Date: Monday, May 13, 2002 9:22 PM "Bring her out." Topaz stepped inside the cell "Move to the side," the order was given to Alida. "Who are you and what do you want?" she asked instead. Tara walked over to Octavia. The woman was pale and her breathing was very shallow. Alida stood firm. "Answer me." Tara carefully lifted Octavia up and helped her out of the cell, ignoring Alida. Topaz was there to make sure Alida, as well as anyone else, didn't try anything. "LEAVE the child be!" Zuren yelled from his position. "Haven't you put her through enough? She's almost dead as it is." Alida made an attempt to rush the guards, to free Octavia, only to be shoved backward, Topaz's blaster at the ready, warning her to remain still. When she moved again, Topaz fired, stunning her. Tara glanced at Zuren's leg and looked at the sergeant. "Turn the Force damper off." "But ... there will be no way to contain them then," he protested. "They are weakened and one of them is unconscious. Do as I ordered." The Sergeant nodded and did as he has been ordered. He knew the Commander would not be pleased. Tara entered the cell and looks at the leg. Zuren looked up at her. "Leave the young one alone, she's been through enough." Tara looked at him, checking the stability of the leg. It was clear that he would need a lot of help; his kneecap had been blasted away. Tara placed her hand over his knee cap. Alida stirred, pushing herself up. "Get away from him." "I am not a healer, but this will help." She began to repair some of the damage....enough to keep it from being overly damaged infected. Zuren looked surprised. "Why?" he asked, and for a brief moment, Zuren saw a flicker of something in Tara's eyes. Yet no tape picked it up, no guard saw it, since she was facing so close to him. No emotion accompanies it, then it is gone, "The Commander has plans for you, you must be strong to withstand it." "What are you doing with the girl?" Alida asked pulling herself up. Carefully and skillfully, Tara finished with Zuren and removed the cloth. She stood and backed away from Zuren, then turned to head out the door, ignoring Alida. Gathering strength, Alida thew out with the Force, pushing Tara to the side. Tara slipped off to the side, her own mind reacting quickly, acquiring Alida's with her own. "If you wish to live stop" A pressure is great around Alida's mind. "I won't let you harm her," Alida ground out. Victoria moved her hand, shoving Alida backward. As the woman moved to go after Tara again, Topaz raised his blaster and shot her. Tara stepped out the door and picked Octavia up once again. She indicated for the guards to turn the Force damping back on and shut the door, "Sergeant, take us to Medical." He nodded and trotted ahead. Once inside Tara made sure the medical droids were set up to do a cursory exam. She made sure that Octavia would remain unconscious but would get the medical attention she needed to be able to travel. Tara watched them like a hawk, as well as called for her own full escort. Alarms sounded throughout the lab... "Automatic shut down, we are under attack," the voice announced. Sounds of guards could be heard moving in the corridors as well as the echo of blaster fire. Tara frowned as Topaz began to check out the situation. She let her mind roam to see the situation for herself. She saw the working class, or some of them, moving in the lab, led by a girl of Victoria's age. Topaz moved back toward her and motioned it was time to go. "Find the Jedi!" a man yelled. "Free them, I will find the director and inform them of their innocence." Tara sensed that someone was searching for Octavia, the girl was intent on finding her. Nodding to Topaz she motioned for Victoria to follow, it was time to leave. Octavia would be rescued by her friends and would receive the medical attention she would need. Yes, Octavia would be in friendlier hands than hers. Victoria's desire to deal with her aunt would have to wait for another time. ~*~*~ Alida felt the Force damping go down and the door opened, revealing Merita standing there. "Found you!" Alida gave the woman a small smile. "Thank the Force. Can you take Zuren?" Merita looked at Alida. "We have him... The workers are rising up and are in the lab now." She'd wanted to avoid violence. . . Alida nodded. "They took Octavia, Merita. Take Zuren to a Healer." "Medenna is hunting for her." Merita motioned for some of the workers to help her. "Let's get him to a Healer." Alida drew on the Force, strengthening herself as she raced from the cell and toward Octavia's Force presence. Alida passed guards being rounded up as the workers slowly took over. She entered the medical area and saw Medenna trying to wake Octavia. "You did well," she said to Medenna. "How is she?" Medenna looked up at her. "She's not responding. I hate whoever did this to her ... to you." Alida stopped and looks at Medenna sadly. "No, Medenna. Hating the ones that did this will only destroy you." Medenna nodded slowly. "They won't pay for their crimes," she whispered. The medical droid pulled away. "Treatment is complete. Rest is recommended." "No, I doubt they will. Not now," Alida said as she leaned over Octavia to check on the woman herself. "But whether or not they are should have no bearing on how you feel." "I still don't understand why the med droid was healing her? I thought Xanatos wanted us all dead," Medenna stated. "Xanatos does, but someone else wants her alive." "The Emperor." Medenna whispered, hooking Octavia's saber back onto her belt Medenna turned to Alida. "She won't turn, you know, no matter what they do to her." "She is very strong with the Force, Medenna," Alida said. "And she is committed to the Light." "Grandfather," Octavia whispered, moving slightly. "And she has Master Jinn to guide her," Alida said quietly. Octavia opened her eyes slowly then looked over at Alida. "Are ... are we still alive?" "Yes, Octavia. We are still alive." She took the young woman's hand in hers. "Medenna rallied the troops." "For a while, I thought .." Octavia became quiet when she saw Medenna. "You did it, you saved us all." Octavia rose slowly. The room spun slightly. "He's gone," Octavia stated quietly. "As usual Xanatos has a way of evading everything." "He was known for always having a 'back door'," Alida said. "Some things never change." Octavia nodded her head and stood on her feet. "How did I get here?" she asked. "More experimentation?" Alida shook her head. "No, you were brought here by someone … apparently to be treated." She shook her head. "That certainly wasn't what we'd been expecting." Octavia looked around she sensed something but her connection to the Force was still weak. "Who?" She shook her head. "There wasn't time for introductions." Putting an arm on Medenna's shoulders, Octavia smiled. "I'm proud of you. You did quite well under the circumstances." "I did what is required of a Jedi in training,." Medenna answered. Price entered the room. "The tapes proved your innocence. All charges have been dropped. The only bad thing is that those who are guilty are dead." "Dead?" Alida echoed. That didn't make sense. She couldn't see the Commander or Xanatos allowing themselves to be caught like that. A planetary official walked up behind Price. "Yes, it is most unfortunate. I never knew that Sergeant Leonard or Lieutenant Beck could be capable of such crimes, not to mention the scientists Bentz and Frost who were behind the contamination of the water." "And what of the director?" she questioned. "There is no sign. We have sent a message to OWPR to see if they are with them. I'm sure they uncovered the conspiracy and knew her life as well as Lord DuCruet's was in danger." Alida nodded. They certainly were familiar with the 'conspiracy'. "Thank you for your help," she said, nodding her head slightly. The official bowed "Is there anything we can do for you?" "We will require lodging for a very short period of time," she said. Octavia would require rest, as would Zuren. "We will see to it." he shook his head. "Such a pity that a lab of this size would be subject to such power hungry opportunists." What was she to say? Nothing would sully the reputation of "Telos' favorite son" here, in the labs his people had built. "Such has been known to happen, far too often." "I will make sure you are escorted to the hotel. Merita has already had the older Jedi moved to an air car." "Again, you have our thanks." He bowed and turns to leave. Octavia moved forward. "I think it's time to leave this place. It's full of death." she whispered. "But not yours, young one," Alida said, matching her tone. "Not this day." They were led to an aircar. Zuren was already there, waiting. He nodded at seeing them, grateful they were all still alive and now free. ~*~*~ Alida looked at the hotel as it came to view, it was the same one they had stayed at earlier, when they first arrived. After making sure Zuren was comfortable on the couch, Alida turned when she felt a familiar dark ripple in the Force. Then came the knock on the door. Alida automatically reached for her lightsaber, but Xanatos still had it. "Octavia. Your 'saber." Octavia exchanged looks with Alida. and took her saber from Medenna, who handed it over. "You won't need it, Alida .... but caution is to be advised." She smiled slightly and moved to the door. Octavia stood, recognizing the presence. "Open the door, I know who is there." Alida gave her a look then opened the door, trusting the young Jedi. The woman with silver eyes stood there. She wore a pair of casual tan pants and jacket and a peach shirt. Topaz stood behind her. Tara nodded to Alida, "I wish to speak with Octavia." She shook her head. "We often do not get what we wish for." Tara frowned, but a retort on her lips was cut short by Octavia. Octavia heard the conversation then walked forward slowly. "Alida, it's okay, let her in." Alida looked over her shoulder at the young woman, wondering if she had been somewhat damaged by her experience. "I'm in control of my senses." Octavia replied, sensing Alida's hesitation. Alida stepped back, opening the door to allow the woman in. Tara stepped through, Topaz on her heels. It was obvious to all that he was just her bodyguard; his every movement told everyone that he would not move unless Tara was threatened. Alida appeared relaxed, but cautious. She was ready to defend Octavia if need be, although she wondered just how sensible this really was. Tara took in the room and glanced over at Zuren and his leg. Zuren sat up straighter, meeting her gaze squarely. Tara nodded to him and walked over to look at it closer "You should leave the planet as soon as possible," Tara directed to Octavia. "I believe I owe you a small measure of thanks," Zuren said slowly. "NO," Tara replied evenly, "It was not much I could do then." She took off the wrapping to look more closely at it the wound, with Zuren's permission. "We will be leaving soon," Octavia answered. "It seems I find myself indebted to you as well." Octavia stated, retaking her seat at Medenna's instance. Tara shook her head, "It will have to be rebuilt. You owe me nothing, Octavia." Tara focused her mind and was in communication with someone. A few minutes later there came another knock on the door. "That will be my cousin with one of my field kits." Octavia turned toward the door then looked at Medenna who goes and opens the door. "Master D'med, perhaps I should explain," Octavia began. "Some explanation might be in order here, yes." Tara raised an eyebrow and glanced at Alida, "A Master? You're one from the past." She recalled the threat to the Emperor. Alida nodded. "Yes, I am." Sounds of the door opening and the soft footsteps of another could be heard. "Lady Alderson is the guardian of Victoria, my niece." Tara nodded. "The child who killed your brother." The girl walked over to Tara and handed the kit to her with a curtsey. The girl looked very similar to Tara. She then left quietly. Tara opened the kit, it was truly just a field medical kit, but contained enough to treat injuries Octavia nodded. "Regardless of her station Master, she has ..." Octavia paused. "She has honor." "Are you a healer?" she asked of Alida. Alida shakes her head. "No, I am not a Healer." *Honor? This is something I would like to hear more of later, Octavia.* She looked at Tara. "I am not a Healer, but I'm knowledgeable enough to realize that unless you are able to do reconstructive surgery with your field kit, we will need to bring him to a medical center." *I will explain the best I can,* Octavia replied and Alida nodded slightly to her. "You are correct, but this will stabilize him better until you can get him *safely* to one. You are not safe here with Mira Lexor loose." "I am curious," Alida said. "Why are you assisting us now?" "I am surprised you feel I have honor, Octavia." Tara replied, replacing the patches with temporary bacta packs. Tara looked up at Alida. "People should not be experimented upon," she replied flatly. "You'll find no argument from us there," the old man she was tending to said. "Then what did -- or do -- you want with the girl?" "As long as Lexor is with Xanatos, no Force user is safe." Octavia stated. "I have learned much since our first contact." Tara nodded to Octavia. "The girl?" she asked, confused. "Octavia," Zuren replied. "Ahh..." Tara rose, finishing her work on him, "Simply to inform you that an Alliance ship will be rendezvousing with you at these coordinates." She reached into her pocket to hand a data card to whoever is nearest. Octavia took it then looked back at Tara, it held valid intel codes. Octavia raised an eyebrow. "How you came by this I will not ask, but don't you find that a bit dangerous? What if your grandfather, the Emperor, found out?" Octavia questioned. Tara laughed, "And am I in danger of such a thing? Why should I care, I was simply following his own orders." She smiled slyly. "To help Jedi?" Zuren asked, his tone is one of skepticism. "In this particular instance, yes...however he is my own concern and I will deal with it should it become an issue." Tara seemed far more amused than she probably really should have been about doing things the Emperor would not approve of. "Your grandfather has sworn to destroy us," Alida said. "You can understand our confusion, I'm sure." "My actions are my own. Make your decisions based on them and not any who may attach their name to mine." She stood. "I would recommend to you to find your compatriot. If you are truly a master from the past, Nik-Vie Windu is in great need of your assistance." Octavia looked at Medenna who was sitting beside her. "I have learned not to judge people by their name." Alida shot a look at Octavia. "I have not heard from Windu in some time." Tara nodded. "That is not surprising. His students have scattered and he himself is unstable." Alida folded her arms within her tunic sleeves. "I do not know the man well enough to make such judgments." "His actions are not one of a Jedi," Octavia stated slowly, "even when I first met him he did not strike me as being stable." Tara smiled, "He was stable when I first met him." A quick flash of memory from them fighting at Port Lansing occurred, then her smile faded. "But he has allowed himself to become what he wishes to eradicate." Octavia went to rise. "Master, you should rest." Medenna stated softly, then fell quiet when Octavia smiled at her. "He has lost sight of the Force's true path," Octavia stated evenly, walking over to the window. "Yes." Tara agreed, "I apologize for keeping you so long. The Force Be with you." "We shall see," Alida said. "The Jedi of his line were honorable. It would be a terrible loss." "I agree it would be." "Tara," Octavia turned and looks at her. "Victoria, is she well?" "She is fine. A bit eager perhaps, but she is doing well." She nodded slowly. "It is no secret that I do not agree with your training ... I do not wish her to end up like Xanatos." Tara shook her head, "You have never bothered to even ask me about my training or how I train her." "True, then there has never been time. If I remember, last year you encouraged her to kill her father for justice and your grandfather took delight is tossing lightening bolts at me." "True, there has not been time, and as for the Emperor: again you hold me responsible for his actions?" She shook her head, "It is your single mindedness I will never understand...simply reconcile yourself with the fact that I do not wish my daughter to end up like him, either." Octavia bowed. "I do not hold you responsible for his actions, if I alluded to that, then I apologize. I merely stated there has not been time to talk." Octavia walked toward Tara, being mindful of Topaz's presence. "Perhaps one day we will talk of training and our different views." Octavia stretched out her hand. "If you need my assistance, for her sake I will be there. Single mindedness ... is something that is both good and bad." Tara chuckled and accepted Octavia's hand, "Perhaps we shall." Alida and Zuren exchanged a glance, Alida shaking her head slightly. "Is there anything else you all may require?" Tara asked of Alida and Zuren. "No, but we thank you for the assistance you have given us," Alida said. Tara nodded, "The Force be with you then." "And with you," came the response. Octavia stepped back. "We shall not keep you any longer. Thank you for warning. May the Force guide you." she turned and looked out the window. Tara nodded, then paused. "She is in the hallway, if you would like to speak with her." Octavia turned back to face Tara. "Yes, I would." She turned to look at Alida and Zuren, "I will be back." Tara emerged with Octavia behind her. She walked over to Victoria, and looked between the two of them, "I will leave you two to talk." She nodded to Victoria and briefly touched her on the shoulder again, the affection she feels passing to Victoria. Octavia looked at Victora. "You look well, are you happy?" "Of course. But you have seen better days, dear aunt." Octavia smiled slightly and pushed her hair behind her ears. "On that I do agree." She leaned against the wall, shifting her weight from her injured leg. "Why did you leave Port Lansing so hastily two years ago?" "Why were you talking to air and why didn't you come after me?" Octavia looked at the ceiling then back to Victoria. "I honestly thought I was losing my mind. I've never heard voices before. As for coming after you, I did some searching, though not a very through one; that I will regret for a long time." "So you gave up on me after your so-called search?" "No, I did contact my former Captain and gave him your description. He was to alert me if he ever saw you and pass the word though his contacts. The next word I received was your and Lady Alderson's invitation to lunch last year." "So you handed a searching job over to your captain and did not do it yourself." "Victoria, I've spent the majority of my life on that ship, and away from people. I had no idea where to start or if I should start your letter you left was clear. So I left it in the hands of people very capable of doing their job." "And what about your job? The job to your family? Doesn't that mean anything to you!?" "Unlike you, I have no solid foundation with family relations. My father died when I was eight and I was abandoned by my mother two years later. YOUR father, though guilty of crimes, was known to you, as well as your mother. You've had more experience with family than I." Octavia's tone was even, though pain of loss was clear in her tone. "What about my mother who was taken away from me so soon? And a father who would kill his own family to protect this puny Alliance. YOU call that family experience?!"
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