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 Interpretations of the Force, (Pre AOTC, Hal Horn as Valin Halcyon)
Luney
Posted: Apr 6 2005, 01:05 AM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



This story is my way of integrating the EU into the movies, because I have this need to make everything work. wink.gif This story's about how the Corellian Jedi could have co-existed with the Republic Jedi as a separate order, and how they did or didn't get along.

It is a short story, probably posted in about 8-10 parts.

If you're a Corran Horn fan like me, you'll hopefully like it. Or even if you aren't :-D

Summary: Two Jedi apprentices with very different views on the Force are thrown together unexpectedly when slavers start picking up their goods in the lower levels of Coruscant.

Timeframe: One year pre AOTC

Rating: PG

Part One

***

Coruscant never slept, nor did it ever slow down. The night sky was more gray than black, revealing no stars to light the way. There was barely any natural beauty to Coruscant, the planet having been withered down from thousands of years of industry. Many first time visitors to the world were often disturbed by the mechanical and sterile environment, seeking refuge in the greenhouses and organic gardens. Helaine Trillium had grown up on the city world, and was attached to the endless sea of skyscrapers that stretched to the horizon and the river of air traffic that flowed continually. Though the world was dead, it teemed with the life from the billions of people living there.

Helaine followed Valin Halcyon through the crowds of people, glad for her companion’s tall stature as they made their way back to the Temple. For the past few hours, she had been playing tour guide, having been given extra free time for excelling in the combat competitions. She was also trying to help Valin cheer up a bit, after he had lost against Anakin Skywalker in the final round in sabers of the nineteenth years. Helaine doubted there was anyone in Anakin's year who could beat him. In a few years, she suspected only Master Yoda would be able to.

She was about to relay her thoughts to Valin, when he suddenly stopped, pressing his hand on her arm. "Go back to the temple."

Helaine stiffened, frowning at him. "What?"

Valin cocked his head toward the right. "I think there may be trouble." He gestured toward a pair of humans walking just a bit too casually. Except while for one it seemed to be a leisurely stroll, while the other was stiff. "Now, go back to the temple."

"You shouldn't go alone," Helaine said, noting the danger from one of the pair to the other. She couldn't quite tell if Valin was trying to protect her, or thought she might somehow make the situation worse.

He hesitated, obviously antsy to start following them. "Nothing against you Lainey, but...," Valin said, hopping up onto his tiptoes to keep his eye on them.

Helaine raised an eyebrow. "But?"

"You draw too much attention," Valin replied, tugging on her padawan braid. "People can see that you're a Jedi from two meters away. Go back to the temple." He started walking toward the pair.


Ignoring his instructions, she followed. "And what's wrong with that?" She asked, taking in his black pants and white short sleeved shirt. The Corellian Jedi dressed like one only when it pleased them, and favored bright colors over brown and khaki.

Valin sighed, then jabbed his thumb toward the pair. "He has a weapon, if he finds you, a Jedi, following him, he may use it or run." He stopped, giving her an appraising glance. "Maybe if you removed your robe, but your tunic...do you have an undershirt on?"

Helaine nodded. "Yes," she said, starting to shrug off her robe. "Where am I supposed to put them?"

"Toss them," Valin said, then saw that she was about to protest. "I'm certain there's a thousand more robes and tunics just like them at the Temple. They're easily replaced."

She shook her head, stashing her robe in front of a building before pulling off her tunic. "Is this really necessary?" Helaine asked as soon as it was off, feeling decidedly uncomfortable because her undershirt was so much tighter.

"Absolutely," Valin replied, watching as she tucked her braid behind her ear and moved her hair over her shoulders. "Good, let's go." He took her arm and started leading her down the slidewalk.

***

Taren Trillium wandered around on the second level of Coruscant, hopelessly lost. One wrong turn had led to another, and somehow they'd left the surface. He wrinkled his nose in disgust at the smell, realizing why the lower levels were never featured in travel brochures.

"Well, I think it's official," Ammon Daelanie announced, surveying their surroundings. "We're lost."

Sighing, Taren nodded his agreement, stepping over a passed out Sullustan. He made a face. "Remind me never to come here again." Taking a deep, exaggerated breath he asked, "Do you think it's possible to suffocate from breathing too much recycled air?"

Ammon shrugged. "Don't think so, otherwise billions of peoples lives would be in danger." He attempted to be optimistic. "The senate building was nice."

Taren grunted non-committally. "I'd have preferred to see the Jedi Temple."

"Yeah, I know," Ammon said, cocking his head. "I wonder why they close it off to the public."

"Privacy?" Taren guessed, shrugging his shoulders before rubbing at the back of his neck. His back almost itched, his muscles tensing with anticipation as though something was about to touch it. He glanced around nervously, barely listening as Ammon started musing on what the Jedi would need to keep private. Most of his ideas were outlandish, growing worse on an obvious attempt to get Taren to listen to him. He just couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong. A couple of humans walked by, looking cleaner than most of the underworlds inhabitants. They were soon followed by a tall man, walking with a short teenaged girl. Those two definitely didn't look like they belonged down there. Perhaps they knew the way out?

Taren tapped Ammon's shoulder, about tell him he was going to ask them, when someone came up behind him, grabbing his arm. He turned instantly, but was forced to the ground as his attacker twisted his arm, breaking it as he hit the ground. Biting his lip hard, Taren fought back a scream. Black spots danced before his eyes as he looked up at his attacker, noticing their face was covered with a breathmask. He barely had time to wonder why, when an explosion went off a few meters away from him, casting his world into darkness.

***

Helaine and Valin had followed the pair all the way down to the second level of Coruscant, never quite finding the right moment to intercede.The Force had started stirring the moment they reached the underworld, whispering of danger. It grew louder as a young man was attacked, not calming when Valin intercepted the attacker, removing his lightsaber from his belt. Helaine followed suit immediately, lifting her saber off just as an explosion rocked the ground, knocking it from her hands.

Falling to her knees from the force of the explosion, Helaine extended her hand calling her lightsaber back, when she realized her mistake. She had failed to notice the sickeningly sweet smell pervading the air, affecting her ability to think and her control of the Force. Helaine saw Valin fall as her own lightsaber dropped to the ground at the same moment she hit the ground completely, falling into a deep sleep.

***

The next thing Helaine was aware of was a sharp blow to her stomach, causing her to curl up into a fetal position.

"Get up." A harsh male voice instructed her, prodding her side with his foot.

Slowly opening her eyes, Helaine blinked up at that tall man, touching her forehead as her head started to pound. "What?"

He grabbed her arm, pulling her roughly to her feet. "Let's have a look at you," he said, prodding the muscles on her arms. Helaine forced herself to stand still through her disorientation, realizing almost instantly that the man didn't know she was a Jedi. Things would be better for if he never found it out. Her captor touched her hair, sniffing slightly. "This one’s cleaner than most of the scum we pick up." He lifted her chin, studying her features. "We could probably pick up a couple hundred more credits for her."

"Yeah," a new voice said, drawing Helaine's attention to her right. Another man, a human, had his blaster to Valin's side as he inspected him. She frowned, noticing that he was clearly favoring his left leg as he leaned against the wall for support. "This whole group isn't our usual." He looked to Valin. "Do you have any family?"

Valin nodded, hesitantly. Helaine stiffened slightly, wondering if he was afraid. The man dug his blaster into his ribs. "Best you forget about them, you'll never see them again."

A sharp jab to her ribs brought Helaine's attention back to her captor. "Best you be forgetting about yours as well." He informed her, blowing stagnant breath into her face. "How old are you?"

"Fourteen," Helaine replied, struggling to her voice calm. She was not afraid of him in the least.

"Most owners prefer their girls to be a little older." He mused, before giving her a grisly smile. "You don't want the ones that like them young."

Helaine took a deep breath. "I don't understand."

The man barked a laugh. "You'll know soon enough," He said, then left her to join his companion at the door. After they left, Helaine noticed the other prisoners in the room. Her gaze swept across a twi'leck female, a wookiee, and two more human males. Her eyes strayed and locked onto the taller one, whose face was tight with pain as he clenched his arm to his chest. Helaine pursed her lips; she could have sworn she'd seen him somewhere before. He met her gaze, causing her to turn her head out of embarrassment.

Valin touched her shoulder. "Are you alright?"

Turning to face him, she nodded. "What happened to your leg?"

"Twisted it before we were caught," Valin answered, then leaned close to whisper in her ear. "Looked a lot harder than it was." He pulled away to wink at her.

Helaine smiled her understanding, realizing why she hadn't sensed any pain emanating from him. He was faking his injury, but why? "Who are we dealing with?" She asked in a low voice.

Valin matched her tone. "Slavers. They were talking about owners and selling."

"Slavers?" Helaine asked, feeling her blood run cold. "I thought the Republic had almost abolished them." She paused. "Except on Tatooine."

"You're mistaking Masters for Slavers," Valin said, sitting down on the floor and gesturing for her to do the same. "There's still a few worlds, like Tatooine, where slavery is legal. But they get them from all over the galaxy."

Helaine slowly sat beside him. "Did you hear what that man said to me?"

Valin nodded, touching her arm. "It's alright to be upset."

"I don't understand what he meant," Helaine said, meeting his hazel eyes. "Maybe child labor?"

The twi’leck woman coughed. "It means that you're going to lose your innocence."

Helaine froze at the implication. Seeing or causing death was one way to lose it, and the other...she paled, taking a deep breath. "Not necessarily."

The twi’leck shook her head, her lekku swaying back and forth. "Not unless you can prove yourself more...apt in other areas."

"Certainly," Helaine said quickly. She certainly couldn't prove herself apt in that one. "You're assuming our captors succeed."

"You must have a powerful family to think otherwise." The twi’leck challenged, giving her an appraising look.

Helaine spread her hands. "I don't know my family."

Her expression softened. "Adopted?"

"You could say that," Helaine said evasively, leaning against the wall.

The young man sitting next to the one with the injured arm spoke up. "What do you think the chances of the Galactic Security Force finding us?"

Valin answered. "Slim, I'm afraid. It'll take them a few days to even decide we're actually missing." He sighed. "By then we're likely to either reach or be halfway to our destination. They'll never catch up."

"Shows how well the Republic functions," The man with the injured arm said sarcastically.

"You're Naboo, aren't you?" Valin asked, raising an eyebrow.

He nodded, pride in his light brown eyes. "I am."

Helaine looked at him with renewed interest. She should have recognized his accent, having once met one a Naboo Princess, but she hadn't been paying enough attention. What she didn't want to admit, even to herself, was the fact that Naboo was her homeworld that drew her attention the most.

Something else had Valin's, however, as he suddenly rose to his feet and limped across the room. "What happened to your arm?"

The younger man shrugged, then winced from the pain. "I think I broke it."

"Let me see?" Valin offered, extending his hands.

"Who are you?" He asked, shrinking back slightly.

"Call me Hal," Valin said, finally managing to get a hold on his arm.

"Then call me Taren," he said, closing his eyes.

"Done," Valin said, closely examining his arm. Helaine didn't need the Force to tell he didn't like what he was seeing. "It's an open fracture, it'll get infected if it isn't cleaned."

Taren tensed immediately. "With what?"

Valin shook his head. "Alcohol, preferably." He helped Taren to his feet. "But I think we'll have to make do with soap and water." While he led Taren to the sink in the tiny refresher, he turned his head to look at Helaine. "Can you find something we can use for bandages, Lainey?"

"Sure," Helaine answered, surveying the holding cell. In holo-dramas, the characters tended to cut up shirts or skirts, which didn't sound very sanitary to her, but she supposed a clean dressing mattered the most.

Taren's friend stood up, and walked over to her, removing his button down shirt. "Will this work?"

Helaine gratefully took it from him. "Yes, thank you."

"I'm Ammon, by the way," He said, extending his hand to her.

"Lainey," Helaine replied, taking his hand and shaking it before returning her attention to his shirt. "Have any ideas on how to rip this?"

Ammon pursed his lips, scanning the cell. "I don't think they'd leave anything sharp for us."

Helaine sighed. "Probably not."

***

Taren gritted his teeth hard as Hal cleaned his arm, less from the sting and more from the slight movements Hal had to put his arm through. Just as Hal had finished with his arm he heard Lainey and Ammon talking. He laughed. "Something sharp? We may as well wish for a blaster."

"Or six so we could overpower then," Hal agreed as they exited the refresher and then he nodded to Lainey. "Did you find something?"

She nodded, holding up Ammon's shirt. "We just need to figure out how to do it."

"I can do it," Hal said, sitting down and gesturing for Taren to do the same. He took the shirt from Lainey, and immediately tried ripping it from the bottom.

Taren watched him struggle for a moment. "You want to rip the hem first so you don't have to tear through two layers of fabric."

Hal looked up from his work, raising an eyebrow. "You know a lot about clothing," He said, now starting to rip the hem.

"Mom's a seamstress," Taren said, flushing slightly. He glanced over at Lainey, briefly meeting her eyes. She looked shyly away, tucking a braided lock of hair behind her ears. Taren cocked his head, realizing she reminded him of someone, just as Hal had finished ripping Ammon's shirt.

"Ready?" Hal asked, brandishing his makeshift bandages.

Taren nodded, trying not to wince as Hal gently took his arm and pressed flimsytowels against the open wound. A soft touch on his uninjured arm brought Taren's attention back to Lainey as she squeezed it, giving him a reassuring smile. He blinked as though he were trying to clear his vision. She reminded him of his mother. Taren closed his eyes as Hal continued to wrap his arm, the thought of his mother, his parents, tightening his heart. He didn't even want to think about what their reaction to his being kidnapped would be. They had already lost his sister to the Jedi, and he could see the pain in their eyes ever year around her birthday.

Hal finished bandaging his arm, causing Taren to open his eyes just as he started stripping off his jacket. "For a sling," Hal explained, placing Taren's arm in it before wrapping the ends of it behind his neck. Finishing his work, Hal moved back a bit to examine it. "How does it feel?"

"Better," Taren said, amazed at how much pain had been reduced by a simple wrapping and sling. Unfortunately though, it still hurt.

Ammon was impressed. "How do you know so much about First Aid?"

"I work with Corellian Security," Hal answered, leaning against the wall.

"So you might know how to get us out of here?" Ammon asked eagerly, leaning forward.

Hal laughed softly. "Maybe if the Force is with us."

Taren shook his head. "You need Jedi to have the Force."

Ammon frowned. "That's not what they say."

"Course not," Taren said, reclining against the wall next to Hal. "They claim that the Force is in everything, but only they can use it."

Hal turned his head to regard him. "Have you ever tried?"

Taren shook his head. "I'd rather not."

Ammon cleared his throat. "Taren's never been the Jedi's biggest fan."

"Oh yeah?" Hal asked, cocking his head. "Any particular reason?"

"They break up families, you know," Taren said angrily after a few moments. "Without any consideration to them." He shook his head. "I don't understand the necessity."

Lainey's head snapped up, she opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by Hal. "I'm sure they have their reasons."

Taren closed his eyes as a wave of exhaustion overtook him. His arm was killing him. He took a deep breath. "Not any they like to make public."

Hal spread his hands. "Not unlike any other government institution."

"The Jedi are separate from the government," Lainey said, frowning at him.

Ammon coughed. "Not with the way they seem to go wherever Chancellor Palpatine or the Senate points."

Taren nodded. "As long as you can trust your government, it isn't too bad," He said, just as the lights went out. Stiffening, he asked, "What's going on?"

"I think that's our cue to get some sleep," Hal replied, stretching while Taren's eyes adjusted to the near perfect dark.

"Then what was the point in waking us up?" Ammon complained, already settling down on the floor.

Taren shook his head, the sudden reminder of their captors weighing heavily on him. He laid down on the floor as well, resting his good arm beneath his head.

"Goodnight," Lainey said softly, getting up and walking across the cell to settle down near the twi’leck woman. Taren raised an eyebrow, wondering how she managed to move so confidently with only the soft light sneaking in through the door. Not that there was much to trip on in the room anyway. He closed his eyes, soon falling into a fitful sleep.

***

(OOC...Yes I know in the EU books Valin was 9 when the purges happened, but that would make him a father to Corran at 9, and we can't have that, so I've made him Anakin's age. wink.gif)
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Katana
Posted: Apr 6 2005, 01:31 AM


Slacker


Group: Admin
Posts: 1,110
Member No.: 7
Joined: 31-March 05



Cool story.


--------------------
Live life to the fullest, and by fullest I mean hyped up on sugar and caffeine.
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Luney
Posted: Apr 6 2005, 10:14 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



Thanks Katana!

Here's more:

Part Two

Helaine had just about fallen asleep when a bright light in the room assaulted her eyes. She slowly screwed one open, tensing as she realized their captors had returned. One held a glowrod while the other hovered over Taren, examining his wrapped arm.

"If he's permanently damaged, we won't get a good price for him," The man examining Taren said.

"Probably nothing a bacta tank won't fix," The one with the glowrod said.

She frowned, upset with the way they were itemizing him. Suddenly, kneeling man’s glowrod tugged off of his belt and flew behind Taren's back. Helaine blinked, rubbing her eyes. Valin wasn't supposed to be very adept at telekinesis - perhaps there was another Jedi in the room? She slowly opened her eyes, finding the glowrod back on the man's belt. Helaine shook her head, trying to clear it. The glowrod flew off the men's belt again, flying behind Taren. Confused, she glanced at Valin, who rolled over in his sleep, snoring softly as he cocked his head toward Taren. It was then that Helaine understood - Valin had sent her an image through the Force.

Helaine hesitated, wondering what he would want with a glowrod. And wouldn't the guards see? Valin let out a sigh in his "sleep". He was getting impatient. Helaine waited for the man to turn his head to speak to the other guard again before gently tugging the glowrod from his belt using telekinesis. She then moved it quickly behind Taren, trying not to wince when his guard turned back to him. But the man must not have seen or felt anything, because he slowly rose to his feet, grumbling about the rising cost of bacta.

The other guard suggested they make Taren's buyer pay for it, then laughing harshly they exited the cell. Helaine wasted no time physically grabbing the glow rod from behind Taren, and walking over to Valin. She sat beside him as he slowly got up, rubbing his eyes. "Afraid of the dark?" Helaine asked, showing him the glowrod.

Valin laughed, shaking his head as he took the glowrod from her. "No," he said, rolling it between his hands. He moved his head close to hers. "Don't you think this would make a good lightsaber husk?"

Helaine's eyes widened. "What?"

"We'll need a few more parts, of course. But we've got a husk, switch, and power source here," Valin said, hefting the glowrod.

"Wouldn't it be easier to steal a blaster?" Helaine asked uncertainly.

Valin shrugged. "Sure, if you wish to lose the element of surprise when you're outnumbered. And if you prefer clumsy weapons..."

Helaine spread her hands. "Alright, and where are we going to find a focusing crystal?"

He cocked his head toward the Twi’leck. "They let her keep a bracelet."

"It must be fake," Helaine said, frowning.

"Or manufactured," Valin pointed out. "It doesn't matter anyway, as long as it is cut well." He nudged her. "It won't be the best lightsaber ever made, but it'll serve our purposes."

Helaine nodded, seeing his point, and not wanting to admit she wasn’t very quick at building them. "I guess that's all that matters."

Silence followed, and Helaine considered going back to sleep, when Valin spoke again. "You need to be more careful, Lainey."

"What?" Helaine asked, stiffening.

"Very few fourteen year old girls would take being caught by slavers calmly. I'd say most would probably be hysterical," Valin said, steadily meeting her eyes.

Helaine shook her head. "I could never act like that. These people are hopeless enough..."

"And not looking to you for guidance, Lainey." Valin broke in gently. "Unless they find out you are Jedi, which would probably lead to your death, mine, and their only hope of escape." He touched her arm. "Think of this as an undercover mission and a role you are playing."

"Such as hysterical?" Helaine asked with a sigh, knowing he was right.

"Too late for that, I think," Valin said, winking at her. His tone then grew serious. "You probably better do something with your hair."

Helaine touched her hair subconsciously, wondering what he was talking about, until her fingers brushed her padawan braid. "Oh...blast!" She hopped to her feet. "I'll be right back," She said, heading toward the fresher.

Valin called out, "You could try stumbling in the dark, too."

"I'll work on it," Helaine promised before stepping into the refresher and calling for lights. Lacking a brush, she ran her fingers through her long hair, trying not to wince when she pulled out a snarl. She knew of very few ways to hide her padawan braid, since it was something she rarely wanted to do. Fortunately a few years back she'd been taught a hairstyle by Senator Verana while they were on an undercover mission. Carefully she started braiding tiny braids symmetrically throughout her hair, and then pulled a few halfway up, including her padawan braid.

She stared at her reflection in the mirror for a moment, seeing not a Jedi, but just a regular, somewhat short, teenaged girl. Helaine shook her head, turning the lights off as she exited the refresher. Valin had pretended to doze off from the time it took her to do her hair, so she nudged him almost gently with her foot. "Well?" She asked after he'd slowly opened his hazel eyes.

Valin made a show of rubbing his eyes before switching the glowrod on and gesturing for her to turn around. "Pretty," he said after she'd done so. Turning off the glowrod he asked, "will it hold?"

Helaine nodded. "Until I take it out," she said, sitting down next to him again. A small smile played across her lips. "Nice cover name, by the way. Think I should change mine to Tri?"

"Quiet," Valin said, elbowing her. "I had to think quick... and I kind of like it. Hal."

"Don't you think it's a little too exotic?" Helaine teased, raising an eyebrow.

Valin shrugged. "It's no Bail, but I think a popular name would be more suspicious anyway."

"Probably," Helaine agreed, then scooted against the wall. "Our captors aren't very careful, are they?" She asked, examining her unbound hands.

"They probably don't usually need to be," Valin said, resting against the wall as well.

Helaine glanced at him sharply. "What do you mean?"

Valin spread his hands. "Think about where they picked us up at, the lower levels of Corsucant. They probably aim for the homeless and connectionless. If they offer the starving food, why would they want to escape?"

"Because they're giving up their freedom!" Helaine exclaimed, slightly louder than she intended. Taren and Ammon both turned over in their sleep.

He brought a finger to his lips before responding. "Not everyone can live off of stubbornness alone like you, Lainey. For some people, slavery is the brighter option." He pursed his lips. "Which is probably why our captors had such an easy time of it."

Helaine frowned. "I don't understand."

"How do you think a group of slavers were able to take people from a completely anti-slavery world?" Valin asked after a moment. "Because they take people who won't be missed. And they also must have at least a little Governmental support."

"That's impossible," Helaine said, forcing her tone to remain soft. "This is a Republic."

Valin shrugged. "Slavery has gone up twenty percent in the last ten years, Lainey, and grows higher every year. And think about it, the slavers succeed where our Government does not in sheltering the homeless and feeding the hungry."

Helaine shook her head. "It's wrong Valin, no matter the benefits."

"You don't have to convince me, Lainey. But how about the people of the Republic when the streets are cleaned up? Maybe the Government will openly support it then, with pretty words like 'symbiotic servitude'."

"They wouldn't," Helaine objected, shaking her head again. "If they did, it would make slavery seem more acceptable, and even if it benefited the slaves it would make people less sensitive to it."

Valin nodded, turning his head to meet her gaze. "Exactly."

Helaine shuddered as a chill ran up her spine. "I don't like the sound of that."

A tense silence followed, in which Helaine tried not to think about the failings of the Government, hoping that they could be fixed. Chancellor Palpatine professed that he would do everything in his power to keep the Republic together, but Helaine didn't trust him to not go to too great of lengths.

Taren rolled over in his sleep again, moaning softly. Helaine glanced at Valin. "How badly did he break his arm?"

"It's an open fracture," Valin answered. "And it is already infected. The lower levels of Corusacnt are the last places in the galaxy you want to get an open wound in."

"Could the infection kill him?" Helaine asked softly, turning her eyes back to Taren.

Valin took a moment in answering. "I think regular cleaning is the best we can do for it."

Helaine frowned. "You didn't answer my question."

"That's because I don't know. But I don't think it is that bad yet, as long as we don't see any red lines going up his arm it should be fine."

"But he's in a lot of pain," Helaine said, watching Taren turn over again.

"Open fractures are often painful."

She got to her feet and walked over to Taren. "I'm going to help him with it."

Valin cocked his head. "I didn't know you were a healer, Lainey."

"I know a few things," Helaine said, kneeling next to Taren and placing her hand on his forehead. She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath as she touched the Force. For a moment she reveled in it's familiar warmth, but soon grew disheartened by the distance of her Master. Helaine quickly turned her thoughts away from that and focused on Taren's presence in the Force, which was a lot brighter than she expected. He was probably either close to or borderline Force sensitive. Which meant helping him should be a lot easier than she thought.

Concentrating hard, she started accelerating healing in his arm, but unfortunately she couldn't get it to go much quicker than what was natural. She worked on blocking his pain, and was able to tweak it just enough that he stopped tossing and turning, but it wasn't enough to get him to fall into a deep sleep. Sighing, Helaine opened her eyes and faced Valin. "You'd be better at this than me, Valin."

Valin started slightly. "Why would you say that?"

"If you can make me think that a glowrod is flying off of a guard's belt, you can convince a sleeping man he isn't in any pain," Helaine said, gesturing him over. "Please, I can't block it well enough to get him to fall into a deeper sleep."

He got up and walked over, and knelt beside her. Valin concentrated and almost instantly Taren relaxed completely, his pain gone. Knowing he probably couldn't keep it up for too long, Helaine instantly sent Taren into a deep sleep where he wouldn't be able to feel the pain from his arm. Finally releasing him, she regarded Valin. "That was amazing." She cocked her head. "How do you do it?"

"Halcyon family trait," Valin replied easily. "Never thought about using it in that way before though."

Helaine smiled, leaning toward him. "Can you teach me?" She asked, then blushed and chose to hide her eagerness. "I could help you with telekinesis or something."

Valin laughed slightly. "Sure, but you'd have to shoot me first."

"What?" Helaine asked, shocked.

"So I could absorb the energy to do so," Valin explained. "I'm afraid we Halcyons have to give telekinesis up in favor of strong mind manipulation."

"Oh," Helaine said, flushing slightly. "Anakin Skywalker can do that. Absorb energy, that is."

Valin nodded, getting to his feet. "Is there anything he cannot do?"

Helaine shook her head, also getting up. "Of course not. He's the Chosen One."

"True," Valin said, before nudging her with his elbow. "Better get some sleep, I'll show you a few tricks tomorrow."

"Thanks," Helaine said, bidding him goodnight before going back to lay down next to the twi’leck woman. Sleep didn't come quickly, her brief touch with the Force had made it more active in her again, as well as making her more aware of Taren. She was connected to him in some way, on a level much deeper than she wanted to think about.

Helaine snuggled her head against her arm, but soon had to move her position as when her arm fell asleep. Sighing, Helaine tossed over onto her stomach, pressing her forehead against the cool floor. It was going to be a long night.
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Luney
Posted: Apr 13 2005, 09:20 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



Hmmm ah well, I'll put up the rest. wink.gif


Part Three
Coruscant, Four Days Later


Lanelle Caine waited patiently, or at least seemingly so, outside of Coruscant Security's Headquarters. She was masking her irritation while waiting for Nejaa Halcyon to finish saying goodbye to his wife, Scerra. It didn't seem to be enough for the Corellian Jedi to simply live away from Coruscant and abide by their own rules, but they had chosen to flaunt it as well. Obviously, the man felt that whatever news Coruscant Security had wasn’t good, so she assumed to make it easier on the woman, he was sending her back to their hotel. From their affectionate display, Lanelle thought they were acting like they’d be separated for weeks, instead of just a few hours.

Stealing a glance back at them, she quickly turned away, nearly blushing. Perhaps he was comforting her, but did he need to do it in public? Lanelle sighed, focusing on clearing her thoughts. She wasn't being entirely fair to the man; he was a good Jedi Master, good even, for a Corellian.

Finally, he sent his wife off in the hover taxi and joined Lanelle on the stairs. He offered no sheepish apologies, and barely gestured that they enter the building. Lanelle did not know the man well, but even she could see that the last few days had begun to rob the life from his normally bright green eyes. Lanelle didn't want to think about what she must look like, but she was missing only a padawan, not a son.

Only missing a padawan? She was kidding herself, no matter how hard she tried to not get attached to Helaine, she was, much deeper than she ever should have allowed. Not because of any rules forbidding such attachments, master and padawan bonds were meant to be strong. It was because she knew she would never see Helaine to Knighthood. In preparation for that eventuality, Lanelle had tried to get her to develop a relationship with the Force instead of her Master, but Helaine had other ideas.

At first, she had seemed like an ideal padawan for Lanelle: quiet, unobtrusive, and probably destined to be a créche master. So Lanelle had taken her on, but at the bonding ceremony, she got the feeling that she would never see her to Knighthood. Helaine had sensed it as wel, though she said nothing, but she cried in her sleep their first night as Master and Padawan. And many nights after that.

After that, Helaine had taken a sudden greater interest in combat, soon excelling in it. Lanelle said nothing about her padawan's change of interest from the creche to battle, nor did she try to divert her from it. She had set her path, as well as the kind of Master she was meant to have.

Lanelle nodded her thanks to Nejaa as he opened the door for her and led the way into the security building. There had been little news about her padawan's whereabouts. All they found was her robe, tunic, and lightsaber. For Valin’s, all they could find was his lightsaber, in close proximity to Helaine's. Strangely enough, her clothing wasn't found anywhere near it. She got the feeling though that Helaine and Valin had been chasing trouble, which was usual for them.


It had been four days since she had gone missing, and it had taken forty eight hours for the security officers to even decree that she was missing at all. After two days more, they had finally contacted the Temple again with what a plausible scenario Lanelle shook her head, all she knew was that her padawan was okay, and not being blocked from the Force. She could hardly help worrying though. Jedi had disappeared for months recently, with only a ghastly holograph of their corpses sent to the Council, with a note questioning the power of the Force next to him. Sometimes carbonite statues were shipped, but the Jedi was already dead. It was assumed that the killer was the missing Sith, because he seemed to catch them with relative ease. Lanelle wasn't sure what to think, but she was certain that whoever he was, he attributed to the upcoming darkness Master Yoda kept referring to.

They were quickly ushered into a small conference room, where two women and a man already sat with the officers. Holding whom Lanelle assumed to be her husband's hand, one of the woman's eyes widened at their arrival. "The Jedi are involved in this?"

The other woman, with dark brown hair, glanced up sharply, her deep blue eyes strangely familiar. The officer answered, "We believe that two Jedi Apprentices were kidnapping victims as well."

That didn't help the woman at all. "Who or what can capture Jedi?"

Nejaa stepped forward. "It's not impossible, madam, but we believe it may have been an accident."

The officer cleared his throat and gestured for the two Jedi to sit down. As soon as they were seated, he placed his hands on his desk. "You've all been called here for the same reason - your connection with the missing persons. We have sufficient evidence to believe that the cases are all related." He took a deep breath. "We also have reason to believe that they were taken by slavers."

Lanelle straightened her back, showing no other signs of shock. Nejaa didn't seem surprised at all. The others in the room were devastated. The dark haired woman glanced up at the officer, her shoulders sinking. "What can be done?"

"Wait, for now, Madame Trillium. As far as we know, only your two children, Ammon Daelanie, and Valin Halcyon have been reported missing, but they probably picked up a few more victims. Slavers tend to go for people who have no connections, that way they have little chance of being traced."

Lanelle lifted her head slightly in surprise, Both of Madame Trillium's children? That meant her padawan had met a sibling. While Lanelle stiffened, Madame Trillium's color drained from her face as she regarded the officer. "M- my two children, Officer Nehor?"

He blinked. "We assumed that Helaine and Taren were both your children..."

"They are," She cut in quickly, casting her gaze to the Jedi. "I did not know my daughter had been taken."

Nehor nodded. "If they find out they are related, they will try to use Taren against her. Do you believe she would fold?"

Madame Trillium stiffened, cocking her head toward Lanelle. "Ask the Jedi."

Inexplicably, Lanelle found herself looking away. Madame Trillium had her padawan's deep blue eyes, and she did not want to face the slight envy in them. It was easy to assume that Helaine's parents did not exist when she didn't have to face them, that her own... she shook her head firmly of those thoughts, and cleared her throat. "Helaine would never, she is far too stubborn." She paused. "And we have no proof the slavers even know she is a Jedi, they haven't blocked her from the Force."

Nehor spread his hands. "Perhaps they are confident they can hold her without resorting to that."

That didn't help the scared parents at all. Nejaa raised an eyebrow. "I wouldn't call it confident." He jabbed his thumb into his chest. "I'd call it stupid." Leaning back against his chair, he folded his arms. "If they were smart, the first thing they'd do with Jedi captives is kill them if they have no ysalamiri." Madame Trillium winced, and he nodded to her. "Sorry."

He paused for a breath. "But obviously they haven't, which means one of two things. One, that our slavers don't know they have caught Jedi, or two, they are stupid enough to think they can handle them." Nejaa smiled. "Either option works to our favor. As long as our apprentices have the Force, they have the upper hand."

Sudden relief flooded from the others in the room through the Force, holding steady as Nejaa continued to discuss the matter with Officer Nehor. His approach was logical and purposefully optimistic, and obviously coated with Cor-Sec views. He was known to have worked with them a lot, as well as his son, Valin. Truth be told, of the two padawans Valin would be the most useful in the situation.

Lanelle bit back a sigh, not wanting to think about the situation in to which Helaine had been thrown. Her brother was there, someone she was never supposed to meet, and the closest thing she had to supervision was a Corellian apprentice, known to be a bit of troublemaker, especially with her padawan. Not that she didn't trust her padawan...but a Halcyon...

Nejaa glanced at her and shook his head, as though he were answering her thoughts concerning Valin and Helaine. While he explained to the Delanies how Master Yoda would be able to track the apprentices, Lanelle straightened her shoulders and lifted her chin. It took a lot of control to keep her cheeks from flaming. It was one thing to show even the slightest bit of emotion to non-Jedi, but to a Corellian Jedi, it was even worse.

Catching her gaze from the corner of his eye, Nejaa winked at her. Bristling, Lanelle smoothed an imaginary wrinkle from her pants. Corellians.


***

Danae Trillium spent most of the meeting in silence, stealing cautious glances at the two Jedi Masters. Her curiosity toward the woman, Lanelle Caine, was much greater than she should allow, because she had learned that she was her daughter's master, and had taken her place in Helaine's life. Danae studied her face, seeing no signs of worry, just pure, maddening calm. Did she even care that Helaine was missing at all?

Master Caine must have sensed her watching her, because she turned her head, meeting Danae's gaze. For a brief moment, she thought she could see echoes of her own pain and frustration in them, but only for a moment as the Jedi Master glanced quickly away. Master Halcyon seemed to notice, sparing a quick look for her, which seemed to agitate her. Danae smiled slightly. Strangely, Nejaa was more of what she'd pictured as a Master for Helaine. Partly because he seemed much more lively, and mainly she supposed it was because he was a man. Helaine had always been a daddy's girl.

Danae closed her eyes, remembering the few months she'd had with her infant daughter. Helaine had developed stranger anxiety at much too young an age, she had known who her parents were, and rarely let others hold her. She missed her father while he was at work, and knew the instant he came home, sometimes crying for him before Danae even knew he was there. It didn't take a high midichlorian count for Danae to know she had born an exceptional child.

She and her husband, Terrance, came from average families, though Danae was directly related to Duchess Rothschild, she did not come from the noble line. They were independent and proud, with Terrance running his own shipping business and she a seamstress' shop. But perhaps they had been too proud in their normalcy, for the Force had chosen to give them one of its rarest gifts, and most terrible of curses, a Jedi child.

It didn't take long for the Jedi to contact them. The first time they had asked for Helaine, she and Terrance had given a firm no. She was their daughter and they intended to raise her. The Jedi, however, were persistent. They said that she would always feel that something was missing in her life from an undeveloped Force talent, that her attachment to her parents was dangerous, and could only grow stronger. She could also develop telekinesis that was random and impossible to control, particularly when her emotions were unstable. These were extreme cases, of course, but it worried her and Terrance.

Finally, a member of the Council, Ki-Adi Mundi, had come from all the way from Coruscant. He informed them that Helaine's training was crucial to the future of the Galaxy, which was hardly surprising, considering Danae thought most Jedi were. Master Mundi was persistent though, speaking vaguely of a dark future that she was needed to aid with. Danae and Terrance had agreed then, knowing that it would be best for her. But oh how Helaine had cried when the Jedi had taken her away...

Danae stiffened, feeling tears touch her eyes. For months afterward, she could still hear it, causing her to wake up at times and even go so far as to check Helaine's room. It'd been empty for years now.

"Madame Trillium?" Officer Nehor asked gently, causing Danae to raise her head. "Are you alright?"

She nodded, but his question caused the tears to flow. Sina Daelani wrapped her arm around her shoulders. "Do you want to go out for a moment?"

Danae shook her head, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "No, I'm okay."

Officer Nehor studied her carefully. "You're certain?"

"Yes," Danae replied, straightening her shoulders. The Naboo were well known for strong endurance, she could handle this.

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Luney
Posted: Apr 13 2005, 09:22 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



Part Four


The prisoners had been in hyperspace for four days now, without knowing where they were going. Valin Halcyon sat with Taren as he could sense nighttime approaching, keeping a firm hold on his temper. The slavers had just been in the cell, taunting Lainey and the twi’leck woman, Aeshari. As soon as they left, Aeshari pulled a calm Lainey close to her, attempting to console her. Lainey tolerated it, trying to act her own age, and could probably tell that it was Aeshari's way of dealing with it. Their relationship had a fortunate benefit - Aeshari had been willing to give Lainey her bracelet, thinking it would cheer her up. Valin and Lainey had been working on building their lightsaber for a day and a half now.

Valin glanced at Taren, who had his good fist clenched, his lips pursed tight. His broken arm was doing a lot better, with the aid of Lainey sitting up with him at night to heal it. Valin had had to help him with the pain the first few nights, but it wasn't as strong now. Lainey tended to avoid him during the day, most likely trying to not get too attached. Valin could see that she was though, and the moment she realized it herself, she was likely to back off. So the question was if Taren felt anything for her, because he stood to be hurt the most from the emotion. From how angrily Taren reacted towards the Slavers, Valin unfortunately suspected that the man did care.

Taren must have felt Valin's eyes on him, because he turned to face him, and spoke up softly. "I have a younger sister her age."

To hide his surprise, Valin cocked his head. "Oh?"

"Yes," Taren answered, slowly tightening his fist. "And if I ever heard a guy talking to her like that, I'd kill him."

Valin nodded his understanding. "You're close to her?"

Taren winced. "I haven't seen her in over thirteen years."

"Is she..." Valin began, but was interrupted before he could finish his awkward question.

"Dead?" Taren asked, then shook his head. "No." He sighed. "She's training to be a Jedi."

Valin blinked, Taren's hostility toward the slavers suddenly explained, and, quite possibly, Helaine's attachment to him. As casually as possible he asked, "Interesting. What's her name?"

"Helaine," Taren said after a moment. "Mom and Dad took it hard, you know. We haven't done anything with her room. They don't want to, it'd be like they were accepting she was...gone."

Or may as well be dead. Valin nodded, at a loss for what to say. He had thought that Lainey was falling in love with him, which she was, in a way. Force, how could he tell her that her brother was on board? How could he not? Even though she'd probably react with less trepidation to a sith.

Taren had more to say. "Princess Vana met her once. Said she looked just like our mom, even acted a little bit like her too." He smiled slightly. "Guess the Jedi can't suppress everything."

"Guess not," Valin agreed.

"You're Corellian, aren't you?" Taren asked, shifting to get a better look of him.

Valin nodded. "I am."

Taren paused thoughtfully. "They don't separate the Jedi from their families there, do they?"

"Nope."

"It works for them too, doesn't it?" Taren asked, not waiting for Valin to answer. "Wonder why it doesn't for the Coruscanti?"

Valin shrugged, unable to answer how he would like to. He was posing as a non-Jedi, and shouldn't have had reason enough to give it a lot of thought. "I guess because they're out to save the Galaxy, where the Corellian don't leave their system," he answered finally, hoping it sounded indifferent enough.

Taren nodded, slowly closing his eyes. He winced as he slightly moved his arm. "You ever meet a Jedi?"

"Few times," Valin replied carefully. "You look tired."

"I'm okay," Taren yawned, leaning heavily against the wall.

Valin was already starting to see the family resemblance in him and Lainey. "Well, you can't expect your arm to heal without getting rest."

Taren sighed, slowly slumping to the floor. "You sound like a healer."

"I've seen too many," Valin laughed, watching Taren relax. His arm was already healing at an accelerated pace without treatment, and he didn't want to think about what would happen if the slavers decided to examine it. Hopefully, he and Lainey'd have their lightsaber built by then and have control of the ship. If not, they were in for a very rough trip.

***

An hour after everyone had fallen asleep, Valin crept across the floor to Lainey, and gently tapped her shoulder. Lainey groaned irritably, and rolled over onto her side, still asleep. Valin almost felt bad about waking her up. They'd had little time for sleep lately, and she was allowing herself even less than him. But lightsabers didn't build themselves, and went quicker with two Jedi. He winced slightly at what his father would think of that.

Lainey had her arms across her eyes, and was mumbling at him to go away. He tickled her neck, and she swatted his hand away. Laughing softly, he said, "Lainey."

"What?" She growled at him out of pure annoyance. So, the Coruscant Jedi weren't completely infallible, not even Lanelle Caine's apprentice.

"Time to get up," Valin said, grabbing her arm and pulling her to her feet.

Lainey rubbed her eyes. "Why?"

"Everyone's asleep," Valin said, guiding her toward the refresher. "And we have a lightsaber to build."

"Right," Lainey said, considerably less disoriented. Valin opened the refresher door and called for lights, freezing the door so they could use its light to build. Lainey kept glancing toward Taren, thinking Valin wasn't noticing as they sat on the floor. He brought the lightsaber out from under the refresher sink and handed it to her. They were working on placing the gemstones, a process which was a lot less clumsy using telekinesis rather than fingers.

Refreshing herself with the Force, Lainey set to work on it, but the process was slow as she was distracted by concern for Taren. Valin nudged her. "Careful, Republic Jedi."

"Hmm?" Lainey asked, her tongue poking out slightly as she concentrated.

"You feel for Taren, don't you?" Valin asked gently.

Lainey stiffened. "Concern, yes, because he is injured."

Valin nodded. "Right." He leaned against the wall, placing his head against his hands in an effort to look casual. "If you choose to go Corellian, I'll find you a good master."

"Valin," Lainey warned, sparing him a glance. "What are you trying to get at?"

"Just that you do feel for Taren, and you're only making it worse for yourself. I have no personal problem with it, but your Order does," Valin stated pointedly.

Lainey shook her head. "I'm just not letting him suffer. There's nothing wrong with that," She retorted, but she wouldn't meet Valin's gaze.

Valin nodded. "No...except if you were discovered, it could jeopardize our entire escape plan."

"I'm careful," Lainey said, uncomfortable. "I'd do it for anyone."

"Except Taren isn't just anyone, is he?" Valin asked softly.

Lainey worked on positioning the crystals. "Everyone's unique in the Force."

Now that was a philosophy class answer. "Maybe I should take over staying up with him at night."

Her head snapped up. "Why?"

Valin took a deep breath and rested his hand on her arm. "Lainey, he's your brother."

Lainey froze completely, and dropped the crystal out of place. "What?" She quickly started trying to replace the crystal with shaking fingers.

"I talked with him earlier about his Jedi sister," Valin replied, moving his arms around her shoulders to help her place the crystal. He mused that this would be a rather awkward position for them to be caught in. His thought became reality, when the doors to the cell opened. Blast, Valin thought, before catching Lainey's eyes. Thinking fast, he pulled her close to him and kissed her lips. Lainey pulled instinctively away but he pressed her against the wall, dipping her back as he took the lightsaber and slid it under the back of her shirt.

The guards laughed harshly, telling him to enjoy her while he could. Lainey tensed even more in his arms, and he rubbed her back, sending an image of what he was trying to do through the Force. Slowly, she started to relax, clumsily moving her lips in response to his. She even tried running her fingers through his hair, but much too quickly, he hoped it looked passionate. The guards were examining the other prisoners for selling points, but were amusedly content to leave Valin and Lainey alone.

Valin released her mouth to let her breathe, and moved down her neck. Lainey scrunched her shoulders up in response, drawing more laughter from the guards. "Come on, let's leave them alone. Force knows, they only have so long," The taller one said, and they exited the room.

The moment they were gone, Lainey thrust the lightsaber in Valin's hands and moved quickly away, keeping two meters distance between them. Her cheeks were flaming red and she couldn't meet his gaze. "Sorry," Valin offered, fingering the lightsaber.

Lainey shook her head. She opened her mouth to say something, then quickly shut it. After a few moments, she tried again. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," Valin said, watching as she scooted quickly back over to Aeshari. He silently hid the lightsaber back underneath the sink, feeling bad for having shocked her so deeply. If there was one thing he wasn't supposed to do with a Coruscant Jedi, it was kiss her. But they had needed a quick cover, and it had been the most logical cover. Placing his hands behind his head and smirking slightly, he figured that she wouldn't have been so troubled if she hadn't liked it.
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Luney
Posted: Apr 13 2005, 09:25 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



Part Five

Taren woke up in a haze, his muscles protesting every movement. Groaning, he attempted to roll over, but was stopped when something grabbed his good arm. "Up," A voice said gruffly, pulling him up into a sitting position.

Blinking, Taren asked, "What?"

"Wanna look at your arm," One of the captors said, grabbing his right arm. Taren bit his lip at the less than gentle touch. His arm was feeling a lot better than it had a few days ago, which meant it was healing...which was unusual since it wasn’t properly set. He'd expected sleepless nights because of it, but instead he seemed to sleep better than ever.

The slaver started unwrapping the makeshift bandage, and Taren stiffened, suddenly filled with anxiety. He fought the urge to tear his arm away, squirming slightly. Something was wrong. The slaver tensed as he finished. "Hey, Lee!"

"What?" Lee asked, walking over, then froze and scratched his head. "Did we give them bacta?"

"No," The slaver said, backing up from Taren, his eyes growing wide. "No one heals that fast."

His arm wasn't healed! Taren struggled to look at it, while Lee's mouth dropped open.

"Jedi!" Lee exclaimed, grabbing his blaster and pointing it at Taren. "Want me to shoot him?"

"Jedi?" Taren asked incredulously. "I'm not a Jedi!"

"Right," Matrim said, training his blaster on him as well. He studied Taren for a moment. "Hmm, he's too young to be a Knight."

Lee pursed his lips. "Maybe he's one of those...paddlehorns?"

Matrim shook his head. "No, they have a braid."

Taren let out a long breath, at once grateful for looking his age. Matrim searched the group, obviously looking for someone who did look old enough to be a Jedi Knight. Craning his neck, Taren looked as well, wondering if there actually was a Jedi in their group. Matrim paused in front of Lainey, then pulled her roughly to her feet, taking her hair down at the same time. One long slim braid hung over her left shoulder. Lee frowned. "You think she is a Jedi?"

Holding his blaster to her, Matrim tugged on the braid. "That is a paddlehorn braid."

Lee trained his blaster on her as well. "What do you want to do with her?"

Matrim waved his arm. "Aim that thing at him, Jedi have no sense of self preservation."

So they would kill him right away, but spare her? He guess he looked more threatening. Taren cocked his head. She didn't strike him as a Jedi, except for the fact that she had remained fearless the entire trip. Even now, she calmly regarded the slavers. On Matrim's order, Lee hauled Taren to his feet as well.

"We'll discuss this outside," Matrim said, grabbing Lainey's arm and shoving the blaster against her neck. Lee followed suit with Taren, and led him out into the hall after Matrim, and into the cockpit of the ship. They were shoved down into chairs, and two more guards took over holding blasters on them. Matrim and Lee walked over to the far right of the cockpit, talking softly so that Taren could barely hear them.

"We have no resources to hold a Jedi," Matrim was saying. "But the market for them is in the hundreds of thousands."

"She looks harmless enough."

Matrim coughed. "Have you ever seen their Yoda? He wouldn't reach my knee, and they made him their leader."

"You think the smaller they are the more dangerous?"

"Maybe." Matrim shrugged. " I have an idea." He left the cockpit.

Taren looked over to Lainey, trying to catch her eyes. She met his gaze slowly, straightening her shoulders. Her life was being discussed, but she gave him an encouraging look. For a brief moment, Taren saw his mother in her. He would have leaned forward if it weren't for the blaster aimed at him. She was a Jedi, and around his sister’s age. Lainey suddenly looked away, and Matrim re-entered the cockpit, handing Lee a pair of stun cuffs.

He walked over to Taren, and put a collar around his neck, while Lee placed stun cuffs on Lainey's wrists. "This is a choke collar, if you remove those cuffs, Jedi, he will die. Or if my vital signs should drop." He showed her a remote on his wrist. "And for added security, I think we shall make you have to work on healing yourself," Matrim said, pointing the blaster at her. Lainey braced herself as Matrim lined the blaster with her shoulder in perfect point blank range. He then moved the blaster a couple centimeters upwards and to the left and shot, the blast barely grazing her shoulder. She slumped in the chair though, groaning slightly looking severely exhausted. Taren frowned, wondering why he had changed his mind about how badly to wound her as Lee pulled to her feet, having to support her.

Taren shook his head as he was pulled up as well. Maybe it was a lot worse than it looked, the slavers certainly seemed to think so. He watched her carefully out of the corner of his eye, anger stirring in his chest as Lee dragged her down the hall. Suddenly it dawned on him, Lainey could be his sister.

He looked up at Matrim, wondering if he could take him, before his shoulders slumped. Any action on his part would result in his death, and certainly wouldn't help Lainey at all. They reached the cell and were pushed in. Hal rushed over to help Lainey, almost seeming to have known that they were coming. Taren decided that he must have heard their footsteps, and knelt next to Lainey when Hal helped her lay down.

Hal tugged on her torn sleeve, exposing the wound. He let out a long breath. "It's just superficial." Lainey nodded tiredly, and he frowned at her. "Are you alright?"

Lainey smiled faintly. "They think it's a lot worse."

Grinning, Hal nodded. "Nice work."

Taren blinked. Lainey had changed the path of the blaster, and Matrim hadn't noticed at all? Taren shuddered slightly, and Lainey looked up at him, biting her lip. "Taren, I...," she took a deep breath. "You...were brave." She finished uncertainly.

He shrugged, giving her a funny look. "Thanks."

"Come on, Lainey, let's go to the 'fresher," Hal said, taking her arm and wrapping it around his shoulders. Placing his arm around her waist, he stood up easily, causing her feet to dangle a couple centimeters off the ground. Lainey kicked her feet and he hunched over slightly to accommodate her height.

Taren smiled, and she caught his gaze as Hal guided her toward the refresher. The look in her eyes was curious, but shadowed with fear. Of him? Taren subconsciously moved toward the refresher for a better look, just as the door slid shut behind her.

***

Helaine sat gratefully down on the refresher's floor as Valin soaked a flimsytowel with cold water. He soon stooped down and pressed it against her burn, and she let out a soft sigh as it eased the pain. Closing her eyes, Helaine listened as Valin started to soak another. "Was that the first time you've managed to alter someone's perception, Lainey?"

"Yes," Helaine said, opening her eyes as he knelt by her again. "I didn't think it would be so hard, you make it seem easy."

Valin grinned. "We can't all be Halcyons." He stood up and started running water over another flimsy towel.

Helaine smiled. "Guess not." She watched him as he soaked the flimsy towel, noting the well-defined muscles on his arms. He was taller than average, and used it to his complete advantage in battle, but with her he managed to make it not so obvious. Except when he had helped her up. He certainly was strong. Helaine's cheeks suddenly flushed as she realized she found him attractive. She'd never noticed until the night before, her cheeks burned deeper as she remembered how he'd had to kiss her. Valin suddenly pressed a third towel against her shoulder and she jumped. He looked at her with concern. "Did I hurt you?"

"No." Helaine shook her head firmly, trying to force her thoughts onto another track. "No, you didn't."

Valin studied her for a moment. "Alright, tell me when the towels get too warm."

Helaine shifted uncomfortably. "I can do it," she began, stopping at the stern look he gave her. Still slightly embarrassed, Helaine chose to change the subject. "Do you ever follow rules without knowing the reason why, Valin?"

"All the time," Valin replied, pulling out their lightsaber. "Why?"

"I finally understand the one about attachments," Helaine said, wincing slightly. "I nearly jeopardized our entire cover because I...felt for Taren."

Valin was silent for a moment as he started to work on the saber. "You would have done it for anyone."

Helaine shook her head. "I'm not much of a healer, Valin. I should have let you do it."

"The end result would have been the same," Valin said, his voice slightly distant as he directed the Force.

"Maybe." Helaine bit her lip. "But I almost tried to remove his choke collar the instant they put it on him. That would have been disastrous."

Valin looked up. "But you didn't."

Helaine shook her head. "That's not the point. I don't know what to do, I can't just ignore him, I think he knows." She looked down at her hands. "And this is probably our only chance to ever see each other."

"So take advantage of it, Lainey," Valin said, stopping his work for a moment.

"I can't," Helaine said, shocked before reminding herself that he was Corellian. "It goes against the code, this should never have happened."

Valin placed the saber on his lap. "I don't know what you want me to say. You know I don't believe the way you do."

Helaine straightened her shoulders. "I don't understand how you cannot. Our ways have worked for thousands of years."

"The Corellian ways have worked for centuries," Valin said calmly. "You distance yourselves from the ways of the Galaxy, and still expect to be able to guide it correctly."

"Love breeds partiality and clouds judgment," Helaine said stiffly.

"And nonchalance clouds compassion, which Jedi should be known for," Valin countered. "You shy away from attachments for fear of being unable to perform your duties to the Republic. That you may be unwilling to do what is necessary for the good of the galaxy." He paused, his tone softening. "It is for the people that I love and will love who I do it for."

Helaine squirmed slightly as her shoulder started to burn again. She let out a long breath, flinching. "Let's not argue this now, we need to finish that lightsaber."

Valin nodded, dropping it on her lap and then started to run cold water on another flimsy towel. "Are you up to aiding me?"

"Yes," Helaine said, as he removed the warm flimsy towels and replaced them with a cool one. "We're charging the power cell, right?"

"Yeah, and it'll go much quicker if we both do it." Valin placed two more towels on her shoulder then picked up the lightsaber. "Are you going to be able to fight?"

Helaine nodded, placing her bounds hands on the saber next to his. "I think so, though perhaps we should ask Lumpa for help."

Valin smiled. "A Wookiee. I like the way you think."

"Thanks," Helaine said, slowly tapping into the Force and sending a tendril of it into the power cell. Valin's energy soon joined hers, doubling the strength of the flow. Lightsabers were meant to take weeks, for some Jedi even months, of proper preparation and meditating. Charging the power cells and connecting them to the crystals was one of the hardest parts, not meant to be done quickly, because a Jedi put a part of themselves into it, that was what made the lightsaber come so easily when called.

Helaine was somewhat surprised as her connection to the Force melded with Valin's, giving her a clearer sense of him than ever before. She had expected his light to be slightly shadowed, or his ability to be stunted from not following the right code. Instead, he felt like many other apprentices in their nineteenth year, bright in the Force and perfectly normal. The lack of wrongness disturbed her, because the fault could lie in the order she chose to follow. Or perhaps it lay in neither, but that did not coincide with the prophecy of the Chosen One. Anakin Skywalker was prophesied to unite the separate orders of the Jedi, restoring balance to Force by combining them into one. Darker, more shaded prophecies hinted toward that if the Chosen One failed, the Jedi would fall with him.

Valin nudged her to focus, gently guiding the flow of the Force as the elemental bonds in the powercell shifted, allowing it to soak up more energy. Helaine had never understood how it worked, but knew that the changes within the lightsaber echoed in the Jedi who built it. Despite her lack of preparation for it, building it was changing her, in ways far too deep for her to grasp in a moments time.

Helaine slowly blinked her eyes open when she sensed that the lightsaber was finished. "What now?"

"We're going to take that choke collar off of Taren," Valin said, getting to his feet and helping her up. "How's your shoulder?"

"I'll survive," Lainey responded.

Valin nodded. "I'll handle the saber." He guided her out of the 'fresher.

Taren perked up the moment they entered the cell. "Is she alright?"

Helaine answered, "She's fine." Hesitating, she glanced over at Valin, who strode purposefully over to Taren.

Valin rested his hand on Taren's shoulder, studying the collar for a moment. "We need to get this thing off of you."

"How?" Taren asked curiously, backing up slightly.

"You may want to close your eyes," Valin said, lifting up the lightsaber. Turning it away from him, he switched it on. Taren jumped, while the others in the room gasped.

"A lightsaber?" Taren asked, backing up further. "How did you get that past the guards?"

"We built it in here," Valin said, cocking his head toward Helaine. "We need to remove your collar first so I can free Lainey." He lifted the blade up. "Ready?"

Taren nodded, closing his eyes and holding stiffly still while Valin touched the lightsaber to collar, instantly breaking it. As soon as it clanked to the floor, Taren opened his eyes, letting out a relieved sigh. "You're a Jedi, too?" Valin nodded. "A Knight?"

Valin shook his head. "No, I'm an apprentice," He answered, gesturing for Helaine to hold up her hands.

"But I thought...paddlewhatsits had braids?" Taren asked as Valin cut through the binder on Helaine's right hand.

"Corellian apprentices aren't paddlehorns," Valin said, winking at Helaine as he cut through her other binder.

"Padawans," Helaine corrected finally.

Valin just laughed and walked over to the Wookiee, asking him if he wanted to help. Lumpa growled an enthusiastic affirmative, and Valin quickly released him from the binders. Before anyone could question what exactly they were going to do, Valin advised the startled prisoners to stay while he cut through the lock on the door.


***

Valin stepped out into the empty corridor, making sure Lumpa and Lainey followed closely behind him. He could sense most of the slavers where he assumed the cockpit to be, but one wasn't too far down the corridor from them. He touched Lainey's shoulder. "See if you can get a couple of blasters."

"Okay," Lainey said softly, attempting to move away from behind him, but he stopped her.

"And stay behind me." Valin ordered, and she frowned at him. Even though she was an excellent fighter, she was handicapped by her injured shoulder. And if she strained it too much, it could break open. She knew it, too, and backed off reluctantly. Just then, the guard came around the corridor, and instantly brought up his blaster at seeing the three of them in the hall.

Lainey yanked it out of his hands with telekinesis and caught it in her hands, then handed it over to Lumpa. The guard started running, but didn't get far before Lumpa shot him down with a stun bolt. "Nice shooting," Valin complimented, gesturing with his arm for them to follow him down the corridor. Lainey stayed behind him, keeping alert for any more danger. He'd been slightly surprised when she'd passed the blaster off to the Wookiee first, making him wonder how good her aim was. Or she was protecting him. Valin smirked at the thought of Lainey protecting the big Wookiee, figuring Lumpa would have choicer words to say about it.

Valin followed the slavers’ presences in the Force to the cockpit, formulating a plan as he walked. There were six other slavers, outnumbering his group, but they could hardly compete with two Jedi and a Wookiee. Valin wasn't about to get overconfident, however, that was the quickest way to fall off a very high cliff. Their slavers had shown intelligence in dealing with Lainey, and had she not been able to redirect the blasters path, she'd be stuck in a healing trance.

Leaving the lightsaber unlit at his side, Valin slowly approached the cockpit, trying to convince himself he wasn't enjoying the chase. He and his father worked with Corsec every once in awhile, when the cases got too dangerous and too many lives were lost. It frustrated Valin to no end that it took near disaster before the Jedi would be called, and even then, Rostek preferred for them to work undercover if at all possible. Valin understood the caution, as a Jedi police force was likely to cause unrest in the population, but surely one or two couldn't hurt.

At least, the situation on Corellia wasn't nearly as bad as the rest of the Galaxy. The Jedi on Coruscant had allowed the people's fear of them to push them too hard, to the point where they ignored natural instinct. Beyond fighting against anger and fear, they suppressed love as well. It was truly no wonder why the number of Jedi potentials decreased every year. Their aversion to love led to celibacy, which led to extinction. And it wasn't very fun.

Reaching the cockpit doors, Valin flipped the lightsaber on, deciding to go with the direct approach. He ran the saber straight down through the doors, automatically sensing the panic within the room. Soon as the doors opened, Valin jumped to the side, dropping to his knees with Lainey behind him. A volley of blaster bolts almost immediately shot at them, which Valin redirected with the lightsaber. Any shots he missed, Lainey redirected with telekinesis, also managing to catch a couple loosely held blasters as well.

The slavers backed up, and Valin slowly crept into the cockpit, keeping low. Lainey set her blaster on stun and started shooting, taking them down faster than they could regroup. Valin rushed forward as soon as they went down, searching for the cockpit for stuncuffs.

Lainey glanced at him curiously. "What are you doing?"

"Looking for stuncuffs or binders," Valin replied, pulling open drawers.

"Matrim had to leave the room for those, I think I know where to get them." Lainey said, then exited the cockpit.

Valin crouched down next to the closest slaver, then looked up at Lumpa. "How many can you carry at a time?"

Lumpa growled, two.

"I can take one," Valin said, looking around to the six slavers. "We'll have to make a couple of trips."

And Lainey? Lumpa growled questioningly.

Valin shook his head. "She could pull it off with TK, but I don't think she would unless there was no other way." Not that she wouldn't try without it...

Lainey came back into the cockpit, arms full of stuncuffs. "I wasn't sure how many to grab."

"This is good," Valin said, getting up and taking some of them from her. He handed some to Lumpa, and they all set about binding the slavers hands together. As soon as they were finished, he turned to Lainey. "Can you get the others out of the holding cell, Lainey?"

She hesitated, before finally nodding. "Of course."

Valin smiled, then pretended to have an afterthought. “After that, you better get yourself and Taren to the medbay, I noticed a small one on our way here.”

Now she looked ready to object, but wasn’t about to admit any fear toward being alone with her brother. “I will,” Lainey said after a moment. “See you there.”

He nodded to her as she left, then pulled Matrim onto his shoulders. Despite a very strong urge to follow her and make sure she did go, Valin headed off to dispose of their former captor.

***

Helaine prepared herself for a barrage of questions as she approached the holding cell, sensing strong curiosity inside it. She supposed it was justified, and she hadn't missed Valin's way of getting out of having to answer their questions. Taking a deep breath, Helaine stepped inside. "We've got to move to the cabin, Hal's bringing the slavers here."

The group jumped to their feet, and Ammon looked like he really wanted to ask her something. She gestured for them to follow her, turning her back before he could open his mouth. He walked right up beside her. "Did you allow yourself to be captured?"

"No." Helaine shook her head. "It actually was an accident."

"How did you guys make that lightsaber? Or did you sneak it in? Are all lightsabers made with glowrods?"

"We used the jewels from Aeshari's bracelet." Helaine replied, searching out the cabin as she walked. Aeshari and Ammon had more questions for her, mainly regarding the Force and the Jedi Order. Taren was quiet, studying the floor or her, seeming to contemplate her answers more deeply than those who asked the questions. As they reached the cabin finally, Ammon asked the question she'd been dreading.

"Is Lainey short for something?" asked Ammon, following Helaine into the cabin.

Helaine took a deep breath, pretending to observe the bunkbeds. "Helaine."

Taren stiffened in shock beside her. "Trillium?" He asked, almost hesitantly.

"Yes," Helaine said, turning slowly to face him. She held out her hand to him. "It is nice to meet you, Taren." Gesturing down the corridor she added, "Hal and I feel you should be in the medbay." She nodded to Ammon and Aeshari. "Lumpa should be in here with you soon."

Ammon looked like he wanted to go, but Helaine turned around anyway, taking Taren's arm and guiding him out of the cabin. After a few moments, she realized what she was doing and quickly released him. Taren cleared his throat. "What are Hal and Lumpa doing?"

"Placing the slavers in the holding cell," Helaine replied, scouting out the med bay. "Hal will probably want to interrogate them later."

"Does he really work for Corsec then?" Taren asked curiously.

Helaine shook her head. "He helps them, but he can't be a detective."

Taren followed her around a corner. "Why not? Don't you work for the senate?"

"No," Helaine said, looking at him in disbelief. "The Jedi cannot be under any branch of the Government, it would place their will above the Force. Not to mention that if it grew corrupt, we would go down with it."

"Don't the Corellian Jedi work under theirs?" Taren asked as they reached the medbay and Helaine palmed the door open.

Many Jedi thought so, and disliked them for it. Helaine had once believed that, but now she knew it wasn't true from speaking with Valin, staying out from under Government control had kept him and Master Halcyon from joining Corsec. They still chose to serve their homeworld, showing explicit favoritism. The hundred or so living there were able to keep the planet relatively more safe than the ten thousand Republic Jedi guarding the Galaxy. Helaine found it wrong for the Jedi to keep their services so limited as to serving one world, but was it so much more wrong than spreading themselves too thin?

Helaine cleared her throat. "They serve it, but I do not know of them joining any of the branches."

Taren nodded, taking a chair as he studied her for a moment. "You look like our mother."

She stiffened in the doorway, having to jump forward before the doors closed on her. "Oh."

"Sorry," Taren apologized, looking away from her.

"No, it's okay," Helaine said, attempting to smile. His comment had opened the way for her to ask questions she'd managed to suppress for years. As an initiate, she'd spent many nights wondering about her family, wondering which parent she took after, if she had any brothers or sisters. The questions had left her shortly after she was apprenticed, because her Master had filled the role of a parent. She had thought such curiosity had left her, but now she realized just how close to the surface it still laid. "How is your arm doing?" She asked, seeking to change the subject.

Taren rubbed it absentmindedly. "Well," he replied, then took a deep breath. "Helaine, I know this is probably a lot to ask from you, but...," he hesitated. "Well, you know how parents are, they worry." Helaine nodded, and he continued. "I could tell them you were okay, but I think it might be better coming from you, in maybe a letter. That isn't forbidden, is it?"

Helaine shrugged, uncertain. As long as she didn't expect one in return, she supposed it wouldn't be. "I'll see what I can do," Helaine promised, before she knew what she was getting into.

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Luney
Posted: Apr 13 2005, 09:26 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05




Part Six

Coruscant

Late into the night, Nejaa Halcyon had been awakened by a padawan, informing him that Valin had just contacted the temple. He and his wife Scerra had rushed to the communications center in the temple, getting there just in time to speak with their son. Apparently, Valin and Lainey had managed to build a lightsaber, and taken over the ship. Lainey wasn't there to speak with them because she'd taken a blaster hit to the shoulder, and was sitting with Taren who had a broken arm. Lanelle Caine's lips had tightened the moment she learned of her padawan's injury, and had grown even thinner at the fact that she was with her brother.

As soon as Valin was finished telling his story, and telling them when they should reach Coruscant, Scerra started lecturing him. Valin put up with her lectures on the dangers of the lower levels of Coruscant, and on being careful, but he claimed he was having problems with the holocom when she reminded him to brush his teeth and wash his hair. Nejaa smirked, then squeezed her shoulder when the communication ended. She leaned heavily against him and he held her tight, running his fingers through her hair.

Lanelle allowed them a few moments, but ever businesslike, she soon cleared her throat. "I think it would be prudent to inform Coruscant Security, as well as the Trilliums and Daelanis that Valin has commed us."

Nejaa nodded, slowly releasing his wife. "Yes, I will speak with the families."

"I thought you would wish to meet with the security officers," Lanelle said, surprised.

He raised an eyebrow, having assumed Lanelle would want as little contact with her padawan's family as possible. While he did have a lot of experience working with security officers, either one of them was qualified to deliver the news. So, you want to meet your padawan’s family, Lanelle. Very interesting. He smiled slightly at the thought. "Of course, Master Caine."

Avoiding his gaze, Lanelle shrugged into her brown cloak. "Thank you, Master Halcyon."

Nejaa nodded, opened his mouth to say more, but stopped when he noticed Scerra's warning look. As soon as Lanelle had left the room, Nejaa turned to Scerra. "What was that look about?"

Scerra shrugged innocently. "What were you going to say?"

"Only that it would seem the Republic Jedi have some sense after all," Nejaa answered, and she elbowed him in the side. "What?"

"You're impossible," Scerra replied, turning away from him.

Nejaa stepped up behind her, pressing his chin to the bottom of her neck. "Would you have me any other way?" He asked, his breath teasing her hair.

Scerra scrunched her shoulders up, laughing slightly. "Maybe."

"Maybe?" Nejaa asked, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing the base of her neck.

She shivered as he moved his lips up to her jaw line. "No..." Scerra sighed, moving her head to give him more access. Suddenly, she stiffened, pulling back. "Nejaa, the security officers..."

Nejaa turned her around, kissing her lips. "They can get their own wives."

"You need to visit with them," Scerra reminded him, pushing against his chest.

"Right," Nejaa said, heaving a sigh. He pinched her thigh, winking at her when she jumped. "Keep my side of the bed warm for me?"

Scerra slapped his rump. "Keep your focus, Master Jedi."


***

Lanelle Caine neared Danae Trillium's hotel room, her thoughts far away from the brightly lit hallway. She had been very pleased to hear that Helaine and Valin had managed to take over the ship, but she had also been reminded that Helaine's brother was onboard. She closed her eyes for a moment, thinking out the consequences for a moment. There were few bonds stronger than family, which was whyJedi were never meant to see their families again, it created too many complications. The Jedi had taken every precaution against it, but apparently they could not prevent everything. Perhaps in allowing Helaine to meet her brother, the Force was reminding them of their own mortality, testing to see how they dealt with it.

How though, she wasn't certain. Naturally, Helaine should not be able to see him again, though it would not solve the problem that she had, and would it follow the Force's intentions? Was Helaine meant to forget and move on, or remember and still put the Force first?

Whatever it was, Lanelle had to trust her padawan to make the right decision.

Taking a deep breath, Lanelle knocked softly on Danae Trillium's hotel room door. After a few moments, she realized the woman was probably asleep, and knocked louder. Soon she heard footsteps, and briefly wondered if Helaine got her waking habits from her mother.

The door slid open, revealing a sleep tousled Danae. Her eyes widened at the sight of Lanelle. "Master Jedi, please come in."

` Lanelle entered the room as Danae stepped aside. Briefly taking in the small, neat room, Lanelle asked, "Has your husband not arrived yet?"

"He'll be here tomorrow," Danae answered, stepping into the kitchenette. "Would you like something to drink?"

"No, thank you, I won't intrude long," Lanelle replied, standing somewhat awkwardly in the entry way. For a moment, she questioned her own judgment on having come, after Nejaa had so graciously offered. She supposed it was her own curiosity at the type of woman her padawan could have emulated, if she hadn’t come to the temple. A woman whose place she had taken in Helaine's life.

"Please, take a seat," Danae said, sitting down only when Lanelle did. She smoothed her hair back. "You have news, Master Caine?"

Lanelle nodded, noticing Danae setting her shoulders in preparation for it. "Valin has just contacted the temple, he and Helaine have taken control of the ship. They are expected back in about five days."

Danae sank down with relief in her chair, too shocked to speak. After a few moments, she finally found her voice. "Is everyone alright? Did Valin mention Taren at all?"

"Yes." Lanelle folded her hands on her lap. "It seems that Taren broke his arm when he was captured, and Valin and Helaine have been doing everything they could for him."

"And Helaine?" Danae asked, hesitantly. "How is she doing?"

Lanelle pursed her lips. "Her shoulder was injured, but Valin says it should be healed by the time they get back."

Danae smiled slightly. "I am glad she was not hurt seriously, but I meant in general, Master Caine."

"She is an excellent student, Madame Trillium," Lanelle replied, folding her hands on her lap. "You understand that you will be unable to meet with her?"

The woman's eyes flashed rebelliously for a moment, but she nodded. "I would not try to interfere, Master Jedi." Danae straightened her shoulders, meeting Lanelle's gaze. "Providing she is happy." She took a deep breath. "And I do not see how she could be."

Lanelle's head snapped up. "Why would you believe that?"

"The Jedi seem so...cold. You claim to have compassion, but do not believe in love," Danae replied her posture calm, though her voice shook slightly. "My husband and I love her more than anything, but it isn't enough because she cannot feel it."

"It is enough," Lanelle said softly. "She feels it because of you." She did not add that that was why they tried to get potential Jedi at the youngest age possible. Or that Helaine's knowledge of love made her meeting with Taren much worse.

Danae was surprised at her admission. It took her a moment to speak again. "Then all I can ask is if you love her."

Lanelle opened her mouth to speak, before quickly shutting it. Helaine had been attached to her since she had apprenticed her, though Lanelle had encouraged her to develop a deeper relationship with the Force instead of with her Master. Despite her best efforts, Helaine had come to love her as a padawan does a Master anyway, seeking to prevent Lanelle's early death over learning to deal with it. Lanelle had recently lost the heart to continue dissuading her padawan, and in doing so, she had come to love Helaine in return. As a master loves a padawan, like a mother loves a daughter. She found herself nodding to Danae, her mouth forming the words as quickly as she realized it. "Yes, I do."

"That is all I need to know," Danae said, a sad but genuine smile shaping her lips.

"Thank you," Lanelle said, getting to her feet. "I should go...now."

Danae rose to her feet as well. "Of course." She bowed her head. "Goodnight, Master Jedi."

Lanelle did not repeat the same wish, instead she met Danae's eyes. "Docking Bay thirteen is rather large, Madame Trillium. I would hardly know it if you were there, and caught a glimpse of your daughter." Danae raised an eyebrow, and Lanelle nodded slightly. "Goodnight, Madame Trillium." She quickly left the hotel room before reconsidering what she had done.
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Luney
Posted: Apr 13 2005, 09:28 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05




Part Seven
Enroute to Coruscant

Helaine Trillium looked down at the letter Taren had asked her to write, completely unsatisfied with it. She had pondered it for a couple of days, spending much more time with Taren than she should, and spending even more time justifying her guilt. Sighing, she rested her cheek in her hand. What was she supposed to say to people she had never met? Or, rather, couldn't remember.

She picked it up to read through it.

Dear Family:
I get so few occasions to write you, I don’t know what to say. I am doing well. I built my own lightsaber a month ago. It ended up being a bigger challenge than I thought it would be. Master Caine thinks it came out beautifully, though, so I must have built it right. Anyway, I guess I better explain the purpose behind this letter and the medallion I sent you. Every year we do a Competition Week for lightsaber combat. There’s Master verses Master, Knight verses Knight, Padawan verses Padawan, and Master\Padawan verses Master\Padawan. Even the Corellian Jedi come out for it. One in particular, Valin Halcyon, is the reason I won the Padawan vs. Padawan for my age group in lightsaber combat.

I met him in a gym one night while trying to prepare for my first duel with Padawan Shearn, who has a fighting technique much different from my own. She excels at hand-to-hand combat, and integrates it into lightsaber combat whenever she can. I have never been the best at hand-to-hand combat, so I was training harder than usual. Valin watched me for a few minutes, then offered to give me some pointers since we would not be competing against each other, and on the condition that I would teach him some of my fancy hand movements.

So we worked with each other late into that night, and the following nights leading up to the competition. Due to Valin’s instruction, I ended up winning the competition for my age category, and he barely lost to Anakin Skywalker in the final round of his. I have yet to see Anakin lose anything though. High Chancellor Palpatine was there. He never misses watching Anakin fight. I think it’s kind of weird, but Master Kenobi doesn’t seem to be concerned about it. Master Caine says I should mind my own business anyway.

It has been nice visiting with Taren. I wish I could see all of you.

I have to go, but I want you to know that I am always thinking about you, a day doesn’t pass by when I don’t.

Sincerely,
Helaine Trillium


Shaking her head, Helaine almost crumpled it in her hands. It wasn't enough, but this was her third attempt. Before she could though, she sensed Valin enter the cockpit. "Did they say anything?"

Valin took the co-pilots seat beside her, exhausted from having interrogated the slavers. "Only that they would not be held long."

"Maybe you should have taken Lumpa with you to play good cop, bad cop," Helaine suggested.

"Yeah, but who'd get to play bad cop?" Valin asked, winking at her.

Helaine laughed. "You, obviously. Lumpa's cuddlier."

Valin grinned, before turning suddenly serious. "Lumpa's a great guard for the door, but I can't trust him in the room with them. His family was taken by slavers, he feels they deserve nothing better than death."

"Perhaps they don't," Helaine said softly.

"It is not our place to sentence, Lainey. I intend to deliver them to Coruscant as safely as possible, and let the authorities there deal with them."

Helaine sighed. "And if what you suspect about the government is true, they are likely to be released back into the public."

Valin was silent for a moment. "We'll just have to trust they would not be so stupid."

"Do you?" Helaine asked, studying his eyes.

"I have no choice," Valin answered thickly, looking away from her. Helaine touched his arm, knowing she'd hit a sore spot with him. He'd helped Corsec hunt down and catch criminals, and watched some of them walk free or with considerably less sentences than they deserved, and he could do nothing about it. He had to follow the law in order to enforce it. "What are you writing?" Valin asked finally, changing the subject.

Helaine squirmed slightly. "Taren asked me to send a letter home."

Valin raised his eyebrows, surprised. "What are you going to say?"

"I already wrote it," Helaine said, passing the letter to him. "It says nothing."

He read over it. "It's not that bad, Lainey."

Helaine shook her head. "Yes, it is, Valin. This is probably the only time I'll ever be able to say anything to them, and all I can talk about is the competitions."

"Then rewrite it," Valin suggested simply.

"And say what?" Helaine asked, frustrated. She cocked her head. "What would you say?"

Valin cocked his head. "You wish me to write your parents?"

Helaine frowned at him. "You know what I mean. What would you say to yours?"

"Well our situations are very different, Lainey. I have ample opportunity to speak with my parents, this is your only chance." Valin leaned forward. "I'd suggest you say everything forbidden you."

"Maybe," Helaine said, slowly crumbling the letter. She shook her head violently. "No, I can't."

Valin smiled slightly. "Your Master is going to kill me for corrupting you."

Helaine raised her chin. "I am incorruptible."

"Are you?" Valin asked, relaxing against his chair. "Suppose it is the Republic Jedi who must learn the Corellian ways?"

"It would certainly take less time for the ten thousand of us to change ours, than for the hundred of you to change yours," Helaine said, matching his tone. "Either way, I fear Anakin will have to outlive us all, I cannot see us unifying in my life time."

Valin frowned. "I've always seen you as an optimist, Lainey."

"Realist," Helaine corrected heavily. "Master Yoda says the future is clouded in darkness, it is growing too thick for him to see through. Soon he will see nothing, and the Sith will strike then."

"Master Yoda told you this?" Valin asked softly.

Helaine straightened her shoulders. "I am not a child, Valin." She took a deep breath. "None of us can afford to be."

"I doubt that you ever were, Lainey," Valin said, then squeezed her arm. "The future is one of the few things that you do not to have to see in order to change. You need only the will, and hope."

She nodded, trying to shake the bad feeling that had overcome her. "I suppose," Helaine said, then failed at an attempted smile. "Least we'll know which of us is right sooner or later."

Valin got to his feet. "You'd better hope it's us Corellians, Lainey."

"Why?" Helaine asked, surprised.

"Because you really liked that kiss!" Valin said, winking suggestively at her.

Helaine stiffened, turning bright red. "Valin!" She exclaimed, grabbing her letter and throwing it at him, but he'd already ducked out of the cockpit. Helaine slowly dropped her head against the console, laughter shaking her shoulders. Her somber mood gone for the moment, Helaine picked up another sheet of flimsy. Everything that was forbidden...


***

The past few days on the ship had dragged by, in which Taren had spent most of his time in the med bay. Hal, or, rather, Valin, had insisted on consistent saline lubrication so that his arm would not become infected and require amputation. In one of his rare free moments, he wandered the ship while the rest of the crew slept. He entered the cockpit, taking the pilots chair and watching the starlines fly by. Taren hadn't traveled in space much, and was beginning to find he didn't like it. He preferred open waters to open space.

Lainey kept her distance from him, seeming to come near him only when she thought he was sleeping. Taren supposed he understood, any contact with him was forbidden her, but their current situation could hardly be helped. He turned in his chair, noticing some flimsies tossed in a wastebasket. Another one lay on the floor near the door, so he stood and picked it up. Noticing writing on it, Taren gently pulled it out of the wad and started to read.

It was a letter to his family from Lainey, and apparently it was one she had discarded. The letter was hardly personal, but he did not expect much more from her, the Jedi forced strict rules on her. He pocketed it anyway, wishing to take as much as he could of her.

The door to the cockpit slid open, and Lainey walked in, stopping when she saw Taren. "Hi."

"Hey," Taren said, slowly moving his hand from his pocket. Lainey bit her lip, staring at him for a moment. Ever since they had learned of their relation, they had been awkward around each other.

Lainey hesitantly stepped forward. "We should reach Coruscant tomorrow afternoon."

Taren nodded. "I know."

"I, we...," Lainey began, then took a deep breath. "We won't be allowed contact any more."

"I know," Taren said, meeting her eyes. "But I can not say I understand."

Lainey tensed. "Attachments are forbidden a Jedi." She looked away. "We should never have met."

Taren was silent for a moment. "Then why would your Force allow it?"

"It would not intervene," Lainey answered softly. "The Force guides and directs, it does not control."

"So you believe it was coincidence?" Taren asked, cocking his head.

"There is no such thing," Lainey answered automatically.

Taren sat down on the pilot's chair again. "So you believe in fate?"

Lainey shook her head. "I believe in choice."

"But you don't believe in coincidence?" Taren asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I think that everything happens for a reason, whether we were destined for it or not. The Force can reveal the future, but it is only a possibility."

Taren blinked. "Then what is the point?"

Lainey was long in answering. "So that you may change it if it is bad, or take steps toward achieving it if it is good."

"How do you know if changing it won't make it worse?" Taren asked curiously, taking the pilot's chair.

"If it only benefits you," Lainey answered softly. "It would make things worse."

Taren nodded. It made sense, he guessed, but they certainly weren't able to prevent every bad thing from happening. He drummed his fingers. What he really wanted to know was why the Force seemed fine with how the Corellian Jedi worked as well as the Republic. Both orders claimed to follow the same Force, so how could they not be the same?

Not feeling the need to argue with her further, Taren changed the subject. "So, what do you do as a Jedi?"

"Mainly diplomatic work," Lainey said, taking the observers chair. "Or escort missions." She leaned forward slightly. "What do you do?"

"I work in shipping, " Taren said, then smiled. "With Kaely."

` "Kaely?" Lainey asked, lifting an eyebrow.

Taren flushed slightly. "My girlfriend." He settled back. "I've been considering asking her to marry me."

Lainey blinked. "I thought you were around seventeen?"

"A little old, sure. But I just wanted to make sure I found the right one first, you know?" Taren asked.

"I guess," Lainey shrugged her shoulders. "On Coruscant most people don't get married until their twenties or thirties. If then."

"The Naboo are considered an adult at the age of twelve. Single men my age are considered to be menaces to society," Taren said, winking at her. "Mom didn't start in on me until I was fifteen though."

Lainey shook her head. "I can't imagine...I won't even be a Knight until I am at least twenty three."

Taren smiled slightly. "For all of Coruscant's technology, they're certainly backwards on some things."

"For some things, yes." Lainey agreed.

Silence followed, and Taren shifted uncomfortably in his seat. Lainey glanced around the room, probably feeling more awkward than him. He sighed, leaning forward and resting his chin on his hand. "So we reach Coruscant tomorrow?"

Lainey nodded. "Yes." She glanced at her wrist chrono. "We'd best go to bed now."

"Yeah," Taren said, remaining in his seat. Lainey stayed sitting as well, stifling a yawn. He rubbed at his eyes, but was loathe to get up and leave. This was, after all, likely to be his last night with his sister. He wished he knew what to say. What he could say. Lainey relaxed back in her seat.

"Or not," Lainey said, smiling slightly. She yawned again. "I've heard that Naboo is very beautiful."

"Very," Taren agreed. "Far more so than your Coruscant, though I may be slightly biased."

Lainey cocked an eyebrow. "Slightly?"

Taren smiled, unabashed. "Alright, extremely."

"Coruscant has no natural beauty," Lainey said, stretching her arms. "But I could call no other place home."

"Is there nothing you would change about it?" Taren asked curiously.

"Well, maybe one." Lainey replied, her eyes losing focus for a moment. "You cannot see any stars there." She glanced out the viewport. "My Master and I make a point of star gazing whenever we go offworld. I could stare at them for hours without getting bored." Lainey fought another yawn. "Through the Force, a Jedi can send their awareness up to the stars, and through its guidance find systems that are in trouble, or will be. On Coruscant, we have to use holograms."

Taren nodded, pretending to fully understand. "Does it tell you were to look?"

"In words?" Lainey asked.

"Yeah."

Lainey shook her head. "It speaks through you, not to you."

Taren frowned. "How?"

"Planting thoughts in your mind, giving you bad feelings..." Lainey said, just as goosebumps started running up Taren's neck. He rubbed it and she added, "Maybe raising chills up your spine."

He squirmed slightly as the skin on his arms and neck started to tingle. "Wouldn't that just be intuition?"

Lainey cocked her head. "What do you think empowers it?"

"Interesting," Taren managed, looking over his shoulder. It was fine for the Jedi to have contact with the Force, but he wasn't sure what he thought of it influencing his life. He rubbed at his eyes with the back of his hand, noting that he and Lainey were much better at making each other uncomfortable than anything else.

She stretched her arms above her head as more silence followed. "How about now?" Lainey asked around a yawn. "Valin'll wake us up at eight hundred hours no matter what time we go to bed." She frowned. "Or him, for that matter."

Taren rose to his feet. "Then I guess this is goodnight."

"Yes," Lainey said, getting up as well. She bit her lip. "I guess it is."

"Yeah," Taren shifted his weight. His chest tightened as he looked at her, feeling as they were saying goodbye. He took a step forward to embrace her, but caught himself and just nodded. "Goodnight."

Lainey hesitated, then nodded in return. "Goodnight."
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Luney
Posted: Apr 13 2005, 09:31 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



***
Part Eight

Coruscant Intergalactic Spaceport

Just as Helaine had expected, Valin had woken her up at eight hundred hours, a half hour before they were to land. The time passed much too quickly for her, because she was returning to the real galaxy. Soon she would have to face her MasterIt was hardly her fault that she ended up meeting her brother, but her reckless danger chasing was another matter. She certainly could have handled things differently, probably consulted the Force more, but she hadn't wanted to.

If she had asked it simply what to do, it would have given her several possibilities. Ideas she should have come up with on her own. So in order to get a decent answer, she would have had to come to a decision herself. The decision she would have made may not have been answered favorably by the Force.

And now she was probably going to have face the consequences.

She sighed, just as Valin told everyone to fasten their safety restraints. Helaine pulled hers on, amazed that a half hour had already gone by. Jedi were not supposed to fidget, but she toyed nervously with her padawan braid, her heart racing as the ship broke Coruscant's atmosphere. She glanced over at Taren, who was sitting stiffly behind her, though he was tapping his foot.

All too soon, Valin set the ship down softly in the docking bay, and everyone was heading toward the exit. Helaine looked to Taren again, fingering a folded piece of flimsy in her pocket. She had written a second letter the night before, with words far more incriminating to her position as a Jedi. But the first had just seemed too distant to give people who...had felt for her once, who, according to Taren, still did.

Helaine took a step toward him, then quickly stepped back. What if receiving it made things worse for her family? Not to mention that though it was never said aloud, padawans were not supposed to write home. They weren't even supposed to think about it. Valin opened the hatch as the boarding ramp descended, and Helaine met Taren's eye. Taking a deep breath, she walked over to him, bowing at the waist. "Goodbye, Taren," she said, unable to think of anything eloquent to say.

Taren nodded, then awkwardly patted her arm. "Goodbye, Lainey." He looked away.

Helaine waved uncertainly, then moved quickly out of the ship and down the boarding ramp. She immediately saw Master Caine waiting for her, with Master Yoda at her side. Helaine bowed quickly. "Master Yoda, Master Caine."

Master Yoda nodded to her. "Glad to see you well, I am."

"Thank you, Master," Helaine said softly, knowing there would be more words from him later.

She turned to Master Caine, bracing herself. Her Master stepped forward. "I am glad as well, padawan." To her surprise, Master Caine embraced her, squeezing her tight.

Helaine returned the hug, closing her eyes. "Sorry I worried you, Master."

Master Caine released her. "We'll discuss it later."

She nodded, turning her gaze over to where Valin was caught in a crushing embrace by his mother. Nejaa stood by them, smiling when he caught Helaine's eye. "I trust you kept Valin in line, Lainey?"

Helaine shook her head. "I fear that is beyond my abilities as a mere padawan, Master Halcyon."

Nejaa adapted a stern look, though his eyes sparkled. "I'll have a talk with him." He winked at her. "And Nejaa is fine."

"Yes, Master Halcyon," Helaine said, then looked to Master Caine when she sensed amusement from her, though she still appeared as stoic as ever. Absentmindedly, her hand went to her pocket, once again fingering the piece of flimsy. Helaine sought out Taren then, noticing him watch the security officers escort the slavers out of the ship, before starting to head away from the ship. She hesitated, looking to Masters Yoda and Caine, before turning back to Taren. This was her last chance with her brother. Taking a deep breath, she turned back to the Jedi. "Excuse me, Masters."

Master Caine raised an eyebrow, while Master Yoda looked up at her quizzically. Before they could object, Helaine took off after Taren. It didn't take long to catch up to him. "Taren?" She touched his shoulder.

Shocked, he turned around, smiling when he saw her. "Lainey."

Shifting her weight, Helaine fished her letter out of her pocket and handed it to him. "I wrote this for you, and yo..our parents."

Taren took it from her, staring at it in amazement for a moment. "Thank you." He touched her arm.

Helaine ran her fingers nervously through her hair, not knowing what else to say. "Hope you have clear skies on the way home."

"Thank you," Taren said, keeping eye contact with her. "You too." He hit his head. "I mean, to the Temple."

"I will." Helaine bit her lip, her chest tightening. Her last chance...she took a deep breath, and stepped forward, wrapping her arms around him. Taren stiffened at first, then moved his left arm around her, hugging her tight. Helaine rested her head against his shoulder, tears touching her eyes then moving down her cheeks. Embarrassed as she was at her display of emotion, she didn't release Taren to wipe them away. Instead, she clung to him, feeling that their time together had been too short. And how she wished she knew the right words to say.

Taren held her for an eternity's second, in which time passed quickly, but in slow motion. All too soon though, she had to pull away, and face her Master. She wiped her tears away with the back of her hand, looking up to meet Taren's gaze. "Goodbye."

"Goodbye," Taren returned, squeezing her shoulder.

Helaine tried to step away, but was rooted in her spot, unwilling to leave. He seemed just as reluctant to go as well, when the Force flowed between them, causing Taren to blink and rub at his neck. Helaine's mouth dropped slightly, for she had just received the impression that they would meet again.


***

At the far end of Docking Bay Thirteen, Danae Trillium laid her head on her husband's shoulder, impatiently watching the ship unload. For a moment fear gripped her, making her wonder if she would actually be able to recognize her daughter. It had been so many years...

Terrance's deep voice interrupted her thoughts. "There's our daughter."

Startled, Danae blinked. "Where?"

He pointed toward the front of the ship where a small crowd of people had gathered. "She looks just like you," Terrance said, putting his arm around her.

Helaine was standing with Lanelle Caine, and someone whom Danae couldn't see over the crowd. Like Terrance had said, their daughter had taken after her, in eyes and hair color. Terrance squeezed her shoulder as Helaine broke away from the group, chasing after Taren. Danae felt tears threaten her eyes as first their children talked, and then embraced.

She leaned against her husband's shoulder for support, amazed at how something so simple as a hug could affect her so deeply. At least her children had been able to know each other, if only for a short time. Ever since she had given Helaine to the Jedi, she'd viewed the Force as a negative influence over her life. Before, it had held little to no meaning at all. At times like this, however, she thought that she could almost sense it.

Soon her children parted, and Helaine walked back to the Jedi, and out of their lives. Taren was quick in walking over to them, his right arm in a make-shift sling. The moment he was within arms distance, Danae pulled him into a hug, cautious of his right arm. She squeezed him tight, then pulled back slightly to examine him, touching his cheek. "You're alright?"

Taren nodded. "Nothing a doctor can't fix."

Danae shook her head, stepping aside to allow Terrance to embrace their son. She had to smile slightly as they slapped each other's back, and Terrance couldn't help but ruffle Taren's hair afterward. Instead of his usual whine, Taren just grinned as he smoothed his hair out. Terrance massaged Taren's left shoulder. "We best find you that doctor, son," He said, starting to lead the way toward their aircar. "On the way, you can tell us all about your trip."

"Of course," Taren said as Terrance released his shoulder in favor of Danae's hand. He raised a sly eyebrow as Danae leaned her head against her husband's shoulder and met his eye.

Taren took a few discreet steps forward, as Terrance's left arm found her waist, pulling them to a stop. Danae moved both her arms around his neck, then noticed that a few of the buttons on his shirt were undone. Fighting the urge to do them up for him, she glanced hesitantly upwards, noting a challenge in his dark brown eyes. She was a perfectionist by nature, and had a habit of smoothing his hair and tidying his collars and clothing when they weren't straight. In response, he often left his collar up or buttons undone just to see how long it would take her to notice.

Looking up, Danae held his gaze while moving her hands down his chest to his shirt, doing up the few buttons by feel. Just as she finished the last one, Terrance bent his head and softly kissed her lips. Danae closed her eyes, slowly moving her hands back around his neck and playing with the hair on the nape of his neck. Terrance's arms tightened around her, as he gently parted her lips to deepen the kiss. Vaguely aware of the crowded docking bay, Danae pulled away, her cheeks burning. "Terrance, really."

He just grinned in response, kissing her cheek before wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "It's okay to look now, Taren," He said to their son, who had stopped in his tracks keeping his gaze firmly forward.

Embarrassed, Taren glanced back. "I take it you two kids are finished, then?"

Terrance nodded, resting his chin on Danae's shoulder. "For now."

"Good," Taren said, then fished in his pocket, pulling out a piece of flimsy. "Before I forget." He handed it over to Danae. "Helaine wrote this."

Danae slowly opened it, noticing a small holograph of Helaine and her Master enclosed inside, along with a small medallion. Her chest tightened as she handed them over to Terrance, and began to read the letter. Before she could get through the first few sentences, tears were streaming down her cheeks.

"Are you okay?" Terrance asked softly.

She nodded. "I just never thought we'd get our daughter back, even if only in a letter."


***

Helaine walked back to the Jedi, a nervous pit growing in her stomach. Becuase Jedi Padawans do not drag their feet, Helaine walked slowly, resolutely to her Master. She straightened her shoulders, trying to convince herself that she was more than willing to face the consequences of her actions. Upon reaching Masters Yoda and Caine, she bowed at the waist, much lower than usual. Master Caine nodded to her. "We will be leaving for the temple soon, Helaine."

"Yes, Master," Helaine answered softly, avoiding her Master's gaze. She found Valin's instead, whose hazel eyes were sympathetic.

He nudged her. "Catch you later, paddlehorn."

Helaine lifted her chin. "Force be with you, Valin," She intoned formally, then caught the sparkle in his eyes. "Someone has to be."

Valin smirked, then raised an eyebrow. "So the Coruscanti Jedi possesses wit."

"It is unfortunate that the Corellian does not," Helaine countered, stifling a smile.

He opened his mouth to speak, only to be interrupted by Master Caine. "We need to leave now, padawan."

"Yes, Master," Helaine said, nodding to her.

She turned back to Valin, slowly meeting his eyes again. He would be leaving for Corellia soon, and she wasn't likely to see him for another year. Helaine cocked her head slightly, wondering what to say. She'd leaned on Valin the entire trip, and had come to respect the Corellian ways a lot more. As much as she didn't want to admit it, she was going to miss him. Taking a deep breath, Helaine straightened her shoulders and offered him her hand. "See you next year, Valin."

Valin took her hand, but instead of shaking it, he pulled her to him for a hug. Surprised, it took Helaine a moment to get her arms around him. He bent down to whisper in her ear. "My offer still stands."

Helaine wondered what he meant for a moment, before remembering how he'd offered to find her a Corellian Jedi Master. She pulled away and smiled. "I'm good, thank you."

He winked at her. "Goodbye then."

"Bye." Helaine waved, watching him walk to his family, fighting back a pang of jealousy. She turned back toward her Master, but found Master Yoda standing behind her. He looked up at her, his head cocked to the side as he leaned on his stick.

"Become close to your brother you have."

Helaine could not deny it. She lowered her head. "I am sorry, Master."

Master Yoda pointed at her with his gimer stick. "Know why attachments are forbidden you do."

"I didn't know he was my brother, Master," Helaine said, closing her eyes for a second. "What would you have done?"

"Matters not what Master Yoda would do," Master Yoda replied, clasping his hands on his gimer stick and leaning on it. "Matters only what Padawan Trillium did." His expression softened for a moment, as his eyes grew far away. "Through the Force a Jedi can see the future, revealed only by our thoughts and choices. If Helaine Trillium does not choose for herself, cease to be Helaine Trillium, she will. And with Helaine Trillium goes her role in the future." He stepped forward. "Which cannot be replaced."

Helaine nodded. "Yes, Master Yoda," She said, catching only his basic meaning. It was said of Master Yoda that his words could be interpreted in a hundred different ways, all of which were correct. And all of which depended on the listener’s level of understanding. In that way the great Jedi Master resembled the Force. Though it was viewed in perhaps a million different ways, each depending on an individual’s ability to listen and be led.

Half the problems between the two Jedi Orders resulted from teaching how to be a true Jedi, not how to listen to the Force. The basics of usage of the Force was the same, as well as the path to the darkside. But where the Coruscant Jedi chose to avoid any strong emotion at all, such as love, the Corellians embraced it as a safeguard. It was the main difference between them, a seemingly thin line forged in durasteel.

Helaine had believed barely a week before that the Coruscant ways were correct, but now she didn't know if either Order was. She glanced back to where she had last seen Valin. Her lips compressed into a thin line as she wondered if she should be ashamed, or intrigued by the fact her own interpretations of the Force were consistently being challenged by a Corellian's.
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Luney
Posted: Apr 13 2005, 09:33 PM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05




Epilogue

En route to Kessel

Matrim Narien sat in the holding cell, glancing down at his hands. He had run a successful slave trade for years, and in a few moments time, it had all been taken away from him. They had lost so much money. Angry, Matrim curled his hands into fists. He should have killed the Jedi the moment he had discovered her.

And the other one? His inner voice questioned, causing him to shake his head irritably. Blasted Jedi.

The door to his cell opened, allowing a tall human male of indiscernible age to enter. The newcomer nodded politely to him. "Matrim Narien, I presume?"

Matrim leaned back. "Who are you?" He asked, slightly confused.

The man cocked his head. "Who am I not?"

"What?" Matrim asked, blinking. "I don't understand."

"All you need be aware of, Mr. Narien, is who I am not. I understand you were able to capture two Jedi. Few have lived to tell such a tale." He said softly.

Matrim shook his head, feeling goosebumps raise on his arm, "Yeah, but I made the mistake of not killing them the moment I knew what they were."

The man raised an eyebrow. "A grievous mistake indeed, but not your worst." He gestured to an empty bunk. "May I?"

"Sure," Matrim said, folding his arms and leaning against the wall. "What do you mean, not my worst?"

"You allowed the Jedi to retain access to their Force. That, Mr. Narien, was your worst mistake."

"Is that possible?" Matrim asked, astonished as he leaned forward. "Blocking a Jedi from the Force?"

The man nodded, his eyes glittering sinisterly. "Of course, nothing is superior to the sentient mind."

Matrim frowned slightly. "Why are you telling me this?"

"There is a growing need for the slow eradication of the Jedi," The man stated slowly, giving Matrim a measuring look. "You have proved apt in capturing them, we need only work on your ability to hold."

"Why slow?" Matrim asked, inclining his head. "Would it not be better to take them down as quick as possible?"

The man shook his head. "Act too quickly, and the Jedi may foresee it."

Matrim slowly nodded, very interested. "What do you want me to do?"


finis!
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Peagis
Posted: Apr 14 2005, 02:47 AM


Master


Group: MJFC
Posts: 442
Member No.: 4
Joined: 31-March 05



very good story i'd of liked to of seen more of what happened to Lainey afterwards


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user posted image“Holy Shinickers!”
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Luney
Posted: Apr 14 2005, 05:23 AM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



Peagis:

very good story i'd of liked to of seen more of what happened to Lainey afterwards Thank you very much! Are you SURE you want to see more of her? There's about four other stories with her in them wink.gif (Two by me. wink.gif)

Here's the sequel to this story though: Shadows of a Past Long Forgotten


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Peagis
Posted: Apr 26 2005, 07:11 PM


Master


Group: MJFC
Posts: 442
Member No.: 4
Joined: 31-March 05



what are the other two stories?i've been reading the shadows of the past one.. which is very well done by the way biggrin.gif


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user posted image“Holy Shinickers!”
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Luney
Posted: May 8 2005, 06:28 AM


Padawan


Group: Members
Posts: 77
Member No.: 28
Joined: 5-April 05



Thank you :-D Basically the most BASSIC story line of these would go, Interpretations of the Force, Shadows of a Past Long Forgotten, Why Love Was Forbidden in the Old Jedi Order, and The Scarlet Illyini. Those are all by me...
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Peagis
Posted: Jun 16 2005, 08:39 PM


Master


Group: MJFC
Posts: 442
Member No.: 4
Joined: 31-March 05



QUOTE (Luney @ May 8 2005, 06:28 AM)
Thank you :-D Basically the most BASSIC story line of these would go, Interpretations of the Force, Shadows of a Past Long Forgotten, Why Love Was Forbidden in the Old Jedi Order, and The Scarlet Illyini. Those are all by me...

are all those on this site?


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user posted image“Holy Shinickers!”
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