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Old 10-02-2006, 04:59 PM   #75
Jae Onasi
@Jae Onasi
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The Sith Lord had the audacity to try to sift through her mind, seeking the information he shouldn’t have. Jae knew he was going to take the information—he had gotten in before she could defend herself. But she didn’t have to allow him to see everything. She made the most visible parts of her life fill with light, allowing their brightness to blind while the more secret parts disappeared into the shadows. The Emperor saw a lot. Her parents’ deaths, joining the Onderon Court, Roben’s death, Master Kavar discovering her healing gift was the Force. He watched her training with Jolee and wondered how Jolee lived—shouldn’t Revan have killed him on Rakata Prime? He saw her battle with Miraxton and the relationship blossom between Talin and her, culminating in a wedding the Order hadn’t seen in decades. He saw some of the other adventures and pitied her impotence. She let him follow along to learn what she had experienced, while squirreling away the nuggets of strength that would reveal true power. So he thought she was weak. Good.

But lastly, I have a parting gift, he said as he ripped away from her mind.

The wave of pain hit like a thousand fire-needles stabbing everywhere. Jae gasped, eyes squeezed shut, fighting the pain.

“Jae, what’s wrong?” Talin’s normally gentle touch felt like a scouring instead.

She pulled away, unable to acknowledge his concern, and drove deep inside herself, to the very core of her Force being. She pulled on its strength and the pain decreased ever so slightly. She built the Force wall and it expanded too slowly against the overwhelming pain.

Then Talin was with her, combining his Force strength with hers. I’m here. Keep fighting—you’re starting to push it back.

It’s a Force attack. The pain is unbelievable. I don’t know if I can take more!

You’re strong. I’m helping. We’ll do this together.

The torturous stinging finally relented. Jae felt for the stream in the Force and found it, an ugly roiling river of polluted darkness.

Give me more strength, Talin. I have to follow this to the source.

I will as long as we don’t get in over our heads—whatever this is, it’s extremely powerful.

Jae pulled on Talin’s power and traced the stream, racing over the line of darkness, farther and farther, and found a cloud of malevolent blackness. Talin suddenly yanked both of them back, and then they were in their room again.

“Sorry, Jae. I know you wanted to go farther, but I thought that cloud was too much dark power for us to handle alone. Are you alright now?” There was concern in his blue eyes as he scanned her for injuries.

Jae tried to rub away the tingling in her hands. “I think so. I felt like every nerve ending was on fire, but I should be OK after awhile. The strength of the attack surprised me. It had to be a Sith Lord with that kind of power.”

“I thought it was a Sith Lord, too, when you found that dark cloud. Where was he? We need to stop him.”

“Not where. When.”

“We definitely need Jolee. I’ll go prepare the ship so we can leave for Coruscant right away.”

* * *

“Ah, Jae, Talin. Good to see you both, finally.” Jolee said once the pair arrived at the Jedi Temple. Talin gave a slight bow while Jae embraced her master. “How are my two favorite lovebirds?”

“We’ve got a little problem,” Jae said.

“I don’t see any problem between the two of you,” Jolee said, looking pointedly at them when they linked hands.

“Ha. You’re amusing, Jolee,” Jae grinned.

“Jae’s the master of understatement today. We’ve got a big problem. Very big.”

“The only big problem you two have is making a baby in time for me to win my bet with Mik’oth.”

“Jolee! It’s bad enough Mik’oth wants to get me into a dancer’s outfit without the two of you betting on little Jedi.”

Talin just smiled indulgently and shook his head as Jolee led the way to his quarters.

“Well, come on in to my little home. Beats the log thing I was living in on Kashyyyk. Make yourselves comfortable.” Jae and Talin found a sofa in the living area. Jolee brought out caffa for all three, then sat down to join them. “Now, tell me what happened. Your little message was remarkably vague, which I’ve come to expect from so many young people these days.”

“We weren’t sure who might have access to the data streams, and we didn’t want to take a chance with this information,” Talin said.

“I got attacked by a Sith Lord—through time,” Jae stated.

Jolee cocked an eyebrow. “Through time? You sure you’re alright?”

“From some time in the future, though I can’t quite pin down the time. There was something about a 4th Sith Empire. We saw a specific cluster of stars but I couldn’t find it on the astrogation charts. It was a huge center of dark energy, however. And yes, I’m OK, I just have some residual tingling—I thought I’d let Master Supat look at it.”

“Well, now why didn’t you tell me that when you arrived? Here we are sitting around having caffa while you’re having problems. What kind of Master do you think I am?” He snorted and gave Jae a look as he pressed a button. “Please tell Master Supat we have an interesting case for him to see. We’ll be right over.”

The Ithorian Jedi Master met them at the door of the medical section. “My Padawan said you have something interesting for me?”

Jolee answered, “We were having some caffa when Jae announced she was still suffering the effects of a Force attack from the future as if it were nothing more important than a discussion of brands of bed linens.”

“I wanted him to see what the attack did first-hand. If I healed it completely, it would be harder to figure out. And bed linens can be an important topic, too,” Jae smiled.

“Oh, right. I forgot you and Talin still fall in the newlywed category and might give that topic serious study.” Jolee rolled his eyes.

Master Supat’s brown eyes lifted in amusement. “This way, please.” They followed him to one of the exam rooms, and he motioned for her to lie down for the scans. She sat back up as he reviewed the results.

“Intriguing attack,” he said as he looked over the scan data. “It damages the nerve endings from inside out. Definitely a Sith power. Your hands bother you most, do they not?”

“The tingling’s worst there, yes. I wondered if it was because of the Scourge attack awhile back.”

Master Supat walked over to the exam table and took her hands gently in his, studying them. “Those nerves are a little more sensitive, yes. However, it’s the peripheral nerves that are affected. It doesn’t appear any of the central nerves took damage. It looks more like a torture technique—meant to be very painful, but not necessarily deadly.”

Jae watched as Master Supat closed his eyes in concentration. Warmth spread through her hands and up her arms as he healed the damage. Jae sighed in pure relief as the prickly feeling disappeared.

“Better?” Talin asked, hopeful. She nodded, and he smiled, relieved.

“Before you two get too moony-eyed, let’s go discuss this with the other Masters,” Jolee said.

They all left for the Council chambers.

* * *

“We understand you had some kind of experience with a Sith Lord from the future,” Master Kavar said. Masters Vrook, Jolee, Supat, and Visas sat in the chambers as Jae and Talin recounted their story.

Talin said, “He apparently is from something called the 4th Sith Empire, some 6,000 years in the future.”

Jae added, “My vision shows he’s been trying to corrupt a young woman to be his heir, but she’s from a different time than either of us. Her decision to be his apprentice determines the fate of his Empire.”

“Why would a Sith want an apprentice from the past?” Master Vrook asked.

“Must have eaten all the ones he has in his present time,” Jolee noted dryly.

Jae grinned briefly at him before continuing in a more serious tone. “As powerful as he is to be able to enter my mind and attack me across 6,000 years, he’s dying. I could feel his Force essence literally holding his body together. This girl has some kind of Force multiplier and I don’t know if he’s trying to use that to stay alive longer or use her for other means. All I know is that if he succeeds in seducing her, his empire will become even darker.”

“The vision is a girl asking for help,” Visas said. “She is a Force Focus, and she has great strength that has yet to develop. There are so many possibilities I see that far in the future, but there is a bifurcation in her future. If she falls to the dark side, the galaxy will experience a time of great evil. If she chooses the light path, she will be falsely accused of a crime. However, she will be vindicated in the end.”

“It is imperative we find her and save her,” Vrook said.

Jolee said, “Master Supat will work to find defenses against this Sith Lord and investigate whatever might be killing him. Kavar, Vrook, and Visas will meditate and see if they can determine her location in time and space. Jae and Talin, the three of us will go to Li’adin—we’ll leave tomorrow. They’ve figured out how to transport Jedi in time, and we’re going to go wherever and whenever we’re needed. May the Force be with us all.”

From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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