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(L,F&E 32) Children of the Stormhawk

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
(L,F&E 32) Children of the Stormhawk

kalenath's Avatar

06.21.2012 , 04:38 AM | #1
((This takes place during the battles around the Centurion station as part of the plan to thwart Zwelkin Infinuim's mad plans to destroy the Force. The Dia's Gift has arrived and lots of people want it to stay out of the fight, for lots of reasons.))

<On a shuttle transiting between the Stormhawk and the Dia’s Gift>

Sara sat in her seat and tried not to think too hard. She was sure… No she wasn’t sure what she was thinking… She looked over at Helen, who sat leaning back in her seat with her eyes closed. The Princess of Naboo had come with a fleet to support the Stormhawk in it's hour of need. Many of them had died in the process including Helen's step-father. Sara sighed. Helen opened her eyes and smiled.

“This isn’t what I expected to be doing either.” Helen's voice held sadness, but also determination. Sara snorted at that, and then shook her head.

“Helen… I ride a Bes’uliik. I… how can I tell them they can’t…” Sara broke off and Helen straightened in her seat.

“Sara, you can choose to ride or not. They were not given the choice. They have to be protected…”

“You are asking me to take their choice away from them…” Sara’s words were small. Helen nodded.

“Welcome to the wonderful world of command, Sara. We don’t have to like it. We just have to do it. Sara, if you can’t…” She broke off as Sara’s face hardened.

“I will do what I have to. But… I want to talk to them first.” Helen nodded, there wasn’t anything else to say. They both looked out the viewport and Sara studied the ship they were approaching. At first glance an old Foray class cruiser. Commonly called a blockade runner, the design was proven, a time and battle tested ship class. The huge engines at the rear, the slender neck, the twin turbo laser turrets… Wait a sec, the hangar bay? They both stared at the obvious addition that had been mounted on the ship. Where the engines met the neck of a regular Foray class ship, on this one, a large rectangular structure that showed a force field on the lower section was in between the engines and the neck. It looked streamlined, so the ship could probably still land on planetary surfaces, but… the shuttle arced closer and both viewers tensed as red forms became visible inside the hangar bay. The two girls, one older, one younger stared at each other, and then nodded in silence.

<Aboard the Dia’s Gift>

“No I don’t know what to expect Marta. I only knew her for a few hours.” Roan Dijore had done some VERY strange things in his career serving the Republic Military Intelligence division. But this… He had never met Will Kalenath. He only knew the man’s reputation in the Special Forces, and a towering one it was. But having 20(!) miniature versions of him was just…wrong. No matter how they had come about, Roan’s instincts said these were children. Not soldiers. They disagreed.

“Commander. We were created to fight.” Roan sighed, and Marta, the appointed liaison between the normal people and the small soldiers, stood at parade rest. On a normal child it would have looked funny, on her… He shook his head again and another being spoke.

<Sara is a good person. She will listen to you. But… then she will make a decision.> Marta looked at Olanagychew then slumped. Olana shook his huge head. <You do understand.>

Marta nodded reluctantly. She did. She looked around at the various faces and sighed.

“We do understand.” She finally spoke when none of the others did. “That doesn’t mean we have to like it.” For just a moment, she showed her true age of ten years old as she pouted. Then she shook herself and became professional again.

“Orders commander?” Roan nodded, back on firm ground.

“Sara and Helen Regina will be the only personnel offloaded. Their health has been checked and rechecked by the Stormhawk’s medical staff. However, they will both wear envirosuits until they have been checked by Nolikas as well. For now we are in a holding pattern until they decide what to do. So…” Marta nodded, but Roan shook his head and she looked at him quizzical.

“You are not going to spend all day every day in the simulator. You got away with that while we were in transit, now that we are here…” Marta slumped. Roan took her small shoulder in a gentle grip. “Marta, you are young. By our standards, very young.” He blinked as Marta looked at him, for just a moment she looked very old.

“And how likely are we to live as long as you already have?” Roan slumped, but another voice answered.

“Marta, we don’t know.” Marta looked at Master Jina and the Jedi spkoe again. “Nolikas is trying.” Marta nodded again. The lack of immunity was a killer, literally. Two of her compatriots had already succumbed to illnesses that any normal human child would have simply shrugged off. Marta blinked, and then spoke thoughtfully.

“Do they know?” Roan looked at the others in the room before answering.

“Not yet. Nolikas wanted to tell them, personally.” Marta nodded at the soldier's words.

“Will that be all commander?” He nodded, she saluted. When he returned it, she spun on her heel and marched out of the room. He sighed, and Olana gave a worried bark.

“I know furrball, I know…” Dijore was very worried about a lot of things, not the least of which was the arrival of Zelkin Infinium himself into the fray. The Dia’s Gift had moved away from the battle and they hoped the ship would remain unnoticed. After all, who was going to be looking at a single light cruiser when dreadnoughts and such were playing?
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.21.2012 , 04:41 AM | #2
<Medical bay on Dia’s Gift>

“What?” Sara’s voice was even, but Nolikas flinched anyway. Sara and Helen had taken the restrictions in good humor, and even the vigorous testing that Nolikas had done, but now… She had finally explained WHY. And neither girl was happy.

“I can’t replicate it…” Nolikas was almost in tears. It took all of her control not to cry. She had lost two of her patients and two more were showing signs of ailments that, in a normal human anyway, would have been laughable. Sara and Helen just looked at one another. The envirosuits they had put on were now explained. But…

“Jedi Nolikas, let me be sure I understand.” Helen’s voice was troubled. “This woman created these children. And she destroyed their immune systems to make them controllable. She implanted devices into their bodies like the ones that were in Nia…” Nolikas nodded, and spoke quietly.

‘Yes, but the surgery was not as skillful. We can’t take them out without…” Nolikas stopped talking as Sara hissed, and then slumped. When Sara spoke her voice was quiet, almost disbelieving.

“…causing irreparable brain damage.” All three of them looked at each other. “And the drug that Republic Intelligence supplied only works for a short period of time…” Nolikas bowed her head.

“We ran out on the way here." The Jedi admitted. "Which is why we had L’trask put you two through the ringer.” Sara shook her head at the Rakata Jedi’s words.

“You shouldn’t have let us come. I mean… no matter how thorough you and L’trask are…” Sara sat down heavily and Helen sat down beside her. After a moment, Nolikas joined them.

“We are working on another possibility. And it may require you.” The healer said slowly. Sara perked up at the healer’s words.

“Me?" Sara wasn't sure about this. "What can I do?” Nolikas shook her head.

“I wasn’t clear." The healer spoke slowly, carefully. "Not you Sara, you Helen.” Helen shook her head, bemused.

“What can I do?” Nolikas smiled at Helen's dubious tone and spoke quietly, gently.

“Your blood has the proper immunities. With a bit of help, from technology and the Force it may be possible to give these children a second chance.” Sara and Helen stared at the Jedi, not comprehending. Nolikas sighed. “I have permission to speak of this to you, Helen.” Helen just looked at her.

“I don’t understand. If I can help I will, but how? Anything from my body would just be rejected, right? Right?” She prompted when Nolikas didn’t respond.

“You never knew your father.” Nolikas’ words shook Helen, but she nodded automatically.

“He was killed in battle twenty years ago… I… Mom never talks about him. All I ever got was that he was a brave man. It took digging once I joined the Militia to find out his name. The Stormhawk fought and killed the pirates who killed him, although it cost them. That was the year after the battle of Coruscant. To answer your question, no… I never knew my dad.” Sara took her friend’s hands in hers and gave a squeeze. Nolikas swallowed audibly.

“He was your official father, the man who married your mother.” Helen froze. ‘He was not your biological father.” Helen stared at her, then without a word rose and strode quickly out of the room. Nolikas let her go. Sara stared at Nolikas, comprehension slowly dawning.

“Oh… my… god…”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.21.2012 , 04:46 AM | #3
<An observation blister, Dia’s Gift>

Helen sat, her mind whirling. Her entire life… a lie? It couldn’t be… Her mother wouldn’t… her father… She shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. She froze as her comlink chirped. She pulled it off her belt and scrutinized the code. Then she smiled. Will always made her smile. She keyed it on.

“Hello Will.” The princess said with a heavy heart. "Going to make me laugh?" The small holo on the screen smiled a bit as well.

“Hello Helen." For the first time since she had known him, the soldier sounded unsure. "Nolikas said she told you. I’m sorry.” She stared at the screen.

‘You knew…” The hurt in her voice cut deep. The tiny holo nodded.

“I wish I could be there Helen, but…” She shook her head. “Yeah, the less we expose the kids to strange germs at the moment, the better.”

“She didn’t say who it was, just that Nelson wasn’t my dad.” Will recoiled on the screen. “You know, don’t you?” He nodded. “I…” Will held up a hand.

“Helen, I am sorry. Your mother made me give my word not to talk about it. But…” He smiled sadly. “Your mom is a very bright person. She added a rider to the oath I swore, for just this kind of situation.” Helen had to laugh. That was her mom all right, always playing the angles. “But… You may not want to know.”

The young woman stared at the holo and shook her head, baffled. “Will, I am not leaving this ship anytime soon. I’m not going to hunt whoever it is down. I would like answers to some…” She broke off as a strange look came over will’s face and she froze as points started connecting in her mind.

Her age, his, the fact that her mother adored the man, the way he always had time to talk to her when he could. The way he looked at her…

“No…” Her voice was quiet, horrified. When he looked at her again, there were tears flowing down his face.

“I’m sorry Helen." Will said slowly. "It was… We were both young, both a bit stupid, and both alone. I was a young soldier posted to the embassy on Naboo, she was an attaché to the queen at that time. We saw one another frequently. We found we had interests in common. Her family didn’t want anything to do with a dirt poor Republic trooper. They arranged a marriage…” Helen jumped a bit.

“…To Nelson Gan.” Will nodded to her soft, incredulous words.

“Nelson was a good man, and later a friend. I was prepared to hate his guts, but he was a good man.” He laughed a bit. “He actually set us both up the night before the marriage ceremony. He got us both drunk and left us… with instructions to ‘have fun’.” Helen stared at the man she respected more than any except the late admiral who had stepped in as a father figure when his son had been killed.

“Did the Admiral know?” Helen was numb now, but she had to know. Will nodded.

“As soon as we found out she was pregnant, we went to Nelson and his Dad. I was ready to accept punishment, be cashiered even…” Helen couldn’t restrain a wince. “They convinced me not to. To keep quiet. She was about to be crowned. Firalia made me swear never to tell you. I’m sorry. I…” Helen shook her head and tears were coming now.

“All these years, you…” She froze. “You were the reason the Stormhawk was in the system, when they killed the Kat’co pirates. When… you… killed them…” Will nodded.

“The Stormhawk would have gone after them anyway, them being slavers and all. But I went after them because they had killed my friend, your Dad, Firalia's husband. Naboo’s prince consort and his entire ship. It was all I could do. We did rescue the slaves.” Helen nodded, unable to speak. “I’m sorry Helen. I don’t blame you for hating me…” He broke off as she uttered a cry.

“I don’t hate you. I just… I need time, and to talk to my mom.” Will nodded. “And I am going to help these children.”

“Helen I understand. And know that I have always been proud to call you my friend, and now I am even more proud to call you ‘daughter’.” Helen was crying now and she managed to nod before she cut the connection. She was long time recovering her composure.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.21.2012 , 04:48 AM | #4
<Thirty minutes later>

Helen sank back into the bed and tried not to fidget. She wasn’t sure about this, not at all. Nolikas was skilled, yes. And these kids needed help, but… the Rakata came to the side of her bed and smiled.

“Helen, it will be OK, you will sleep through this.” Helen nodded, still a bit dubious as the Jedi put an IV in and then shook her head.

“Nolikas… I…” The healer froze. “No… No… continue… I just… I dunno…” Helen snorted a bit at herself. Nolikas finished what she was doing and sat beside Helen’s bed.

“Helen…” The young Naboo woman looked up at the Jedi healer and shook her head. “If you don’t want to do this, we can find another way.” Helen sighed.

“And how many will we lose?” Nolikas slumped. Her latest patient was slipping. Even now, she feared the boy was beyond help. “Hook me up.”

The healer nodded, and then took one of Helen’s arms in gentle hands and laid it on the table that sat over the bed. She hooked it up to monitoring equipment. Nolikas stared at the monitors. Then she grimaced and spoke.

“You will have to sleep through this Helen. The texts we have referenced for this are not totally clear. This procedure has not been done in centuries. With kolto there has been no need. We know what to do…” Helen nodded. “I am going to put you under a general anesthetic. Hopefully that will help with the discomfort that the texts speak of.” Helen nodded, and then sank back into the surprisingly comfortable pillow. The bed rotated a bit and Helen sighed as she felt waves of lassitude sweep over her. She smiled as she closed her eyes.

Nolikas monitored the girl’s vital signs until she was sure Helen was asleep, and then she nodded to her assistant who wheeled a tray over. She was not sure about this at all, but it was really the childrens' only chance.


“You know who I am. I want to know who you are.” Sara sat in front of the group of… no they were not children, no matter what they looked like. The two twileks who worked to keep the kids healthy, Kina and Draga, stood nearby, slightly apart, but still part of the group. The leader, the girl who had chosen the name Marta, stared at her before speaking.

“We… we were created…” the younger girl broke off as Sara’s eyes flashed.

“I don’t want to know what you are. I want to know who you are. I know what happened to you all, and I know most of why. You know who I am.” All of the beings in front of her nodded in unison. Now that was creepy, and Sara controlled a flinch.

“You are Sara Kalenath, the daughter of Maria and Sam…” Marta froze again as Sara shook her head. When the older girl spoke it was sad.

“You all can communicate mind to mind, correct?” Marta looked at her, a bit dubious, and nodded. Sara extended a hand. Marta took it and…


Marta and the other children stood on a featureless plain. But these were not children’s forms. All of them had adult bodies, toned and fit. Kina and Draga stood close by but not in the main group. Sara stood in front of them all. The older girl still looked like herself and she was crying. Marta went to her and hugged her tight.

“They did this to you because I can. Because of what my brother can do. We are to blame for what happened to you, for all the horrors you have experienced, all the pain you have taken. All the evil that has been done to you. They started with my brother, then my mom, then me. They created you… because of us…” Sara broke down and cried hard now, but Marta didn’t let her go. Another of the children came up and suddenly all of them were crowding around Sara, not condemning, but accepting, loving…

<Back on the Dia's Gift>

Sara came back to herself crying. She looked up and Marta was crying as well. Marta spoke.

“We can’t let the ones who hurt us win. And yes, you are one of US!” Sara bowed her head, and then dashed a hand across her face. She looked up at Kina who was also crying. Draga looked like he was on the verge of tears as well and she nodded to them. She opened her arms and the children came close, Kina and Draga took her hands and they embraced all of the kids at once.

“From this moment on, I am yours and you are mine. And anyone who tries to separate us will get hurt!”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.21.2012 , 04:49 AM | #5
<The Dia’s Gift medical bay, later>

When Helen Regina woke, she hurt. It didn’t seem to be anywhere in particular, just a dull ache over much of her body. And the feeling of something odd having happened. She opened her eyes and smiled as she saw Nolikas sitting beside her.

“Did… Did it work?” She asked quietly and Nolikas smiled. A heavy weight seemed to fall from Helen’s shoulders, but Nolikas was speaking.

“We won’t know for sure for a few days, but someone wants to talk to you.” Nolikas moved aside and Helen’s eyes went wide as she saw behind the healer the form of a child in a bed. The boy who had been dying earlier was awake and looking at her. Helen smiled and the boy returned it.

“Ma’am…” His voice was weak, but audible. “Thank you.” Helen nodded, and then watched as Nolikas moved to the other bed.

“Naptime Nik, I said you could stay awake until she woke. You should have been asleep an hour ago.” The boy smiled, then curled up in his bed and fell asleep. Nolikas smiled, arranged a sheet over the boy, and then came back to Helen’s bed. But her face was grave. Helen smiled.

“What’s wrong Nolikas? It worked.” Nolikas slumped.

“It worked and it very nearly killed you. We can’t do it again.” Helen’s eyes went wide. She managed to keep her voice down.

“What?” Nolikas took the human girl’s hands in her and squeezed gently.

“You had a series of seizures while under the anesthetic. If we hadn’t been watching…” Helen stared at the healer. “There is nothing in your records or the records I have seen about seizures in your family, either side. So it has to be something to do with the treatment. If we do it again, it could kill you.” Helen shook her head, dismayed.

“If we don’t do it again, the kids will die.” Nolikas sighed, but then shook her head.

“We will find another way. We bought some time. You will be very sore, so…” She moved to increase the painkiller dosage, but Helen stopped her with a gesture.

“I… I need to talk to Sara… And Will…” Nolikas nodded. She upped Helen’s dosage and the girl slumped in relief as her pain ebbed and died.

“I will tell them, you try and sleep. You need it.” Helen nodded and lay back in her bed. It was comfortable, so comfortable. She was still thinking that when she nodded off.


Nolikas hadn’t been kidding. Helen was sure that every single piece of her body was protesting as she lay on her side. She couldn’t lie on her back because the bone they had selected to draw marrow from was the back of the pelvis. It made sense; it was one of the largest bones in the human body and it was thin enough to be easy to puncture. Unfortunately that meant her rear end was the sorest part of her body. So sitting was out, and lying on her back was almost as bad. Luckily they had only taken the marrow from one side, so she could lie on the other with only minor discomfort. Now if only her inner discomfort would go away…

“You wanted to see me Helen?” Helen looked at Sara. The girl she had known was gone. No, not gone, just… changed. In the place of the Mando girl she had met on Naboo was someone new, someone older, calmer, and… a bit scarier. Something in her eyes… Helen stared at her friend, and then spoke quietly.

“Nolikas told you.” It wasn’t a question. But Sara nodded anyway. “I want you to do it anyway.” Sara looked at her, and then shook her head silently. “Sara…”

When Sara spoke it was calm, kind and gentle. But underneath her calm lay rage.

“It’s not your fault Helen. No one blames you.” Helen stared at Sara, and then to her horror, started to cry. Sara sat beside her bed and took the older woman’s hands in hers.

“Helen. It’s ok, cry if you have to. I… I find it helps.” Helen buried her head in Sara’s shoulder and Sara stroked the older woman’s head comfortingly.

“My body is betraying me Sara, I want to help…” Sara shook Helen gently.

“You have. Nolikas is trying to replicate what you gave. She thinks she can, and if so… Then you have saved them all.” Helen shook her head and opened her mouth.

“But…” Helen froze as Sara placed finger on her lips and smiled.

“No buts, niece Helen.” Helen had to smile at Sara’s tone. It was almost exactly like one her mother was fond of. Her mother…

“Does my mother know what has happened here?” Sara sighed.

“We sent a message, she hasn’t replied yet. You are going to sleep, and heal a bit. Clear?” Helen snorted a bit, but her body was rebelling again. She nodded and sank back into the bed. Sleeping on her side was a bit of a pain, but nothing like sleeping on her back. She closed her eyes and so didn’t notice Sara slide the control for the painkillers up a notch. She did feel the kiss on her forehead. “Sleep well, niece.”

“You need sleep too, aunt.” Helen replied groggily as the painkiller swept through her body.

“Yes I do, and I am on my way there now.” Helen watched through lidded eyes as Sara left the room, dimming the lights. On the edge of sleep, she was sure she saw someone else in the room, but when she opened her eyes, no one was there. She shook her head and relaxed. As slumber claimed her however, she heard a voice. Female, kind.

“Rest well, sister.” But she was asleep.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.21.2012 , 04:52 AM | #6
<The next day>

Helen woke free of pain and rested. She moved a bit; and winced as a tender part of her anatomy made itself felt. But other than that one spot, she felt good. She opened her eyes and smiled. Someone had brought a tray in and left it on the table beside her bed. A quick inspection showed it was covered platters of food. She shook her head. Being related to the queen meant some people always seemed to think she wanted to be waited on. She didn’t. She always wanted to be seen for herself, not for being the queen’s daughter. But it did have advantages sometimes. And she was selfish enough to like it sometimes. She opened the platters and smiled as she realized someone, she could guess who, had made her favorite breakfast. She shook her head, and then started on the food.

As Helen ate, she took stock. The pains she had felt the day before were gone. The medical gear she was connected to was much less comprehensive and… she blinked. Something… She could have sworn she had just felt a touch on her shoulder, a gentle one, but there was no one there. She shook her head and continued eating. She finished the meal quickly and moved the tray out of the way. She sat back in the bed and wondered. She must have slept again, because when she looked up again, Sara was sitting beside the bed, smiling gently at her.

“Morning sleepyhead.” Helen grinned at the younger girl, and then froze as Sara shook her head.

“What?” Sara sighed.

“We heard from Naboo.” Helen actually cringed at the undercurrent in Sara’s voice. It wasn’t anger, what was it? Fear? Worry? Desire? What…? She couldn’t figure it out so she did what she did best, cut to the chase.

“What’s wrong?” Sara handed Helen a datapad and Helen froze on seeing the two words on it.

Come home

Helen shook her head.

“I… I can’t leave you all. I can’t. Not now…” Sara took the older girl’s hands in her own and squeezed them gently.

“It’s all right Helen, we will be all…” Sara broke off as Helen sat up in her bed, ignoring the pain in her posterior.

“No it’s not. I’m not going anywhere.” Sara sighed, but smiled at the mulish tone. It reminded the younger girl of another stubborn young woman. One she saw in the mirror sometimes.

“Helen… The Naboo fleet has been ordered back to Naboo. They are only waiting on you.”

“Then they can wait!” Helen screamed out the last and Sara actually recoiled back at the rage in Helen’s voice. “This is important. If we just cut and run, if we just leave, then the sacrifice of all these people is meaningless…” Sara slumped.

“Helen, your guards are waiting on the shuttle. You leave within the hour.” Helen shook her head and when Sara reached for the medical controls to sedate her Helen caught her hand. Sara stared at the older woman, Helen knew that Sara was well trained in hand to hand and could break the hold easily. But Sara didn’t move.

“Sara… You will need me.” Her voice became thoughtful, but no less powerful. “And it doesn’t say when, does it?”

Sara stared at Helen and shook her head. “Helen…” Sara’s tone was long suffering.

“This is her asking as my mother, for me to return home." Helen was certain. "The queen would have commanded me. With no room for argument or interpretation. If it was a command, it would be phrased differently. Trust me Sara, I know my mother. You didn’t tell her about the kids did you?”

Sara stared at Helen. Then she bowed her head and shook it. Helen spoke quietly, disbelieving.

“If she knew about the kids, she would be on her way here with the rest of the Naboo home fleet. You knew that…” Helen stared at Sara, as if seeing her for the first time. Then she bowed her head. When she spoke it was formal.

“When the fleet set out I was placed in nominal command. With the understanding that Admiral Gan was truly in charge and that I was a figurehead. But, I command the fleet. And I say we stay and fight.” Sara’s eyes went wide.

“Helen…” But Helen wasn’t finished.

“If we run away, leave this fight unfinished, the Stormhawk will probably die. I won’t let that happen. I won’t. I can’t. Especially not now. Let me talk to the senior surviving commander.” Sara licked her lips and Helen sighed.

“Let me guess, Conn.” Sara nodded without speaking and Helen snarled. Then she swung her legs off her bed and stood up on unsteady feet. Sara caught her as she swayed. “Where did Nolikas put my clothes? We have some calls to make.” Sara stared at her, and then gave in. If she had to, Helen would call the guy stark naked. She was just too mad to care.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar

06.21.2012 , 04:55 AM | #7
<A few minutes later>

“You are not the commander of this fleet now. With the unfortunate demise of Admiral Gan and most of the senior officers, I have assumed command. The Stormhawk…” his voice held scorn. “…Does not need us now. Your status will of course make you too valuable to risk on the front so we will withdraw to safeguard you. I…” Helen’s cold words cut across the man’s posturing.

“Commodore, with all due respect, shut up.” Sara watched with something akin to awe as Helen, having found her uniform and having slid into it quickly, completely cowed the man who had taken command of the Naboo fleet. Sara didn’t like Julius Conn, and it was reciprocated. But Helen in this mood was downright terrifying.

“I… Your fear is quite visible to the common soldiers, we should discuss this on my ship…” the holo of the man goggled at the irate princess, but Helen was having none of it.

“What part of shut up do you not understand? I understand now why Horatio put you in command of a frigate. You are totally incompetent in any other role. Fine, I will explain and I will use small words. If you leave now, our allies will die. And I will die with them. Because I am not leaving.” Sara couldn’t believe the girl she knew was saying things like this. The man on the screen smiled, as if to a small child and spoke slowly himself.

“Princess, you are obviously overwrought, no matter we will discuss this on the way home. You shuttle will be ready to depart momentarily, and you will of course be…” his words trailed off as Helen shook her head. When Helen spoke it was as if the communication room temperature dropped a few degrees.

“Are you in the habit of giving orders to your commanding admiral, commodore?” Sara actually flinched from Helen’s cold tone. The man on the screen froze.

“Ah, princess…” But Helen cut him off.

“That is twice you have referred to me by my title and not my official rank. I could ignore once; I am in a lenient mood so I forgive the second. If you do it again, I will have you up on charges of insubordination. Be careful not to add to those charges.” The man on the screen goggled, and then turned to Sara.

“Ms. Kalenath can you talk sense into her?” But before Sara could speak, Helen spoke quietly and forcefully.

“Enough. Commodore, your opinion of my combat expertise is noted. Your opinion of my experience commanding the fleet is noted. As to yours, the fighter pilot who ran away and left his father with his ship to die has no business calling me a coward.” Sara froze. The man on the screen, swelled, his face seemed to turn shades that the holo couldn’t show properly. But Helen wasn’t done. “In one small respect you are correct. The Stormhawk does not need you, so you and your ship are free to return to Naboo. Alone. You are to do so, now.” The commodore stared at her, and Helen smiled. A smile more suited to large aquatic predator.

“You will carry this message to queen Firalia. 'Honor will be satisfied'. You have your orders commodore, execute them.” She turned the com off and shook her head. Sara just stared at the woman she called friend. Helen didn’t look at Sara or Roan who had stood gaping in shock the whole time. The Republic soldier had been very worried, now he was somewhere between terrified and exultant.

“Put me through to Captain Mina.” Roan hit controls and a small woman appeared on the holo screen. Captain Mina in contrast to the commodore, was a dour sort. The dark skinned woman commanded one of the few cruisers that had survived the firestorm that had engulfed the Stormhawk. Her face lit with a huge smile as she saw Helen’s face. The captain spoke quickly.

“Well done, Admiral, orders?” Helen stared at her. Captain Mina grinned. “You did know that transmission went out to all of our ships, right?” Helen froze, then turned her head to look at Sara who tried to look innocent, but failed. Helen laughed just a little bit.

“No, I didn’t captain, and I find myself in a predicament. I am not an Admiral. I have no training as an Admiral. Admiral Gan said if I needed help, I should ask for it of people I trusted. I ask for your help." The Captain nodded.

“With all due respect Admiral, yes you are. Any help I can give you, you have but to ask. And every soldier in this fleet will follow you now, with the exception of the nerf herder you just sent packing of course.” Helen smiled, but when she spoke her voice was quiet.

“I will take all the help I can get. At the moment we are up to our necks in Rancor dung and sinking fast. We have to support the Stormhawk, they are the key to winning this. At the same time, no heroics, nothing flashy. We do our job, get it done and go home.” The captain nodded again. “I can’t leave this ship, you are about to find out why. I ask that you keep the information close.” The captain’s eyes narrowed and Helen spoke softer. “On this ship are twenty four children, products of a horrible experiment in genetic engineering…”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.21.2012 , 04:59 AM | #8
<A few hours later>

Helen watched as Sara worked on her plans. She was worried. Sara was very closemouthed about some things, but her body language was easy to read. She was mad. And if she was mad, the rest of the crew of the Stormhawk were furious. When Helen spoke, it was quiet.

“Sara.” Sara looked up from her terminal and Helen shuddered. Will got moods sometimes and now it seemed that this whole family had caught the same mood. Not that Helen could blame them. It wasn’t every day that a whole fleet of Mandalorians were wiped out by supposed allies. It HAD happened in the past. And the retribution had been terrible. “Sara?” Helen’s question was worried.

Sara looked at the girl she called friend, but there was no expression on her face. Helen shook her head.

“Sara, I’m not a Mandalorian, but…” Sara scoffed and Helen looked at her funny.

“You think is because we are Mandos?” Sara asked softly. Having an ally offhandedly obliterate an entire fleet of Mandalorians putting to say the least. The way he called it 'acceptable collateral damage'... Helen stopped speaking. She thought hard for a moment, and then shook her head.

“No. It’s because they betrayed your trust. I would like nothing better myself than to go rip this Xoran’s head of his shoulders." Helen admitted. "But Sara…” Sara shook her head.

“The fleet is engaged here, they don’t need us. Or want us…” The bitterness in Sara’s final words cut deep.

“Sara, you understand…” Sara’s eyes flashed and suddenly Helen felt small and alone. But another voice spoke up, Calm and clear, it cut right through the rising tension.

“Duty first.” Both of the other girls turned to see the speaker. Marta’s green eyes didn’t flinch as Sara’s regard fell on her. Marta had seen far, far worse. When she spoke her voice was respectful, but no less strong. “Buir, you know better.”

Sara flinched. The children had taken to calling her Buir. Mother in Mando’a. It made her very uncomfortable. She wasn’t these children’s mother. But they wanted to call her that, so they did. And she wasn’t about to correct them. She wanted their lives stable, safe… Marta looked at her impassive.

“You have a right to your anger, Buir. But don’t forget the big picture. If Zelkin kills the Force, will revenge matter?” Sara stared at the younger girl. Then she slumped.

“No. No it wouldn’t. You are right. But it gives me something to do!” Her last word was very bitter. Helen looked at Sara and nodded.

“They won’t let you or me fight. Me because I am my mother’s daughter. You because you are your mother’s daughter. Its not fair. But I think they will need us before it is done…” Her comlink chirped and she grimaced a bit. Sara raised and eyebrow and Marta nodded. “Nolikas needs me…”

Sara jerked her head and Helen started towards Medical. Marta followed. Helen looked at the young girl. Then she looked at the now closed door to Sara’s temporary office. Marta sighed.

“She won’t do anything dumb. She is a very responsible person, now that we have jerked her out of her kneejerk desire for vengeance. You on the other hand…” Helen froze as Marta’s voice became stern.

“Killing yourself won’t help us.” Helen jerked to a stop at the girl's soft words.

“I…” Helen broke off, unsure of what to say or do. Marta took Helen’s hands in her small ones and smiled slightly.

“I don’t think anyone else has noticed… Nolikas will when she scans you again.” The girl’s tone became biting now. “You stupid woman. You need recovery time. Not stressed time, not running around time, recovery time. You should have been in bed this whole time, like Nolikas recommended. I am not surprised you managed to stay upright, after all we share some things beside hair and eye color, right?” Now the girl’s voice was teasing, but held a serious undertone.

“Marta…” Helen slumped and started towards Medical. “I want to help.” Marta nodded.

“I know. I and we don’t think…” She made a motion towards the ship in general and Helen knew she meant herself and the other children. “…anything different, but… you can't keep this up.” Now Helen’s eyes were fearful. Marta drew Helen down until their eyes were on the same level, the girl might have been small, but she was strong.

“Nolikas will flip when she find out what you have done. We haven’t told her. We were hoping you would.” Helen shook her head. Marta shook the older girl, and not gently either. “Do you want to die?”

Helen shook her head. And suddenly she was looking up at Marta and… how had she gotten on the floor? And why was Marta crying? Marta never cried... And why…? She felt strong arms and warmth. Nolikas' face filled her vision and smiled as she lost the battle to stay conscious.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.21.2012 , 05:03 AM | #9
<Somewhere, somewhen>

Helen wasn’t sure where she was. It felt, warm. But she was lying on the deck. It felt comforting… But she should have been sore. It felt… She opened her eyes and froze.

She was lying on the deck where she had fallen. She remembered that now. She had fallen over, Marta had caught her, then… She shook her head, Nolikas had been there… Marta had been crying? Marta never cried. The girl was made of durasteel. This didn’t make any sense. She stood up and looked around. Nobody in sight. Where was everyone? The halls, while not crammed, usually had somebody walking, working, doing something. Now it echoed, like a mausoleum. She didn’t hurt, but something was very wrong so she started off towards Medical. A voice came to her.

“Here you are! You silly girl.” Helen jumped at the hurried tone. A Twilek was walking towards her. Young, blue skinned, maybe 25. “You scared the bejeezus out of everybody.” Helen was sure she knew who this person was, but the name wouldn’t come.

“I…" Helen stammered. "I’m sorry… I…” The stranger came close and took Helen’s hands in her own.

“It’s not your fault, but you have to get back, quickly. Or there is no hope at all. It will be okay, Helen.” The Twi'lek hugged her. Helen stared at the girl, bemused.

“I don’t understand.” Helen shook her head. What was going on? The Twilek smiled then embraced Helen, who froze for a moment, but then relaxed.

“I know." The Twi'lek had a sad look on her face now. "And I am sorry; this is going to hurt.” Helen was forming a protest when…


Helen screamed, or tried to through the tube that was down her throat. The pain was… It vanished as quickly as it had appeared however and Nolikas’ masked face appeared in her field of view. When the Rakata spoke it was relieved.

“Helen… Oh thank the Force, we had given up hope.” Helen blinked it seemed to be all she could do. She would have shaken her head, but something firm and soft held it in place. Nolikas gently laid a hand on her forehead. “No, don’t move. Your head is restrained. You are going to sleep again, when you wake we will talk.” Helen felt something change and realized she was falling asleep, she knew she had to do something, but… she… couldn’t… remember…

Nolikas watched as Helen sank into slumber. She scrutinized the readouts, and then she relaxed as she saw Helen in a normal sleep. She spoke quietly, to the empty air.

“Thank you. Now we just have to figure out how to fix this.” A voice answered the Jedi.

“Least I could do. Just go easy on her, will you? She was trying to help.” Nolikas nodded. The voice continued. "I don’t think she will remember, but she might, she has a heck of a powerful mind. That’s the only way I found her.” Nolikas snorted.

“I don’t know how I am going to explain the fact that she was brain dead and now isn’t." The Jedi shook her head sadly. "You know you COULD tell other people…” The disembodied voice snorted.

“Tell them what? That I am stuck inside a machine? No thank you. Somebody might get ideas, better if I remain a figment of people’s imaginations.” Nolkias had to laugh at the dry tone.

“A ghost in the shell, Dia?”

“Yep.” Then the voice was gone and Nolikas focused on what need to be done. An endless list and often an impossible one, but sometimes, just sometimes, miracles did happen.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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06.21.2012 , 05:07 AM | #10
<Twenty five hours later>

Helen knew she was being pigheaded, but it didn’t matter. She was sick and tired of the enforced rest. Yes, she was sick, but she was tired of the bed. She wanted to get up,do something, anything. But Marta was having none of it.

“You will stay in the bed, Admiral. Doctor’s orders.” Helen tried to shake free of the girl’s hands, but it was like fighting a tide. Marta was gentle but not moved at all. Helen cursed.

“Marta…” A sound came to them and Helen immediately stopped struggling. Nolikas entered the room again, a VERY angry look on her face.

“Do you have something to tell me Helen?” Helen slumped back in the bed. Nolikas just looked at her and Marta looked from one to the other, the quickly left the room. Helen stared at the obviously angry Rakata and winced. Then she shook herself and spoke.

“I thought that if I could give enough, maybe they would be better off...” She broke off but Noliaks didn’t speak, just waited. So Helen continued. “I… I programmed the droid to take as much as I thought...” Nolikas snarled.

“Thought? You didn't think girl! You formed a half baked, seat of the pants plan and did it with no idea what you were doing. It could have drained you completely. As it is you spent eight hours in the tank.” Helen froze, she hadn’t realized…Nolikas' rant didn't even slow down. “You were so out of it, it never occurred to you that anything was wrong. If Marta had been a hair slower calling me… if…” The Rakata broke off. When she spoke again her voice was pained. “Helen…”

“Nolikas, I had to do something." Helen protested. "We were losing them. Marta was sniffling… I couldn’t just sit there…” Nolikas sighed, and then she slumped. She came to Helen’s beside and sat.

“Helen, you very nearly died. Actually...” Nolikas broke off as Helen nodded.

“I did, didn’t I?” Nolikas looked at her, and then the Rakata slumped and nodded. “Who was she?” Nolikas looked at her and Helen shook her head. “She was no one I knew. But… I am sure I knew who she was…” Nolikas looked at her and Helen snarled.

“I didn't imagine her, Nolikas I know I didn’t. She found me, she put me back somehow. Has this kind of thing happened to anyone else on the Dia’s…?” Helen broke off, astounded. “That’s who it was, wasn’t it? It was Dia, wasn’t it? She isn’t gone.”

Nolikas stared at the human, and then took her hand in a gentle one.

“Dia is dead. Her body suffered complete systemic failure after several of her organs were removed.” Helen shook her head.

“That is not what I said. She isn’t gone. Somehow…” Helen broke off as a snort came from nowhere and a voice as well. A voice Helen remembered well. The tone was rueful and amused.

“I warned you she was a sharp one, Nolikas.” Helen looked around in shock, and then at Nolikas.

“How?” Her voice combined disbelief and awe. Dia’s voice answered her.

“We don’t know." The dead Jedi's voice was rueful. "It may have been because I was trained. It may have been something that witch did to me. It may have been the Force. We just don’t know.” Helen shook her head, amazed.

“Nia will…” Nolikas shook her head violently and Dia’s voice became sharp.

“We can’t tell Nia.” Helen goggled at Nolikas then at the empty air around her.

“Why not?” Her voice sounded hurt. “She deserves to know…” Helen broke off as Nolikas reached for her forehead. “Wait…what…” But Nolikas had touched Helen’s head and the girl fell into a deep sleep. Nolikas shook her head, and then focused deep within herself.

<An hour later>

Helen woke, sure something was wrong. But everything was as it should be. She was still… She sighed. She was still confined to the bad, and THIS time there were restraints attached to her arms. Less to hold her in the bed and more to keep the IVs from being ripped out, she realized. Lots of IVs… A throat cleared and she looked up into Nolikas face. She slumped.

“I know why you did what you did, but now you have a lot of healing to do. The good news is that the amount you ‘donated’ is sufficient for children for the foreseeable future. The bad news is that NOW you get to compose messages to you mother and father explaining what you did and why.” Helen shrank into the bed.

“Shoot me…?” She begged. But Nolikas didn’t crack a smile. The healer left without another word, but her next visitor was Sara. Helen winced again. Sara was mad.

“You di’kut… You moron! What the hell did you think you were doing?” Helen stared at the wall. When she spoke it was quiet.

“Saving the kids.” Sara sat on the edge of Helen’s bed and shook her head. She took Helen’s hand in her own and gave it a squeeze.

“It was very brave and very, very dumb. As de facto commander of this ship, I had to field all the calls from your -yes your- fleet. Don’t scare me like that again, will you?” Helen shook her head, drained. She felt sleep coming and Sara gave her hand another squeeze. Helen fell asleep to the feeling of a kiss on her forehead and she smiled as darkness claimed her.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here