Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer
×

(L,F&E 40) Strange tidings (Aftermaths)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Fan Fiction
(L,F&E 40) Strange tidings (Aftermaths)

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 03:30 AM | #1
((This starts several days after the end of 'A Memory Mystery'))

Jina lay somnolent. She had lost some time somewhere. One moment, Will had been there holding her, and then she was here, with her body covered with medical gear. The gravity was different, and there was no hum in the near distance, so she had to be on a planet. She was alone in this room, alone with medical equipment. A droid came in with bland tasting food every so often, so she wasn't a prisoner... She thought anyway. She wasn't sure. She slept a great deal.

She felt strange. She did feel better, some. She hadn't lost her lunch in at least a day. But her body was... She focused herself on the poison detoxification meditation again and cursed quietly as it didn't do anything. She shook her head slowly. A voice came to her.

“Hello Jina.” the Jedi turned her head and saw Master Ashla Ti standing there. She thought hard. That meant she had to be on Tython again. Ashla Ti rarely left the planet, and now that the Togruta had a Padawan... The seer spoke again.

“I'm sorry Jina. I wanted to tell you. I did. But everything I have seen...” She broke off as Jina turned her head away and closed her eyes. She didn't want to talk. The Togruta sighed. Jina heard footsteps come close and then a touch on her shoulder. “I...” The Togruta froze as Jina jerked her shoulder away. “Jina...” Jina turned her head slowly to meet the Togruta's eyes and Ashla Ti flinched back from what she saw there.

“How many people died because of that secret? I saw the food storage areas on the way out, they were filled. I saw...” Jina shook her head. She tensed as her body rebelled, but then focused on the Togruta again. “Was it for the greater good of the galaxy as a whole? Or was it just because people didn't want to face the horror? You could have told me.” Ashla Ti shook her head.

“You would have insisted on going.” Jina snarled.

Of course I would have. But...” Jina smiled grimly. “I might have been prepared. I might have had backup, hell, I might have just let Will shoot me like you wanted him to!” She was screaming now and she shook her head and focused herself. When she looked up again, Ashla Ti was crying. “I am not stupid Ashla Ti. I might have agreed. I might have decided to go. Even you can't see what might have happened. What matters is what did happen. You lied to me. You told me you had no idea what was going on. I knew you were hiding things from me, but I... had... no idea...” Jina's body staged a revolt and she arced fast to get the result into a bin rather than all over the bed. A few minutes late, she looked up to find Ashla Ti in a staring contest with Nolikas. The healer was mad. Madder than Jina had ever seen the Rakata as a matter of fact. When Nolikas spoke it was clipped and cold.

“You are not helping Master Ashla Ti. Please leave.” The Togruta looked at the Rakata, and then she bowed her head and left. Jina slumped a bit. Why had she said that? She knew Ashla Ti wasn't evil. She was.. Her body rebelled again and Jina turned to the bin. A few minutes later, a warm wet cloth wiped her face as she slumped back, exhausted. She looked up into Nolikas' eyes. The Rakata looked worried.

“I think you are over the worst, but I don't know. This stuff doesn't respond to detoxification at all.” Nolikas sounded outraged at the drug's stubborn refusal to accede to her ministrations. Jina smiled slightly. But then her brow furrowed.

“Did you get all the eggs out?” Jina couldn't keep the fear out of her voice. Sara's people had done what they could, but some of the implanted things had been far too deep for normal surgery, even droid assisted. Nolikas nodded.

“We did. I'm sorry Jina...” Nolikas' face was sad. Jina nodded.

“It's not like I was ever planning to have children anyway.” She was ambivalent about that actually. When they had told her, the second time she had woken up on the Dia's Gift, she had been so sick it had taken some time to get through her head. That the impalement that had occurred had shattered one of her ovaries and poisoned the other. The medics had been forced to remove the remnants of both because of toxic byproducts. She still felt sick thinking about what had happened. And probably would for a long, long time. Nolikas sighed.

“I don't know what that thing injected into you with the eggs. The residue is nothing I have seen before. And I have checked the records. Even the ones they kept from you...” Nolikas couldn't hide the outrage in her voice at the thought of Jedi censoring information. Jina smiled slightly.

“I am not going to grow a chitin carapace, am I?” Jina tensed as Nolikas didn't grin at the joke. “Nolikas?”

“I don't think so.” Jina felt the blood leave her face. When she spoke it was careful and careful and mostly hid the terror behind it.

“You don't think so?” Nolikas sighed and took Jina's hands in her own, careful not to disturb the IVs.

“Jina, I don't know what it was intended to do. The small samples the medics managed to take from around your wound are unlike anything I have seen before. This isn't in any of the records. I am pretty sure it was intended as a... recoding .. of your DNA. If that is the case... Then yes, you could change.” Nolikas' voice held horror now. Jina slumped in the bed. But when she spoke it was cold and hard.

“If that is the case, make it swift. I won't be the cause of bringing those things back.” Nolikas nodded, but the Rakata looked... Jina couldn't define how the healer looked. “Nolikas, please... you didn't see them...” She shook her head baffled at her own reactions. “I can't... focus... I...”

"Jina, it's okay." Nolikas fiddled with the controls of the medical gear nearby before she spoke. “Part is the drug you were given. Sara's people saved a sample.” Jina flinched. She had been quite... explosive at times. The medical area had been quite a mess on occasion before Will had shown up with his explanations. “This stuff... added to whatever that monster injected into you... Jina it is no wonder you are having trouble focusing. And...” She broke off and Jina was sure the Rakata was embarrassed.

“And what?” Jina demanded. Nolikas slumped. When she spoke it was clinical.

“Your body is producing all the hormones normal for pregnancy.” Jina was sure her jaw fell clean through her body and hit the floor as far as it fell. Her voice was a squeak when she finally managed to get something out.

“What?” She shook her head, trying to get the image that squatted there like a malevolent insect out of it... She shivered. Nolikas sighed and covered her with a light blanket.

“Your body is a mess, Jina. And it thinks you are still pregnant.” Jina shook her head. She felt odd, but... Nolikas touched her on the forehead and she fell into a deep sleep, untroubled for once. Nolikas stared at her friend and shook her head. This would not be fun...
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 03:34 AM | #2
<Four hours later>

Nolikas stood before a portion of the Jedi Council and tried not to snarl as they decided on a course of action. Of all the pigheaded, idiotic, just plain stupid... One of them looked at her and spoke.

“You disagree, healer?” Nolikas took a long moment to compose herself and then spoke quietly.

“I do.” Her quiet words had all the council members looking at each other. The one who had spoken waved for her to continue. After a moment, she did.

“I disagree with the idea of studying these creatures. We have all the records we need from the reports and specimens collected twenty years ago. When we can access them.” Nolikas' voice didn't change inflection, but several of the council flinched anyway. Nolikas continued. “So essentially, what you would be doing is raising these creatures from the eggs we recovered from Jedi Darkstorm's body in captivity. A sentient species. There is a word for that. Slavery.” The council members looked at each other and another spoke.

“That is not what is intended.” Nolikas looked each in the eye before she spoke again. Her voice was cool and unemotional.

“I am a healer, honored council members. I do not pretend to be as learned as you, in anything besides healing. But I do know the potential ramifications of allowing this species to reproduce. A species that has proven to enjoy the taste of sentient meat while it is still alive.” At that several of the council looked sick. The reports that Nolikas had related to them had been thorough. But Nolikas wasn't done. “While I cannot condone the destruction of an entire species, I also cannot help but breathe a sigh of relief.” the council looked at her and she shrugged. One of the others spoke up for the first time.

“Healer Nolikas,..." The Master said soberly. "I understand your emotions because of your friend. But this is a delicate issue.” Nolikas nodded.

“I know my emotions are involved. Jina is my friend. She was one of the first to welcome me here when I arrived as a student. She was so young and full of life. Full of passion. Of course, now we know why.” The council members nodded. “But this is not about her. Well, it is not totally about her.” Nolikas corrected herself carefully.

<Explain then.> This from yet another council member. The male Wookiee sat in his seat, staring at her and she nodded.

“What was done to Jina Darkstorm is troubling. The ease with which it was done was done is horrifying. I do not and cannot condone the systematic breeding of these creatures. The chance for a mistake is simply too high.” The first council member spoke again, and there was a slight edge to his tone.

“We will take all necessary precautions.” At his words Nolikas flinched visibly.

When she spoke it was cold and clear. “My ancestors said the exact same thing when they built the Star Forge. You have no idea at all what you want to play with.” The council member who had spoke spoke back at her sharply.

“We will not 'play'. We will discover a way to communicate with these creatures and let them build a peaceful society.” He shook his head. “Jedi Nolikas, We require you to submit all of your records and samples to the Council.” Nolikas stood, silent. “Well?”

“I am afraid that is impossible Council member. The stasis pod that contained the eggs suffered a fracture of the stasis casing. None are recoverable.” At that the entire council went still. Stasis pods were designed to take near misses from ordnance. A female member looked at Nolikas and spoke quietly.

“And your records?” Nolikas turned to the female and spoke just as quietly.

“All of my records are on my personal terminal. Which you are welcome to. However, I had a power fluctuation earlier and was checking to see what I could recover when the Council called me. It didn't look good, I am afraid.” Nolikas was proud that she could say all that with a straight face. She had been afraid of this. The female stared at her.

“What have you done?” Her voice was horrified.

“Be glad you did not propose this lunacy while Will was here." Nolikas said flatly. "I hesitate to think what he might have done.” Several in the council winced at that. They remembered. It wasn't every day someone walked into the council chamber with an armed nuclear weapon ready to go off. The council members stared at one another, then a Nolikas. Finally one spoke. One who hadn't before. A Bothan.

“Then you leave us no choice, we will obtain samples from Jedi Darkstorm, she will...” Everybody froze as something unthinkable happened.

Nolikas was a kind, generous, compassionate being. She lived to heal, to repair damage done to bodies and spirits. While she had a lightsaber, no one had ever seen her draw it except in practice. Until now. Her viridian blade hummed to life as she stood in the council's midst and her words were unemotional.

“Over my dead body.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 03:39 AM | #3
<At nearly the same time>

Jina was dreaming. She had done a lot of that recently, but she could never remember them on waking. Once more she was strapped down to the surface as shadowy figures moved around her and a sharp pain came from her abdomen. But this time, they were not chitin armored insects, no, this time all of them wore Jedi robes!

“This is not what happened... I remember...” The pain increased and she screamed. But then another voice came. She didn't recognize the voice, did she? It was male, young and strong.

“No. This is not what happened, focus yourself.” Suddenly it all went away. She curled up on herself and wept, but a touch on her cheek had her looking up into... She recoiled. But the cloud didn't follow her. Somehow, she was on her feet with her lightsaber in hand. But... She froze. Something was wrong. She knew who this had to be, so why wasn't he attacking her? As if her thoughts were spoken aloud the cloud spoke.

“I am not your enemy today, Jina Darkstorm. But you need to wake up. Wake up.” She shook her head slowly, but another voice was speaking urgently in her ears. A child? And a hand was tugging on her arm.

“Wake up, please wake up. Master Jina, please wake up...” The fear in the youngling's voice had Jina opening her eyes. She blinked, not sure if what she was seeing was real.

“D...Diseree...?” Jina's voice was strange to her ears. But the young Kel Dor student threw her arms around the Jedi and sobbed. Jina felt odd, but she managed to get a arm around the sobbing girl. But Diseree was pulling her up, trying to get her out of the bed.

“Master Jina, thank the Maker... You have to go. You have to get out of here...” The young Kel Dor was babbling. Jina shook her head. Between the drugs, the residue of what she had experienced and Nolikas' attempts to clean out her body, she was weak and shaky, but she did manage to sit up. Jina shook her head and was glad when it didn't nauseate her. That was a first in a while. Her voice was slow and slurred when she managed to speak. As she did, she was trying to understand. She was in quarantine, how had Diseree managed to get in?

“Diseree?" JIna focused, trying to center herself. "What's going on? Where is Nolikas? How did you get in here?” Dieree shook her head and started pulling equipment off of Jina. Alarms started sounding and Diseree snarled and flipped switches with the Force. The alarms turned off and Jina stared at the girl. Diseree was so nice, why was she angry? “Calm yourself, you know strong emotion is bad. What is going on?”

The girl shook herself and began a breathing exercise. Watching the girl helped Jina to focus a bit better, recalling her own basic exercises. Finally Diseree opened her eyes and there was sadness in them.

“Master Jina, the Council wanted to study the creatures you encountered on Tralus." Diseree said with a sick voice. "Nolikas went to talk to them. They... they ordered her to turn over all her records and specimens. But she had destroyed them. So they said they would get more from you.” Jina froze, remembering her dream. But Diseree wasn't done. “Nolikas drew on them....” Jina almost fell over in shock.

“She what?” Jina stood up. Too fast, her head spun. She held onto the side of the bed and focused herself. Diseree held her, helped the older woman stand.

“She drew her lightsaber on them." Diseree said in a tone somewhere between shock and awe. "I never even knew she had one...” Jina snorted as she focused on maintaining her balance.

“She is a Jedi Knight, of course she has one. But what could make her...” Jina recoiled as her body decided she was abusing it too much. She ran for the bin beside her bed and made it in time. She slumped. “If the council ordered it, then we have to obey... I would let them...” Jina froze as Diseree shook her head.

“They were not going to ask.” Diseree said quickly, pulling Jina to stand. Jina's face went slack with a reaction that had nothing to do with lunch.

What?” Jina demanded. Diseree shook her head.

“I don't know." This was troubling the young Padawan, Jina could see that. "All I know is that Master Ashla Ti is very unhappy, and the rest of us -the seers- are not much better.” Jina shook her head, but she did feel stronger.

“If what you say is true, and I don't disbelieve you...” She said quickly as Diseree drew in a breath to protest. “...then I do have to get out of here, but...” She had to grin as Diseree pulled a pack off her back and opened it. Inside was a pair of Jina's robes. “Been in my quarters have you, young lady?” Diseree nodded, silent, scared. Jina sighed. “I am not angry with you girl. I am not even angry with the Council, yet anyway.” She shook her head. “I need...” Diseree opened a pocket and pulled Jina's lightsaber out as well as some ration bars. Jina shook her head bemused.

“I am not going to ask, I know better.” She dressed swiftly and pulled her belt on. It caught a bit further in than it should and she looked at it. Then she shook her head. “I seem to have lost some weight...” Her robes hung loose on her frame. She sighed as she pulled her cowl up over her face. Diseree looked at her and opened her mouth. Jina put a finger over the girl's lips. Jina shook her head and smiled. “I will see you again girl. I promise.” Jina promised. Diseree smiled back.

“Hey, I'm the one who sees what will happen, stop that, people will talk...” Jina had to laugh. But then she sobered. She gathered the young girl into her arms and squeezed gently. Diseree shook her head. “You have to go. Nolikas can't hold them for long, she is a healer, not a guardian...” Jina nodded, and then kissed the Kel Dor child on the cheek.

“Thank you.” She released Diseree and the girl flitted to the door. She opened it and looked both ways. She looked back, but Jina was already gone.

The Kel Dorr girl sighed, and then she started back towards the student living area. As she went, she saw three Jedi Masters walking purposefully towards the medical wing. She shook her head. It seemed the more things changed the more they stayed the same. She entered her study area and nodded to her master. “It's done.”

Master Ashla Ti sighed and nodded. “It's in her hands then, and better hands I don't think we will find. But for now, let us delve once more into the field around the second aspect...”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 03:45 AM | #4
<An hour later>

Nolikas sat. It was hard to do in the restraints that she wore, but it was possible, and the pain she felt was immaterial. She had done what she had to. Her injuries, superficial as they were, had been treated before they had locked her in the restraints and left. She hadn't expected to stop them. She sniffed, she hadn't done to badly. She had managed to knock two of them out of the fight before the others had disarmed her. She hadn't expected to survive. And truth be told, she hadn't wanted to kill any of them. Just slow them down and maybe, just maybe shock some of them into thought. She sighed deeply. What would come, would come. A figure stepped into her field of view and she didn't snarl at the form of the human council member.

“You should not be sitting. The energy fields will do damage.” Nolikas ignored him. “Where is she Nolikas?” Nolikas looked at him, her alien face unreadable.

“Where is who?” She asked calmly. She knew very well who he spoke of however and her heart leapt as she realized what must have happened.

“Jina Darkstorm is not within the medical bay and she cannot be sensed within the enclave. Where is she?” He asked again, his tone reasonable. Nolikas shook her head slowly.

“How should I know?" Nolikas said flatly. "I haven't seen her. But then, I haven't seen anybody since you locked me in here. When Grandmaster Satele gets back from her journey, I bet you and your little circle will have a lot of explaining to do.” The biting edge to her words surprised her as much as the council member and she took a moment to calm herself. The council member shook his head.

“Jina is sick, she needs help.” He pressed. Nolikas ignored him. “We will find her, and help her. We could use your help.” He froze as Nolikas leaned forward in her restraints. The energy fields crackled, showing increased charges as they fought to keep the Jedi in place. If she felt the pain at all, it was not apparent. When she spoke it was cold, and unemotional.

“You do not want to help her, council member.” The Rakata hadn't called any of the Council by name since they had called her into their presence. She was just as coldly formal as she had been, but now, there was a core of something in her. Something hard and bright. “You want to dissect her and study her. There is a difference. I will not help you” She leaned back slowly and resumed her sitting posture. He stared at her. When he spoke, his voice was low and... fearful?

“Nolikas, what are her chances?” The speaker asked softly. The Rakata looked at him.

“Of what?" Nolikas snapped. "Getting away? 100% She learned sneakiness from the best. Of healing the damage that was done to her body? 100% given enough time. Of ever trusting the Order again? 0% Of surviving while you misguided fools hunt her, with the Sith hunting her as well...?” The Rakata shrugged and the man sighed. He nodded to her and left the room. Nolkias sat and ignored the main that flashed through her calves. It focused her. Concentrating on healing her recurring injuries kept her from thinking about anything else. And right now, that was important, very important.

<Nearby>

“Anything?” The human asked as he walked into the observation room. Through the one way glass he saw Nolikas staring at him and he sighed. Like a mirror would stop a Jedi from seeing him. The Bothan shook his head.

“No, she either doesn't know where Darkstorm went, or is better at hiding it than any Jedi I have met.” He winced. “Get her out of there, it will overwhelm her healing ability in a few minutes. We really don't want to hurt her or kill her. If only they had listened... We both presented our cases and they ignored us.” The human nodded and left the room.

The Bothan sat and shook his head. “I wish Vandar were here...” Another voice came from the corner and he turned to regard the other in the room. It was another Bothan, male, young and worried looking.

“As do we all. What do we do now Master?” The Jedi asked softly. Thokal Melan, Jedi Council member, shook his head.

“We have to find her, preferably before the Sith or those idiots who want to dissect her do." Melan said slowly. "And when you do, be careful and be gentle. She is very confused.” The Jedi sighed.

“I am more worried about her being gentle with me...” They shared an ironic laugh. Then the other Bothan was gone. The door opened and Nolikas was ushered in. She stood tall and proud.

“Healer.” Nolikas looked at him, with an expression that said she would rather be looking at a pile of rancor vomit.

“Council member.” He winced. Her overly formal greeting said it all. She wasn't going to help. And he couldn't blame her. He shook his head.

“Take the restraints off.” The human nodded and produced a code key. In moments the cuffs on her wrists and ankles fell away. She stared at the two mismatched beings. The Bothan spoke again. “You are too valuable to the Enclave and the Order to be left in restraints to rot. You will be watched in case she attempts contact. But I doubt she will, she isn't that dumb. You may return to your duties.” She stood impassive. He grinned slightly. “And you will need this...” He tossed her her lightsaber.

She caught it and returned it to her belt, but not the back where it customarily hid, but in full view.

“You fought well, you are a credit to your trainers.” Nolkias nodded at the compliment and spun on her feet to leave. After she left, both of the Jedi masters sat.

“Now we wait...” The human said quietly. The Bothan sighed.

“Yes, and hope Arathos can find her first." Melan said sadly. "Otherwise there will be trouble.” The human snorted.

“You and your gift for understatement, Thokal. You think they would take her alive?” The human asked. The Bothan shrugged.

“The Sith would. Then try and turn her. The Order...? I would hope so. But it really depends on who they send.” The human gave sidelong glance at his colleague.

“What do you put her chances at?” The robed human wondered softly. Thokal sighed.

“Of her cutting the first group that finds her into rancor meat, if they are not really careful? 50-50. Of falling? I don't know. I really don't...”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 03:54 AM | #5
<A week later>

The crew of the independent free trader Firefly wasn't sure what to make of their 'passenger'. She was nice. She helped out where she could and stayed out of the way where she had to. She had been seriously spacesick the first two days and the ship's doctor had initially been worried about her, but she had reassured him, saying it was just the way she was. And indeed, after a few days, she managed to emerge from her cabin and looked almost human. And the last two days, she had been a frequent sight in the common room and the galley, where she helped the harried droid to fix the meals. That wasn't the problem. They had carried passengers before, to and from Tython. And they had become a bit adept at telling if their passenger was a Jedi or not. They had carried both Jedi and non Jedi on numerous occasion. But this woman, something about her was off. She was nice, no question, and she was able with a few quiet words to get the two perpetual arguers on the crew, a Trandoshan and a Wookiee, to back off from each other apologizing. That said Jedi. But she didn't carry a ligthsaber, and she wore civilian attire. Admittedly, ill fitting civilian attire, but she had obviously been ill and lost a great deal of weight. She was helpful, kind and thoughtful. And she was a good cook as well. But something was just a bit off about her...

Finally the captain had enough of the rumors that were flying and invited her to his cabin. She smiled and accepted. As soon as she entered he activated a state of the art jammer and looked at her. She arced an eyebrow but didn't comment. The Zabrak crossed his arms and asked flat out.

“Are you a Jedi?” The woman nodded and the captain relaxed. The hurried nature of her booking passage, in the dark of a booth in the cantina that served the enclave starport, had not been anything to inspire trust. But then she spoke.

“It's best of you don't ask any more questions. I needed passage quickly and quietly. I am sorry I cannot be more forthright...” She stopped as the captain snorted.

“The words 'Jedi' and 'forthright' are not usually used in the same sentence, Ma'am." He said with a smile to take the sting from his words. "But... I served in the regular military for several years. And I worked with Jedi a few times. If you can't tell me you have a reason. But what I need to know is this. Am I going to get in trouble for carrying you?”

"Ah..." The woman sighed. “I don't think so Captain, but I truly have no idea.” He flinched and she continued. “That is why I didn't give you my name.”

"I see." He nodded slowly. That way, if asked, he could truthfully say he had no idea who she was. But... “Are you in trouble Ma'am? I could...” She shook her head.

“Captain, I thank you." The odd woman smiled. "It's nothing against you, but my troubles are way beyond anything you might be able to help with.” The captain nodded. “So if you can just get me to Coruscant, I will take it from there.” the captain nodded again.

“Is there anything we can do Ma'am?” The captain asked kindly. She shook her head.

“I don't think so." She shook her head. "I will be gone as soon as the ramp drops.” He nodded, but then he smiled.

“You will be missed Ma'am." He admitted. "I don't know how any of us will be able to go back to the recyclo-spam that the droid usually serves.” She laughed, she had a marvelous laugh. She shook her head.

“I gave it a few of the recipes, I hope it can handle them.” The captain smiled as he led her out of his office.

I wish more Jedi were like her...

<Three days later>

“Captain, I don't think you understand.” The Zabrak captain of the Firefly stood at his entry ramp and shook his head. He was not impressed. These... people... were not anything like his former passenger.

“I understand just fine. You came onto my ship and ordered me to tell you what my last cargo was. I did.” One of them made a motion and he just grinned. “Nerve amplifiers are uncomfortable. But when I deal with Jedi and their mind tricks regularly, well... I like getting paid. So, you want to wave that hand again, sonny, you go right ahead.” The three beings in Jedi robes looked nonplussed at that. He shook his head. “How about I save you all a lot of time? She never gave her name. She paid and came aboard on Tython. She paid for passage and I carried her here. She left as soon as we docked. She told me to be truthful, so I am.” The Jedi in the middle of the group, a Quarren, looked at him.

“You admit to aiding a criminal fugitive?” The young Jedi demanded. The captain shook his head and spoke slowly. As if he was dealing with a not quite bright child.

“Now, there's the thing." The captain didn't move, didn't even breathe hard. "I checked, before we left Tython and after we arrived here. She ain't wanted for anything. The whole, 'mysterious lady comes up to me in a cantina' bit kind of worried me. So I asked around a bit, no bounties on her either. Now you can tell me that it is Jedi business. And then I will tell you to get your lousy shebs off my ship.” The Jedi had their lightsabers in hand and the captain sighed. Amateurs, probably padawans... He hit a concealed control with his foot and the walls opened up showing four sets of very big guns bracketing the entry hatch. Another voice came, worried.

“What are you...? Oh no...” Another figure in Jedi robes appeared, but the captain's eyes narrowed as he recognized the Bothan. Jedi Arathos shook his head at the Jedi who were looking at the guns. He sighed. “Captain, I am halfway tempted to tell you to blast them...” He turned to the Jedi, who looked very unsure now. “I think he told you to get off his ship. I would do it if I were you...”

The three beings files off, giving black looks to the captain who ignored them, his eyes were on the newcomer. As soon as they were out of sight, Arathos smiled.

“And how many of those actually work?” The Bothan asked in a tone of wonder. The captain smiled right back. When he took his foot off the concealed switch the wall plates sealed themselves.

“I have no idea, I've never had to use them.” The captain admitted. Arathos laughed.

“I wonder why...” Then the Jedi sighed. “Captain, I know you just dealt with a few of our less than best, but I do need to talk to you... privately if possible.” The captain snorted.

“You saved our tails in the Kuniper Belt that time, least I can do is offer you a drink...” The captain waved into the ship and Arathos smiled acceptance. “What is this all about.” Arathos sighed and followed the captain into the ship.

“Jedi politics mostly. Captain Mal. And a few not so bright examples of our Order... Add one very bright and shining star in our Order who is sick and on the run at the moment.” The captain's eyes narrowed and Arathos nodded. “From me among others... I am pretty sure I know where she is heading eventually, but to get there, she has a gauntlet to run. Your passenger's name is Jina Darkstorm and she was involved in an incident on Tralus recently...”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 04:00 AM | #6
<Four hours later>

Arathos sighed as he started down yet another street. Searching for a single person on Coruscant was kind of like looking for a needle in an entire field of Corellian Haystacks. Luckily, the captain had been an old friend, and once assured that Arathos truly meant no harm to Jina, had been helpful. As always, Jina was making friends. He smiled a bit in memory. He counted his friendship to Master Jina as a high point of his life. And he would call her Master Jina, nothing else would do. He kept to the shadows, they were his second home. He wasn't the best in the Order at lightsaber combat, or Force skills. But few in the order could beat him for sneaking and investigating. No pride talking there, simply the facts. There were times when he did envy the other Jedi, ones who could come right out and say, 'I was there, I did that...'. Most of what he did was so secret that even Council Member Melan didn't know all of it. It was needed, and he knew it. But he listened to the others sometimes and when they asked him what he had been doing, he always had to answer 'Training'. And yes, he did a lot of training.

Ever since he had been a small boy on Bothawie, he had been sneaky. When the Jedi had found him and brought him to the Enclave, he had learned a lot about shadows. How to use them, move through them, hide in them, strike from them... He shook his head, this wasn't helping him find Jina. He had a hunch that she would lie low for a while, let some of the storm of pursuits run off in various directions. It was what he would do, and they had shared an instructor once. He shook his head again. Some of the things they had gotten into...

He passed into yet another alley and his reverie was broken off by a strong hand that grabbed his arm and threw him into the wall. When he could see past the stars that danced by his muzzle he froze. Having the emitter of an unignited lightsaber four or five centimeters from your right eye would do that to you, if you are even remotely sane. He spoke quietly.

“Hello Jina.” He managed to keep his voice calm by sheer effort. The lightsaber withdrew, just a bit. He could see the cloaked form standing in front of him in the shadows now. Her voice was resigned when she spoke.

“I might have known." Jina Darkstorm replied. "Hello Arathos.” They stared at each other and his eye couldn't help but pick out the hollows under her eyes. The haunted look in them. He finally broke the silence.

“I am not your enemy Jina.” He said quietly. She slumped, just a bit.

“I wish I could believe that Arathos." Jina said sadly. "I thought the Council was wise, but then they wanted to dissect me...” Arathos slumped.

“All I can say, Jina, is I think they were wrong." The Bothan didn't like this, not at all. "And I still think that. Master Melan sent me after you though.” Jina looked at him, the lightsaber not wavering from its point of aim.

“To catch?” She asked clinically. Arathos shook his head slowly. It was downright frightening that the lightsaber followed his movements so closely.

“I don't think so." Arathos said slowly. "He just said to find you. Not to bring you back. If he had meant for me to bring you back, he would have said so.” Jina sighed and lowered the saber. Arathos relaxed, just a bit.

“And if he meant for you to, I would be unconscious and on my way back now I bet.” Jina paused as Arathos snorted.

“Or I would be in about five pieces.” Jina had to laugh at that. Her lightsaber vanished into the folds of her cloak and she lowered her hood. Arathos inhaled sharply.

“You look like osik, Jina.” The Bothan grimaced. She looked awful. Haggard, red eyed... and scared. He moved slowly, but in a few moments his arms were around her. “They wouldn't let me see you. They said you were sick.”

“I was. I am...” Jina stammered a bit. He nodded.

“You are going to Cranna's.” It wasn't really a question and she looked sharply at him but he just held her tight. “I can help.” She looked at him and slowly shook her head.

“You found me. Now go away.” There was a hard undercurrent to her voice and Arathos flinched. He did let her go though and she stepped back.

“I can't let you do this alone.” Arathos said softly. She looked at him and shook her head, her face an expressionless mask. "Jina, let me help you. My friend, please..."

“And I can't trust you. You were my friend, and I don't want to fight you, but I can't trust you.” He froze. Of all the things she might have said, that probably hurt the most.

“Jina I am your friend. I have been and always will be your friend. You are not alone...” Arathos said hurriedly, trying to get through to her. But she was backing up and her saber was in hand again. He shook hid head and folded his arms. “I won't fight you. But I won't let you face this alone.”

“I have to do this alone Arathos." Jina was near the end of the alley now. "I have to. Stay away from me. If I see you again, I will have no choice but to fight you. And I don't want to do that.” With that she was gone, he thought he saw her moving through the shadows and then, she was silhouetted at the end of the alley for a moment. Then she was gone. He stood for a long moment before following.

I won't let you go through this alone.

<Nearby>

A cloaked form spoke into a comlink. “She is on the move.” A tiny response came.

“Remain in contact, but stay unseen.”

“What of the Bothan Jedi?” There was a long pause. And when the person at the other end spoke it was thoughtful.

“He would make an excellent prize. But she is the important one. Ever since that fool of a brother of hers didn't get any samples at all, we need her alive and undamaged.” The cloaked figure nodded.

“Did the requisition for more troops go through?” Now the voice on the other end was angry.

“No. We have no 'need' that the idiots at the Embassy can determine is valid. So we do not need any more troops, or so I was told.” The cloaked man flinched. This was...

“Master, I know my limits. If I try and take her...” The voice at the other end laughed without amusement.

“I know, for now, remain in far pursuit. Keep them under surveillance. Do not approach. And be warned, we are not the only ones looking for her.” The cloaked human shook his head and put his comlink into a pocket. As he did, something flashed. He had an instant to realize that that something had been a dagger that was now embedded in his chest. A shadow moved up to where he was lying on the ground now, breathing hard and a quick green scaled arm pulled the dagger free. He knew he was dying. And he also knew who had killed him.

His murderer's forearm had been visible for just a moment. If one was quick, one might have seen a burn scar in the shape of a stylized sword. He took that image with him into darkness.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 04:08 AM | #7
<That night>

Arathos shook his head. Something was wrong here. VERY wrong. Jina wasn't stupid. She could be just as sneaky as any Jedi. He stood on the shadows and didn't flinch as a lightsaber ignited nearby. He shook his head.

“I wondered how long it would take you...” The Bothan turned to regard the young female human Jedi who held her lightsaber ready. He shook his head. “Now that is uncalled for. And uncivilized.” She glowered at him.

“Until I know what side you are on, you are not moving.” She declared. Arathos snorted, but he leaned against the wall of the building he was beside and shook his head, his fur slick with the light rain.

“Last time I checked, I was on the side of the Order. What side are you on?” Arathos' voice was mocking and the Jedi flushed a bit, but her lightsaber didn't waver. He actually admired that, with a bit more experience she could be quite good. She shook her head.

“My orders say nothing of you, so you are free to go as soon as we have her.” She stared as he laughed in response.

“You really think you have her?” Arathos had to laugh again at her expression. Not sarcastically but with genuine amusement. Then he calmed himself. “Look... Jina is a very skilled Jedi, she was a master for goodness sakes. She was and is one of the sneakiest people I know. She is on the run, from the Order and others. Why would she check into a room in a hotel that has an automated database under her own name?” At that, the female Jedi lowered her lightsaber.

“I... I don't know.” She admitted. Arathos sighed.

Finally, you show some wisdom. This whole situation stinks. I don't know what is going on here. I do know that one of the tails the Sith had on me is dead. And none of us killed him.” The Jedi looked worried now and Arathos nodded. “I don't know what is going on here, but when you hit that door be very careful...” She deactivated her lightsaber and spoke quietly.

“We are using gas.” She calmed herself slowly. Arathos flinched.

“Which one?” He demanded. She stared at him.

“Cordrazotamine. Simple to detox, but it will...” She broke off as all of Arathos' visible fur stood up straight. A sign of shock. She ignited her saber again, but he was looking at the hotel. When he spoke there was fear in his tone.

“She can't detox you idiot...” He snapped, all of his focus on the hotel. The Jedi blanched.

“What?” Arathos snarled at her.

She can't detox! She hasn't been able to since she got back to the Enclave. You will kill her!” He started running. Her face went slack in shock and she fumbled for her comlink. She followed, speaking quickly into her comlink. But when they reached the floor in question, two other Jedi were standing at the door to the room Jina had registered in. Both wore gas masks that didn't hide their frustration.

“She isn't here.” Arathos looked at them and burst out laughing. Good one Jina, good one...

<Somewhere>

Jina was conscious. She knew she wasn't dreaming. But... She couldn't focus. Everything hurt. Her stomach rebelled again and... she tensed as gentle hands held her as she did what her stomach wanted her to do. Fur covered hands. When she was done, the hands laid her back on the surface she lay on. She felt her face heat at her inability to control herself. A voice came to her, a voice she didn't know. A female voice, kind and gentle.

“It's ok, that is not a voluntary reflex. I know you are in pain, this will help...” She felt a hand touch her arm and she relaxed as warmth spread from it. It felt... good. Like a day at the beach, warm, not hot. Or a nice dip in a heated pool of... She was floating now. She knew it was just the lack of pain, but she reveled in it anyway. It had been so long since she didn't have pain of some kind. Another voice came to her ears. A young female voice.

“Don't overdo it.” She felt rather than heard the healer's disdain for that, but the other spoke again. “Fine, when you fall over, who will tend her? I can't...” There was humor in the words and Jina smiled, just a bit. She cracked her eyes and froze.

All three of the forms that were arrayed around her wore black. The Bothan who sat by her bedside, the Mon Calamari beside the holoviewer and the Rodian by the door, whose eyes never left her. She tensed and then relaxed. What was the point? She was caught.

“I wondered if you would catch me first.” At the peak of her ability, she might have been able to beat three at once, especially since the Mon Calamari was young, although the Rodian was a bit worrisome as he exuded stillness. The sign of a master class fighter. It was the Bothan who spoke.

“We are not your enemies.” Jina looked at the female and shook her head. The Bothan showed Jina her arm and Jina blinked in shock. The brand was distinctive. The other two showed their arms in silence as well.

“Bladeborn...” Jina blinked. “I...” She started shaking, and couldn't stop. The Bothan put a gentle hand on her shoulder. The warmth spread again and Jina relaxed just a bit.

“I give you my word, as a Bladeborn, that nothing will happen to you without your permission. No one will hurt you or try and turn you. We need to get you to proper medical attention though. You are a mess.” The Bothan said in that same gentle voice. Jina shook her head again, and regretted it instantly as her stomach rebelled yet again. She wondered as the Bothan held her gently how much she could possibly have in her stomach. A few minutes later, she was lying back on the bed, panting from the effort as the Bothan wiped her face.

“It's all right." The Bothan sighed. "That 'nectar' is nasty.” Jina flinched away from the Sith's gentle touch.

“What do you know about it?” Jina's voice was hoarse from the exertions. The Bothan slumped.

“Quite a bit. We thank you, our Order does. We were ordered not to avenge the members who had fallen to those... things...” The heat in the Bothan's voice could have ignited a furnace.

“I...” Jina broke off, focused herself as she could and tried again. “How do you know about them...?” She looked up as another voice came and a human male stepped out of the refresher. He too wore black.

“Because I told them Jina. It's good to see you again, sister.” She stared at the face that was so like hers and then sleep claimed her. Mikol Darkstorm looked at Ona and the Bothan sighed.

“We have got to get her out of here. The Jedi and the Empire will be searching for her. And she needs more help than I can give her here.” He nodded to her and carefully picked his sister's sleeping form up off the bed.

“Lead on...”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 04:15 AM | #8
<Coruscant, near the main starport, two hours later>

Arathos sighed again. “Why are you following me?” He didn't turn to look at the figures who were in the shadows nearby. Something... One of the Jedi spoke in a harsh tone.

“You know where she is.” He was confrontational. Arathos shook his head, angry despite himself. He called on his training to damp it and it vanished.

“No I don't." Arathos said for about the fifteenth time. "I have suspicions, yes. But I haven't seen her since yesterday.”

“You didn't report it.” That from another, the other male. The female hadn't spoken to any of them since the hotel. She had watched and listened. Arathos hoped she was getting a good education here. He hoped something good would come of this. He sighed yet again. It seemed that some Jedi just couldn't get a clue even if it was applied to their heads with a durasteel bat. When he spoke it was cold.

“I don't work for you." Arathos paused. What had he just felt? "I don't answer to... you...” His voice trailed off as he searched the area. Something...

“You answer to the Order, our mission is essential, you deliberately...” The Jedi stopped talking as Arathos held up a hand in warning. “What?” he asked. They looked the area over, but nothing was in sight. Arathos didn't move, didn't even blink. The female spoke quietly.

“What is it?” Her voice was concerned. She was also scanning the area. He shook his head slowly.

“I don't know...” They made to fan out and he hissed quickly. “Freeze!” His lightsaber ignited and was in motion before his word was finished. It intercepted the... dagger? The blade fell to the pavement, unmarked. A cortosis blade...? Aw fierfek... Not now...

“Where did that come from?” The male human Jedi demanded, fear coloring his voice. All of the Jedi had their blades out now.

“If you want to live, don't move. Defend yourselves, but don't move...” He ignored his own words, taking a careful step forward. He blinked as the blade on the ground vanished. But there was nothing there. He shook his head and spoke to the empty air. “I have no quarrel with you.” Three sharp intakes of breath were heard behind him as a small Rodian seemed to ooze out of the very air. But he didn't move. Arathos hadn't thought he could freeze stiffer but somehow he managed to. He recognized the form in front of him from a few, very few reports. Not many had faced this being and lived to speak of it.

“Nor I with you Jedi.” The Rodian spoke Basic with barely a trace of an accent. And even that was likely feigned. Arathos nodded. He had thought that blade had been a warning. It hadn't been aimed to kill.

“Bladeborn.” The Bothan's eyes narrowed. “You have her.” It wasn't a question. They had found traces of blood and nastier things in another room in the hotel, but no sign of Jina. From the trash that had been left, at least three other people had been there besides Jina. The Rodian inclined his head. “Is she alive?” The Rodian inclined her head again. “I can't let you take her.” Now the Rodian spoke again. He seemed resigned.

“I know.” Then the Rodian was gone. The female's voice came from behind him but he didn't move yet. He knew he was still in danger.

“Who was that?" She was also not moving. He nodded slightly, she was learning. "You know him?” Arathos shook his head. No trace in the Force or otherwise.

“I know of him. That being is Death walking...” He spun as a shout came from the end of the street and he snarled as he saw Sith troops deploying from an APC. “Wonderful...”

<A bit later>

The weapons fire in the distance had stopped. But the Bladeborn hurried along their way anyway. The sewers of Coruscant were not a place for the faint of heart, but then, since Bladeborn were not by any stretch of the imagination, faint of heart... They made effective transit ways. If on the disgusting side.

“Tiana...” The quiet warning was enough for the young Bladeborn to react. Her swift strike severed the neck of the dianoga that had popped its head up and she smiled grimly as it floated belly up. She nodded to Ona, but the Bothan's focus was on Jina, who lay on a commandeered cargo sled. Mikol sighed as he swiped at another of the sewer beasts. It also floated to the surface. He shook his head and spoke ruefully.

“And I though they smelled bad on the outside...” Tiana smiled at the joke but maintained her vigil. The cargo sled wasn't large enough for Jina to be on it completely, even curled up, so they had to keep any of the ever opportunistic sewer wildlife from taking chunks out of her. Ona walked behind, her focus on the sled and its occupant. Mikol was on the other side, his lightsaber humming. They hadn't seen Leeto since they had entered the sewers but occasionally, they had found dead dianoga and other denizens of the deeps strewn about. So he was around.

Then there he was in the near distance, beckoning to them. When they got close, he spoke quietly. “It's a mess. Fighting between the Jedi with some Republic troops and at least two factions of Sith with a bunch of commandos.” Ona spoke.

“She is getting weaker, we have to move.” Leeto nodded.

“Third accessway leads to a refresher in the spaceport. The grill is cut and I put an 'out of order' sign on the door. But someone may check it anytime. Bay twelve, Cole is waiting. Get it done.” With that, he vanished. They moved ona nd in afew moments had arrived at the access that Leeo had pointed out. And as he had said, the grill was easily removed. When Mikol would have tossed it away however, Tiana shook her head.

“Once we are through I will replace it. No tracks...” She took it and waited until the others had maneuvered themselves and Jina up through the nasty duct. It took some creative posing and more than a few muffled curse words. As well as the creative use of the Force on occasion, but they made it up. Then she climbed up into the duct herself and replaced the grill. Mikol gave her a hand out and she sniffed.

“I want to shower for at least an hour...” She said plaintively, but smiled to show it was joke. The others took position, Mikol supporting Jina as if she was simply indisposed as opposed to unconscious. Wonder of wonders, they made it to the bay with no problems. But when the access hatch opened, a black garbed form was standing there, with an ignited red lightsaber.

“I should have know that Trugoy's dogs were sniffing around here. I am going to enjoy this.”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 04:21 AM | #9
The Bladeborn raised their swords and Mikol raised his saber as well, but a blue blur came from the side. The arrogant Sith was blindsided, unable to defend himself from the massive slash that cleaved him. The Sith warrior and the Bladeborn froze as the Sith fell, his lightsaber falling and deactivating. They stared at the form of the Bothan Jedi. He was a mess. He stared at nothing, and Leeto appeared. Leeto spoke quietly.

“You didn't have to do that.” The Jedi nodded, although the effort clearly hurt him. Ona winced, her empathy showing her clearly what had happened to him. Not that anyone needed the Force to see the blaster holes in his robes or the lightsaber burns on his face and chest. Or the arm that hung limp from a shoulder that was obviously shattered. His voice was quiet as he spoke.

“I have to ask this." Arathos spoke slowly and carefully. "Are you going to try and turn her against her will, if she chooses otherwise?” The Bladeborn looked at him and he shrugged. Ona bit her lip, almost cried out from the sheer pain he was radiating. “She is my friend.”

“No.” This from Mikol. The three Bladeborn nodded. It was Leeto that spoke.

“If she so chooses, we will teach her, but if she does not... not against her will.” The Jedi looked at Leeto and Leeto spoke again. “You have my word as a Masterblade of the Bladeborn on that. Anyone who tries while she is in our care will die.” The Jedi nodded and then slumped, his saber deactivating.

“Go.” The word was quiet. Mikol and Tiana carried Jina into the ship. But Ona moved close to the Jedi.

“I can help...” She said softly. He looked at her and shook his head.

“Save your power healer." Arathos demurred. "Save it for the living...” She stared at him. And when she scanned him with the Force, she blanched. His injuries were far worse than first apparent. Her eyes filled. He grinned slightly. “I wish I had met you before, you are cute...” He relaxed from his tight control and would have fallen except Leeto was there, holding one side carefully as Ona held the other. She smiled, sad.

“You are crazy, Jedi. Why didn't you seek help...? They could have saved you...” Ona was crying now. Her empathy at full bore. The Jedi looked at her and smiled, sad.

“It's all right. I regret nothing. She is my friend. Take... Take care of her...” She nodded. He reached his head up and kissed her on the cheek. “Go...”

She stood and walked towards the ship with the Rodian. He smiled as they ascended the ramp. He was still smiling when the other Jedi found him twenty minutes later. But his eyes were open and saw nothing. The female Jedi stood over his body for a long time, but didn't cry. Then she turned and walked away from her compatriots.

“Where are you going Ana?” One of them asked. She ignored him. She had a report to make, a transport to try and catch, and a whole lot of investigating to do. She would be worthy of him. She would be.

<Some time later>

Jina woke. She felt... good. For the first time since Tralus, her stomach wasn't upset. And she didn't hurt anywhere. She opened her eyes and froze. The being who sat beside her bed nodded to her.

“Well met Masster Darkztorm.” Jina shook her head slowly, taking in the area around her. She was in a medical bay. Obviously on a ship, from what she could see and feel. The hum of distant engines was unmistakable. The colors were muted, gentle. She wasn't restrained and... She froze as the large being beside her set something on the bed. Her lightsaber. The huge being spoke again. “You are not a prisssoner here. You are a guezt. You will not be harmed and no one will attempt to turn you while you are on thisss zhip. Or they will anssswer to me.” Jina stared at the black clad lizard and shook her head slowly. Something moved with her head and she put a slow hand up to find a covering of some kind with wires coming out of it.

“What...” Her voice was low, and weak, but the being nodded. But another voice came, one Jina recognized. Ona came up to her bedside and smiled.

“You have been on full support for the last eight days." The female Bothan said with a kind smile. "We removed the ventilator this morning. You should feel better. Let me get that...” Jina smiled.

“I do feel better...” Jina was stunned. It had been so long... Ona smiled back as she unhooked something and whatever had been around Jina's head retracted.

“We were not sure what some of your body was doing, so, better safe that sorry... And on that note... I bear bad news for you...”Jina stiffened and Ona spoke quietly. “We were at the hangar. A Sith ambushed us. Your Bothan Jedi friend killed him, but then...” Jina's eyes burned, but she wouldn't let tears come, not here, not now.

“You...” Jina stiffened. Ona shook her head quickly.

“No. His wounds were too bad." The Bothan was crying again. "I don't know how he managed to get to the hangar, let alone kill that Sith, with such wounds. He died a few minutes later. He had honor. I am sorry.” Jina's training fell by the wayside and tears came. Ona held her as she cried. The Barabel spoke.

“You are a guezt of the Bladeborn, Jina Darkssstorm. Do not abuze our trussst.” Another voice came and Jina looked up at the Sith she had seen on Tralus and then on Coruscant.

“Like she could? Hello Jina. My name is Mikol. You don't remember me, but I am your brother.” Jina shook her head as Ona released her and backed off. Jina looked at him, at the black garments, the lightsaber. She shook her head slowly, but not in negation. In wonder.

“I... don't know you...” Jina admitted sheepishly. Mikol nodded.

“You did, before those blasted bugs took you. I looked for you, I swear I looked...” The man seemed to wilt a bit under her gaze. But she shook her head and extended a hand.

“Whether I remember you or not, its obvious to anyone with eyes -let alone the Force- that we are kin. But I don't know you...” The Barabel moved and Mikol sat beside his sister's bed.

“I...” He laughed awkwardly. “All these years and I have no idea what to say...” Jina smiled slightly and took his hands in hers.

“There is so much I want to to ask...” Mikol gave her hands a squeeze. “But I am afraid...”

“So am I sis. So am I...” Neither noticed when the two Bladeborn made a quiet escape from the room.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

kalenath's Avatar


kalenath
06.25.2012 , 04:29 AM | #10
<On the starship Bladehome>

Jina was... bemused. These Sith were nothing like any she had met before. Admittedly, she wasn't locked in a life or death struggle with them as she generally was when she met Sith. But, even then, she was reasonably sure that these Sith would be odd by anyone's standards. And she just flat out liked Ona. Even when she was being poked and prodded.

“I am sorry Jina, but there area some things going on with you that I can't explain.” Ona said as she refocused the scanner for the fourth time. Jina laughed sourly and relaxed as best as she could. "I know this grates on you."

"Not your fault." Jina repleid as he tried to get comfortable without moving. “I know. This whole thing is just plain weird. I am not surprised that you are getting odd readings.” Ona blew out a breath in exasperation.

“That's just it, I'm not.” The healer said in a tone of curiosity. Jina blinked. That was new. So she asked an intelligent question.

“Wha...?” Ona laughed, but her focus was on the gear. The other medic, Jon, who was nowhere near as nice, but apparently had been talked to, came up to Ona with a flimsi and she looked at it. The healer shook her head and studied the scanners intently. Jina looked at her, then shook her head and waited. It didn't pay to rush healers. Jon went back to his equipment and Ona shook her head. She walked over to the bed.

“I need to physically verify something." Ona said in a wonderful bedside voice. "Can I...?” Jina lay back and waved for Ona to approach. Ona was gentle and careful as she palpated the human's abdomen. Then she stood back with a frown. “You say they had to remove the ovaries?”

“So I was told." Jina admitted, she was still not sure how she felt about that. "What's wrong?” Ona shook her head, perplexed.

“You have two healthy ones.” Teh healer said dubiosuly. Jina froze. She shook her head slowly.

“I saw the scans in the Enclave." Jina was stunned. "One of the healers was worried about infections from the surgery.” She remembered Nolikas worrying. “They were gone...” Ona shook her head slowly.

“You have small surgical scars on your abdomen, as well as the healed wound. So they did remove them, so where did these two come from?” Jina snorted and Ona shook her head. “I know, I know. I am the healer, but... This is strange. You have none of the signs of a transplant. You say they never figured out what the bug injected into you with the eggs?” Jina shivered and Ona sat down beside her bed. When Jina spoke it was quiet.

“They identified parts of it. Part was a stronger version of the drug I was given in drink and when I was fed. Part was the eggs and fluid. The other part was something no one had seen before. Samples were taken from my abdomen, around the wound. But when they were analyzed, no one could figure out what they were. I was sick the whole time, I didn't...” She broke off and Ona put a furred hand on hers.

“What's wrong Jina?” Ona asked, trying to keep the Jedi calm. Jina slumped. Jina slumped, afraid. She focused her mind and spoke quietly.

“The head healer said it might be some kind of DNA recoder.” Jina raised the hand that Ona wasn't holding as Ona was about to speak. “I know it's not supposed to be possible, but...” Ona slumped.

“I will need to do more tests. It is possible, but very, very hard.” Jina stared at her. “The way we have seen it... It requires Sith alchemy and massive amounts of Dark Side energy. So it is rarely done these days. But we have seen it.” Jina shook her head and spoke quietly.

“Is it possible then, that I will turn into one of those things?” Ona looked at her and didn't speak. That was all the answer Jina needed. She sat up slowly. Ona looked at her and shook her head.

“You are still too weak to move around a lot...” Ona said gently. Jina snarled as she threw her legs over the edge of the bed.

“I only need to make it to the closest airlock.” Jian snapped. She would not let the bugs win. Ona froze. Then she moved in front of Jina. Her hands remained at her sides, but her face was sad.

“No." Ona said soberly. "We can find a solution that doesn't involve you taking a long walk out an airlock.” Jina shook her head, but her body was still very weak. She managed to make it to her feet, but she knew if she tried to move away from the support of the bed, she would collapse. Ona just looked at her. “Jina. We will find a solution.”

For the first time in a very long time, Jina slumped and surrendered to her despair. She collapsed back onto the bed sobbing. A moment later a warm body was sitting beside her and warm hands were holding her. Ona's voice was gentle as she held the trembling Jedi. Jina thought for a moment that this was probably one for the record books, a Sith trying to calm a Jedi.

“I know you are scared. I can feel it. Its my gift and curse. Jina...” Ona stroked the older woman's head, smoothing the hair that was rumpled from the scanners. “We need to figure out what is going on with you and why. Then, we can make a decision. If... If you decided to... seek an end. No one would gainsay your choice, but please... Wait until I have exhausted all possibilities.” Jina trembled as the woman held her. Then she slowly relaxed.

“Some Jedi, huh?” Jina's words were quiet and sad. But Ona tipped her jaw up so Jina had to look at the Bothan, who smiled sadly.

“If anyone has a right to be scared silly, you do." Ona said sharply. "I have only seen records of those things. And they terrify me. I have never seen them in person. And you were impregnated by one. You have a right to be angry and afraid, but be careful. The Dark Side lurks close in those emotions.” Jina nodded. She focused herself again and calmed herself, slowly.

“Thank you Ona.” Jina's thanks were heartfelt. The Bothan hugged Jina again.

“I will find answers for you. I don't know if they will be the answers we want, but I will find answers for you.” Jina sighed and lay back as Ona hopped off the bed and returned to her scanners. “Now that I have some idea what I am looking for, I can narrow the field a bit...”

<Four hours later>

Jina was tired of scanners, tired of tests, but she was not about to ask Ona to stop. This was too important. At Ona's direction, she had focused her Force sense into herself and been astounded at what she had seen. She had looked at herself through the Force in the past, but things were different now. She was different. But she and Ona still had no idea what was changing or why. It was a relief however, when the huge Barabel known as Mama Lizard came in and Jina smiled at the Lizard, but Mama didn't smile back.

“We need to talk...”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here