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(L,F&E #8) Temporary Closure

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kalenath
12.30.2011 , 04:07 AM | #1
Nia woke up partway, she was cold. Something warm covered her and she sighed, contented. She fell fully asleep. Will looked at her, straightened the emergency blanket covering her and smiled. Then he looked at Olanagychew. The furball was also sacked out. He shook his head. It was good here, wherever here was. But… something was wrong. He couldn’t put it to his mind but something was very wrong. He took that thought to slumber with him.

Stormhawk Boss looked up as Master Vandar came into his office. He didn’t need the Force to tell him that the Jedi bore bad news.

“You found her?” The armored form's voice was even, he did not trust Vandar. Vandar looked unsure.

“We found the Dragon, and the body of Jedi Bjorn Davei aboard." Vandar's voice, while calm, held sadness. Bjorn had been a good kid. "He died in the battle.” Boss looked at the diminutive Jedi Master.

“And?”

“And nothing. There is no sign of Will Kalenath or Olanagychew.” Vandar shook his head, baffled. Boss slumped back in his chair. “The damage the ship took is extensive; a team is towing her back here now. But, there are no hull breaches, no signs of them leaving. Have you had any luck tracking the entity?”

“No. but I wonder…” he keyed in command and pulled up his message files. He smiled. Will was obsessive about After Action Reports. It drove Boss and others nuts sometimes, but… “Will filed a report before he charged into battle. Oh my…You better see this.” Vandar came around the desk to see what Boss, and then he hissed. They were looking at the camera footage from Kuria. Boss read further into the AAR.

“That grey mass matches something mentioned in the Book of the Exile." Vandar shook his head, worried now. "Something very bad.”

“No argument. Here.” He highlighted a section for the Jedi master. ”He said they are going to ‘take it back’. To Kuria.” Master Vandar nodded and Boss opened a comlink to the bridge.

“Helm set course for the Kuria system. Commo inform Captain Nailius that she has command of the fleet; tell her recover everything she can. We do not leave our people behind.” A chorus of acknowledgements came in. Vandar looked at Boss and then spoke.

“Kuria is technically within Sith space.” Boss looked at the Jedi master and Vandar smiled. “I was just saying…” He broke off as Boss laughed.

“I know. If you want off, I can transship you and your people before we jump.” Vandar raised an eyebrow. Boss grinned. “Worth a try.”

“Barely.” Vandar allowed and they both laughed. A sad strained laugh but a laugh nonetheless.

<Somewhere>


Nia woke. She remembered. She winced, but nothing hurt. She looked around. The room she was in was dry, warm and… She froze as she saw her dad lying on the floor near her with Olanagychew beside him. She tried to rise, but she couldn’t. For a moment, she panicked, and then a feeling wafted over her. Sorrow and apology. She relaxed. She felt…something. She opened her mind as far as she could.

Where? She received a confused welter of images, feelings and other inputs she had no names for. I do not understand She sent plaintively and suddenly an image of her family hut on Kuria appeared in her mind with her mother standing in the doorway. She smiled and lay back.

Oh… was all she managed to think before she fell unconscious again.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
12.30.2011 , 04:18 AM | #2
When Will woke again he looked over the others and sighed. Nia slept, he had no idea if she was hurt or not, his scanner didn’t work. Olana, well, his obvious wounds were healing and Wookiees defined tough. Will felt a buzzing in his head and he was sure he was hurt. But he didn’t feel anything. Then without warning, he was elsewhere. He dropped into a combat crouch as he hit the floor. The woman facing him looked shocked. Her red hair glinted in the shallow light, as did her Jedi battle armor. He looked at her, he didn’t know her. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He tried to move, to speak, to do anything, but couldn’t. And the floor came up to meet him.

When he woke, he was lying on his back. He couldn’t have been out long. He opened his eyes and regretted it immediately. He bit back a groan.

“Don’t move.” A strange female voice came to him and he sighed. “What?” the woman asked acerbically

“Nothing…I…Oh…” He couldn’t stifle a groan as the headache he had just recognized as such grew to planet sized. A cold cloth touched his forehead and he winced, but the pain ebbed a bit.

“Whoever you are, appearing like that is a good way to get cut in half.” She sounded half annoyed, half amused. He grinned a bit sourly. It hurt.

“I wasn’t given a choice in the matter.” He could have sworn the woman stifled a laugh at his words.

“Well, talk to your travel agent next time, okay?" A hand checked his pulse professionally. "You nearly gave me a heart attack.”

“Sorry. I…” He broke off as the buzzing in his head reached a crescendo. The damage he had taken in the battle had been worse than any he had taken before. He heard the woman curse, and then felt her hands on his temples. He felt…something and then the buzzing subsided. Then it vanished completely. He sighed in relief as the hands left his temples. “Thanks.”

“No problem. But… care to explain how you got that way? I’ve only seen that kind of damage once, and that was…well, a long time ago” He opened his eyes, and they didn’t hurt. He saw her sitting a meter or so away. He took in her armor again and the two bladed lightsaber hanging from her belt. His eyes narrowed.

“Ma’am…nothing against you, you seem okay, but…”

“But you don’t know who you can trust. I know the feeling.” She shook her head as she spoke. He felt something again, something that teased the back of his mind.

“What if I give you my word that the Jedi Order will keep the secret?”

“You’re a Jedi?” he looked pointedly at her saber.

She followed his eyes and snorted. “It’s not like I had a choice in the matter, a mark told me I was Force sensitive and had to learn to control it, and now look at me. And yeah, this isn’t the usual blade for Jedi, but… it works well when outnumbered, which I am a lot these days.”

“I understand.” He said quietly and he did. Needs must when the devil drives… Who had said that? He couldn’t remember.

“You are obviously a soldier. And from your armor, a Republic soldier at that.” He nodded slowly, not liking where his mind was taking him. He looked at her, closely, trying not to stare. She was exactly as he had pictured her... He froze. She looked at him.

“What?” She asked with a touch of ice in her tone. He shook his head, whatever he had been thinking had flitted away.

“Sorry, I’m not fully… well…” His mind was fluttering all over the place. He sternly ordered it to focus and it did, a bit.

“I know, take it easy for a few. That neural damage is intense. Or so I was told.” She looked him over again and he sighed.

“I get it when I link to my ship.”

“You… link…?” She shook her head, perplexed. "Link how?"

“I interface directly to it." Will winced. "Makes me faster and more responsive flying but…”

“What happens if you take damage…oh…” She said in a disbelieving tone as the facts sifted together. "Yuck."

“Not a particularly safe ability.”

“No, I can see that.” Her dry tone brought a smile to his face.

“This is going to sound very strange…” He broke off as she laughed.

“After the way you arrived, out of thin air, I expect no less.” He smiled as the humor of his words sank in. Then he sobered.

“I don’t know if you are real.” Will's vocie was calm, but held worry. She rocked back on her heels.

“Come again?” She asked, her tone turning acerbic again. He frowned; this metaphysical stuff wasn’t his forte.

“My daughter had an experience recently where she thought she had traveled a long way and then found out it had all been an illusion of some kind. She… she didn’t understand all of what happened, but it was an attempt at communication. I…” He broke off as she looked at him oddly.

“You think I am an illusion.”

“Yes.” He shrugged at her expression. "Sorry."

“What makes you think that?” Now her voice was interested.

"Well..." Will pursed his lips and dove right in as was his wont. “You are as I always pictured you.”

“You don’t even know who I am.” She scoffed then froze as he spoke.

“Your name is Mira, you were born to slaves of the Mandalorians on Malachor V. You escaped. You made your way to Nar Shaddaa where you became a bounty hunter.” Her face went white at his words. “You took a contract on what was believed to be the last of the Jedi. A woman called the Exile. She told you that you had what it took to be a Jedi.” She had her hand on her lightsaber now. “You fought beside the Exile until she left to search for Revan. Then you and others worked to rebuild the Jedi Order. I am sorry, but… I know you cannot be Mira.” He closed his eyes. Her reply seemed to come from very far away.

“Why not?”

“Because she died two hundred and thirty years before I was born. She was one of my ancestors.” When he opened his eyes he was alone. He slumped, sad. A gut churning wrench hit him and he was back in the room with Olana and Nia, but Nia was awake.

“Dad?” Nia asked quietly.

“Nia?” He felt, strange, but put it down to whatever he had just encountered. Nothing hurt. He tried to get up, but a wave of dizziness hit him and he slumped back to the ground. He was so tired… Nia shouted.

Dad!

“What?” He asked; his voice barely audible.

“Don’t sleep. I… I can’t help you. I can’t move! Don’t leave me please!” She started to cry. He felt so tired, but…his daughter needed him. He focused on keeping his eyes open. “If you fall asleep, you will die. She can’t heal you. Please… hold on, just a little longer, please dad…” He tried, he really did, but the darkness was growing at the edges of his vision… Just a moment, just to close them for a moment... He snapped awake and snarled. He would not go out like this. His daughter needed him!
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
12.30.2011 , 04:21 AM | #3
The Stormhawk arrived in the Kuria system and went to full battle stations. One entity had been bad enough. There were six in the Kuria system! All clustered around the planet that had held Nia’s colony. Boss looked over the sensor records. They all looked identical. Then sensors sounded another alarm. Another entity had appeared, heading for the planet. This one, the sensors relayed, had chunks of Sith ships sticking out of it. He looked at Master Vandar and the small green Jedi Master sighed. The Stormhawk turned into the Kuria system, ready to avenge her fallen. Then Boss froze, the entities were combining! And they were not growing bigger, but smaller...

Will was beaten. He had lasted longer than he had thought possible, but… He knew it. Nia’s increasingly terrified screams could barely keep him awake. He breathing was getting ragged and he was sure his heartbeat was flagging as well. Then, something changed. He was no longer lying on the floor of a grey chamber but he seemed to be floating in a pool of liquid light. He felt rather than saw a presence approach. He was too drained to do anything. He felt… something touch his temples and he was free.

Nia came awake screaming. She struggled and squirmed, but the pressures holding her were too strong, she couldn’t move. She felt…things moving along her limbs and shuddered from the feelings. Something touched her on the temples and…

She stood in the featureless grey room, but not alone. Seven indistinct forms appeared around her. She curled in on herself. Her father was dead; she had felt his Force sense vanish as her mother’s had. She felt a question from the group, but she ignored it. Her pain was too deep, too strong to be denied. Then, something surrounded her. It felt… good, warm and accepting, loving and nurturing it seemed to encompass all of these as well as sorrow and apology. And… She froze… recognition? She shook her head and curled in on herself again.

Go. Go away. Haven’t you done enough? She asked plaintively. She felt what had to be an acknowledgment of some kind and then…

Nia coughed. She hurt. She lay on her back on the hard ground and… wait a minute… the hard ground? She opened her eyes carefully and looked into the sky of Kuria. Her mouth fell open. Then she remembered.

For the first time in along, long time, Nia wept uncontrollably. A mournful sound came from behind her and she carefully turned her head until she saw the supine form of Olanagychew lying beside her. She looked at him and he barked a soft question. His voice was filled with pain and she wasn’t much better. She shook her head. Olana drew a deep breath and howled. A long and bitter scream at the universe in general and certain beings in particular. Both froze as another voice came to them.

“Some afterlife, no matter where I go I can’t get away from you two.” Nia spun her head, too quickly. Her eyes swam and she had to call upon all of her training to keep from losing her lunch. When she could be sure her body would behave, she opened her eyes and looked with disbelief at the form of her father lying beside her. He hadn’t been there a moment before. The heard the howl of shuttle engines in the distance.

“Wha..?” Her voice matched the shock on her face. Will grinned a bit, and then winced.

“It would seem that the entities pay their debts. You and I were hurt helping one of them….
They helped us. Now…” he looked up, the grey that had dominated the sky was gone, leaving Kuria clear once more.

“You… you were dead... I … I felt you die…” Then she froze. A blue tinged transparent form had appeared beside them. A woman with red hair! Will looked at her shocked speechless. The form spoke and there was warmth in her words.

“You are one crazy son of a nerf herder. And you Nia…” Mira shook her head and smiled. “I am proud of you both. But just for the record, descendant o-mine...” She mock glared at Will. “...If you ever call me a figment of your imagination again, I will haunt you till your dying day, clear?” Will’s mouth dropped open and Mira grinned. Then her transparent form wavered and vanished.

Nia laughed at the expression on her dad’s face and then suddenly all three were laughing. They were still laughing when the response team from the Stormhawk found them ten minutes later.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
12.30.2011 , 04:30 AM | #4
Nia lay in the Stormhawk’s sickbay and tried not to fidget. The medic’s hadn’t wanted to move her while she was conscious and she applauded that. She still hurt. So they had sedated her for transport and now… L’trask, working with Nolikas, -and wasn’t that a strange pairing?- had pronounced her recovering. But they had both stated that her injuries would take time, and not a little of it, to heal. According to them, her injuries were consistent with high speed impacts. She didn’t remember crashing into the entity, but she must have. She felt something in the Force and smiled as she saw the door open and Master Vandar standing in the doorway. The ancient Jedi smiled as well, seeing her awake.

“Nia.” He smiled as he stood on a chair to put his eyes level with hers. He could have floated up to her, but refrained. The crew of the 'Hawk was already on edge just having him aboard. She nodded, and then regretted it as abused muscles protested.

“Master Vandar. She managed to say with reasonable normalcy. Which was saying something since it had only been a day or so since her neck had been repaired. Immediately after that surgery, she had not been able to speak at all, and even now, it hurt a bit. She waved a hand, almost the only thing that wasn't restrained to some form of medical gear. He smiled at her again and came to her bedside.

“I can feel your pain, Nia. Are you sure…” He broke off as she shook her head. She didn’t want to spend the next several weeks, or months, in a drugged haze. He shook his head. “No one doubts your courage, Nia. Perhaps your sense, but not your courage.” She smiled at his dry tone. Then she sobered.

“There are others who need them more. I can dull my pain with the Force. Others cannot.” Vandar nodded. The Stormhawk had lost a few personnel but had many injured as well. Some of them worse than Nia had been. She refused to hurt them more, she felt she owed them. The Stormhawk’s resources were not infinite, especially now. “Master Vandar, can the Jedi help…” She broke off as Vandar sighed.

“We have been discussing this.” Nia froze. The Stormhawk was an outlaw ship, no matter what certain people might decide, the Republic still wanted them for mutiny. And the punishment for mutiny was death. Vandar continued. “The Jedi Order failed the Republic. We let ourselves drift away when the people needed us the most. No longer.” His words rang with finality.

“Master?” She asked, unsure.

“The truce is breaking down, Nia. We are trying to keep the peace, but everyone from Grandmaster Satele on down knows it will not hold much longer.” She nodded, this wasn’t news. “Both sides are gearing up for battle, and… this time, we will be there.” Nia looked at the stern mien that Vandar’s face took on and nodded silently.

“And the Stormhawk?” She looked up as the door hissed open again and then smiled as Boss pushed a wheeled chair into the room. Will sat in it looking outraged. She grinned mischievously. “Irritate the docs again, dad?” He was strapped tightly into the chair. Boss answered before Will could.

“You could say that Nia, or you could say what they did. That it’s for his own good.” The armored form's voice had a wicked bite in it and Nia burst out laughing at the hurt look that came over her dad’s face. Master Vandar grinned as an irritable growl came from another berth.

<Can’t a Wookiee sleep in peace?> Olanagychew sat up in his bed and grinned at the others. Nia forced herself to focus.

“What about the Stormhawk Master Vandar?” She asked when she had control of herself.

“We cannot openly aid a ship that has been declared an outlaw by the Republic.” He held up a hand as she started to protest. “I said we cannot openly aid the Stormhawk. I didn’t say we won’t.” Nia hissed in shock. “We will need the Stormhawk, her crew, her commander, and their expertise in the times to come. And we will need a laison with them. Someone who understands both the Jedi’s way and the Stormhawk’s.” Nia looked at him.

“I don’t know anyone…” She broke off and shook her head as he smiled at her. “You have got to be kidding. I’m not a Jedi.” He sighed.

“The Grey path is harder than the Light. But you have much the same training we do." Vandar''s voice became solemn. "And you have faced trials than any Jedi Master would consider to be sufficient for knighthood.”

“But what if I fall…” She asked horrified.

“Then I will kick your tail until you recant.” Will spoke up from his chair. She looked at him and for once he was smiling. She smiled back.

“We will also leave a guard here…” Vandar broke off as Will and Nia shook their heads in unison. “What?”

“That is not needed, Master Vandar.” Nia said with conviction. “There is a guardian on our side and on the other.”

“Oh…?” Vandar looked at her and she shook her head.

“All I can say is that both of them will let us know if anything happens. Both are very strong willed females.” Vandar looked at her and dropped the subject. Another time maybe…

“This is something I do not understand…” Boss asked in a quiet tone. “…what makes you say the entity that was here originally was female?”

“Easy Boss. The missing one was her offspring.” Boss’ posture went stiff. She bet if she could see his eyes they would be wider than platters. “So she has an incentive to keep that particular door shut.” They all nodded at her words. “But there is one thing… If I might ask you to do it, since I can’t leave this bed for a while…” They all grinned at her sour tone.

“Name it.” Boss said quietly.

<A long time afterward>


Tyria sat back on her heels. She searched, scanning, focusing; trying to make sense of what she had seen. The young woman, Nia, had been there. She knew it. She had touched her, sensed her. And then, the girl had simply vanished…

“Mistress… come quickly!” the voice of one of her students came and she shook her head and hurried out of the tent. The excited young woman led her to the building they had uncovered. They entered the building and she saw a new door that had just been uncovered. On the door was… She laughed…

No way… The inscription on the door read. “I’m sorry Tyria. Say this…” She spoke the words that were written there and the door ground open. She checked her filter mask and looked in. Her eyes widened. A table sat in the midst of various things, some she could identify and some she couldn’t. Just from the look of the items, they were all priceless artifacts of historical nature. Jedi artifacts including a holocron, other things. On the table sat a book. The cover of the book read:

'Tales of the Knights of the Old Republic.'

A note sat beside it, written in Basic. "I am sorry for leaving you so unexpectedly, Tyria. Here, enjoy.” She smiled. Thank you. Nia…
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
12.30.2011 , 04:31 AM | #5
((The end, but.. have no fear, Will, Nia, Olanagychew and company will be around. On second thought, the Sith should fear. A lot... ))
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here