat. The bump that Obi-Wan saw and had assumed to be Qui-Gon's voicebox was actually a cartiliginous extension protecting the single band of tendon-like muscle underneath. Members of Qui-Gon's species were physically incapable of making noises in the register of Obi-Wan's squeaks; their choral music, for example, was all executed in the low registers.
Obi-Wan took a glance at the other parts of the anatomy imaging on Qui-Gon that the medical droid had pulled up for him -- these, he was more familiar with. Liver and pancreas in reversed positions, heart on the left side of the body and located below the lungs. In order to compensate up for the lower positioning and the fact that it had to pump blood upwards into the lungs, it was apparently significantly larger than Obi-Wan's own, sternum-covered one.
Obi-Wan remembered a trip to Harkesh. They were on the transport, and they were being housed in the cargo bay because it was a cargo ship and the crew was fly-by-night enough so that they weren't enthusiastic about Jedi sharing their quarters.
So they slept in blankets on the hard floor. Kept their robes on at night against the chill. Obi-Wan was coming back from fetching some hot water from the ships kitchen, and he saw a flash of what Qui-Gon had been studying before Qui-Gon put it away and started setting things out for their improvised tea on an upended cargo container: it had been an anatomical readout for Obi-Wan's species. Positioning of organs, statements on bone density. How to treat deep wounds. What constitued a mortal wound and what did not.
The worst injury that Obi-Wan had on Qui-Gon's watch was a broken arm. Obi-Wan had been almost twenty years old, seven years into being a Padawan, and Qui-Gon had field-set it in the approved, orthodox manner, then ordered him to take the calcium supplements needed to regrow the bone. Obi-Wan's particular flavor of near-human had, apparently, particularly low calcium reserves.
"I appear to have failed you, Padawan."
Obi-Wan lifted both of his eyebrows. He kept his cast close to the chest; there was an inner sheath of bacta swishing around inside it, and it would come off in a few days.
"Perhaps I have not been monitoring your diet closely enough. I understand that a calcium deficiency may, in your species, lead to growth hindrance."
"Shortness, Obi-Wan." Qui-Gon seemed utterly serious; he sounded completely concerned and repentent.
"I believe it explains why you are so short."
Qui-Gon would occaisionally attempt to imitate the way that his Padawan squeaked in outrage. By his own admission, though, he never did a particularly good job of it.
"This is such a barbaric way of administering medication."
Qui-Gon was tired. They both were, and it had been a long day mediating negotiations, but at least Obi-Wan wasn't going to have an actual bit of metal inserted into his throat. He'd asked the medic droid whether there was a more humane or accurate way to do this, perhaps a diffusion spray, but the droid had been clear. If Master Qui-Gon wanted to avoid lasting damage to his vocal apparatus and if he also refused to remain in the full-immersion bacta tank, he would have to receive bacta injections on his throat while on mission. It was the only way to make sure that the bacta reached the muscles.
It was a very small needle, all things considered, the medic droid had told him. Very narrow. An easy injection. It wasn't all that difficult, given the structure of Qui-Gon's throat, and Obi-Wan was getting to not mind it, if not enjoy it. It was one of the few times during the day that Qui-Gon would let himself be taken care of. He insisted on putting his robes on himself; he insisted on sitting for long hours bolt upright in the negotiations room when there was no reason to.
After getting the bacta injection for the night, though, Qui-Gon would let Obi-Wan make a soothing tea. Settle an extra robe around his shoulders. Bacta made him sleepy and agreeable, it seemed, and he would have them while sitting on the edge of his chair. He'd tilt his head back, close his eyes and turn his head so that Obi-Wan could find the spot for the injection.
He found it, swabbed it with an antispetic wipe, then gave it a few moments for the antispetic agent to evaporate.
There was a little bit of a night breeze blowing through the room -- Odara was a cool, maritime planet -- and they had the windows open. Qui-Gon made a face when the breeze touched the damp spot on his neck. It would feel cold, Obi-Wan supposed.
"Perhaps, next time, you will think twice about rushing into a combat situation like that, Master," Obi-Wan said.
He bent down to give Qui-Gon the shot, but then Qui-Gon opened his eyes, and he looked straight into Obi-Wan's face. His expression didn't change, but it was something about the eyes, the expression there. There was no remorse, not even a hint that he regretted what he had done, and Obi-Wan was suddenly so angry that his hands started to shake.
They had to delay the bacta injection for twenty minutes until Obi-Wan had mastered himself.
Qui-Gon had been taken captive by the pirates. It bought the hostages time, given Obi-Wan a chance to track the pirates back to their central gathering point since Qui-Gon was carrying a transmitter, and the pirates weren't technologically sophisticated enough to find the tracker, but the pirates had belonged to a species that housed their circulatory centers in their throats. They had beaten Qui-Gon. Then, they'd tortured Qui-Gon by taking all the skin off his back and arms, inch by inch.
When they smashed his throat, they thought that they were killing him and putting him out of his crippled misery.
Obi-Wan arrived with the planetary cavalry, the local space navy, in time to see the pirates arranged around the room in a loose circle, staring dumbfounded at the Jedi who refused to die.
When Qui-Gon was teaching Obi-Wan about the finer points of lightsaber use in the field, they had discussed the killing move. Obi-Wan had never actually killed anyone on combat, and they were having a bit of discussion about where, exactly, to strike. Qui-Gon cheerfully admitted that there really wasn't a way to know for sure. You just looked at your opponent, did your best guess at his species and where his vitals were located.
"If you wanted to debilitate me, for example," Qui-Gon had said. "Where would you strike?"
"Er." Obi-Wan had the feeling that he was staring. "Um."
This had not been in the homework reading.
"No, it wasn't in the homework reading, Obi-Wan. It's also something of a trick question." Qui-Gon sounded amused, and Obi-Wan managed to look up and give his Master a weakish smile.
"It doesn't really matter with a lightsaber since I'd be dead if you caught me anywhere in the torso. Remember that, Obi-Wan. Lightsabers carry enough disruptive energy that if you come even close to a major organ, you stand a substantial chance of disrupting function."
"Though I suppose the most efficient place on me would be here." He gestured to his side. Obi-Wan followed the gesture with his eyes.
"It's where my heart is, Obi-Wan. You'd kill me eventually if you got me in the liver or the pancreas, but this is the quickest place."
They moved on to other subjects then, but the lecture would come back to Obi-Wan years later, when he wondered whether the Sith had been able to deduce Qui-Gon's species quickly enough to intentionally make his killing move there or whether it had just been a lucky guess.