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(L,F&E 76) Perchance to Fall


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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 03:19 AM | #1
Jedi Knight Jina Darkstorm was, in a word, bored. If there was one thing that she had never been very good at, it was sitting around. She had always been an active person, exercising, practicing, working out, training. But now, she was stuck in this chair. She stared resentfully at the long cast that enclosed her right leg. The damage to her knee had been extensive to say the least. Two highly skilled healers had spent some time repairing the damage that an agent of Imperial Intelligence had done to her. But now, she was apparently home.

Jina shook her head slowly as she looked around. The room she was sitting in was almost completely bare. A desk, a chair, a bed and the wheeled chair she was ensconced in on were the only furniture in the room. But it didn’t fell bare. It felt…right. She looked at the datapad that held the holo novel she had been reading and grimaced. She needed to answer the call of nature again. Such a pain. She tossed the holo novel onto the bed with a sigh and wheeled her chair towards the refresher. Maybe this time, she could do it without help. She paused at the door. It was too narrow for her chair to pass, and there wasn’t space to turn it in there anyway, so she levered herself out of the chair carefully, using the wall in front of her as an additional balance point, trying to keep her weight off her injured leg. The Force helped, but the stab of pain that resulted when she inadvertently banged her hurt knee lightly against the wall brought tears to her eyes and shattered her control. She hissed a little as she landed on the toilet, but then managed to do her business in silence. She was just finishing up when the door to her room opened and her mother came in.

Emily Hollian Darkstorm’s face was sad. “Jina…” She said in a long suffering tone. The older woman sighed. “How bad does it hurt now?” She asked carefully as she came to the door of the refresher.

"Mom..." Jina was almost forty years old, a highly respected Jedi master, and a master of lightsaber combat. It never ceased to amaze her how this woman could make her feel less than a centimeter tall. “I didn’t want to bother you.”

Emily shook her head and her face was serene. “Jina, I know you are bored. But…” the older Jedi’s eyes were serene, but her sense in the Force was sad. “You hurt yourself every time you do that. I…” She broke off, as if unsure. “Oh, Jina…” She entered the small room, knelt and held out her arms to the younger Jedi. To her daughter.

"Mom." Jina shook her head, but embraced her mother. “I am sorry, Mother. I just… I feel so odd. The Dark Side is lurking close, I know that. And I am afraid. I don’t want to be weak.”

"Weak?" Emily laughed a bit sourly. “In what crazy alternate universe are you weak, Jina?” She gave the younger woman a squeeze. “Jina, let go. Let go, Jina, you are in no danger here. I won’t let anything happen to you again, daughter.” She buried her face in Jina’s hair, which was growing out now and hugged her hurt daughter tight.

"I..." The younger Jedi shook her head. “Emily… Mom… No… I can’t. I am attaching. I shouldn’t. Attach that is… I shouldn’t attach. I shouldn’t be here. I know that.”

"Jina, Jina, Jina…" Emily sighed and stroked her daughter’s hair, and her voice was gently calming. “It’s okay. It’s okay. You are in pain and stressed.” Against her will, Jina relaxed. This was her mother, something in her responded to the woman’s gentleness. Emily waited until Jina was calm before speaking again. “How bad is it now, Jina?”

"Didn't want to use the Force, and... Well..." Jina grimaced a little as she contemplated her leg in its cast. “I bashed it against the door frame.” She slumped. “I didn’t want to bother you.”

Emily sighed and tweaked her daughter’s nose. “Well, you didn’t really. I was coming with news for you.” Jina stared at her and Emily smiled. “Yes. Melita is awake, and asking about you.” Jina’s face lit up and she would have risen, except Emily held her down. “Oh, no… young lady. The doc first.”

Jina stiffened. “Emily… Mom… I…”

"No." Emily shook her head. “No arguing, daughter. I know you do not trust Nuin and I know why. But Ecien vouches for her and will be there. So will I.”

"I..." Jina was floating now as the Force picked her up in a gentle embrace. “I am scared, Mom.” She said quietly. Emily guided Jina to the chair and set her down in it gently.

"I know." Emily nodded and stroked Jina’s hair again as she turned the chair slowly towards the door. “Got your blank look ready? Wouldn’t do for a prisoner on the way to interrogation to be happy now, would it?” She asked and Jina snorted as she slotted her wrists into the fake restraints attached to the arms of the chair. Then Jina hung her head low as the pair passed out of the room into a large corridor that seemed to be filled with Sith troops in uniform and armor. Emily hung her head low was well. Four of the armored troops formed up silently around Emily and Jina. The group walked with them towards a bank of elevators in the distance. Not until the elevators closed did anyone speak.

One of the troopers spoke, a female. “Jina, are you okay?” She sounded anxious.

"Yes." Jina smiled, she liked the trooper, the girl’s name was Mioa. “Mioa, just banged my knee again.”

"Ow." Mioa winced in sympathy. “I wish I could help, Jina. But with all the activity here now, well…”

Jina nodded in sympathy. The Empire had apparently discovered that Emily and Dargon’s troops were of higher quality than the normal run of the mill cannon fodder. So Dargon had been ‘asked’ to start an academy for troops on his land. And when the Emperor ‘asked’ something, it happened. A number of Sith had been nosing about, trying to figure out HOW Dargon did what he did, but so far they had gone away empty handed. The few Sith who had managed to penetrate the family’s outer shell of deception had been quietly adjusted and sent away. That in and of itself was scary enough for Sith. For someone to do that and NOT kill them spoke of power, massive power. Most Sith left Dargon alone now. So the only Sith the family had to worry about were the very powerful ones, which had its own share of problems, but they were coping. And now, the probes had eased off. After all, who would want to tangle with someone who had managed to enslave not one, but two Jedi? Not that Emily or Jina actually were enslaved by anything but love.

Jina reached out and patted the girl trooper’s arm where the armor was thin. “It will be all right, Miao. Just keep doing what you are doing and keep your eyes and ears open.”

The trooper gave Jina’s hand a squeeze and then resumed her post. It wouldn’t do for any listeners to see her acting non-soldier-like, now would it? The door opened and Jina bowed her head again as if in a stupor as Emily guided the chair out of the elevator and towards the family section of the secure part of the facility. This was, of course, the most heavily guarded area. No less than three blast door checkpoints separated the family compound from the Academy that had grown up over the last few years. The Sith thought that Dargon liked his secrecy while he practiced enslaving people, like any good paranoid Sith. The truth was far different.
Jina smiled as she entered the main bay of the family compound. Around her children were drilling in military formation, with one of the teenagers acting as drill instructor. Two other young children were Force sensitive and were practicing meditation near one wall, both floating a good half meter off the ground. The four troops took their helmets off and smiled as they walked towards their own quarters.

"I will. Um..." Miao stayed a moment. Jina looked her over, and liked what she saw. The girl’s black hair was cut short and her dark eyes were worried. “Do you want a friendly face with you, Jina?” The girl asked quietly.

"Thanks." Jina smiled back and patted the girl’s arm again. “I have braved the doc’s wrath before. But I do have physical therapy. You don’t want to be around me while I do that.” Mioa smiled and nodded as she strode off towards a shower and sleep.

Jina sighed as Emily wheeled her across the small compound. Emily looked at her daughter and smiled sadly. “Why so great a sigh, Jina?”

"I... I feel..." Jina shook her head. “This is where I grew up, but I don’t remember it. I feel… on occasion, I feel things, about things…but I don’t remember it. I wish I did.”

"Well..." Emily blew out her breath in a long stream. “It was not all fun and games, Jina. Parts of it were horrible. When you came back from the academy… I…” She shook her head. “Jedi should not attach, but that does not mean we cannot love. It is hard, probably the single hardest lesson a Jedi can learn. It took me some time to realize and I still have trouble. But we cannot be fixated on any single thing. So I love everyone.”

"I..." Jina blinked and her eyes burned a little. “Even the *****ly ones who insist on hurting themselves?”

Emily smiled kindly. “Yes, Jina. Especially those. Come on, girl. Time to face the music.” She wheeled the chair towards a door marked ‘Medical Ward’.

"She is going to be mad at me." Jina sighed and relaxed as best she could. “There are times when I truly wish I was a Sith…”

Emily smiled. “Easy is not for a Jedi, Jina. Never has been, never will be. But you have something to look forward too after.”

The hurt Jedi sighed. “Do I?” She asked carefully as the door hissed open in front of them and a large black nightmare unfolded from beside a bank of medical machinery. The bug staretd forward only to stop as Jina flinched.

"What the-?" Nuin was not happy. “You stupid girl! What have you done to yourself this time…”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 03:28 AM | #2
Jina fought with all her skill, all her focus, all her poise and ability, but it was beyond her. Eventually, her mouth cracked, just a little and a groan escaped. She snarled and focused herself again, trying with all her might to pass beyond her pain, beyond what the doc was doing to her leg. She had tears in her eyes and was biting her lip when the pain suddenly stopped. Her eyes shot open and she stared at where the black bug was withdrawing slightly. The black bug set her leg down slowly and carefully on the table the Jedi was lying on while the doc had been doing her examination and physical therapy on Jina’s hurt knee.

"Niun?" The Jedi managed a croak. “Hey... What…?”

A very human sounding sigh came from the large black bug. “Jina, you are too tense. I will hurt you.”

"What?" Jina had to laugh a bit sourly. “And what you have been doing hasn’t been hurting me?”

The large black bug seemed to collapse in on itself, no it was folding up, making itself smaller, lower than Jina. When Nuin spoke, it was quiet and matter of fact.

“Jina, if I do not move the knee it will lock up, and you will never be able to use it." The doc replied evenly. "But if I try and force it with you as tense as you are, I will hurt you, possibly permanently. I will not do that.” The quiet conviction in the doctor’s voice brought Jina up short.

The Jedi stared at the now small form of the doctor. “Nuin… I…”

"I will not hurt you." The doc sighed again and shook her antennae at the Jedi. “I understand your fear, better than you know, Jina Darkstorm. I know what my people did to you, what I remind you of. I want to help you and I can’t. What happened to you was my fault.” The shame in the doctor’s voice cut Jina to the quick.

"What?" Jina took a deep breath, and focused herself. When she spoke it was calm and clear. “What do you mean, Niun?”

"Jina." Niun didn’t move. “You and your father went to Tralus, to find one of my race. You found me, you took me. But I called for help before you disabled me. I fought as best I could, trying to buy time for warriors to come to my aid. They could not help me, but they overwhelmed you. You were taken from your family and your memory was erased because of me. They did what they did to you, because of me.”

"That's not..." Jina shook her head. When she spoke it was soft. “Niun, look at me, please.” She waited until the bug raised her head and looked Jina in the eyes with all six of hers. Jina spoke softly and with comfort in it. “It was not your fault. I apparently knew what we were doing was dangerous. Apparently I liked testing myself in dangerous situations. I don’t remember what happened, but I can see myself being stupid and careless. It wasn’t your fault. I… I want to get better Niun.” She held out her hand slowly. “And not just physically.”

Niun had tears in her voice when she spoke. “Jina… I…”

"Niun." Jina lay there, her hand outstretched. “I know now why Ecien left. Why my mom has not been back in. I need to get past this. This fear is unreasoning, a remnant of what I endured. You are not one of the ones who wiped my memory and were going to impregnate me.”

"Jina..." Niun shook her huge head. “Jina, you don’t understand. I remember, as if it were me doing it, what happened to you.” Jina froze in place at the sorrow in the doctor’s tone. “You were covered in chitin bandages, encased into the maker cocoon, but you were fighting. So tough, for a teenager, so strong. The queen commanded and… they…I….” The bug shuddered a bit. “You screamed… and then you were silent. I saw you then… Your face… It was blank, empty. I am sorry, Jina, I am so sorry.”

The sorrow in the bug’s voice had Jina nodding. “You were still in mental contact with them. But my father broke the link between you and your queen somehow after that, yes?”

Niun nodded. “Yes.” She said simply.

Jina sighed and left her hand sticking out. “It wasn’t you, Niun.” The Jedi nodded. “We both need to get past this. How about this, let’s talk while you work on my knee.”

The bug rose slowly, but did not approach. Her posture was low, lower than the table Jina was lying on. “Jina, the damage to the rest of your leg is almost as extensive as the damage to your knee. I know that Ona and Irene focused on fixing the knee, as they should, it was the worse off. But your bashing the leg has hurt it again. The bruising is very extensive and you have broken one of the bones as well. I can heal it… but…” She broke off as Jina hissed.

"Niun?" The Jedi worked to keep her voice calm. “You would need to put me in a cocoon, wouldn’t you?”

"Yes." Niun made a very human sounding sigh again. “I can heal the damage in a matter of hours that way. But it would drive you mad after what you have endured. I can put just your leg in a cocoon. It will heal faster than normal, but you won’t be able to move at all for a time. At least a day. Probably two.”

"Hmmm." Jina blinked, and then spoke carefully. “How quickly would it work, if you did put me in a Maker?”

"No." Niun shook her head. “Jina no…”

Jina persisted however, her face intent. “How long, Niun?”

"No, I won't do that to you." The bug shook her head and came a little closer. “Jina, listen to me. The makers were designed as healing devices. I can create them, I can manipulate them, I can't change them. If I put you in one, the sensations will be exactly the same as when you were a prisoner of my people both times. I won’t do that to you. Not…not again…” The sadness in the bug’s voice had Jina almost in tears.

Jina dropped her hand to her side and was shaking her head and about to retort when a soft and weak voice spoke from nearby.

“Master Darkstorm… She is right.” Both Jina and Niun turned to look at another table nearby. Jina tensed as she realized what she had thought was a blanket covered a slumbering form was actually someone in a cocoon. The voice spoke again. “Niun… can I roll to face her?”

Niun snarled softly. “Ah, Min… What is it with you Jedi?” She asked rhetorically. She walked to the table and gently rolled the cocoon so that the face of the hurt Jedi padawan was visible. “Easy does it, Min. You should still be asleep. That hemorrhage was massive, I am glad I was in time.”

Jina blinked. “Hemorrhage?” She asked slowly.

Min sighed but her eyes were bright and clear as she looked at Jina. “Yes, I overdid my exercises and tore something inside. I don’t know exactly what happened, but both Michael and Niun were annoyed with me. I guess it was a bad thing.”

"Bad?" Niun snorted and her voice was sour now. “When you have a small tear in one of the arteries that feed off the lower aorta, yes, it is a bad thing.” Jina tensed at that, but had to smile at the bug’s tone. She sounded just like every other healer Jina had known at that moment. “When you don’t tell anyone about the pain, that is a worse thing. Luckily I am good with human anatomy these days. But you very nearly did die, young lady so you are going back to sleep, clear?” She rolled Min in the cocoon onto her back and did something at the side of it.

Min’s voice was fuzzy, but she managed words. “I am sorry, Niun. But… Jina… You need a clear head, especially now. Your fear called to me, Master Darkstorm. I… I want to help.” The kindness in the young Jedi’s words brought Jina up short.

"You have." The elder Jedi’s voice was soft when she spoke. “You have, Min. Sleep and get better, girl.” She watched as Nuin stroked the cocoon, maybe in tenderness, maybe doing something, it was hard to tell. And then she felt Min’s consciousness fade as the girl fell asleep. She waited until Niun stepped back before speaking again quietly. “Niun…”

The bug looked at her. “Yes, Jina?”

The Jedi took a moment to calm herself further before speaking again. “If you do this, I will still need physical therapy, won’t I?”

"Yes." The bug nodded. “I am afraid so. I can heal the damage, but the body will need recovery time as well as training to use its parts again, with the new limits.”

"Okay." Jina nodded and looked at where her right leg sat on the table, the puffy swollen area around her knee made her want to gag, but she relaxed as best she could. “Cocoon the legs. Wait… if you do that… How will I use the refresher…?”

Niun had a smile in her voice as she approached slowly, a soft pasty like substance in her small claws. “Trust me, Jina.”

Jina blinked and then smiled. “I do.” Because for the first time, she wasn’t afraid. Well, she was, but she did trust Niun.

"I don't like this, but it is the best choice." Niun was close enough to touch now, and stopped. “This is going to feel really icky, Jina. There is a reason we knock people out before doing this, and block their senses. But, like I say, I won’t do that to you. I won’t take control from you.”

Jina had to laugh. “’Icky’? is that a proper technical medical term?” In response, Niun laid the pasty substance on Jina’s leg and the Jedi watched, open mouthed as it squirmed and grew. The feelings were… Jina snorted sourly. “Yep, I guess it is…”
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 03:39 AM | #3
Jina was cold, but the arms that held her were warm. She ran her hands along the Twi’lek’s back as the being known as Melita held the Jedi tight and cried. Jina smiled sadly and spoke in a calming tone. “Its okay, Melita. It’s okay.”

Jina was sitting up in a comfortable bed, and a good thing, since her body was completely immobilized from the waist down. It still creeped her a bit out, seeing the large gray mass where her legs were supposed to be, but she could still feel them. Niun had not dulled the sensations completely, and while the feelings were as the doc had said, icky, they were something Jina could deal with. And Jina had control of her body still, so she wasn’t caught up in her nightmarish memories. She had been trying to categorize her feelings, her thoughts and fears, when the door had opened and her mother had come in followed by a blue skinned Twi’lek in a patient gown. And then Jina’s world had dissolved into a mass of tears and hugs.

Eventually, both women had cried enough and Meilta sat on the edge of Jina’s bed, holding her former lover’s hand. For her part, Jina just looked at her friend, trying to see deep into her, and not liking what she saw. Finally, Jina spoke softly.

“Melita… What happened?”

"Oh Jina... Oh my heart..." The Twi’Lek known as Mi’Ta to Imperial Intelligence and Melita to Jina, sighed deeply and shook her head. Her lekku trailed down along Jina’s arms slowly. She smiled a bit sadly. “I got stupid is what happened. I trusted people I shouldn’t have. I sent in my report on Special Branch’s research. And then I was reassigned, I remember telling you about that. I thought it was for my protection. Silly me…”

"Yeah." Jina nodded. “I remember our last night together. I had a bad feeling, but thought it was just about you leaving. Then some major came by two days later and said you had been killed in the line of duty. I pressed and he had no information. He was just a delivery boy. I was…not polite with him.”

"It was probably the truth as they knew it." The Twi’lek nodded. “I was reassigned. To Special Branch.” Jina gasped in horror and Melita nodded again. “Yeah, they did not appreciate my investigations into their activities. They took me by surprise, stunned me, interrogated me, tortured me for a while, and then they chained me up to the wall of a mine shaft and flooded it. I guess their idea was ‘natural causes’. Maybe put my body in an airspeeder that they crash into a lake or ocean somewhere afterwards. Or maybe not, maybe they just would have left me there. Maybe it was all they had available on short notice, I don’t know. I expected to freeze -that water was cold- or drown. All I could feel was the cold, cold that turned warm eventually. All I could see was your face the last time we made love…” She caressed Jina’s face tenderly. “But just before I froze to death, he found me.”

Jina blinked and then her face went hard. “Vorren.”

"Yes." Melita sighed and nodded. “Vorren. He offered me revenge on Special Branch. I told him to flarg off, I knew what he was. But then…” She was shuddering and Jina pulled the other woman close again. “He told me that Special Branch had killed you. I was so mad… I couldn’t see straight. He cut me loose, drugged me and took me back to his home. Apparently I was a special project of his. He and his wife worked on me for a while. I don’t remember everything they did to me. I wasn’t…I wasn’t lucid. I mean, as far as I knew, my sole reason for living was dead.” Jina hugged her friend again and Melita returned it. “I fell into a big black mental pit, Jina and I couldn’t get out. I… I didn’t want to. And by the time I found out you were alive, I was so messed up, I had no idea at all what was truth and what was fiction. Lorna and Musano Vorren were kind to me, but… They wanted information. Information I would not give them. So they… They…” Melita was shuddering hard now and Jina held her tight.

Jina’s voice was soft. “They brainwashed you.” It wasn’t really a question. Melita nodded, unable to speak. “Oh, Melita…” Jina stroked her friend’s head and lekku. Meliita tensed and then relaxed as Jina’s hands found sensitive spots. “We will help you.”

“I don’t think you can, Jina.” Melita grimaced a little. “Part of me is still a loyal servant of the Empire. Part of me is trying to figure out a way to escape. To get as much information as possible before running and reporting. I don’t think Ecien can undo all of it. But all of me is still in love with you.”

Jina blinked and then looked at the female who was sitting beside her. “What if… What if I was not affiliated with the Republic? What then?”

Melita smiled a bit sadly. “Jian, you are a Jedi… You are always going to be…” She broke off as Jina expression changed. “What?” She asked as Jina’s face fell.

"You don't have all the information." The Jedi’s voice was soft now. “I am not affiliated with the Order any more, Melita. I don’t know if you heard… but I was sort of… well.” Jina sighed and spoke quickly. “I ran when they wanted to confine me. I am a renegade now. Ecien’s people found me, rescued me from a horrid fate. I have joined them.”

Meliat blinked and then smiled. “Well, in that case, if these people are not affiliated with the Republic… Then… hmm… We might be able to make this work. But…in that case, Jina, you would have to talk to Vorren.”

Jina’s face went still and Melita froze in place. “Melita, if I talk to him, I am going to tear his throat out with my bare hands. For what he did to me, for what he did to you, for what he wants to do to other friends of mine, I will kill him.” The Jedi’s voice was soft, but totally matter of fact. She meant every word. Melita stared at her and then nodded slowly.

The Twi’lek sighed. “Jina, he is my Boss. I do not have the authority to negotiate. He does.”

Jina smiled and stroked her friend’s head again. “Ah well, let’s let tomorrow take care of tomorrow. For today, I have you back, my heart and that is all that matters.”

Melita smiled and lowered herself to lie beside Jina. “Yes, my heart. Let us be thankful for what we have. And since you cannot move, I have you at my mercy at long last, Jedi wench!” She leaned over Jina and then was on top of the Jedi, kissing her.

"Oh?" Jina smirked as she used leverage to tilt Melita off of her and then rolled herself on top of the Twi’lek. “Who has who at whose mercy?” She asked sweetly.

Unseen by either of them, the door to the room opened and closed. Emily was smiling a bit sadly as she left the room.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 03:47 AM | #4
Jina did not have to fake her fear. She was terrified. Niun had removed the covering from her legs and the Jedi had been utterly amazed at how good her injured leg felt, even if it looked worse than ever. Even kolto could not heal as quickly as the Sitolon methods could. Melita had held Jina’s hand while Niun had worked. The agent was kind, funny and utterly devoted to Jina now. The brainwashing that Vorren had done to Melita had been negated, or at least alleviated, by what Ecien had done. Jina was happy to have her friend and lover back. But now, the Jedi was scared.

When her mother and father had proposed this lunacy, Jina had been very unsure of it. Now she was incredibly unsure. Part of that was her current situation. Being strapped to a cold examination table was never a comfortable feeling. Being strapped to a cold examination table wearing nothing but medical sensors with tubes stuck up various parts of her anatomy and with an odd helmet thing over her head that had cold electrodes pressing against her scalp? That was downright terrifying.

She did not have full control of her body either. Niun had been adamant. She did not want Jina hurting herself in her anger, so the doc had prescribed a strong tranquilizer. It was enough to keep Jina docile, but not enough to knock her out. Pity, she would have preferred to be unconscious for this. She tensed as voices were to her ears. She sighed and focused on what Dargon had told her to do, what he had spent an hour coaching her to do. Not that it was going to be hard, to act angry and terrified.

Vorren sounded groggy, but was obviously trying to act respectful. “… and I mean no offense, Lord Dargon, but I do need to get back to my mission.”

"Of course." Jina’s father replied in a cold, clear tone. “I understand, agent. I will not hinder your mission, as it was given by Imperial decree. Your ship is on its way here. When I spoke to them last, they said their ETA was eighteen hours.”

Vorren sounded a bit distressed now. “Milord… may I ask why you did what you did? Why you attacked us?”

"Attack?" Dargon laughed, a sinister sound. “I did not attack you agent, I disabled you. If I had attacked you, none of your people would be breathing. But I had to retrieve my subject before it terminated.”

Vorren sounded unsure. “Your… subject…?” He asked carefully.

"Yes, my subject." Dargon had an evil smile in his voice when he spoke. “Come see.”

The door hissed open and Jina’s father entered, garbed all in black as befitted a Lord of the Sith. Cipher Agent Vorren of Imperial Intelligence followed, garbed in a patient gown and looking as if he had just woken. Of course, since he had been in carbonite, he had just woken not very long ago. He entered the room and froze on seeing Jina in the bed. Her eyes lit on him, but she was too weak to do anything but snarl. Of course the tube down her throat did not allow her to make any other noises.

"Idiot girl." Dargon sighed. “Still rebellious, are we, slave? Ah well…You will learn again.” He raised a hand and blue white energy flew from it. Jina tensed, but when it touched her, it didn’t hurt. It tingled. And something spoke in her head. Scream, Jina, loudly and jerk like you are being electrocuted. It was her father’s voice.

Jina fought the restraints for a moment and then screamed into the tube in her mouth before collapsing back onto the table, gasping in pain and fear that was not feigned. Her leg hurt like hell. Vorren watched the supposed casual cruelty with dispassion, and then he nodded. “The name was noted, the same as yours. She is yours?”

"Yes, agent." Dargon nodded. “I lost this slave on Tralus, many years ago. I believed it dead. Little did I know the Jedi had found it and taken it. I put a great deal of effort into this one, and when I had the chance to get it back on Correllia, I took it. Your team was in the way, agent. I apologize for the inconvenience, but I trust you were not overly bothered.”

"Ah..." Vorren stared from the nude, restrained Jedi to the man in black. “No, milord, I was not.” What else could he say? He shook his head slightly. “May I ask how you did it? Professional curiosity, you understand.”

"One professional to another?" Dargon smiled thinly. “Imperial Intelligence is on the right track, agent. But their methods are… well...barbaric.”

Vorren nodded slowly. “We lack the Force, so we have to use other methods.”

"Other methods." Dargon snarled at him and Vorren actually winced. Dargon’s voice, while still cold, rang like thunder with the sheer outrage in it. “Other methods? What possessed you to use a hammer on my slave’s knee? A hammer? Of all the sloppy interrogation techniques! That one has to be the worst I have seen since I was an apprentice. It will take months of rehab and training before she can walk again! Months, agent! And such a waste of time and energy…” His outrage was not over the damage done, Jina realize, but the inefficiency. The sheer cold malice in Dargon’s voice had her shuddering.

Vorren nodded and his voice was clinical. “I didn’t have a lot of time. If I had, I would have used gentler methods, but the Jedi were closing in. We needed answers and we needed them right then. I won’t apologize for my methods. Imperial Intelligence uses whatever we can.”

Dargon trailed hand along Jina’s arm and she did not have to fake a shudder as the cold fingers stroked her. Now his voice was also clinical. “Yes, the drugs, the electricity, the sensory deprivation tanks… These work, to a degree. If all you want is a mindless robot, that is easy. But if you want the subject to be compliant, willing even, it takes time and effort. You saw Emily.”

"I did." Vorren nodded slowly. “I have to say, milord, that is…impressive. To have a Jedi under your control for so long is most impressive indeed. Speaking as a fellow professional.”

Dargon nodded and then sighed. “There are parts of my techniques that unfortunately, I have been unable to reproduce with any regularity. Hopefully with this subject returned, I can refine my experiments.” The helmet on Jina’s head gave a tingle and she screamed into the tube in her mouth again as electricity touched her. It didn’t actually hurt though. Dargon stroked Jina’s arm again. “There, there, young one. It will be over soon and you will be free again. Free of that ignorant foolishness the Jedi put in your head.” Jina screwed up her face and felt her eyes start to burn. Dargon snarled. “Weak willed fool.” He slapped her across the face. “It is going to take weeks to undo what the Jedi did to you.” The slap didn’t actually hurt.

"Um..." Vorren actually shuddered at the cold tone of voice the supposed Sith Inquisitor used. “Milord, I had some questions that needed answers.” His tone was respectful, and almost scared.

Dargon looked at him and smiled. Only a fool would have called it friendly. “I see. I think we can oblige you.” Something happened and Jina gagged as the tube withdrew from her mouth. “Agent, what do you want to know?”

Agent Vorren nodded slowly. “Who leads the Bladeborn now?” He asked carefully.

Jian struggled in her bonds and snarled at him. “Go to…” She screamed again as the electricity flowed again, not enough to hurt, just enough to tingle. But she convulsed in her restraints anyway, something made her jerk as if being electrocuted. It didn’t hurt, but she was sure it should have. She was sure something would after this.

"Now now, girl." Dargon’s voice was kindly now, like an old man who was trying to help. “Don't backslide. None of that. Answer the agent’s question and your pain will end.”

Jina snarled at him. “I won’t help you!”

Vorren looked at Dargon, who sighed. “Ah, girl. Always the hard way. So be it.” He touched her on the back of the head and Jina screamed again and stiffened in place. Dargon’s kind voice spoke in her head. Easy, Jina, let me do this. It will sound more realistic coming from you this way. I won’t hurt you, girl.

Jian felt her mouth open and heard her voice speak. But it was a monotone. “The Bladeborn have no leader. They are currently having a tournament to discover who is worthy. They are in hiding until they have that settled.”

Vorren recoiled slightly. “A tournament? Of all the…” He shook his head. “Well, that puts paid to finding them. If they stay hidden, no one will. Some of the lower ranks have been found, but none have been taken alive. Personally, I don’t think it is going to happen, no matter if the Emperor decreed they be taken alive.”

Dargon looked at the agent. “Are you disagreeing with an Imperial decree, agent?” He asked mildly.

Vorren shook his head. “No. No matter my wishes, I have my orders. I will follow my orders. Whether I believe the Bladeborn were capable of betraying the Empire or not is immaterial. I do need to get the information on Trugoy’s demise to higher authority though.”

The Inquisitor nodded as he removed his hand from Jina’s head. “We have an intelligence liaison at the academy. Well, actually she is posing as the janitor.” He laughed coldly. “How… unoriginal.”

Vorren sighed. “I apologize for our scrutiny, Lord Dargon, but you have to admit… This…” he waved a hand at where Jina lay gasping now. “…is impressive.”

Dargon’s voice sounded in Jina’s head again. Now Jina…

Jina snarled at him. “I will kill you… I will kill you both!” She shuddered as something happened and her body seemed to get both heavier and lighter at the same time. Drugged?

Dargon sighed and his hand traced her cheek, and then electricity flared again. She screamed again and then slumped in her bonds. “Sleep girl. We will continue this when you are stronger.” He led Vorren out of the room speaking in lower tones. “Do you need anything else, agent?”

Vorren was shaking his head. “I need to speak with my team as soon as possible, determine what…” The door hissed shut, leaving Jina alone. The machinery that held her retracted into the wall and she lay quiet.

Dargon came back in a few minutes later and as soon as the door closed, his face broke out in a huge smile. “Oh, Jina, you were marvelous!” Jina was shuddering as he released her from the restraints and gently pulled out the other tubes. She tensed as he produced a hypo, and then relaxed as the lethargy that had suffused her vanished. She was crying as her father pulled her into an embrace. “It’s okay, Jina. It’s done. He thinks you are an experimental subject. And he thinks the Bladeborn are leaderless. Well done, girl.”

"Don't..." Jina threw her arms around her father as he covered her with a blanket and tried not to cry. “Don’t make me do that again, please?”

Dargon sighed. “I will certainly do my best not to Jina, but you of all people know that nothing in life is certain. Come on, let’s get you to Niun. Even fake convulsions and shocks will have hurt you.”

Jina nodded as he helped her to her feet. “Where is Vorren?” She asked in a quiet voice.

Dargon shook his head. “Back in his cell. I won’t let you near him, girl.”

Jina shook her head, hissing as her bare feet touched the cold floor and then relaxing as her father pulled a wheeled chair from a closet. She sat and he covered her with another blanket. “Don’t tell me you care if I kill him.” She said quietly.

"You know better than that." Dargon sighed and shook his head. “I couldn’t care less about him, Jina. I care about you. If you do that, girl… You know what will happen. And your mother will seriously hurt me if I let you fall.”

Jina blinked and then laughed. “Wuss.”

"Jina." Dargon smiled fondly. “You haven’t seen Emily angry yet…”
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08.11.2012 , 03:55 AM | #5
Jina did yet another slow movement, careful to move her leg in only the prescribed manner. The fact that Niun was standing nearby and watching her like a huge spider eyeing prey made the Jedi very careful. The bug had been very unhappy with Jina’s condition after the charade to fool Imperial Agent Vorren. She had spent twenty minutes berating Jina, Dargon, Vorren and a host of other people while she had worked on healing the damage that had been done to the Jedi’s body. Jina winced as pain shot through her leg, but continued the exercise, bending the knee just as much as Niun had told her to. Something went crack and she froze. It didn’t hurt, but…

Niun was at her side in an instant. “Let me see, Jina…” Jina didn’t move, acknowledging the stab of terror that flew through her as the large black bug loomed over her. She acknowledged it and let it pass her by. She wasn’t afraid of Niun now, usually anyway. The bug took her right leg in both small manipulators. Sitolon had four arms, two for heavy lifting and fighting, two for more dexterous work. All of Niun’s hands were gentle as she manipulated the leg carefully. The two heavy claws held the leg gently in place and the two small hand like claws were slowly moving the leg to full extension. Jina hissed as something hurt, but then the pain faded. Niun’s voice was soft and satisfied now. “There we go… Better? Try it again.” She asked gently as she laid the leg down and backed up a step to give Jina space.

Jina moved her leg again, slowly, and in the prescribed pattern. This time it didn’t hurt. She smiled at the bug. “Yes. Better. What was the crack?”

"Ah..." Niun sighed. It always amazed Jina how human the bug sounded. “Ona and Irene did a magnificent job of repairing your knee. “ She patted Jina’s leg gently. “But parts of the leg healed a bit wrong. The fact that you keep using the leg when you shouldn’t is probably the main cause. The convulsions you went through, even faked, stressed the leg as well. There is a bone spur that seems to have grown in a bad place.” Her claws touched Jina again, this time over the knee. “I can…” The bug broke off as she felt the knee carefully. Jina bit back a scream as something hurt badly and Niun froze. “Jina…?”

"Ugh..." Jina took several deep breaths before replying. She passed beyond her pain and spoke calmly. “There is a great deal of pain in that spot, Niun.” The bug manipulated the knee again and the Jedi winced, but managed to keep from crying out as the pain redoubled.

Niun cursed softly, and Jina hid a smile. The bug had been around humans for some time and mannerisms had been assumed. The insectoid healer shook her head.

“Jina, it is a bone spur, and it is pressing into the knee joint itself." Niun said with a shake of her torso. "You will need surgery to correct that. I believe it has grown since you have been here… I don’t remember feeling that on any of my other examinations. I can’t do anything with that until the rest of your injuries are healed. It is going to keep hurting.” Niun said quietly as she laid the leg back down. “I am going to prescribe something for the pain.”

"No need." Jina shook her head. “I can handle it, Niun, now that I know what it is.”

The bug snorted. “Of course you can. But why should you?” Jina stared at her and Niun laughed sourly. “Jina, you are not alone anymore. You are not in this alone. You do not have to do it all alone.” The kindness in the bug’s tone brought Jina up short.

"I..." The Jedi stared at Niun and she felt her eyes burn. She pulled her emotions out and looked at them. Yes, she had been trying to keep everyone at a distance. It was what she did. For very good reasons. “Niun… No… I can’t…”

The bug laid both of her small manipulators on Jina’s closest arm and her voice was as gentle as her touch when she spoke. “Jina… We are here for you. We will not let you fall. You can let go here, Jina. We will help you. It is what family does. Come on, let’s get you dressed.”

Jina was shaking her head as she pulled the patient gown off and stared clambering into what looked like a prison jumpsuit. She wasn’t body shy and Niun was a healer, so while it was uncomfortable, it was not embarrassing. “Niun, there are perfectly valid reasons why I have to remain in control. At the moment, my emotions are teetering all over the place. I have to stay clear, I have to stay focused. Or bad things will happen.”

Niun’s voice was soft now as she helped the Jedi move her feet into the legs of the suit. “I understand your fear, Jina. I don’t have the Force… Well, not enough to train. According to you Jedi, everyone has it.”

Jina smiled at the bug’s sour tone. It was part envy and part relief. “Everything living, yeah.” She gasped as her leg hurt, but allowed Niun to pull the legs of the suit on. Jina lay back, working past the pain and then she sighed. “Sheesh, that is not fun…”

Niun pulled the Jedi’s feet out the bottom of the suit and patted the woman’s head. “You are doing great, Jina. Most of my patients would be screaming at me or trying to hit me by now.”

Jina gave the bug an evil smile. “Do you want me to?” She asked in a sweet tone.

Niun laughed. “You… are bad, girl. I like you, but…Sheesh. No, I prefer you the way you are. Come on, girl, time for the rest of your therapy.” Jina did not move as Niun scooped her up and then gently deposited her in the wheeled chair that was slowly becoming the bane of the Jedi’s existence. “As I was saying, Jina, I understand why you don’t want to open up. But the anger you feel can and will fester, girl. You know this.”

"I do, but..." Jina sighed and nodded. She turned the chair towards the door, but stopped and Niun moved away for a moment, only to come back with a hypo in a claw. “Niun…” Jina slumped and her tone was resigned. “I take it you are going to insist.”

Niun’s voice was gentle as she waited for Jina to calm. “Jina, pain will slow your recovery. Every moment you spent passing beyond your pain is a moment you could have used for more productive means. I give you my word this will not make you fuzzy. All it will do is dull the pain, no more.” Jina sighed and then bared her shoulder in silence. Niun gave the injection and Jina relaxed as the pain she had been suppressing faded. “Good girl…” Niun crooned.

Jina laughed. “When you say that like that, I keep thinking I am a trained canine.”

Niun snorted in matching laughter. “No, you are not that well trained.” She recoiled in mock fear as Jina raised a mock threatening fist.

Jina reveled in her lack of pain for a moment and then sighed. “Next?”

Niun nodded and stepped to walk behind the chair. “Next.”

The two females walked in silence to another room that was set up nearby. Jina entered first with Niun following close. Inside, abed had been set up for long term care an in the bed lay a human male. His face was drawn and pale, but his eyes were alight when he looked up from his book to see Jina. “Good morning Jina, the wicked witch has finally released you from durance vile?”

Jina snickered as Niun sputtered. The bug finally spoke in a tone that was a direct mockery of a famous evil witch. “Hello, my pretty.” Both Jedi laughed and Niun had a smile in her voice. “Remind me to do something awful to you, Michael.”

Michael Jonal shifted a little in the bed that had been his home, and would be for the foreseeable future. He smiled. “Now why would I do that? You make my life as miserable as you can anyway.”

Niun laughed, but then sobered. “Any change?”

"I don't think so." Michael shook his head. “Tingles occasionally, but nothing more. I… Are you sure the nerves are alive?” he asked carefully.

Niun nodded and her voice was kind. “The nerves in your lower body and legs have been kept stimulated. The regeneration therapy will work, Michael. Give it time. Your spine was cut, Michael, that is not something that you can just fix by slapping a bandage on.”

"Yes." Michael sighed and nodded. “I know. I just keep hoping that something will change. Truth be told, I am bored since Min was sent to you. How is she?”

"She is better." Niun shook her head. “The damage is fixed and I will release her this afternoon. But she is not to exercise again until I am sure she is healed. And I think Emily wants to have a talk with her too.”

Jina stared from the bug to the bedridden Jedi in wonder as both shuddered. “What am I missing?” She asked quietly.

"Jina..." Michael smiled, but his eyes held worry. “Emily is a wonderful person, kind, loving, gentle, all that. But she is also, at heart a mother. And what do mothers do when their children do bad things?”

“Oh…They punish.” Jina blinked and then nodded slowly. “We are all her kids, right?”

Michael nodded. ‘Yeah, it’s not all bad, mind you. She is not violent. She just makes you feel about an inch tall and when she starts saying how ‘disappointed’ she is in you, you want to crawl under a rock and die.” His voice held rueful admiration and Jina nodded.

The female Jedi moved her chair close to Michael’s bed and sighed. “Time?”

Michael nodded and settled himself in the bed. “Fine by me. Are you ready, Jina?”

Jina sighed. “No. But let’s do this. I feel…” She thought hard for a moment. “Well, I feel somewhat less angry today. I worked through most of the issues that we talked about yesterday, and I am afraid. I know I am afraid, but not of what now.”

Michael nodded slowly. “Is it the unknown? Or something you recognize?”

Jina thought about that, trying to make sense of her emotions. “A little of both I think. There are elements that I recognize, but some that I don’t.” Jina didn’t look as Niun left the room, the healer had other things to do, and this was important. If Jina could not get a handle on her emotions, all kinds of bad things would result.

Micheal kept his face neutral. “Okay, let’s take them in turn. Take your time, Jina, we have all day if you need it. This is what I am here for, to help you.”

Jina blew out a deep breath and nodded. “Okay, I worked through my anger with Vorren. So why am I still getting flashes of pure rage when I think about him…?” This would be a long day.
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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 04:01 AM | #6
It was dark, it was cold. Those were the first things Jina sensed when she opened her eyes. But it was weird. Did she? What was going on? She was not in the bed she had lain down in after eating the really good meal that Emily had essentially dragged her to. Having a family took a great deal of getting used to. Jina had always been close to her friends in the Jedi Order, but this… This was so alien, and at the same time, so familiar that it hurt sometimes. The family had welcomed her with open arms. Emily, Dargon, the other younger children that Emily had adopted, and all of the various hangers on… It was a bit overwhelming at times. The little kids in particular looked at Jina with awe in their eyes and Jina found she enjoyed their company. Little kids had always bothered her a little for some reason. Even the young students at the various Jedi temples that she had studied at had bothered her a little and she had never been able to put her finger on why. She sighed quietly.

Her talks with Michael had been productive. She was calmer now than she had been for some time. She doubted that she would ever actually forget what Vorren had done to her, but she did understand it. She and Michael had worked through her feelings, pulling each out into the open where the two Jedi could examine them, discuss them and deal with them. Jina had spent a great deal of her time with Michael in tears and it bothered her greatly, this lack of control. Michael and Emily had both been very supportive of Jina, helping her to face her fears, deal with her infirmities and weaknesses. With their help, Jina had passed beyond what had happened to her, and had fallen asleep calm for the first time in weeks. And now she was here, wherever here was.

Jina looked around cataloguing her surroundings. She stood on a planet’s surface. Overhead, the sky was dark and stars were visible. So it was night. She was standing on a plain, around her there was nothing but hard packed grayish dirt. She reached down and touched it; it was cool to her touch. She looked at herself and nodded. Not a dream, a vision perhaps? She was wearing brown Jedi robes instead of the silver armor that the Sitolon had given her. Her lightsabers hung easily at her belt and she… She paused. Why was her belly big? She stared at it for a moment before putting her hand on her belly. She froze as something moved inside her. She was pregnant! She shook her head.

“A vision…” She said quietly. “A possible future…”

A calm voice answered her. “Yes, Jina. A possible future.” She spun in place to find a young woman standing there. Jina stared, she knew this woman! It was a young woman with black hair and green eyes, who wore silver armor very similar to Jina’s own.

"What the...?" Jina’s voice was quiet, scared almost. “Nia…?”

Nia Korr’s face was sad as she stood nearby, her eyes on the Jedi. “Hello, Jina. It is good to see you again.”

"Nia..." Jina didn’t move. Something was wrong, very wrong. “What is going on…? I can’t be…” She stared at herself and shuddered. “I can’t be…”

Nia sighed and suddenly looked her actual age. She was only twenty one after all, even if her life had been incredibly hard. “This is a not… quite a vision, Jina. You have walked the plain and travelled like I can. Maybe this is not real, but it sure feels it. Your pain and fear called me here from where I am imprisoned. You are my friend, Jina. I don’t want you to suffer as I have. But you must calm yourself. Come on woman, you know better.” Nia smiled a little.

Jina nodded and calmed herself. “Where are we? I don’t recognize the place.” She looked up, trying to determine her place by the constellations, but she had never seen that configuration before. There were no landmarks.

Nia nodded and her face was remote now. “No. No you wouldn’t. You never saw the stars from here. We are on Coruscant, Jina.” Her voice was sad. “We are standing where the Jedi temple was.”

Jina felt all the blood leave her face and she stiffened into immobility. She stared around her. As far as the eye could see there was nothing. Nothing at all. No mile high buildings, no traffic, only a huge empty space. Mountains shone in the distance, but… No vegetation, no movement, no nothing. “What… What happened?”

"What happened? We lost." Nia shook her head slowly. “This is what happens if we lose, so we mustn’t. You need to go back, Jina. You need to go back now.” She reached out to take Jina’s arm, but Jina recoiled.

The Jedi was shaking her head. “This is… I can’t be… You can’t be…”

Nia froze in place, her hand dropping to her side. “Oh Jina…” Her entire posture was of sadness now. “Come here …” Jina didn’t, indeed, likely couldn’t move as Nia stepped close and embraced her. “Easy, Jina. It’s okay. This is a possible future.” The young sort of Jedi gave the older Jedi a hug. Jina relaxed but then tensed again as another voice sounded nearby.

“Nia, we are out of time!” A blue transparent form appeared nearby and Jina felt her world spin as she recognized the young form. Ulaha had been a Padawan on Tython. Through series of unfortunate events, she had died, and her body had been taken over by a Sith assassin, who had not actually been evil. Oreana, or Dia as she had called herself, had tried very hard to be a good Jedi, until she had died. “Nia, you have to get out of here!” That was odd, Jina had never heard a Force spirit sound scared before.

Nia shook her head. “I am not leaving her, Ulaha. Jina… You have to…” She froze in place as something happened.

Jina stared at Will’s daughter as the young woman staggered back. “Nia..?” Her eyes went wide as she saw something change. The armor that Nia wore was vanishing! It was disappearing in pieces as if eaten. By tiny machines!

"You..." Nia stared at Jina and then at herself. She blinked and her face was sad when she met Jina’s eyes again. “Jina… You set me up… Of all the people I might have expected to betray me… I never would have expected it from you.” She slumped.

Jina was shaking her head in horror now. “Nia… No… Is it the machines? I can stop them!” She watched, unable to move, as Nia collapsed, her face etching in fear and pain as her armor was eaten away and parts of her body followed. Nia stared at the Jedi, unable to speak. Jina was crying now. “Nia… No.. I didn’t….”

The Force spirit came close. “Jina! Wake up! Now!” The force of the spirit’s command sent Jina reeling and then…

She was aware that her throat hurt. She was aware of warm arms holding her. But all she could see was green eyes staring at her in fear, confusion and hurt betrayal as they were eaten from within. And all Jina could do was scream.
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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 04:05 AM | #7
Jina was aware of everything around her. She was surrounded by something warm, and strong arms held her tight, rocking her every so often. Warmth suffused every pore from the beverage that someone had carefully made her drink. But she couldn’t talk. She couldn’t stop crying. Someone was holding her as she cried, and she was sure that it was her mom. A startled exclamation came from somewhere nearby.

Melita’s voice was worried. “What the hell happened?” Jina couldn’t look up, she couldn’t move at all as she felt another warm presence settle near her and more arms enfolded her. This time, lekku also draped over her, offering comfort.

"Melita." Emily’s voice was just as worried. “We don’t know. She hasn’t been able to calm down. She was fine when she went to sleep, but then she woke up screaming. I came in and she was sitting like this. She has been crying ever since I came in. She stopped screaming a few minutes ago. She won’t talk to us.”

"Well..." Melita’s voice was tart now. “She likely can't talk. If she is emotional as she seems, likely she can’t get the words out. Is that right Jina?” The Twi’lek who had been Jina’s lover asked gently. Jina nodded her head savagely. A soft hand caressed her head. “Easy, Jina, easy. We will help. Twenty milligrams?” She asked someone else.

Niun’s voice came from further away. “I think that would work. She won’t let me touch her. I think all of her control just evaporated. You should not be touching her, Emily. She could hurt you, without realizing it.”

"Back off, Niun!" Jina’s mother snarled, a sound more akin to a rancor than a human woman. “She is my daughter. I don’t care if she is dangerous. She is in pain and I will help her. We sent for you because she knows you and she loves you. She barely knows us, and has fought when we try and sedate her.”

A sigh came from nearby. “Always the hard way, Jina. Okay, I will do what I can.” Melita’s voice was soft and gentle when she spoke again. “Jina… I am going to give you something to help calm down. A little stick… Here we go…” Jina barely flinched as a sting in her shoulder heralded a soft feeling that swept through her. She relaxed slowly. “Good girl…” Melita crooned softly as Jina’s muscles started to uncurl. Hands and lekku traced her shoulders and arms as Jina collapsed into the arms that held her, completely undone by her grief and fear. “Easy, Jina… easy…” The arms lowered her to the surface she was sitting on and Jina finally managed to open her eyes.

Jina breath was coming in short, quick gasps as she looked around. Her vision was blurry, but she was still in the room she had fallen asleep in. She as sitting on her bed and it was covered with people. Well, her mom was sitting on one side of her and Melita was sitting on the other side. Her father was sitting at the end of the bed, his face was remote, but his eyes were worried. Niun was standing a bit further away. Jina lay back, calm despite her fear as her mother eased her into a sitting position on the bed.

Melita smiled as she say Jina’s eyes on her. The Twilek was wearing a scanty nightgown and nothing else. The Ex-Republic agent and current Imperial one snickered. “You just wanted me half nude, didn’t you, Jina?”

Jian stared at her lover, and then was startled to hear her voice laugh. It was a soft croak, due to her screaming so long, but clear. “You evil Twi’lek… Drugging me is the only way to get what you want, isn’t it?”

Melita smiled, but the expression did not reach her eyes. “Don’t you know it. Better now?” She asked kindly as she stroked Jina’s closest arm, gently calming.

Jina exhaled slowly, aware of the scrutiny on her and nodded slowly. “Yes. Thank you.” She began a breathing exercise and when she had finished it, opened her eyes again. "It... It was… moderately awful, before I...” She gasped, trying to move past her fear. She put a hand to her stomach and it felt as it always had, so she relaxed, just a little.

Jina’s mother was sitting quietly, but her hand was on Jina’s. “What happened? A dream or a vision?” Her voice was concerned.

Jina slumped back into the bed. “I don’t know. It wasn’t a dream. It didn’t feel like a dream. But a vision… She said it was ‘what would happen if we lost…’ but… I don’t know…” She repeated lamely.

Dargon laid a hand on Jina’s. “Who said, Jina?” He asked carefully.

Jian shook her head. “Nia. I saw Nia Korr, Will’s daughter. She looked… older I think. So it had to be the future. I…” She shook her head again.

Another voice spoke and Jina turned her head to see Michael Jonal sitting in a wheeled chair nearby. His face was serene, but he smile when she looked at him. “What did you see, Jina?”

Jina smiled back at her friend. But then she tensed again. Warm hands massaged her shoulders and warm lekku were d****** suggestively over her body, distracting her from her fear. “I was standing on an empty plain. There was nothing there, no grass, no trees, no animals, no nothing. When I touched the dirt at my feet, it felt dead, sterile, lifeless. I…” She shuddered again. “I looked at myself and I was wearing robes. And my belly was big. I was pregnant.” She ground out the last and touched her abdomen again to reassure herself that she was not, in fact, pregnant. The Jedi froze as both Emily and Dargon hissed as one. They looked at each other and then at Jina who blinked. “What?”

Emily chose her words with care. “Jina… Special Branch has been running a eugenics program for some time. We have not been able to figure out why. We do know that what they did to Maria and Samuel Kalenath was part of it.”

Jian froze. “Sara?” She asked carefully. She liked the spunky little girl who had been raised in a cell. Yes, Sara Kalenath scared the hell out of the Jedi on occasion, but she was a good person. Most of the time, anyway.

Dargon nodded, his face remote. “Yes. We do not know why they are doing what they are. But they are taking women and…well…You know.” He looked sick and Jina nodded, remembering what she and her allies had found when they had boarded the Dia’s Gift -the Special Branch laboratory ship- the first time. It had been…awful. Jina had actually held the hand of one doomed woman while she had died, victim of the experiments that had implanted the woman with a non-viable embryo.

Emily however was staring at her daughter. “That is bad, but that alone wouldn’t have driven you so crazy, Jina. What happened?” Jina mumbled under her breath and Emily sighed. “I couldn’t hear you Jina.”

Jina would not meet her mother’s eyes. “I killed Nia.” All four humans and the bug all inhaled sharply at that. “I killed Will’s daughter!” She screamed as she collapsed. She was crying again and she heard raised voices, but none of them penetrated. Finally another small sting sent her into slumber.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 04:12 AM | #8
When Jina woke again, she sighed. She could smell the Twi’lek close at hand. “I am sorry, Melita…”

"Oh?" The Twi’lek’s voice was soft and kind as a hand traced Jina’s cheek. “For what? Waking me out a nice dream of multiple Special Branch goons screaming in agony under my knives? Or having an awful nightmare and needing help to calm down?”

Jina smiled a bit sadly. “That would be…” She gasped as a lekku went somewhere it shouldn’t. “Umm… Oh, you evil Twi’lek.” She gasped as Melita caressed her gently, and not so gently. Then she flinched as cold fingers found a particular spot and she hissed as they dug in.

Melita’s voice was wicked now as she laughed. “You are still ticklish there? Shame, shame, Jina…”

Jina smiled and opened her eyes. When she did, she found herself alone in her room with Melita. The Twi’lek was wearing a jumpsuit now, but was plying her not inconsiderable skill on the Jedi and Jina found herself gasping in short order. And not from pain. “Melita… Oh… please…”

Melita grinned as she continued. “Please? Already? Oh Jina, I haven’t even begun yet. I will drive that dream, vision, whatever the frak it was, from your thoughts if I have to do everything I know to you right here.” Jina shook herself and surrendered gracefully to the moment.

***

A timeless moment later, Jina watched in silence As Melita dressed slowly and languidly. She could watch her lover all day and never get bored. Melita was aware of her scrutiny and smiled sadly. “I don’t want to go, Jina. But I have to. If I do anything too out of character, we can’t explain it away to Vorren as an aberration.”

"I know." Jina rose from the bed, ignoring her state of undress, walked to the Twi’lek and hugged her tight. “I love you, Melita. I won’t insult you by asking you to be careful. But please come back to me.”

Melita hugged her lover tight and her voice was a bit husky when she spoke. “Not many loves survive two deaths, Jina. But as long as I can without endangering you, I will keep coming back. Now I have to get back before…” She paused as the door opened and a figure in Imperial uniform walked in. The man’s eyes were on Melita, but then he looked at Jina and his eyes went wide.

Melita slipped easily into character and snarled at the man. “Loc, you son of a barve! I was busy! Now I have to get this slave back to her pen before Lord Dargon finds out I had her!”

Jina kept her eyes on the floor like good slave, but then the Force shouted a warning at her and she looked up in time to see the man’s blaster rising towards her. His eyes were on her and they had something in them that she had seen before. A sick mix of horror, anger and loathing all warred in the man’s eyes, but his face was slack. He was under someone else’s control, the tiny machines in him made him unable to disobey. She was slow to recognize it and slower to respond. There was no way… A blue mass interposed itself between her and the possessed man.

“Melita!” Jina shouted as she dove to the side, searching for cover. A blaster sounded and then another. Jina looked up in time to see the man fall, a hole in his chest, dead center mass. But that was not what had her freezing. Melita stood, a hold out blaster in hand, and her other hand pressed to her abdomen. “Melita!” Jina roared as she jumped to her feet and ran to her friend. She caught the slumping Twi’lek and cried as she lowered her friend to the floor. The door hissed open again and another stranger stood there. The female’s eyes were the same as the man’s had been, her blaster was coming up and Jina did not hesitate.

The Force lifted the woman off her feet, and she barely had time to scream before it crushed her. Her scream cut off in mid note as her entire body was crushed into something the size of a briefcase. A very messy briefcase. What was left of what had been a woman in Imperial uniform fell to the floor with a wet thump. But Jina’s eyes and Force sense were on the slumped body of her lover. Who wasn’t breathing now. She could hear an alarm in the distance, but she didn't care.

"No!" Jina’s voice was sick now as she focused everything she was, everything she had on the still form cradled in her arms. There was no way she could have known that that her eyes had turned silver. “Melita… No.. No… I won’t let you die! I won’t!” She kissed the Twi’lek and breathed deeply into Melita’s still form. Jina froze as she felt something… Some kind of connection suddenly snap into being and the woman in her arms coughed and breathed.

Melita’s voice was strained as the Twi’lek opened her eyes and stared at Jina. “Jina… What…?”

Jina buried her face in her friend’s chest and cried for a moment. Then a voice snapped her out of it.

“What the hell?” Imperial agent Vorren stood in the doorway, a blaster in hand. Jina’s eyes went hard as she looked at the man who had very nearly crippled her. Vorren had time to cry out as he was slammed into first one wall, and then another with the Force. A form bearing a lightsaber that ignited in a red wave appeared outside, only to meet a solid wall of the Force and be thrown back into another wall. A dull crack echoed from the man as he fell limp to the floor.

Jina was aware of Melita’s terrified voice calling to her as if from a great distance but it made no sense. Eventually, she could discerned words. “Jina, no... No… Jina… Please… no…”

The enraged Jedi stared at the Twi’lek she loved through red haze. Then, as suddenly as it had come, the anger vanished, leaving Jina to stare at the terrified female in front of her. She stared at Melita and then at the unconscious form that was still hung in midair. Vorren was breathing, barely. She could hear Melita trying to calm her down.

“…He didn’t know, Jina! I swear he didn’t really hurt me. He could have. He could have just taken me in, brainwashed me. He could have tortured me for information… Jina, he should have. He could have gotten in a lot of trouble if his superiors had found out about me… Jina please… For the love of god, let him go… Please…” Melita was speaking slowly and clearly, obviously trying to calm the Jedi down.

"I... What have I done?" Jina stared at her hands, then at the man who hung in midair, obviously hurt. She slumped and then, gracefully knelt. The form of the unconscious Imperial agent lowered slowly to the floor and laid itself out straight. Jina’s voice was soft and filled with pain. “I am sorry, Melita… I am sorry…”

"Oh Jina..." Melita stared at the Jedi for an instant before kneeling in front of her and embracing her. “I am not, Jina. You saved me. I was slipping away, and you pulled me back.” She stared at her abdomen and fingered the burnt hole in her jumpsuit. Under it, the skin was unmarked. “You… You healed me…”

Jina could not take her eyes off the two bodies in front of her and the dead Sith in the hall. All killed with the Force. She jerked away from the Twi’lek. “Don’t touch me, Melita… I don’t want to hurt you too…”

"Jina... Jina, its okay." The Twi’lek smiled and hugged Jina tighter. “You won’t.”

"I..." Jina shook her head. “Twenty minutes ago, I would have said I never would have done what I just did… So… I don’t know anymore, Melita… I don’t…”
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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 04:18 AM | #9
Jina knew she had messed up. She knew very well what had happened. She had snapped, used the Dark Side of the Force to kill. She wasn’t even sure what power she had used on the second agent who had tried to kill her, the female one, but she had made one heck of a mess. So much so, that Emily had moved her to another room while someone cleaned hers. And despite her wishes, no one would leave her alone. She looked around the small room, focusing on the plant in the corner. Living things always calmed her, the vibes that she got from them had always soothed her before, but not now. She sat on the bed and tried not to cry as her mother held her.

The Jedi, Dark Jedi, whatever she was, shook her head. “Look, mom… I am dangerous. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what I did… I just…” She broke off and winced as Emily hugged her.

Emily’s voice was kind and gentle. “You saved your lover's life.” She stroked her daughter’s hair and sighed sadly. “What happened was awful, Jina. We messed up, we never should have let those two in here. I thought we had the scans down, but apparently they managed to hide the machines until you saw them.”

Jina took a deep breath. “Were they after me?” She asked slowly. “I mean, the first one nearly got me, if not for Melita, I would be dead.”

Emily sighed quietly and gave her daughter a squeeze as the younger woman shuddered. “I don’t know, Jina. Dargon is beating himself up, trying to retrace their movements. We have a team going over their ship now as well, including tech Olandas, who is very confused, but accepts Melita’s authority for the moment.”

"I..." Jina bowed her head and shook it. “I am sorry Mom, I messed everything up, didn’t I?”

"No." Emily Darkstorm hugged her daughter again. “No, Jina. Those two controlled agents did. It is not your fault.”

"Mom..." Jina wouldn’t meet her mother’s gaze. “You won’t be able to cover up that I killed the Sith who was working with Vorren, and messed Vorren up as well.”

Emily shook her own head and pulled Jina’s face up so that the younger woman’s glistening eyes met Emily’s. “We are not going to. We are going to tell the truth.” Jina blinked and Emily smiled at the confusion that shone on her daughter’s face now. “Let’s see… Melita… entertained herself with you, she was attacked by those two controlled agents, and you defended your former lover. You broke your control for a moment. You are a very dangerous prisoner, Jedi.” Emily had a wicked smile on her face now, but then it fell. “We are not going to tell anyone how you killed them, Jina. We are going to leave it vague, intentionally.”

Jina shook her head slowly. “Mom… I…” She broke off again as Emily hugged her tight.

Emily’s voice was serious now. “Jina, listen to me. You have touched the Dark Side. It is clouding your mind, your thoughts and emotions. Do you trust me, Jina?”

"Mom?" Jina’s voice was small. “Yes. But I don’t trust myself.” In her mind she could see her upraised hand and the small remnant of the woman who had attacked her falling to the floor in a spray of blood and gore. She blinked as Emily tapped her on the nose.

"Come on." Her mother’s voice was tart now. “Jina. You know better. Let the memory pass you by, we can deal with it. We will deal with it. Let it pass you by, Jina, let it pass.”

Jina was shuddering now. “Mom… I am evil…”

"No." Emily shook her head. “No you are not. You used the Dark Side. That does not make you evil. What you did with the Force skirted the edge. But you were protecting Melita, hold to that. You were not acting selfishly. You used an evil form of the Force to protect someone else, you had no idea if that woman was going to shoot at you or Melita.”

Jina shook her head slowly, not understanding. “Mom… I wasn’t… I wanted them dead and I wanted it to hurt.”

Emily sighed and tweaked her daughter’s nose. “Jina…” Her voice was more serious now. “Trust me… Breathe in, and then out…” Jina did as instructed. “Now, let’s examine what happened. Melita was leaving, you said that. The door opened and the man, Loc, came in.”

Jina took another deep breath before speaking. “I immediately acted as a slave, as if Melita had been playing with me. And then I felt a warning through the Force. I looked up and he was drawing his gun. He was so fast, there was no way to dodge it. I wasn’t expecting it, and I was slow. Melita got between us. She killed him, but he hit her, bad. I caught her and then the door opened again… the woman standing there was also controlled. You can tell sometimes if you can see the eyes.” She looked at her mom and Emily nodded. Emily had seen it before. Jina’s voice trembled as she continued. “I have never been that angry in my life, Mom…Never.”

Emily sighed deeply and held her daughter as Jina shuddered. “That may have been their plan all along, Jina. Special Branch didn’t want you dead before this. They didn’t mind you broken, but not dead. This is different, somehow.” She shook her head as she mused. “Maybe another player, maybe a rogue element within Special Branch…We don’t know.” Emily shrugged. “The Jedi say ‘Once you start down the dark path, it will dominate your destiny forever’. And it is true, you will never be able to forget what happened here, Jina. It will color everything else you do for the rest of your life. The question is… How will it color everything else you do?”

Jina stared at her mother, uncomprehendingly. “Mom… I fell…”

Emily smiled tenderly. “Jina, trust me. You didn’t do it for yourself. You reacted instinctively, to protect your lover. You overreacted, true. And what you did to Vorren and Olut was excessive. But having them surprise you like that to the heels of you having to kill with the Dark Side…” Emily paused. “Jina…?” She asked slowly.

Jina had frozen in place. Her terror was easy to see, let alone sense. “Mom… I hear laughter… Giggling... In my head…”

Emily stiffened in place, she knew who laughed like that while he did evil things to people inside their heads. A Sith named Ravishaw did that. “Jina, shut him out. You can. You know how.”

Jina concentrated, trying to shut out the laughter that was growing in strength. “It is stronger than ever now… And getting… worse…” She gasped out. “I thought the Bladeborn cut him off from the Force.” She groaned as pain erupted inside her head and then, just as quickly as it had appeared, the dark presence in her mind vanished.

“We did.” Another voice answered her. Jina stared up into the concerned eyes of Bladeborn Grandmaster Istara Sharlina Andal who stood nearby. “But apparently he got better.” Istara sat down on the other side of Jina and embraced her friend. “I came as soon as I heard, Jina.”

Jina was shaking her head. “You shouldn’t be here… They will find you… Track you…”

Istara smiled a bit sadly. “Trust me Jina. No one and nothing will get between me and my friends. But we have it covered. Rest now, my friend. He won’t touch your dreams.” Jina was fading but she smiled on seeing Istara’s smile. Everything would be all right now. Istara wouldn’t let her become a threat.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here

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kalenath
08.11.2012 , 04:25 AM | #10
When Jina Darkstorm woke, she wasn’t where she had been. She blinked, trying to figure out what was wrong. The ceiling was different. She was not in a room anymore. She was in a cave. A well lit one, warm and dry. But a cave. She stared around herself, perplexed. She was lying on a bunk, clad in what looked like training robes and her leg hurt… She stiffened as she looked at her leg. It was in a full cast again! She jumped as a throat cleared nearby. Jina tried to sit up and she hissed as her leg hurt worse. She rolled into a sitting position in time to see a door set into the wall nearby open.

Ona, the Bothan healer of the Bladeborn, strode through the door, fixing her robes. “Seriously, Jina… of all the times for you to wake up. You had to do it when I was on the can.” But her voice was humorous.

Jina laughed. She liked Ona. But then she paused. “What… What happened?” She asked carefully. This place was nothing like where her mother and father lived. She tried to sit up again and Ona came to her side and knelt down, holding her gently in place.

"Stay still." Now the healer’s face was stern. “None of that, Jina. You have been using that leg far too much. You did more damage to it. Do you want it to be crippled permanently?” She asked acerbically.

Jina froze in place. She liked the black furred healer, but when Ona started talking like that, everyone sane stepped carefully. Even Sith lords had nothing on this Bothan when she raged. “I… It didn’t hurt. I thought it was healed.” She said in a small voice.

Ona sighed and her anger dissipated. She stroked Jina’s hair gently. “Jina… You didn’t hurt because Niun had you on painkillers, remember?” Jina blinked and then blanched. “I see you do. Between you moving around, your… um…. ‘Horizontal calisthenics’, and what you did when you were attacked…” Ona shook her head and her face was sad. “Oh Jina…” She squeezed the bedridden Jedi’s shoulders. “You are a mess.”

Jina let the Bothan hug her. The Bothan was a tactile being, she used touch as a healing tool, and she genuinely like most people. Ona was a law unto herself, even among the fairly unorthodox Bladeborn. The Bothan was incredibly empathic, and at the same time, hard as a rock. She was one of the greatest healers that Jina had ever encountered, even the Sitolon with their millennia of medical know how acknowledged the Bothan’s skill as great. Jina had been a patient of the healer several times now, and she knew better than to argue. Besides, she liked Ona.

"I know." The Jedi returned the hug and her voice was small. “I am sorry, Ona. I… Things have been… a bit unsettled.”

Ona snorted. It was downright amazing how many emotions the Bothan could put in a snort. Derision, anger, fear, compassion, exasperation… All of those were present in that short explosive grunt, and more. “That is the understatement of the century, Jina. Here, let me see…” The Jedi lay still as Ona passed her hands down along the length of the cast, her face disapproving. After a few minutes, the Bothan sighed. “Jina… You are not going to be walking for a while.”

Jina stared at Ona and then at her leg. “I… Ona... I have to…” She shut up as the Bothan glared at her.

"You have to listen to me." When Ona spoke, it was quiet and matter of fact. “You have to heal. Part of the reason you lost control was the pain in your leg. Part was the emotional attachment you have to that Twi’lek.” A stab of pain flew through Jina that was not physical and Ona’s face softened. “Jina… It’s okay, she is okay. You saved her.” Ona hugged Jina lightly again. “Well done.”

Jina shook her head. “I… I don’t know what I did.” She stammered. “I kissed her and… She woke up… Like one of the old tales.”

Ona smiled and her voice was gentle. “Old tales often have a grain of truth in them, Jina. But from what I could tell…” She paused as Jina jumped a bit and smiled wider. “Yes I came when I heard. Like anyone or anything will keep me from helping you?” She patted Jina’s arm and continued. “The kiss had nothing to do with it. I examined both her and you. You apparently forged a connection with her, you threw your will and drive into her, trying with all your heart and soul to heal her. And you did. It seemed similar to what I do actually.”

"Really?" Jina stared at the Bothan. “I… I never studied much healing beyond what is taught to all Jedi.”

Ona nodded. “Do you want to? You will have time now.”

"What?" Jina stared at the Bothan and her eyes were burning. “I… No, Ona… I am dangerous. I killed that woman and that Sith… I…”

Ona smiled and then pulled the hurt Jedi into an embrace. “Jina… It’s okay. Yes, you used the Dark Side. Yes, it will color everything you do from now on. And no, I don’t care.” She squeezed the Jedi tight enough that Jina was gasping. “You are my friend, you are in pain and I am going to help you. Clear?” This last was in a hard tone.

Jina sputtered a bit and then laughed. “Watch the ribs, Ona… Sheesh, you trying to hurt me worse?” But her voice was humorous as she returned the Bothan’s hug. “Clear. What are we going to do, Ona? I blew my cover completely I think.” She shook her head, amazed at how swiftly things had gone sour.

"Yeah." Ona nodded, but she had an evil grin on her face. “That you did. But it is handled. You ‘escaped’. Dargon is very upset with Melita at the moment, has actually demanded that she and that tech Olandas remain and be ‘punished’. I am pretty sure that the punishment will involve helping him and us stop Special Branch.”

"Ona?" Jina stared at Ona, her face working. “Every time I heard Melita’s name before… I was aroused. I am not now. Is it a side effect of what I did?”

"No." Ona shook her head and her voice became clinical. “You are on a special sedative we developed a while back for just such situations. It will keep you from feeling such things for as long as you need it. Jina…” She held the Jedi down when Jina tried to get up. “Think! Calm yourself. Why did I do that?” She asked calmly when Jina had slumped back into the bed.

"Why?" Jina bowed her head and when she spoke it was quiet. “Because I am not rational when she is involved. She and I… We fit, but…” She slumped deeper in the bed and tears were falling. “I can’t see her again, can I?”

"Oh Jina." Ona sighed and patted Jina’s arm. “I don’t know, Jina. Love will usually find a way, but, as unstable as you are right now…. The last thing you need right now is more emotional upsets. We… know about such things.”

"Right." Jina sighed and calmed herself, drying her tears on her sleeve. “Yeah… So… I ‘escaped’?”

Ona nodded and her grin was vicious. “Yep and Dargon has no idea at all where you are. He is very incensed about that, he blames Imperial Intelligence for the loss of his favorite slave.”

"Huh?" Jina blinked, something about Ona’s tone was off. “My father doesn’t know where I am?”

The door opened and Dargon Darkstorm was standing there, his face severe. But his tone was humorous. “No, Jina, I have no idea at all where you are.” His face dissolved into a smile as Jina laughed.
My stories in order:
Love, the Force, and Everything Discussion thread here