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Old 01-26-2006, 01:00 AM   #78
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Riebe was silent for a long moment. Then, she nodded slowly. "You want me to trust you that you might trust me."

Alyssa opened her mouth, but before she could say anything, Riebe silenced her with, "Don't object, young one. It is perhaps time they knew."

Alyssa settled back uneasily in her seat, watching nervously as Riebe began to pace the floor.

"I am 2,219 years old," she admitted quietly. Alyssa was taken by surprise. She'd always assumed Riebe's age was more between ninety and a hundred.

"You..." she stammered. Riebe paused in her pacing long enough to glare at Alyssa, who promptly shut up. The pacing started again.

"When I was sixteen or seventeen, the Sith kidnapped me," Riebe went on. "And not only me. When I awoke, I was in a room with nine others. There were five girls and five boys. They wanted warriors. They knew they were falling apart and felt that the death of all Jedi would reunite them. They changed us, both physically and mentally and turned us loose on the Jedi."

She shuddered, but her pacing continued along with her story. "Three years later, the Jedi captured me. I'd been injured in a fight and they took me, healed me physically. When I was well, they set to work at healing me mentally, showing me the lie I'd been living in. It took a lot of doing, but they helped me see how wrong I'd been. I returned to my companions and told them the story. They thought I'd been brainwashed. I challenged them to help me break into the Sith records rooms and find out for themselves."

Riebe fell silent for a moment before continuing with, "We turned on the Sith, destroyed the facility we had been trained in. Two of us fell in battle there, but the rest of us escaped to the relative safety of the Jedi. We underwent extensive training and became known as Sith Hunters."

Alyssa now understood that, when she'd heard Riebe refer to herself as a Sith Hunter, she truly was referring to the legends of the ancient warriors.

"We aided the Jedi in hunting the Sith to extinction," Riebe went on. "When we thought they were gone, we started to die off. One by one, the Sith Hunters were killed, in our sleep, in our everyday tasks. We scattered. The one known as Jokemaster and I stayed together. Even in our exile, we heard that the others were being killed."

Tears began forming in her eyes. "Soon it was only Craig, Jokemaster, and me left. Then, Jokemaster told me he'd heard Craig had also been killed, that his ship had exploded."

She paused and it was clear she truly cared about these people. "It was just Jokemaster and me, then... if I hadn't..." Another pause. "If I hadn't needed fresh air..." She wiped her eyes. "Maybe I could've helped him... but I wasn't there."

She swallowed hard. "I got back too late. He was dead and his attackers turned on me. I barely held them off and was able to escape." She took a deep breath. "After that, I wandered the galaxy for a thousand years before crashing on a little-known planet on the outer rim. Jedi were sent to it to discover the source of a disturbance and I aided them. They thought I was just a teenager, but they soon became some of the few who knew who I truly am. They brought me back to Coruscant, back to the Jedi."

"Then, the Empire came," she said with a shudder. "I went along with Palpatine long enough to escape his notice and begin wandering again. Almost twenty years later, I found myself on Tatooine. From there, I chased an old man almost to the Death Star and then I followed his young companion," here, she nodded to Luke, "to the Rebellion."

"I didn't play much of a part in the success of the Rebellion and the establishment of the New Republic," she finished. "But I've always helped where help was needed... on the fringes of knowledge."

A heavy silence fell over the Council and Riebe stopped pacing. "Have I answered your question to your satisfaction?"

Mom tells me I need brain food... but if writing ain't that, I don't know what is!

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Hidden Histories: The Galaxy Hacker

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