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(L,F&E 39) A Memory Mystery


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kalenath
06.24.2012 , 05:42 AM | #1
<A dream>

Jedi did not normally dream. That is, their subconscious mind did not normally move them in odd and disconcerting ways while they slept. While many believed that Jedi only needed to meditate to rest and recover, that wasn't the entire truth. All living beings needed a certain amount of down time. So it was with a certain amount of trepidation that she realized that yes she WAS dreaming. And it wasn't about something she knew.

She lay on a yielding surface. A bed? Maybe. There was nothing to say it was, but then again, there was nothing to say it wasn't. She felt... Well, she didn't feel much of anything. She opened her eyes and saw nothing. But something was on her face. It felt like... a mask? Maybe a oxygen mask? Was she hurt? Was she in a hospital? She had been in more than her share of hospitals in her life. This didn't feel like a hospital, and she wasn't in pain. Far from it. She felt good. What she could feel anyway.

She focused on what she was feeling. It was strange. She felt like she was floating, but... in something? It was warm and comfortable. It moved slightly as she did. It moved like fluid, not water, something heavier. She focused on what else she felt. Her head didn't move when she tried to move it. And when she tried to move her hands to see what was holding it down -and covering her eyes-, she found they were stuck. She blinked. She couldn't feel anything with the Force either. She felt the power flowing through her, but outside, nothing. She sighed in quiet exasperation as she tried to move her feet as well and found something holding them in place too. Whatever it was was soft, but unyielding. It felt almost like...

She sighed. Pointless speculation wouldn't help anything. All of a sudden, something changed. Light shone in her face and her eyes shot open. They immediately lidded to shield from the glare. She squinted at the light. It was red. Barely seen shadows moved around the outskirts of the light and she opened her mouth to speak, but found it filled with something. She looked down and found a tube sticking out of her mouth. Probably an air or feeding tube by the design. Now she was worried. Something was obviously wrong here. Was she a prisoner? What was going on? The light intensified. She felt a shift of some kind. Something changed and...

“Here she is!” A voice jarred her out of her doze. She was cold, so cold... She looked up and recoiled from the sight of a strange man. She didn't recognize him. Her fear must have been apparent because he froze and knelt down beside he as noise came from outside. His voice was quiet and calming as he spoke. “It's all right. We have got you. You are ok Jina...”

She blinked at him. “Is that my name? I... I don't know you...” The man recoiled, horror etched on his face.

“You... you don't remember me...?” His voice was soft but she was suddenly afraid. She curled into a ball, barely noticing the cuff s on wrists and ankles. His hand reached out slowly to touch her cheek. Somehow, her body knew him even if her mind did not and she relaxed. “It's all right. You will be all right...”

<The present. Jedi Enclave on Tython>

Jina Darkstorm came suddenly and completely awake. She realized her heart was beating fast and took a moment to calm it. Then she took a moment to think. She shook her head. She had to talk to someone about this. But who...?

Her master, the man who had found her half frozen to death in that icy cave on Tralus, had died three years previous in battle against the Sith on a remote world. She smiled sadly. She would remember Jedi Master Gorral to the end of her life. He more than any had been instrumental in putting her back together after finding her in that cave, totally unaware of who and what she was. She had dedicated herself to the order, so much so that many had questioned her composure, her ties to the light side of the Force. But she had silenced her critics the only way she could, by devoting her life to study. In her case, study of fighting. She loved to fight.

In Jedi this could be a very bad thing. A lust for battle could very well open the way for anger, fear and hate. And a swift fall to the Dark Side. But Jina didn't lust for battle, she lived for it. There was a difference. Lust for battle was a overriding desire to fight, anytime, anywhere, any reason. And that was bad. No question. Many Sith lusted for battle. Jina on the other hand, lived for it. She lived to pit herself against foes that tested her. That pushed her limits. But at the same time, she understood that fighting and killing was a bad thing. And THAT was her true strength. Yes she enjoyed the feelings that came when battle called to her and she charged with her lightsaber high. But at the same time, she understood what happened AFTER the battle, better than many. So she embraced the Jedi way to a great extent. She fought only when she had no choice, but when she did, few could stand against her. There was something for her in the heat of combat that she couldn't find anywhere else. And truth be told more than a few of her comrades in the Jedi Order kept a close eye on her for that reason. But, after years of fighting the Sith and other foes, she knew the temptations of the Dark Side, very well. Familiarity might breed contempt in some, but in Jina it just bred a healthy respect and more than a little fear. She had seen far too many friends fall prey to the Dark Side to ever take it lightly. And she knew if she ever slipped, it would be a bad thing indeed. So she worked hard to keep herself focused. And she only let herself run loose when it was time to do so. Of course those were the only times she felt truly free, but she knew that was a psychological illusion on her part. She wasn't a slave. She just felt like one sometimes...

<The Council>

Jina finished relating her dream and sat back down. She bowed her head and waited. And waited. Finally one of the council members spoke, a Mon Calamari.

“You wish to pursue this avenue of inquiry?” Jina nodded, silent. A low murmur spread around the circular room. “What of your Padawan?” Jina sighed.

“Diseree is a wonder, but...” Jina thought hard and chose her words with care. “She and I don't fit. We share a bond, yes, but a bond of death. The death of my Padawan Hjor Kapas who was also Diseree's friend. Nothing good can come of that.”

At that the whole council went still and Jina sighed. “We both need time, and a little space I think, to put our feelings in order. To understand what happened and why. I like the girl, and I believe she will make an excellent addition to the Order. But I should not be her Master.” The other council members looked at each other and nodded reluctantly. “I will be the one to tell her, and I will set about finding someone who can teach her to use her power. For now, I believe the novice classes are the best place for her. Something understandable after all of the upheavals she has had.” They looked at her and Jina sighed. “Do I have the Council's permission to withdraw?” They nodded and Jina stood quickly, bowed and stepped out. As soon as the door shut, the Mon Calamari woman turned to the others.

“I was afraid of this. We need to consult. And we need to keep an eye on her.” The others nodded, soberly.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.24.2012 , 05:48 AM | #2
<A bit later>

Jina walked through the familiar halls of the Jedi enclave and tried not to sigh. This was home, but it felt.... off , sometimes. She paused at the entryway to the novice practice area and smiled a bit. The sight of a group of serious children listening to the training master always brought a smile to her face. Humans, Twileks, Cereans, Bothans, even a Wookiee were represented in the training class. After the debacle on Courscant and the loss of so many students, the Order had cast its nets wider than usual. And the results had been so promising that they had continued to do so. Jina had been surprised to find such a powerful force sensitive in Diseree, but pleased as well. She smiled again as she saw the form of the Kel Dor child in the midst of the other students, listening diligently as the training master finished up his lecture. Of course, with so many students, they had more than one training master now as well, but that was a small price to pay. She nodded as the grizzled human finished his talk and dismissed the students for mealtime. She exchanged a nod with the human as he left and waited. Sure enough, Diseree came up and bowed to her. She smiled, Diseree looked good in Jedi student robes. But the girl had a sad look on her face. Jina slumped.

“You know.” Jina's words were not a question but the Kel Dor girl nodded anyway.

“Yes, Master Jina.” Diseree said slowly. Jina sighed and took the girl's hands in her own.

“Jedi are not supposed to form attachments. We are supposed to see all equally.” The girl nodded but froze as Jina scoffed. “It doesn't work very well for most of us. But we have to try. And it is nothing against you.” Diseree nodded again. She smiled. “Come on girl, its not like I won't be around...” She froze as Diseree's face went still. She looked at the girl, a million questions racing through her head. But she shook her head instead and spoke quietly. “Your meal and rest periods have started. Lets get you fed.”

Diseree nodded. They made their way to the cafeteria and ate quickly. The food was good, but like all Jedi meals, designed not to distract. So, while The Jedi Master and the student ate in silence. Then they disposed of their refuse and Jina led Diseree to the meditation areas. Diseree took one, but when Jina would have stepped out and gone to another, Diseree looked at her.

“I saw you last night.” Diseree said slowly. Jina froze. She came back into the cell and knelt in front of the Kel Dor girl.

“Whatever you saw, the future is always in motion...” Jina broke off as a sick look came across Diseree's face. The girl's voice was quiet, fearful.

“It wasn't the future. I saw you chained to a wall and then I saw you...” Diseree pasued as a voice came.

“Excuse me... Please forgive my intrusion.” They both turned to see a Togruta female standing in the doorway. Jina recognized her.

“Master Ashla Ti, I had hoped to speak with you.” Jina smiled at a being who was a friend. The Togruta smiled back at Jina.

“I know." Ashla Ti, one of the lead seers of the Jedi Order on Tython replied easily. "And no, not through the Force. The Council told me.” Jina bowed her head. “I think it is the right choice. For both of you.” Jina nodded. Then in a swift motion, she embraced Diseree and stood. She bowed to both the student and the master and then left the cell. Master Ashla Ti looked at Diseree and Diseree flinched.

“I'm sorry, I...” Diseree stammered and then slumped. The Togruta smiled sadly.

“It's all right." Ashla TI knelt near Diseree and sighed. "The gift of seeing is rare in the Force. And hard.” The little Kel Dor girl shook her head.

“Gift?" Diseree snapped, then shook herself, returning to control. "This isn't a gift, its a curse...” The Togruta nodded.

“You are beginning to understand. I know how you feel. She is my friend. And I must hid this from her. Or it will cause all kinds of pain.” Diseree nodded. "The future can be a large and heavy burden."

“He said the same thing...” Diseree froze as the Togruta did.

“He...?” The Togruta's tone was worried. Diseree flinched.

“I...” She shook her head. Ashla Ti sighed and knelt down in front of the younger Jedi.

“Child, you have spoken to one of us.” It wasn't a question. “I need to know...” Her voice trailed off as Diseree's face became fearful. “Child, I won't hurt you.”

“He said you might be mad at me." Diseree shook her head slowly. "For doing what I did. For my grandfather.” The elderly Jedi sighed.

“I am not angry. I am worried. There is a big difference. And what your grandfather did with your power was unconscionable. And he is paying for it.” Diseree nodded. She had kept up, on the journey to Tython, with the media uproar about General Solius Mak, decorated hero of the war against the Sith. Under arrest for murder and terrorism. She had resolutely shut the vid off when she arrived at the Enclave and she hadn't looked back. Her old life was over. Her new life was begun.

“I...” Diseree was fighting for control and the Togruta slumped. Her voice was quiet and compassionate when she spoke.

“It is all right. It is all right. None of us blame you. You had no way of knowing. You trusted him.” Diseree shook her head slowly, tears falling now.

“I knew there was something wrong." Diseree sobbed. "But he was my grandfather... A hero... A great man. And he always had time for me. And he was always nice to me. I should have seen... I should have known...” Master Ashla Ti shook her head.

“Control yourself. You know better.” The calm words helped Diseree to focus and she began a breathing exercise. In a few minutes she was calm again. Her eyes met the Togruta's and Master Ashla Ti smiled.

“Better." AShla TI said after a few minutes. "Now who did you speak to and when?” Diseree tensed for a moment and then slumped. When she spoke it was quiet.

“It was after I was kidnapped. After Kapas was killed...”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.24.2012 , 05:51 AM | #3
<Somewhere, two months previous>

She lay quiet. There wasn't anything else she could do. Being blindfolded, bound hand and foot and tossed about like a pile of laundry didn't help her feelings of helplessness. Or help her deal with the rage. She hadn't seen this. Not at all. Her 'divination' as Master Jina had called it hadn't helped. Not when a full on tact team, armed and armored hit the door of their stateroom.

Master Jina had been called away for some other Jedi business. But had left her Padawan to keep Diseree company. And get her started on the path of the Jedi. When the assailants had arrived, Kapas had held them off for a moment, deflecting their fire in an amazing display of skill. But there were too may, so the children had taken refuge in the refresher. Kapas had claimed it was a mistake of some kind, that they were Republic troops. So he went out to talk to them, and they had gunned him down. They had waited until he was out of cover before firing. While he had managed to deflect some of the shots, too many had gotten through and she had watched, horrified, as he had fallen. She had started shooting with her pistol, not that it was likely to do much damage to soldiers in full armor, but she had to do SOMETHING... Then they had lobbed a gas grenade in. And she had woken up like this.

She wasn't sure where she was, or even how much time had passed. All she knew was she was sick, scared and very, very angry. And she knew that was bad. She focused on what Kapas had taught her in the short time they had been together. A breath, hold, let it out. Slowly... so, so slowly... she relaxed. The world fell away and she...

<Out of time and space>

She froze. This wasn't anything she had ever seen before. Wait a sec... she could see! She looked around dumbfounded. Then she looked at herself. She was unfettered. But something was wrong. Something was off. Something felt strange, as if she wasn't really there. She was no expert on the Force, but this was nothing she had ever dreamed of. Or imagined. This was... She pinched herself. It hurt. This was just too weird. She shook her head again and focused on what she could see.

As far as she could see, perceive, whatever, the ground was flat and featureless. And gray. No color at all. And the sky was a lighter shade of gray. It didn't feel wrong. It felt... She shook her head. It didn't feel at all. Master Jina and Kapas had taught her how to feel things through the Force and she had practiced as she could, sensing the innate power that surrounded all living things. She shook her head.

She had been so scared when the Jedi had come to her house. She was sure she had done something wrong, after all, Jedi only went after bad guys, right? But Jina had smiled and opened her eyes to a larger world. A more vivid world. A more real world, as strange as that sounded. And Kapas had been more than kind. He had confided that he had felt the exact same way when he had been found. She had been raised as the child of a military family. Her father and mother both served. And of course her grandfather was the Solius Mak, Hero of Cetus I. So, she wasn't bothered by other species. Even if her first thought on seeing Kapas was if he was going to eat her. Quarren had always freaked her out a bit. But then he had laughed and confided that Kel Dor scared him. She had liked him instantly. They had taken to each other quickly and when Master Jina had been called away for some urgent Council business, Kapas had remained with her to get her to Tython. She sighed. Her friend had died for her. And now, she had no idea at all where she was, or what she was doing. She started walking. There wasn't anything else she could do. She froze as a voice came.

“Hello, what have we here?” She looked up and recoiled as she saw a large cloud in front of her. It looked kind of like a thunderstorm, but small. And she could sense it. It felt cold and dark and... She cried out and backed away. Another voice came.

“You are scaring her.” She looked to the side and recoiled again. There was a Jedi standing there, but she was transparent and blue! She looked from one to the other and then her legs wouldn't hold her. She collapsed. The first voice came again. It sounded male and concerned.

“You are one to talk, Ulaha.” She knelt on the ground and sobbed. Now the male voice was kind, and compassionate. “Easy, girl. Easy, we won't hurt you.” She felt something surround her and she felt warm, comforted. It felt kind of like a hug. Kind of. She looked up and the cloud had surrounded her. It danced with energy, but it didn't hurt. No, she felt revitalized. “It's all right child. It will be all right.”

She wasn't sure how long she spent in the strange embrace. But eventually, the presence withdrew, leaving her a bit bereft. But then the other voice spoke.

“What is your name girl?” The Kel Dor sighed and spoke.

“My name is Diseree Mak.” At that name both of the presences seemed to recoil, and she looked at them. “Wha...?” Both hurried to reassure her.

“It's not your fault girl.” This came at the same time the cloud shaped man said. “Don't worry, not your problem.”

The two strange beings looked at each other and Diseree was sure the man, if he had a physical form, would have had the exact same expression that the female Jedi had. She couldn't help it, she giggled. Laughs came from both of them. The Jedi recovered first.

“Well, Diseree Mak, I am Ulaha, and this is Idjit.” Disree was sure the cloud bowed, but how the heck could it have done that? “We were continuing an old philosophy discussion when you arrived.” The girl stared at the Jedi and Ulaha shrugged. “I try to convert him, he tries to convert me. It hasn't worked very well. For either of us. He is awfully stubborn, even for a Sith.”

Diseree looked at the cloud and froze. “You... You're a Sith...?” Idjit's voice was gentle when he spoke.

“Sort of. But you are in no danger from me. I swear it on my honor.” Diseree looked at the cloud and then at the Jedi, who nodded.

“When he gives his word he keeps it. Sith or no.” Diseree nodded. Now the spectral Jedi was looking at her. “How did you get here child? This place is not safe.”

“I don't know.” Dieree admitted quietly. “I was... I was...” She slumped. “I was locked up somewhere and then I was here.” Ulaha stiffened.

“Locked up...?” The spirit's voice was low and dangerous. Diseree nodded.

“I was on my way for training." Diseree admitted. "They... they must have wanted me alive. They killed the Padawan with me.” Ulaha's voice was gentle but underneath lay steel.

“Who, Disaree?”

“I don't know, but they wore Republic armor.” The Jedi looked at the cloud shaped Sith and nodded. Then, she vanished. The cloud, condensed. As if the man within had knelt.

“She will get help for you.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.24.2012 , 06:00 AM | #4
Diseree wasn't sure what to make of this. Here she was, stuck in some strange limbo type place with a Sith. Who was kind to her. She shook her head.

“I don't understand.” She could have sworn the cloud nodded. But how...? Idjit's kind voice replied.

“There is a remedy for that. Ask. What don't you understand?” She shook her head, scared, frustrated, worried, sick... Idjit's voice came to her again. “Calm yourself girl. While I am here, you are in no danger.” His kind words did calm her, but then she looked at him.

“Why are you a cloud?” She asked. Idjit actually laughed, and sounded a bit sheepish.

“I don't know, to tell you the truth." Idjit made a funny nose and Diseree smiled a little. "It just sort of happens, every time I come here. I know it is disconcerting.” Diseree shook her head.

“No, well.. yes... well...” She broke off as Idjit laughed.

“How do you think I feel?” The humor in his words was just too much and she giggled again. But then she sighed.

“Where are we?” She asked lookigna round. As far as she coudl see, there was nothign but gray nothingness. Idjit sighed.

“This space is a sort of representation of a mind. Sort of. Its hard to describe. Those of us who can come here just all it 'the plain'.” She felt scrutiny from him. “You shouldn't have been able to come here. Padawans just don't have the skill or power required.” Diseree nodded.

“I am not really a Padawan, just a student. I was on my way for training.” Idjit made a 'hmmm' noise when she stopped speaking.

“If I may ask,..." Idjit did so very respectully. Odd for someone who claimed to be a SIth, but then again, what did Diseree actually know about them?. "...what did the Jedi who found you say about your abilities?”Diseree shrugged.

“She said something about Divination, not that I...” She froze as she realized the energy that coruscated through the cloud that was Idjit had stopped. As if he had frozen in place. “What?” She asked quietly. When Idjit spoke his voice was awestruck.

“Of course, I should have known, you are 'seer'.” His vocei was awestruck and Diseree shook her head, not comprehending. He clarified. “You see things through the Force. The past, the present the future.” She shook her head again. “What?”

“Those are just imaginings." Diseree said quietly. "I make those up.” Idjit's voice was kind when he spoke.

“What did you 'make up' last?” The odd Sith asked. Diseree shivered a bit, and then nodded.

“A man in black meeting a Senator on Coruscant. At least I think that was where it was. Lots of people though, more than I have ever seen in my life. I thought it looked like a cantina. Granddad seemed happy to hear about that one though.” Idjit didn't speak for along moment, and when he did, it was sad and tired.

“Diseree, a week ago, a high level diplomat from the Sith Empire met with a Republic Senator to discuss the growing tensions between the Empire and the Republic. To try and find ways to avert the war we know is coming. A bomb went off and killed them both.” Diseree froze. “It was on Coruscant. A secret meeting, in a cantina.”

Diseree shook her head, horrified. “No... No... He wouldn't have done that. He is a good man...”

"Diseree, I am sorry." Idjit sighed. “Even with the Force, it is hard to see into other people, to see what they are and why. But I have to say this. It will hurt you and I am sorry...” Diseree tensed. “I am not surprised that General Mak would use your powers for his own purposes. I am sad and sick that he would use his own granddaughter for it. But not surprised.”The girl shook her head, violently. “What did he say to you, exactly. Don't try and remember, see what he said.” There was an odd note in his inflection on the word see and Diseree focused herself as Jina had taught her and...

“No... No!” She was crying now and the cloud enveloped her again.

“I am sorry." Idjit said slowly. "I am so sorry. But you have to see it. You have to know.” She was crying hard now.

“He... He used me... Then... He told them...where I was going... and when...” She felt something like a squeeze from the cloud and felt a bit comforted. “He...” She broke down completely now. Suddenly she was floating off the ground in the cloud. It should have been frightening, being in the grip of a Sith hovering off the ground. It wasn't. It felt... good. Warm, comforting, and sad.

“I know." Idjit's voice was very kind now. "I am sorry. Seers have it hardest I think. We can see the future, but...” He broke off and Diseree felt herself back on the ground.

“But...?” She asked quietly.

“But the very first thing that I learned as a Seer is that some things can't be changed." Idjit sighed deeply. "I tried to. Very hard. And it cost me the woman I loved. No matter what you see, there are some things that must never be spoken, or they cause all kinds of pain. Keep your heart close girl. People might be upset with you for what your grandfather did with your visions. It can be a large and heavy burden, but...” Diseree sighed and would have spoken. But just then Ulaha's form appeared beside them.

“I have to get you back to your body. But help is coming. In some odd ways, but help IS coming.” The Jedi reached out to the young girl and Diseree took the spectral hands in her own...

<Somewhere>

She coughed and then writhed a bit as someone held her.

“It's all right. It's all right.” A kind female voice sounded in her ear. She looked up into the eyes of a worried woman in a doctors coat. “My name is Irene, I will take care of you...”

<The present>

Diseree wasn't crying. But her control was frayed. She took a moment to compose herself before looking at the Jedi Master in front of her. The Togruta nodded approvingly.

“Idjit is a law unto himself. Yes I have met him. And where you speak of as well. And this other... Ulaha?” There was an odd note to the Masters voice. “She was a Padawan here, and now she is more... Hmmm... I must think on this, but if you are willing I would be pleased to take you as my Padawan.”

Diseree thought for a long moment and then bowed her head in agreement. Master Ashla Ti nodded as well. Then she rose and left the cell. This is getting far too complicated... something is going to fail soon...
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
06.24.2012 , 06:05 AM | #5
<The Enclave>

Jina came out of her meditation rested and refreshed as always. Then she shook her head. She needed to do some research. Nolikas was still not back yet. But, she could search the archives on her own. And she would. There had to be an answer, somewhere. She walked out of the cell and stopped. Master Ashla Ti was standing there.

“Master Ashla Ti, I didn't expect to meet you. Is Diseree all right?” The Togruta nodded, but then she sighed.

“Jina, you mustn't delve into this.” The human woman's eyes went wide, but then she controlled herself. Of course she was going to search this out.

“Master Ashla Ti, if this could happen to me, it could happen to another Padawan. I can't let that happen.” The Togruta Seer sighed and stepped aside. As Jina passed, she was shocked when the other master drew her into an embrace.

“No matter what, you have friends here.” Jina froze. That tone was one she had never heard from the reserved Seer. The Togruta released her and bowed. Jina returned it automatically and Master Ashla Ti moved off, quickly vanishing into the hallways before Jina could get her mind around what had just occurred.

What the flarg just happened?

<Several hours later, the Jedi Archives>

Jina sat back and stifled a groan. This was insane. There was SO much information. But none of it pertained. Medical records, after action reports, incident reports. NOTHING covered anything like her dream. Which didn't make any sense. Somebody somewhere had to have had something similar happen. It was a big galaxy after all. She shook her head and tried to work the kinks out of her neck. As she did she thought hard. It was almost as if... No, no that was impossible. A throat cleared behind her and she turned to see one of the librarians standing nearby. She smiled at the small Mon Calamari and the librarian smiled back.

“Master Jina, your presence is requested in the Council Chamber.” Jina nodded and closed down her terminal. But as she left the archives, she couldn't help a small misgiving that ate at the back of her mind. It was as if someone had removed all the records she was searching for. Deliberately. She shook her head slowly. There hadn't even been any records of that Sith girl on Tattooine... Jina froze. No... there hadn't been any. And she knew Nolikas had sent them in, she had watched the Rakata do it. She knew Cranna had records as well, so that would be her next stop. But, she couldn't help the small feeling that something was wrong. For Jedi to hide things... The whole point of the Archives was the gathering of information for the Jedi order. The whole idea was that it be unfettered access to any information that a Jedi might need. This smacked of censorship and that struck to the very core of what she was. She fervently believed in the Order. In the Light Side of the Force. But now...

Something was wrong. Very wrong. She didn't need the Force to tell her that.

She shook her head and hurried towards the Council Chamber. It wouldn't do to dawdle. She had no idea why they would send for her so soon, but something tickled the back of her mind. Something that said she wouldn't like the reason one little bit.

<A few minutes later>

Jina was stunned. “What?” It wasn't the full council, only four of her peers, but what they said... The Mon Calamari who had spoken spoke again, slowly.

“You are ordered by vote of the Council to cease this line of inquiry.” Jina's eyes narrowed. She hadn't been told of this. Her voice was calm and serene though.

“When did the council vote?” Jin asked, cautiously.

Another of the Councilmembers spoke, a Cerean. “This morning.”

Jina nodded. “I was not notified.”

The Mon Calamari spoke again. “You were involved.”

Jina didn't snarl. It was hard. “Last time I checked I sat on the council, so I had the right to speak in my own defense.” All four of the others froze. Another of them spoke, a male Bothan. Master Melan was calm on the outside anyway.

“Defense was not required, you are not on trial.” Jina met his eyes unflinching.

“Am I not?" She asked slowly. "I wonder. Perhaps it is because I have spent so much time searching for the conspirators amongst us who sought to use Republic Intelligence against the Sith in such an abominable way, but I cannot help be sense connections here.” All of the others tensed now. “What happened to me was horrific, I don't want it to happen to anyone else. But none of the records of that incident seem to be available, to me anyway. I sought records of other kinds, dealing with anything similar, but apparently nothing similar has occurred in recorded Jedi history. All fifteen thousand years of it. Even the records of Illiana, a young Sith who had exactly the same thing happen to her are not available to me. I know the records were there, I watched Nolikas put them in.” Her voice was calm, cool, and collected. But all four froze. “I can't help but see a connection.”

All four of the other Jedi looked at each other and the Mon Calamari sighed. “We cannot tell you what you wish to know.” Jina stiffened.

“You know it has happened again." Jina did not -quite- snarl. "You know it will happen again. If you won't stop it, I will.” She stood and walked towards the door, but the Bothan was in her way.

“Master Darkstorm, stop. You do not know what you are doing.” Now Jina did snarl. A snarl that might have put a krayt dragon to flight. The Jedi only put her hand on her lightsaber. Jina didn't.

“Maybe not,..." Jina admitted. "But at least I will be trying.” The Mon Calamari spoke now.

“If you walk out now, disobey the Council, your seat will be stripped from you and your Master rank as well.” Jina turned back and her eyes were cold.

“As you will it, Master. You can take your seat and shove it up your shebs.” She stalked around the Bothan and left the room. All four of the Jedi looked at each other and sighed.

“That did not go well... I was afraid of that.” Another form came out of the shadows where she had observed. They all nodded soberly. Master Ashla Ti sighed. “I don't think there is anything we can do now, except hope in the Light Side. And pray she makes the right choice.”
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06.24.2012 , 06:18 AM | #6
<An hour later>

Jina had been packed and out the living quarters area in minutes. But then she had discovered that the next available flight to Tattooine wasn't for another four hours so she was stuck. She could have signed out a ship, but right at the moment, she didn't trust the Council. At all. And she didn't want to talk to anyone at the moment either, so she found a secluded spot near the spaceport and sat. As she did, she tried to make sense of what had happened. Obviously, the Council knew what had happened to her, and probably why. It was equally obvious that they believed she was either a danger or in danger by searching for the truth. She shook her head slowly. It was entirely possible that they were right. But Jina had spent her whole life, that she remembered anyway, bucking the odds and winning. This felt like the right thing to do, to her senses. She shook her head and waited for her ship to become ready. She didn't need the Force to tell her her life was going to get very complicated, very soon.

<At the Enclave>

The small holo made it hard for any to read emotions, but the sheer volume of the voice made it clear what the person was feeling. “You want em to do what?

"I am sorry..." The Togruta Jedi sitting at the table sighed. “You are the only person available who was there.” the man in the holo froze.

“What about Gorral, Vandar, the rest of the Special Forces team?” He asked, incredulous. The Jedi shook her head.

“You are the only survivor of the Special Forces, Gorral is dead." Ashla Ti hated this, hated even asking this. But he was the only one who knew what they faced. "Vandar, no one knows where he went...” The man sighed.

“You were not there. You didn't see it. You didn't see her...” The man sighed again, deeper. “Is she a threat?” The Jedi shook her head.

“Not at the moment.” The Jedi admitted. The man seemed to explode.

“And you want me to gun her down because she might be one? Osik, and you all call me heartless...” The Jedi bristled at his tone, but then she forced herself to relax.

“You know what is at stake." The Jedi pleaded. "No one else besides you, me, the Council and Vandar if he is still alive, knows the full story.” The man in the holo shook his head slowly.

“I am a bit busy at the moment. In case you hadn't heard.” She sighed. Yes, he was hunting the bounty hunter that had taken his daughter with the intent of selling her to the Sith.

“You think this is easy for me? She is my friend.” The Jedi snapped. The man scoffed.

“And you want me to put a blaster bolt between her eyes. He snapped right back. "Some friend.” She shook her head, her tendrils falling free of her cowl.

“You know what will happen... if she... Please...” Now the Jedi was literally begging. The man on the screen nodded. Silent. “Can you at least.. stay close to her, try and help if she needs it?” Now the man grimaced. “And stop her if you must?”

“Maybe.” With that Will Kalenath cut the connection. Master Ashla Ti sat back and tried not to cry. There were days when she really hated being a Jedi. Really and truly hated it.

<Tattooine, three days later>

Jina had never really liked Tattooine. Having been raised on Correllia, the concept of a desert planet took a bit of getting used to. Then there was the Sith presence. But the garrison, being a bit smarter than average Sith, they avoided Anchorhead. And the person Jina was sitting down to drink with.

“It's good to see you Master Darkstom.” Jina smiled as she drank. She couldn't imagine anything further from a typical Hutt than Cranna. But then she shook her head.

“It's just Jedi Darkstorm now, Cranna.” Jina said soberly. The Hutt froze. That was a sight to see, a huge slug freezing in shock.

“What?” Cranna's voice was soft, disbelieving. They were meeting in a different room from usual and Cranna's usual guards had been replaced with a group of hardbitten mercs for this meeting. Ubese and Jedi did not mix well, at all.

“The council and I... We had a divergence of opinion.” Jina sighed and took another drink of her water. “I need to talk to Rina.” Cranna looked at her and Jina sighed again. “What happened to her... well, this isn't the first time its happened.” Cranna looked at her.

“It isn't?” Jina shook herself and met the Hutt's eyes.

“No, twenty years ago, it happened to me.” Jina hadn't thought a Hutt's eyes could get that wide.

“What happened?” Cranna's voice was kind, and gentle now, as if she was comforting a scared child, and maybe Jina was. She sure didn't feel like hardbitten Jedi at the moment.

“I don't know. I don't remember." Jina sighed. "I remember a red light and Master Gorral finding me chained to a wall in a mountain cave, freezing to death. Before that, nothing. Since then I built myself into the woman you see before you. I asked once about my life before, but Gorral said my family was dead. So I focused on the here and now, rather than the tomorrow or the yesterday.” Cranna sighed.

“Rina is more stable than she was, after meeting her former kin, but she is still very fragile." Cranna proteced her people as jealously as other Hutts protected money. "She is a good kid, I don't want her hurt.” Jina sat back.

“Cranna, I won't hurt her. You know I won't. But I need to know.” Jina shrugged. Cranna nodded. She hit a control and a few minutes later the black haired form of Rina entered the room. She froze on seeing Jina. The girl's voice was worried when she spoke.

“Cranna?” Rina's voice was soft and scared. the Hutt spoke calmly and slowly.

“Rina, I want you to meet someone." Cranna waved for the young woman to approach. "This is Jina Darkstorm, of the Jedi Order.” Rina flinched.

“I am not a Sith, I swear...” Rina babbled. Jina sighed, rose slowly and extended a hand to the girl. Her voice was gentle when she spoke.

“I know." Jina waited, hand outstretched. "What you are is a victim. And I want to find the people that hurt you and stop them. And I think you can help me do it.” Rina edged closer, finally close enough to take Jina's hand in a shaky grip. Then she held out her arms and Rina came into them, slowly, like a beaten canine. Jina hugged the girl slowly. Rina relaxed little by little.

“If you can, that is a good thing, but how can I help you?” Jina sighed.

"I need to know what you remember." RIna stared at Jina and started to cry. Jina held her tight, two survivors.
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06.24.2012 , 06:23 AM | #7
<Eight hours later>

Jina sat back with a sigh. Rina stared at her with scared eyes.

“Nothing?” The girl had relaxed with Jina a bit. But she was still very scared. And who could blame her? Her scattered memories after the red light were horrific to say the least. Jina shook her head. “I don't know whether to be happy or sad...” Rina said quietly as she lay trying to get comfortable.

Jina hadn't been sure what, if anything, might happen from her probing so Cranna's people had hooked Rina up with as much support gear as they could. Not that it mattered now, and Jina started helping the younger girl out of it. Jina helped the girl to a sitting position and handed her a cup of water. The Jedi sighed again.

“What happened to you was different from what happened to me. The similarities are the red light, the shadowy figures around it and the lack of memory from before that time. I got... something in a dream. I THINK it was from before. But how far before, or even what it was, I can't be sure.”

Rina nodded as she finished unhooking the medical gear. “Could it be blocked? Somehow interrupted?” She flushed as Jina looked at her. “I listened when the specialists discussed my condition. I have amnesia, I'm not stupid...” Jina grinned and gave the younger girl a hug. The Jedi wasn't normally a touchy type of person, but this girl's similar predicament called to her. And Rina responded to it. The girl responded well to kindness, and Jina genuinely liked her. No matter her past, she was a good person now.

Jina shook her head and helped Rina out of the bed. “Thank you Rina. I have taken enough of your time. I don't think anything will change for you. If it does, contact me.” Rian nodded and hugged the Jedi again. Then she walked to the door and was gone. This surely seemed to be a dead end. The records a that Cranna had were extensive, but again, only started when Rina had been brought to the clinic suffering from abuse, malnutrition and... Jina froze.

No way...

She dove back into the records and shook her head as she scanned the hospital report, Rina had been suffering from various kinds of abuse, malnutrition and... a skin irritation caused by a particular kind of flora. It wasn't a rare kind of flora, it grew anywhere where there were mountains. Cold mountains. Jina sat and thought hard.

“Find something?” Cranna's voice pulled Jina out of her musing. Jina handed the document to Cranna in silence. Cranna shook her head. “This... I don't see how this helps at all...” Jina's face was a stone mask as she looked away at nothing. Or something only she could see.

“It helps when you factor in that I had the exact same condition when I was found.” Cranna blinked at her and Jina sighed. “It isn't definitive, but it is a start.” Cranna looked at the Jedi and shook her head. Jina blinked. “What?”

Cranna handed her a holoplayer and after a moment, Jina activated it. A small holo of Will appeared. It spoke.

“If you are seeing this Jina, watch your back. One of your buddies at the Enclave just asked me to shoot you.” Jina froze, shocked beyond measure. But Will was speaking again. “I know you, I know what you are capable of. If you go to Tralus, watch your back.” He repeated. “I'm trying to get some backup for you. You will know them if you see them. Good luck and remember. L. U. E.” Jina stared at the player after it stopped playing and laughed. Cranna stared at her and Jina just shook her head. “Old joke... You have a ship I can borrow?”

<Somewhere in space>

“You have got to be kidding me...” It was odd for such an abrupt voice to be coming out of the loudspeakers in the captain's office of a blockade runner class cruiser, but for Sara Kalenath, captain of the Dia's Gift, the odd was every day. She stared at the loudspeaker, then at the holo message from her brother. It still struck her as odd that she had a 39 year old brother when she was barely 14. But then, that was her life. Odd.

“What is the problem Dia?” Any other time, the idea of conversing with a dead Jedi who happened to inhabit the computer systems of her ship might have rubbed Sara quite a bit the wrong way, but after a few weeks of familiarity, it just rubbed her a little the wrong way.

The spirit, or whatever she was, sighed. “You know who I was before I was Dia, right?” Sara nodded. She had known the Twilek for a while. Especially since Dia had been in the team that had rescued her from Sith captivity on Kuat.

“You were Oreana Devich, Assassin for the Sith. What does that have to do with now?” There were times when Sara simply couldn't believe all the things that had happened around her family, but then she pinched herself and got on with her life. The transfer of a Sith assassin's spirit into the body of a young Jedi Padawan was not even close to the weirdest thing she had seen. But it was in the running.

“Tralus was one of my patrol areas, I was tasked with a number of things in that area. One of which was to keep an eye out for her, and if she landed on Tralus to kill her by any means necessary.” Sara sat back at that.

“What?" Sara exclaimed. "She is one woman... why would you be tasked to do that?” Dia sighed again.

“I don't know." Dia admitted. "What I do know was mainly rumor. It was said she was a key, to a locked door that should not be opened. Sith know about things like that. Like that cursed sword I destroyed and set the chain in motion that killed Ulaha. All I do know is that the orders I received in that regard were from the highest level of the Empire.” At that Sara froze.

“Why would the Emperor...?” She broke off as Dia snorted.

“It may not have been him." Dia scoffed. "It's not like anyone was going to tell me. It probably wasn't in my need to know. What I do know is this. If she goes to Tralus, every single Sith on planet will be on the lookout for her. And they won't try and take her alive. The order was terminate on sight.” Sara whistled.

“Wow... Even Will never had that attached to his bounty.” Dia laughed mirthlessly. Sara continued. “Dia, she is my friend.” Dia sighed again, but when she spoke it was businesslike.

“We can be underway within the hour... Sara, this is going to be a mess...” Sara nodded.

“Why do I get the feeling that is the biggest understatement of this century?” A mirthless laugh came from the loudspeaker as Sara pored over her terminal, pulling up all the info they had on the target planet. Time to make some plans, and contingency plans. And a plan for what to do if it all went to hell. Sara had a feeling that might actually be a good way to describe what was about to happen.
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06.24.2012 , 06:25 AM | #8
<A couple of days later>

Jina exhaled deeply as she came out of her meditation. And right on time. The hyperdrive beeped and as she opened her eyes she was greeted by the lined of hyperspace travel diminishing to points. She looked around the small cockpit and sighed. It was kind of odd, but she didn't like to fly. She could if she had to, but she much preferred to have her feet on the ground. She was trained in flight, combat and otherwise, and was checked out on most forms of personal Republic air- and space- craft, but... it never felt right to her. Add to that the fact that the droid freighter that Cranna had hooked her up with, literally, had no life support functioning most of the trip. As a cost saving function, it was good, as a comfort function, not so much. She sighed and stretched as she could in the cramped confines of the fighter. Starfighters were not designed for comfort. They were designed for speed, firepower and adaptability. She shook herself and focused on what the droid freighter's systems told her. Cranna had outdone herself. This was sneakiness made manifest.

Essentially, what Cranna had done, was take a normal large freighter and add a pair of small docking clamps in one of its many shadowed hull areas. The sheer mass from the freighter would prevent long range scans from picking up the fighter nestled in tight between two cargo modules, and a fighter with one passenger didn't throw the mass readings of the hyperdrive off that much. Especially since Cranna had also installed a dataport that hooked to the freighter main computer so that whoever was in the fighter could see what was happening outside. Jina studied the readout and shook her head. This was too easy, something was going to go wrong, it always did. She tensed... something...

<Sith outpost on Tralus>

The sensor tech tried not to gulp as a black garbed form appeared beside her.

“Where is that freighter going?” The tech keyed her console and had an answer in moments. She brought up the information hurriedly. It didn't pay to be slow, not with this being. The cloaked form snorted in quiet laughter but the tech focused on her job. He might have had a sense of humor, but the lightsabers hanging off his belt said to jump HIGH when he said to. "My lord, readings say its is a droid freighter heading to the Dav Mining colony."

“Hmmm...” She could feel the dark brooding presence lean over her and tried not to flinch. The voice of her watch officer came to her ears.

“Is there a problem My Lord?” The tech didn't sigh in relief, but it was close as the dark form withdrew a bit. But then her superior officer was leaning in, inspecting the readouts. The voice of the man in black came again.

“Commander, we have an unwanted guest. Destroy that freighter.” The tech started her checklist before the commander even acknowledged. The commander turned to the rest of the watch, who if they had any brains at all, were doing the exact same thing the sensor tech was.

“All available weapons, target freighter bearing 009 mark 4. Full power.” The tech finished her checklist first and smiled slightly as she turned to her commander.

“Target locked sir.” Various other acknowledgments came and the commander turned to the black garbed form. Who nodded.

“Fire.”

<In space>

Jina was worried. Something was wrong. They hadn't challenged the freighter. They should have by now, the Sith were nothing if not predictable when it came to rules and regulations. So why...? She blanched as her screen filled with fire. The initial salvo of missiles, lasers and concussion missiles slammed into the bow of the freighter, blowing large chunks of its cargo into space. Luckily she was secreted near the stern and she blessed Cranna yet again for the Hutt's devious planning.

Why would they...? OSIK...

She had been detected. By a Force user. That was the only explanation. But why would they just shoot? Sith would try and capture, corrupt her, Jedi would call, ask for an explanation. Unless... She shook her head. Speculation was pointless at this juncture. She focused her force sense into as small a space as she could. A crude but effective Force technique. Then she waited. The freighter had taken massive damage. But it was still moving towards the planet. Its sheer bulk made it a hard target to completely destroy. Another salvo came slamming in, but THIS time, when debris went spiralling away from the freighter, Jina detached her ship and floated away with the junk. She snorted.

With the rest of the garbage...

The good news was that the fire was continuing to track the freighter. Which was slowing now and showing signs of massive damage. Holes appeared in the stern where shots had blasted completely through the hull. The Force warned her and she averted her eyes. A moment later, the ship's reactor let go. With any luck they would think she went up with it. But now she had to get to the planet, while mimicking a piece of space trash. She sighed, this would be a long day.

<At the Sith outpost>

The sensor tech turned from her console and spoke softly, but clearly. “Target destroyed, Sir.”

The commander turned to the black garbed man, who shook his head. When he spoke, it was quiet.

“She is alive.” He turned to the commander. “She is probably hiding in the debris field, maybe in a fighter. I want anything that might be large enough for a human female to live in to be vapor before it hits the atmosphere.” The commander winced and the black clad man sighed. “I know commander. We don't have the sensor capacity and if we launch the squadron... the Republic forces on Correllia will respond. Do what you can, perhaps we will get a hit.” The tech nodded to the command and started working her console again, pulling up targeting information for the guns that were even now cycling to new targets. She didn't notice, or would have cared if she had, the black clad man waved the officer into a nearby empty briefing room.

“My Lord?” the officer asked quietly.

“Commander if she reaches the surface of this planet I need to know where." The SIth said slowly. "And you need to know that I am ordered to deploy any forces available on this world to stop her.” The commander froze.

Her, My lord?” The commander froze stiffer. One did not lightly question a Sith Warrior. But this Sith Warrior only sighed.

“Jina Darkstorm is returning home.” At that the commander blanched and the black clad man nodded. “Get your troops ready, get everything ready. We are going to need them...”
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06.24.2012 , 06:31 AM | #9
<Eighteen hours later>

Jina sighed as she settled the fighter down in a secluded canyon. This had been an interesting flight. The Sith, not content with shooting down the freighter, had blasted everything they had detected, and it had taken some skillful maneuvering to slip beyond the Sith base's sensor coverage. But she had finally managed it. She couldn't understand why they had shot without talking, even Sith usually challenged first. It was odd, she SHOULD have remembered something about this world, but... the only memory she had was of Master Gorral finding her in the cave. She cracked her canopy and smiled as she smelled fresh air. It tasted odd to her. She put that down to being stuck in a fighter for a week. She clambered out and stretched fully. After a long moment of enjoyment, she pulled her kit out of the fighter and started off in her chosen direction.

An hour later, she was three kilometers from her landing site and looked back in time to see a pair of Sith bombers swoop down. She froze. She was under cover so it was unlikely they could see her or pick her up on sensors. But... She blanched as balls of fire fell from both and the entire valley she had landed in went up in titanic explosions.

What the flarg?

She froze anew as a wave of Sith transports flew overhead. She shook her head and started off. It was obvious that whoever was in charge didn't like trespassers. She had her destination though and started towards it again. She never noticed that she hadn't consulted the map to see where she was going, she just started off. It never occurred to her that she didn't even have a map of the planet.

<Back at Jina's landing spot>

The black clad man shook his head as the troops fanned out.

“She wasn't here. This is not good.” The field commander came up and nodded. Even Sith didn't salute in the field.

“Sir, we found tracks heading west. Human. The trackers say probably a female from the stride.” the man in black nodded. “We can drop a few squad ahead of her, try and flush her out...” The commander stopped as the man in black sighed.

“Wouldn't do any good. She would either evade them or slaughter them. And we will need every man if this gets as bad as I think it will.” Both he and the commander froze as a com chimed. They looked at each other and then at their coms. It wasn't either of theirs, and none of the other men were anywhere nearby. It chimed again and the Sith warrior looked at the ground. He kicked a rock over and underneath it lay a modern Republic issue com. He looked at it for a long moment, and then picked it up and flipped it on.

“Yes?” He scanned the area with his eyes and the force, not expecting anything.

“Don't bother Sith, I am a long ways away. You know who I am.” The Sith warrior nodded. Not many men could have passed his sentry ring, left a com somewhere where he would have found it, and then left just as quietly. The man in question was probably watching through a sniper scope.

“Will Kalenath. Your legend precedes you." The SIth said agreeably. "May I assume that you have a reason for contacting me?” He scanned with the force but saw nothing, sensed nothing.

“Yes." The sniper replied evenly. "I don't like or trust you. You don't like or trust me. But right now, we need each other. You know what will happen is she gets where she is going.” The Sith nodded.

“Yeah, that was made quite clear to me when I was assigned this post.” He sighed. “You are right. You are a better scout and tracker than anyone I have available. I do need you. I don't like it, and I trust you about as far as I trust the Republic Senate.” He snorted and Will snorted in joined amusement.

“Fair enough. I trust you about as far as I can throw this planet. What I need from you are three things. At some point soon, I will need a loud and messy diversion.” The Sith nodded and Will continued. “I also need a baradium core munition.”

What?” The Sith stared at the com in shock. His men all looked at him and he shook his head. They went back to their duties. Will spoke calmly.

“The last time I used a thermal detonator. It wasn't enough. This time I want to make damn sure.” Any Sith would have recognized the rage that underlay the sniper's tone. “Third, I need you to send a team to follow her, a good sized team. Something she won't be tempted to engage. Something she will evade. If you don't follow her, she will get suspicious, and if she gets suspicious...They will...” The Sith shivered a bit. He was no stranger to fear, but this fear...

“Agreed. But if she...” He broke off as Will snarled.

“It won't come to that.” The Sith shook his head at Will's calm assurance.

“How can you be sure?” Teh Sith pressed. Will's voice sighed.

“Nothing is sure in life except death, but... You know what we are facing here.” Will sounded scared now and the Sith could actually relate. Sith used fear, that didn't mean they didn't feel it. Anyone would likely be afraid under these circumstances. The Sith nodded. “We have to draw them out, to get at the head. To make a sure kill.” the Sith sighed. “For what its worth Sith, you have my word it will NOT happen. If I have to shoot her myself.”The man's voice was suddenly tired and old.

"Understood." The Sith nodded. “And you have the word of Mikol Darkstorm that you will have our support when you make your assault. After? We shall see...” The com turned off and he looked at it. He waved a hand to his commander.

<Two kilometers away>

Will stared through his sniper scope at the Sith who were now scrambling back to their transports.

Her brother... Wonderful... Just wonderful...

He turned and followed the barely seen form of Jina as she stumbled on. He couldn't see her face, but he didn't have to. If he could have it would have had the same expression he had seen twenty years ago. A dazed, wondering look. Utterly out of place on his friend's face. For just a moment, he was there twenty years previous, with his team beside him and two Jedi. One an unknown, one a legend. That mission hadn't ended well, for any of them. But this time, he swore to himself, this time he would do things right. Even if it did mean dealing with the Sith to fight something even worse than them.
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06.24.2012 , 06:35 AM | #10
<A day later>

Jina was tired. She wasn't sure how far she had come. But something was pulling her on. Even when she stumbled, she barely felt the pain of the scratches on her leg. She wasn't sure how far she had come, and there was a part of her mind that was screaming at her that something was wrong, very wrong. But she just kept walking. Eventually, it might have been hours, or days, she came to a cleared area in the mountains. It was calm, peaceful and so familiar. She was sure she had been here before. She walked into a small dip in the grounds and knelt down. She fingered the soil and it ran through her fingers. She froze as a voice came to her.

“Hello. Who are you?” She looked up into the eyes of a human male who stood staring at her. The man was unarmed and had a puzzled look on his face. But as he saw her, his eyes lit up. “Jina? Oh, Jina!” The man ran towards her and she froze as he came up to her and threw his arms around her. “Girl we thought you were dead!” She relaxed a bit and returned his embrace.

“I...” She couldn't seem to get her mind to focus on words and the man stared at her.

“Oh girl...” His voice was rough with emotion. “Come on, lets get you fed and in a bed. You look completely tuckered out.” She didn't resist as he led her towards the door of a house. A carefully camouflaged house. The door looked like the entrance to a cave... He led her inside and motioned her to a chair. “Let me get some of Mairi's stew on, she is busy with the Colson kid, stupid fool fell off the ridge, and broke his leg, again...”

Jina relaxed a bit as she sat and looked around. The walls of the room were rough hewn from rock. But they had homey touches spread around. Like the rug that covered one wall. And the pictures... Jina focused on them and she smiled a bit as she saw what had to be a small version of herself in one. She jumped a bit as a laden bowl appeared in front of her. The man smiled at her.

“Here, girl, you are awfully jittery. You need some feeding up... When was the last time you ate?” Jina thought about that, but she couldn't remember eating since she had landed. The man seemed nice, but...

“Do... Do I know you?” She stammered a bit, unsure. The man froze as he was getting a drink for her.

“You don't remember me?” The hurt in his voice made her blink and she hurried to explain.

“I don't remember anything, before the Order...” Jina broke off as he looked sad.

“You a Jedi now?” The awe in his voice made her uncomfortable. She took a bite of the stew and it was good. She smiled and took another. The man sighed. “No matter, eat, drink and we will get you to a bed. We take care of our own.” She nodded and ate. It was good. He plunked a glass beside her and she drank. It tasted strange, but familiar. She was nodding as the man took her in his arms and half led, half carried her to a bed carved out of the rock. He covered her with a blanket and gave her a kiss. She smiled as she fell asleep.

<Outside>

Will watched as the man walked out of the house and hurried up a barely visible trail. He disappeared halfway to the top of a rise and Will smiled grimly. He keyed his comlink.

“Darkstorm, main entrance located. These coordinates. Be ready...” Then slowly and silently, he followed the man up the hill. He found the cave entrance and without a glance, followed the man into the earth.

<Later>

Jina woke. For a moment, she was scared. She felt strange. But then, a voice came. Female, kind.

“Ah, you are awake... I wondered if you were going to sleep the day out.” Jina looked up and there was an older human woman there. “Mack says you don't remember us.” The woman seemed ready to cry and Jina sat up.

“I don't remember anything before the Order found me. I was dying in the snow...” The woman held out her hands and Jina embraced her. It seemed like the thing to do.

“Well, I am thankful to them for that, but you could have come back to visit us... Oh, yeah, you said you lost your memory... Oh I am sorry girl...” The woman hugged her tight. “I am Mairi, Mak's wife. I got bad news for you. Your mom and dad got caught a while back. They couldn't get to shelter when the Sith came through.” Jina froze. “It was quick, I can tell you that.” The woman sniffed. “Oh come on, listen to me prattle on. We need to get you fed. I want to check your leg again, don't want it to get infected. And then you need to get cleaned up. The others have heard you are back. Everyone wants to see you.” Jina sighed, but relaxed as the older woman puttered about getting food ready. Another bowl of stew and more of that strange tasting drink. After Jina was done, she let the woman lead her back to the bed and uncovered her leg. It had been bandaged while she slept and... She blinked. It had been a mess of raw bloody cuts when she had last looked at it. Now it looked mostly healed. How long had she been here? The woman, Mairi looked at her and smiled.

“We have some talented healers around these parts.” The woman slathered something on the wound that smelled a bit astringent, and then wrapped the leg in a bandage again. Then she wrapped it in a watertight casing. “Now its time for you to get clean.”

“Do I have to?” Jina joked, but Mairi was insistent. She helped Jina up and led her to a small but functional refresher. It only took Jina a few minutes to clean herself. When she came out, Mairi was waiting with a bundle in her hands.

“Those robes of yours were a mess. I hope you don't mind, I put them in the laundry. This is the closest to robes we have...” Jina looked at the bundle and nodded. Somehow, it felt... right. In minutes, she was wearing a long tunic, a pair of pants that were about three sizes too large for her and sandals. She shook her head as she buckled her belt on. Mairi looked at her lightsaber and shrugged. “You ain't likely to need that...”

Jina shook her head and spoke. She had to concentrate quite a bit but she managed to get the words out. “Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.” Mairi snorted.

“Can't argue with that... Here... This was your mothers, I think she would want you to wear it.” Mairi handed her a necklace. A pretty one, made of colored rocks and bits of shell. Jina smiled as Mairi held it out and the younger woman turned around so the older could put it on, but when the latch went click, Jina collapsed. Mairi caught her easily.

“After all these years, after all this waiting, finally...” Mairi lifted the girl easily and moved into the house. The rug was swept aside and Mack was there smiling. “Come on revered brother, it's time our lost one came home...”
My stories in order:
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