“Dor, come on, you can’t die!” Darshan screamed as he carried the being back to the mess deck. While they had been busy forward, Breia had gathered every scrap of medical equipment aboard. The body was set gently on the table, his cloak ripped open, and Darshan worked to save his life.
“Stop my son.” Dor whispered. He motioned to Breia. “Tell you all things I must. Blind one, see with your ears and heart you do. Will for me do something?”
“My people believe that a debt must outweigh all wants. Ask.”
“Travel to Ossus. Speak with masters of the order you must. Your skill great. Your heart pure. Aid them in learning, for those you meet will hear metal’s song.”
“How did you know...”
“Matters not, explanation no time for. Young girl. Listen to me will you?”
Holani leaned forward. “Choice you have. Home you can return.”
“I can’t. I have become worse than my father thought I was. I can never forgive myself.”
“Forget. Father redeems you if you ask. If home you will not go, speak with Darshan. Corellia use some one like you can. Knowledge of dark paths necessary in coming years. Accept you they will at his word.”
“I will think about it.”
“Honorable your last name is on Alderaan. Return to it you must. Evil you have done fades with time” The woman bit her lip, and nodded.
“Darshan, for your ears alone last is.” Darshan knelt, and Dor whispered.
Darshan leaned back. “You’re joking.”
“Teach you humor not my place. Humor is self evident. May the force be...” Dor leaned back. The table felt soft for some reason. He saw a lambent thread leading back to his home world, felt it touch another of his race. The monastery was not yet strong enough to stand without their aid. He wanted to go home, and felt that he would. He pushed himself to his feet, shrugged off the hands that held him down, and began to walk.
Darshan closed the sightless eyes. Holani was holding Breia, both women weeping. Darshan lifted the limp form, placing it in one of the bunks, then walked forward.
Koori tore his hair. He had sent messages down every trade route he knew, worked feverishly to try to figure where Darshan might have been taken. If only he had gone with him-
The communicator bleeped and he slapped it, “Don’t bother me!”
“Student Deralo, Han Calrissian has returned to the system, Darshan reports that there was a malfunction. The ship traveled from here to Lortu and back in seventeen days.”
“Seventeen days! Thats- wait a minute. Where the hell is Lortu?”
The press was there to greet them as the good ship Han Calrissian settled down on the tarmac. The hatch came down, and every voice died as two women came down the ramp, followed by Darshan. He cradled a body gently in his arms, walking slowly as the women spread out to show a united front.
Koori ran forward, then stopped as he saw the figure. “That’s the monk, Der or Dir-”
“Dor.” Darshan said. He looked down at the peaceful face. “He had a mission for the monastery, and hijacked the ship to complete it. We rescued these women from Lortu.”
“Where the hell is Lortu!” Koori almost screamed.
“Down past Kinyen on the Trade Spine.”
“But that’s-” Koori stared. “Half way across the galaxy! In just over two weeks?”
“Both ways.” Darshan pushed through the silent crowd. An ambulance was parked there just in case, and Darshan lay the body on the gurney. “Notify the Monastery of his death. Ask what they want to do with his remains.”
“No.” Breia walked forward, hand resting on the gurney. “I need transport. I will take his body home as he asked me to.”
“This is a citizen of Echana, kidnapped by the Lortuai.” Darshan told Koori. “and this-”
“I am Holani Organa.” Holani said. “My father is the younger brother of the Alderaan king.”
Darshan’s eyebrow crooked. “She had been captured too.” He looked at the waiting press beings. “Ladies and gentleman, I am hot, tired, and need about eight hours sleep before they debrief me. Will you allow me that before you start asking questions?” He held out a hand to each woman, leading them to a car. Koori followed, a terrier after a mastiff, jumping into the jump seat as the car roared off.
“Don’t you ever do that to me again!” He said.
“Oh, here.” Darshan pulled out the box of cookies. Koori held it to his chest as if it were a sacred icon, then opened it.
“Wait! My cookies!” He reached in taking the last cookie from the box.
“Friend, the next time you send me off to the back of beyond, make sure they put enough food for four in it, okay? We were down to cookies and tea by the time we landed.”
Darshan leaned back, looking at Holani. He remembered Dor’s last words.
[i]Home she will go only if you with her go. Support she will need, and loving attention, for belongs there she does not. Take care of her you should. Depends the future on you. Wife she will become. Descendants of you both shall free the Galaxy some day.[/]